but what about white people

to touch on what i was hollering about earlier, white supremacists subjugate black people not because they think we’re weak, but because they know we’re “strong” (how could we build their country otherwise) and they are incapable or unwilling to do the labors that we do, and they’re scared that we will do unto them as they did unto us. our existence as “black” (a recent racial marker) undergirds their identity. to put this in very simple terms, we’re supposed to be their “opposite.” where whites are human, black people aren’t human; not subhuman, but anti-thetical to their concept of humanity. “Wretched of the earth” is a meme among most of you but yall need tuh actually read it. so, when black theorists say that black liberation will completely upend white people’s identity this is what they mean. the most accessible resource i can think of is mlk jr. criticizing how white people have constructed “blackness” in the english language as their sinister opposite; “they made everything black ugly and evil, they made everything white something pure.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Okay, you were warned. Here we go.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I don’t know how to fully enjoy any of these moments without wondering if it’s the last.
—  Jay Asher, What Light

anonymous asked:

You said white people can't suffer racism, but what about when someone picks on someone for being white? And don't tell me they can't because I've been jumped before at the age of 14 just because I cut in line at lunch one day. Im 22 now, but racism literally affects everyone of all colors. And if you say that one group of people are inevitable to racism that pure ignorance. Racism flows back and forth.

Damn son you shouldn’t have cut in line

anonymous asked:

ur post about fic & racism in the supergirl fandom really got me thinking (especially about my own biases so thank you) but also like, how there’s this incredibly pervasive but subtle new form of racism I haven’t seen b4 in other fandoms? Like on one hand u have this loud condemnation of how racist monel is & how he was a slave owner blabh blah but no corresponding attention given to the existing Black characters. 1/4

I get wlw not wanting to write m/f fic but a lot of the fandom doesn’t reblog (or make) any of the gifsets, they don’t meta for him they don’t call for more screen time for Mehcad. Same for M’gann. SO many posts talking about how awful monel is compare him to Lena and strangely don’t mention the Black female character who also came from an oppressive society to become a hero? And there are like, idk, 4 people? Who write or post wlw fic with M’gann in it? 2/4

Same with Maggie. A huge segment of fandom decided Floriana is white (even tho hollywood clearly won’t cast her in roles for white women) so they use that as an excuse to exclusively stan the very light skinned white wlw. And the way it carries over to the characters, like, okay Flo is white? but Maggie is absolutely treated like a woc in how parts of fandom aggressively ignore her & find ways to demonize her character while overtly supporting lighter skinned characters ¾

And that same part of the fandom doesn’t ever seem to create content for Lucy or Vasquez either. IDK this isn’t something u can probably explore with stats but ur post really got me thinking and it just feels really gross now bc I see all these posts condemning racism but there’s still this extreme perpetuation of privileging white characters at the same time? & I haven’t seen this particular trend in fandom b4 4/4

Oh, anon, this made my day. I have a bunch of notes waiting in a doc to address the whole Mon-El thing with regard to the racist undertones and the rhetoric used by the show to frame his storyline, and I will do my best to write it before the season comes back again, because I genuinely think they tried to aim high and just … missed completely. (But I make no promises because my thesis defense is on Tuesday.)

To your first point re: fandom attitudes – I was surprised in the early half of S2 when so many people came out of the woodwork making posts in the main tag like “wait, why did they get rid of Kara/James??” because, oh right, nobody acted like they cared for almost twelve straight months. If y’all were so okay with this ship, where were you to acknowledge its social significance when it was canon? Where are you now? Why hasn’t there been an outpouring of tweets week after week at the execs and the writers for sidelining an interracial couple in favor of what we’re getting, especially since the storyline literally handwaved away human trafficking and slavery as minor plot points?

Not only that, when there’s unrealized potential for a non-canon ship there is typically an outpouring of fic in response, and while there’s been a statistically significant amount of new Karolsen fic in S2 because it’s pretty easy to top zero percent, the writing there is not keeping pace with any of the other dude-involved pairings. 

And you’re right, anon: it is not possible to prove anything with stats. HOWEVER, thanks to the addition of these new characters for S2, I *am* at the point now where it’s possible to see correlation between character race and fan engagement with different pairing choices. And the bias is there, whether it’s in the het pairings, the femslash, or even the m/m pairings. The whole reason I started tracking fic outputs in the first place was that any attempt to have this conversation last year devolved into yelling and finger-pointing because “you have no proof!” that racial bias is a thing. Except, yanno, all the POC who live with it daily saying that it’s a thing. Well, congratulations y’all: your choices leave digital footprints behind that are pretty easy to follow and chart for everyone to see.

This isn’t actually a new problem, by the way – racism and preferencing of white pairing happens a lot, in almost every fandom. The only difference maybe is that I’ve experimented with quantifying it, which is not something that people usually do when they study fandoms or fan behavior.

It pains me to no end that M’gann has been so overlooked, because her story has just as many dark character beats to it as Lena’s, if not more, plus the added bonus of her sharing a sense of “otherness” with Kara in a way that few other people can. And there is no way the disinterest in that pairing isn’t about race, because there are a whole bunch of ships from S1 between white women who’d never even met each other in canon that have more romantic fics than M’gann/anyone.

And the nonsense about Floriana, which I’ll remind everyone again was started by a white girl, had a demonstrable chilling effect on interest in Sanvers as a pairing. Like. I can actually show that on paper. And you’re absolutely right with what you said above, which bears repeating: Maggie is absolutely treated like a woc in how parts of fandom aggressively ignore her & find ways to demonize her character.

There’s also a treatment of Floriana herself that reminds me uncomfortably of how people went out of their way to demonize Naya Rivera’s personal life whenever she reminded the world she was black instead of just “very tan.” And a lot of the rhetoric people are using to talk about Floriana’s racial heritage is almost verbatim the same as what you’ll find on white supremacist discussion boards about Italian people. I’d love to think this is an accident, but I’ve made some people pretty angry for pointing this out in the past, so I suspect it’s at least partially deliberate.

Lucy was another case that drove me insane, for two reasons:

  1. The vast majority of femslash fans flat-out ignored her as a romantic choice even though there were a whole lot of good reasons to ship her with either Kara or Alex, and a whole lot less negative reasons not to. (And it’s not like Supercat was already dominating the scene before Lucy’s character was introduced. That ship only became popular after the movie Carol came out during the winter hiatus of S1.)
  2. People had the same fight last year about whether or not Lucy counted as a WOC and ultimately insisted that the answer was no. But then people kept on ignoring her anyway like somehow dubiously legal boss/employee relationships, potential treason, and incest were more logical bases for attraction.

Also, to the people who have been like “oh yay we could’ve had Dichen as Maggie, a real WOC” like somehow this would have made the fandom love her more – you’re full of shit. If you mean that, why has there been so little fic about Dichen as Roulette? Like, last year there were a whole bunch of shipfics featuring Livewire. There was Kara/Siobhan. And yet … no dark scenarios of Supergirl/Roulette? No Alex ones? There were even a bucketload of those for each Danvers sister + Max Lord, and this fandom isn’t even that into dudes. You’re telling me no one is interested in this kind of hero/villain dynamic with the Asian chick and somehow that’s not also about race?

tl;dr I suspect that a decent chunk of this problem is the result of subconscious bias, but some of it’s not. And what’s really sad about it is that, for all the talk on Tumblr about representation being important, we’re really doing no better as media producers than Hollywood when it comes to race. If anything, we might actually be doing worse.

Is there anything actually wrong with Passengers, or is tumblr just getting their collective undies in a twist because its a movie about straight white people?

Pretty. Odd.

Pretty odd reminds me of flowers and bright blue sky’s, it reminds me of meeting someone new, and having that one friend that’s just as weird as you are, it reminds me of going to the fair on a sunny day, and watching the sunset over the ocean as the sky turns from blue to golden to black, it reminds me of long road trips with your closest friends and having your car break down In some unknown town but you still get out and turn it into an adventure, it reminds me of re-reading your favourite books, and making daisy chains in middle school, it reminds me of inspiration and letting your imagination flow, sunflowers and sweet kisses, it reminds me of adventure and being happy with who you are, it reminds me of turntables and old records, and picking fresh flowers for your room, it reminds me of cute Polaroids and hanging them up just for the sake of memories, it reminds me of the sun and the moon and the day and the night, calm soothing weather when it’s not to hot or cold but Just about right, though it also reminds me of the pouring rain, sitting inside staring out the window watching it come down, just thinking, and running outside because you just don’t care if you get wet, and jumping in puddles with brightly coloured gumboots, it reminds me of change in yourself, of finally finding who you are and just being able to say “this is who I am and I’m proud” and just being content with that feeling, it reminds me of spring and floral cocktail dresses, and fancy cocktails, it reminds me of being alone at sea, not In any danger but rather content with the sounds of the waves, standing on a deserted beach watching the waves lap against your ankles, it reminds me of finding someone you really love and staying with them for the rest of your life doing all the craziest things together, it reminds me of telling stories around the campfire and singing songs, it reminds me of singing at the top of your lungs even if your voice isn’t up to par, I think of pretty lanterns and white dresses, umbrellas and raincoats, it reminds me of fairy lights and garden parties, the colours green, blue and yellow, but not bright colours, like pastel shades and soft subtle brush strokes on a fresh canvas, it reminds me of dancing with people you love, I think of un-painted nails and natural shades of hair, It reminds me of daydreaming and marching bands, I think of pocket watches and vests and giving flowers to your friends, toothy smiles and twinkling eyes, blue skies and white clouds, chirping birds and not caring about what people think about you or if you’re different and stand out a little bit because you enjoy being you, playing music with other people, it also reminds me of getting really high with your friends and just laughing at everything even if it’s not funny and living in the present and not worrying about the past or What’s to come in the future, ending unhealthy relationships and having that content feeling After it because you’re FREE,also thinking that nothing matters except for being with the person you love the most, growing as a person, talking to someone you like and forgetting how to speak in those moments, I think of crying so much that you just can’t anymore, I think of Ballet twirls and dancing through the streets singing, vintage shops and old Volkswagen busses, big sunglasses and flowy scarves, it reminds me of blowing bubbles a d freshly mown lawns, big maps hung up on walls with the places you want to visit all pinpointed down, it reminds me of mall alleyways and welcoming coffee shops early in the morning, I think of laying outside at night by yourself and just staring up into the sky and thinking about life, flower shops and fresh air, pianos and scented candles and saving up for something expensive in nothing but coins, it reminds me of green eyes and freckles, i think of innocence and kisses on the forehead, candid photos and taking that extra bit of time to smell the flowers and take in your surroundings and notice the little things in life before you miss them, holding hands and skipping, it reminds me of the song blue skies and the album let it be, it reminds me of just sitting around and having fun and it makes me forget about anything real and fills my head with imagery, it reminds me of standing on a stage in front of thousands of people, playing your music, doing what YOU love and the realisation that you made it and you’ve achieved that dream that you’ve always been working on, it reminds me of just being happy.

and you know what? it’s not even that he straight up charges at daniella when she’s standing right next to her hellbeast, it’s everything leading up to that. it’s the conviction behind that action. it’s the expression on jaime’s face when he looks around him and sees his men burning to death. he hears the screams. he sees things turning to dust. 

This scene did not portray anything about Daniella using her hellbeast as triumphant or ‘good’. 

Psychologists surveyed hundreds of alt-right supporters. The results are unsettling.
(Vox, Aug 15 2017)

Brian Resnick:

“One of the starkest, darkest findings in the survey comes from a simple question: How evolved do you think other people are? (…)

On average, alt-righters saw other groups as hunched-over proto-humans.

On average, they rated Muslims at a 55.4 (again, out of 100), Democrats at 60.4, black people at 64.7, Mexicans at 67.7, journalists at 58.6, Jews at 73, and feminists at 57.

These groups appear as subhumans to those taking the survey. And what about white people? They were scored at a noble 91.8.

The comparison group, on the other hand, scored all these groups in the 80s or 90s on average. (In science terms, the alt-righters were nearly a full standard deviation more extreme in their responses than the comparison group.)

“If you look at the mean dehumanization scores, they’re about at the level to the degree people in the US dehumanize ISIS,” Forscher says. “The reason why I find that so astonishing is that we’re engaged in violent conflict with ISIS.”

Dehumanization is scary. It’s the psychological trick we engage in that allows us to harm other people (because it’s easier to inflict pain on people who are not people). Historically it’s been the fuel of mass atrocities and genocide.”

I had every intention of spending my day cheerfully lounging around in a pumpkin patch and petting miniature horses. I was in fact so excited for the day ahead that I even made one of these outfit layout thingies. I made myself breakfast, took this picture by standing on my tiptoes on an upturned suitcase at the foot of my bed, and then promptly got called in to work. It was a sad, pumpkin-less day indeed. 

[ fyi… i changed my icon ]

anonymous asked:

"This is the second pride they crashed" they stopped Toronto pride to have white gays acknowledge their privilege and to keep cops out of safe spaces. But go off with your racism I guess

Hey! Totonto pride wanted the police there. Gay police exist. So. The group who was running the safe space, said cops are okay, and a third party gets the right to go in and say ‘no! fuck off’? I don’t think so. 

Hijacking our fucking pride parades (which, btw, black lgbt+ people exist) and making a pride event that’s about us surviving homophobia and saying “NO! YOU NEED TO ACKNOWLEDGE OUR ISSUES HERE” is fucking homophobic.

BLM wasn’t advocating for gay people who were black - they outright said “Keep cops out” rather than draw attention to black gay people. It’s not racist to think that BLM hijacking an LGBT parade to advocate for their issues they’re focusing on rather than the  point of the parade. That’s not intersectional. That’s straight up “my issues are worse than yours so I’ll steal your platform” .

And you know what? I was wrong, this wasn’t the 2nd lgbt+ event that BLM hijacked and attacked the lgbt+ community.

BLM kicked out a fucking gay couple from an Orlando Pulse Shooting vigil- for, guess what- being white. We can’t even have a god damn vigil for  the 50 deaths in our community, most of which were latino, without BLM taking it over and going ‘well what about me!?’ 

sources: 1 2 

“Are White People Promoting Homosexuality As A Means Of Undermining The Black Struggle?“ 

aka: how dare you also have issues and want to solve the issues

They flat out admitted to believing that we’re just a means to silence them instead of real people with real issues that need to be resolved.

And that’s not even counting the racism within their own community, like again the time they made the vigil for Pulse, where most of the deaths where latino about them, the entire #fuckparis mess, demanding segregation (SERIOUSLY?!), and being against interracial marriages and mixed children.

BLM has a history of homophobia + racism and I have every fucking right to be furious about it. I support their goals, but I cannot condone their actions.

so fuck off you homophobic bitch.