Solange Knowles Speaks Out About Cultural Appropriation of Black Culture

I see that Solange Knowles is also tired of the exploitative, eat, pray, love syndrome, “everybody wanna be a nigga but don’t nobody wanna be a nigga,” fuck feelings or context, you can’t call them out for racism for they’ll claim you’re slut shaming them (if they’re women), Whites and their cultural appropriation of Black culture.

They genuinely make me ill with this. Genuinely. And apparently Solange has had enough as well. 

Sadly, and as expected actually, some Black people attacked her online in defense of people like Miley Cyrus. Eh…Zzzzz. I already explained why they do this: Pop Culture, Social Justice and Race: When Black People Love Whiteness More Than Fellow Black People

This isn’t Solange’s first time critiquing ignorance or White supremacy. She did so in regards to music writers who don’t know the music they write about and in response to a White woman who made racist remarks about her natural hair. 

And yeah yeah, I know plenty of spoiled White supremacist, “coming of age,” ignorant, annoying, privileged, entitled irritant of a human being type of Whites have their long, boring, dry, inaccurate, decontextualized, fuckshit ass arguments as to why they should be entitled to exploit Black people and Black culture and that we should be “flattered” and any Black person who isn’t is “jealous” or “making a big deal” or whatever excuse they tell themselves instead of examining why they have this desire in the first place. And yeah I know geniuses of colour such as bell hooks, James Baldwin and Paulo Freire already explained why they do but since White supremacy fosters individualism, “isolated incident” perspectives (versus institutions/systems frame of thinking) and anti-introspection, they aren’t going to examine this. And yeah, some do this because they enjoy the harm it causes Black people, especially Black women. I know what’s up. 

I like when Solange speaks out. :)


A Twitter Essay by @HeerJeet: Pathologizing Black-On-Black Crime

Related: An Essay By GradientLair: Respectability Politics 

Related: Not Here for your Internalized Racism

Related: Five Myths About Black-On-Black Crime

Related: How Crime is Viewed Through The Lens of Race in America

Related: What does “Black-On-Black” Crime in Ferguson even have to do with Mike Brown?

How could an inferior, ugly black boy be able to get a white girl and not me? I am beautiful, and I am half white myself. I am descended from British aristocracy. He is descended from slaves. I deserve it more.

UCSB shooter’s manifesto, who, although the son of a British father and Asian mother, identified only as white because he “looked normal". His anger was fueled by ideas that as a white male, he was denied his birthright: meaning “beautiful blonde white women”.

In the last 20 years, all but one school shooting were committed by white men, to shed some light on why gun control is an issue routinely ignored in this country.

My inaugural year on Grey’s Anatomy was defined by two points: my character’s boyfriend and the episode when said relationship began. For the audience, the episode is noteworthy because it features a classic spectacles-to-contacts, curly-to-straight transformation. For myself it’s noteworthy because, even after Carol’s Daughter in Sephora, I Am Not My Hair on Billboard’s Hot 100 and decades of mop-headed kids in GAP commercials, the public still goes batshit over bone-straight hair on a black woman.

After the episode aired, the praise I received from strangers, friends and even my own family was staggering. I suddenly had mass-appeal and the undertone was clear: with a single blow-dry, I had arrived.

What was intended as flattery was profoundly insulting and it hurt me deeply to realize my natural form wasn’t considered feminine or desirable.

The response ignited that same young rebellion I had all those years ago. My hair had graduated from the purview of my parents to become of direct concern to the masses and, in both cases, no one considered the effect on the person at the center.


Jerrika Hinton in Creating A Center Part

She plays Stephanie Edwards (the Black female intern) on Grey’s Anatomy. I follow her on here and twitter and remember when this episode aired, she posted something along the lines of funny how a little hair straightening changes everything (paraphrasing). I knew then that she was one of my faves…so glad she went through with writing this up.

The USA is not a Moral Authority

I’m sick of this nonsense about the U.S. being a moral authority. At no point in its history has the U.S. been a beacon of morality:

  • Not when committing genocide against the Native Americans.
  • Not when passing out smallpox blankets and liquor to Native Americans.
  • Not when forcibly performing experiments on Black slaves.
  • Not during the Tuskegee Experiment.
  • Not when stealing Puerto Rico.
  • Not when performing forced sterilizations on unknowing women of color.
  • Not when stealing Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Utah, and California from Mexico.
  • Not when enslaving, selling, raping, murdering, and torturing Africans.
  • Not when it had Jim Crow.
  • Not during the Civil Rights Movement.
  • Not when it was dropping bombs on Nagasaki and Hiroshima.
  • Not when it had Japanese internment camps (WWII), into which they forced American citizens.
  • Not when it engaged in an illegal war with Vietnam and committed MANY horrific war crimes (My Lai Massacre; Agent Orange).
  • Not when it assassinated–or helped bring about the assassinations of–Patrice Lumumba, Malcolm X, MLK, Fred Hampton, and many more.
  • Not when it put drugs and guns into Black communities.
  • Not when it instituted racist drug laws.
  • Not when creating racist organizations to sabotage Civil Rights movements (COINTELPRO).
  • Not during the terrorist acts against “Black Wallstreet” in 1921 (Tulsa race riot).
  • Not when lynchings of Black people were sources of entertainment for racist monsters.
  • Not when it invaded the wrong country (Iraq) under false pretenses.
  • Not when it has the highest prison population in the world.
  • Not when has a culture that promotes rape.
  • Not when people can be murdered on camera and the murderer go free (Eric Garner murdered with illegal chokehold).
  • Not when Native American populations have been decimated, and many of the ones left continue to suffer on reservations.
  • Not when using drones to kill innocent Pakistani, Yemeni, and even American civilians.
  • Not when torturing people with water-boarding, rectal feeding/rehydration, and force-feeding people through tubes shoved down their nasal passages.
  • Not while continuing to keep Guantanamo Bay open, holding more than 130 people prisoner.

The U.S. has long lauded itself as THE moral authority, but it is a nation founded on hypocrisy and irony, genocide and slavery, rape and torture, theft and corruption. The United States of AmeriKKKa is one of the most immoral and unjust nations in the world… Possibly the worst, on the basis of its hypocrisy. 


Azealia Banks’ Inaccuracies About Cultural Appropriation

Azealia is a beautiful and talented woman, musically. Obviously has skills. But…these tweets. They’re daggers in my brain and soul. And this after I just finished throwing confetti around for Solange critiquing cultural appropriation, not rewriting history to align with White supremacy, Azealia does this. Azealia keeps breaking my heart over and over. 

Anyway, the link that I tweeted her is: Whites’ Exploitation of Black Culture (Cultural Appropriation) 101, which I alluded to in a previous post and in the post on Solange (which includes MULTIPLE links explaining cultural appropriation and examples).

Her false equalization here and completely erroneous expression of history is just…dangerous. It is not an “opinion.” An opinion is whether you think burgers are better than wings. This is completely false, ahistorical, dangerous and affirms hegemonic lies about history. She is not “entitled” to an opinion that is a falsehood and misinterpretation of Black experiences and history. 

And I know the very boring response from those terrified to challenge hegemony will be “just ignore her” and “ignore” every manifestation oppression, including Black people believing lies. Um…nope. Most people who tell me to “ignore” really mean “silence you, I must protect the status quo and victim blame, not challenge oppressive thinking anywhere I see it!”  

I just…want better for Azealia. Cause…um…

Why do the Japanese draw themselves as white?You see that especially in manga and anime.

As it turns out, that is an American opinion, not a Japanese one. The Japanese see anime characters as being Japanese. It is Americans who think they are white. Why?  Because to them white is the Default Human Being.

If I draw a stick figure, most Americans will assume that it is a white man. Because to them that is the Default Human Being. For them to think it is a woman I have to add a dress or long hair; for Asian, I have to add slanted eyes; for black, I add kinky hair or brown skin. Etc.

The Other has to be marked. If there are no stereotyped markings of otherness, then white is assumed.

Americans apply this thinking to Japanese drawings. But to the Japanese the Default Human Being is Japanese! So they feel no need to make their characters “look Asian”. They just have to make them look like people and everyone in Japan will assume they are Japanese – no matter how improbable their physical appearance.

You see the same thing in America:After all, why do people think Marge Simpson is white? Look at her skin: it is yellow. Look at her hair: it is a blue Afro. But the Default Human Being thing is so strong that lacking other clear, stereotyped signs of being either black or Asian she defaults to white.

When you think about it there is nothing particularly white about how anime characters look:

  • huge round eyes– no one looks like that, not even white people (even though that style of drawing eyes does go back to Betty Boop).
  • yellow hair– but they also have blue hair and green hair and all the rest. Therefore hair colour is not about being true to life.
  • small noses– compared to the rest of the world whites have long noses that stick out.
  • white skin– but many Japanese have skin just as pale and white as most White Americans.

Besides, that is not how the Japanese draw white or even Chinese people. The otherness of foreigners is clearly marked by physical stereotypes – just as Americans do with people of colour. In anime White Americans are stereotyped as having yellow hair, blue eyes and a long or big nose:

Gone are the big round eyes and the strange hair colours. Because those things have nothing to do with whiteness.

Note that the Japanese drop the markings of otherness if the action is set in a foreign land, like China or America. In that case the characters are drawn in the regular anime style. Because for that story the Default Human Being is understood.

Some Americans, even some scholars, will argue against this view of anime. They want to think the Japanese worship America or worship whiteness and use anime to prove it.  But they seem to be driven more by their own racism and nationalism than anything else.

Credit: Julian Abagond 

As my friend unapologetically-yellow puts so well, when people say that Japanese anime characters are all white “it’s more indicate of our own internalized racism than anything else.”

Ok but what I don’t understand is that people say that dark skin is a “manly” feature and that’s why dark skinned girls are not attractive…because the darker you are, the more masculine you look.

In other words, light skin is a feminine feature and the lighter you are, the more feminine you look.

Using this logic, racists conclude that dark girls are not pretty because they look manly…well then, shouldn’t that also mean that light skinned men aren’t attractive because they look feminine?

Furthermore, shouldn’t that make white men the ugliest men in the world?

Amazing how the stereotype that is used to degrade black women hasn’t backfired on white men.

Here are the ways you’re heping the world by being in a mixed-race relationship.

Have you guys seen this shit? I almost gagged on my coffee when I saw the title, and actually gagged when I started reading it. As we all know, there is absolutely nothing wrong with being in a mixed-race relationship so long as it is not rooted in fetishization. The problem, though, is that with messages like those propagated in the linked article, fetishization is being encouraged, and it’s more of the same “let’s all end racism by fucking each other!” white noise bullshit. I’m horrified that this article is written by a woman of color. 

It’s cool to be in a mixed-race relationship with a person you love, but this is not what the article is saying – the article is saying you have a responsibility to partner with someone of another cultural background because “oneness” and “harmony” is more important for “the good of society” than your culture is to you. Fuck your culture and its meaningfulness to you as an individual; the world is worse off for it! You’re so selfish for prizing your culture above other people’s wishes! Wah wah wah!

I get that Cracked is a comedy website, but the tone of this article is very obviously not comedic. It is not satire, it is not humorous. Many of their articles are, in fact, not satire but rather informative and truthful articles with some jokes peppered in. One glance at the comments section is enough to (revoltingly) prove that people take this shit absolutely seriously (note: only look at the comments if you have a strong stomach). Cracked has a massive readership, and to publish articles like this is very dangerous. Check this shit out and rip it apart. Major Trigger Warning for the following:

1) Racial/ethnic stereotypes

2) Fetishization of mixed-race people

3) Encouraging people to “end racism” (ugh, this phrase again) and ethnic diversity by creating a homogenized species of “mixed people” (newsflash: this is basically encouraging POC to deliberately erase and obliterate their own cultures, which is pretty horrific).

4) Internalized racism and white-worship

5) Encouragement of cultural appropriation

6) Erasure of POC identities

Black Twitter always gets tripped up on respectability politics. The discussion of Rachel today makes me very sad. As PoC, we must mentally divest from white supremacy. Today’s discussion on Black Twitter is the reason why I love Zora Neale Hurston’s writing. Black vernacular is nothing to be ashamed of. We all can’t be ‘exceptional’ Northern negroes. Some of us are just 'regular’ and we had the 'misfortune’ of being born in the South. Can we live?

White supremacy says that PoC must be perfect–perfect meaning acceptable and presentable to whites. Good diction, proper grammar and strong command of English aren’t things that make people of colour more white, but we do judge PoC harshly when they don’t speak English or perform Blackness in a very specific way. The very stereotypes that we are placing upon Rachel are the ones that killed Trayvon Martin. Fictive kinship is killing us.

I still have to check myself when my respectability creeps up on me. Being human in the U.S. is an automatic for white people, but for others, we must audition for our citizenship and humanity. What does it say about us that we spent months hashtagging #IamTrayvonMartin but we think it is kosher to drag Rachel? What does it say about our activism? For all of you who took pics in hoodies showing your solidarity for Trayvon Martin but you’re belittling the person who spoke to him last–a 19 year-old baby who has probably had to bury other loved ones and families.

Because we’ve been socialized in a certain way, it is impossible to rid ourselves of the knee-jerk reaction to not engage in respectability politics, but when the feeling crops up honor and place to the side and press forward with doing the right thing.

The fact of the matter PoC, we will never make the cut. POTUS and FLOTUS can’t make the cut as PoC, so I know Rachel from Miami-Dade county can’t make the cut.

If it wasn’t for the white gaze, we wouldn’t be so harsh towards Rachel. Rachel isn’t just Rachel Jeantel; she now represents ALL 40 million Black folk in the U.S. So again fictive kinship says, 'if she doesn’t present well, we are all fucked.’ That is what white supremacy wants you to think.

Your social media activism ain’t real if you haven’t integrated your politics into your life, world and affairs. Praxis. I am flabbergasted by the amount of people who are considered leaders in Black Twitter pandering to white supremacy.

And this rhetoric of policing language started very early in this Trayvon Martin case; it started when we were policing Attorney Crump. Many well-meaning Black folk weren’t impressed with Attorney Crump. He wasn’t a slick talking/sounding Northern Negro.

We can’t be so busy policing others that we forget to police ourselves.

Black women who look and sound like Rachel aren’t meant to survive in this white supremacist capitalist hetero-patriarchal society. Black women are only allowed to be Jezebel, Sapphire or Mammy. Renounce that thinking. Undue burden is placed on the Black female body to represent ALL of Blackness.

I read Sister Citizen last year and it saved my life. It help me let go of fictive kinship. We all must check our fictive kinship and tell it to have a seat. No one Black person can 'bring down the race’ or set us back. Let go of that white supremacist thinking.

I hope that I have given you something to chew on. I know for many of us, the talented tenth is still a real thing for us, but again…have a long talk with your fictive kinship and then bury it.

You ain’t radical, revolutionary or love Black people if dragging Rachel J. was an acceptable sport for you today. Rise above the BS. We all must do better. We all must ask ourselves 'where in my life do I support and uphold white supremacy?’

I stand with Rachel J.




BOOM! This quote is from her tweets last night.

I was also disgusted with what I saw yesterday. I recall the people who slammed Attorney Crump last year after Angela Corey (the same one responsible for the prosecution AGAINST Marissa Alexander) announced that Zimmerman would be charged with 2nd degree murder. Many Black progressives insulted Crump’s accent (and questioned his intelligence) and the South in general. They couldn’t see how that insult connects to the same line of White supremacist thinking that makes people believe Trayvon deserved to be murdered for simply existing as a young Black teen wearing a hoodie, though hoodies aren’t required for murder while Black. Oscar Grant, Aiyana Jones and Rekia Boyd weren’t wearing hoodies.

Like she mentioned above, socialization is why the urge to jump into respectability politics framing and the fear of the White Gaze exists for Black people. We have to be vigilant in rejecting this type of thinking every time it surfaces.


These were some thoughts on my twitter feed (@Black_in_Asia) earlier today which were sparked by this tumblr discussion on POC being complicit with white supremacy and enacting racism against one another. 

This is a very important point and is something which Junot Díaz points out quite a bit:

I was looking at the baseball, the football players and their girlfriends and wives. And it’s like a white supremacist’s fucking dream. Because all of those players are with whiter, lighter women. And if you don’t think this has to do with the sexual economy of race and the racial economy of desire, you’re kidding yourself.

And it’s true. White supremacy inhabits all of us, and any meaningful anti-racist movement requires us to challenge our internalized assumptions and acknowledge the ways in which we contribute and feed into white supremacy ourselves. We are not innocent and just “oppressed” and we can inhabit the space of “oppressor” as well when we reproduce white supremacist tropes, internalize and hurl them against one another. As Junot Díaz also says:

If men had to run the patriarchy, they wouldn’t fucking do it. They’d have to take a pay cut. Men foist most of the energy of running patriarchy on women. […] And it’s the same thing with race, white supremacy would not fucking operate without people of color to run it. It’s not that white people don’t contribute to it. They do. But it couldn’t continue to exist without people of color. White supremacy is inside all of us. And that’s why it’s so malign and difficult to confront. 

Focusing simply on white people and not doing the hard work of deconstructing the malign white supremacy which inhabits us and underlines our interactions with one another as POC, will ultimately not met us any progress. White supremacist power structures will ultimately not budge in that case since, “The reality is even if we took every white person on Earth and put them on a space ship and sent them to outer space white supremacy wouldn’t miss a beat." -Junot Díaz

We need to own the mistakes we make and understand how important it is that we build communities of solidarity based in mutual compassion and understanding. We must all also take on the hard work of deconstructing the racism we have all internalized and which crops up repeatedly in our economies of sex, attraction and movements for intra-POC solidarity. This is what we must do rather than casting our activism in terms that simply serve to reinforce white supremacy when all is said and done.

Just as I said in my last tweet: 

Any meaningful movement for change acknowledges this and challenges us all to confront the ways we reproduce and recreate these systems.

Follow me on Twitter @Black_in_Asia

Moc who are thirsty for white women are also those same guys who think white girls that fetishize them is a compliment, and will date racist girls without seeing a problem about it and will find any excuse to defend their behavior. Sometimes they even have low standards for white girls yet higher standards for woc for looks, personality, etc. I’ve honestly noticed more moc think fetishization is a compliment than woc, and that those same guys are the ones thirsty for white girls. -first

I Do Not Give A Fuck About Your Anti-Black Opinions...At All.

No. All “opinions” are not valuable. No “opinions” are neutral or accurate solely because they’re wrapped in clichés, benevolence, affirmations, platitudes or theism. 

Regardless of your own identity, if it is your “opinion” that racism and anti-Blackness “go both ways” then you are historically, structurally, statistically, and socially INACCURATE. Period. If it is your “opinion” that people simply need to believe that good things will happen and structural oppression will collapse, then you are historically, structurally, statistically, and socially INACCURATE. Period. If it is your “opinion” that anti-Blackness, racism and misogyny do not have a specific impact on Black women–misogynoir–and being transgender and dealing with transmisogyny as well does not specifically impact Black trans women–transmisogynoir–then you are historically, structurally, statistically, and socially INACCURATE. Period. If it is your “opinion” that Blackness does not impact specific experiences for Black LGBTQIA people and all Black people are heterosexual via compulsory application, then you are historically, structurally, statistically, and socially INACCURATE. Period. If it is your “opinion” that the dehumanization of Black bodies and execution of Black people are isolated incidents or is ok when conducted extrajudicially or via the State since Black people (like every other race) also have civilian intraracial crime, YOU ARE WRONG. FULL STOP.

That anyone White or non-Black–and even including some fellow Black people who are unfortunately either directly or indirectly affirming White supremacy–think their “debates” on Black humanity are valid is the epitome of anti-Blackness. Do you get it? Your “opinion” is not valuable when it stands juxtaposed to the survival of Black people. I do not have to “factor in” any “opinion” whatsoever if it stands in direct juxtaposition to the truth or obscures nuanced realities of Black life. I owe such “opinions” and people who have them literally nothing. I don’t have to have an “open mind” about whether or not my humanity exists as fact. It is not debatable in reality even as anti-Blackness means dehumanization as the price. I don’t have to have an “open mind” about whether or not I as a Black woman “benefit” from the “oppression” of Whites and whether anti-Blackness discourse should center non-Black people (or remove Blackness specificity for “people of colour” when at times that is inaccurate), because one doesn’t fucking exist and the other is wrong. Imaginary and wrong. 

I do not care about the “everyone gets a trophy” mentality people were raised with when anti-Black/bigoted/harmful and factually inaccurate things can be said but since anyone with the ability to speak can speak, all “opinions” are deemed “equally valuable.” They are not equally valuable. Lives are equally valuable (or should be; we see that Black life is not deemed valuable); “opinions” are not. Me respecting their “right” to an “opinion” is not the same as throwing confetti if their actual “opinion” creates false equalization between the oppressors and the oppressed, obscures history, denies the impact of structural oppression on Black people’s lives (and all of the self-esteem/“respectability” in the world will not protect us from extrajudicial or State violence), and involve theist platitudes. “Free speech” does not mean what people said is then automatically true and history and lived experiences can then be ignored. 

And rights to “opinions”…that’s very cute that people want to argue this when their “opinions” are harmful and I am concerned about the rights to Black people’s lives, the rights to grieve–which includes anger–and, the rights to humanity. Harmful “opinions” do not become less harmful just because people add a suit, a degree, some Bible verses, money, a media platform, fame, tons of online followers, pleas for respectability, or non-Blackness/Whiteness themselves. I don’t have to respect any “opinion” that obscures the truth about Black people or facilitates harm of Black people. I will not tolerate it regarding the extrajudicial execution of Michael Brown or literally any other topic involving Black lives. Simply because people choose to lie or happen to be ignorant does not make their “opinion” equal to those discussing the proven truths of Black life. 

I put “opinions” in quotes throughout this essay because for some reason, people seem to think “opinions” and facts exist on the same plane and their “opinion” can erase others’ lived experiences or noted histories. There is no “both sides” of an issue when one side is dehumanization–or facilities the dehumanization of Black people through the obscuring of history, the misapplication of structural power, the false equalization of oppressed and oppressor–and the other side is survival. 


How the FBI Sabotaged Black America - COINTELPRO

All this anti-black rhetoric is killing me on the inside

Everyone wants to qualify black beauty by making it everything but black.

If you’re Somali, they want to say, “Oh, Somali are mix”, as if they aren’t African, because people are brain-washed into believing that what is greatly considered African features are ugly. It’s universally understood that you have to have Eurocentric beauty in order to be attractive, or at least some non-blackness. 

This is why people say dumb shit like, “You’re pretty for a black girl”, or, “You’re pretty for a dark-skin girl”. It’s so dehumanizing to know that the full spectrum of human beauty is constantly being broken down to suit the needs of those who are essentially only 13% of the global population. 

We have to learn whiteness in order to be qualified for the job, and we have to learn whiteness in order to be considered attractive, we have to internalize whiteness in order to be accepted by white society, and we have to regurgitate whiteness in order to appear intelligent, or intellectual. 

That shit is insult, dehumanizing, and oppressive as fuck. 

I can’t. 

anonymous asked:

Alright I'm gonna ask you this and be frank. I'm a black girl and I find white men more attractive than any other ethnicity. I didn't ask for it. I also like the idea of being in an interracial relationship. And I think biracial children are beautiful. Which makes me want to be a man from a different race even more. Is this racist?

You need to love yourself.. -e