stop being black

10

A reminder

Four months ago, we were graced with the masterpiece that was
Double Black episode

@White folks, Imma need yall to get your own shit

Like literally, Black people make some shit up and yall are on it faster than flies on candy. We make up a word? Half yall white folks done flooded the tags with it. We do a dance and yall just NEED to fuckin participate RIGHT TF NOW. Rihanna does a hairstyle and there’s 72 white girls on twitter claiming they’re doing it better.

Like damn, yall are those kids who ask to play with other people’s shit before they even took the toy all the way out the box. Let the people who made the shit at least enjoy it for a second before yall put your noses in it.

Because let’s be clear, when yall start doing shit, it stops being cool. Black people only have to keep making new shit CONSTANTLY because yall ruin everything tbh. Like as soon as one of us does ANY-FUCKIN-THING yall are just waiting to pounce. And then we gotta watch our culture get half-assed and then thrown away by people who literally did nothing.

Maybe if yall spent less time vulturing the rest of us, yall could make up cool words and dances and outfits too.

(And lowkey, some of yall non-Black PoC are toeing the line)

Affordance Widths

Okay. There’s a social interaction concept that I’ve tried to convey multiple times in multiple conversations, so I’m going to just go ahead and make a graph.

I’m calling this concept “Affordance Widths”.

Let’s say there’s some behavior {B} that people can do more of, or less of. And everyone agrees that if you don’t do enough of the behavior, bad thing {X} happens; but if you do too much of the behavior, bad thing {Y} happens.

Now, let’s say we have five different people: Adam, Bob, Charles, David, and Edgar. Each of them can do more or less {B}. And once they do too little, {X} happens. But once they do too much, {Y} happens. But where {X} and {Y} starts happening is a little fuzzy, and is different for each of them. Let’s say we can magically graph it, and we get something like this:

Now, let’s look at these five men’s experiences.

Adam doesn’t understand what the big deal about {B} is. He feels like this is a behavior that people can generally choose how much they do, and yeah if they don’t do the *bare minimum* shit goes all dumb, and if they do a *ridiculous* amount then shit goes dumb a different way, but otherwise do what you want, you know?

Bob understands that {B} can be an important behavior, and that there’s a minimum acceptable level of {B} that you need to do to not suffer {X}, and a maximum amount you can get away with before you suffer {Y}. And Bob feels like {X} is probably more important a deal than {Y} is. But generally, he and Adam are going to agree quite a bit about what’s an appropriate amount of {B}ing for people to do. (Bob’s heuristic about how much {B} to do is the thin cyan line.)

Charles isn’t so lucky, by comparison. He’s got a *very* narrow band between {X} and {Y}, and he has to constantly monitor his behavior to not fall into either of them. He probably has to deal with {X} and {Y} happening a lot. If he’s lucky, he does less {B} than average; if he’s not so lucky, then he tries to copy Bob’s strategy and winds up getting smacked with {Y} way more often than Bob does.

Poor David’s in a situation called a “double bind”. There is NO POSSIBLE AMOUNT of {B} he can do to prevent both {X} and {Y} from happening; he simply has to choose his poison. If he tries Bob’s strategy, he’ll get hit hard with {X} *AND* {Y}, simultaneously, and probably be pretty pissed about it. On the other hand, if he runs into Charles, and Charles has his shit figured out, then Charles might tell him to tack into a spot where David only has to deal with {X}. Bob and Adam are going to be utterly useless to David, and are going to give advice that keeps him right in the ugly overlap zone.

Then there’s Edgar. Edgar’s fucked. There is *NO AMOUNT* of behavior that Edgar can dial into, where he isn’t getting hit HARD by {X} *and* {Y}. There’s places way out on the extreme - places where most people are getting slammed hard by {X} or slammed hard by {Y} - where Edgar notices a slight decrease in the contra failure mode. So Edgar probably spends most of his time on the edges, either doing all-B or no-B, and people probably tell him to stop being so black-and-white about B and find a good middle spot like everyone else. Edgar probably wants to punch those people, starting with Adam.

In any real situation, the affordance width is probably determined by things independent of X, Y, and B. Telling Bob to do a little more {B} than Adam, and Charles to do a little less {B} than Adam or Bob, is great advice. But David and Edgar need different advice - they need advice one meta-level up, about how to widen their affordance width between {X} and {Y} so that *some* amount of {B} will be allowed at all.

In most of the situations where this is most salient to me, {B} is a social behavior, and {X} and {Y} are punishments that people mete out to people who do not conform to correct {B}-ness. A lot of the affordance width that Adam and Bob have would probably be identified as ‘halo effects’.

For example, let’s say {B} is assertiveness in a job interview. Let’s say {X} represents coming across as socially weak, while {Y} represents coming across as arrogant. Adam probably has a lot going for him - height, age, socioeconomic background, etc. - that make him just plain *likeable*, so he can be way more assertive than Charles and seem like a go-getter, *or* seem way less assertive than Charles and seem like a good team player. Whereas David was probably born the wrong skin color and god-knows-what-else, and Edgar probably has some kind of Autism-spectrum disorder that makes *any* amount of assertiveness seem dangerous, and *any* amount of non-assertiveness seem pathetic.

There’s plenty of other values for {B}, {X} and {Y} that I could have picked; filling them in is left as an exercise for the reader.

Does this make sense to people?

Moonlight and Racism

So, I decided to read some comments on different articles for Moonlight, which I instantly regretted because people are shitty. 

But there were comments that caught my attention. There were lot of people (who identified as gay, or black or POC, or whatever) who simply couldn’t understand, or relate to the story at all, and believed that it detracted from the overall film. 

But, that’s kind of the point of Moonlight. 

One of the things I loved about Moonlight was how it handled race as well as sexuality. If you’ve seen it, you know it has an all black cast. So, there isn’t a white (or nonblack) character around for audiences to project onto. And because all of these people are of the same race and live in the same conditions, they don’t need to translate any part of their experience for one another. The characters are black people living in an impoverished neighborhood in the American south (Miami Florida). Drugs are a natural part of the environment, and for many people it’s the only way they can make a living, because business in America don’t want to invest or place high end jobs in black neighborhoods. The people use AAVE without stopping to translate it for anyone. There are after school activities for kids to go to so they don’t get into trouble. Many kids spend time at home while their parents are away working. Hell, I remember taking a bubble bath with dish detergent.   There is the rough language that black boys constantly use (even when they’re with their friends) to make themselves to seem bigger, tougher and stronger. There is a run down feel to everyone in this movie (from Juan to Chiron to Teresa) and this comes from over work, constantly worrying about dangers in your neighborhood, and looking over your shoulder for cops or gangsters. The same run down feeling is shown in the setting as well. It’s obvious this town is in a constant state of construction (take the old house Lil’ hid in at the beginning of the film).  

And then add this with the main character’s sexuality, and how he (and the movie) navigate that. Despite Chiron’s sexuality, his experiences are strictly structured through an African-American lens. He doesn’t stop being black just because he’s learning about his sexuality. He doesn’t stop using AAVE just because he’s attracted to a man. He doesn’t stop going through the world as a black man, conditioned to be hyper masculine in a poor town just because he falls in love with Kevin. This film makes no apologies for its blackness. And the racism it deals with? It’s subtle and systematic.. 

When people think of racism in the movie, they think of something that’s easily recognizable (think slave movies, white people with whips, or segregation signs). But what’s interesting about Moonlight is that the racism these people deal with (the town that’s in constant construction, the drugs on the streets,) are all real aspects of systematic racism that black people have to live under. It’s not an easily identifiable constant that can be punched out, or reasoned with. It’s in the fabric of Black American life, and most people miss it unless you’ve lived under it.  And let’s be real, many white people (white gays included) wouldn’t pick up on it. 

And it’s so funny that people in the black community believe that once you come out as gay, suddenly you’re no longer black. It’s like…no. Our skin color’s still the same. We still lived under the same racial conditions that ya’ll lived under. We still dealt with the same white washed history, and have the same distrust of the American legal system. And with white gays, a lot of them expect us to stop being Black when we come out. We’re supposed to somehow shun our Black heritage (or at least downplay it) when we enter LGBT spaces. We’re not supposed to talk about race in the LGBT community because “We’re all gay!!!! Race doesn’t matter!!!!!!” Or we’re not supposed to question why so many white gays have no problem saying “I’m not into black guys.” And when we do interrogate them further on it, all they can say is “It’s just a preference” and expect that to be the end of it.

So yeah. This movie is beautifully authentic, and I love it for that reason. 

At the start of the series, Flint is asked why he wants to save Nassau. The real answer is because of his belief in the ideals, plans, and legacy of Thomas Hamilton.

But the answer he actually gives is the Odysseus story, which - unbeknownst to him - is the future he ends up sharing with Thomas Hamilton.

How to Practice Ancestral Traditions in the Diaspora.

Pray, ask, listen. 

You aren’t just like your ancestors anymore. 

You become changed by the new lands, by the new places your feet have walked on, the different dirt beneath your toes. 

So will the magic change. 

If you don’t have access to houses and temples and reputable priestesses and priests in the diaspora, listen to your bones and find what is being expressed. 

Your spirits are right here, in your breathe, in your body, in your spirit. 

You gotta listen, see what YOU can pull up. 

Don’t try to make it into what they are doing, what that white Houngan is doing, that white Taoist priest is doing, the white folks are doing.

Make it your own. Let it come from within you and your specific ancestries and the land you are living on. 

See what you and your spirits express. Maybe some of us in the Diaspora can’t find the right houses and temples and priesthoods right now, because we gotta add something new, some new spices and flavors to our collective ancestral traditions.

The rivers are still here, they aren’t going anywhere. Go pray there. Pray to the mountains. To the winds. 

You don’t stop being yellow or black or brown because you aren’t doing things exactly the way they did in the past. 

anonymous asked:

C'mon Tom, don't be so harsh on Tord, maybe something happened to him when he first left? The first three letters of assume is ASS

Tom: If something happened when he left, you would think that he would let his friends know. But noooo he just left for eight years without even some sort of message saying ‘hello’ or ‘oh by the way, I’m still alive’. And then he just jumps into our lives out of nowhere and attempts to kill us and successfully killed Jo-

Tom: …!

Tom: CAN YOU NOT?!

I’m getting really tired of the “Not everything is black and white!!!” argument, because nine times out of ten it’s just an excuse to make the First Order/Kylo sound Not That Bad, because look! The Resistance/Finn does ~bad things~, too! uwu

le-elly  asked:

dude ik its not christmas anymore but like what if instead of thorns coming out of mika's sword it was christmas lights

THAT’S THE SPIRIT!

Natasha Deserves Better: An Essay

It’s been almost a year and Natasha’s characterization in Age of Ultron still makes me uncomfortable.

ONE.

Captain America: the Winter Soldier finally gave her a personality besides Monotone Cut-Throat Spy. It humanized her, gave her a personality, sense of humor, and feelings.

  • Her crying when she thought Fury was dead
  • Her being stunned when she asked Steve if he trusted her, and he said yes.
  • The arrow necklace she wore in honor of Clint.
  • Her poking fun at Steve
  • Her choosing to stay by his side and loyal to Fury

She stopped being just Black Widow, the lethal spy who deadpans and dully stares at everything, and became Natasha, a well-rounded woman.

TWO

Then Age of Ultron gave her a sudden and creepy obsession with Bruce Banner, acting completely out of character and, dare I say it, regressive.

  • Linking her humanity to her uterus was gross enough.
  • Implying that her becoming sterilized shut off a section of her humanity that made killing easier because it was ‘one less thing to worry about’.
  • Calling her choosing to get sterilized for her job, rather than her actually having killed lots of people, warrants a “You’re not the only monster on the team.”
  • Comparing it to Bruce Hulking out and destroying entire landscapes.
  • Having Bruce forgive her for it rather than tell her ‘No, you’re not a monster,’ and making it a scene about the choices they made with their bodies - him taking the serum that created the Hulk and her having the surgery. Nope, he just makes it worse.
  • Having an actress who was currently pregnant cry over being unable to get pregnant. Scarlett was fucking pregnant in that scene, am I the only one who finds it incredibly fucked up?

Keep reading