maybe white people have the same problems

5

I designed some PTX phone lockscreens! The Avi one is kind of plain, but there is only so much you can do when he was wearing literally all the same shade of black and it covered basically all of his skin.

I’m thinking of making a computer background with these same designs but all together on like a gradient or MAYBE just a white background, but I’m not sure yet. Let me know if you think I should! and also let me know if you use one of these! I don’t have a problem if you do (avi-ously, otherwise i wouldn’t be posting them), but I want to see how many people use them! -M

Thoughts: Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets

I saw Valerian this week, and I have some thoughts on it.  Most of them are problems I had with the film.

Problem #1: Laureline’s speech about love and trust.

Valerian and Larueline’s introduction on the beach establishes Valerian as a man who doesn’t much care for other people’s opinions (pining Laureline down despite her obvious disinterest in it) and says anything to get what he wants (see: flirting v. his “playlist*”), and Laureline as a cold, efficient soldier with no romantic interest, in Valerian.  Okay, cool, I can get behind this.

The story goes on.  Laureline is shown to have more of a soft spot for Valerian than she says.  Aw, that’s cute.

The story continues on, Valerian and Laureline make contact with the Mül, and Valerian wants to be a Good Soldier (which he hasn’t seemed to have much interest in for the first two hours of the film, but whatever).  Laureline disagrees and gives a speech about… love and trust?  Where did this come from?  If there had been some kind of event that gave her an obvious change of character I could buy this, but aside from when she was captured and offered as sexy food tribute (see also: problem #4), I didn’t see her going through any life-changing events that would make me buy her saying “love is the most powerful thing in the universe”.  She could have believed this from the start, but then why would she join up with the violent, unbending federation?

I do believe that Laureline has a higher degree of emotional intelligence than we’ve seen her exhibit up to this point, but come on.  This is a bit much.

Problem #2: There’s a war?

The planet Mül was destroyed when a nuclear battle was fought in its atmosphere, thus setting off the plot of the movie.  But what war?  Who were the humans fighting?

This could have been easily fixed by having the dealer who tried to sell the Mül Converter at the beginning be a member of the opposing force in the “war” (that has either concluded or wasn’t worth mentioning like, at all).  This could have been woven into the plot as an overarching threat to Alpha station, with the Enemy presented a third player in the quest for the Mül Converter to drive up tension and intrigue.  Still further, the Enemy could have been used as a red herring for “who kidnapped the commander”.  The Commander had the Mül Converter on him (which, he didn’t, but bear with me), and the Enemy Species could have been looking for it as a way to fund their side of the war.  Big reveal: it’s actually the Mül.  Look how much nicer that looks!  Using things that are already in the movie!  AMAZING.

(who gave this movie the green light without consulting me, I mean really)

Problem #3: the way Valerian and Laureline get together at the end of the film.

Laureline didn’t want to be in a relationship with Valerian a.) probably because that’s fraternization, but also because b.) he was saying what she wanted to hear to get her in bed.  (Personally, I think she didn’t want him due to his lack of respect rather than his fear of commitment, but let’s go with what the movie says.)  By the end of the film she’s changed her mind.  BUT WHY?  At one point he demonstrates his trust in her by agreeing to give back the Mül Converter, but that’s not the same as commitment.  It could be argued that his dedication to the Federation (when will this get a name?) shows a commitment, but there is a huge difference between being a good soldier and committing to a fellow human being on an intimate level.

Also, the he doesn’t agree to not see other people.  It’s never formalized, just kind of assumed.  Don’t assume in a relationship, guys, always say your feelings and wants OUT LOUD.  It takes away plausible deniability and, more importantly, gives the other person a chance to do what you want them to do.  They get to do something nice for you, you get to feel good, win-win.

Problem #4: why didn’t Laureline shoot the alien that fished her up?

We know she had a gun from when she used it to threaten the pigeons, why was Valerian the only one who shot the creature that fished him up?

This could have been fixed with some line about how the guns get one shot and need to be recharged, then a quick bit of Laureline trying to shoot the fisher aliens when they catch her and not having any ammo.

Even better, they could have had her fight her way partly out of capture while Valerian set up the rescue mission so she could meet him somewhere in the middle of the stronghold instead of having the be rescued.  That would have shown both Valerian and Laureline were Capable Soldiers.  Which leads me to…

Problem #5: Bubbles.

Don’t get me wrong, I adore Rhianna, and her shapeshifting scene was probably my favorite visual element of the entire film, but her character was ultimately not useful.  She was there to make us feel bad for her, then get Valerian into the alien stronghold**, then die for dramatic effect***.  Here’s a thought: Rhianna as the same character, but once she gets Valerian and Laureline out of the stronghold, she breaks off from the party to alert the Federation instead of, you know, dying in a sad pile of dust.

Problem #6: when Valerian planned to go into the Mül pocket alone, he told Laureline to go for backup.  When Laureline proceeded to go first, he did not go for backup.

They couldn’t have gotten a message out anyway, but he didn’t even try.

Problem #7: Valerian is carrying around the soul of an alien princess, I guess?

One, why did the princess choose Valerian instead of Laureline?  The Mül species shown to be about harmony and compassion; since Laureline was the one who wanted to give back the converter (even though I disagree with her speech), she’s clearly the better choice.

Two, what purpose did this serve?  It kind of lead Valerian to the Mül pocket dimension in the end, but that’s it.  There was no indication this had any other effect.  It would have been cool if the Mül Princess had been the one to teach Valerian about commitment and respect and all of those things which I guess is implied, but we didn’t see that happen at all.

Problem #8: why is everyone white?

This is a problem I have with a lot of scifi.  Alpha station was an international earth space station before it was sent out into space, so why do so many of the humans look the same?  I counted three non-white humans: Bubble (Rhianna), the Defence Minister who Never Got a Name (Herbie Hancock), Sergeant Neza (Kris Wu), maybe a few tourists and possibly some of the soldiers at Big Market.  Maybe there were some background people I missed.  I would love to be wrong about this because this movie should be too beautiful for something like this, let me know.

*Which, by the way, what is this?  It can’t be his romantic history because the film ends with Laureline saying “I want to be the only girl on your playlist” and you can’t erase someone’s romantic history; it can’t be Valerian’s current list of partners, because that is way too many people to juggle.  I can only conclude that there’s some kind of literal playlist of recordings going on, and I guess since Laureline wants to be on it, it’s normal to make a record of your sexual encounters in the future.  Rock on.

**Which is unnecessary because we’ve already been shown the future has holographic capabilities, why couldn’t Valerian have cobbled something together out of that instead of getting Rhianna killed?

***What was the cause of death here?  “I must have been injured during the fight” okay, but when and how?  Did you get too sad?  Because you seemed like you were doing a great job out there.

This wouldn’t be a proper review without some positives, so here’s what I liked about Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets:

The opening scene showing the formation of Alpha was excellent!  I loved the way it showed the station’s progression.  It felt real and the pacing was great.  Also, props for using Major Tom.  I saw this movie on Sunday and that song is still going around in my head.

Visually, this movie was absolutely beautiful.  The effects were great, and the different species were integrated enough that Alpha and Big Market really felt like an alien environment.

Big Market.  I really loved the idea of interdimensional interaction via technology, it’s a new and clever take on alien species and how the can/can’t interact.

The Mül Converters were so loveable!  The first time one puffed up for conversion, I was terrified something bad was happening to it, and if it had, I would have really and truly cried in the middle of the movie theater.

These are my thoughts on Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets (2017).  I’d love to get a dialog going about this, please message or reply with your thoughts and feels!

(ground control to Major Tom…)

anonymous asked:

More of an unpopular opinion than a feel maybe? I have no problem with White People jokes because I understand that they don't do nearly as much harm as jokes/stereotypes that are actually racist, plus they're usually true. But I do feel sometimes that people go too far and end up verging on being ableist, much in the same way that some feminists will joke about "grown men in their mothers' basements" without thinking about how that can be ableist.

anonymous asked:

Dicta, I saw your great reblog about racism in fandom. I have a question that applies to white fic writers. There's this problem of white fans ignoring POC characters and failing to have good representation. At the same time, there's this issue of white people totally sucking when they try to do it. Saw a post recently like: "Non-Muslim people considering writing a Muslim character--just don't. Don't." Do you have any thoughts about dealing with this? Much love!

So many thoughts, anon. I’ve got a related ask that’s been hanging out a while and I’ve been waiting until I have enough time to sit down and properly answer, so I’ll have more and maybe more settled thoughts when I have a chance, hopefully soon. For now, these are sort of preliminary thoughts. Feedback is welcomed and valued and appreciated!

tl;dr: I think both of those arguments are right and it’s hard.

To be really candid, as a white fic writer, writing non-white characters makes me nervous, specifically because I really, really don’t want to fuck it up. But I don’t think my nervousness is an adequate end to the conversation; the experience of nervousness is nothing on the experience of constant erasure that I’ve experienced as a queer person within mainstream media, and I imagine that it’s nothing to the erasure that poc experience in fandom. So I think white people need to suck that one up, that  focusing on our nervousness as its own thing is not reason enough to stick with white guy slash.

The part abut there being real potential to fuck it up in harmful ways is the part we can’t gloss over, and I do think that’s worth being nervous about - but that nervousness needs to generate thoughtfulness and caution rather than inaction. There are two (and a half?) main questions I’ve had in my head about this. And again, I’m really open to pushback on all of this.

1) How useful is it to distinguish between writing about vs writing as? I’ve seen this distinction made elsewhere/seen it go around as a farely common piece of advice, between writing about marginalized characters but not pretending to write as a marginalized person - so, for instance, don’t write as a Muslim character, but do include well-researched and thoroughly considered Muslim characters in your story. That way you’re including marginalized characters without claiming that you know what it’s like to be marginalized. That’s something that makes me, like, hum consideringly in a not-bad way. But the research part feels really key. It’s not enough, imo, to write a character and then add a line about the color of their skin and call it a day. If your white POV character is dating or close friends with or in a close working relationship with a person of a different race, and especially if it’s their first time dealing with institutional racism in such an immediate and emotionally invested way, they’re going to need to deal with that. Even if it’s not the first time, that stuff is going to need to be in there if you want to avoid erasure. So if you’re going to write that you need to go read (and then give credit, in your author’s notes, to!) accounts of people who have lived with those experiences and who can point out dynamics you might not be aware of. For instance, someone sent me this article recently, about two friends trying to plan a vacation and the black woman having all her attempts to make an airbnb reservation declined, and then the white man getting his reservation accepted on the first try, and how that changed their dynamic and their trip. (See also: the classic on this.) So, say you’re writing a buddy cop au with a mixed race couple in a forced proximity/maybe bedsharing situation, how is your characters’ race (and location, and time period, and gender, etc.) going to change the process of getting that room? More generally, we need to not just say “this is Joe and by the way he’s [insert characteristic here]” - we need to consider how that would change their lives and where that would show up in our stories.

2) Does the way white fic writers approach writing characters of other races make a difference? I sometimes see people talking about writing diverse stories like it’s one of those tasks you do because you know you should, but you don’t really want to, and it sort of feels like a drag, and I can’t imagine that doesn’t come through? I mean, maybe not? But it definitely informs the sentiment around them and contributes to, I think, this sense that stories about people of color are somehow created with less joy and enthusiasm? And to be embarrassingly honest, there are times when it’s come really easily and felt really natural and obvious to me to have Kingsley or Lee in a certain role, and times (none of which have seen the light of ao3) when it’s felt forced, and then stilted as a result, when I’m doing it because I feel like I should. Otoh, I really really want to write fic for Moonlight. I had that instant fannish reaction when I saw it, like five story prompts in my head before we were out of the theatre, was on AO3 looking for fic in the car home, feel a deep soul-level need for 20k about the evolution of Kevin’s relationship with his hands, and another at least 10k about the last things Juan thought, and several dozen different stories that retell everything from Teresa’s point of view, and maybe a 70k slow burn bookmarked by Chiron’s reflections on the different ways Kevin touches him and the space in between the thing in the schoolyard and the thing in the apartment (I’m trying to be vague bc spoilers but thinking about it gives me serious feels). I don’t think that enthusiasm is enough on its own; does it make a different at all? I think it might - I think when they’re characters we love fannishly and want to understand, more people might be willing to do the research and put in the work to really understand what their lives are like, and that that could be a moment when fandom is pretty powerful.

2.5) So one thing we as white writers have to do, as this post from earlier said, is to “put in the effort to fall in love with POC characters.” That doesn’t mean forcing it, that doesn’t mean doing it with a sense of dread, but it does mean actively seeking out media that includes POC characters and it does mean thinking about and embracing them. This is partly an issue with canon creators, who often don’t give us much to work with, but that’s less and less true. There is stuff out there if we go look for it, and there are characters who will grab us by the heart if we give them the chance. If we have to go looking for that, that’s work we should be willing to do.

The common denominator here seems to be doing your research? That no matter what, that’s really really important. I think that’s a good takeaway. And the rest I float as thoughts more than suggestions because I think as a white person my perspective here is necessarily limited. Also this is a hard question! So again, thoughts and responses are welcome!

anonymous asked:

do you think that pll is racist? i mean the main cast is white and the poc that are playing supportive roles arent well treated.

Yes. I don’t think it’s ever been meant to be malicious or intentional, but that certainly doesn’t excuse it, especially because Marlene & Co. don’t listen to valid criticism about how poc are treated on this show. And frankly that’s maybe where a bit of the maliciousness does come in, when they refuse to listen to any criticism. The majority of people don’t tweet her just to be a ‘hater’, or to bully her, a lot of people want to have open, honest conversations with her and she brands everybody the same. I think there is an issue when there are poc who are telling you there’s a problem and you sit there denying it.

When you’re white and you’re writing characters who are poc, there are bound to be some issues. There just are, especially depending on where you grew up and what kind of environment you grew up in. It does matter, and you have to be open to receiving criticism on those characters and they’re just. Not. So. Yes, I do think PLL has a racism problem. 

anonymous asked:

Do you think there is an individual right to be among people of the same race? I've converted to the alt-right in the last year; I'm a trans woman, but I'd rather live as a man or as a housewife than deal with modern multicultural society which is very alienating. I don't intend violence against others, but I think I would be much happier in a 1950s white middle America than the Bay Area in 2016 with no coworkers or friends from my native culture. Is it wrong to want to reconnect with whiteness?

Do you think there is an individual right to be among people of the same race?

There is an individual right to freedom of association. That means that you have the right to interact socially with whoever you want; to invite over whoever you want, and go to parties with whoever you want, and buy a house with whoever you want.

So does everyone else, of course. That means that if you move into a neighborhood because everyone is white and it really ruins your day to see nonwhite people, your next-door neighbor is allowed to sell the house to the highest buyer who happens to be an Ecuadorean immigrant, and your other next-door neighbor is allowed to fall in love with a person who isn’t white and move him in and have adorable mixed-race babies with him and the babies are allowed to learn to ride their bike on the sidewalk in front of your house.

And you are allowed to buy a house somewhere else so all those nonwhite people existing in your vicinity doesn’t ruin your day.

What you are not allowed to do is try to get the state to exercise coercive power on your behalf, by for example making it illegal for your neighbor to marry a brown person or for your other neighbor to sell their house to Ecuadorean immigrants. Your freedom of association is not freedom to force other people not to associate. 

You said you don’t intend violence against others. I’m really glad. But as I’m sure you realize, the police coming and dragging you out of your home in handcuffs is a kind of violence. So anyone who wants legally enforced segregation does intend violence against others, and if you’re going to identify as an ally of theirs people might mistakenly think that you don’t mind violence against them, or would vote for it, even if you say it’s not what you intend.

Now that we’ve had this crash course on freedom of association and what it means, I want to talk about the rest of this:

I’d rather live as a man or as a housewife than deal with modern multicultural society which is very alienating.

I believe you that you’re in a lot of pain in our current society. I wonder if it would be useful to break this down. What do you imagine that the 1950s had that is absent in your own life. Is it actually the colors of everyone’s skin? Or is it something more like ‘the feeling that I have a lot in common with the people around me?’ Because I think that’s an important feeling to have, but I think you are wildly overestimating how much the 1950s had it, and also completely wrong that going back to the 1950s is the best way to get it, and also completely wrong that the operative difference between the 1950s and now is ‘multiculturalism’. 

In the 1950s most of the other industrial powers in the world were in rubble and America was expanding into the world’s biggest economy. Also, America had spent a decade under the Great Depression and then five years rationing for wartime and there was a ton of pent-up demand for consumer products. This meant demand for American goods was high and there were lots of high-paying jobs that didn’t require much education.

Is it possible that the good things about the 1950s were consequences of ‘there were lots of high-paying jobs that didn’t require much education’ instead of consequences of ‘we lynched black people for sitting at the same lunch tables as white people’?

This is important, because if you think the thing that made the 1950s good was ‘whiteness’ and you move away from the SF Bay to some small white town where you can get away from multiculturalism, and then it turns out that the key ingredient of the 1950s was ‘lots of high-paying jobs’ and not ‘melanin concentration under 60ppm’, then you’re stuck in a unhappy rural town that despite being white has lots of endemic social problems because it turns out that the key challenge of the 21st century is getting people decent jobs.

A useful exercise when you want to say something like ‘multiculturalism is bad’ is to instead be more specific. Can you name six things that are bad that you are thinking of when you blame multiculturalism? I’m guessing they’ll be things like ‘the erosion of social trust’, which can happen regardless of race and over the objectively tiniest of fault lines and disagreements, ‘crime rates’, which seem largely mediated by economic opportunity and how much lead we’re putting in the pipes, ‘people on the internet embracing really dumb forms of cultural relativism’, which becomes much less of a problem if you stop seeking out sites that elevate it to a earth-shattering catastrophe, ‘people on the internet  making being white low-status’, which, same…

- but maybe I’m way off. When you say multiculturalism is bad, what do you mean?

Is it wrong to want to reconnect with whiteness?

Yes, you’re wrong to want to reconnect with whiteness, because whiteness does not have the thing you want. I would love to help you build a society that does have the thing you want, one in which you can thrive and be happy. But my community (which is high-trust and low-crime and tightly-knit and assigns status well and doesn’t embrace destructive forms of cultural relativism) is made up of people from dozens of countries and all kinds of backgrounds. And that is one of the best things about us and it is not up for negotiation, not even a little bit, not on any terms. So if this is the project you’ve chosen for yourself, then I am going to exercise my freedom of association to tell you that you’re on your own.

There was a period during the casting of my web series Pretty Dudes - @prettydudesweb - when I turned to my producer and said, “Do you think that we’re casting too many Asians?” She replied, “If you’re wondering that, then you’re on the right path.”

I find that so often we still look at diversity trough the lens of a white gaze. We think that if the cast is predominantly Asian, then it’s Asian Entertainment. If the cast is predominantly Black then it’s Black Entertainment and Stacey Dash gets real upset. And through all of this it remains that if the cast is predominantly white, then it’s considered universal entertainment.

In a recent interview with reporter Jen Yamato, the Coen brothers scoffed at the issue of diversity in regards to the #Oscarssowhite movement. When asked directly about the overwhelming whiteness of Hail, Caesar!, Joel Coen asked why anybody “would single out a particular movie and say, ‘Why aren’t there black or Chinese or Martians in this movie?’” - That right there shows the deeper, underlying problem. By equating POCs with aliens of the extraterrestrial sort, Joel is revealing his outlook of people of color being some type of far-reaching “other” that has no place in a story about normal, attainable humans. You know, the whites.

So I’m glad I had the opportunity to wonder if my cast was too diverse to appeal to people who may fail to see how their own story could be reflected in someone that wasn’t white or maybe doesn’t have the same shade of melanin that they have. The idea of truly universal stories is that we may find a large portion of ourselves expressed brilliantly and vibrantly in a small portion of somebody else.

📷: @jarelion

I am probably going to get a lot of shit for this, but...

I have a lot of problems with the social justice side of Tumblr.

I am a female.

I am bisexual. I have known this since I was in middle school. When I came out to my mom in high school, she said that I was a disappointment and that it was just a phase and I didn’t really know that about myself. I have been in an emotionally abusive relationship with another bisexual person because they didn’t trust me around my female friends and thought I was going to cheat on them. I have experienced biphobia. I have experienced bisexual erasure from people saying that I’m just not willing to pick a side, or that I’m just messing around. I have been told I’m not allowed to refer to myself as “gay” because I’m partially straight. I have experienced a lot of prejudice at the hands of both sides of the spectrum. I have been both emotionally and sexually involved with both men and women and have regretted nothing about either.

I am half Chinese. I identify more with the white side of my heritage, as I was raised that way and my Chinese father was not raised that Chinese, himself, but I am visually identifiable as “not white” and I get asked a lot what I am. When I tell people that I’m half Chinese, they ask why I don’t speak it, and why I don’t act like it and why I’m such a “bad Asian” and sometimes I even joke about it myself because that’s a lot easier than arguing it. I have a Chinese last name and a Chinese middle name and I celebrate Chinese New Year and this year my brother and I are going to go to our Chinese grandparents’ graves and honor them in the Bai san ceremony. Just because I do not always act a certain way does not mean that I cannot claim that as part of my heritage or part of what makes me who I am.

I am a female and I am a feminist because I believe that there should be equality between the sexes and I think I deserve equal pay and respect and to be able to go outside at night and not be afraid that something is going to happen and not feel like I need to pretend to be on the phone or always have a pocket knife in my backpack (which I do anyway).

And yet, even though I have dealt with a lot of things in my life and a lot of societal pressures from people who judge me for who I am and who I love and where I come from, I honestly do not care.

I do not feel like I am helped, in any way, by the social justice side of tumblr. Honestly, I feel as though the social justice side of this website is actively harming the cause, half of the time. 

I reblogged a post a few days ago that was along the lines of “tumblr has become this toxic environment where it’s cool to be in as many obscure minorities as you can and your opinions are immediately considered invalid if you’re part of the majority” and that was an opinion that I agree with as a bisexual, half-Chinese female. It was reblogged from me with someone’s new commentary that the original poster didn’t know what the fuck they were talking about and that they didn’t get it. 

But that’s bullshit. I believe that tumblr has become a toxic environment, at least in many social justice circles. I am a part of certain “obscure minorities” (especially obscure as a bisexual, if you consider the erasure and phobias that are special to our little club, here is a great post about, actually), and I still believe that tumblr is taking things and getting out of control. 

I hate seeing things on my dash that shame straight people for talking about problems or blame white men for everything being terrible, and people get so fucking hypocritical about everything. I have seen posts getting attacked for referring to “both sexes” instead of “all of the sexes” and I understand that that’s an exclusionary phrase but at the same time, I’m pretty sure OP’s intent with things like that was not to purposefully exclude groups of people, but probably they were speaking their mind and maybe no one has taken the time to explain things like the spectrum of gender and sexuality.

In my opinion, this environment has become hostile and unwelcoming to those who are not well-versed in social justice issues and who are not part of the underrepresented communities.

In my opinion, this website should be a place where it is acceptable to make mistakes and not get attacked for saying the wrong thing. I think the social justice side of tumblr needs to check themselves and start fostering an attitude of education and acceptance for people who don’t know what they’re saying is hurtful and start actually attempt to explain things to people in a way that isn’t “OP doesn’t know what the fuck they’re talking about and needs to check their cis/white/straight-privilege.”

Tumblr is not a safe space for anyone if it is not a safe space for everyone.

3

Mexican American

I have been meaning to write out and post some of my experiences as a latino living in the U.S. and specifically living in a superduper white region of the United States. I was actually going to lead with a different post about a different situation, but this keeps happening so I figured I’d sit down and talk about it.

I AM A CHEESEBURGER

I went to the county fair for lunch with my coworkers. The local 4H chapter turns their facility into a little diner. It’s usually pretty good downhome cookin’ type stuff. The way it works is: You get a menu, you check what you want, write your name on it, pay, and they bring it to you when it’s ready. Each of my coworkers got their food right away except for the other guy who ordered a cheeseburger and me. Finally when the burgers were done the server came by calling for “Larry”. My coworker, whose name is, in fact, Larry, flagged her down and got his burger. A few minutes later another server left the kitchen carrying a burger, this one looked at each table and asked people who didn’t have food directly if they had ordered a cheeseburger.

“I bet that’s yours.” Said the coworker next to me.

“Yup.” I said, waving the guy down.

“Sorry,” He said putting the tray down in front of me, “They couldn’t pronounce your name and they didn’t tell me what it was.”

“Yup.” I said grabbing my plate off the tray.

This exact same thing happened just a couple of weeks ago while I and the rest of the Major Spoilers crew were driving back to Kansas from Nerdtacular. I was at a Wendy’s that, for some reason, called names, because not all of them do. I was sitting, waiting to hear my name (which I had to spell for the cashier). After a while one of my friends asked me what I ordered…

“That pretzelburger thing.”

“I think that’s yours.” He said pointing at an order sitting on the counter.

“Did they call my name?”

“No, they just called the order.”

So I went up to look and sure enough, the ticket had my name on it.

It’s something that has happened for as long as I have lived in the United States. When I was in high school my 9th grade social studies teacher gave up on my name on the first pass of the first roll call of the first day, he just called me “Lopez.” I was the only kid in the class he addressed by last name.

When I was in college I started making a little game of it. When I went out to eat with my (incidentally mostly white) friends I started giving out random (though easier to pronounce) hispanic names. Eventually my order would come up, the server would shout out “Pablo” or “Manuel” and I would go get my food to big laughs from my friends, all of whom had heard servers bail out on my actual name before.

Needless to say, I don’t shorten or change my name at restaurants anymore. I’m more than happy to spell it out, and if anyone takes just a second to sound it out, it’s actually not that hard to pronounce. But that’s actually the issue, taking that time, that little bit of time to sound it out. I know a lot of people who don’t like reading difficult words. If they come across a word with more than two syllables they literally give up and say “Whatever that says” or “I’m not reading that.” But the issue is that I’m not a chemical compound or a legal concept in latin. I’m an actual, real-life, money-carrying consumer, but the people I’m giving my business to won’t take the time to even try and pronounce my name.

And I get it, a lot of white Americans have never met a guy named Rodrigo. It’s a name that looks intimidating at first glance. Maybe they’d rather not say anything than butcher my name. Maybe they’re scared of offending me by saying my name wrong. I understand that. But by that same token they’re never going to learn how it’s pronounced if they don’t try. But that’s actually the same part of the problem. They don’t have to.

The guys that are too lazy and the guys that don’t want to accidentally offend, they’re both fine, because nothing is forcing them to learn my name. There are no consequences for calling out “cheeseburger” instead of “Rodrigo”. Unlike me they don’t need to learn to pronounce another culture’s insane names like “Hugh” (¿Jiu?),  “George” (¿Yorch?), and “Eugene” (¿¿¿???).  And no one’s going to make fun of them when their accent turns their tongue into a knot.

In a lot of ways that’s what it’s like to be Latino in the U.S. you have to do all the work to smooth out social situations; but the other party always has the option to bail, to reduce you to a cheeseburger and fries.

To Varying Degrees

They had all been excited for Korra’s arrival (to varying degrees). Meelo couldn’t stay still and Ikki wasn’t any better.  And though Mako was generally good at holding his neutral face, Asami could see anticipation tugging ever-so-slightly at the edges of his normally impassive mouth.

Asami herself, well … there weren’t any words, but there was a tingling sensation growing from the pit of her stomach— tiny, effervescent bubbles forming and popping in succession, then floating up, up, high until it all bloomed warm in her chest.

And so, it was a rather awkward moment when the Southern Water Tribe steamship pulled up to the dock and the only one to disembark was Tonraq. It was an even more awkward moment when Tenzin informed the Avatar’s father that his daughter, in fact, was not and had not been in Republic City like he had been led to believe. The awkwardness only continued from there when the welcoming crew was left to disband and go their separate ways, each of them confused, worried, and most of all, disappointed.

“Come on,” Asami said, placing a hand on Mako’s shoulder. “Let’s get a drink. I’ll drive.”

A few rounds of top shelf liquor did just the trick—Asami could feel the flush spreading hot on her cheeks, echoing the pleasant buzz swimming around in her head. 

She and Mako had long blown past the catching-up pleasantries of career smalltalk, their tongues loosened and plied by sake, soju, and scotch. Before they knew it, Mako was bitching about feeling useless and out-of-touch: cut off from his brother, his letters to Korra met with silence, and even removed from a job that once gave him a sense of purpose.  Asami herself admitted that she leaned on work like a crutch, filling her hours with schematics, prototypes, and patents so she wouldn’t have a moment of pause to remember just how lonely she was.  Those quiet moments, she told him, were unbearable.

Just a second ago after topping off her fifth drink, she’d confessed to Mako her loneliest epiphany: that she was probably head-over-heels in love with Korra.  Korra, the missing and long-suffering Avatar.  Korra, her ex-boyfriend’s ex-girlfriend.  He took it well, even seemed to understand (how could he not?), even marveled at how she’d managed to keep that to herself for so long (something he’d never been good at). 

Keep reading

to anyone using the “but he had it coming cause he pulled a gun on the cops!” excuse, explain this trend:

when police arrive on the scene of a mass murder committed by an armed white man, police merely arrest him (aka they apprehend him alive), but when police are called on a black man, before they even know whether there’s actually been a crime committed, before they even know whether he’s even the actual person they’re looking for, regardless of whether he’s armed or not, regardless of whether they’ve even been called to the scene because of him, they immediately shoot him down. even when white guys are heavily armed and have just murdered several people, they still get taken alive, but when young black men (and boys) even appear to be reaching for a fake gun (or a wallet, or a phone, or maybe they’re simply existing on the sidewalk as a black person), they are immediately gunned down. 


this is the problem. this is why the “he pulled a gun so he deserves it” defense simply does not work. it ignores the racism inherent in law enforcement: white men can pull guns and USE them on innocent civilians, but they STILL don’t get shot down by police when they arrive. black KIDS get shot before the police even know whether or not they actually even HAVE a gun. black people aren’t even given the same chance that white mass-murderers get. 

Honestly, I have been seeing Beyonce getting shit on by people, particularly white, for being “exlcusive” in her recent releases, and it’s really pissing me off.

There are alot of things that have been bothering me, but I’m just going to focus on this for now. Let’s start off with the fact that I’m white, and am in no way here to speak for black people. I will never be able to fully understand or relate to the life of a black woman, or any other woman of color for that matter, so I can’t speak for them and their experiences. All I can do is speak from my perception, and the way that I am seeing fellow white people treat and talk to women of color is disgusting, and I am so ashamed.

Beyonce, and many others, have been speaking up about their lives and how they and their people have been treated by our society. All she is doing is trying to empower black people and let them know that no matter what “society” says, they are beautiful, and can be successful, and do what ever they want in life. She’s saying that a wide nose is beautiful, that dark skin is beautiful, that their natural hair is beautiful. She’s telling them that if they work hard, they can make it, regardless of their circumstances.

People talk about her “lack diversity” in her videos, and her homage to the Black Panthers as promoting violence and segregation towards white people. Firstly, just because her video wasn’t littered with white people, doesn’t mean it’s not diverse. She had people with a vast range of skin colors from light to dark, including a woman with vitiligo, proving that all skin tones are beautiful, not just light ones. We have so many movies, tv shows, music videos, and magazine covers that only feature white people, let them have something that features an actual representation of themselves. We have more than enough media that is painted with our faces all over it, stop acting like there’s never been a white person in a music video before. You guys are getting upset because she’s making videos that aren’t for us, but guess what, just because it’s not for us, doesn’t mean that it’s against us.

And the whole reason the Black Panther Party was formed, was to protect black individuals from being brutally beaten and killed by police officers, and to get equal rights for their people. She was not telling her fans to hate white people, and hurt or kill us. All she was doing was bringing awaress to the struggle of her people, and asking them to stand up and no longer accept being treated the way they are.

And you know what, maybe this is for white people too. Maybe this is for us to wake up and see that black people are beautiful, and that there is something wrong with the way they are represented and mistreated. Maybe we should stop thinking about ourselves for once, and understand that regardless of what some believe, we do have privilege. And maybe we should stop acting like there’s not a problem in this country, and this world, and fucking work together to make sure that people of color are treated with the same amount of dignity and respect as we are.

anonymous asked:

So here's a topic that's been bothering me for a while: The way Tumblr reacts to certain minority groups. I'm all for representation, but I think Tumblr's obsession with it is dangerously close to fetishization. I've seen users completely gush over pictures and photos of people who are trans, gay, disabled, non-white, etc. to the point where it seems like they're not admiring them as humans, but as decorations for their blog. I don't know, maybe it's just me, but somehow this behavior is (1/2)

making me uncomfortable. As someone who is both Deaf and trans, how do you feel about this? 

It isn’t close, it is fetishization, and it isn’t just tumblr. I’d have to dig it up, but I’ve discussed the problems I’ve had dating in activist circles because people want to be with a Deaf trans man and not Harrison M. (aka me). 

You probably have the same problem with it that I do: people are reducing whole, living, breathing human beings with thoughts and opinions and importance down to one or two trivial traits. I am Deaf and trans. Those are two integral parts of who I am and I’m not ashamed of that. But I want people to like me and shower me with praise because I’m funny and smart and kind and because I’ve worked my ass off to be the accomplished and self-sufficient man I am today - not because I can’t hear and I have a vagina. 

I think one of the first steps to racial and gender equality is to accept and admit you can not put yourself in someone else’s shoes. When a white man says some bullshit like racism and sexism don’t exist, its ludicrous. While I am a white woman that will never understand certain struggles my black friends, co-workers, and acquaintances have experienced in their lifetime, my heart hurts and weighs extremely heavy that these problems still exist because of the color of someone’s fucking skin. If all the ignorant people in this world would see past their own reality and realize everyone else is just as important as them and that scientifically we are 99.9% the SAME, maybe some change would start occurring.

Social Justice warriors need to stop.

Now guys don’t get me wrong, I’m all for equality but the majority of the social justice movement is going about it wrong.
If you want to achieve equality then maybe it’d be a better idea to, instead of trying to get rid of white/cisgender/male/heterosexual privilege, maybe try to give privilege to those who don’t have it? Stop attacking us purely because we have some sort of privilege in your eyes. If you want support and if you truly are for equality then stop attacking us and just join us! Attacking people who are different to you is exactly what you want to get rid of yet you do the exact same thing in an attempt to achieve this. If you just listen to our problems rather than just dismissing us instantly (and yes I realise you guys have bigger problems but my point still stands) then maybe we’d give you a little more respect and join you. If you want people to be equal then practice what you bloody preach and show the same amount of concern for everyone’s problems regardless of whether they have ‘privilege’ or not. But no, as it is you all act like children and it gets you nowhere.

Racism has a very broad spectrum. You don’t get to use the “I have a black nephew” or “my best friend from high school was black” excuse to use your get-out-of-racism-free card. If you aren’t angry that a man was murdered while seat-belted in front of his 4 year old daughter, you are part of the problem. If you can’t admit that race was a factor, you are part of the problem. If you can’t see that yes, white people have been killed by the cops and maybe even more often, but it isn’t BECAUSE of their skin color, you are part of the problem. Not being strong and united to stop this is the same as being on a bus with Rosa Parks and watching her walk to the back BECAUSE of her skin color and not doing anything about it. And it’s the same as watching black people use different bathrooms and water fountains BECAUSE of their skin color. Different generation, different situation, SAME ISSUE.
—  Lizzy Loftus