I’m a mixed black african girl who grew up and lived most of her life in Cameroon, in Central Africa. My dad is half-white (french) and half-black (cameroonian), and my mom is 100% cameroonian. There’s little to no black african characters in popular fiction, which has always bothered me, and it would be so nice to read about someone like me for once.
Culture and food
Cameroon is a country created during colonization, with borders defined by europeans. Because of that, Cameroon is actually made of 200 ethnic groups, each of them having their own language and culture. So the culture and daily habits vary a lot depending on which region of Cameroon you are in. In the big cities, though, everyone is mingled no matter where they’re from. However, so many different ethnic groups cohabiting together often causes tension. There are also a lot of stereotypes about every ethnic group.
I grew up in the central and coastal areas of the country, and I’m Bassa. The Bassa are one of the main ethnic groups in Cameroon. If your parents are from two different ethnic groups, it is decided that you officially belong to your father’s ethnic group. My mother is Bakoko but my father is Bassa, so I’m the latter. When I meet another Cameroonian, two of the first questions we usually ask each other are : What are you (meaning, what’s your ethnic group) ? and Where is you village ?
Villages are very important in the Cameroonian culture. Your village is where your father’s ancestors were born. Even if you’re not born there, you usually have grandparents or great-uncles or family friends living there, and if you have enough money to do so you must regularly visit your village. And usually, when people earn enough money, they send money to their village so that people living there can have a better life, build more houses and schools etc.
Cameroonian food is very diverse, and varies depending on the region. The national dish is Ndolé, a dish made with ndolé leaves, stewed nuts, and meat (fish, beef or shrimps). Other common foods are bobolo and miondo (food made out of fermented manioc), soya (spicy grilled meat on skewers), and plantain. My dad is half-french though, so at home we eat almost as much french food as cameroonian food (crème brûlée, shepherd’s pie, beef bourguignon, A LOT of bread and cheese).
There are hundreds of different languages, but the official languages are French and English. Cameroon was colonized by France and England so Northern Cameroon mainly speaks english and central/southern Cameroon mainly speaks french. Most people also speak their ethnic group’s language. I don’t know how to speak Bassa, though, because neither do my parents. When me and my siblings were kids, our dad asked our baby-sitter to teach us, but she could only do so much and I only remember a few words.
Like most countries, there is a lot of colorism in Cameroon based on European beauty standards. When you’re a woman, the lighter you are, the prettier and more desirable you are considered. Dark skinned women are often mocked and considered not as pretty. A lot of people, mainly women but also men, use dangerous products to lighten their skin. Internalized racism and white beauty standards are very insidious, and a lot of people want to look like white people, including me when I was younger. As a kid I remember wishing i was a pretty blonde-haired blue-eyed white girl like the heroines of the books i was reading. Growing up I stopped wishing that, but I relaxed and straightened my hair a lot, wanting to have long straight hair without realizing that it was still an attempt to look like the ideal version of a white girl. I’m sure that if I had more black female characters to relate to when I was growing up, I wouldn’t have spend so many years hating myself without even realizing I was doing it.
Also, Cameroonians usually consider thick, curvy women to be the ideal beauty standard. But being thin is still an ideal broadcast by the media (especially that american and european media are heavily broadcast and consumed in Cameroon) so most women still diet a lot and go to the gym to lose weight.
Women wear a lot of skirts and dresses, be it casual or for work. Most cameroonian schools have uniforms and mandatory hairstyles (either cornrows or short shaved hair).
Elderly people often wear more traditional clothes and outfits. The most prominent traditional item of clothing is the Kaba. The Kaba is a long dress made of wax fabric and other materials and is owned by pretty much every woman. The dress looks different depending on the situation : the Kaba you wear when you stay at home is usually very long and very loose, the Kaba you wear during official/formal events is more tight-fitting and stylized, etc.
Dating and Relationships
I’ve never dated anyone, but when I was in high school none of my friends ever told their parents they were seeing someone. Having your parents know about and meet the person you’re dating after only a few weeks or months is something that just doesn’t happen (unless someone gets pregnant). It’s when things get serious that you introduce them to your family. Also, a lot of parents would prefer their children to marry someone from the same ethnic group.
Homosexuality is still illegal there, and you can go to jail for being gay.
My parents are still happily married, and I have 3 siblings. My parents are both close to their siblings, and I’m close to mine. Me and my siblings grew up with our cousins, we were always at each other’s houses. I pretty much consider most of my cousins as extra siblings. We have a very big extended family and every day I discover new distant cousins, aunts, great-uncles etc. My dad being half-french, when I was growing up we sometimes went to France during summer to visit his relatives living there.
In Cameroon, most people who have enough money to do so send their children to study abroad once they’ve graduated high school. I’m currently living in France for my studies, and most of my high school friends are also going to college in France, England, Canada, Brussels, South Africa etc.
Despite being only ¼ white, I’m very light-skinned. My siblings being much darker skinned, when I was a kid I thought I was adopted (i’m not, it’s just genetics). Cameroon being a black country, when someone is visibly mixed and light-skinned as i am, most people just label them “white”. A lot of people would refer to me as “the white” and it always really hurt me. My family wouldn’t understand why i was so angry and hurt, they’d say “they don’t mean anything by it, it’s just that you’re light” but the fact is it made me feel like i don’t belong. I’m cameroonian, i’ve lived in Cameroon almost my entire life, i’m black, and still some people see me as “other”, they see me as white. And so for a long time, I didn’t dare to call myself black, I’d say “I’m biracial” or “I’m mixed” instead because I somehow felt like a fraud. But I’m black and not white-passing at all, and I still experience racism abroad (but I’m aware I have a lot more privilege than dark skinned people).
So I’m currently living in France. On one hand, sometimes white people are racist toward me, or just totally obnoxious and ignorant, trying to touch my natural hair and thinking that people in Cameroon don’t have computers or whatever. On the other hand, when I randomly meet other cameroonians and we start talking, they always assume that because i’m mixed i’ve lived my entire life in France and i don’t know anything about Cameroon. And there’s nothing wrong with being a child of immigrants and not knowing the country your parents or grandparents came from, but i know that if i wasn’t visibly mixed they wouldn’t question the fact that i know Cameroon and lived there my entire life.
Because of how the media depict African countries, a lot of people think that everyone in Africa is extremely poor and starving, that we don’t have electricity and internet and that everyone lives in huts. Which is so false. We have rich people and poor people, we have huge modern cities and regular cities and small villages with huts, almost everyone has access to a tv and internet, etc.
Things I’d like to see less of
Cameroon and other african countries being depicted as poor unfortunate countries where everyone is starving and illiterate and waiting for the generous white people to save us. What we need is for people to see us as the humans we are, and to allow us to grow in peace.
Things I’d like to see more of
Black african characters being written as the complex human beings we are. Shy black african characters. Nerdy and hella smart black african characters. Mixed black african characters who struggle with their identity. LGBTQ black african characters.
Tropes/Stereotypes I’m tired of seeing.
The “savage”, “uncivilized” african. African characters who are aggressive, dumb and shout all the time. The poor africans in need of saving by white people.
I’ve written a couple of times before about why the notion that prisons are principally or even significantly about the exploitation of slave labor is harmful, but i want to reiterate a few points, hopefully with a bit more clarity.
The point of criticizing popular “left” narratives about prisons and slave labor is not to claim that the use of prisoners as slave labor for corporations doesn’t happen—it does—but to point out that the amount of outcry about prison labor relative to the numerous other issues that prisoners face is not at all proportional to the actual scale of the phenomenon.
The trouble is that by and large, the only time the large majority of leftists in the u.$. ever talk about prisoners is when the issue can be framed in stereotypical terms of labor and strikes. For example, there is in fact widespread resistance that happens every single year in u.$. prisons on the anniversary of the Attica uprising. But the only time i have ever seen this get significant play in leftist circles outside of prisons is when the September 9 resistance took the form of a labor strike. Then afterwards there’s total silence about prisoners again.
I saw an article being shared around a while ago about how much money the 10,000 or so prison laborers in California cost businesses by going on strike. This is all fine, but the problem is that there are around 130,000 prisoners in California, and no one ever gives a flying fuck about the 90+% of prisoners in California who don’t do any labor for corporations. The use of prison labor in Califronia also seems to be well above average. Nationally less than one half of one percent of prisoners are involved in labor for private firms.
It’s not that people should never talk about prison labor, but prison labor is the only thing most leftists talk about and when leftists try to make the issue with prisons primarily about labor, they have to ignore literally over 99% of the prison population, not to mention all of the other issues that those prisoners who do happen to perform labor for business also face.
Additionally, just like calling for an end to private prisons, calling for the abolition of slave labor in prisons is a demand that the State could easily grant without changing hardly anything about the realities actually faced by the overwhelming majority of prisoners. It would be one thing if leftists pushing for an end to private prisons and prison labor would go on to also tackle other issues like “tough on crime” laws, institutionalized sexual violence in prisons, widespread censorship of reading materials in prisons, or any number of other issues. But evidence suggests that they would not, considering that the only thing leftists talk about is prison labor and they are completely silent on everything else.
Making prisons about slave labor is a way that leftists on the outside can feign that they care about prisoners without actually ever addressing the real function that prisons have in the social control of internally colonized populations, and the corollary function of solidifying the Amerikkkan labor aristocracy, making sure the “good” jobs are still largely monopolized by Amerikans, depleting oppressed nations of their most significant resource (i.e. labor-power) so that it’s harder to challenge Amerikan dominance, and so on. Amerikan leftists are complicit in this process and refusing to investigate and draw attention to it extends that complicity.
Kuroshitsuji Chapter 129 Analysis: Gaging the Morality and Possible Lack of Self of
Now that we’ve got the twins, many recent posts within the Kuro fandom have debated whether or not R!Ciel can be classified as the “evil twin,” following the event of Agni’s death and in comparison with O!Ciel. While it is possible to generalize him as such and it is most likely that he was one of the two killers that had attempted to murder Soma and killed Agni, it also opens up a lot of questions in how we might interpret his behavior and why he is the way he is.
For now, let us start with the most recent chapter and the true introduction to R!Ciel’s character. As O!Ciel and Sebastian enter the manor, we find that R!Ciel is already inside and has already interacted with the other servants: Finnie, Meyrin, and Baldroy. He greets his brother calmly, and even shows concern regarding O!Ciel possibly suffering from his illness as a result of being out in the rain knowing the latter’s weak constitution. He also tells O!Ciel that, “There is no need to worry anymore. I will never leave your side again."
Based on this, if we don’t assume he’s faking, we can interpret that he truly does care for O!Ciel, his brother. There’s no telling how much he knows as of yet in regards to what Ciel has been doing over the past three years, but he’s not surprised and doesn’t seem to care if he does know that O!Ciel has been posing as him. He’s acting almost as if everything is perfectly normal.
So what constitutes as ‘normal’ for R!Ciel? First off, the obvious: He loves his brother. If we reflect on R!Ciel’s appearances throughout the manga prior to his reveal in this chapter, O!Ciel has always depicted him as this protective, comforting figure that he was always able to turn to. During the Green Witch Arc when he was suffering and basically trapped within the confines of his own mind, it was his twin–out of all people–that he envisioned being there to console him beyond the guilt O!Ciel carries as a result of the other being sacrificed. Now, while we can’t fully trust those flashbacks due to the possibility of O!Ciel placing his brother in high regard as a result of familial love and as a result of his fragile state of mind, Chapter 129 would also support that R!Ciel is more of the protecting, loving sort where it concerns O!Ciel.
Now, stepping into the Phantomhive manor, R!Ciel shouldn’t have had any idea who Meyrin, Finnie, and Baldroy were as only Tanaka was among the original staff before the attack on the Phantomhives. However, based on the fact that the three had no idea about the case of their being twins until the very end of the chapter, R!Ciel just accepted the fact that they were there and already knew who he was. If he knew about O!Ciel posing as him, that just makes it worse, because then that means he purposefully led them to believe he was O!Ciel instead of explaining things to them before O!Ciel’s arrival to the manor. Why is this important? Because he’s the aristocrat: They’re the servants. As Tanaka had said during Book of Murder, "The head of the Phantomhive household should not be shaken by something as trivial as the death of a servant. I never once saw the master lose his composure due to such trifles." Now, we’re talking about a human life here. Being called "trivial” and “a trifle." On top of that, they’re servants of a dangerous family–always left at the risk of getting killed and being replaced. This is how R!Ciel views Finnie, Meyrin, and Baldroy: Another trio of replacements for their last batch of servants. Their presence is just something he accepts as a grim result of the attack. This shuffle is normal to him.
Take that note to how the Victorian society placed a strong focus on social class, and it gets worse. Even well into the Edwardian period following the Victorians, your class dictated your education, your social behavior, the places you were to go, the people you were to spend time with, and everything in-between. For example, on the Titanic, its maiden voyage was celebrated by allowing 2nd class passengers to get a taste of the luxury of 1st class passengers by allowing them within certain areas of the ship for a short while that would normally have been excluded to them. 3rd class passengers were not allowed in these areas and the differences between the three of them were striking. There was an African-American family on board that, while having enough money to purchase a 1st class room, was only allowed to purchase a 2nd class room because of their heritage–which leads me to my second point of what I’m about to say later. Victorians, as a result of international colonization, also strictly differentiated each other by culture and heritage: They actually tried to come up with studies that dictated how human a human being was based on where they came from. The elites of this era always tended to try to dehumanize others globally and among their own society. They were elitists.
R!Ciel shows strong hints of following that elitist mindset–in part, because he’s a Phantomhive and then also because he’s an aristocrat. It’s strongly hinted that he views himself as being better, or more human, than the Phantomhive servants–as well as with Soma and Agni due to their being from India. That’s why, if that’s him from the previous chapter (which it’s a guarantee, I just don’t want to call it that since we didn’t actually see a face) he says to Soma, "Don’t you presume to touch me.” Soma may be a prince, Soma might’ve been living at the townhouse, but Soma's a stranger and is Indian to R!Ciel, and the latter doesn’t view him as an equal. He doesn’t seem to be affected and even smiles when he’s called out as an imposter, but he glares at Finnie when Finnie speaks up. Because Finnie is a servant, who in his mind shouldn’t have a place to voice himself: He just works there and should know his place.
O!Ciel is a brat, but even so he treats the servants more like his family. He tries to help Soma and protected Agni’s identity when he could’ve just thrown him to the Yard. He spares Sullivan instead of killing her and trusts her enough to be his ally while helping her in London–all while making sure the Queen doesn’t get that deadly gas she has the ability to create despite it giving him more work and leaving him to be forced to rely on her faith and good nature. He let Snake into his house, just the other servants, despite the attempt on his life and the possibility of Snake finding out the truth–because then Snake would really have to die. He could’ve had Sebastian kill Doll right as soon as she showed up, but he didn’t give the order until she attacked. He’s an Evil Noblemen and will sacrifice innocent people, but more often than not he does what he can to avoid it and he doesn’t judge others solely by their origins. The only time he’s ever really killed someone for the sake of destruction was when he killed the children in Book of Circus–and I personally largely blame that on PTSD rather than an actual judgment call of "yeah, they couldn’t be saved" made with complete sanity because he wasn’t in his right mind at that moment and he himself is a living example of moving forward beyond tragedy, whether he believes it or not.
“We’re strangers, so of course we’re different. What is there to be ashamed of? In any case, I’m free to choose my companions.” –Ciel to Snake, in Chapter 52
R!Ciel though… He might take to the title of an Evil Noble far more than his brother. He doesn’t have to force people away, because it doesn’t seem like he cares for them anyway. He cares for O!Ciel because their aristocrats and their family. If we take it that R!Ciel was also the one who said “I don’t need any fake brothers,” in the chapter Yana Toboso created in the second fan doujinshi, we can also assume that he likely even views other aristocrats as being less than him–highly possible considering the Phantomhive family’s strong ties to the Queen and the amount of betrayal among the elites. (Who could you trust?)
This elitist mindset, this idea of “I must look after my brother,” and the numbness to the deaths of others and the willingness to kill should be perfectly normal for a member of a family of Evil Nobles. It fits well with R!Ciel’s character, because this is what he probably grew up being taught to believe and act upon. “I'm likely going to take up the work of a dangerous family that is involved in horrible things. Tragedy is going to happen both ways: Better get used to it." He also fits well for the mantra of advice that the Undertaker claims to have been telling each generation of Phantomhives:
"Even though I told him to hold each and every soul dear. Because you hold great power you gradually fail to understand the importance of things that cannot be recovered. You will realize that once it’s too late. How many times have I told you and others the same warning?”–Undertaker, Chapter 35
The problem is, R!Ciel clearly has not learned that lesson yet. Granted, Undertaker is a hypocrite, but he basically is saying to cherish life. R!Ciel shows no signs of doing that beyond a select few. And that’s jarring for multiple reasons: One because it reflects on the kind of person he was prior to his being sacrificed, and two because it can also reflect on the fact that he isn’t human anymore. What would he care about the precious fragility of life if either A.) He doesn’t even have a soul to guide him and is truly just another puppet like all of the other Bizarre Dolls, or B.) Undertaker did by some miracle manage to save his soul, but he was revived anyway so what could it matter? He’s alive and so is O!Ciel. I prefer A, however, because B would allude to him not caring for his parent’s deaths either.
Going off all of that… Let's get back to talking about how R!Ciel greets O!Ciel. There’s no talk of the tragedy or of their loss. There’s no warm, cherishing reunion of “I’m alive! I’m alive and I’m here for you: I’m so glad you’re alive! Demon, get the heck out before I shoot a harpoon through your face: You’re not touching the little cinnabon muffin that is my twin!" Instead, it’s just, "Oh, your back! Welcome home! You shouldn’t be the rain,” as if nothing that they went through happened. A normal person does not act this way. There should be emotion. There should be an acknowledgment of what happened. There isn’t. R!Ciel treats the situation as business as usual.
This hints very well to the fact that R!Ciel isn’t human anymore and likely doesn’t have a soul. He’s more like Agares, and is just another mindless doll under Undertaker’s command. You can’t fake humanity. You can try to recreate a person, but once they’re gone, that’s it. Even if you cloned them perfectly, or saved the body, with a copy of their memories, it’s just as Undertaker said: There’s only one immortal soul. One of them in the entire world. Without it, everything else is just parts of a machine. R!Ciel, this doll, remembers how it used to be before his death, and clings to that: It doesn’t have the power to learn and change its morals beyond that. (And I’m calling R!Ciel an 'it’ now because of the high chances that 'it’ is no longer a person.) Really, it probably doesn’t have any true essence of freewill. If there’s any actions done on its own accord, it’s because it knows was the true R!Ciel would do and acts on that, or else what Undertaker–and maybe even O!Ciel–would want for it to do.
I’m going to bring up the anime just for the sake of comparison: Drocell/Drossel Keinz. Drocell was the anime equivalent of the Bizarre Dolls before they showed up. The difference was though was that he didn’t need to directly be fed commands as the others need. Both of the Bizarre Dolls on the Campania and at Weston, while gradually being advanced, had to be basically kept on a leash whenever Undertaker didn’t want them to go after a soul. They knew some part of them was missing. The first batch were like mindless beasts. The second batch could talk so long as Undertaker fed them them right words, or they repeated words that their former selves would say and still attacked without otherwise being restrained. This time, however, R!Ciel is likely a doll like Drocell, convinced that it’s human and it’s alive. That it has a soul.
“To think all this time I thought I was human.” –Drocell, Kuroshitsuji anime
Unless Undertaker actually thinks he’s giving O!Ciel more than just a walking, empty corpse, unless he’s lost his sanity that badly due to his pain, returning R!Ciel like this… I can barely even begin to imagine how tortured and torn a person–O!Ciel–would be over that. That a doll, a figment of someone you once cherished, could look and act exactly like the person you lost without ever being more than a husk. Seeing that, knowing that it’s a problem, and being faced with a sudden choice: “Do I accept this even though this isn’t real or do I kill this lookalike? Do I destroy the one essence left of someone I cared about, or do I let this continue for my emotional benefit?" People grieve after a loss and then they move on. They heal. Bringing R!Ciel back like this does not allow that for O!Ciel, Lizzie, or Undertaker. I don’t know what is going through Undertaker’s head right now, but this is the beginning of a downhill spiral of pain and misery…
March 30th, 2017, will mark the 41st anniversary of Land Day in Palestine.
On 30 March 1976, thousands of people belonging to the Palestinian minority in Israel gathered to protest Israel’s plans to expropriate 60,000 dunams of Palestinian-owned land in the Galilee. In the resulting confrontations with the Israeli army, six Palestinians were killed, hundreds wounded, and hundreds jailed. In the intervening years, those events have become consecrated in the Palestinian memory as Land Day.
After years of military rule and political docility, Land Day 1976 was the first act of mass resistance by the Palestinians inside Israel against the Zionist policy of internal colonization, a systematic process of expropriation that had reduced Palestinian land ownership from around 94 per cent of all territory in pre-1948 Palestine to less than three per cent in what is now considered to be Israel.
After years of quiet ostracism by the PLO and the Arab states, Land Day reaffirmed the Palestinian minority in Israel as an inseparable part of the Palestinian nation.
And this day today, resembles unity between Palestinians no matter where they are across the globe over the struggle and fight for the land.
Identities and Affinities: A Few Thoughts on Solidarity Between Asian and Jewish Communities
After a conversation with a friend in which they questioned the possibility of solidarity between Asian-American and Jewish communities, and moreover the cultivation of a sort of “shared” history built from an understanding of the two affinities as historical categories alongside their communal structure, the affinities between the two are absolutely worth exploring and moreover provide a means to further discuss the structure of radical politics as both historically present in America and as possible even within settler-colonial hegemony, as part of moving from a vulgar Third-Worldism or pointless machines of anarchist libidinal pooling toward more meaningful united actions. I propose these discussions in an attempt not to appear as if I have gained a unique understanding that requires externality to be realized, but rather because I am also interested in such affinity and wish to provide a point at which critiques may be met with one another through the posing and critique of a text at hand.
In attempting to create a parallel understanding of experiences of violence in American Jewish communities and Asian-American communities, one must reckon with a great deal of structural violence, and moreover must not capitulate to a singular binary of opposition, of experience as merely understood through violent acts in themselves, the appropriation of these acts into the mythologies of settler-colonial ideology and their reversal in dynamics of violence that are articulative of a violent paradigm within American social life, the creation of the violent disparities that characterize an internally colonized nation, and the means by which this relates to a larger structure of violent ideological maneuvering on the part of American hegemony as a particular agent of imperialist violence.
When discussing the figuration of a stereotype, the initial reaction is often to reject it outright, to consider that there is no possibility of the stereotype in question as actually figuring any experience. This approach is problematic in that it ignores the origin of a stereotype, an approach that in turn is reappropriated in defense of the stereotype at hand by claiming it as fundamentally true in a signifying sense even if it does not apply on a singular basis. Thus, one effectively must acknowledge one of multiple Derridean oppositions within the structure of this conversation: the stereotype itself, as well as the conspicuous lack (a lack that is in fact a fullness) that results from its uncritical rejection. To hold the stereotype is to oppose a lack of it, but to hold a lack of it is a weak position specifically because it does nothing to acknowledge the structural cultivation of a stereotype, the origins thereof, the means by which one arrives at the violent actualization of a stereotype. This can be seen in current discourses on opposite sides of the continent: as a New York quasipolititician makes a failed bid for City Council entirely on the platform of antisemitic opposition to landlords, liberal politicians in Vancouver organize against the spectre of Chinese developers buying property that lays unused, a sort of imagining of the apartment as a then-fallow field often contrasted with British Columbia’s large homeless population. In both cases, the stereotype is not to be affirmed as it requires a reactionary, violent turn that ignores the material conditions at hand: the mere reversal is also vastly unsatisfactory in that it can easily be cast off by the figuration of even a single case of the supposedly fulfilled stereotype. Moreover, this can turn into a reactionary defense of landlords as individuals and even as a social group, a sort of ironic turn that does nothing except shore up particular bourgeoisie interests codified in the libidinal structure of Real Estate, the figuration of a certain sort of private property as rightfully the domain of these landlords, thus eventually reversing the reversal in a dual process of eventual affirmation.
New York City and Vancouver are going through housing crises of one sort or another: the signifying value of prices as a sort of semiotic exchange process is a drama that may as well be played out on any other sort of commodity, but happens to be structured around real estate, in these cases. While the conditions of being a landlord to tenants made vulnerable by the violence of race enacted through a cultivated precarity of housing are different from those found in use of apartments as a commodity similar to gold or oil or art, neither is fundamentally tied to those who happen to be participating in them. The antisemitic figuration upon landlords as Jewish taps into a larger antisemitic ideology: some landlords may indeed be Jewish, but this hardly makes it intricate to or part of their violence as a landlord. It is class character that articulates that violence, not the antisemitism that one claims to be the source. The buying of property in Vancouver that has been concentrated in the structure of the apartment is similar in that again, it is by no means originating in those buying the property being Chinese, it is in their status as part of a newly realized bourgeoisie looking to use postmodern stores of value as part of cultivating their wealth. The same process has happened in Manhattan, without the same racialization, where the city’s most valuable real estate is almost entirely unoccupied. Their value is as simulacrum of an apartment: these apartments are not intended to be lived in, but rather to mimic other apartments that are not lived in, but serve as commodities to store value. They can be bought or sold as needed, and while they will occasionally indeed be occupied, this is rather rare.
The incredible similarities in the ideological figurations occurring here must be discussed specifically because it is the creation of an opportunity to codify a labor aristocracy within the settler-colonial subjectivity, within the colonized: the politician in question argued not for the abolition of landlords as a class, but rather merely desired a shift toward landlords of the same race as their tenants. Similarly, the practice of buying apartments in this fashion in Vancouver has been structured by a series of growing contradictions within late capitalist development, where the ideological value of Real Estate far outpaces its value as an actually livable space, the building and keeping of these apartments of simulacrum a rather viable financial strategy for the time being, one that will not stop merely because of a racialized law that puts an extra step between a particular nation’s bourgeoisie and their ownership over this asset.
These structures of violence can be repeated again and again in numerous contexts: one of the most important ones is the continual tests of purity leveled against Jewish communities surrounding the violence of Israel. One can absolutely call support for the state of Israel reactionary, given its position as a colonial power backed by both settler-colonial ideology and justified through the invocation of antisemitism as its originating need, as the ontic basis of the state, in order to appeal to those who are not themselves Jewish and thus would not recognize claims of self-determination based upon Jewish traditions, Jewish culture, Jewish lives. However, that this question is immediately raised for Jewish people as an implicit part of any discussion, no matter how inconsequential, is absolutely and undeniably antisemitic. There is no acknowledgment of the complicated histories of intergenerational trauma and fascist violence that go into the realization of imperialist ideology, and the relationship between such deep, continually realized and repeated trauma and the violent antisemitism exhibited in the uncaring imposition of this test of purity, this prerequisite for subjectivity, the incredible ideological pressure to support Israel that is magnified beyond any such pressure present in most American politics owes itself to an antisemitic figuration of Israel itself, a figuration that in fact aids the state of Israel in justifying itself. To properly discuss these reactionary ideological structures, one must enter into a sort of critique that separates the ideological basis of the state from its meaningful structural basis in certain imperialist, colonial acts of violent reterritorialization, the topographies necessary to justify such a state. Furthermore, this is an operation that cannot be meaningfully undertaken without approaching the violence of antisemitism both as part of this undertaking and in itself, a recognition not only of the role of antisemitism in structuring the violence that Israel commits, but because antisemitic thought is a foundational part of fascist ideology, the figuration of Judaism and antisemitism by fascism is in fact not to be understood as mere contingency, but vitally founded within it as a reactionary structure. There may be reactionary tendencies that do not explicitly hold this same ideology openly, but to ignore their readily antisemitic character, the means by which fascist and reactionary ideologies are willing to adopt antisemitism regardless of their particular situation is vital to any meaningful antifascist understanding.
Similarly, given the incredibly hegemonic structure of anticommunism in America, the way that it forms an ideological prerequisite for any meaningful political action within the structure of American democratic politics, the expectation that traumatic violence will be readily understood and contextualized as “revolutionary” rather than part of personal experience relies on a test that many Asian immigrants and Asian-Americans face when discussing their politics and identity that in turn is not levied against other immigrants in discussing the violence of capitalism. American exceptionalism is found in global ideology, even if reversed through the structure of socialist ideology: that the twin poles of capitalist and socialist government often interact, share affinities, have a healthy process of exchange between two bourgeoisie classes shows that capitalism and socialism are able to exist alongside one another and levy the same sorts of violence from supposed ideological opposites. Using Deleuzean notions of the despotic body, and pointing out the obsolete vocabularies of “despotism” as tied to Orientalist ideologies of power, one finds the structural violence of creating pools of bourgeoisie sentiment within a nation, the codification of an internal bourgeoisie within the Party as a process that has been named by Maoist theory (but not meaningfully prevented or avoided) there is a common point at which the violence suffered under differing structures of hegemony originates in the same sort of singular structure of “totalitarian” origin that Deleuze and Guattari describe. There is an obvious danger in acknowledging such structures and their traumatic, Oedipal character in this discussion, the eventual capitulation to liberal notions of totalitarian violence that see liberal democracy as the only solution and moreover that rely upon exacerbating the violences figured within fascism or socialist despotism in order to create a notion of capitalist freedom. The creation of a false unity between Nazi and Soviet histories, a project often forwarded through neoliberal languages and powered by fascist machines of rearticulation and reterritorialization, is ever-present as a possible failure of this process.
Realizing these structures, realizing the way in which different experiences of immigration into a settler-colonial subjectivity and the mythologization of Jewish Americans or Asian-American communities as “models” for immigrant success involves not only the imposition of a stereotype, as mentioned before, but the imposition of that stereotype as an act of capitalist overcoding upon both communities. It is in isolation, in particular suspensions of community, that one realizes this structure of the “model minority” and to fight for it as a reality, as a sort of ascension from Mao’s concept of the well-to-do peasant to the postmodern landlord, is not a worthwhile goal. To “make good” on the promises of American ideology is not a success, it is specifically the realization of a bourgeoisie ideal that in turn feeds the violence at hand and in fact invites these subjects to repeat the same violence they face. The means by which structures of antiblackness are so deeply embedded in these narratives, the violence with which antiblackness is maintained within them and the reflection of antiblackness both internally and outwardly within Jewish or Asian-American communities is necessary to discuss, but this is not to be taken as a justification for the presence of antisemitism or anti-Asian ideology in organizing against antiblackness, the acceptance of such settler-colonial mythologies in processes of organizing. That the Black Panthers were supported by radical Jewish and Asian groups should not be a surprise, in that both Jewish-American and Asian-American communities have long traditions of radical organization, radical agitation, and in fact have been figured by structures of white supremacy in a manner that relies on demarcation either apart from or alongside structures of antiblackness. This is treated rather well by much of the discussion present in Settlers in that Sakai describes his own family’s experience of violent anti-Japanese racism as owing to not a unique ideological structure, but the ones that contributed to antiblackness, rooted and in fact made thinkable through the previous intelligibillity of antiblackness as a structure. In turn, antiblackness and antisemitism are structures that make reactionary and fascist ideologies possible: it is not coincidence that the two are so often invoked at once by reactionaries, whether in an attempt to appeal to one of the two, or as part of directing white supremacist violence.
I am merely offering a small, partial discussion of larger structures of possibility, of material and structural analysis, in writing this and I do not mean this essay to be an end in itself except as it is not-an-end: if discussion ends with this, then I have failed in the task I set out to accomplish. Discussions of radical organization within individual and hegemonically-determined communities is a sort of undertaking that forms the basis of one’s politics, not a mere secondary consideration as liberalism implies them to be. The figuration of “identity politics” is not to claim that identity should be banished from the political, but that it is a redundancy, that the creation of identity is an articulation based in class and that one cannot articulate class if one ignores the structural violence demarcated through identity. Even in arboreal, hegemonic realization one must accept the rhizomal interfacing between different violent structures, must approach them in a fashion that allows genuine postcolonial analysis.
Aloe Vera does more then just heal wounds. Aloe vera bolsters the body’s defenses at the cellular level, stimulating the immune system. When taken internally it helps heal inflammation of the esophagus, stomach, and stomach ulcers. It’s also a mild laxative. When taken internally is causes the colon to contract, generally producing a bowel movement in 8-12 hours. At a low dose Aloe can stimulate digestion.
Aloe Vera juice is a great remedy for acid reflux.
Aloe Vera has great healing properties. Studies have shown that the clear gel has a dramatic ability to heal wounds, ulcers, and burns. Adding a coat of the gel to an affected area will speed up the rate of healing.
At home we use George’s Aloe Vera. My son who is 8 takes 1 ounce twice daily for acid reflux.
u kno, the label/idea of Radical Democracy is one that i actually have a great affinity for because it presents a great deal of opportunity for meaningfully anticapitalist organization, organization that I do not see as entirely incompatible with structures of Maoist struggle, and more than that part of realizing a larger course of struggle and liberation, the radical-democratic principles of organizations like the EZLN are worth study but also are often correctly critiqued as presenting relative little danger to the state when enacted, although then again that critique is leveled at times against the NPA.
all of this is to say that “Radical Democracy” is important but to use that label can be precarious because it so readily becomes interpreted as meaning “radical Democrat” as an elusive, specifically fleeting identity in relation to the Democratic Party apparatus that condones neoliberalism so long as it leads to superficial realizations of aesthetic turns toward Democratic Socialism that specifically rely upon violence toward both internally colonized and third world proletariats, as part of creating multiple distanced and thus incoherent structures of subaltern and proletarian subjectivity.
The context of such a question is that a mono racial Black person can’t be pretty or handsome past a certain imaginary level. In other words with ONLY Black blood running through your veins and ONLY Black people contributing to your DNA, one can only achieve x level of prettiness or handsomeness. Anything higher than x must require that you have the aide of some other race. That subtle but real racist thinking right there.
And Black people do it too. When Black people do it, it’s self hatred, internalized racism or mental colonization. All of which are results of racism.
So let’s all say it together: Black people don’t have to be mixed to be beautiful! Black people don’t have to be mixed to be beautiful! Black people don’t have to be mixed to be beautiful! Black people don’t have to be mixed to be beautiful! Black people don’t have to be mixed to be beautiful! Black people don’t have to be mixed to be beautiful! Black people don’t have to be mixed to be beautiful!
1. The acknowledgement and official apology by the US state apparatus of its role in destabilizing American countries and the continued exploitation of American peoples.
2. The immediate withdrawal of all US troops and closing of military bases throughout the Americas.
3. The immediate withdrawal, indictment, and prosecution of all agents of US imperialism including operatives of the CIA and DEA concerning criminal actions such as terrorism, sabotage, and assassinations.
4. The immediate transfer of ownership of US-controlled capital in non-US territories either directly to local workers when possible, or in the case of countries with popular socialist governments, to said governments.
5. The immediate end of economic warfare against the people of Cuba, the release of the remaining political prisoners known as the Cuban Five, and direct, non-imperialist assistance to the building of the Cuban economy, up to and including direct reparations.
I am down with it. Creating a hash tag that relates to a lot of people who went through similar experiences growing up, but the term “hispanic” is problematic for several reasons:
The term recalls the colonization of latin american countries by Spain and Portugal and ignores the Indigenous and African roots that are in many of our cultural practices.
HIspanic is a term that was prescribed onto our community by the USFG. The term “hispanic” was sensationalized by some old white dude. It was used by Reagan to lump together Latinxs. Insinuating that all brown people are one and the same.
The term is not accurate considering that the people it is used to refer to don’t even speak Spanish sometimes. If we go by the “all spanish speakers” explanation, then that would include Spain as well. Which in most cases you don’t associate the people from Spain with the term and they don’t want to be associated with “hispanics” either.
lack of accuracy means that certain people are excluded and/or erased through the usage of the word.
Also to refer to yourself as “hispanic” just demonstrates how much you have internalized whiteness and colonization. As my girl Sandra Cisneros says, “To say Hispanic means you’re so colonized you don’t even know for yourself or someone who named you never bothered to ask what you call yourself.”
A great deal of the opposition to Trump from within the Republican party has concentrated on his economic policy, or lack thereof. He discusses recentering manufacturing in America, despite the way in which America’s economy has moved towards finance and service-industry work in a possibly irreversible fashion. His specific decision not to merely acknowledge, but embrace an apparently-incoherent economic policy in reaction to neoliberalism is part of the way in which he actively embraces fascism, and must be understood as meaningfully fascist.
Neoliberalism relies upon the contradiction of its globalizing processes and the reactionary fascism that follows it because the resistance to globalization allows for the creation of nebulous “jobs” specifically tied to maintaining the infrastructure of bourgeoisie life. The way in which construction as an industry is connected to this turn provides an important example in how it represents a literal reterritorializing act through the construction of offices, their renovation, the shifting expression of aesthetics changing with the manner in which neoliberalism disguises the globalizing violence it requires. The pull of fascist reaction to globalization allows for the proliferation of alienated labor to be seen as an act of creation in abstract, the creation of jobs maintaining the structures of producing-production reduced to “creating jobs” while still maintaining a large pool of unemployed workers.
The specific turn towards fascism represented by Trump comes with the promise of a restructuring of American industry, one that strengthens both internal and external colonization through reshaping the relations of labor and relocating producing-production. Bourgeoisie resistance comes from an understanding that their globalizing processes are going to be distributed along different striations, from a specific recognition of how globalization has made them rich.
Conversely, some anticipate how Trump will reconcile the contradiction of an ideology that relies upon internal manufacturing and use of labor with an economy reliant upon globalization. Trump has taken advantage of the aesthetic fascism pushed as part of a process of signifying differance between Republican and Democrat candidates when the material holdings of the two parties were overwhelmingly similar. By concentrating on the domestic effects of globalization and relying upon microfascist flows to justify a social policy founded in reactionary traditionalism the Republicans specifically created a base that tended towards that microfascism in a defining fashion.
Reactionaries have been courting disaffected libertarians, republicans, liberals, and many others through the manner in which their opposition to globalization is aesthetic and in fact not at all dangeorus to the globalized body of America despotism. Rather, the structures, the specific flows and the signifying of machines directing them, will shift towards a changing neofascism that relies upon a redirecting and restructuring of globalization that still maintains the lucrative concept of a globe as used in neoliberal economy but restructures part of the distribution of the flows of capital it creates in order to create a restructured and fascist state body.
Trump, along with his advisers and many of his supporters, has an understanding of how the structures of globalization will change, and a specific intention to restructure flows of capital across the body-without-organs of the globe to foster fascist violence on a global scale. Trump’s ostentatiousness has lead to a deepening of fascist consciousness in America and putting Clinton in office will not change that, it will merely allow for the development of stronger structures of globalization while fostering fascism to support itself.
any neck strengthening exercises would be great.to do this, use isometric neck stretches. also, focus on maintaining good posture.
for exercise: try mma or kickboxing! it’ll relieve stress and keep that back straight!
taurus are prone to throat injuries.
make sure to cut back on caffeine and spices because they can damage your throat! avoid yelling.
for exercise: a pilates-yoga class would be a nice, quiet, yet fun time for you!
gemini is ruled by the upper body, arms and shoulders.
do not over do yourself. arm injuries are easy to get, but very tricky to recover from.
for exercise: lifting weights is a great way to develop your upper body to it’s full potential. make sure you stretch well!
cancers typically have good hands, but may be prone to breathing and stomach troubles.
developing decent breathing habits is extremely important. while typing may come easy, a strong diaphragm and stomach will be difficult for you.
for exercise: yoga is an awesome and relaxing way to create strong breathing and improve flexibility.
ruled by the heart and spine, leos are prone to poor posture, but cardiac wellness, if exercised properly.
straighten your shoulders and spine. posture is crucial in all aspects of life and must be developed early.
for exercise: run, run, run! running helps build core, which you need to improve your posture. it also works your heart.
ruled by the abdomen, core strength may come easily to a virgo. however, pancreatic and thyroid problems are known to afflict them.
since your core is strong, you need to develop your upper body and lower body equally, to maintain balance of your muscles.
for exercise: try a zumba class and go lift weights afterwards. it’s not only fun, but it works everything.
libras are ruled by the kidneys, colon, the lumbar spine, and ovaries, in the female sex.
since libras are ruled by mostly internal organs, (kidneys, colon, ovaries) it is important for them to develop a well-rounded workout that is easy on their lumbar spine, with healthy eating.
for exercise: try swimming! it’s easier on your spine than most workouts, but it is very good for you!
scorpio is ruled by the pelvis area, (genitals, blood, bladder, and urethra),
developing hip strength is good for a scorpio.
for exercise: bicycling would be great for strengthening the pelvic area.
the thigh area rules sagittarius.
the legs contain the largest muscles in our body. it is crucial to strengthen them well.
for exercise: though it may sound ironic, equestrian sports are very beneficial to developing leg muscles. if horses aren’t available, squats and lunge are great exercises!
ruled by the skeletal system, capricorn are prone to joint discomfort and weak teeth, if not cared for properly.
since joint discomfort is common for caps, workouts must develop muscles in order to strengthen the skeletal system. teeth should also be under a very good cleansing routine.
for exercise: when you are working out a muscle, it actually tears microscopically and grows back stronger and larger. by placing the extra load on your bones, they become denser and are able to stay healthier. cardio and resistance exercises are great for developing this skeletal strength.
aquarius are ruled by the ankles.
ankles are easily hurt in daily aspects of life. to reach full potential, aquarians must strengthen their ankles.
for exercise: tennis or basketball or any sport that requires movement on the ankles constantly strengthens them well.
strong feet are common in pisces.
the feet were once thought to be the foundation for all comfort, and in some ways, they are. pisces must develop their quick feet in order to reach full potential.
for exercise: try dancing! footwork is key in dance, and therefore, you may gain even better foot strength.
Tomorrow March 30th will mark the 40th anniversary of Palestine’s Land Day.
On 30 March 1976, thousands of people belonging to the Palestinian minority in Israel gathered to protest Israeli government plans to expropriate 60,000 dunams of Palestinian-owned land in the Galilee. In the resulting confrontations with the Israeli army and police, six Palestinians were killed, hundreds wounded, and hundreds jailed. In the intervening years, those events have become consecrated in the Palestinian memory as Land Day.
After years of military rule and political docility, Land Day 1976 was the first act of mass resistance by the Palestinians inside Israel against the Zionist policy of internal colonization, a systematic process of expropriation that had reduced Palestinian land ownership from around 94 per cent of all territory in pre-1948 Palestine to less than three per cent in what is now considered to be Israel.
After years of quiet ostracism by the PLO and the Arab states, Land Day reaffirmed the Palestinian minority in Israel as an inseparable part of the Palestinian nation.
This tumblr is for all lesbian, bisexual, and other wlw women of color. It is intended to be a safe space for us to talk about our personal experiences, support each other, share non-white and non-western wlw history, and post other things that relate to us (”Assimilation within a solely western-european herstory is not acceptable.” – Audre Lorde).
Equally likely, you may relate to Cherríe Moraga’s journal entries featured in This Bridge, where she wrote:
“I had nearly forgotten that I wanted/needed to deal with racism because I couldn’t stand being separated from other women.
Women of color face racism, exclusion, and at best tokenization in white lgb spaces. Instead of fighting for basic respect and recognition from white lgb people, or spending dedicating all our energy solely towards understanding our exclusion (”We have a lot more to concentrate on beside the pathology of white wimmin” – davenport), we need to prioritize ourselves and our communities. We hope this space will be able to help with that!
Note: We recognize Women of Color is a US-Centric political designation of solidarity. This blog will naturally extend beyond US-centric political terms. What we mean is a designation of non-white solidarity, similar to “third world feminism.” – those who are internally colonized-women.
The mods: Yaejin is a cis lesbian korean american and Des is a cis bisexual mexican american. This is a small beginning, and a table to which we invite the many voices of our sisters.
Please read the rules before following! Also please signal boost this post!! :)
If the paradigm of “female” as a sex is one that oppression occurs through…why is it worth keeping? What about sex, specifically, makes it worthwhile, useful, or anything other than a way of categorizing bodies so that they may be gendered, the apparently separation of structures into a social and a biological in order to obscure the biopower at work?
“Female” and “male” as designations are not neutral, they are not unideological, they are not unconstructed. The construction of this category leads to the finding of differences between the two, these differences are not ontologically necessary as manners of dividing the body. These differences, in short, are not meaningful on their own.
What is the meaning of sex outside of directing the taking of labor and exertion of violence? What is sex when the power that directs it is removed? Why is it important to have these two categories? Acknowledging that they have been constructed, in order to acknowledge that their production upon the body leads to the production of gender (claimed as a separate structure entirely despite their interconnectedness and the reliance of one upon the other for comprehensibility) and in turn acknowledging that these constructions result in the assemblage of discursive restrictions around the body leads one to understanding sex as primarily meaningful in the context of assigning and constructing gender.
Abolition of gender, as a colonial construct that has forced a binary of understanding upon colonized cultures (both colonized internally and externally) is an important part of postcolonial and decolonial work, in addition to being an absolute necessity for ending gendered violence. But the preservation of sex as a structure, considering the way in which it produces gender, is only allowing for the production of gender through that which is understood as sex. The notion that gendered power cannot simply be reascribed to sex if it could not be ascribed to gender is naive, it is not understanding how these structures of power function, it is capitulation to the system that institutes the two.
Sex essentialism is defending the ontological necessity of the divisions constituted by gender. That’s it, that’s what it is. Is there any reason not to view sex as self-same to gender except to create such essentialisms?