1/2Chinese, 1/2 Russian

As a young half Chinese woman attending a top film school, I’ve experienced more fetishism, sexism, white privilege, and racism than I thought I would ever have to endure from a so called “cream of the crop” highly educated and artistically inclined group of people. Among the other 29 people in my graduating class, I am one of three partial Asian women. 

Even though there are three of us, the others don’t seem as bothered by their classmate’s ridiculous parodies of Asian people in the script work and actual productions of their films. We just started the editing cycle of our thesis films, many of which will move into film festivals to be played for many people. 

There is one film in particular that enraged me, its a spin off of the old Godzilla mixed with the tale of a 50 foot woman. I had gotten a few desperate calls from the ones in charge of casting, they wanted “anyone who looks like they could be a Japanese person” to film in front of a green screen, running around and screaming about “go-gee-rah” and putting on fake accents. I immediately called the production team out on their script and no one changed anything. 

The film is now being edited, and will premier at the end of the year. 

As a woman who has been called a chink on numerous occasions (I live in Tallahassee) , as well as had to hear from EVERY sexual partner “I’ve always wanted to fuck an Asian girl” I just can’t stand the way these white boys write parodies of Asians into their scripts, and will only cast Asian as those parodies, unless they need a slutty schoolgirl fantasy or a samurai assassin.

There are so few roles for Asian Americans in film, and this is why. White people who write scripts will flat out refuse to cast an Asian female or male, in fear that the role would take on a different stigma, Asian males are seen to make a role seem too dorky or submissive. Females are seen as something too fantasy like, and if we aren’t dressed up as school girls carrying katanas, god forbid be act like any other human being on screen and take away a role from the beautiful, wide eyed, vulnerable blondie. 

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve delt with my fellow filmmakers, telling them to think about casting someone other than another white person, and bieng ignored.  In the end, its just another white boy writing in an Asian character purely to laugh at them. I have even been told “Why are you so obsessed with being Chinese? You look mostly white, anyways.” It is so infuriating to be belittles and undermined, I grew up where my mother was the head of the house, her Chinese heritage being passed onto me. 

One of the reasons I am becoming a filmmaker is to help pave the way for Asian Americans to be taken seriously as talented performers, able to be something other than a parody, or a sex object. 

Thanks for having a blog that I can identify with, its been difficult to hold all this in, recently.

B.

I Am Tired Of "Status"

In my past essay When Well-Inten​tioned Compliment​s Are Also Reminders of Inequality, I mentioned how some people really do not mean to harm when they imply that I should be in bookstores, television, classrooms etc., but because they seem to think meritocracy exists (hahaha) they do not consider how inequality impacts access to these spaces, especially so in terms of the academe, which I elaborated on in my essay I Could Not Be Any More Tired Of Academia And I Am Not Even A Part Of It. In my post Not Here For The Fame, I mentioned people who suggest that I should desire exposure for exposure’s sake; they’re people who are being passive aggressive and aren’t trying to compliment me. They cannot and will not value anything that I say without credentials and publicity “validating” it. In my essay The Price Of Rejecting An Institution, I elaborated on not being part of certain social institutions means a certain level of “freedom” from institutional abuse, but then people target me with violence because I am not a part of those social institutions (i.e. academe, corporate America, organized religion, marriage etc.). People who think my rejection somehow “devalues” their choices (which is ironic since the status quo aligns with their choices, not mine) or people who enjoy the inequality and oppression involved in gatekeeping and rejecting people like me are the ones who respond violently to my distance from or rejection of these institutions.

I tweeted about this a few weeks ago:

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Am I opposed to book deals, television, classrooms or panels etc. themselves? Of course not. When Black women that I know operate within these spaces, challenging how these spaces can harm as institutions and use their power and influence to help others, I cheer for them because I always want fellow Black women to win. I don’t begrudge anyone who is in these spaces and not actively harming, though I know that institutions themselves function to oppress before they ever liberate and are designed to violently protect the status quo and privilege. I understand this complexity. This is the problem of reform over revolution, which is a different issue. What stands in between them is survival though. And survival at times requires navigating reform though truly desiring revolution.

Why am I worth nothing to some people until “properly credentialed?” How much violence do I experience that isn’t just in response to me being a Black woman (which is of course significantly high) or being hypervisible as a Black woman writer online (makes it worse), but solely for not being one of the mainstream Black thinkers online who isn’t labeled (primarily by mainstream feminists, but also by “respectable” Black people seeking comeuppance) as “toxic" for rejecting misogynoiristic abuse? Not “respectable” enough. Not enough credentials. Degreed, but not an academic. No doctorate; not getting one. Not enough buddies with doctorates to vouch for my “worth.” Not enough highly visible “polite” White “allies” with power who like me. The same (and even worse at times) happens to other Black women that I know online. The people engaged in this abuse are White, non-Black people of colour, “respectable” Black people—many are engaged. Because this is core level stuff. This is the bullshit of American exceptionalism, meritocracy, bootstrap theory, prosperity gospel, the law of attraction—an assortment of victim blaming ideologies that assert that a lack of status is a lack of “worth” and must be because of a lack of valuable work. The structural is ignored; the individual climb to status is centered.

How is it that so many people seem utterly uncomfortable with my words or won’t even acknowledge my contributions, and not because of what I am actually saying (though of course these people exist too and are usually rather violent in response) but because it’s in tweets and on a free Tumblr blog? Somehow the words are less valuable then. Somehow it becomes okay for academics who call themselves activists to either violate my Content Use Policy daily/plagiarize me and call it “being inspired by” or degrade and troll me because what I say isn’t deemed valuable in its existing form. Somehow it becomes okay for journalists to lift my tweets and essays, which they would not do if the same essays were on a mainstream publication and if the tweets were associated with some publication deemed “respectable.” I am truly tired of status and the chase for it. I am tired of others (hourly/daily) suggesting that this is what I “should” want. And I know everyone is socialized into a very narrow model of success that requires credentials, attention, publicity, status and usually stepping on people’s faces to get there. I am not naive. I wish I had the luxury of naivety versus the reality of knowing too well and too acutely to the point it impacts my health severely. 

I do not conflate the need for money to survive in this capitalist State with this “need” for status that causes so many problems, especially among people who claim to be activists, people who should be interrogating what violence they engage in and what violence occurs to protect status, versus clamoring for it, (though to be clear, often through money is status achieved as well).  Thus, I am disinterested in people who suggest that Black women like me should be struggling (which I do, which I have, hello, generational poverty despite a college education) to “prove” our activism. Black women don’t owe anyone shit in this regard. It is through the violence on our bodies, the labor on our backs, the ideas in our heads that people’s very lives let alone activism stands on quite often. I elaborated on this in the past in Exploitation of Black Women’s Labor…In The Name of Feminism or Justice? Please. and in Fuck What Ya Heard; Money DOES Buy Happiness. In fact, it is often those who desire superfluous status who want to deny the needs, including financial ones, of those who do not desire status, as punishment for not being able to control them, harm them, deny them some form of access. And people gladly and gleefully support those with status on their sides, with the power to harm yet very little/no accountability. Again, the price of being without status is abuse. The price of being without status and not desiring it at all? Isolation. Violence. And even those without status (and are thereby abused) but are seeking status? They often support the violence against those not seeking it. Because ultimately to not desire status is to not “fit.” And it is to not fit in a way that eclipses even shared identity otherwise, hence why even some fellow Black people (let alone Whites and non-Black people of colour), and yes even some Black women, gladly harm other Black women in order to achieve status. 

This is the status quo masquerading as activism. This is the same hierarchy that I am breathlessly running from within institutions being replicated in people’s tweets and blogs and in “progressive” spaces where literally nothing changes if people are stepping on faces to climb to some sort of activist “top.” For what? And then what? Because often these climbs come without monetary award relative to survival, especially for people already in the margins. A lot of times they’re just someone White’s sidekick or attack dog being used to harm other people of colour. The violence deemed acceptable for status is not about survival. It’s not even about activism. It’s about a claim to power over others in a way that is little more than a smaller mirror reflecting larger oppression. It is oppression.

If you're surprised by the whiteness of the "thugs" behind Thug Kitchen, you don't pay attention.

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Let me explain to you who likes using the word “thug”:

  • 11 to16-year-old Black children who don’t know any better yet
  • Rappers…but not any of the good ones
  • Fox News
  • White girls on Instagram
  • Middle class white people who also still say “homeboy” 

No one would ever come up with the idea of “Thug Kitchen” aside from people who have neither cognizance of nor desire to stop perpetuating a stereotype.  ONLY white people would be clueless enough to make this a thing and I’m disappointed y’all were really following this mess in the first place.

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Watch on growinguplast.com

WARNING: Explicit/potentially offensive slurs/language in the video.

This panel appeared on CNN on July 1, 2013, to discuss the use of racial slurs. I remember watching it then and feeling heart-broken that one of my childhood heroes had to deal with the fear of being killed by police officers in a routine traffic stop.

I am white but my son is not. I live every day with the knowledge that my white privilege protects him only so far as he is with me—a lesson other mothers have learned at greater cost. When Michael Brown was shot by a police officer and killed in Ferguson, Missouri, on August 9, 2014, I was already well aware of “the talk” I would one day need to have with my son. 

The talk" I’m referring to is one that white parents rarely need to have with their sons. After all, we were socialized to believe that all police officers are helpers that keep us safe and have our best interests in mind. We would never have believed for a moment that they were scared of us, that they could actually think we were criminals based on our appearance alone, or that they might harm or even kill us without due process or even an actionable offense having been committed. Let me be clear: I do not believe all police officers are bad. I do believe, after some 15 years in the juvenile and family court system, that there is a school-to-prison pipeline and that racism exists in our justice system. I need to be real with myself, my family, and my son for his own safety.

We started his education early (he was not quite three) and in a way that few would have noticed: he was told police officers keep people safe, we taught him that guns were not toys but tools designed to hurt or kill and that’s why the police had them, and we would not let him bring items (such as toy cars) into any store that sold those items so that there would never be a question as to their origin. We told him he should always answer a police officer’s questions politely and keep his hands out of his pockets when he approached an officer. 

This did not instill in him a fear of the police. He thinks they are super heroes—he prefers them over Spiderman or Batman any day. His fifth birthday party had a police theme and last year he was a police officer for Halloween. He has every police vehicle Hot Wheels has manufactured in the last 3 years, I’m sure. But when another unarmed black male was shot (which happens as often as every 28 hours according to some studies), I knew we had to start having some of the deeper discussions associated with “the talk.”

So what did I have to tell my son, who idolizes the police, as a young boy of color? I had to tell him that sometimes police officers get confused about who the bad guys are. I told him that sometimes they shoot and sometimes kill the wrong person and sometimes that person is a young person (yes, even a kid). I told him that some police officers are “not safe” and might hurt him because of the color of his skin but that was NOT every police officer. I told him why it was important not to be rude to police officers, why it was important that they see his hands, and I even taught him what a search was and how that should be done. I banned his NYPD shirt to the pajama drawer. We watched some tough videos and there were times his eyes welled up. IT WAS NOT EASY.

Am I doing this right? I don’t know. He’s only 5 and I’m already having to tell him that he might get shot for being brown. My white friends and family members think it’s too soon or too much to talk about but the friends of color that I have, especially those raising black boys, get it and are giving me the space I need to hear their stories and educate myself in order to educate my son. They understand the way that I feel—frustrated, sad, angry, and disappointed that there are some things I cannot protect my son from.

~Marci aka Mamamusement

I strongly encourage you to watch this discussion over at CNN.com about “Raising Black Sons in the Wake of Ferguson.” I also ask that you read about how you can become an ally to black people—something I am trying to be for my son.

 

dear white people

If you are worried someone might be accusing you of acting racist, the right course of action to take would not to become offended, but rather to re-evaluate your own behavior and see why someone might be saying that or feeling that way. It’s not someone else’s responsibility to assure you you’re not being racist, but rather your responsibility to ensure that you aren’t being racist.

It’s pretty simple: don’t make it about yourself. Make it about the other person’s feelings. Step back and seriously evaluate why they might be feeling that way. Then, do whatever you can to ensure they won’t feel that way again.

Sincerely,

A fellow white person who is tired of hearing other white people complain about someone making them feel like a racist.

anonymous said:

I've been seeing a lot of things on tumblr claiming white women aren't oppressed? Or that even if a white woman is a woman, she doesn't know how it feels to be a minority. What are your thoughts on this and do you agree?

Even if it’s not being said explicitly every time you see comments like that, those people are talking about intersectionality, which is basically the idea that our experiences are shaped by how the different ways we’re oppressed (or privileged) intersect with each other. No one is saying that white women aren’t oppressed by sexism; they’re saying that white women aren’t oppressed by racism, and that the way they experience sexism isn’t informed by a systematic hatred or distrust of their race.

When white women say things like “We’re all women, let’s stop dividing ourselves”, or get offended when women of color want safe spaces that exclude white women, they’re saying they don’t want to acknowledge that they’re oppressed on one axis and privileged on another. It’s shocking how many white people consider themselves anti-sexism activists but argue that racism and sexism are unrelated issues. To use a standard example of pay inequality, many such activists will tell you that women make about $0.77 on the dollar compared to men for the same work… but that’s only white women compared to white men. On average, white women actually make more than Black men, Latino men, Indigenous/Native American men, etc, and certainly more than Black/Latina/Native/etc women. I reckon that’s why some white women don’t like to talk about intersectionality, because when you’re trying to convince men that all women are oppressed by sexism, it’s messy to admit that whiteness gives women more power than men of color in some situations; It’s just as messy to admit that a white woman’s voice has more weight than a woman of color saying the same thing when you’re trying to convince yourself that race isn’t relevant to the conversation. My thought is: if you’re more focused on maintaining your privilege as a white person than examining it, you’re not down with the struggle, you’re probably racist, and you’re not a trustworthy “ally” for women of color.

If you, anon, or any other onlookers wanna #gohard in your journey toward intersectional feminism, you can read Black feminist Kimberlé Crenshaw’s essay Mapping the Margins: Intersectionality, Identity Politics, and Violence Against Women of Color, which coined the term “intersectionality”. The essay was only written in 1989 but the idea itself is as old as feminism. Sojourner Truth was born a slave in the 1700’s and described what would now be considered intersectionality when she talked about gender inequality as an abolitionist. Another Black feminist Barbara Smith referred to it as “the concept of the simultaneity of oppression”. If you’re learning about this stuff for the first time on tumblr, know that most of the basics people draw from are well-established historical perspectives. Not to say that people talking about feminism on tumblr have nothing new to contribute, but you’ve gotta give credit to the foremothers.

The first time I realized that I was asian was when I realized that I was not white. Especially going to a private, it is sometimes difficult to see through this thick cloud of insecurities with the dominance of white people, left and right. I almost started to believe that I was white myself, that this issue was easily fixable. Maybe if I talked to the right group of people. Maybe if I play a sport. All of this doubt and uncertainty to hide the real me. I never found out who I was, and to this day is still looking for myself, but I am proud of being Chinese-American and I will always stand up (fiercely i might add) for my Asian brothers and sisters. My advice to you all, never let you voice go unheard because it could impact someone’s life. All of this oppression will never change for the better unless you open your eyes and acknowledge that our world is in fact extremely flawed.

apologies

At fifteen,
I walk into a store with my mother
who wears a blush colored scarf,
and I cling by her side
as she asks the cashier
which aisle carries the paper plates.
When your mother speaks
broken English
you learn to become protective
and memorize the exact places and times
to glue her words together
so they become whole.

When the cashier-
a white, middle aged woman
asked,
“Are you from I-ran?”
I shook my head to say no
which started an avalanche of questions,
“9/11 was just so tragic, but I heard your people celebrated?
How could they?”
“Isn’t Osama just a terrible person?”
“Wait, so you’re really not from I-ran?”
Until my face became the color
of my mother’s scarf,
and finally I said “yes, it’s all terrible. I’m sorry”
and stumbled out the doors.

Today, my 21 year old self wants to travel back
and snatch the sound particles
that created the word “sorry,”
before it can even reach
the woman’s ears,
ask her why I never heard a white
man apologize-
for colonizing my mother’s land
and leaving us with complexes
smelling like bleaching creams.
For more than 200 brutal years of
hanging limp Black bodies
off of tree branches?
For ripping children like Emmett Till and
Trayvon Martin
away from their mothers
because their only crime was in their skin.
For the Iraq War, and the cracking
open of the ground
so the one million scattered skeletons
could finally rest.
For funding Israel 8 million dollars a day
to bulldoze entire villages, and wipe
clean generations.
For lying to the people of Pakistan
that the vaccinations were for polio,
when in truth,
the needles were extracting DNA.
For keeping those in Guantanamo silenced and
shackled
without any trial.
For driving out the indigenous of America
to barren reservations,
and then withholding their property rights.

White privilege is being able to place
a blanket over all these crimes.
White privilege is not having one person’s
actions be representative of everyone else’s.
White privilege is not having to say sorry.
The double standard is crippling,
my people need crutches
just to stand and proclaim our faith,
we have bent over so low in shame,
you can almost hear our spines
snapping,
and our children have learned to say
“we are not radicals,”
before learning to say
“we are Muslim”.
How many times must we condemn
what we are not?
How long before fear stops
smothering us,
before paranoia
removes its hands from our windpipe?
How long before our lungs
can finally breathe?


anonymous said:

PoC can be and many are racist against whites. Saying that white is the only race capable of racism is ignorant. The theory you sjws buy into is just that a theory based on one man's opinion. Nothing more. PoC CAN be racist

Why do you guys always insist on this piss-poor semantics argument? Regardless of your definition the point is that white people will never experience the effects of institutionalized racism. Therefore any other form of “racism” you seem to have in your head that white people can be “victims” of, is completely irrelevant. 

10

15 questions white people will never have to ask themselves

Many white people may never truly understand why incidents like the Michael Brown shooting infuriate blacks and other people of color — even when it’s clear that race plays a large, looming role in how the situation snowballed to the 18-year-old’s death.

This is in part because white people can move through daily life without constantly thinking about how their race will be perceived. Part of having white privilege is the freedom from worrying about racism, a freedom their black counterparts have never known. But it gives black people a unique yet challenging perspective by which they navigate the world. 

African-American scholar W.E.B. DuBois called this “double consciousness,” Follow micdotcom

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