because white people are never just white people to other white people

Y’all seriously need to learn to fact check things you see on here.

1.) it wasn’t Disney who turned down Coco but DREAMWORKS. 
and to those who STILL erroneously insist that Disney/Pixar turned down The Book of Life

2.) People getting mad at this:

Marigolds are traditional to our culture as well as to the holiday, ESPECIALLY in petal form. Not the best example but that’s like getting mad at different Christmas movies for using mistletoe.

3.) “Oh it’s the same plot.” Has anyone looked up the plot for this movie other than outright bashing it from the trailer? 
“The footage, raw though it may be, spun a compelling story about Miguel, a sweet kid who loves music despite the fact that his abuelita banned music long ago, thanks to an ancient drama involving Miguel’s great-great-grandfather—a dashing musician—who walked out on the family. That musician, Miguel discovers at the start of the film, is his town’s most famous son: deceased film star and music supernova Ernesto de la Cruz. On the eve of Día de Muertos, Miguel breaks into de la Cruz’s mausoleum in order to borrow the famous skull guitar that hangs there so that he can enter a talent competition and convince his family to embrace music again. Once Miguel touches the guitar, he becomes something of a living ghost. His family can no longer see him, but Miguel can now see all of his dead ancestors—who look like fantastically decorative skeletons—crossing over a bright bridge made of marigold flower petals from the Land of the Dead. Looking for help and answers, Miguel travels to the Land of the Dead—a dazzlingly vibrant, stacked metropolis inspired by the Mexican city of Guanajuato—himself and sets off an adventure with trickster skeletal companion Hector to find the rest of his family, de la Cruz, and the answer to how he can fix this curse.”  
You know how insistent Pixar is on always making original films. So don’t you think that they would continue that?

4.) “But the white director who thinks he knows everything because he’s been to Mexico.” That’s right, a white person who is not of Mexican/Latinx culture can not truly KNOW our culture simply by visiting it. And Lee Unkrich knows this fact. Which why he assembled a group for the sake of making sure the movie is culturally accurate, rather than him taking on that role

you know, a team of actual latinx. Including someone who was a huge critic of Coco, and is a critic of Disney, Lalo Alcaraz. He is most famously known for his response to the action of Disney attempting to trademark Dia de los Meurtos (which will be our next point). It’s not Alcaraz selling out. It’s him working together with the movie so it’s not just Disney trying to bring in more Latinx fans but rather creating what Unkrich’s true mission: “a love letter to Mexico.” This team along with many other Latinx creatives (like Adrian Molina who was originally just a writer and then promoted to co-director) and a fully latinx cast (again, as insisted by Unkrich), are working together to make it a Latinx piece of media. ( http://www.vanityfair.com/hollywood/2016/12/pixar-coco-gael-garcia-bernal-dia-de-los-muertos-miguel )

5.) We all know and got rightfully angry at Disney for attempting to trademark Dia de los Muertos. This was due to the similar original name the movie had. As expected, it received intense backlash to which Disney quickly revoked the request to trademark. Unkrich was the first to vocalize that this was a mistake. This even leading to that point most likely has to do with him being a white man not of our culture, but this humbling experience is what really knocked that message into him and he began recruiting people like the ones in the above point to make sure that the movie itself is true to the people, culture, and holiday, in ways he himself could never fully grasp.

6.) It’s about the Day of the Dead like The Book of Life. My response to this is easy: look at how many movies are there about Christmas, Halloween, Easter, Valentine’s day, Saint Patrick’s day, etc.

7.) Gutierrez himself doesn’t want it to be a competition but as two wonderful films about one aspect of Latinx that will hopefully lead to more in the future.

I love The Book of Life, and is one of my favorite movies if I’m being honest. When it first came out I was filled with such pride and joy for many reasons. One of course for it being a gorgeously rendered film, but for it being such a positive and beautiful representation and celebration of Mexico. As someone who grew up only seeing white main characters, with people like my family and I as only side characters, it brings me such joy to see more media being produced in which Mexicans are the focus along with our culture (which is agreeably much more diverse than what is being tapped into). We still got a long way to go as Mexico is still only one group of Latinx culture, but we are witnessing the stepping stones of Hollywood beginning to reach out and representing this community by working with people of those cultures. The Book of Life will always have a special place in my heart, but I’m not letting my love of that movie keep me from supporting Latinx creators that are putting out Coco. I’m finally getting the representation that I craved as a kid and loving it.

one of the reasons why I did straight white boy problems was because I wanted to grow as a person. This blog was my medium and I pushed myself to create, and to create, I had to expand my perspectives. 

In some ways, the straight white boy character that you became acquainted with was an exaggerated version of myself. Many of the problems were real life occurrences/observations/events that I drew from personal experience, but some problems also came from friends or were satirized to the point where the anecdote was unrealistic. Straight White Boy Problem #965 is honestly one of my personal favorites because this “problem” was actually a real situation in my life, and this situation could apply for several dudes that are questioning the meaning of masculinity.

The person that started at problem #1 is not the same person that finished with problem #1000. I was very much a self-entitled brat when I started this blog, but i have grown since then. I will be graduating college in december with a dual degree, leadership positions in student organizations, and the confidence that I can go out and do anything I set my mind to.

having a level of internet popularity (this blog finished with just over 164k followers) on a medium such as tumblr is very scary. one bad move, and you lose your rep - we have seen that with zubat, pizza, and most recently, sixpenceee. my advice to yall is to keep holding people in these positions accountable, but NEVER elevate internet famous people above other people. not everything i said over 3 years was 100% politically correct, but when i was in the wrong, i had fair and jovial conversations with people to figure out why i was in the wrong. no matter where you go in life, try to treat everybody fairly and equally - hopefully they will do the same to you. 

as for my name, you can call me alec. i did promise i’d tell you guys who i was after everything was said and done so there ya go.

thank you for following this blog and thank you for being a part of this experience. this blog was a giant, beautiful mistake that just kinda happened and im happy that yall enjoyed it as much as i did. i may do something in the future, i may not, but i leave this blog a changed and better person.

sincerely,

swbp

I recently saw a video of a young woman talking about all of the reasons our generation, the Millennials, sucks and that’s she’s sorry for what we’ve become. Here is my, a fellow Millennial, response:

You say we’re just ‘existing’ and not ‘contributing anything to society.’ The oldest Millennial is 34, the youngest is 12, we haven’t had time to contribute anything yet. We’re trying to survive in a world that no other generation has had to grow up in, with a tanked economy and most of our childhood hearing nothing but war in the Middle East on the news while also being profoundly connected. We didn’t do that.

You say we’re no longer polite, we don’t say ‘no, sir’ or ‘no ma’am’ anymore and we no longer hold the door open for our elders or women. We also don’t expect low-paid workers to break their backs for us, or at yell at them when they make a mistake, like my 60-year-old grandfather does. We say ‘no problem’ when there’s a mistake in order, and politely stand by while the 40-something-year-old soccer mom huffs and rolls her eyes as the new girl struggles to punch in the correct code.

You say our music objectifies women and glorifies drugs and criminals. There has been no significant change from the songs that were once sung or the singers who sang them. Many of the 50’s, 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s performers were drug addicts, womanizers, and criminals in their own right. Elvis Presley was child abuser, John Lennon raped his many girlfriends and most of the music I grew up listening, which was 80’s rock, were performed by habitual drug abusers. Let’s not pretend like human nature took a drastic turn when 1983 rolled around.

You say we cuss to prove a point. We, as a generation, have learned it’s not the words we fucking use, it’s the passion in them that we care about. As a generation, we’ve become more interested in politics and the world around us, cursing is minor problem when we consider the political climate the older generation has plunged us into.

You say we use ‘bae’ to describe the ones we love. Bae, originally, means ‘before anyone else’ which is incredibly romantic in my opinion. Bae is also hardly ever taken seriously, it’s a jokey way to talk about someone you love. Language changes, I doubt people were happy when we changed ‘wherefore’ into ‘why.’ The greatest injustice we can do to our language and culture is not allow it to evolve and grow with us.

You say we idolize people like Kim Kardashian and shame people like Tim Tebow. Kim Kardashian is a business woman who had a private video she made with a lover illegally revealed. Instead of fading into obscurity, she stood tall and did not let the sexual shaming she endured stop her and now runs a multi-million dollar industry, is married to one of the richest men in the world, and had two beautiful children. Tim Tebow is a Christian who was criticized by a few people for praying in an open stadium while most people just wanted to see a game.

You say we’re lazy and entitled, we want to make a lot of money and get a free education but we’re not willing to put in the work. We are not lazy. I cannot tell you how many people I meet who have gone to school full time while working a part or even full-time job just to make ends meet. We’re not entitled, we’re bitter. In the 70’s, you could work a part time job over the summer and pay your way through four years of school because tuition was $400, now just to walk in the door of your local community college you need to drop $14,000. We have kids who aren’t even old enough to drink, yet are already $20,000 deep in debt. Debt that won’t go away because even filing for bankruptcy won’t erase it. And even with that education, there’s no guarantee you’ll find something in your field. I have a friend who has a degree in microbiology and she’s making $9 an hour selling $15 candles. I have another friend who has a masters in Sport Psychology and Counseling. She’s a bartender. My parents bought a three bedroom house in the suburbs in the late 90’s while my generation is imagining apartments with breezy windows and trying to get enough money to get food while we scrounge up less than $8 a week.

You say we spend more time online making friends and less time building relationships and our relationship’s appearance on Facebook is more important than building the foundation that relationship is based on. We are a generation that is profoundly connected and no other generation has seen this before. We have more opportunities to meet people from all over the world and better chances to understand other worldviews and lifestyles. Being able to stay home and talk to people over the internet is cheaper and more relaxing than having to force yourself to interact with people in public settings after a long day of minimum wage labor. The people I talk to more over the internet are people I have been friends with for years. It’s easier to talk about the day’s events over Skype or Facebook Messenger than arrange a day to meet in person when you have conflicting schedules. I truly don’t believe most people care what others think of their friendship or how their relationships ‘look’ on social media. Most often what you are calling ‘our relationship’s appearance on Facebook’ are documented and searchable memories.

You say our idea of what we believe in is going on Facebook and posting a status on Facebook. Not everyone can join in with the crowds of protesters. It’s easy to see what others have to say through the comments and argue back without the threat of violence. And when this generation does organize events to stand up for ourselves, it’s met with childish name-calling or being reduced to a ‘riot.’

You say we believe the number of follows we have reflects who we are as a person. It’s nice knowing there’s 20 or 50 or maybe even 100 people who care what you have to say or think. We live in an age where we can and will be heard.

You say we don’t respect our elders, that we don’t respect our country. Our elders grew up in one of the greatest economic booms in history and in turn made it the worst economic situation since the 1930’s all while blaming kids who were only five at the time for it. We stand on our flag because it means nothing, it’s a pretty banner for an ugly lie. We’re a country that says you can make it if you just work hard enough while, in the end, that will almost never happen. We’re a country that becomes irate at the idea of 20-something college kids standing on some canvas dyed red, white, and blue but seem to shrug off the millions of homeless, disabled veterans.

You say we’re more divided than ever before. Ever before what? When black folk couldn’t drink from the same fountain as white folk? When women couldn’t vote? When white southerners fought for the idea that they could keep black people as slaves? We’re a generation that is done with injustice and when you fight for social change, you will divide people.

You say everything that was frowned up is celebrated. What does that mean? We frowned up gay marriage. We frowned upon wives being able to say no to sex with their husbands. We frowned up interracial marriage. We frowned up black folk being allowed to go to school with white folk. We frowned upon women being allowed to vote. Are those things not worth celebrating?

You say nothing has value in our generation, that we take advantage of everything. We value friendship more, we value the fists of change, we value social justice and family and the right to marry those we love. We value the right to be yourself, wholly and fully. We value the right to choose and we value the idea of fighting what you believe in, even when everyone older than you is telling you you’re what’s wrong with the country.

You say we have more opportunities to succeed than those before but we don’t ‘appreciate’ them. We are a bitter generation. You can finance a boat for 3.9% but you have to pay back college tuition plus 8.9%. We may have more opportunities but those opportunities cost money we don’t have.

You say you can see why we’re called ‘Generation,’ but we’re not Generation Y, we’re Millennials and we do feel entitled. We were promised a strong economy and inexpensive education. We had the world in our hands and we were going to make it better. And it was ripped away from us because of incompetent rulers, illegal wars, and greedy corporations and we get blamed for it. Crime has gone down, abortion and unintended pregnancy has lowered, people are living longer, people are more educated, people are less likely to die from violent crime or diseases, yet my generation is touted as the worst generation and for what? Crimes that we’re accused of that happened before we could even wipe our own ass? We were raised better, and we were raised in a society that treated, and continues to treat, us like garbage. And we are done. We are not sorry, we did nothing wrong.

The Boxer

Pairing: Y/N and Harry

Word Count: 10k

Prompt: Harry hires Y/N as his on call nurse and for his matches. 

or 

“You’re supposed to be in the hospital gown, it’s why we laid it out for you,” Y/N stated, pointing the pen in her hand at the white gown by his feet.

“I’m not wearing that paper shit,” Harry grumbled, “and I’m perfectly fine to leave.”

“That cut says otherwise,” Y/N says.

Harry watches as she sets down the clipboard and turns on the sink to wash her hands, she’s cute. She’s nothing like the kind Harry would go for. His usual prey would be at the bar, lonely, maybe going through a breakup, but he knew for sure that by the end of the night she would be in his bed. Y/N on the other hand looked like too pure for him, and he hated that look.

From his experience Harry had learned that girls like Y/N believed that they were too good for a guy like him. Girls like Y/N, with an innocent smile, soft skin, and soft voices, tended to only use him for one thing, to make their parents upset. Harry had seen it time and time again, it was only a matter of weeks before the girl would crush his heart and move on to someone better.

“I don’t feel anything,” Harry stated.

Harry had grown numb to just about everything. He couldn’t feel the punches thrown at him, he couldn’t feel his emotions, it all just seemed gone to him. He didn’t mind though, no emotions meant he couldn’t get hurt, and no pain meant he was unstoppable.

or

Boxer Harry Styles highers, incredibly perky Y/N as his on-call nurse.


“I hate the graveyard shift,” Y/N stated, slumping into the chair.

Keep reading

anonymous asked:

genuine question: why do you not like people refering to lucio specifically as "boy"? tumblr tends to call every character boy/boi especialy since the mcelroys became popular so what is it about lucio in particular that isnt good to call him boy

The short answer: it’s because he’s black and the people doing it are largely white and there’s cultural baggage surrounding white people using the words “boy” and “son” to address black men. 

The long answer starts out with the idea of tonedeafness and a fandom phenomenon that crops up when predominately white fanbases are exposed to dimensional, compelling characters of color. The same thing happened with Star Wars and Pacific Rim and so many other diverse franchises lately. 

A lot of the time, white fans are genuinely not trying to be racist, but most of their faves up to this point have been white, and they haven’t considered that perhaps the way they write and talk about those faves would take on different implications when the characters’ race is considered. 

For instance, and I get in trouble a lot for bringing this up, but a few months ago there was a Disney AU fanart of Finn and Rey from Star Wars as Tarzan and Jane. Now, in the movie, Tarzan and Jane are both white, but in the art, the impact changes because Finn is a black man and the artist drew him as an animalistic ape-man who meets a delicate high-class British woman who “civilizes” him. Obviously the Tarzan/Jane dynamic has a very VERY different meaning if Tarzan is depicted as black and Jane is depicted as white, and it is in fact racist to depict Finn that way even if it wouldn’t even be the smallest problem to draw, say, Iron Man and Pepper Potts in the same exact situation. (Also if anyone is Tarzan in that pairing, it’s Rey, but I digress)

So you get these situations where people are trying to do the stuff they always do for all characters, only their faves have mostly been white up to this point so they’ve never really had to consider the racial implications of the stuff they say and write about those characters. That’s why they draw D.Va as an infant without realizing that the infantilization of East Asian women is actually a harmful racist practice, and then when informed of this fact, instead of saying “oh shit, I didn’t know I was contributing to that! Thanks for telling me, I’ll stop doing it,” they get defensive and claim that actually it doesn’t matter if the end product is 100% identical to racism, because they didn’t intend for it to be racist, that’s not what they were trying to do.

Also, generally speaking, they don’t do the same thing to white characters. While jokes at the expense of Soldier: 76 and Zarya are usually things like “he’s old and grumpy” or “she’s really strong,” jokes about Reaper are more like “he’s got a huge dick and he’s abusive and a rapist” and jokes about D.Va are usually “she’s a dirty and mischievous subhuman creature and the white guy is like her dad.” The fact that a lot of people make all these jokes and think they’re roughly equivalent speaks to how much unconscious racism they’ve got to purge from their system. 

Alright, so now that we understand that, let’s get into a little more of why “boy” and “son” in particular are not the sort of thing you should not call Lucio. 

The first and main reason is that he’s a grown man, aged 26, but more importantly, he is a black man. Historically, the words “boy” and “son” have been used on black men for two reasons: 

  1. Because even grown black men were to be treated as childlike under white supremacy, esp. under slavery, and even after the abolition of slavery, the words “boy” and “son” are still used in order to talk down to black men. You will still frequently catch younger white people address black men older than them as “boy” or “son,” especially in a service capacity (i.e. a black waiter or employee at a store). Under slavery, the dominant white supremacist narrative was that even the smartest black people were only on the level of white children, which is obviously a complete falsehood fabricated to justify their continued subjugation by saying “they’d be lost without us.” So, by referring to black men as “boy” or “son,” that’s the message that was being communicated, that even though any given black person is grown, they’re still viewed as roughly mentally equivalent to children. 
  2. A lot of slaveowners didn’t feel it was worth it to learn the individual names of their slaves, so they would simply address them as “boy” or “son” (or “girl” or a variety of other degrading names for women) and this practice continued even after the abolition of slavery. Again, calling back to the “black waiter” situation I referred to earlier, you still sometimes see white patrons referring to black employees as “boy” or “son” in this way. For older people, they would use the terms “Auntie” and “Uncle” as a way to deny them honorific titles such as “Mister” and “Miss,” which is where we get mascots like “Aunt Jemima” and “Uncle Ben,” both of whom were derived from this practice. A similar example is how a lot of white railroad passengers wouldn’t bother to learn the names of their car’s porter and would simply call them all “George,” which again sort of demonstrates my point: the name “George” isn’t inherently racist, lots of people have that name, but to call a black guy doing their job that carries different implications even if you “didn’t mean it that way.”

So generally, there’s nothing wrong with the words “boy” or “son” most of the time, but when you address a black man this way, it carries a whole different implication. I’m not trying to condemn anyone morally or say “you’re evil if you’ve ever used these words about Lucio” or anything, but back to the beginning of this:

I am assuming you all have positive intent, that you are all well-meaning and that you are definitely not trying to be racist. Because of this, I feel like it’s my responsibility to tell you when a thing you’re saying carries meanings that you maybe didn’t consider and definitely didn’t mean to imply. I know I would feel foolish and guilty if I found out something I’d been saying casually actually had a racist meaning that I wasn’t aware of, so I just want to say that if anyone reading this is (like me) a white person who’s really truly well-intentioned and doesn’t mean to be racist at all, your response here should be “oh wow, I didn’t know that Boy and Son are names you generally shouldn’t call black people, I’ll be more conscious of that in the future,” and if your response is to become defensive and try to prove that it isn’t bad because you didn’t mean it “that way,” it either means you aren’t well-intentioned and do mean to be racist OR it means you didn’t read the post. 

That being said, I’m happy to inform where I can, but I’m also not black, and a lot of black writers have explained this a lot more eloquently than me. I suggest you do some googling and research what they’ve said on the subject, because I’m sure they’ll give you a clearer picture than I possibly can. 

A white guy’s thoughts on “Get Out” and racism

This weekend, I went to see a horror movie. It got stuck in my head, and now I can’t stop thinking about it—but not for any of the reasons you might think.

The movie was Jordan Peele’s new hit Get Out, which has gotten rave reviews from critics—an incredible 99% on Rotten Tomatoes—and has a lot of people talking about its themes.

First of all, I should tell you that I hate horror movies. As a general rule, I stay far, far away from them, but after everything I’d read, I felt like this was an important film for me to see. This trailer might give you some inkling as to why:

Creepy, huh? You might know writer/director Jordan Peele as part of the comedy duo Key & Peele, known for smartly tackling societal issues through sketch comedy. Get Out is a horror movie, but it’s also a film about race in America, and it’s impressively multilayered.

I left the theater feeling deeply disturbed but glad this movie was made. I can’t say any more without revealing spoilers, so if you haven’t seen the movie yet and you don’t want to have the plot spoiled for you, stop reading now and come back later.

Seriously, this is your last chance before I give away what happens.

Okay, you were warned. Here we go.

Our protagonist is Chris Washington, a young black man who has been dating Rose Armitage, a young white woman, for the last four months. She wants him to meet her family, but he’s hesitant. She acknowledges that her dad can be a little awkward on the subject of race, but assures Chris that he means well.

After unnerving encounters with a deer (echoes of The Invitation) and a racist cop, Chris and Rose arrive at the Armitages’ estate. On the surface, the Armitages are very friendly, but the conversation (brilliantly scripted by Peele) includes a lot of the little, everyday, get-under-your-skin moments of racism that people of color have to contend with: Rose’s dad going on about how he voted for Obama, for instance, and asking how long “this thang” has been going on. Chris laughs it off to be polite, though he clearly feels uncomfortable.

There’s a fantastic moment here, by the way, when Rose’s dad offhandedly mentions that they had to close off the basement because of “black mold.” In the midst of the racially charged atmosphere of the conversation, it’s nearly impossible not to take this as a racial remark, and Chris certainly notices, but what could he possibly say about it? Black mold is a real thing; his girlfriend would surely think he was crazy and oversensitive if he said it sounded racist. Chris never reacts to the remark, but that one tiny moment is a reminder to the audience of a real problem people of color often face, when racism can’t be called out without being accused of “playing the race card” or seeing things that aren’t there. (Incidentally, it turns out that the basement is actually used for molding of a different sort.)

There are other reasons for Chris to be unsettled: The only other black people on the estate are two servants, Georgina and Walter (Rose’s dad says he knows how bad it looks, but that it’s not what it seems), and something is clearly “off” about them. Later, more white people show up—and one more black character, and he, too, feels “off.”

By the end of the film, we learn the horrible secret: Rose’s family is kidnapping and luring black people to their estate, where they’re being hypnotized and psychologically trapped inside themselves—Rose’s mom calls it “the sunken place”—so that old or disabled white people’s consciousnesses can be transplanted into their bodies. The white people are then able to move about, controlling their new black bodies, with the black person’s consciousness along for the ride as a mere “passenger.” In a shocking twist, it turns out that even apparently-sweet Rose is in on the plot, and Chris must fight her and the rest of her family to escape.

This isn’t a “white people are evil” film, although it may sound that way at first, but it is a film about racism. I know many of my friends of color will connect with this movie in a way I can’t, so I won’t try to say what I think they’ll get out of it. I do want to say how I connected with it, though, because I think what Jordan Peele has done here is really important for white audiences. 

If you look beyond the surface horror-movie plot, this film actually gives white people a tiny peek at the reality of racism—not the epithet-shouting neo-Nazi kind of racism that white people normally imagine when we hear “racism,” but the “Oh it’s so nice to meet you; I voted for Obama” kind of racism, the subtle othering that expects people of color to smile and get along and adopt white culture as their own whenever they’re around white people.

So many of the moments in Get Out are clearly intended to work on multiple levels. When Chris confronts Georgina about something being wrong and she smiles and says, “No, no no no no no,” with tears streaming down her cheeks, the symbolism is blatant. How often do people of color have to ignore the subtle indignities they face and hide their true emotions in order to avoid coming across as, for example, “the angry black woman/man”? How many times do they find themselves in social situations—even with their closest white friends!—where people make little comments tying them to an “exotic,” supposedly monolithic culture, where they have to respond with a smile and a laugh instead of telling people how stupid and offensive they’re being? 

I can’t tell you the number of these stories I’ve heard from my friends, and I’m quite sure that the stories I’ve heard are only a tiny fraction of the stories that could be told. So there’s something in that moment that speaks volumes about the experiences of people of color in America.

The same is true for so many other moments. The black characters Chris meets at the Armitages’ have all symbolically given up their identities and conformed to white culture; when Chris meets one character, he turns out to be going under a new name, with new clothes and new mannerisms; when Chris offers him a fist bump, he tries to shake Chris’s fist. Again, within the story, there’s an explanation for all this, but every moment here is also about assimilation and culture differences. 

For me as a white audience member, all of these moments did something remarkable: They showed me my own culture—a culture I’m often blissfully unaware of because it’s all around me—as something alien. They reminded me that I, too, have a culture, and that expecting everyone else to assimilate to my culture is just as much an erasing of their identities as it would be to expect me to assimilate to someone else’s culture.

And that’s a big part of what Get Out is about—the erasing of identities, and the power of racism to destroy people. I think it’s really significant that racism is portrayed here very differently from how it’s normally portrayed in movies written by white people. In most Hollywood movies, you know a character is racist because they shout racial epithets or make blatant statements about a certain race’s inferiority. That allows white audiences to say, “I would never do/say that, so I’m not racist!” We really don’t want to think we are.

But notice something important about Get Out’s treatment of racism: This is a film about the literal enslavement of black people—racism doesn’t get more extreme than that—and yet Peele doesn’t go for the obvious by having the white characters admit that they think black people are inferior; instead, they subjugate and dehumanize people by claiming to admire things about them. They turn them into fashion accessories. 

When Chris asks why only black people are being targeted for this procedure, the response is telling: It’s not (supposedly) because the white characters think African Americans are bad, but rather, because they like certain things about them and they want “a change” for themselves. They want to become black—it’s trendy, we’re told!—but without having had any of the actual life experiences or history of African Americans. White people need to see this: to experience the ways in which Chris is othered by people who tell him all the things they like about him—isn’t he strong? Look at those muscles! Does he play golf like Tiger Woods? And he must be well-endowed and have such sexual prowess, right, Rose?

The white people in the audience need to be reminded that just because you’re saying positive things about someone doesn’t mean you’re not being racist, that turning someone into an exotic “other” may not be the same as shouting an epithet, but it’s still taking away someone’s identity and treating them as a commodity.

The film is filled with these kinds of moments. When we realize that Rose’s white grandmother has inhabited the body of Georgina, the fact that she keeps touching her own hair and admiring herself in the mirror takes on a whole new level of significance. (White people, please don’t ask to touch your black friends’ hair.) When Chris connects with a dying deer on the side of the road and later sees a deer head mounted on the wall at the Armitages’ estate, the symbolism is hard to miss. Black people are being turned into trophies in this house. And, oh yeah, they’re being literally auctioned off—as they were in real life in the not-too-distant past.

One day, I’d like to see the film again to pick up on all the ways things read differently the second time through. I noticed several things in retrospect that gain new significance once you know the ending, and I’m sure there’s a lot I didn’t notice. For example, Rose’s dad says he hired Walter and Georgina to care for his parents, and when his parents died, “I couldn’t bear to let them go.” The first time you see the film, it sounds like the “them” is Walter and Georgina. But in retrospect, it’s clear the “them” he couldn’t bear to let go was his parents, so he sacrificed Walter and Georgina for them. Which, again, is an example of how the supposed care of the white characters for the black characters (his care for Walter and Georgina, Rose’s care for Chris) is really all about caring for themselves and treating the black characters as completely interchangeable objects.

The message of the film isn’t simply that the black characters are “good” and the white characters are “bad.” There are presumably—hopefully—many good white people in the world of this film, and many others who wouldn’t do what the Armitages are doing but also probably wouldn’t believe Chris or make the effort to stop it. Peele’s mother and wife are both white, so he’s clearly not trying to paint all white people as villains. 

But I admit, as a white guy, I really, really wanted Rose to be good. I’ve been the white person in an interracial relationship introducing my black boyfriend to my family. I’ve been that. So I related to Rose, and I really wanted to believe that she was well-intentioned and just oblivious; even though she misses the mark on several occasions, there are times that she seems like she gets it and she really does listen to Chris. When a cop asks to see Chris’s ID early in the film even though he wasn’t driving, Rose stands up against the obvious racism, showing us all what it looks like for white people to do the right thing. “That was hot,” Chris says to her later, and I thought, yeah, that’s who I want to be.

So I have to admit, it was really upsetting to me to see Rose, the only good white character left in the film, turn out to be evil. But I realized that part of that is that I really wanted her to represent me, and that’s really the point. Just think how often horror films have only one black character who dies early on, and how many films of all genres have no significant black characters for audience members to look up to or identify with. I think it’s really important for white audiences to experience that.

As I’ve reflected on the film, it seems to me like there are three kinds of popular movies about people of color. There are those that feature POC characters that are essentially indistinguishable from the white characters—as if they just decided to cast Morgan Freeman instead of Tom Hanks without giving any thought to the character’s race. Then there are the movies that deal with racism, but in a way that allows white people to feel good about ourselves, because we’re not like the characters in the film. (This is especially true for movies about racism in the past; some of them are very important films, like Hidden Figures, which I loved, but we need to be aware that it’s still easy for white America to treat it as a feel-good film and think that we’re off the hook because we no longer have separate restrooms.) And finally, there are movies that focus more directly on the lives of people of color but tend to draw largely audiences of color; not many white people go see them, because we think they’re not “for us” (even though we assume films about white people are for everyone).

Get Out isn’t any of those. It’s drawing a broad audience but it’s not afraid to make white people uncomfortable. And if you can give me, a white guy, a chance to have even a momentary fraction of an experience of the real-life, modern-day, casual racism facing people of color in America, I think that’s a very good thing.

I love Hamilton, but something about the way white fans engage with the musical really bothers me: a lot of them are posting in the tag about the actual, historical revolutionaries and founding fathers in a way that makes them seem like funny, sweet, good people. They weren’t. I don’t just mean “Jefferson was a piece of shit”: none of them were good. Every one of their asses saw black people as inferior, even if not all of them supported slavery. All of them participated in genocidal policy against indigenous peoples. If you’re watching/listening to Hamilton and then going out and romanticizing the real founding fathers/American revolutionaries, you’re missing the entire point.

Hamilton is not really about the founding fathers. It’s not really about the American Revolution. The revolution, and Hamilton’s life are the narrative subject, but its purpose is not to romanticize real American history: rather, it is to reclaim the narrative of America for people of colour. 

Don’t romanticize the founding fathers and the revolution. They’re already romanticized. It’s been done. Your history books have already propagated those lies. The revolution is romanticized as an American narrative because it was a revolution lead by and for white men. Their story is the narrative of the nation and it is a narrative from which people of colour are utterly obliterated. 

Do you understand what it’s like to live in a nation where you are made marginal and inconsequential in the historical narrative that you are taught from your first day of school? In the Americas, to be a person of colour is to be made utterly inconsequential to the nation’s history. If you are black, your history begins with slavery, and your agency is denied; they don’t teach about slave rebellions or black revolutionaries. You learn about yourself as entirely shaped by outside forces: white people owned you, then some white people decided to free you and wasn’t that nice of them? and then you’re gone until the civil rights movement. That is the narrative they teach; in which you had no consequence, no value, no impact until less than a century ago. If you are indigenous, you are represented as disappeared, dead, already gone: you do not get to exist, you are already swallowed by history. If you are any other race, you are likely not present at all. To live in a land whose history is not your own, to live in a story in which you are not a character, is a soul-destroying experience.

In Hamilton, Eliza talks, in turn, of “taking herself out of the narrative” and “putting herself back in the narrative.” That’s what Hamilton is about: it’s about putting ourselves in the narrative. It puts people of colour in the centre of the damn narrative of the nation that subjugates them; it takes a story that by all accounts has been constructed to valourize the deeds of white men, and redefines it all. 

Why was the American Revolution a revolution? Why were slave revolts revolts? Why do we consider the founding fathers revolutionaries and not the Black Panthers or the Brown Berets or any number of other anti-racist revolutionary organizations? Whose rebellion is valued? Who is allowed to be heroic through defiance? By making the founding fathers people of colour, Hamilton puts people of colour into the American narrative, while simultaneously applying that narrative to the present. Right now, across the United States, across the damn world, people are chanting “black lives matter.” Black people are shutting down malls and highways, demanding justice for the lives stolen by police, by white supremacy. And all across the world, indigenous people are saying “Idle No More,” blockading pipelines, demanding their sovereignty. And “No One is Illegal” is chanting loud enough to shake down the walls at the border; people are demanding the end of refugee detention centres, demanding an end to the violence perpetuated by anti-immigration policies. People of colour are rising up. 

…And white people are angry about it. White people are saying “if blacks don’t want to get shot by the police they shouldn’t sag their pants”; saying “get over it” about anti-indigenous policies of assimilation and cultural genocide and land theft; Jennicet Gutiérrez was heckled by white gay men for demanding that president Obama end the detention of undocumented trans women of colour. White people see people of colour rising up and they tell us to sit down. Shut up. Stop making things difficult. The American Revolution was a bunch of white men who didn’t want to be taxed, so white history sees their revolutionary efforts as just; they killed for their emancipation from England; they were militant. That, to white people is acceptable. But those same white people talk shit about Malcolm X for being too violent–a man who never started an uprising against the government leading to bloodshed. Violence is only acceptable in the hands of white people; revolution is only okay when the people leading the charge are white. 

Hamilton makes those people brown and black; Hamilton depicts the revolution of which America is proud as one led by people of colour against a white ruling body; there’s a reason King George is the only character who is depicted by a white man. The function of the visual in Hamilton is to challenge a present in which people of colour standing up against oppression are seen as violent and dangerous by the same people who proudly declare allegiance to the flag. It forces white people to see themselves not as the American Revolutionaries, but as the British oppressors. History is happening, and they’re on its bad side.

So don’t listen to or watch Hamilton and then come out of that to romanticize the founding fathers. Don’t let that be what you take away from this show. They’re the vehicle for the narrative, and a tool for conveying the ideologies of the show, but they are not the point. Don’t romanticize the past; fight for the future. 

anonymous asked:

You said its much more interesting to have a character try to fit into their role and fail then a princess character who automatically rebels. Can you tell me more about it and what makes it interesting? I really like your insight when it comes to stories and fairytales.

Ah! Thank you! Well, I really dislike the ‘Rebellious Princess’ narrative for three reasons, and I’ll just go into them below before talking about more interesting approaches

  1. It’s Classist

This is the most obvious issue. Your hero is a rebel princess, born into a life of status and privilege. She is the 1%.

You remember this comic making its rounds on social media? 

Your rebel Princess is Richard.

Every time the Princess laments that she’s trapped by her own wealth and status, she ignores the fact that her problems are minute and petty in the grander narrative. Princesses are inherently privileged, and it’s ignorant to ignore their own wealth in favour of chasing some bohemian ‘freedom’. 

We get it, kiddo. You hate needlework and you don’t want to be Queen. But your kingdom is in the middle ages, people eat dirt and no one is happy. The Princess might yearn for some vague concept of ‘something more’, but that’s myopic and selfish when her people yearn for electricity and proper sanitation. 

I have extreme difficulty enjoying Star vs the Forces of Evil.

2. It pits the hero against other women to make her rebellion look good. 

So you have your Princess who rejects the institution of traditional femininity. All well and good. But in order for her to be rebellious, there must be an institution in the first place for her to reject.

Enter The Institution. Call her St Olga’s Reform School for Wayward Princesses, call her Prudence, or Marina Del Rey. No matter what she looks or acts like, you know you’ve seen her before. She’s prudish, traditionally feminine, tough as nails, and probably sews her own ballgowns on her weekends off. 

She is a perfectly good woman in any other sense, but since she’s everything your princess doesn’t want to be, conflict has to arise from the princess fighting her and her ideals. 

And of course, the princess will win, because traditional femininity is evil. 

Oh, Prudence, you deserved so much more than the Disney Sequel you got.

In a feminist world there’s nothing wrong with fighting old ideas of what women should act like - but in a postmodern feminist world, one must be aware that some women willingly are quite happy to be traditionally feminine, and some don’t have the luxury of choice to pick whatever kind of femininity they embody.

Pitting the ‘feminist’ rebel princess against traditionally feminine women is a microaggression in itself: we have never needed to sell men an empowerment narrative by pitting men against each other, so why start here? Also note that Disney is extremely fond of this, especially in marketing Frozen and its reboot movies by saying it’s better than ‘classic princess’ movies because ‘classic princesses’ needed men:

“That’s a bit different from the animation, I think, it’s not about Cinderella just being rescued by a man.”  

3. It’s a White-Feminist narrative. 

Oh GOD is it a White-Feminist narrative!

I said before that some woman don’t have the luxury to be rebel princesses, and some willingly want to be traditionally femme. This is especially so in POC cultures. 

In Chinese culture, the concept of filial piety is a very important one: to be dutiful and respectful to your parents, and placing your family’s honour and their values above your own. 

Mulan does not have the luxury of ‘rebellion’. Rebellion would dishonour her family, rebellion would shame her parents. Mulan’s entire character arc exists to teach her to balance her parent’s needs with her own, and it ends with her bestowing her war prizes to her father - at the height of her own glory she doesn’t forget where she came from - and it’s the greatest show of honour she could possibly give.

To turn Mulan into a rebel princess would be to undermine everything her culture and the folklore surrounding her represents. A lot of these themes are repeated in Moana - how much of yourself do you give up to make your parents happy? What is the true meaning of tradition? When you exist for other people can you still know who you are? 

Originally posted by tarajis

Moana is great. Watch it. 

Making White Feminist statements like ‘my princesses isn’t like a classic princess! she feminist and doesnt need to listen to anyone!’ does a massive disservice to other cultures who have to balance force of will with filial piety. 

So, about those Interesting Narratives…

Originally posted by a-dark-and-terrible-thing

Pans Labyrinth (2006) is thematically about ‘rebellion’ - it’s set in the Spanish Civil War and half of its narrative is about fighting a military dictatorship. It’s other half is about Ofelia (a fairy changeling), who is given instructions so that she can return to the magical world. Ofelia proceeds to mess all of them up: she eats from a magical table when she’s told to take no food, she refuses to kill an infant to open a gate to her homeworld. While excited to be a princess, Ofelia struggles to cope with the morally dubious or downright strange demands she’s presented with. Her rebellion isn’t a girl with a weapon in her hand: it’s a girl who legitimately wants to be a princess but isn’t cruel enough to do what it takes to get there.  

I wanted to give others - and they are plenty - but this post has gone on long enough. ;w; Do come back to me if you want to know more, anon! I’m overjoyed to be able to talk about this!

anonymous asked:

hey! sorry to bother you, but I dont know about the whole gremlin dva thing? what is it?

Oh wow but I wish you’d asked this off-anon, racist overwatch fans are really sensitive about this subject and like to throw little tantrums whenever anyone says anything against it! I’m gonna start from the very beginning in case anyone doesn’t know the basics of the situation

Okay, so this is D.Va:

D.Va, AKA Hana Song is a nineteen-year-old professional Starcraft player from Korea. There isn’t a perfect analogy, but in Korea, Pro Gamers aren’t viewed the way western gamers are, they’re held in a closer regard to professional athletes, or even rock stars. D.Va’s name is indicative of her personality: She’s a celebrity diva. She’s confident to a fault, she’s courageous and a bit cocky, she’s charming and she knows how to work an audience. Her fame as a pro Starcraft player has led to a career as an actress, which brought her fame worldwide. 

At age 16, through a “last starfighter/pacific rim” type situation, the Korean Government decided to address the problem of “giant robot keeps attacking Korea and traditional military tactics and regular soldiers are useless against it” by recruiting pro gamers (with their fast reflexes and unconventional tactical know-how) to pilot mechs to keep the giant robot at bay. D.Va was the best Starcraft player in the world (except her dad, the one person in the world she still can’t beat), and amazingly, she was also the best at fighting this giant robot. Because her gaming ability is what makes her so good at fighting this particular giant robot, she approaches her job the same way she approaches video games: by perpetually chasing the horizon of perfection and trying to improve her skills.

In-universe, she streams her missions worldwide on Twitch, and her fan following as a Superhero is as big as her following as a Pro Gamer or a Movie Star. Because she streams her missions, she’s often heard using gamer-speak in-combat because she’s addressing her audience directly. Outside of combat, many other heroes (like Lucio and Reinhardt) are huge fans of hers and look up to her, she’s a fan of reading scientific journals and is a bit starstruck to meet her favorite scientist (Mei) and she’s deeply hurt by the destruction she saw in her home country. She’s also sensitive about being called a child, because she’s now 19 (an adult) and a decorated soldier and deserves a certain level of respect. 

This is Gremlin D.Va:

Gremlin D.Va is a fandom-created meme based on approximately nothing from the actual game or lore except the word “gamer” in her description. Gremlin D.Va is a caricature of western white male gamers (interesting given that D.Va is a Korean woman who acts approximately nothing like western white male gamers). 

Gremlin D.Va is approximately four years old (or less!! A lot of the fanart includes her wearing diapers, sitting in strollers, sucking on a pacifier, the line is between “gremlin D.Va” and “baby D.Va” is blurry enough to be practically nonexistent). Gremlin D.Va is obsessed with doritos and mountain dew (she has her own brand of chips and sponsors a cola brand in-game, but we’ve established that the people making this meme don’t really care about what is or isn’t part of the game). She is supposed to be dirty and disgusting, she speaks in broken english even though Canon D.Va is fluent (they chalk this up to be “she’s like a baby!” but infantilization isn’t much better), she is mischievous and sneaky, she is presented as a childlike, and, well, pretty much aligns with every harmful stereotype of East Asians except the hypersexualization (which they claim makes it progressive). Also, as noted in the above picture, part of the meme is that she’s been adopted by two of the white characters, Soldier: 76 and Mercy, neither of whom she’s confirmed to have ever even met. She’s usually presented in the comics as a burden to that white man, which, yikes. 

Essentially, Gremlin D.Va is a list of harmful and baseless stereotypes and tropes about Asians and Asian-Americans like “sneaky” and “childlike” and “perverse,” and defenders of the meme like to pretend it’s okay to project lots of anti-Asian racist stereotypes onto an Asian character as long as they’re not doing so because she’s Asian, but, the fact is, it honestly doesn’t matter whether or not they mean to be racist, but it’s somewhat hard to believe it has nothing to do with the character being East Asian: It would be very different if she were a white character being treated the same way, since there’s really no cultural baggage that presents white people as subhuman (you’re literally calling her a “gremlin”) and childlike (don’t try to dispute this, half those comics put her in a damn diaper), but for SOME REASON the white characters in the game are never presented that way!

The one exception to that is in the Halloween sprays where D.Va is very much presented as a child, and defenders like to claim this makes Gremlin D.Va “canon,” although this doesn’t really hold any water, since the sprays seem to show children dressed as the heroes trick-or-treating, and almost all the heroes are given a trick-or-treater spray. Here’s just a handful, for instance:

Now, I’ve gotten yelled at a lot for calling the meme racist, and 99 times out of 100 it is, but the fact remains, even if it was totally not racist: it’s just plain not funny! It’s boring and unimaginative and doesn’t make sense! People always try to act like “it’s just a video game, it’s fictional, let us have our jokes,” and I wholeheartedly agree, except that I expect jokes to be even mildly funny. 

People also come back with “but it’s Chibi! Haven’t you ever heard of Chibi!” which, of course I have!! In fact, like all the Overwatch heroes, there’s a Chibi version of her available in the game! It doesn’t look like a screaming dorito-encrusted toddler in the care of a cheap knockoff Clint Eastwood, though, it looks like a chibi version of the character:

There she is standing next to her mech! She’s got a look and pose indicative of her trademark cocksure attitude, she’s clearly an adult and not a child, she’s not sexualized in this image without being desexualized through infantilization, and it looks like her, but in that style!! 

Now, the thing is, I know it’s futile to ask racists to stop being racist, especially when they don’t agree they are being racist. They think they’re being funny, and they try to dismiss any criticisms with “it’s not that serious,” but the thing is, if it wasn’t that serious to them, why do they throw a little tantrum whenever anyone voices discomfort with it? And I mean every single time, they whine and complain and act smugly superior because they haven’t been “offended,” but the fact is that most normal fans of the game are content to roll their eyes and scroll past their unfunny meme, and they’re the ones who get all worked up whenever they find out people don’t think it’s funny. 

Which is the most important facet of Gremlin D.Va: it’s not funny! It’s boring! It feels like the kind of thing Seth Green would write in a mediocre Robot Chicken sketch that he didn’t put all that much effort into. Even if it wasn’t racist, it just doesn’t make sense that people keep pushing this unfunny joke despite the fact that the response is more groans than laughs! In fact, most people I know mock and ridicule the people who are boring enough to find it funny! 

So, that’s basically it in a nutshell. 

transcript of the speech i gave at Vassar’s black baccalaureate service

Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen, honored guests, and the Vassar class of 2017.
Just saying that aloud made me feel old. Class of 2017? Most of y'all were born after dark-skinned Aunt Viv left the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. That’s wild.

I want to first thank you for allowing me to be a part of such a special moment in your lives. I am honored, privileged, and a bit in disbelief that you asked me of all people to give this address. I try not to have feelings, and I’m going to do my best not to cry today, but no promises.

I’m here to stand in the gap between you and your parents and guardians and any other elders in your lives that you stopped listening to because you thought they were wack and out of touch. I remember being in your shoes not TOO long ago, and it is my fervent prayer that something that I say here today will help you avoid some of the mess I went through.
To be honest I’m a little nervous, but I figured there was no way could this be worse than when Betsy DeVos went down to Bethune-Cookman, so let’s get started.

As you transition to life after Vassar the changes will be both inevitable and swift, so I’d like to begin by giving you some well-intentioned advice and warning you about the continued process of becoming an adult.

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The Performative Wokeness of Dear White People

“I plan to marry me a dark-skinned sister. Have the ashiest, blackest babies possible.” Says the character of Reggie (Marques Richardson) to his group of friends as they’re taking a stroll on the campus of Winchester University, the fictional university set in the world of Dear White People. Reggie’s proclamation came during a conversation about the character of Sam’s (Logan Browning) new white boyfriend.

The statement echoes a conversation that Sam has earlier in the series with her group of friends where she says that she prefers her men like she prefers her coffee “full-bodied with preferably Keyan origins.” Prompting Muffy (Caitlin Carver) to ask Sam, in Muffy’s words, “a dumb white girl question,” why it would be racist if Muffy was to only date white men, but not racist for Sam to only date black men. Sam goes onto explain that there are parts of her identity that white men will never understand in the ways a black man could. However, Sam does eventually start dating a white guy named Gabe (John Patrick Amedori), who only after being outed on his Instagram account, does she go public with.

Sam’s relationship with a white man becomes a point of contention for many of her closest friends, sparking an ongoing discussion in the series of whether a black person can really be pro-black, while also having a white significant other.

Reggie’s politics, however, are never challenged in the same ways that Sam’s are. His declaration of love for dark-skinned women, is dead upon arrival considering that the only other thing that he is known for outside of his pro-blackness, is his crush on Sam. A light-skinned biracial woman.

Based on the 2014 movie of the same name, Dear White People is a satire set at a PWI about college campus politics through the lens of black students. The show also explores the theme of identity. How often people assume identities or have identities projected onto them that contradicts who they really are. Identities such as being“woke.”

Used to describe a person who is socially and politically conscious, the word “woke” has surged in popularity within recent years due to social media and the rise of social movements such as Black Lives Matter. But what once was a way to describe someone’s political awareness, being, or staying woke, has seemingly dissolved more into a competition of who is more educated on race and other social issues.

Performative wokeness is examined within the world of Dear White People, with episode five featuring a scene where Reggie shows off an app he created called Woke or Not. The app shows photos of students at Winchester University and with a push of a button app users can determine whether a person is woke. Or not.

Even though Dear White People pokes fun at the absurdity and arrogance that comes from people who think they have the moral authority to decide who is or isn’t woke, the show itself falls into many of the same traps that it attempts to satirize.

In an episode centered around Gabe, he’s sitting at a table surrounded by Sam and other black women while they discuss white male privilege and how women of color are often passed over for opportunities that usually end up being given to mediocre white men. While he’s silently listening on, Gabe imagines himself banging his fist against the table as he looks directly into the camera and exclaims that sometimes people actually earn the things they get and that just because he’s a white man doesn’t make him an “asshole.”

“Asshole,” of course, seems just a tad bit reductive considering that being an “asshole” in this scenario is about benefiting from a society that prioritizes average white men over hard working black women. While the narrator says that only “a tiny part” of Gabe wishes he could make such a statement, it’s still concerning that Gabe, who is supposedly enlightened on issues of racism and sexism, is secretly harboring resentment against women of color for venting their frustrations about the institutions that systematically hold them back from opportunities

Is it possible that Gabe is being used as a conduit to discuss liberal racism? After all, episode five deals with how even “good” white people can be guilty of the same racism that they like to think they’re above. But this wasn’t Gabe’s first time making racially tone deaf statements without being taken to task. In the first episode, Gabe tells Sam that he wouldn’t let his friends make her feel like she didn’t belong in his “world,” after Gabe’s first uncomfortable meeting with Sam’s friends where he made a series of half-hearted attempts at trying to relate to the struggles of black students.  

 However, the most egregious occurrence of Dear White People’s lack of self awareness about their own performative wokeness comes with their handling of discussions surrounding colorism.  

The most improved upon element from Dear White People the movie is the colorism. In the movie, the character of Coco (Teyonah Parris,) a dark-skinned black woman, existed solely as a foil to Tessa Thompson’s version of Sam, a light-skinned biracial woman. With the movie being turned into a series, we see Coco, now played by Antoinette Robertson, develop into a fleshed out, fully realized character. But even with the series upgrading on the movie’s shortcomings, even going as far as calling Sam out on her light-skin privilege, the series began developing flaws of their own in regards to its colorism.

Joelle (Ashley Blaine Featherson) outside of being Sam’s best friend, also has feelings for Reggie, the guy who has feelings for Sam. This scenario is reminiscent to a flashback scene in episode four in which Coco longingly looks on as Troy, (Brandon Bell) a guy she has feelings for, flirt with Sam. Even though in that particular situation, the scene was a part of an episode that explores Coco’s relationship to colorism and how it affects her love life, the same motivation doesn’t appear to be behind the love triangle of Sam, Joelle, and Reggie.

The fact that the only light-skinned biracial woman of the show is constantly shown as the object of affection, while the two principle dark-skinned women of the show are depicted as coveting over color struck black men who constantly overlook them for said light-skinned biracial woman is disheartening to watch.

What makes this even more disheartening, is the fact that Joelle was walking right beside Reggie, struggling to contain her smile, as he declared that he was going to “marry him a dark-skinned sister,” only later to hook up with Sam. But Joelle, nor does anyone else, call him out about how his preference doesn’t align with who we actually see him dating.

Has Dear White People found itself stuck in the same tiny confines of identity that it sought out to expose through its characters? Can the contradictions that arise within the show merely be chalked up to poor writing? Or does it prove that inconsistency will inevitably happen when trying to voice the concerns of multiple people with varying opinions? A light skin woman can not speak to the struggles of colorism that a dark skin woman faces. A white man can’t relate to the problems a black man has. And one show cannot voice the opinions of all within a community.

8 reasons why you should watch Sense8

[READ ON MEDIUM FOR A BETTER LAYOUT AND VIDEOS]

Most people probably know by now that Sense8 fans just pulled off the impossible and brought the ridiculously expensive and technical/organizational nightmare that is this show back from the death for a 2 hour special.

We believe we can get more than that, so does Lana Wachowski, creator of the show, who wrote: ‘It’s my great pleasure (…) to announce that there will be another two hour special released next year. After that… if this experience has thought me anything, you NEVER know

Netflix says it needs a bigger audience to be profitable, I’m here to fix that problem, here’s why you need to watch Sense8:

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OK guys hear me out on this but- I think that the entire TAZ world, or at least the seven red-robes are running on a constant majoras mask/refuge year long loop that resets with the earth being devoured by The Hunger, and that there is a second voidfish that (up until now) kept this a secret

There will be a tl;dr at the end

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anonymous asked:

I don't know if you've discussed this before, but what are your views on Scarlet Johanson being cast as the lead in GitS? I know lots of people believe this to be white washing, but there are divided opinions.

I’m of the firm opinion that Hollywood making a Ghost in the Shell adaptation is iffy in the first place when the original manga is so intrinsically tied to Japanese history. The manga itself was a reflection and reaction to post-war Japan’s economic dependence on technology, and a lot of its power comes from the emotional nuance that the author threaded into its story as someone who grew up in that time period. One of the primary themes of the manga is how technology blends with Eastern philosophy. The fact that Hollywood decided to grab at the monumental task of adapting this franchise without understanding the weight of it offends me as a storyteller. Even then, I might have watched it if the cyberpunk aesthetic was pretty enough.

However, in my view, proceeding to cast Scarlett Johansson as the main character is nothing short of a disgrace. In the end, that is the reason why I am choosing to not watch the film. Now, hang onto your hat, anon, this is going to be a long ride under the cut:

Keep reading

I want to talk about this whole “punching nazis” thing, which I have been thinking about for some days.

To start, let me clarify that I have no moral or ethical qualms with Richard Spencer getting punched in the face on tv. I’d be happy to see it happen again.

But I do have a couple issues with much of the dialogue that has emerged in the wake of this event.

A lot of the people suddenly talking about nazis right now are people who didn’t seem to even realize they existed in this country prior to this election.

A lot of people seem to have gotten some strange ideas about how and where nazis are typically encountered, or who they actually are.

So, I’d like to talk about some of the times in my life when I’ve encountered nazis.

Before I do that, let’s try to establish a definition. There are a lot of different stripes of fascists and white supremacists out there, with varying agendas and varying degrees of organization. In the US we’ve got many types, ranging from the KKK and Aryan Nation to various unorganized skinhead rabble to the newish group calling itself the Alt Right. It seems easiest, at least for the sake of this argument, to lump those all together under one general “nazi” category. But does that really make sense? I’ll come back to that. But for now, in most of the examples I will describe below, these were people who openly called themselves such.

Also, I want to establish a bit about who I am. I don’t like to discuss any of these things publicly, but I also feel like I kind of have to, to explain where I am coming from. So: I am Jewish, I am bi, I am neurodivergent. Due to this last thing, I have certain issues navigating the physical world. I am physically fit but not athletic. I have very little self defense training. By occupation I am a musician.

And lastly I want to point out that these examples are from 15-20 years ago and describe some of my earliest encounters with these forces to provide context. And I’m going to start with some clear cut cases:

I first became aware of the existence of modern nazis my first year in high school. This was in the suburbs of San Francisco. I had a few friends who were into punk music and culture. I heard about “white power punks” and nazi skinheads who would sometimes show up at shows. When I started going out I would see them every once in a while. When I started going up to the city, at that time there were places that were absolutely notorious for nazi skinheads. I never interacted with them, I always steered clear of them, and never really fell in with the punk scene anyway. But that’s when I first became aware that there were people in modern America who called themselves nazis and directly advocated for white supremacy.

To be honest I did not think of myself as their “target” because (in my mind, at that time) Jewish culture in the SF Bay Area was practically invisible and unlikely to be on their radar. In fact I didn’t think too deeply about who their target was. I mostly thought they were crazy people who loved violence and called themselves “nazis” because it was the meanest thing they could think of, that they were in favor of “white power” because it was so obviously wrong. At this time, there was fair amount of tension in the state around the issue of immigration from Mexico. But it did not occur to me then that there could have been any relationship between the xenophobia I saw expressed by mainstream circles in conversations about Proposition 187 and the blatant, violent white supremacy expressed by the skinheads on the periphery of local punk scenes. (also please note that I am aware that not all skinheads are nazis and that there is an anti-racist element within skinhead culture as well)

In college, in Pittsburgh, I lived on a store with a convenience store on one end. One of the people who worked in this store was a skinhead who wore a jacket covered in various white power/“rock against communism” band logos. He had a group of similar buddies that often hung around nearby, a couple of whom had aryan nation tattoos. On several occasions when I woke up in the morning I would find leaflets distributed up and down the block decrying the Holocaust as a “Jewish scam to make money”. These flyers were attributed to Church of the Creator, one of the more active neo-nazi groups in Pennsylvania at that time. Every once in a while I would cautiously engage in arguments with some people on the fringes of that crew of guys who hung out in the area. Things were sometimes tense but never got physical. Soon after 9/11 most of them disappeared. I don’t know why or where to.

While traveling alone in Slovenia, I nearly ran into a parade of about 40 skinheads chanting and marching in the street while I was on the way back to where I was staying. I do not know what specific group they were affiliated with but wore patches with the common “celtic cross” symbol used by far right/white nationalist groups all over the world. At that time, fascist graffiti covered Ljubljana.

Those are just a few of the more blatant examples from that time. These experiences were not rare. The KKK and various neo-nazi groups held public parades and rallies all throughout this period, and sometimes showed up as counter protestors or forces of violence at protests for progressive causes. They marched through downtown Pittsburgh - with the local government’s blessing - and many other cities in that region.

There were protestors at those marches, and there were people who fought the nazis directly, but the general consensus in mainstream liberal circles at that time seemed to be that nazis had the right to march just like anyone else, that any violence against them would be bad. It certainly wasn’t at all common to hear college educated, NY Times-reading liberals talking about the glories of “punching nazis”. This is a problematic but very complicated phenomenon: they were to be tolerated up until the point at which they’ve come into power.

But let me explain why _I_ didn’t go around punching the nazis I saw, during those times when I encountered them personally. To some extent, part of me did follow that logic mentioned above, but that’s not the real reason. The real reason is pretty simple: most nazis are a lot better at fighting than I am, they do it more frequently, they usually travel in numbers, they are often armed, and in almost every circumstance when I’ve encountered them the odds would not have been remotely in my favor had things gotten physical.

Richard Spencer was alone and unarmed standing in front of a video camera busily talking about an internet meme while he was sucker punched. This occurred in broad daylight in a very crowded, open area with a ton of media and police present. While I applaud the anonymous puncher for seizing upon that opportunity, that’s not really a typical situation in which one encounters nazis.

Recently, Richard Spencer posted a video in reaction to this incident. In this video he mentions that the Alt Right will not succeed if they are unable to be who they are in public. I’ve seen a lot of people pointing to this video as a sign of victory over the Alt Right, a sign that they are scared. I think the latter half is true but not the former. What Spencer is saying is that they are going to ramp up security. And I would anticipate that these people will begin to receive even more protection from the current administration.

So, this is one conclusion I’d like to leave here - in most cases “punching nazis” means getting involved in serious physical violence in which your life will be at risk. And that risk is only going to increase in the future. Fantasizing about punching some idiot talking about a frog on tv is fun, but I think it ignores the realities that many have faced and many more are about to face. And while many of us have disabilities that hinder us in this department, I think it would behoove anyone who is serious about getting physical with fascists to study and learn how to do so before getting involved in a situation you are unprepared for. I would also think long and hard before making that demand of anyone else. But that’s not the most important point.

I’d like to circle back to talking about definitions. The examples I gave above are obvious. These were people who, in almost all cases, were openly wearing the actual logos of white supremacist organizations. So let me bring up a different example:

About one year after 9/11 I was in Budapest, taking an overnight train to Amsterdam. I had a spot in a sleeper compartment on a train. I got on and a couple other passengers came in. One of them was a young guy, a little older than me (I was in my early 20’s at this time). He spoke English very well and we got to talking. It turned out he was an Austrian who worked in finance. Middle management at a major bank. He bought us a couple of beers and we were getting along. Inevitably, the topic of 9/11 came up. Seemingly out of nowhere, he explains to me how “there were no Jews in the building that day”. He then goes on to explain how 9/11 and the entire War on Terror that was then unfolding was all a Jewish plot to direct money to Israel’s armed forces. And hinted that the Holocaust was a similar plot. I tried to argue with him for a bit (without letting on that I was Jewish) but it was nearly impossible to get through to him, and he soon became surly and then passed out. I tried to do the same. But what caught my attention was that this man was well spoken, dressed conservatively, he looked every bit the upper middle class finance professional. It was difficult to imagine him in a street fight. No one would have described this person as being on the fringes of his society.

Up until a year ago, if I told this story to a European, or to an American person of color, they were unsurprised. But if I told it to a white American their reaction would usually be “yeah, well, that’s Europe for you”.

But that’s never been the case.

One common narrative is that many of the groups of fascists have figured out that they aren’t going to get very far if they are seen just thugs who march around on the street wearing in leather jackets getting in scraps. many of them have figured this out some time ago, and have been infiltrating mainstream education and corporate life. And yes, that is happening.

But there is a big problem with that narrative: it ignores the fact that many of America’s institutions and businesses are, themselves, organizations that promote white supremacy. Many of our banks, many of our police departments, our prison system, much of our media. Does these mean they are all “nazis”? Not really. But what it does mean is that white supremacy is not some outside force that just suddenly popped out of Steve Bannon’s suitcase. It’s been here for a long time. It is deeply engrained in our society. Fascism is not some new danger that we suddenly need to prevent from being “normalized” - for much of America, fascism has been the norm for a very long time.

Here’s my point with all of this: sooner or later, Trump will be defeated. This regime is monstrous, but I have seen the power and anger and sheer volume of opposition to it, and I do not think that this regime will last. My worry is, once this most obvious of enemies is defeated, the liberal establishment will go right back to completely forgetting that white supremacy and fascism are a major problem in this country. The sad fact is, even when Democrats in power, even when the POTUS is the most progressive sounding person electable, the nazis are still here, white supremacy is still here, fascism is still here. And not always on “the other side”. We need to remember that, we need to keep pointing to them and ostracizing them and speaking out against white supremacy and fascism even when it looks like things are more comfortable, because that comfort is a trap.

LISTEN UP TUMBLR, THINGS NEED TO BE SET STRAIGHT.

In light of my post trying to spread some harmless positivity towards white, straight, and male groups, and the hate I’m getting over it, I feel this needs to be said.

EVERYONE HAS PROBLEMS. YOUR RACE, YOUR GENDER, AND YOUR SEXUALITY DOES NOT MAKE YOUR PROBLEMS ANY LESS THAN SOMEONE ELSE WHO HAS DIFFERENT RACE, GENDER AND SEXUALITY.

  • WHITES HAVE EVERY RIGHT TO BE PROUD OF THEMSELVES AND THEIR CULTURE AS MUCH AS NON-WHITES
  • STRAIGHTS HAVE EVERY RIGHT TO HAVE PRIDE AS NON-STRAIGHTS.
  • MEN HAVE JUST AS MANY RIGHTS AS WOMEN.

If you’ve caught yourself saying any of the following, please reconsider your life choices:

  • “All white/straight/male people should die.”
  • “Women deserve equal rights!” “Oh but she shouldn’t be punished so harshly for x crime because she’s not a man.”
  • “Men can’t be raped/women can’t be racist.”
  • “Black people/non-white people can’t be racist.” “You can’t be racist to white people.”
  • “You can’t be sexist to men.”
  • “Straight people don’t matter.”
  • “Your opinion doesn’t matter because you’re white/straight/a male”

If you have said any of these things, I hate to break it to you buddy, but you’re either Racist, Sexist/Misogynist, or Heterophobic (for lack of a better word). 

Lets stop this toxic mind set. Equality is not thinking this way about anyone.

  • “I hate black people” VS “I hate white people.”
  • “I hate gay people” VS “I hate straight people.”
  • “I hate men” VS “I hate women.”

THEY ARE THE SAME FUCKING THING. ONE THING IS NOT OKAY TO SAY AND THE OTHER NOT OKAY TO SAY. THEY ARE BOTH NOT OKAY TO SAY. YOU SHOULDN’T SAY THIS AT ALL. PERIOD.

  • Don’t shit on people for spreading black/non-white positivity
  • Don’t shit on people for spreading gay/non-straight positivity
  • Don’t shit on people for spreading female positivity

BUT ALSO DON’T

  • Don’t shit on people for spreading white positivity
  • Don’t shit on people for spreading straight positivity
  • Don’t shit on people for spreading male positivity

There is no excuse for this toxic behavior. If you can’t grasp that NONE of this is okay, then you have a serious problem. 

You are the problem.

It’s not that fucking hard to learn how to be nice to each other. You wanna be equal? Start by stopping hate based on these things.

And one last note, I don’t care who they are, or what they’ve said. Under no circumstances is it ever okay to tell someone to kill themselves for voicing an opinion. IT IS NEVER OKAY TO TELL ANOTHER LIVING BREATHING HUMAN BEING TO GO KILL THEMSELVES OR TO MAKE DEATH THREATS TO THEM JUST BECAUSE YOU DO NOT AGREE WITH THEM.

Wake the fuck up.

AND A DISCLAIMER: THIS IS NOT MEANT TO PUT ANYONE DOWN. IF YOU FIND YOURSELF OFFENDED BY IT, RETHINK YOUR OFFENCE AND TRY AGAIN. IF ANYTHING THIS IS TO EDUCATE PEOPLE.

anonymous asked:

I get that Millennials aren't perfect or absolved of the issues that Boomers have, but shouldn't Boomers tale the brunt of the blame seeing as they are the ones with all the powers in government right now and make up most of the work force? And if there are issues in the Millennial generation, well, who raised us?

Look, I’ve got a long-standing beef with Millennial v. Boomer discourse that I could spend a few hours on, but lemme try to sum it up briefly. 

Many of the modern economic problems that affect many Millennials that are often blamed on Baby Boomers (unemployment/underemployment, soaring costs of education, loan debt, comparative lack of opportunities, poverty, etc. etc.) started well before our generation came of age. Most of these same economic issues fucked up Generation X before us, but because they were a smaller generation, people didn’t hear about it as much. And most of these problems grew directly from right-wing political and economic policies that began in the Reagan presidency in the 1980s, before the Boomers were in political ascendancy. (Yes, there were a few young Boomers in Reagan’s administration, but the leading neocons/neoliberals, using the actual meaning of the term, not the tumblr left’s version of it, who led the move rightward were older.) Boomers, by virtue of their age, enjoyed the unique benefits of the post-War (1945-1980) economy and many managed to escape the worst effects of the Reagan Era cuts, but not all did equally (see below.) And many of them, personally, are total clueless assholes about how unique their experience was. I have Boomer parents born in the early 50s, so like I know.  But one of the biggest problems I have with Millennial/Boomer discourse is that it de-politicizes and de-contextualizes important social/political/economic shifts that were the direct result of Republican policies. It reduces it all to just a generational conflict in which one selfish group of people just didn’t want to share their toys with their kids. And even if you accept the idea that one generation can personally screw over another via political means, the idea that Boomers would target their own children specifically is particularly odd. Though I’ll also point out that the “who raised us” issue is more complex, as the Boomer generation ends in 1964, and quite a lot of people born in the 90s who could still be considered Millennials, have parents born after that. 

As for the idea that Boomers make up the majority of the workforce, actually Millennials are now the largest segment of the workforce, slightly ahead of Gen X, with Boomers well behind. The oldest boomers are 71 now, and the youngest are 53. A lot of the oldest ones have retired and the younger ones are on their way there. X  As for having “all the powers in government” that’s a pretty hard thing to quantify. Trump and many of his key advisers are Boomers, but there are a number of GenX and Millennials too. Which is why I get annoyed at the idea that Millennials are somehow innately more compassionate and kind than older generations, because not really. Millennials overall are more democratic/left leaning than older voters, but Trump still won among white millennials.  Many baby boomers, too, were very liberal in their youth, and became more conservative with age, especially the white ones. It’s a pretty common thing to happen. It’s not as if that fate is going to magically spare our generation, so most of this discourse is not going to age well.

Which brings me to the other issue, that you can legitimately talk about Millennials and Baby Boomers as distinct groups with similar characteristics and experiences. Most of this discourse is highly race and class based but people don’t seem to acknowledge that. It’s focused around the experiences of middle to upper class white boomers and their kids, who presumably don’t have it as easy. And in many cases, this is probably true. Though if you’ve read any financial news in the last few years, they’ve been talking a lot about the huge amount of “wealth transfer” that has started from well-off Boomers to their kids. But for many other Boomers, this wealth never materialized. Plenty of people never had access to it thanks to their race or immigrant status. So the idea that one generation “owns everything” or needs to “take the blame” blurs the fact that within any generation there are huge differences in wealth and access to power.

Basically millennial/boomer discourse is ahistorical, apolitical, and focused on the experiences and expectations of middle class white kids, and that’s why I’m not here for it.

To the good cis/white/hetero/male people who are treated poorly for things they cannot control...

Dear cis people,
I know a lot of you are scared to approach trans people or feel guilty for being yourself because there is a lot of hate towards cis people going around. I’m here to tell you that you are special, important, and not all of us are against you. I, and many others, are on your side.

Dear white people,
I know a lot of you are sick of being shut down or feeling like you don’t haveva right to stand up for yourself. I can only imagine what it must be like to experience prejudice but be told you’re racist for standing up for yourself. I’m here to tell you that you are special, important, and not all of us are against you. If anyone is racist towards you and you feel you can’t stand up for yourself, you can call on me and I will defend you.

Dear straight people,
I know if must suck to be stereotyped and have your orientation made out to be inferior. Your allyship to the LGBT community is not a waste and we could never have gotten where we are now without you. I’m here to tell you that you are special, important, and not all of us are against you. Your relationships are just as sweet, healthy, and important as gay people’s are and you deserve the same respect.

Dear men,
You are not inferior, bad, or oppressive. Your existence does not harm anyone and I know you have issues just like everyone else. It’s unfair for you to be silenced and stereotyped just because of your gender, something you cannot control and I am very sorry you face that. I’m here to tell you that you are special, important, and not all of us are against you. It’s okay to be yourself, speak your mind, and enjoy your life. Don’t let anyone take that away from you and don’t let people get you down.


Groups who advocate for equality and putting an end to prejudice should be the last ones spreading hate yet it’s become a huge issue in the last few years and the tables have flipped. Those who claimed oppression are now oppressing and it’s unfair. We aren’t all like this. A lot of us love and support others no matter who they are or how they are. We want true equality for EVERYONE and that means white people, cis people, heterosexuals, and men are part of the plan as well.

Mixed Black African Girl (Cameroonian/French)

I’m a mixed black african girl who grew up and lived most of her life in Cameroon, in Central Africa. My dad is half-white (french) and half-black (cameroonian), and my mom is 100% cameroonian. There’s little to no black african characters in popular fiction, which has always bothered me, and it would be so nice to read about someone like me for once.

  • Culture and food

Cameroon is a country created during colonization, with borders defined by europeans. Because of that, Cameroon is actually made of 200 ethnic groups, each of them having their own language and culture. So the culture and daily habits vary a lot depending on which region of Cameroon you are in. In the big cities, though, everyone is mingled no matter where they’re from. However, so many different ethnic groups cohabiting together often causes tension. There are also a lot of stereotypes about every ethnic group.

I grew up in the central and coastal areas of the country, and I’m Bassa. The Bassa are one of the main ethnic groups in Cameroon. If your parents are from two different ethnic groups, it is decided that you officially belong to your father’s ethnic group. My mother is Bakoko but my father is Bassa, so I’m the latter. When I meet another Cameroonian, two of the first questions we usually ask each other are : What are you (meaning, what’s your ethnic group) ? and Where is you village ?

Villages are very important in the Cameroonian culture. Your village is where your father’s ancestors were born. Even if you’re not born there, you usually have grandparents or great-uncles or family friends living there, and if you have enough money to do so you must regularly visit your village. And usually, when people earn enough money, they send money to their village so that people living there can have a better life, build more houses and schools etc.

Cameroonian food is very diverse, and varies depending on the region. The national dish is Ndolé, a dish made with ndolé leaves, stewed nuts, and meat (fish, beef or shrimps). Other common foods are bobolo and miondo (food made out of fermented manioc), soya (spicy grilled meat on skewers), and plantain. My dad is half-french though, so at home we eat almost as much french food as cameroonian food (crème brûlée, shepherd’s pie, beef bourguignon, A LOT of bread and cheese).

  • Language

There are hundreds of different languages, but the official languages are French and English. Cameroon was colonized by France and England so Northern Cameroon mainly speaks english and central/southern Cameroon mainly speaks french. Most people also speak their ethnic group’s language. I don’t know how to speak Bassa, though, because neither do my parents. When me and my siblings were kids, our dad asked our baby-sitter to teach us, but she could only do so much and I only remember a few words.

  • Beauty Standards

Like most countries, there is a lot of colorism in Cameroon based on European beauty standards. When you’re a woman, the lighter you are, the prettier and more desirable you are considered. Dark skinned women are often mocked and considered not as pretty. A lot of people, mainly women but also men, use dangerous products to lighten their skin. Internalized racism and white beauty standards are very insidious, and a lot of people want to look like white people, including me when I was younger. As a kid I remember wishing i was a pretty blonde-haired blue-eyed white girl like the heroines of the books i was reading. Growing up I stopped wishing that, but I relaxed and straightened my hair a lot, wanting to have long straight hair without realizing that it was still an attempt to look like the ideal version of a white girl. I’m sure that if I had more black female characters to relate to when I was growing up, I wouldn’t have spend so many years hating myself without even realizing I was doing it.

Also, Cameroonians usually consider thick, curvy women to be the ideal beauty standard. But being thin is still an ideal broadcast by the media (especially that american and european media are heavily broadcast and consumed in Cameroon) so most women still diet a lot and go to the gym to lose weight.

  • Clothing

Women wear a lot of skirts and dresses, be it casual or for work. Most cameroonian schools have uniforms and mandatory hairstyles (either cornrows or short shaved hair).

Elderly people often wear more traditional clothes and outfits. The most prominent traditional item of clothing is the Kaba. The Kaba is a long dress made of wax fabric and other materials and is owned by pretty much every woman. The dress looks different depending on the situation : the Kaba you wear when you stay at home is usually very long and very loose, the Kaba you wear during official/formal events is more tight-fitting and stylized, etc.

  • Dating and Relationships

I’ve never dated anyone, but when I was in high school none of my friends ever told their parents they were seeing someone. Having your parents know about and meet the person you’re dating after only a few weeks or months is something that just doesn’t happen (unless someone gets pregnant). It’s when things get serious that you introduce them to your family. Also, a lot of parents would prefer their children to marry someone from the same ethnic group.

Homosexuality is still illegal there, and you can go to jail for being gay.

  • Home/Family life

My parents are still happily married, and I have 3 siblings. My parents are both close to their siblings, and I’m close to mine. Me and my siblings grew up with our cousins, we were always at each other’s houses. I pretty much consider most of my cousins as extra siblings. We have a very big extended family and every day I discover new distant cousins, aunts, great-uncles etc. My dad being half-french, when I was growing up we sometimes went to France during summer to visit his relatives living there.

In Cameroon, most people who have enough money to do so send their children to study abroad once they’ve graduated high school. I’m currently living in France for my studies, and most of my high school friends are also going to college in France, England, Canada, Brussels, South Africa etc.

  • Identity issues

Despite being only ¼ white, I’m very light-skinned. My siblings being much darker skinned, when I was a kid I thought I was adopted (i’m not, it’s just genetics). Cameroon being a black country, when someone is visibly mixed and light-skinned as i am, most people just label them “white”. A lot of people would refer to me as “the white” and it always really hurt me. My family wouldn’t understand why i was so angry and hurt, they’d say “they don’t mean anything by it, it’s just that you’re light” but the fact is it made me feel like i don’t belong. I’m cameroonian, i’ve lived in Cameroon almost my entire life, i’m black, and still some people see me as “other”, they see me as white. And so for a long time, I didn’t dare to call myself black, I’d say “I’m biracial” or “I’m mixed” instead because I somehow felt like a fraud. But I’m black and not white-passing at all, and I still experience racism abroad (but I’m aware I have a lot more privilege than dark skinned people).

  • Daily struggles

So I’m currently living in France. On one hand, sometimes white people are racist toward me, or just totally obnoxious and ignorant, trying to touch my natural hair and thinking that people in Cameroon don’t have computers or whatever. On the other hand, when I randomly meet other cameroonians and we start talking, they always assume that because i’m mixed i’ve lived my entire life in France and i don’t know anything about Cameroon. And there’s nothing wrong with being a child of immigrants and not knowing the country your parents or grandparents came from, but i know that if i wasn’t visibly mixed they wouldn’t question the fact that i know Cameroon and lived there my entire life.

  • Misconceptions

Because of how the media depict African countries, a lot of people think that everyone in Africa is extremely poor and starving, that we don’t have electricity and internet and that everyone lives in huts. Which is so false. We have rich people and poor people, we have huge modern cities and regular cities and small villages with huts, almost everyone has access to a tv and internet, etc.

  • Things I’d like to see less of

Cameroon and other african countries being depicted as poor unfortunate countries where everyone is starving and illiterate and waiting for the generous white people to save us. What we need is for people to see us as the humans we are, and to allow us to grow in peace.

  • Things I’d like to see more of

Black african characters being written as the complex human beings we are. Shy black african characters. Nerdy and hella smart black african characters. Mixed black african characters who struggle with their identity. LGBTQ black african characters.

  • Tropes/Stereotypes I’m tired of seeing.

The “savage”, “uncivilized” african. African characters who are aggressive, dumb and shout all the time. The poor africans in need of saving by white people.

Read more POC Profiles here or submit your own.

Tumblr Needs To Chill: Let People Like Hamilton!

I’m so tired of seeing people being so rude to the Hamilton fandom. Especially when the Hamilton fandom are just minding their own business. For example, I’ll be scrolling and see a post sharing interesting or funny facts about the founding fathers. And there is always a guarantee that someone will hijack that post or send anon messages like, “The founding fathers were slave owners, so you’re a terrible human being for liking Hamilton or American History.” 

And you know what? I’ve had it. I have several responses to these accusations.

  • “The founding fathers were slave owners and you keep ignoring that.”

Let’s get the big one out of the way. Most of the founding fathers were slave owners. No one is denying or defending that. However, most of the fandom (and people who study American History) generally think ‘”That’s really disappointing to know… I wish things were different. America would have been a better place if these important figures were abolitionists.” But after that, they continue on to study more about the good and bad in history. That horrific part of history will always be there. And that will never change. BUT. BUT BUT BUT BUT BUT! Just because we don’t talk about it all the live long day does not mean we don’t acknowledge it. WE. KNOW.

However, there are so many amazing things the founding fathers did that can not be ignored. Like it or not, all of these people played an important part in creating a whole country basically from scratch. We don’t ignore the fact that they owned slaves, but we also don’t ignore the great things they’ve done to create a new nation either. Both are huge factors in our history. And we acknowledge both. 

We don’t see them as gods with no flaws. We see the founding fathers as they were. Real people, with real complex personalities and issues. They were right about a lot of things. And horribly wrong about others. They both did great and terrible things. Does the good justify the bad? Of course not! Everyone knows that! But just because people focus on the positive does not mean we diminish or ignore the negative! WE. KNOW. Okay, next!

“The musical glorifies slave owners!!! The show is racist and you’re racist if you like it!”

Did you watch the same musical as I did? Because in the show, Hamilton hated Jefferson because Jefferson owned slaves. They don’t ignore the issue or diminish it by pretending it never happened. Rather, they show that it was a thing and not every one supported it. However, they show the complex situations regarding slavery at the time. For example, it was mentioned in the beginning that Hamilton started career as a trading charter… which included ships with slaves from time to time. That’s messed up. What’s worse is that Hamilton was a poor 14 year old kid with no family and no way to support himself at the time. If he wasn’t given the job, he would have starved and died in the Caribbean. It would have been a horrifying job for an adult, but he was still a child. A child who seen the horrors of slavery with his own eyes. That’s terrible! But seeing those acts started his abolitionist worldview from an early age. They present in the opening song the complex childhood he had and you see how that influenced Hamilton when he fights against Jefferson later in life. And from the “Cabinet Battle 1″ song you can see that he is against slavery. Just because it’s not the main focus of the show, that doesn’t mean the issue is completely ignored. And if you want a more bold example, let’s talk about John Laurens.

*ahem*

JOHN LAURENS IN REAL LIFE AND IN THE SHOW WAS A WHITE GUY THAT PUBLICLY STOOD AGAINST SLAVERY. That’s one of the major focuses on his character! He has an entire verse in the second song the show about wanting to free slaves and mentions this goal multiple times within the show! And when he *spoilers* dies in the show, it’s treated as a huge tragedy because his dream of freeing the black troops died with him. It’s treated as a horrible tragedy.  And it was that event that caused Hamilton to kick start his political career because his best friend failed to accomplish that goal.  And after this event, Hamilton is way more vocal about the issue in the second act. He was NOT a slave owner and acted as a voice against the horrible common practice of his time. If the show did not have Laurens as a strong voice against slavery or if they had written him out of the show, then okay. I can kind of see the anger. But Laurens acts as a modern voice to those times. So stop treating every character as a racist when the show CLEARLY PLACES HISTORICAL CHARACTERS WHO WERE AGAINST SLAVERY IN THE FOREFRONT OF THE SHOW! 

And George Washington? If you watch any clip of the finale, when Eliza mentions how she fought against slavery, look at George. He hangs his head low and backs away ashamed. Because Washington could have done more. That’s. The. Point. The show never ignores the fact that slavery was an issue of their time. And they strongly say in the end that these people could have done more for those people! If the show really glorified slave owners they would have left out the complex aspects of Hamilton’s childhood from the show, completely taken out all mentions of slavery from the get go (or written Laurens out of the story), or deny that the founding fathers owned slaves within the show itself. But they acknowledge it and mention multiple times that slavery is a bad thing and the show presents itself in a sorrowful “we wish things were different” way.

Speaking of the show… apparently Hamilton the Musical as a whole is considered racist to some people. How? The show is the only one I can think of that stood for including many different kinds of ethnicities in one production. Seriously. I’ve never seen a show that is so inclusive of all actors from all ethnicities for the entire cast! Hamilton gave all kinds of actors a chance to be included. The show celebrates the creation of America by including a viewpoint of what America looks like today. How is that racist?

Is it because black people are playing slave owners? If that’s the case, then the point went completely over your head, my friend! Anyone could have played Jefferson. Anyone. So why isn’t Jefferson played by a white guy? Because, that is too common in modern media. There are soooo many movies about slavery that has the owner as a white guy, because yes, that’s what happened. Now, while this is historically accurate, there has been so many slavery stories in media that upon repeated viewings, the meaning of the message risks losing impact because today’s audience is so used to seeing the white guy owning the black guy. 

HOWEVER, when we see the black guy owning someone of the same ethnicity, it visually solidifies the anti-slavery message in a new and impactful way. The whole point is when you see a black man playing Jefferson, you’re supposed to feel a disconnect. Jefferson owned slaves. But we see him as a black man being a slave owner. We are supposed to feel uncomfortable because we see that they are the same. The same. As in, THE SAME HUMAN RACE. By showing how ridiculous it is for a black man to own someone from his own ethnicity, we are given a new strong visualization of why slavery shouldn’t have happened in a way that has never been done before in recent year.
In other words, IT’S VISUAL SYMBOLISM THAT SLAVERY IS WRONG BECAUSE WE ARE ALL HUMAN BEINGS! 

Also, how are people who like Hamilton racist? The Hamilton fandom has been so accepting of the diversity in the cast, it’s is mind blowing. I’ve seen people get angry because a black woman played Eponine in Les Mis. Or that a latino man portrayed The Phantom in an Andrew Lloyd Webber concert. But Hamilton? With every change to the cast, the fandom have been so supportive of diversity, regardless of who plays who. The show accepts anyone and everyone from every ethnicity and I fail to think of one other show that uses so much diversity. Hamilton has been accepted and celebrated by the majority of viewers because of this. And the fandom does wonders in showing broadway that diversity is something that should not be ignored, but celebrated.

“You’re advocating slavery by liking this show.”

That doesn’t make any sense. The actors don’t own slaves. Lin-Manuel Miranda doesn’t own slaves. There is no part in the show where someone tells someone that people should be slave owners. Most people who like Hamilton and American History do not fantasize about owning other people. Slavery is in the long distant past for most of the modern world! THANK GOD.

Again, most people who like American History or Hamilton are well aware of the good and the bad these people inhibited. They don’t deny the awful things these real people did, but they don’t ignore the good acts either. The founding fathers were real people. We don’t advocate everything they did. And we don’t treat them like perfect beings. The end.

“This actor supports an organization I don’t support, so they are evil and any show that uses them are evil too!”

I see this mindset all over Tumblr all the time. However, I’m starting to see it circulate within the same circles who keep harassing the Hamilton fandom.  So forgive me for the tangent, but this needs to be addressed as well.

Here’s a hypothetical situation. You have a friend. A close friend. One that has been with you through thick and think over many years. And you just find out that they support an organization that you don’t. Do you cut off that friendship because of that one fact? Most people wouldn’t, because that friendship is too important to them to risk losing.

This should apply to the things you like. When you like a show, movie, an actor, a writer, or anything- there is always going to be something about that thing that people or even yourself will not like. It is literally impossible to have someone who will have the exact same mindset as you. But everyone has a personal reason why they support or advocate something. It is not up to you to change that. Now, people’s opinions can change, and you can help shape other people… but most of the time, they will continue to live their own lives beyond your control. You can never really know someone inside and out. Don’t drop people just because you have a different viewpoint.

This applies to actors too. People are saying Lin is a horrible person because he donated to Autism Speaks. So was it a huge campaign? Did he ever say that Autism Speaks is the cure for Autism? Did he try to rally a bunch of people to donate to this organization? Actually no. He made one tweet talking about how he donated for a friend’s cause. And people fail to mention that this tweet was made over four years ago. That’s right. These people are using one tweet from OVER FOUR YEARS AGO as justification to harass an entire fandom. If you actually read the tweet, the post was more about supporting his friend than the organization itself. A lot of people donate to organizations for a friend’s need without really reading into the organization itself. You do realize that people can be unaware about these corporations, right? For crying out loud, my mom just learned the truth about PETA. And people are still acting like he’s a spokesman for Autism Speaks. Which obviously he’s not. He made one post from four years ago. Four years is a long time and people tend to change opinions in that span of time. Has he made another post about Autism Speaks? No. It’s just that one post, so it was most likely a one and done deal to support his friend.  That’s hardly something to hold an eternal grudge over. Especially since it happened OVER FOUR YEARS AGO and he hasn’t made another post about it since!

The other reason why people hate Lin is because he used the N word once and “didn’t apologize.” Yet what people don’t reveal is he was quoting David Diggs for the Hamiltome audiobook. He was quoting David Diggs, the black actor who played Jefferson. It was a direct quote and Lin read it word for word as directed for the audio book. That’s it. It’s not like he uses the N word as a derogatory term in daily life. It was a one and done deal for a direct quote in an audiobook. There’s a difference between saying something out of your own accord and quoting someone, especially for an audiobook. Yes the quote was censored in the book, but when you have an audio book, it’s hard to edit a quote without an audio or visual context. In situations like this, the reader has to go by what the director wants. It’s not their choice what’s written or what they should say instead. They just read what’s given to them. That’s the job!  If anything, y’all should have been mad that the director didn’t add a *beep* noise in the editing room. 

What annoys me about the whole thing is that it takes one person to post something with exaggerated or misinformed content. And with Tumblr’s already “walking on eggshells” and “one strike, you’re out” mentality, it is ridiculously easy to get people to blindly hate, when most of those people won’t even check to see if that information is true! Or if it’s in the right context. People in general need to do their own research before spreading exaggerated or falsified information. It literally took me two minutes to look all this up. Do your own research before jumping to conclusions.

Getting back on track. My main point is this. With very very few exceptions, people (living or dead) are not gods or devils and shouldn’t be treated as such. They are humans with their own complicated problems that result in their own individual opinions and thought processes. We are not ignorant of the negative just because we enjoy the positive. We know people are going to make mistakes.They have made mistakes! They are going to do things you will not like. This is a fact that will never change no matter what. However, you can still like the positive things they do or did! It is not a crime to enjoy the positives of someone. That doesn’t mean you’re ignoring the negative. Appreciating a famous person (past or present) does NOT mean you support everything they do. So please just leave people alone!

In conclusion, American History enthusiasts and Hamilton the Musical fans
DO NOT advocate everything that our founding fathers did. 

SO LET PEOPLE ENJOY RAPPING MUSICALS!

OKAY? 

OKAY.