“So, I no longer want a seat at your restaurant, where you serve me begrudgingly, where I am belittled for asking for food without pork, where I endure your dirty looks at my hijabi friend. I want my pride intact, I want this struggle of mine to be recognized, for you to look me in the eye and acknowledge that yes, this tumor called bigotry is indeed rivering through your veins, polluting your mind, and is so malignant that it compels you to squash my dignity. It's the little indignities that slowly devastate your soul. The ones where your guard is down, and you just expect to dress up, look pretty, and enjoy an evening as a newlywed, or at the Oscars, but instead end up humiliated and snubbed. The ubiquitous racist slap in the face is thinly veiled just beneath the carefully crafted façade. This filthy, highly infectious plague is transforming our nation into one of unwarranted suspicion and anguish inflicted on disenfranchised, voiceless people of color. And now, it is no longer my job to enlighten you. To quote what you so often tell ethnic communities, "It's time for you to step up to the plate, take responsibility, and stop taking what I have earned," my integrity, my dignity.”—My Racist Encounter at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner-by Seema Jilani
“The great American immigration experiment appears to be working in the 21st century as it has in the past. It’s early yet. But so far, so good.”—
Paul Taylor, executive vice president of the Pew Research Center, on our latest study looking at trends among second-generation immigrants — who they are, what they believe, how they compare to other Americans and their parents, and what we can expect in the future. [via Bloomberg]
Dig through the full study here.
Looking back on BETTER LUCK TOMORROW, 10 years later
in terms of that hunger games post: it was whitewashed because if katniss was a woman of color it would show the white supremacist society too real for audiences. so that could be a good paper topic too
Exactly - that’s certainly the first thing that popped into my head when I saw that submission.
The amount of white-washing that goes on in Hollywood is staggering.
White Passing: A historical means of survival
ok so Kae reblogged something stupid but she mentioned how the person clearly didn’t know what white passing meant. Um so I thought “hey why not make a post about how I have always interested the term to mean?” so…discussion is welcome as usual.
So, the term White Passing is directly related to oppressed people living a white supremacist society, specifically american soceity. That is, it only holds meaning when whiteness is possessed and being white is demarcated from being non-white and being white puts you on the top. if we are talking about other historically white supremacist societies they may use other terms to talk about a similar phenomenon especially in places and times where whiteness is not defined specifically by white skin.
It arose during a time when being white held very clear social status (today it is much easier to blur social distinctions in part because of the onslaught of colorblind ideology which serves to make it more difficult for participants to navigate a racist society but does not eliminate racism). Meaning to be White one was allowed to possess several things you just couldn’t possess when you were not white like: citizenship land, freedom, education, political office, recognized relationships, recognized heirs, general concession to your own authority over your life’s trajectory (gender not included of course; we know for much of the history these gains were reserves for white men in particular). This list is clearly not exhaustive.
So, if you were not white in a white supremacist society, you were firmly placed in a submissive and inferior social position. Your options to gain status, and improve life were to change the system (a very long, very difficult, very dangerous route that most likely would end in your death rather than in much change that you would experience) or find a way to cheat the system. If the thing that barred you from these social and economic benefits was your ability to be white well…it was very simple who could and could not cheat the system.
Thus, non-white people (we are usually talking about black people but we can also talk about native americans) who were not only light but also “white in features” could effectively fool white americans into believing they too were white people. white features could be hair texture, nose shape and width, lip fullness, bone structure, body type, eye shape…. That isn’t to say that a black person with features we typically associate with white people is “less black” but that at this particular time (and it is still true in many cases), race was essentialized and believed to present itself in these features. One could and would grow up with “white features” and still be coded for non-white because their community associated them with non-white people and their social position (be it their work or their housing or their school) placed them in dominated circles.
So for passing to work a non-white person had to leave their communities and mingle with strangers and hide their identities. They could not divulge personal information like which neighborhood they grew up in, or what school they attended, or keep photos of their parents; otherwise these new communities they were working into would be able to place them as a non-white person. Silence and isolation was essential for passing to work. If they broke their silence they could pay with their lives. those are incredibly high prices to pay in exchange for the benefits given to white people (really this should give you an idea of how prized these benefits were).
Today we seem to be using it in a different way. It seems to mean that the interest has reduced the meaning of white passing to either a) having white skin (but not having to commit to the silence and isolation from one’s community that was required prior for white skin alone to be sufficient for passing) or b) to align one’s self with whiteness (what many would call white washed).
now, it is true that white passing people in the past would have to align themselves with whiteness (even when they hated to). but again it was in an attempt to survive in a hostile situation. one could make the argument that when you forfeit your community in exchange for the social benefits afforded to white people that you already have bought into whiteness. And I think there is merit to this (looking at paper brown tests, colorism and the commodification of “high yella” all support this view). But i would argue that in a white supremacist society with ridged boundaries that white passing was a survival tactic born out of desperation to free oneself from the squalid conditions of subjugation. to live a life with minimal options and opportunity can not be dismissed.
As for the first modern interpretation, I think I have a problem with it. I feel it is losing meaning in a society that is less ridged in many ways and culturally less equipped to vocally place race as a valid social marker. Simply put, our society, though still steeped in white supremacy, is more fluid and murky than it was in jim crow times or in slave times. Thus, talking about white passing has lost the aspect of survival and the personal cost taken by the victim. Only the white gaze remains and it leaves it open to be a snide insult against a person that may not have gone through the trauma of severing pieces of their identity for the sake of a better life. And to tell them they have, is fairly offensive and dismissive.
So…Thats my take on the term…feel free to add or expand or whatever…
The State of Interracial Marriage in the U.S.
Basing its data on the 2010 Census reports, The Pew Research Center’s Social and Demographic Trends Project found that more than 1 out of 6 new marriages in the U.S. take place between people of different races or ethnic groups. While the Pew Research report itself bears some closer (and more critical) examination, this trend report certainly did make for a good news sound bite, and as a consequence there was much reporting on this topic in mainstream media. And a secondary theme of this reporting focused specifically on the ‘inter-ethnic marriage trend’ among young Asian Americans as a way of explaining the drop in interracial/out- marriage rates among that ethnic group (historically one of the highest).
A collation of reports and articles (some more problematic than others) to go along with our topic of “Chop Suey Love” today.
And a handy interactive graphic of “Who and Where”
A Washington Post article on the more generalized phenomenon: “Intermarriage rates soar as stereotypes fall”; and the much-discussed New York Times article by Rachel Swarns that focuses on inter-ethnic marriages among Asian Americans: “For Asian Americans, A Tie that Binds”—as well as Jeff Yang’s response, “The Real Reason Asian Americans Are Out-marrying Less,” in his Tao Jones column in the Wall Street Journal.
“Sorry but you don’t get to decide what I perceive to be racist or not, and Dag is a white supremacist” - reddisred
I want to talk about this but she doesn’t want to engage in the conversation and I would rather not engage her if she doesn’t want to do it. I won’t tag redd even though I will cite her, because they are her words but I’m not going to force a conversation on her if she doesn’t want to talk abou tit. Still this is something I really need to talk about.
It is true that others don’t get to decide on what you feel. but it is dishonest to say that others don’t get to decide what is racist.
as a social scientist it really bothers me when other social scientists on this website resort to this argument because racism becomes individualized only. But these are socially held meanings and events that are negotiated within the group.
As a person that is always trying to understand her place in a racialized society and the ways I can challenge it, I’ve found that this tactic isn’t saying much.
really all it says is that whatever I say is true, no matter if I do not articulate my case or if others refute my claims. If you decide something is racist fine, but at least try and back it up. If this is an exchange of ideas, you have to exchange ideas. Otherwise what makes us different from pundits that throw out buzz words to incite an emotionally manipulative response?
if we claim that being a white supremacist is admitting to being white what are we really saying? admitting to being placed in the social position awarded to white people, is not the same as working to protect the social position and social structure.
I can say a bunch of things but if i can’t back it up, what about it makes it my argument viable?
and like i get that not everyone uses tumblr for intellectual stimuli or development, but if you, any of you, are going to reblog a post that is created for intellectual stimuli and development but would rather respond without criticism of the content and then claim authenticity in your characterization of the blogger….back it up. if you don’t why reblog it? if its supposed to illuminate that bloggers logical flaws that signal their ideological failures you need to actually point it out.
and don’t tell me your identity makes it true. My identity is also that of an oppressed person and i disagree so it can not be identity that lends authority. and to ignore me and my points doesn’t lend credence to your cause if you are talking about how people ignore you because of your social position. it’s fake and rude.
but maybe I place too much importance in the process of critical thinking and the merits of discourse and discussion. maybe i’m too abstract. it may be my failings in approaching the matter in a way that is not engaging for others. but tumblr, could you stop telling me that what i have to say is important because of who i am when you aren’t actually interested in what i have to say no matter what? just do that for me.