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“White women’s tears can come about in different ways, but here is the classic scene: 1. A white woman says something racist. 2. A black woman points it out. (It could be any person of colour but it works best against black women for reasons given below.) 3. The white woman says she is not racist and starts crying. 4. For added effect the white woman can run out of the room. 5. Other whites, particularly white men, come to the aid and comfort not of the wronged black woman but of the racist white woman! 6. The black woman, the wronged party, is made to seem like the mean one in the eyes of whites. 7. The white woman continues to believe she is not racist. Tables turned! It works so well that it is hard not to see the tears as a cheap trick. This is more than just a woman using tears to get her way. It is built on a set of White American ideas about race, listed here in no particular order: It works best when these two stereotypes can be applied: The Sapphire stereotype - black women as mean, angry and disagreeable The Pure White Woman stereotype - white women as these special, delicate creatures who need to be protected at all costs. It is what drives the Missing White Woman Syndrome – and, in the old days, lynchings. The r-word: to be called a “racist”, however gently and indirectly, is a terrible, upsetting thing for white people – far worse than, you know, being a racist. White people and their feelings are the centre of the known universe. Hearts of stone: meanwhile whites seem to have a very, very hard time putting themselves in the shoes of people of colour. Moral blindness: white people think they are Basically Good, therefore if someone points out something bad about them it must be out of hatred. White solidarity: whites are afraid to stand up against racism, particularly when they are with other whites. Also, they do not like it when you call other whites racists – they seem to take it personally for some reason.”—abagond, “white women’s tears”
“Black men occupy an interesting place in the popular imagination. Their superhuman sexuality is an integral part of American lore. It’s most prominently on display in the titles of pornographic videos that market the ability of big black men to ravish young, innocent white women. It’s more subtle in the white women who walk past with their eyes firmly locked on my crotch, undoubtedly pondering the question that the bold will occasionally whisper in a dark corner of a house party: “Is it true?” And the misguided among us will certainly whisper “yes” through a sly grin, unaware that entangled with the superhuman lore of the black penis is the dangerous specter of dehumanization. This strange combination of fear and fascination reveals the superhuman-subhuman duality that black men embody. The very same superhuman virility fuels fear of black men. It’s why white women run from us in the hallways, scream when they see us jogging toward them in the street, tell us we look dangerous, and clutch their purses in elevators if they get on the elevator at all (these are actual anecdotes from me and a friend, some of which occur occasionally, others, regularly). A few decades ago, these fearful reactions would be enough to put us in danger of mob violence, regardless of how benign our presence may have been. Even now, racial hoaxes are an ever-present danger. When white people claim to have been victimized by a fictitious black man, hundreds of innocent black men are endangered as law enforcement officials search out the supposed assailant. While perceptions of hypermasculinity elevate us to the superhuman, they simultaneously reduce us to subhuman status.”—Robert Reece, “White Women’s Gazes, Black Men’s Bodies: Superhuman-Subhuman Duality,” Still Furious, And Still Brave:Who’s Afraid Of Persistent Blackness 1/27/13
“This is a very complex question, but I believe one of the reasons White women have such difficulty reading Black women's work is because of their reluctance to see Black women as women and different from themselves. To examine Black women's literature effectively requires that we be seen as whole people in our actual complexities - as individuals, as women, as human- rather than as one of those problematic but familiar stereotypes provided in this society in place of genuine images of Black women. And I believe this holds true for the literatures of other women of Color who are not Black. The literatures of all women of Color recreate the textures of our lives, and many White women are heavily invested in ignoring the real differences. For as long as any difference between us means one of us must be inferior, then the recognition of any difference must be fraught with guilt. To allow women of Color to step out of stereotypes is too guilt provoking, for it threatens the complacency of those women who view oppression only in terms of sex.”— Audre Lorde, “Age Race, Class and Sex: Women Redefining Difference,” 241
“I used to bask in the Daria comparisons. To be called “Daria” was considered an acknowledgment of your mental acumen, acerbic wit, and general allure as a disgruntled misanthrope. Now that I’m grown, I can’t help but think that however “Daria” I may be, the person I truly relate to is Jodie. In a sea of white faces, who couldn’t even begin to comprehend the term “privilege,” yet alone unpack it, she was the lone POC girl. Daria is a feminist show with a feminist main character, with that teen angst telegraphed through sarcastic quips. Jodie isn’t really that different from Daria, except she’s black, more tolerant of her less-than-stellar classmates, and further out in the sidelines. Although it’s Jodie’s standing as one of the “cool kids” that makes her a secondary character, her marginalization is an accurate reminder of the real life standing WOC often have in feminist spaces. It’s hard for me to know where to begin talking about some of the issues I have in regards to feminism and the limited spaces it offers POC. As of late, I’m more and more disappointed in my supposed allies, when attempts to talk about my individual experience as a feminist of color go nowhere. This isn’t a new complaint, either. One of the repeat offenses of post-modern feminism is the mammoth failure to factor race and privilege into the ongoing dialog. When you’re a person of color, there is no such thing as separating race and gender – it’s a package deal, baby. It shouldn’t be that great of a stretch to acknowledge that race is an enormous factor in how a woman lives and perceives her experience; it’s her race that sets the tone of how others will approach and treat her as a woman. If you get the urge to tell me that I’m wrong, you probably aren’t a person of color and you should just sit back down and pay attention. I look forward to the few seconds or minutes when Jodie gets screen time. Besides comfortably going toe-to-toe with Daria, Jodie is point blank about Lawndale’s almost blinding whiteness, and so freaking meta about her status as a token black character that it hurts. Daria may snark endlessly about buying into the patriarchal system and everyone’s general need to get a clue, but Jodie’s cynicism runs on a deeper level because she knows that she can (and most likely will) be collateral damage of the same system Daria may only marginally suffer. Daria can walk away relatively unscathed, or if she chooses to be continually vocal about her complaints, there is always some sort of sympathetic space for her as a white woman. The same doesn’t hold for Jodie.But the beauty of Jodie is that she copes and works hard on her escape plan. ”—I enjoyed Lois Payne’s analysis of the racial divide within feminism through the lens of Daria you haven’t read it yet, please do!
If Jerry Lavinge Jr’s video “Benfits of Black Women” was racist, how come white women never scream racism when guys say white women are better? How come they never scream racism when magazines and movies have entirely all white women?
Where is the uproar about that?
Where’s the all that anger about “inequality” and a prejudice?
Don’t worry I’ll wait ….
Yup any minute now …
If you are unable to understand why cultural appropriation is wrong, look up the history of Paisley.
It began in Persia, probably of Zoroastrian origin, thousands of years ago and became the design that we know today around the 1500’s. Through cultural exchange it spread throughout South East Asia and Persia including what is modern day Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, Iran and parts of China. The teardrop design was probably created in Kashmir. Depending on the region, the design is called Kolke, Carrey, Ambi and Mankolam.
It was only after the East India Trading company and the colonization of India that shawls with the print made their way to England where rich white people loved it. It was so popular that they began making it in Paisley, Scotland which is where the name came from. It was divorced from its cultural and religious roots in the East and became a status symbol and a design for Westerners. What you can not divorce it from, however is the colonization and devastation that colonialism and British Imperialism did to this area. India was colonized so that companies like the East India Trading company could make tremendous profit at the expense of the native people. They did the same thing with khaki and other aspect of Asian culture. They took the designs and the culture of the people they colonized it and began mass producing it for themselves. The originators of that culture were killed and dehumanized because they were seen as lesser people despite creating these wonderful things that the colonizers loved. The originators of that culture saw none of the benefit that came from selling the things that they created. Countries like England and currently the United States would not be as prosperous as they are now without their history of colonization.
Today paisley is often connected with the 60’s and the hippies because they used the design often. It’s found in popular culture and commonly on bandanas. What it’s not thought of as something that is Asian or Persian in origin. That part of its legacy was erased with colonialism.
India only gained its independence from British colonization in the past 70 years and is still dealing with the ramifications. When in 1953, Iran wanted to control their own resources, the United States and Britain staged a coup just so they could keep their profits coming out of a country. They United States currently has devastating sanctions which are leading to the deaths of civilians against Iran because they disagree with their government.
The taking of resources and cultural aspects from the Middle East, Western and South East Asia and other parts of the global south by Western powers while profiting off of them and simultaneously demonizing the originators of that culture is not new. It’s a part of colonialism and can not be disassociated from that history.
When white people and people in the West partake in cultural appropriation, they are partaking in the same exact tradition that their colonial ancestors did. The wearing of the bindi and sari as something fashionable by white women (and whomever else that does not belong to that culture) is a form of neo-colonialism by people in the west. You can not pretend that you are not doing something racist when you are doing the exact same thing that racists have done for hundreds of years to the exact same people that they subjugated.
In addition when bindis and sari’s are worn by white women and the image of white women wearing it is seen as something beautiful and promoted and not by the women with whom it originated, it adds to the problem of shadeism within these countries where women with lighter skinned are seen as more desirable and where darker skin women are told to use skin lightener to make themselves more beautiful.
It really does not matter what one’s intention is when wearing them (although it’s really clear that a lot of the women wearing them and promoting it are, in fact, racist). If you have white privilege or are not from the culture in which these traditions arose, you are participating in a problematic and systemic form of racism. By doing so you are clearly stating that you do not care about the people that created these wonderful traditions and only care about your ability to continue to take and profit from them. That’s racist and that’s wrong. Fashion has a history of partaking in colonialism and being racist. Don’t add to it.
(Note: I’m not Persian or Asian, I’m Arab. If I have written anything wrong (and you’re from those areas) please correct me. I got all of my info from the internet.)
“I’m not super thin, but I’m thin for, like, Detroit.”—Lena Dunham, suspected Racist, star, and creator of the HBO series, Girls, in an interview with another Racist Suspect, Howard Stern. Stern had previously shared his scathing assessment of her appearance, calling her a “little fat chick” and saying seeing her naked on screen “felt like rape”.
Note: In a Racist (White Supremacist) society, suspected Racists often use code words to practice Racism, particularly during the refined stage of Racism (White Supremacy) when deceit, rather than violence, is the principal weapon used to dominate all those classified as non-white. In this instance, “Detroit”, an area consisting of a large number of black Victims of Racism, codes for black people in general. Ms. Dunham is simply reinforcing the Racist (White Supremacist) falsehood that black people (black females specifically) are not just more overweight than anyone else but overwhelmingly so. CREE, on her blog, debunked this vicious myth and cited the research that proved that women who classify themselves as “white”, in this area of the world, have no need to look outside their own racial classification for understanding the so-called obesity epidemic. Dunham simply is doing what suspected Racists continuously do, which is remind everyone that there is one group that is especially deserving of mistreatment and that’s black people. The implication of her seemingly innocuous comment is that being overweight is worthy of Stern’s critique in the first place and that quite possibly his disapproving gaze should be directed at a group of people that the Racists (White Supremacists) say are even more overweight. Both Stern’s behavior and Dunhams subsequent response are repulsive.
Code Suggestion: Rather than petitioning Racists (White Supremacists) to include non-white people in their media, withdraw all support of these works and promote the works of individuals who contribute constructive VALUE to society and who best represent Truth and Justice not Racist (White Supremacist) and misogynist ideas and messages.