“In the archive footage of this couple, there is this energy between them that is so beautiful and so alive. Joel and I wanted to re-create that out of a respect for the pair, but also because it looked like fun because they actually giggle, and just look like [they have] such a really lovely relationship.”

–  Ruth Negga on how she and Joel Edgerton strove to portray Mildred and Richard Loving in “Loving”


Anna May Wong with Sessue Hayakawa,  Philip Ahn and  Keye Luke.

Anna May Wong’s parents were second-generation Chinese Americans; her maternal and paternal grandparents had resided in the U.S. since at least 1855.

At the age of 17 she played her first leading role, in the early Metro two-strip Technicolor movie The Toll of the Sea (1922). The New York Times commented, “Miss Wong stirs in the spectator all the sympathy her part calls for and she never repels one by an excess of theatrical ‘feeling’. She has a difficult role, a role that is botched nine times out of ten, but hers is the tenth performance. Completely unconscious of the camera, with a fine sense of proportion and remarkable pantomimic accuracy … She should be seen again and often on the screen.”

Despite such reviews, Hollywood proved reluctant to create starring roles for Wong; her ethnicity prevented U.S. filmmakers from seeing her as a leading lady.

Conscious that Americans viewed her as “foreign born” even though she was born and raised in California, Wong began cultivating a flapper image.

It soon became evident that Wong’s career would continue to be limited by American anti-miscegenation laws, which prevented her from sharing an on-screen kiss with any person of another race, even if the character was Asian, but being portrayed by a white actor. The only leading Asian man in U.S. films in the silent era was Sessue Hayakawa. Unless Asian leading men could be found, Wong could not be a leading lady.

Tired of being both typecast and being passed over for lead Asian character roles in favor of non-Asian actresses, Wong left Hollywood in 1928 for Europe.

She returned to the U.S. in June 1935 with the goal of obtaining the role of O-lan, the lead female character in MGM’s film version of The Good Earth. Since its publication in 1931, Wong had made known her desire to play O-lan in a film version of the book and as early as 1933, Los Angeles newspapers were touting Wong as the best choice for the part. Nevertheless, the studio apparently never seriously considered Wong for the role because Paul Muni, an actor of European descent, was to play O-lan’s husband, Wang Lung.

According to Wong, she was instead offered the part of Lotus, a deceitful song girl who helps to destroy the family and seduces the family’s oldest son. Wong refused the role, telling MGM head of production Irving Thalberg, “If you let me play O-lan, I will be very glad. But you’re asking me – with Chinese blood – to do the only unsympathetic role in the picture featuring an all-American cast portraying Chinese characters.” The role Wong hoped for went to Luise Rainer, who won the Best Actress Oscar for her performance. MGM’s refusal to consider Wong for this most high-profile of Chinese characters in U.S. film is remembered today as “one of the most notorious cases of casting discrimination in the 1930s”


Loving v. Virginia was the landmark civil rights decision by the United States Supreme Court that invalidated laws preventing inter-racial marriage. Virginia had strict anti-miscegenation laws which prohibited marriage between ‘whites’ and 'coloreds’. The couple who brought these charges to the court was Mildred and Richard Loving—a black woman and her white husband—who were sentenced to a year in prison for marrying each other. The Supreme Court overturned the Lovings’ convictions in a unanimous decision on June 12, 1967, now colloquially known as “Loving Day”.

The case has been receiving renewed attention thanks to a number of recent works. From Chronical Books, Loving V. Virginia by Patricia Hruby Powell and illustrated by Shadra Strickland is a gorgeous “documentary novel” based on the case. For younger readers, there’s The Case for Loving by Selina Alko with illustrations by the author and Sean Qualls, available from Scholastic Books. Finally, in theaters now, Loving directed by Jeff Nichols, starring Joel Edgerton and Ruth Negga, who is Oscar-nominated this year for her performance.
#LovingDay: 50 Years After The Loving Verdict, A Photo Essay Looks Back On Their Love
Remembering the couple who brought down anti-miscegenation laws in 16 U.S. states.

Monday, June 12, marks the 50th anniversary of the landmark United States Supreme Court decision Loving v. Virginia, which quashed anti-miscegenation laws in 16 states around the nation, ushering restrictions against interracial marriage to the wrong side of history.

The date is now remembered as Loving Day in honor of Richard and Mildred Loving, the couple who defied the state’s ability to dictate the terms of their love based on their skin color. Mildred, who was of African American and Native American descent, and Richard, who was white, wed in 1958 in Washington D.C., because interracial marriage was illegal in their native rural Virginia, as well as 15 other Southern U.S. states.

When the Lovings returned to Virginia, however, local police raided their home one early morning after being tipped off by another resident. They declared the Lovings’ marriage license invalid within the scope of the state, placing the couple under arrest.

The Lovings pled guilty to “cohabiting as man and wife, against the peace and dignity of the Commonwealth,” and were sentenced to one year in prison. A judge later agreed to suspend the sentence if Mildred and Richard left Virginia and did not return for 25 years.

The couple relocated to Washington, D.C., but they did not end their story there. In 1964, attorneys from the ACLU filed a motion on behalf of the Lovings, requesting the charges and sentences against the Lovings be dropped. The Lovings appealed the local ruling all the way to the Supreme Court, where their sentence was unanimously overturned in 1967.

“Under our Constitution,” Chief Justice Earl Warren said in his decision, “the freedom to marry, or not marry, a person of another race resides with the individual and cannot be infringed by the State.”

Two years before this verdict, in the spring of 1965, Life magazine photojournalist Grey Villet spent time with the Lovings, as well as their family and friends, documenting the lives of a couple whose love had transcended the everyday to become the stuff of legends.

Villet’s photo essay, titled “The Lovings: An Intimate Portrait,” captures Mildred and Richard when word of their civil rights battle was spreading throughout the country and the fate of their relationship remained unknown. Through black-and-white images, the photographer captures the subtle glances, spurts of laughter and moments of quiet determination that, together, comprise a love story whose power echoes today.

We commemorate the Lovings’ bravery and tenacity in the face of prejudice and the systems of white supremacy. Villet’s photos help us remember the Lovings not just for what they represented, but who they were. The simple moments of connection, support and companionship that provided the strength to change the world.

The Lovings: An Intimate Portrait is available on Amazon.

anonymous asked:

"asian men were seen as threats" but isn't black men also seen as threats? Why one is fetishezed while the another is not?

I’m not sure what you mean by which one is fetishized and which one is not but I think that black men are fetishized in many ways whereas Asian men are desexualized in many ways. I’m not going to speak over black men so I can’t answer anything regarding their issues. Black men, please feel free to add any input.

As for Asian men, it started off with Chinese men coming to America in the mid-1800s, particularly during the Gold Rush. There was a lot of labor to be done during that time so this is where I’ll also begin the 4 major reasons why I think Asian men were desexualized:

1. Chinese men were willing to work for lower wages than white men and this obviously worked out better for employers. Eventually, many white men felt that Chinese men were taking away jobs from them and it lead to strong anti-Chinese sentiment with extreme events like the Rock Springs Massacre of 1885.

2. Chinese men turned to more “feminine” jobs like working with laundry, gardening, and cooking after eventually getting kicked out of more “masculine” jobs like fishing, farming, and mining. Back in those days, jobs were extremely “genderized,” not that they still aren’t today but you get what I mean.

3. Chinese men wore their hair in long ponytails (Queue). The Queue hairstyle was enforced by the first Manchu emperor of China and if Chinese men didn’t have it, they could be punishable by death. However, in America, long hair was often associated with women and femininity. White men probably thought of the Chinese men as not being “real men.”

4. A few Chinese men were marrying white women and this eventually lead to anti-miscegenation laws. From 1907 to 1922, white women lost their citizenship due to marriages with “foreigners" and could not apply for citizenship through the naturalization process if they married Asian men (thanks to the Cable Act of 1922). And who created these laws? White men of course.

TL;DR: So as you can see, it’s not that Chinese men were physically threatening to white men but rather they were threatening on a much deeper and wider scale. Chinese men were a threat to white men’s economic stability, wealth, power, status, and even marriage with white women. And we all know there’s nothing more fragile than the white male ego, especially when he thinks he’s entitled to everything. So what better way to destroy the images of Chinese men (and eventually all Asian men) by making us completely devoid of sexuality?

Note: This is probably one of the most cishet posts I’ve ever written and I definitely apologize for my privilege and especially to followers and readers who aren’t lmao.

Angry Asian Guy
Opinion | The Nazis as students of America’s worst racial atrocities
James Whitman outlines America’s racist influences on the Nazis’ treatment of Jews

Jeff Guo is a journalist in Washington, D.C.

When Adolf Hitler seized control of Germany in 1933, one of his priorities was to create a legal framework for his vision of an anti-Semitic state. Thus began a meticulous Nazi research project on race-based lawmaking aimed at erasing the rights of Germany’s Jews.

One foreign country in particular grabbed the Nazis’ interest because of its advanced and innovative system of legal racism.

The object of Nazi fascination? America.

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“In the early twentieth century the United States was not just a country with racism,” writes Yale law professor James Whitman in his book “Hitler’s American Model.” “It was the leading racist jurisdiction — so much so that even Nazi Germany looked to America for inspiration.”

“Hitler’s American Model: The United States and the Making of Nazi Race Law,” by James Q. Whitman (Princeton Univ.)  

In his startling new history, Whitman traces the substantial influence of American race laws on the Third Reich. The book, in effect, is a portrait of the United States assembled from the admiring notes of Nazi lawmakers, who routinely referenced American policies in the design of their own racist regime.

[How the Nazis rode into battle high on crystal meth]

As they drafted their own laws to exclude German Jews from public and civic life, Nazi lawyers carefully studied how the United States suppressed nonwhite immigrants and consigned minorities to second-class citizenship. In private hearings, they discussed how the U.S. model for white supremacy in the Jim Crow South could be transposed to Germany and inflicted on the Jews.

The Nazis were keenly influenced by America’s laws forbidding interracial marriage. Dozens of states not only banned black-white unions but subjected violators to lengthy jail sentences. The harsh criminalization of mixed-race marriages in America set an example for the Nazis as they created their Law for the Protection of German Blood and German Honour, which forbade German Jews from marrying non-Jews, invalidated existing mixed marriages and sent offenders to prison labor camps.

[‘Imbeciles:’ Shining a light on one of the Supreme Court’s darkest moments]

Whitman’s book contributes to a growing recognition of American influences on Nazi thought. Other historians have shown, for instance, that the vigorous U.S. eugenics movement emboldened the Nazis, who copied America’s forced-sterilization programs and took cover in the pseudoscientific theories of American eugenicists.

Biographer John Toland has noted that Hitler admired the American conquest of the West, particularly the decimation of the Native American population. The Nazi concentration camps may have been based, in part, Toland argued, on the Native American reservation system.

The Nazi atrocities held a dark mirror to some of America’s most shameful impulses. On some level, Americans understood this. After World War II, eugenics fell out of favor, and the United States gradually rolled back some of its racist laws. Jim Crow was dismantled, at least on paper, by the efforts of the civil rights movement in the 1960s. And the last anti-miscegenation laws were struck down in 1967. This was slow progress, but it probably would have been slower if the Nazi regime hadn’t horrified the world with its racial intolerance.

  Hitler’s American Model The United States and the Making of Nazi Race Law

The [white anarchist] ignorance of Black freedom movements is so profound that even anarchistic tendencies within them get ignored. Nat Turner led a slave uprising in 1831 that killed over fifty whites and struck terror throughout the South; it should clearly count as one of the most important insurrections in American history. Historians often describe William Lloyd Garrison, a leader of the abolitionist movement, as a “Christian Anarchist” (e.g. Perry 1973), yet he is almost never included in anarchist-produced histories. The Black-led Reconstruction government in South Carolina from 1868-1874, which Du Bois dubbed the “South Carolina Commune,” did far more toward building socialism than the Paris Commune in 1871 ever did. Ella Baker’s anti-authoritarian critique of Martin Luther King Jr. encouraged young civil rights workers to create their own autonomous and directly democratic organization, the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), arguably the most important direct action civil rights group. Further, the racial consciousness produced by these struggles has often been broader, radical, and international than the consciousness produced by other U.S. struggles, even if it describes itself as “nationalist” (See Robin Kelley’s great book Freedom Dreams for more on this). Yet these persons and events curiously form no part of the anarchist scene’s historical tradition.

Lucy Parsons and the Black Panthers tend to be the main links between Black struggles and American anarchists’ historical sense. Parsons, a militant anarchist organizer in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries and possibly a former slave, is a problematic connection to the Black tradition because although she fought lynching and racial discrimination, she was not part of the Black community and often denied her Black identity. (She was married to a white man, Albert Parsons, so this denial may in part have been to evade anti-miscegenation laws. See Lowndes 1995 and Roediger 1986.)

Many anarchists fetishize the Panthers because they seem to fit both the infoshops and insurrection models (i.e. men and women with guns serving breakfast to Black children), but this position tends to idealize the Panthers rather than critically evaluate and integrate their experience into the anarchist tradition.

The problem with the “the Supreme Court undermined all these voters!” argument is that it ignores what the Supreme Court’s job is. The Supreme Court is supposed to determine if legislation is constitutional or not.

Did eliminating segregation through Brown v. Board undermine the voting wishes of a majority of Southern voters? Certainly.

Did ruling anti-miscegenation laws unconstitutional in Loving v. Virginia remove a long-standing set of laws that governed what marriage was “supposed” to be? Of course.

When Lawrence v. Texas overturned Bowers v. Hardwick, were there still thousands of people who agreed with the Bowers decision and thought that legalizing sodomy “cast aside millennia of moral teaching”? Definitely. But that’s the point of the Supreme Court.

You think this decision undermines democracy? Not Citizens United v. FEC? Not Burwell v. Hobby Lobby? THIS is the one you take issue with? Because it lets people get married? What, exactly, does your idea of “democracy” entail?

anonymous asked:

Sometimes I wonder if when people complain about only seeing heterosexual ships in media, they mean white heterosexual ships. Those things should be kept separate. People seem to forget that heterosexual relationship in media that are made up of characters of color or interracial ships aren't as widely represented as white people. They also seem to forget that interracial relationships, wether heterosexual or not, where illegal at one point in some countries.

Unfortunately I don’t think people are remembering that white heterosexual ships are over represented.  They definitely should be kept separate because until fairly recently anti miscegenation laws were on the books and interracial couples were outlawed.  We need to keep reminding white fans of this because as we’ve seen with the pushback and outright hate for FinnRey and WestAllen white people need the reminder.

mod m

Repeal of anti-miscegenation laws by US state.

In the United States, anti-miscegenation laws (also known as miscegenation laws) were state laws passed by individual states to prohibit miscegenation, nowadays more commonly referred to as interracial marriage and interracial sex. Typically defining miscegenation as a felony, these laws prohibited the solemnization of weddings between persons of different races and prohibited the officiating of such ceremonies. Sometimes, the individuals attempting to marry would not be held guilty of miscegenation itself, but felony charges of adultery or fornication would be brought against them instead. All anti-miscegenation laws banned the marriage of whites and non-white groups, primarily blacks, but often also Native Americans and Asians.


When the Supreme Court recently handed down its decision that marriage equality was the law in all the states, I was slightly surprised. I thought it would be 5-4 the other way.

Anyone who knew the subject had an opinion. They ranged from ecstatic to seething.

This may sound corny to you, but I feel bad for those who are having difficulty with the decision.

Here is an example of what I mean. A woman named Dana Guffey, a county clerk in Arkansas, promised to resign from her post because she would rather quit than issue same-sex marriage licenses.

She is an adult and it is her decision. I respect her integrity. She is standing up for what she believes at risk of future unemployment. But I really wish she was able to logic around her disagreements and stay at her job.

I bet there are millions of Americans who feel just as put out as Ms. Guffey does. It is not for me to tell anyone about their beliefs. I feel bad for anyone who thinks that their faith has been diminished or disrespected by the Supreme Court’s decision.

Imagine if the Loving v. Virginia decision in 1967 had not gone in favor of striking down laws prohibiting interracial marriage. Think of how let down and inherently wronged you would feel — that’s where a lot of people are with Obergefell v. Hodges.

Justice Thomas voted against. I read his dissent in full. A fascinating and somewhat disturbing view into the man’s intellect and rationale, it reads like a 5,500-word steep uphill run, disagreeing not only with the majority but also with the burden of this decision being thrust upon the high court in the first place.

His logic, from what my layman’s mind can understand, is that the majority cannot prove that making marriage equality the law of the land does not infringe upon the powers the states have under the 10th Amendment, or does anything positive for anyone:

“To invoke the protection of the Due Process Clause at all — whether under a theory of ‘substantive’ or ‘procedural’ due process — a party must first identify a deprivation of ‘life, liberty, or property.’ The majority claims these state laws deprive petitioners of ‘liberty,’ but the concept of ‘liberty’ it conjures up bears no resemblance to any plausible meaning of that word as it is used in the Due Process Clause.”

It is interesting that in the middle of such rigidity, he uses the word “conjures,” which seems so emotional and speculative. I am sorry that he doesn’t see American liberty as including the freedom to marry the person you’re in love with. He seems underwhelmed, or perhaps intimidated, by the concept of liberty. He is deeply unhappy with his five fellow justices.

Justice Thomas calls out the majority for having a gross misunderstanding of the 14th Amendment. He writes, in part:

“[T]he majority clearly uses equal protection only to shore up its substantive due process analysis, an analysis both based on an imaginary constitutional protection and revisionist view of our history and tradition.”

He’s the scholar, but I think the first part of the 14th Amendment is exquisitely written, crystal clear and has no imaginary aspect to it. I always thought that the First, Fourth and 14th Amendments ended the marriage-equality debate smartly and made all established laws against it textbook definitions of unconstitutional.

Unsurprisingly, Justice Thomas sees no similarities between his pro–“traditional marriage” stance and the anti-miscegenation laws struck down by Loving v. Virginia: “Laws defining marriage as between one man and one woman do not share this sordid history.”

He and I do agree that bit of America’s past is indeed sordid. But I think they do share the exact same history.

What if Ms. Guffey had been a clerk when mixed-race marriages became legal and she resigned over that? Would I still respect her decision? I would pity her miserable ignorance, but I would have respected the fact that she came in through the front door with her bigotry and understood that acting on it while on the job had no place as a government employee.

I am hoping that, in time, Obergefell v. Hodges will be seen in the same way as Loving v. Virginia — inevitable and a sign of social evolution in America.

I bet two people of the same sex who want to get married don’t think they are going to have a “gay wedding.” By wanting to get married in the first place, they show their dedication both to each other and to tradition. Wanting to get married is a freakin’ billboard for normality and inclusion.

I wish the “You lost! Deal with it!” talk would stop. I can understand where it comes from but it doesn’t make anything better.

There were no losers, in my opinion. To those who disagree with same-sex marriage because it offends their faith, I would say your beliefs are still yours to have. The wisdom, peace and clarity that faith has allowed you to have are still intact. No word of any religious text has been changed or its power reduced. There is a lot of room in America; it allows all to move freely.

All the wedding photographs popping up on the Internet should be enough to convince anyone that this was a great decision. Take Jack Evans and George Harris, for example — together for 54 years, in Texas of all places, finally able to get hitched.

I am looking at them now. The skies have not darkened with locusts and tomorrow there will be traffic. I do believe we will be OK.

At the most abstract level, capital is colour-blind: surplus value produced by white labour is no different to that produced by black, and when racist laws interfere with the buying and selling of labour, as they ultimately did in the Jim Crow South, capitalists will tend to support the overturning of those laws. Yet when the demand for labour falls and the question arises of who must go without, workers can generally be relied upon to discover the requisite division amongst themselves, typically along lines of kinship, ethnicity, and race. Capitalists thus benefit from racism even if they don’t create it, for in periods of growth these divisions undermine any collective bargaining power that workers might otherwise be able to achieve. Historically, rigid racial hierarchies have been the work not of capital, but of the state - especially, though not exclusively, white-settler and other colonial states. State racism is epitomised by anti-miscegenation laws, which aim to realise racial difference by outlawing racial mixing; the nation-state became a racial state. During times of economic crisis, racial states could be counted on to intervene in labour markets - which contingently assign workers to the employed and the unemployed - in order to assign these determinations methodically, along racial lines.

In the mid-twentieth century this state-orchestrated project of race-making broke down at a global level. On the one hand, exposure of the Nazi genocide and the success of decolonisation movements de-legitimated explicit state racism. On the other, rapid post-war growth led to tight labour markets, reducing competition for jobs between racialised groups. This was thus an era of assimilation, evinced by the partial victories of the Civil Rights Movement. What put this process into reverse was the reassertion of capitalist crisis tendencies in the 1970’s. Falling profits led to a fall in the demand for labour. Recently achieved formal equality did nothing to stop real economic inequalities being reinforced by heightened competition for jobs. Here the state would find for itself a new race-making role, this time not as arbiter of legal separation, but rather as manager of racialised surplus populations.

—  Brown v. Ferguson - Endnotes

anonymous asked:

150 years ago slavery was defended on the basis of the Bible and religion. 50 years ago segregation and anti-miscegenation laws were defended on the basis of the Bible and religion. Opposition to gay rights is just more of the same.

No it’s not because both of those first two have absolutely zero basis in the bible. There is no biblical basis for segregation and while yes slavery is mentioned in the bible the concept of slavery back then was radically different from we think of. From my study and knowledge is was actually closer to what we think of as indentured servants. So both slavery (or to be more specific slavery as we know it) and segregation in the 50s and such has no basis in the bible and in fact much of both was fought against by the vast majority of churches. Also side note in the Bible if a master mistreated his slaves or anything of that nature he was required by law to make amends and give compensation and usually was looked down upon by the rest of the community.

I wondered how long it would take for ones like this to start coming in.

WestAllen fic: That Mood Indigo (pt 3 of 4)

Title: The Mood Indigo
Rating: R
Pairing: WestAllen
Characters: Iris West, Barry Allen
Summary:  1940s au; Iris is a waitress and aspiring novelist, and Barry is her favourite customer. Anything else between them would be illegal. But in the face of overwhelming prejudice against her, Iris dares to dream, and write, and fall in love.

Notes: I was initially only planning three chapters, but then the fic spawned another so there will be a forth and final part after this one because apparently this version of Iris wont leave me alone.

CW:  one specific incident of racial abuse is described here, not physically violent, but ugly, involves spitting. (Also then there’s smut. The R rating is also for that.)

Part one here, part two here.


On their wedding night, two years later, Barry admits, stuttering and blushing, that, like Iris, he’s never done this before. He apologises, promises he’ll try to learn quick but, they don’t write much that’s helpful in books about this sort of thing.

He started reading the minute it became the anti-miscegenation laws in their state were going to be repealed – the minute he plucked up the courage to buy her a ring, to hope that they might, finally, be able to get married – which she teases him about for the next twenty years. But the point is, though he’s tried, he really has, to research the – correct – ways – he doesn’t know much more than the basic mechanics of the situation.

So she pulls her beautiful husband down next to her and promises him they’ll work it out together. And they do. Vigorously.

They’ve practised other forms of closeness, of course. Once or twice.

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