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

the reason why publications like the NYT put out these weird profile pieces on white supremacists and drone on and on about how they are just “regular run of the mill average” people is because it’s actually fascinating to these always-white and always-liberal journalists that these nazis can be so shockingly like them. they’re obsessed with why people who are so similar to them in every way (i.e. middle class, well-educated, typical household-of-america) would choose to promote so much violence against racialized people. 

every one of those articles scream “i’m not like this…so why are you?” because these pretentious, clueless Ivy league brats are so befuddled why white people so identical to them could be so hateful. 

it’s never surprising to anyone living a life of marginalization that the nazi next door likes typical shit like Friends or onion rings but these journalists obsess over it. their assumption is always that nazis and white supremacists and racists are these clear-cut monsters that they have nothing in common with, and their main concern is the ability to feel safe about being different from them. 

no matter how educated they are, white people literally cannot fathom white supremacy as a constant, everlasting component in the organizational fibre of eurocentric societies – it’s always “fringe” or some other distant ideology they have nothing to do with – “those guys over there are the problem” 

so when they’re confronted with this truth that, actually, white supremacists have always been their uncles, husbands, girlfriends and cousins, it feels like a 100% novel discovery to them and that’s why they write those fucking essays about Nate the white supremacist like they’ve just unearthed some new and riveting truth about humankind 

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.

i rotated and traced the picture of lances family because there was a bunch of talk about his ethnicity and name this morning so here they are. bless our mixed race baby

edit: ok so this found it’s way round tumblr and I realised I had worded this really badly. Personally, I believe Lance is 100% Cuban, with different coloured latinix family. From a northern european perspective, trying to use american casual language regarding this can be hard - just the word “race” is equivocal, and not something we’d use. It helps to understand that we do not “divide” people after their skincolour so much as “from here” vs “not from here”. What I consider white is not what americans consider white and I have realized this because people like Mila Kunis and Ariana Grande that have both dark eyes and dark hair are not white in my mind or would be consider as such here, but they definitiely are considered such in the us - because they have light skin. (I’m sure there is great essays about xenophobia in europe if you want to look into it but right now I’m just stating facts) I never meant to imply that Lance was anything but cuban or latino or that cubans can’t be light and/or dark skinned. It was my honest mistake when I called him biracial, because I figured with both light skinned and darker skinned parents that was what he WOULD be considered from an american perspective. Believe me when I say (just look at my “requirements”) I have not for one second thought or claimed he was white.I want to apologize to whoever was hurt by this misunderstanding.

However I also got some messages from people of mixed ethnicity that was hurt by other peoples anger at anything other than a “pure blooded” cuban Lance since it felt like their mixed identity was looked down on as less than “a real cuban”, and that is also a valid point. People immigrate and emigrate from and to all places of the world and denying the existence of mixed people/kids are also not a good thing, especially since they’re already exposed to other-ing from their communities in the real world. Though it’s not my own headcanon I think you are free to envision these people however you want.

philomathornot  asked:

Wil, I'm a white guy, you're a white guy, how do we help people understand not all white guys are dirtbags? How do we stop other white guys from being such dirtbags? Where can we make a space to educate our fellow white guys about how they are hurting others and themselves by being such dirtbags?

Step one: listen to women, especially women of color.

Step two: listen to non-white people when they tell us how white people screw up.

Step three: act on the things we learn when we listen.

Step four: NEVER NEVER NEVER just go along with some white person who is being a shitty garbage human because you don’t want to rock the boat. Call that shit out, and make sure they know that you won’t just stand there silently while they are racist, bigoted, homophobic, transphobic, misogynist, etc. 

Step five: I’m serious about step four. These fuckholes feel empowered and protected by the silent and implied consent of other white people. Do not ever give them comfort or the feeling that they have a safe space to be racist, etc.

Step six: yeah yeah yeah free speech. That’s not the same as speech without consequences.

Step seven: Seriously, step four. You have to speak up, because when you don’t, you’re putting the burden of standing up to horrible white people on the very people they hurt and oppress. 

I’d love to hear from anyone else, especially nonwhite people, who have other things to teach me and my fellow white people.

Ko-Fi comm for @hydrachea (2/2): Doodles of Takenaka and Ritsu

I think some of my hcs for Takenaka surfaced in this one - well, the hc about him being into books has already been in place last time I drew him, but the one about him zoning out and being good at hiding it just came up. the thing about him being a beta reader for Ritsu stems from the book hc (this is probably months after the end of the series, when the whole deal with Tsubomi has blown over. Ritsu absolutely does not trust Takenaka when they first met)

Thank you for the commission, had a really good time drawing this!! 

Ko-Fi Commission Info

Todrick Hall speaks out about Taylor Swift video backlash

Yahoo Music: So when some people saw you dancing in “Look What You Made Me Do,” they were not pleased, to put it mildly. What exactly happened?

Todrick Hall: They saw a clip, just a few seconds, that featured Taylor Swift standing in a line of dancers, and they started forming all types of conclusions. I was just very confused by that, because I knew that there was nothing “Formation”-esque or Lemonade-esque about the video. Artistically, I didn’t feel that was the case. I’m a humongous Beyoncé fan. I’ve worked with Beyoncé. I’ve choreographed for Beyoncé. And I would never intentionally be a part of art that I felt was ripping off my favorite artist of all time. But I felt like these were two completely different lanes.

“Sellout” was one of the common names you were called.

Yes, one of the main things that people said was, “He wanted to make his money. Well, good for him, he got paid. And I guess payment is enough for you to sell out your family, your people, your community.” But this had nothing to do with money. I didn’t do this Taylor Swift video for money. I did it because she’s my friend, and she was very excited about it. And she wanted people to be there who she could trust, because it was a very big undertaking. I was proud to be there, but money was not a factor for me. I don’t do things for money.

But there are people online who have a problem with the fact in general that you and Taylor are friends?

Yes, I have gotten comments from people who are upset and have literally said the fact that I am friends with a white person is a problem, because white people don’t possess the ability to love or ever truly care about black people. And I find that very disheartening. I’ve grown up in a neighborhood where I went to church with and lived with and went to school with beautiful black people; when I look at them, I see myself. But then I was also in a peculiar situation, because I danced in a dance group where I was the only black person in the dance studio. In some cases, I was the only black cheerleader in my school. I did theater where I was the only black person, the “token black person.” And working at Disney, oftentimes I was the only black person in the show at Disney World or Disneyland on any given day. And I also did tours where I was the only black singer; I did a cruise ship where I was the only black person in the cast. So I’ve been used to being in situations where I’ve had to find friendships and find love and find similarities. My whole brand, everything that I stand for and everything I’ve always stood for, is equality and love. So it’s just really difficult for me to understand why it is an issue for people, a legitimate issue, that I have white friends, and that Taylor Swift happens to be one of my many white friends.

Apparently there’s a thing called the “cookout,” which is like your invitation to be a part of the black community. Some people have, like, deemed themselves the Woke Police, and they decide to strip you online of your invitation to attend the “cookout.” It boggles my mind that people are deciding whether or not I’m down enough, black enough, or woke enough to be “invited.” If I have to hate people and judge people based on their race, sexual orientation, or religion, then sorry, but I’d rather order pizza.

What is Taylor really like? Describe your bond.

What people are mostly forgetting is that Taylor Swift really is my friend. Sometimes because she is a celebrity of such a huge status, inarguably one of the biggest stars of our generation, people forget that there is a human side to her, that she has real friends that she calls and talks to about her real problems. And I call her, and I have cried on her shoulder about my own relationship issues and family issues and career issues. We are friends, and so when she asked me to do this video, I said absolutely. It wasn’t a question for me. I trust her, and I had no problem doing the video. And I just think that it’s really sad and shocking that me doing four eight-counts of choreography is enough to make people feel the need to question my “blackness” or “wokeness.”

Taylor came to see me in Kinky Boots and she stayed after the show for two hours and met every single person in that cast — took pictures, signed stuff, met every usher, every custodian, every orchestra member, every producer and their kids. And then she went outside and met fans outside the theater afterwards, stayed there for over two and a half hours after the show and wouldn’t leave until every single person had been met. There are just very few celebrities in the world who would do something like that. She didn’t have to do that. She could’ve come to the show, said hi to me, and left. That’s just what type of person she is, and what type of person she’s always been. Her parents raised her so well, and when you’re in the room with them, you can feel that energy.

It just is shocking to me that people will see an image of her and hear stories online about her, or arguments with other celebrities who she did not ask to be involved with, who recorded her against her will without her knowing and then decided to release six-second clips of a conversation that happened to paint her to be this evil person that I don’t believe that she is. Come on, we’ve watched millions of episodes of Law & Order or seen Judge Judy a million times; how are they not able to conclude that there is something missing from this? If you feel the need to record someone on video with people there, the intentions may not have been the most pure.

Some of the criticism Taylor has received recently has to do with the fact that she has not been politically outspoken in past years, like some of her peers Katy Perry or Lady Gaga.

Yeah, many people have been tweeting me, “She supports Trump! She probably voted for Trump!” They’re making this huge assumption, when Taylor has never to my knowledge come out and said anything about her being pro-Trump. But people would still rather believe that she is the one who is pushing Trump’s agenda. That was one of the major things that was tweeted at me, and I’m like, “So you are mad that you think she might support Donald Trump? But you’re not mad that Kanye has been very openly pro-Trump?” I don’t understand that.

Look, I’m not Taylor Swift, so I can’t speak for her and why she does or does not choose to speak or not speak about any specific subject matter. All I know is that she has been nothing but a great person to me. Her family has welcomed me into their home and treated me like I was a member of the family. They’ve welcomed every single person I’ve ever brought around them. I’ve never felt like there was ever a moment that I couldn’t be myself, and talk about the fact that I’m gay or whatever. At Thanksgiving, we all sat around and talked about it, and there was another one of her friends there who was African-American, and we all sat down and talked about racism and watched 13th on Netflix and talked about how important it was. It was one of the most beautiful conversations I’ve ever had, because sometimes as an African-American person I feel like I can’t voice my opinion about how difficult it is to be not just an African-American person in the entertainment industry, but how scary it is to be black in America, in even 2017.

When it comes to Taylor, all I know is that she has been a sweet, amazing human being to me. When she calls me, it’s hardly ever to talk about her accomplishments or things that she’s going through. She calls me and says, “How’s your heart? Are you OK?” I’ve been around her an awful lot, and if it were some type of crazy, fake façade, I think I would have figured it out by now. I feel like it’s a genuine part of who she is, and she’s a human being. Has she made mistakes? Yes. Will she make mistakes again? Yes. But let the person in America who has not made mistakes raise their hand.

I think that I’m on my own journey; every artist is on their own journey. Maybe one day, Taylor will start being super-political, and using her voice to do thing that people think that she should be doing. But even then, she will probably be ridiculed for not being vocal enough, or not being on the right side. I don’t think that there is a way to win in this industry, so every person has to take their own journey at their own pace, at their own time, and do what they feel like is right. All I know is that Taylor has been nothing but sweet to me since day one, and if she asks me to do a video, I’m absolutely going be there.

I’m not apologizing for being a part of the video and doing four eight-counts of choreography in it. I thought it was a great piece of art. I thought it was awesome. It’s broken so many records and I’m proud to be a part of it. I don’t think I’ve sold out my race or my community — the gay community, the black community. I think that I was just in a piece of art that my friend made. I’m not issuing a statement to people about it to explain myself, because there’s nothing to explain. I’m not sorry that I did it, and I don’t think that it was a mistake. If I had a do-over, I would absolutely be there for another eight hours, in heels, dancing with her.

Is Taylor aware of the heat you’ve gotten for being in her video?

I have talked to her about it, and she has been very uplifting and given me a lot of information about how when you’re doing big things, there will always be people who have something to say about it. But I think that Beyoncé gave me the best advice when I met her. She said, “Don’t scroll down. Don’t go down and look at comments, and when you do something as an artist, make a decision and stick to it. You don’t need to apologize for things that you’ve done.” I use that all the time.

You have gotten this sort of criticism before.

Yeah. In the beginning, it was because I did videos based on stereotypes of a particular group that put people in a negative light. And so I took those notes, because I consider myself to be a humble person, and I tried to apply them, and tried to do less work on my YouTube channel that stereotyped people, less work that stereotyped my race as being “ghetto” or “ratchet,” because I did understand the argument. I think it’s a really difficult thing when you toe the line with comedy, because there are certain things that some people are going to think is funny, but then some people are always going to be offended. The political climate has changed so much over the past months since Donald Trump became president, and it has just been a very scary place to create content online. So I tried to do whatever I can to create content that everyone can love and that is inclusive of everybody.

It’s just something that I deal with every day. I wrote an album about my life [Straight Outta Oz], about how I fell in love at 19 years old with a boy who was British and who just happened to be white. I wrote a song called “Color,” and in the song I say the line, “You’re my favorite hue.” What I meant by that when I wrote the song was it’s supposed to be a direct relation to the 1939 Wizard of Oz film, and then everything turns to color when Dorothy gets to Oz. I felt like my whole world was black and white before I met this person. But people took that as that white was my favorite color, and that was what I preferred. People have assumed that am the type of person that refuses to date people of my own race or associate with people of my own race. Which, I don’t feel the need to prove to them that I have in fact dated multiple black men and Puerto Rican, Latino men. I’m an equal opportunist when it comes to love. I think everyone is beautiful. You fall in love with a person, not the outer layer of skin.

It’s really frustrating because I don’t think that people realize that when I got to L.A., I lived in not a great neighborhood. A policeman drove up onto a sidewalk, got out of the car, pushed my face on the ground, put my hands on my back, pulled a gun out on me. I have never felt so scared in my entire life. I have witnessed so many things like that. It’s very difficult for me to go and spend time in a predominantly Caucasian neighborhood without the cops being called on me, because people don’t know why I’m there and they think I look suspicious. I have had a lot of issues and dealt with racism in the same capacity as a lot of other people. I have written so many songs, even on Straight Outta Oz, about the Black Lives Matter movement, because it’s something that I’m very passionate about. It’s something that I definitely use my voice and my platform to speak out against. So it’s frustrating that people who have never met me in person like to make huge, incorrect assumptions about me and go and scream them and yell them from the rooftops online.

I just strongly feel that if we can’t get along within our own race, and have to point fingers and yell at people who we think don’t have our back when we don’t know anything about them — we haven’t listened to the facts, we haven’t seen the footage, there are no receipts to show that this person is not a proud African-American person who isn’t down to fight for equality for everyone’s sake — if we fight with each other so much that we’re tearing down our own race and our own community, how does that make us any better than the people in Charlottesville, carrying the tiki torches? How are we any better than those people, and how are we ever going to meet in the middle and finally be able to say, “Let’s be one unified group of people”? I just don’t understand how it’s possible, and that what makes me so upset.

Online outrage is at an all-time high right now, for sure. Everyone is on edge.

I think that we’ve got to figure out a way within our own community to stop tearing people down and stop making assumptions and looking for reasons to be mad. I don’t know what is happening in the world right now, but now is a scary time. People are looking for someone to blame and someone to point fingers at. I don’t think that Taylor Swift is the problem with America right now. People can try to make that be the issue, but there is a much bigger issue here in our country that we need to look at and recognize, and figure out what we can do to be a part of making the world a better place, to be nice and sweet and kind to each other, and to realize that racism is a huge horrible thing that has kept a lot of people down.

But I think it’s going to take every race, every minority, every gay person, every trans person, every straight person, waking up and realizing that we can’t do this alone. We can’t divide into our own little sections and decide that we’re going to secretly hate each other and be mad if one person goes over and shakes the hand of somebody on the other team. We all need to be one team. We all have to go out and extend an olive branch to each other and try to help each other out and try to build one another up. That’s the only way that we can be successful. That’s the only way that we can make this world the beautiful place that God created it to be. Spread love, and love each other. That’s what I try to do.

Did you engage with any of your online critics about this video?

I gave no negative tweets, didn’t argue with people on social media, had nothing to say to them. But I even went so far as to give somebody my phone number online so they could call me and said, “If you feel I’ve done something that’s offended you, or if you could shed some light on as to how me being involved with this video or being friends with Taylor Swift — other than the fact that she is white and you feel that she is the epitome of white privilege, the poster child for white privilege … If there’s anything you can do to shed some light to me as to how I can be a better example for young African-American kids growing up, then I would love to talk to you on the phone.” And I meant it. And I talked to them, and I felt like we came to a good place. I’m a humble person; I’m not opposed to taking constructive criticism.

There was a time two years ago where I would’ve damn near gotten carpal tunnel because I would’ve stayed up all night trying to argue back and forth [on Twitter], thinking, “What would Regina George do?” Now I’m adopting the policy, “What would Beyoncé do?” So I’m going to kill all these people with kindness. I’m going to be nice to them, and I’m just going to prove to them, one by one when they meet me, what type of person I am. Support my friends, be nice to people, and do what I have to do to be a good human being and play my part in society and in this crazy political climate.

Obviously I’m not diminishing the horrible things that have happened to get us to this point, but at this point we have a choice to either band together and fight and talk about the real issues and the real problems, and Taylor Swift is not the problem. If we can all accept the fact that there is a bigger problem and start having dialogue and talking to each other — not just with the people that it’s comfortable for us to talk to, our own people and people who look like us, but to people who might not understand where we’re coming from or what we’ve been through — then we might get closer to making this world a unified place, the way that Michael Jackson sang about in his songs and in his music. While I know that is not the theme of “Look What You Made Me Do,” I do believe that is the theme of Taylor Swift’s heart and the person that she truly is on a personal level.

(x)

I’m gonna go on a quick rant on feminism/femininity and Disney here.

Originally posted by disneylandwheredreamscometrue

It just riles me up when people seem to get the idea that femininity means a lack of feminism. When people take a look at the girl in the pants and the girl in the ballgown and says the one in pants is more feminist and empowering than the one in the dress. The whole point of one of the many aspects of feminism is that as women we have the right to choose to be and wear whatever we want. A woman in a dress is just as feminist as a woman in a burqa, and they’re both just as feminist as a woman in a suit or a woman in a bikini. And beyond clothing, a woman who’s married and in love is just as feminist as a woman who’s single. Here’s where Disney comes in, no one princess is a better more feminist role model than another. It’s important to have more than one type of role model yes, but just because one girl likes to fight and another girl likes to sew, it doesn’t mean that one is a better role model. All the princesses and other Disney ladies have good values to teach us and our kids in different ways and I’m gonna go through them with you.

Originally posted by badxbaby

Snow White:

For one thing this girl is 14. She is a child and her outlook on the world and her dreams in life shouldn’t be measured up to an adult’s. She’s kind, caring, and yes, she does dream of true love’s kiss. But she’s 14. When I was 14 I was dreaming of the same damn thing. But what we can learn from her is that when you care for everyone, even strangers, you’ll see that kindness returned. When she’s lost in the woods and scared for her life, she still finds the strength to be kind to the animals. In return they show her to the Dwarves’ cottage. She’s sweet and decides to clean up the place and take care of the dwarves out of the kindness of her heart and they return the kindness by giving her a home when she had none. At the end she’s rewarded with the true love’s kiss she wanted. We can even learn from the Evil Queen that vanity is a terrible thing. 

Originally posted by snowwhitecinderellaaurora-blog

Aurora:

The main thing to remember about Aurora is that for one thing, she met Phillip when she was a baby. The other thing is that while the good fairies did love her and take care of her, she grew up isolated and alone. She’s always had these dreams of meeting someone (anyone) else to break that isolation. But in that isolation she’s still strong, kind, and trusting. She loves her adoptive aunts, and for a side character(might make a post about that later) I would still count her as a good role model because of that kindness. 

Originally posted by goldensilverdisney

Cinderella:

Her, I’m definitely going to expand on in another post. But, she’s one of my favorite princess. Ironically, not one of my favorite movies, but she’s an amazing character and I love her. She’s a survivor of child abuse. That’s the very first thing that you need to understand about her. She doesn’t stay happy and content with a grin and bare it attitude, she got mad. She was snarky, and she only found happiness in the little free time she had and in her pets/friends. All she wanted that night was to go to the ball. All she wanted was one night to have fun and get out of the house. She wanted one night where she wouldn’t be berated and yelled at and ordered around. And when she met the prince, she didn’t even know who he was. She didn’t even mind that she would probably never see him again. And at the end she more or less saved herself. She didn’t wait around and sing a song from her tower to get rescued, she asked her friends to get the key and help her out. She was smart enough to pull out the other slipper. There’s nothing wrong with getting help from those around you and there’s no shame in asking for it. There’s nothing un-feminist about getting help, especially when you’re an abuse survivor. And that’s what Cinderella is about. Her fairy godmother coming to help her. Women helping women. 

Originally posted by disneymoviesanywhere

Ariel:

The one big thing that made the Disney renaissance so great is they decided to follow the rules of Broadway musicals. One of the trademarks of this is the “I want” song. That’s the motivation for the main character and it’s the driving force for the plot. 

Ariel wants to live in the human world. That’s her dream. She desperately wants to be a human. Eric was just the straw that broke the camel’s back. Ariel is strong willed and curious. She’s the undersea equivalent of an anthropologist. She’s 16, so of course she’s going to make stupid mistakes, but she gets to live out her dream in the end and become a human. The main point and what makes her a wonderful feminist role model is that she uses that drive and curiosity to pursue her passion. 

Originally posted by mkgaud

Belle:

I’m not sure I have to go into too much detail about her although I will mention, she is not a victim of Stockholm Syndrome. And to be honest how would being an abuse victim make her any less feminist? Anyway, of course she’s smart and loves reading. She loves adventure books and that’s what her “I want” song is about. She wants adventure and she wants someone who understands her and doesn’t think she’s weird for her interest. She’s a good role model not only for her love of reading but also of course for her kindness and seeing the good in people despite their appearance. 

Originally posted by moviewhorexo

Jasmine:

She. Is. Not. A. Prize. To. Be. Won. Moving on,

Kidding. But anyway she’s great because what she values is freedom and love. I feel like a lot of people forget is the line, “when I marry, I want it to be for love”. She wants to make her own choices in all aspects of her life and she decides to leave her life of privilege to pursue that freedom. You can hear and see it sprinkled in all around the movie (and the stage show). She sees herself as a bird in a cage and she’s happiest when she’s free and litteraly flying. And at the end she chooses Aladin. It’s all about her choice. 

Pocahontas:

Originally posted by anightmarefantasmic

So unintentional racism, stereotypes, white savior trope, erasing history, and pairing her with the horrible monster aside for a moment…

Let’s talk about 18 year old Disney Pocahontas as her own character. The main thing that comes to mind when I think of her is strength and bravery. She knows herself and she knows what she loves, and she’ll do anything to protect it. She also cares about the earth and environment. All of those are wonderful traits to have as a role model. 

Originally posted by magical-rasputin

Mulan:

Again, I don’t think I have to go into much detail about why she’s a great feminist role model. She’s usually who everyone thinks of when it comes to great feminist characters.

But what I will say is one thing not a lot of people mention in her great feminist role model-ness is that she doesn’t mind being feminine. She knows the ”perfect porcelain doll” isn’t her, but she doesn’t mind dressing up when she can make it her own. Another thing that I’m surprised get’s as ignored as it does especially since it’s scattered through the whole movie including her very first scene, she’s smart. She’s not a fighter, she’s a strategist. She makes her chores easier for herself. She wins the game of Go on her way to meet the match maker. She figures out how she can protect her dad. She uses the weights to her advantage. She does trigonometry in her head on the fly. She comes up with the distraction and using the fireworks. And the epitome of it all, she uses the symbol of femininity in the movie, her fan, to outsmart Shan Yu and take his sword. 

Originally posted by definite-disnerd

Tiana:

Can you believe I’ve heard people say Tiana isn’t feminist enough? Most people know how hardworking and practical she is, but she also learns a very important lesson that you’ll never be truly happy if you don’t let loose and have fun in reasonable amounts. She’s an amazing role model just as wonderful as everyone else in the line up and her morale is one of my favorites to try and live by. “Fairytales can come true, but you’ve gotta make them happen. It all depends on you.”


Rapunzel, Merida, Anna, Elsa, and Moana:

Honestly I feel like I don’t have to do much defending for these four. Everyone on this site has already pointed out what great feminist role models they are and many people regard them plus Tiana and Mulan as the “best” most feminist princesses. I love them all too, and of course they’re all great feminist role models, I just don’t think there’s much I could add. 

Anyway, I think a /lot/ of other Disney ladies are also wonderful feminist role models but this was supposed to be just the princess lineup. and I might make separate posts for them. But if you’ll notice I didn’t take relationship status, style choices, hobby choices, sexuality headcannons, or appearance into account when talking about what great role models they are because you shouldn’t. Of course women and girls deserve more than just one type of girl to look up to, but one type of girl isn’t any better or worse than another. You can be hyper feminine like Cinderella, Not feminine at all like Merida, or a little bit of both like Mulan. You can be smart like Belle, or naive yet kind like Snow White. All of them are wonderful. 

I’ll go ahead and leave you my favorite Disney feminist hero.

(she’s amazing. google her real quick)

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.

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:

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. 

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!

What can be done about gentrification?

I saw this on a reblog and I started answering it, but it turned into something I wanted to stand alone and not be tacked on to another post.

@rafi-dangelo I’m curious, I understand how harmful gentrification can be but what can actually be done about it? I really can’t think of anything.“
@rutabegaville

Nothing.  Movement of populations is natural and neighborhood demographics always change. But I'ma take a moment and describe the different ways irresponsible or disrespectful gentrification displaces and disregards the current residents.  This is all from a NYC point of view, but I’m sure it applies to other metro areas.

1) Choosing personal preference over neighborhood character.
I know plenty of people (mostly white, but some POC as well) who move to big cities from their small towns and they’re appalled at how little space you get for the money.  They want the same amount of living area they had in the suburbs of Omaha but they don’t have the money to pay for it in DUMBO or Chelsea or the Upper West Side or whatever.  So, instead of downsizing their expectations and living where they initially wanted, they move to brown neighborhoods where their money will go a lot further.  You don’t actually need that second bedroom so you can do yoga or work on your art projects.  You made the conscious decision to speed up gentrification in an area because you wanted more space than you could afford coming into a very expensive city to follow your dreams or whatever.

2) Using non-white neighborhoods as a transitional period.
I know plenty of people (again, mostly white) who will move to Harlem or Bed-Stuy or Washington Heights until their paycheck rises to a point where they can afford to move to a different neighborhood.  In terms of gentrification, it seems initially that it would be the proper way to do it – they didn’t stay for years and years and brown people can move back in after they leave.  But obviously that’s not how it works.  Businesses follow those transitional whites who make more money than the surrounding POC, but not enough money to live in the white neighborhoods they’re aspiring to.  So they bring with them the Starbuckses and the Whole Foodses and the juice bars, all business that lead to rapid increases in rents.  And then they get their raises or their careers advance and in a few years they’re gone.  It’s basically drive-by gentrification.  

3) Disregarding the local character.
I know plenty of people (mostly white) who have lived in gentrifying neighborhoods for years and have never met a neighbor.  Never gone to a community meeting.  Never gone to a block party.  I can accept that kind of passive existence, but then there are those who take it a step further to complain about things in the neighborhood that have been part of the fabric for decades before gentrification.  If you have a baby, don’t move to Washington Heights and rent an apartment on the main drag where all the clubs are and then call the police every night because of noise to the point where liquor licenses are threatened.  Don’t call the cops on the Ecuadorian lady selling dinner plates out of her living room for extra cash.  Don’t call the cops about the old Black dudes barbecuing on the sidewalk because they’re blocking the way.

Gentrification is a hard pill to swallow and there’s absolutely no way to prevent it.  However, as with most things, if you conduct yourself like a considerate human being, you can help mitigate the damages.

1) Think about where you’re moving.
If you tour a place on a block full of older buildings and you walk into your prospective apartment and everything is brand new, somebody probably just moved out (maybe not of their own volition) and the landlord renovated so he could jack the price up.  You can look up the history of a building and in NYC that’s helpful because shady landlords regularly force longtime tenants out of a building once the surrounding neighborhood starts to support a higher rental price due to the influx of gentrifiers.

2) Think about why you’re moving.
If you have X amount of dollars and you’re choosing between some neighborhood you love and another neighborhood you just plan to live in until you can afford the same amount of space in the neighborhood you love, ask yourself if you really need all of that space in the first place.  Sometimes the answer is yes, and that’s absolutely your prerogative.  I just want everyone to take a beat and seriously consider it first.

3) Don’t rent more than you can afford and then crowdsource the rest.
Y'all know I deleted a potential friend/date-person because they rented a two-bedroom they couldn’t afford with the intention of putting the other bedroom on Air BnB to cover the rest of the rent.  That is the most disrespectful form of gentrification.  You’re taking an apartment that was probably needed by a family who can no longer afford it because the landlord can get a much higher rent out of you…who also can’t afford it, but have the luxury of just being one person so you can crowdsource the rest of the rent.  It’s gross and there’s no part of me that will ever see someone in the same light once they rent an apartment with the explicit plan to cover the rent using a shared economy model.

4) Know where you’re moving and make sure you’re fine with the area as is.
Don’t move and then be shocked that a church is having choir practice on Wednesday night, the same practice they’ve had for the past three decades.  Don’t move and then decide the neighborhood is too loud.  Don’t move and then act like the Saturday afternoon block party is inconveniencing your life.  If you’re going to contribute to rising rents and corporate chains putting mom & pops out of business, the least you can do is let the people live and enjoy themselves the way they did before you got there.

I do recognize the benefits of gentrification, partly because I live in Harlem, partly because I follow trends and statistics, and partly because I recognize the unfortunate fact that a whole host of institutions from law enforcement to capital investment don’t give a damn about an area until white people move in and those improvements can benefit everyone, not just the new white folks.  But if you’re really committed to awareness, justice, and equality while also being a (possibly even reluctant) gentrifier, it’s your duty to make sure you’re doing it as responsibly as you can.

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.

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.

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.

Navigating a white space as a PoC

This comes after a 7 hour conversation with the lovely Anna @pukingpastilles. Bear in mind that this is drawn from our specific experiences and may not be universal. We hope it resonates with some of you.

Scrolling past this is an act of white privilege.

A lot of people either see race as irrelevant or that we talk about it too much in our ‘post-racial’ age. However, for us, it is our daily reality. We cannot choose to switch off our race, and thus cannot remove the burdens that accompany it. We do not have the ‘luxury’ of ignoring race. Until then, we’re going to keep talking about it. You may want to ‘skip the drama’ but it is a privilege for you to be able to scroll past this. It is our very lives that you are scrolling past. We are attempting to argue for our right to exist in this space. The topic of race is extremely underdiscussed in fandom discourse. Some people either see race as not relevant to fandom or something that they think they’ve sussed because they’re ‘open’, ‘liberal’ or have a PoC friend or something. That’s very different from actively educating yourself on issues that affect us beyond what you see in the news or from history. That’s good, but there’s more. Just because you’re socially liberal does not excuse you from perpetuating the cycle of racism. We have to fight to validly exist, and that is exhausting. Existing is exhausting.

Being a PoC in a predominantly white space is an act of protest as our very existence is politicised.

It can never be just a story of two people, not when we are so burdened. You are never just yourself, race comes first, and you are never not conscious of this. A PoC would be constantly hyperaware of their race because it informs how society treats them in every way. You are always self-conscious about things like not associating with too many people of your own race in case it comes off as threatening or exclusive or discriminatory. You subconsciously make adjustments to blend into the space as much as possible in fear of offending somebody, such as changing your accent or clothes. You feel a constant sense of double alienation. You occupy a liminal space. You are the hyphen in the Asian-American. We are marginalised, Othered. We are never granted full rights to exist independently of a Eurocentric standard.

Keep reading

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.

Keep reading