“Seeing non-white people demand inclusion into the mainstream annoys white people. However, seeing non-white people create something for themselves just angers white people too! I just laugh.”—lifeisntfiction
“The term of People of Color: People of color’ is not a term that refers to a real biological or scientific distinction between people. People of color in the U.S. share the common experience of being targeted and oppressed by racism. Unfortunately, one of the ways racism operates is to keep people of color divided. Many people only think about their specific ethnic or racial group when discussing oppression or the need to build political power. By using the term people of color, we begin to push people to think more broadly. We need to build relationships with other groups of color. The term people of color has movement-building potential.”—A History: The Construction of Race and Racism. racismfreeontario/articles/a-history-the-construction-of-race-and-racism.pdf
Dear world, it's about time you realize the shit PoC deal with everyday. Stop turning a blind eye to blatant racism.
Dear PoC, next time a white person complains about how “everything is about race and gender” tell them to stfu unless they want to discuss how they can change their views and deconstruct their privilege.
Because it is relevant and they have never experienced the same kind of discrimination, no, not in the same way, and on so many different levels- and since they can’t fully understand, they should at least acknowledge that we do need to have productive conversations about race.
Racism is an on-going issue. It does affect us everyday.
I am so sick of apologists, especially with all that Florence Welch bullshit.
“We live in a post-racial society! Racism doesn’t exist!”
Yeah, tell that to every single minority on that fucking subway car.
"We are still conditioning people in this country and, indeed, all over the globe to the myth of white superiority. We are constantly being told that we don’t have racism in this country anymore, but most of the people who are saying that are white. White people think it isn’t happening because it isn’t happening to them."
POCs on the DL: Color-coding & Your Favorite TV Shows
Prime-time television shows may be a lot more diverse than we give them credit for. And before you jump down my throat, think about it: Darren Criss from Glee? Part Filipino. Morena Baccarin on V is of Latin American origins. And Jesse Williams of Grey’s Anatomy—part black, part Scandinavian. See? That’s three more actors you didn’t think of as POC.
People of color have long struggled with representation on network television. We are obviated on sitcoms like How I Met Your Mother, where there’s never a single minority to be seen, much less in a positive light; we’re tokenized on shows like Justified where Erica Tazel’s Rachel Brooks exists simply to fulfill a racial quota in an otherwise all-white cast; or else we’re trigger-happy stereotypes in material like The Chin-Chens, which premiered a trailer so problematic it was subsequently removed. And the flip side of all this is yet another issue: color coding.
Coding occurs when the projection of identity upon a person (of any color) eclipses his or her actual ethnic identity. It is a widespread phenomenon in all media, with the oft-cited examples of Cameron Diaz and Jessica Alba as actors usually coded as white. Diaz has made no bones about her lack of identification with her Cuban background, while Alba, after facing criticism, has attempted to negotiate her identity by choosing some loaded roles.
So does this mean we’re approaching a post-racial media era? Not a chance. The pervasiveness of white as default in media leads causes casts to appear monolithic, even if actors of color are embedded within. The result isn’t diversity, because the audience views the cast demographic exactly as though the characters are white. It is unfortunate because race-neutral roles are often main characters with better developed storylines and conflicts, opportunities for minority actors to bust out their acting chops.
All this said, we shouldn’t forget that we, as viewers, have some agency in this respect, that coding is in a way our projections of what color a character should be. But ultimately, within the media industry, it’s the POC viewers who lose when characters are coded as white: we are invisible even to ourselves, no nuances or complexities are brought to the same tired roles, and valuable opportunities for dialogue or positive representation are lost again and again.
See link for cases in point, Blaine from Glee, Anna from V and Jackson Avery from Grey’s Anatomy.
Comments that I appreciate: “The idea behind “coding” is that actors may look POC, but their roles occupy a space in which the race is blotted out and the characters are given all the privileges and associations of whiteness. We fight for minorities in tv/film to have a shot at roles regardless of race, this is absolutely true, but the prevailing result negates any space where POC presence can be felt. I completely agree with you that tv and film have a difficult time giving us meaningful POC stories, and I would view it as endemic to the coding issue.
There is a strong argument that in media, white is the default, and Racialicious has had many posts that mention this (the most recent being http://www.racialicious.com/20… ”-dibob
“I think the flip side, POC characters being identified solely by their race, can be far worse. Especially when you consider that most of the writers, executive producers, directors, etc, on these shows are mostly white. When Kalinda shows up on the Good Wife, I don’t necessarily want her to begin “a very special episode” on Indian-Americans(or Indian-Canadians as the case may be). ” -Kwaku
Am I The Only One Who Finds The Term 'PoC' Somewhat Racist?
No, i’m not bitching that it’s racist against whites, rather that it’s racist against everyone else.
By having ‘whites’ and ‘PoCs’, you’re basically saying ‘whites’ and ‘everybody else’.
Maybe i’m off base here but it seems that lumping everyone who isn’t white together under the ‘PoC’ label is fairly racist.
I dunno, thoughts?
"But not all white people are racist!"
There used to be a point where I’d think, myself, “hey don’t hate all white people not all of them are bad” but I see white people whining and I get annoyed. Let me explain.
I remember my little brother. And how during his cancer treatment at times he’d have to fast (no eating for 24 hours, just fluids) because of some procedures, and how he connected the two things together- “I can only drink water = I have to do this painful procedure” so it became a very real fear.
So later, after his treatment was done, when he had to fast, this is what he thought of. Even though this time, they only had to do it because they needed to do a scan, and it wasn’t any procedure, and certainly wasn’t going to be painful, this is what he thought, anyway. He didn’t know, how was he supposed to? And obviously he was afraid.
My point is. Look, PoC know not all white people are bad. But there’s so many, SO MANY white people, who are racist, that it has become a defense mechanism to assume they all are. Because they are afraid. “White people= I will suffer racism” because these are not isolated incidents, these things happen over and over.
Blaming black people for their very legitimate fear is like someone blaming my brother for his fear. It’s absurd. Why would you do that? When you ask a victim of something so emotionally scarring to think of your feelings before they think of theirs, you’re being selfish. So selfish.
And it IS your fault. You ARE privileged. And in comparison to black people, I, as a non-black PoC, am also privileged, so when they get angry and blame things on me, yeah, it is also my fault, because I live and support this privileged system. Do you understand this? Just as you do. They are not trying to guilt-trip, simply expressing anger, if you’re going to get in a huff about their expression of anger, you’re selfish. You’re ignoring the main point of what they’re saying and derailing over a tiny, tiny detail and are a loathsome being, and when you choose to skip over the main point, you’re being racist, yes.
*I am not, by using my little brother as an example, saying that PoC are equivalent to little children and have no sense. There’s grown people this example applies to, too. Like people who fight wars and afterwards every loud, sharp noise sounds like a gunshot to them. My little brother, being close, was simply the example I connect to most.
People of Color Less Likely to Vote Due to Super PAC Influence
It’s becoming more difficult for people to see how their vote is going to matter in the 2012 election. When states are increasingly passing voter ID laws that mandate voters prove they are citizens or that they are legitimate voters at the polls, while Super PACs are able to field millions of dollars, often from unidentified people, to influence elections, then democracy becomes less of a real thing to many people. A new survey from the Brennan Center for Justice shows majorities of Americans seeing Super PACs as corrupting forces on elections. There’s enough Super PAC distrust in the survey that many said they likely won’t vote. Evidently Bonnie Raitt isn’t the only person who feels, as she said in Rolling Stone, that “we have an auction instead of an election.”
Voters of color certainly feel that way. In the Brennan survey, African Americans and Latino Americans were more likely than whites to say they feel discouraged from voting due to the outsized influence of Super PACs, and who can blame them? In many states, voters of color will have to go through the often un-user-friendly process of excavating birth and marriage documents, and then hoping there’s a DMV office close by that they can get to between shifts or after work hours, all to get ID cards that they otherwise wouldn’t need. Once done, they better hope their address doesn’t change (hope they’re not evicted, foreclosed upon or otherwise homeless), or that their name doesn’t change (hope they don’t get divorced), or if they are Latino, hope that their name is recorded correctly, or else they may get turned away after a long wait in line because the ID information doesn’t match with the registers.
But before all of that, they have to overcome the idea that their one vote is going to matter as much as the $1 million gift to a Super PAC. They have to also overcome the idea that as a voter they may not have the same access to the elected candidate as the million-dollar donors — many donors who by the way do not have to be identified to the public when voting by bank account, nor do they have to wait in long lines because they’re making payments online.
When only about 20 percent of Americans believe the average voter has the same access and influence on candidates as Super PAC big donors, as reported in the Brennan Center survey, and when over a quarter of respondents say they are less likely to vote because of Super PAC influence, there is evidence that democracy isn’t working for everybody. Voter ID laws, which supposedly clean up fraud in the system, won’t solve that problem, especially when fat-cat donors aren’t subject to the same identification regiments.
“I would think that people who are raising so many questions about possibilities of fraud entering the system are as concerned about millions of dollars poured into the system to influence votes,” said Adam Skaggs, senior counsel for the Brennan Center.
Talking with Skaggs he pointed out that while rules around donor disclosure to Super PACs are in place to make sure that the public knows who it is that’s making it rain on independent expenditure committees, there is a way around that by donating to 501(c)4 non-profits, which aren’t subjected to the same disclosure rules. And many Super PACs have set up nonprofits that act as money launderers, allowing individuals and corporations to give unlimited amounts of money to Super PACs, but washed through the nonprofit cycle so that people don’t know who the sources are. Skaggs says the Supreme Court “got it wrong” in the Citizens United decision when they reasoned that corporate expenditures would be fair and transparent because they have to report donor information to the Federal Election Commission. But the Justices didn’t figure that non-profits could be set up as middlemen to bring in anonymous donations.
As a result, we have a situation like the Crossroads Super PAC, which has a P.O. Box-nonprofit called Crossroads GPS. The website offers no information on the activities on this “grassroots advocacy organization” because there are none to speak of, unless you count their political ads. The only page on their website that matters is the “Please Donate” page, where Crossroads is happy to inform us that “There are no limits on the amounts that may be contributed to Crossroads GPS by an individual, corporation, union, or trade association.” And while donations over $5000 require reporting to the IRS, Crossroads reminds the donor that “the IRS does not make these donor disclosures available to the general public.”
Technically all nonprofits are subject to the nondisclosure provision. But there are nonprofits that have been doing actual social welfare work for decades, that people can donate to so that that work can be continued; and then there are nonprofits created purely to funnel Super PAC money. Why would wealthy donors give to Super PAC-sponsored nonprofits as opposed to directly to Super PACs? Because they don’t want to be identified. It’s the same reason why companies participate and pay thousands in dues to nonprofits like the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) — as Brendan Greeley wrote in Bloomberg Businessweek, they value the secrecy. They want their money to influence policy and candidates, in favor of conservative interests, but they can do without the transparency and accountability.
It’s unclear, though, that Super PACs themselves are complying with disclosure rules. The Washington Post reported this week about a mysterious $400,000 donation to the Mitt Romney-supporting Super PAC Restore Our Future. At first the Super PAC refused to disclose the names of the donors, who made contributions in their company’s name. Only after news organizations prodded were the actual donors’ names finally revealed. A Restore Our Future spokesperson said the reason the names weren’t disclosed before was because of “a clerical error.”
Clerical errors happen all the time when voters are being registered and their votes are counted. But when that happens, it’s not called a “clerical error.” It’s called “voter fraud.” And it’s called voter fraud by the same people who are champions for Super PAC unlimited spending — wealthy conservatives. It doesn’t matter how damaging this is for democracy, or that the balance of political power is tipped in favor of the 1%, who already had an unbalanced advantage to begin with.
I agree with Skaggs that the non-profit loophole needs to be closed. Considering that legitimate nonprofits have a right to still have undisclosed donations, for legitimate non-profit social welfare work, he suggests that non-profits have separate accounts, especially for those who are giving upwards of tens of thousands of dollars for campaign purposes, and that the names of those donors be disclosed to the public. The rules should be adjusted so that those non-profits that haven’t been engaged in campaign spending manipulation aren’t penalized. But “as to whether there should be full disclosure on who is spending on ads clearly aimed at voting for or against a candidate, we absolutely should have full disclosure,” said Skaggs.
A coalition of voting rights groups signed onto a letter asking Congress to pass The DISCLOSE Act. The letter states, “It is a cardinal rule of campaign finance laws that citizens are entitled to know the donors financing campaign expenditures to influence their votes, and the amounts they gave.” Maybe the Supreme Court didn’t see these problems coming when they made their Citizens United decision, but now the floodgates are open, and if adjustments are not made, democracy will become, as Raitt noted, a series of auctions. Most importantly, though, if conservatives want people to place onerous restrictions on how voters identify themselves at the polls, then they should identify who they are when making fat campaign donations.
There is no such thing as white culture.
There are Spanish, English, French, German, Italian, English, Irish, Scottish, Polish, Danish, Swedish, Russian, Canadian, US, Australian, Kiwi, Greek, cultures.
Similarly, I do not accept “black culture”, “brown culture”, or “asian culture”. White people are not a single undefined mass. “People of Colour” are not a single mass either.
Lets try to stop reducing the world to “white” and “poc”