The Word, “Ghetto,” is Racist: a Picture Essay.

queenquong:

ugobeast:

nomorewaterthefirenexttime:

I don’t understand why people make fun of “ghetto hairstyles.” Well, I mean, obviously I understand they do it because the person wearing the hairstyle is black. But, the thing is, these styles are actually innovative and visually appealing. I am literally going to type in “ghetto hairstyle” in Google Images and show you what I get:

image

So a quick analysis shows us:

  1. Black people are “ghetto” even when they’re not actually doing anything to fit that stereotype. Some hairstyles are deemed “ghetto” simply because they are on black people, as pictures 3 and 6 show us. Picture 3 would most definitely be tolerated if on a white person (or possibly a person who isn’t black) and Tyra’s hair in picture 6 is literally such a normalized hairstyle (when on non-black people, but especially white people) that I’m wondering how it even turned up in the top ten of these search results. What does this tell us? Well, when faced with the idea that “ghetto” or “ratchet” or words like them are racist words, people usually defend themselves by saying “No, it just means something ignorant.” However, this just goes to show that ghetto can be code for “something that I’ve labeled as ‘ignorant’ because a black person is doing it and I associate blackness with ignorance.”
  2. When hairstyles on white people are vividly colored or styled in ways considered typical to black hair styling, they are deemed “ghetto.” Besides picture 4, which shows Pink in a Coolio-esque hot pink hairstyle, the search results featured numerous white people with simple fros and dreads formed of their natural hair. Because fros and dreads are considered “black” hairstyles, those white people have been deemed to have ghetto hairstyles, even though the styles are pretty basic/how their hair naturally grows from their head. This tells us that “ghetto” can also mean "something I’ve labeled as ‘ignorant’ because I associate that thing with black people and I see blackness as ignorance."
  3. Many of these hairstyles are tolerated when on punk/alt/experimental white people, but are laughed at when black people wear them. We’ve all seen Lady Gaga’s bow, and if you haven’t, look it up. Picture 2 features a child with layered bangs, a giant, hot pink bow and a side ponytail (and it’s sooo adorable). Picture 5 features two high side buns, one sunshine yellow and the other pink, with hair that is so intricately folded and laid that if it were a clay sculpture it would be applauded. Lady Gaga was acclaimed for that bow hairstyle, but these black people with arguably better versions of the style are search results for “ghetto hairstyles.” As with the first case, this tells us that ”ghetto” can also mean ”something that I’ve labeled as ‘ignorant’ because a black person is doing it and I associate blackness with ignorance.”

In short, anti-black people, racists and self-haters don’t see black hairstyles like this as “innovative and visually appealing” because they don’t see black people as able to create “art” in the sense that art is something high class that takes talent and depth. That is, they see us, black people, as talentless and shallow, unable of the immensity of thought that they believe goes into “good” artwork. They also see black hairstyles as an unintentional joke instead of as intentional works of art. And thus our society is trained to laugh at black people with hairstyles that are actually pretty awesome, and for the time and talent that goes into creating them can only be called “art.” I’m going to show a few of my faves from these search results:

image

Besides the fact that we exist seeing variations of this on punk white kids every day without complaint, it annoys me that this is reduced to “ghetto” because IT’S SO AMAZING. That ombré mohawk! Those turquoise bangs!!! THOSE LINES! Please appreciate this!

image

If we appreciated black people as human beings capable of complex thought and depth, we could fathom how fucking cool it is that the shaved part is covered with money. Not only that, but the pieces were intentionally cut to form a hairline and the money was laid in such a way that it creates a pattern. 

image

I wish I could see her whole head, because I wonder if each individual line wraps around her scalp to form a circle before it’s all gathered into a ponytail. 

image

That side part is miraculous, those Farrah Fawcett curls are to die for, and every color compliments the others. But this beauty has their blackness working against them in addition to them having facial hair (which is also visually appealing and well-tailored, by the way).

Take a look through these pictures or type “ghetto hairstyles” into google yourself and try to truly appreciate the work that went into them, instead of immediately deeming them “ghetto” because they exist on a black person. To anyone who still thinks these are “ghetto,” I ask: can you make your hair like that?

THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

One time I took out al the keys n my keyboard, spray painted them pink, wrote the letters back on, and put the keys back. I now have a pink keyboard. showed it to my friend. His response was “ghetto fabuloyus!!”

DONT EVER FUCKING USE THE WORD GHETTO TO DESCRIBE ME I WILL FUCKING CUT YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

it’s no fucking coincidence that ‘ghetto’ is a synonym for ‘of low quality' as well as a synonym for 'black

and you cannot rationalize this association away as you try to explain why you’re not racist.

(via fyeahcracker)

@18 hours ago with 814 notes
#racism #ghetto 

"A white student may feel discomfort when it’s pointed out to him how he has benefited from structural racism, but to compare that discomfort to discrimination is a false equivalency. Hurt feelings hurt, but it is not oppression. But hurt feelings can be bad for business. And a lot of powerful people think colleges should act more like businesses. When they do, students act more like customers. And our likely customers might not be amicable to discussions about structural racism. If the customer is always right, then the majority share of customers is more right than the minority."

Minneapolis professor Shannon Gibney: Reprimanded for talking about racism. (via sociolab)

Capitalism, as a system of oppression, is dependent and interlinked with White Supremacy. We have to overthrow both systems if we want liberation.

(via stoicmeditations)

(via sketchlock)

@3 days ago with 12623 notes
#racism #capitalism #education #oppression #patriarchy #feminism 
thingsthatmakeyouacey:

It…kind of is.
For now, I’m using the term PoC (people of color) as a shorthand, understanding that it refers to people in white-majority cultures and can’t describe white-minority cultures, for ease of writing, but also because I will largely discuss diaspora.
First, let’s discuss the issue of terminology and identity. “Asexual” is a difficult term for PoC to use. We are made hypersexual (e.g. stereotypes of Black women as very sexual) and asexual (e.g. Asian men being treated as alien, sexually dysfunctional; the Mammy trope). The term “asexual” is often actually used in these contexts. Even when it isn’t, to attach “asexual” to our identity means navigating a really complex, terrible issue where PoC bodies are regulated and controlled because of racist views of our “asexuality.” Sterilization programs that target minority women are realities in the US and other nations with racial minorities, while the simultaneous “aging up” of Black children and assumed asexuality means they are treated as sexually passive, and so often are targeted in sexual crimes. This sort of “de-sexing” has been a form to control PoC/especially Black women’s agency since slavery.
Siggy writes (1): 

"Stereotypically, Asian women are hypersexualized and Asian men are desexualized.  Each of these come with their own set of issues for asexuals.  Asian asexual women might be disbelieved because they conflict with the stereotype.  Asian asexual men might be assumed to conform to the stereotype completely, even if the stereotype is actually very different from asexuality in real life.  Also, sometimes people say Asian men are stereotypically asexual, which is bad because it’s using the word "asexual" as a pejorative."

With regards to the challenges Black women face, voltafiish writes (2):

"While asexuality has not had such a long history, the majority of its representation in the media has been overwhelmingly white. Asexuality is seen as a “white thing” too! For asexuality in black people (especially black women) from the outside looking in can be broken down into a few categories:
A) Asexuality functions as a white supremacist stereotype. This means asexual black person is not actually asexual, but simply a desexualized black person (like the mammy, for example) or they are simply suppressing their “true sexuality” in light of other racial stereotypes (like the jezebel). Of course, these are dependent on an inaccurate definition on what asexuality is but contrary to a lot of activism, a lot of people are still fixed on using this definition. Because people do not know what asexuality is, their first assumption is one that equates behaviour and attraction.
B) Asexuality cannot possibly BE a thing because black people MUST be sexual by “nature.” This is due to the myth and stereotyping and labeling of black people as hypersexual. If we operate on the definition on asexuality being about not having sex/being sexual and operate within the realms of white supremacy, black asexual people cannot exist. I remember looking up research concerning blackness and asexuality and came across someone make the very same statement: “Black people cannot be asexual because they are hypersexual.”
C) Asexuality (and any other sexuality for that fact) is not possible for black people because all black people are heterosexual. Cue compulsory heterosexuality.”

As you can see, not only does the concept raise issues for PoC self-identifying, but for those who identify as asexual but must, again, navigate larger issues.
GradientLair writes (3):

"If I tell anyone that I am 34 years old and I’ve been celibate for a little more than 8 years now, they look at my Black skin and female body and the judgment starts. Because I am a Black woman, I am automatically typed as heterosexual but “deviant” (as “normal” heterosexuality is reserved for Whites in a White supremacist society) and “hypersexual” (based on the long history of specifically anti-Black misogyny used to justify the rape, exploitation, lynching and dehumanization of Black women’s bodies and lives). Any sexuality that I ascribe to that is not heterosexual and hypersexual is deemed as me sidestepping the “norm.” However, this White supremacist lie is not the norm or even remotely explains the complexity of sexuality for any people, especially Black people because of our history."

I recommend if you are unfamiliar with some of the issues she discusses, to click through and then explore her embedded hyperlinks. Meanwhile, queerlibido/Alok Vaid-Menon discusses issues of intersection with respect to the South Asian male identity (4):

"As a queer South Asian I don’t feel comfortable ascribing the identity of ‘asexual’ to my body. Part of the ways in which brown men have been oppressed in the Western world is by de-emasculating them and de-sexualizing them (check out David Eng’s book Racial Castration). What then would it mean for me to identify as an ‘asexual?’ What would this agency look like in a climate of white supremacy? Can I ever authentically express ‘my’ (a)sexuality or am I always rehearsing colonial logics? The dilemma of this brown queer body is its inability to see itself through its own eyes. The mirror becomes a site it which we view what white people have always told us about ourselves. Regardless or not of the status of my libido, I’m not sure I will ever feel comfortable identifying as asexual because it seems like I am betraying my people. I am invested in South Asians and all other Asian Americans being able to reclaim, re-affirm, and be recognized for their sexual selves. I am invested in brown boys and brown gurlz being able to get what they desire. I am invested in the radical potential of brown (queer) love in a society where so many of us grow up hating our bodies and bending our knees for white men. I want to be part of this struggle. Sometimes I get angry at myself for not being able to eliminate the distance, not being able to join in solidarity. To fuck and be fucked, to publically claim and own my sexuality. I understand that there is something (as Celine Shimizu reminds us in her book Straightjacket Sexualities) radical about Asian American masculinities being displaced from patriarchal masculinities rooted in hyper-sexuality and hyper-masculinity and the reclamation of ‘effeminate’ and ‘asexual’ representations of our bodies as a political refusal of the very logics which have rendered those bodies numb.
…
So when I read this piece about how folks involved with the asexuality community feel as if they are post-race I’m pretty well, flabbergasted. Asexuality has always been a carefully crafted strategy to subjugate Asian masculinities. Asexuality has everything to do with race. Which goes to say that what if the very act of articulating a public asexual identity is rooted in white privilege? Essential understandings of being ‘born’ ‘asexual’ and loving my ‘asexual’ self will never make sense to me. In a world that continually erases Asian (male assigned) sexualities I was coerced into asexuality. It is something I have and will continue to struggle with. My asexuality is a site of racial trauma. I want that sadness, that loss, that anxiety to be a part of asexuality politics. I don’t want to be proud or affirmed – I want to have a serious conversation about how all of our desires are mediated by racism and how violent that is. My pleasures – or lack thereof – are not transcendental and celebratory, they are contradictory, confused, and hurt.”

He cites an interview on AsexualAgenda (5), excerpted here:

"Often, white asexuals and those who do not identify themselves use these threads to make statements that, 1) AVEN is a safe, diverse environment, 2) AVEN is a race neutral place and asexuals are color-blind, or 3) race is anarchronistic, un-important or itself “racist.” All three of these tendencies work to minimize the significance of race, to obscure “white” as a race by claiming neutrality, and to dismiss user interests or lived/digital experiences."

So now we arrive at issues within the community and how it treats PoC and the diversity of the ability for aces to identify as such. A good place to start is the “crux” of the community - AVEN - where we can see, in often popular threads, blatant racism.
A thread discussing World Pride 2013 and whether PoC aces should have a separate space:

AVEN forum search for keyword “racism” (6):



The AVEN thread “AVEN has traumatized me” (TW for sexual assault/rape/victim blaming) also brings up how often AVEN members come across racism in the forums and are unable to report it (7). The AVEN thread “Asexual People of Color” has many a post on the grievances aces of color face with their identities and on AVEN (8).
As we can see, there is an issue with racism, talking over PoC, and treating racism as a nonexistent issue, or else race itself as a nonfactor in asexuality and sexuality in general. But these issues are not limited to AVEN, which many identify as a generally problematic space and have thus abandoned for spaces like Tumblr. Here, and in similar spaces, the racism has been more subtle, and it is where I see the sweeping issue of racism in our representation, dialogues, and activism.
The faces of the asexual movement - and by “asexual movement,” I use a term and definition as employed by David Jay and his followers - have been exceedingly white. A simple example:

How popular was this image? Has it changed at all? Siggy writes again, two years ago (10):

"And yet, the publicly visible asexuals are disproportionately white.  An asexual who was Asian asked me the other day if there were any non-white asexuals I knew of, and was clearly disappointed when I could only think of a few.  This is both indicative of, and a contributor to greater asexual invisibility within API and other non-white groups.
And here I am, contributing to the problem even further.  I decided it was less worthwhile to present asexuality to an API audience than to a “general” (but probably predominantly White) audience.  I was further tipping the already imbalanced scales.  If all asexual activists did the same, it would become a major problem a decade down the road.”

Because, really, let’s look at who goes on talk shows, interviews with newspapers and magazines, and gets photographed. Who do we see associated with articles on asexuality, like HuffPost’s series?:

Some must wonder now if it’s that whiteness and white culture allows for greater visibility when it comes to queer identities. But is this true? What about the history of queer Black artists (musicians, visual artists, dancers, writers) and their precedence of very public activism? Because I say that the lack of brown and black faces in the public, representing us, cannot be completely chalked up to cultural differences. When I look at canonically asexual characters (or…attempted asexual characters), I see white faces - in fiction, where writers look at our community and try to create fictional characters, or else ace writers create these fictional characters. Sirens, House, Huge, Ignition Zero, Girls with Slingshots, Quicksilver all have canonically (or attempted) asexual characters that are white, and even articles/essays that seek to analyze the media where we find these characters will not bring up the race question a single time (11). These data can only reflect the community and the visible, un-erased members of the community - because not all of these authors are outsiders.
I also want to talk about how aces of color are cordoned off when it comes to dialogue. This is an especially subtle aspect of the community that I have noticed for a few years - where writers who discuss the intersection of race and asexuality are largely written off by the community as irrelevant to net community politics. For example, GradientLair’s posts almost never make the rounds of the tags or forums, except for black aces, as if white aces and non-Black aces of color have nothing to learn from an asexual Black woman’s important perspective on sexual politics.
There are two effects I observe from this habit. First, aces of color feel pushed out because their voices are not heard, or else they face racism as evidenced above in AVEN. Second, what is established is whiteness as the norm - PoC voices are, even if not actively, made an “other,” or a “niche,” and if these posts do make the rounds, they are not discussed, but tagged lazily with “intersectionality” or “boost” to be passed along for followers of color. PoC are made to feel like we are a separate cause and the nuances of our identities have no effect on the asexual community, where “asexual community” is thus equated with “white asexual voices.”
An example of this harm is the recent backlash against sex positivity rhetoric among the ace community. There is no harm in such dialogue, but what I find especially interesting is how aces, including prominent asexual activists who often represent the community publicly, have taken credit for spear-heading the critique of the sex-positive movement. As I’ve cited above, Black women in the West have traditionally been targeted sexually because of their race and as an effect of slavery - Womanism, therefore, has traditionally involved critical analysis of compulsory heterosexuality for decades. I recently began to compile a list of sources by mostly Womanists because of this strange trend among white aces (12). This type of irresponsibility and co-opting is exceptionally harmful to Black women and Black aces, who already face massive erasure, and furthermore it is distressing that leaders in the community propagate these attitudes in a largely white community.
In sum:
the community ignores or dismisses race as a factor in sexuality
blatant racism occurs in the community
aces of color do not get any visibility in the media
the issues aces of color face at the intersection of many identities are deemed irrelevant to the “broader” community, and so the community is equated with whiteness, and co-opting of QWoC dialogue occurs on a large scale
I want to wrap this response up here, because I think this information is sufficient enough to convince those willing to learn that racism is very much rampant in the asexual community, and that aces of color find it difficult to find a space in it as it exists currently. This post is not for those who refuse to teach themselves. You are the problem, not just those who merely don’t know what’s happening around them because of their privilege. I urge those of you in this latter group to recognize your privilege, end this Othering of PoC, challenge the presumed “normality” of the whiteness in our spaces, and magnify the voices of people of color around you. It is not tokenizing to stop erasing, and it’s not an attack on you to notice, let alone speak up.
Remember: being an ally is not about posting a political alignment on Facebook or any social equivalent. It means knowing that you will not be attacked for speaking up about a certain issue (ergo, you have privilege), and employing that power to protect and defend those of us who are vulnerable. Because we are vulnerable. I have personally received hate/abuse for even mentioning race in this space and offline spaces, and have been building up the courage for four years to discuss these issues on such a public blog, so please understand that I am not exaggerating. 
70% of anti-LGBTQ murder victims are PoC (13). 87% of hate murder victims in 2011 were QPoC (14). TPoC statistics reveal even more - and make sure to go through this whole study (15):



This isn’t fun and games, or petty complaints on a website. This is survival. 
Sources:
http://skepticsplay.blogspot.com/2011/05/forecasting-issues-of-race.html
http://ace-muslim.tumblr.com/post/66431409049/im-supposed-to-be-working-on-an-art-history-paper-rn
This is a great essay on being Black and asexual that I personally learned a lot from: http://thingsthatmakeyouacey.tumblr.com/post/66431633676/im-supposed-to-be-working-on-an-art-history-paper-rn
http://www.gradientlair.com/post/61224262021/heterosexuality-compulsory-uniform-black-women
http://queerlibido.tumblr.com/post/74181237292/whats-r-ace-got-to-do-with-it-white-privilege ; http://www.thestate.ae/whats-race-got-to-do-with-it-white-privilege-asexuality/
http://asexualagenda.wordpress.com/2013/03/10/interview-with-ianna-hawkins-owen/
http://www.asexuality.org/en/index.php?app=core&module=search&do=search&andor_type=&sid=01af01fc2a34562772e26f8092174d5c&search_app_filters[forums][sortKey]=date&search_app_filters[forums][sortKey]=date&search_term=racism&search_app=forums&st=0
http://www.asexuality.org/en/topic/95406-aven-has-traumatized-me/
http://www.asexuality.org/en/topic/78085-asexual-people-of-color/
http://skepticsplay.blogspot.com/2012/04/dilemma-on-asexuality-and-race.html
http://asexualagenda.wordpress.com/2013/07/19/confirmed-asexual-characters-in-fiction/
My masterpost of sex-critical writings by WoC/Black women, many of which discuss the issue of being simultaneously made hypersexual and “asexual”: http://thingsthatmakeyouacey.tumblr.com/post/82269213656/if-you-dont-believe-me
http://colorlines.com/archives/2011/07/70_percent_of_anti-lgbt_murder_victims_are_people_of_color.html
http://www.queerty.com/study-lgbt-murder-rate-at-all-time-high-but-hate-violence-on-wane-20120531/
http://www.thetaskforce.org/downloads/reports/reports/ntds_full.pdf

thingsthatmakeyouacey:

It…kind of is.

For now, I’m using the term PoC (people of color) as a shorthand, understanding that it refers to people in white-majority cultures and can’t describe white-minority cultures, for ease of writing, but also because I will largely discuss diaspora.

First, let’s discuss the issue of terminology and identity. “Asexual” is a difficult term for PoC to use. We are made hypersexual (e.g. stereotypes of Black women as very sexual) and asexual (e.g. Asian men being treated as alien, sexually dysfunctional; the Mammy trope). The term “asexual” is often actually used in these contexts. Even when it isn’t, to attach “asexual” to our identity means navigating a really complex, terrible issue where PoC bodies are regulated and controlled because of racist views of our “asexuality.” Sterilization programs that target minority women are realities in the US and other nations with racial minorities, while the simultaneous “aging up” of Black children and assumed asexuality means they are treated as sexually passive, and so often are targeted in sexual crimes. This sort of “de-sexing” has been a form to control PoC/especially Black women’s agency since slavery.

Siggy writes (1): 

"Stereotypically, Asian women are hypersexualized and Asian men are desexualized.  Each of these come with their own set of issues for asexuals.  Asian asexual women might be disbelieved because they conflict with the stereotype.  Asian asexual men might be assumed to conform to the stereotype completely, even if the stereotype is actually very different from asexuality in real life.  Also, sometimes people say Asian men are stereotypically asexual, which is bad because it’s using the word "asexual" as a pejorative."

With regards to the challenges Black women face, voltafiish writes (2):

"While asexuality has not had such a long history, the majority of its representation in the media has been overwhelmingly white. Asexuality is seen as a “white thing” too! For asexuality in black people (especially black women) from the outside looking in can be broken down into a few categories:

A) Asexuality functions as a white supremacist stereotype. This means asexual black person is not actually asexual, but simply a desexualized black person (like the mammy, for example) or they are simply suppressing their “true sexuality” in light of other racial stereotypes (like the jezebel). Of course, these are dependent on an inaccurate definition on what asexuality is but contrary to a lot of activism, a lot of people are still fixed on using this definition. Because people do not know what asexuality is, their first assumption is one that equates behaviour and attraction.

B) Asexuality cannot possibly BE a thing because black people MUST be sexual by “nature.” This is due to the myth and stereotyping and labeling of black people as hypersexual. If we operate on the definition on asexuality being about not having sex/being sexual and operate within the realms of white supremacy, black asexual people cannot exist. I remember looking up research concerning blackness and asexuality and came across someone make the very same statement: “Black people cannot be asexual because they are hypersexual.”

C) Asexuality (and any other sexuality for that fact) is not possible for black people because all black people are heterosexual. Cue compulsory heterosexuality.”

As you can see, not only does the concept raise issues for PoC self-identifying, but for those who identify as asexual but must, again, navigate larger issues.

GradientLair writes (3):

"If I tell anyone that I am 34 years old and I’ve been celibate for a little more than 8 years now, they look at my Black skin and female body and the judgment starts. Because I am a Black woman, I am automatically typed as heterosexual but “deviant” (as “normal” heterosexuality is reserved for Whites in a White supremacist society) and “hypersexual” (based on the long history of specifically anti-Black misogyny used to justify the rape, exploitation, lynching and dehumanization of Black women’s bodies and lives). Any sexuality that I ascribe to that is not heterosexual and hypersexual is deemed as me sidestepping the “norm.” However, this White supremacist lie is not the norm or even remotely explains the complexity of sexuality for any people, especially Black people because of our history."

I recommend if you are unfamiliar with some of the issues she discusses, to click through and then explore her embedded hyperlinks. Meanwhile, queerlibido/Alok Vaid-Menon discusses issues of intersection with respect to the South Asian male identity (4):

"As a queer South Asian I don’t feel comfortable ascribing the identity of ‘asexual’ to my body. Part of the ways in which brown men have been oppressed in the Western world is by de-emasculating them and de-sexualizing them (check out David Eng’s book Racial Castration). What then would it mean for me to identify as an ‘asexual?’ What would this agency look like in a climate of white supremacy? Can I ever authentically express ‘my’ (a)sexuality or am I always rehearsing colonial logics? The dilemma of this brown queer body is its inability to see itself through its own eyes. The mirror becomes a site it which we view what white people have always told us about ourselves. Regardless or not of the status of my libido, I’m not sure I will ever feel comfortable identifying as asexual because it seems like I am betraying my people. 

I am invested in South Asians and all other Asian Americans being able to reclaim, re-affirm, and be recognized for their sexual selves. I am invested in brown boys and brown gurlz being able to get what they desire. I am invested in the radical potential of brown (queer) love in a society where so many of us grow up hating our bodies and bending our knees for white men. I want to be part of this struggle. Sometimes I get angry at myself for not being able to eliminate the distance, not being able to join in solidarity. To fuck and be fucked, to publically claim and own my sexuality. I understand that there is something (as Celine Shimizu reminds us in her book Straightjacket Sexualities) radical about Asian American masculinities being displaced from patriarchal masculinities rooted in hyper-sexuality and hyper-masculinity and the reclamation of ‘effeminate’ and ‘asexual’ representations of our bodies as a political refusal of the very logics which have rendered those bodies numb.

So when I read this piece about how folks involved with the asexuality community feel as if they are post-race I’m pretty well, flabbergasted. Asexuality has always been a carefully crafted strategy to subjugate Asian masculinities. Asexuality has everything to do with race. Which goes to say that what if the very act of articulating a public asexual identity is rooted in white privilege? Essential understandings of being ‘born’ ‘asexual’ and loving my ‘asexual’ self will never make sense to me. In a world that continually erases Asian (male assigned) sexualities I was coerced into asexuality. It is something I have and will continue to struggle with. My asexuality is a site of racial trauma. I want that sadness, that loss, that anxiety to be a part of asexuality politics. I don’t want to be proud or affirmed – I want to have a serious conversation about how all of our desires are mediated by racism and how violent that is. My pleasures – or lack thereof – are not transcendental and celebratory, they are contradictory, confused, and hurt.”

He cites an interview on AsexualAgenda (5), excerpted here:

"Often, white asexuals and those who do not identify themselves use these threads to make statements that, 1) AVEN is a safe, diverse environment, 2) AVEN is a race neutral place and asexuals are color-blind, or 3) race is anarchronistic, un-important or itself “racist.” All three of these tendencies work to minimize the significance of race, to obscure “white” as a race by claiming neutrality, and to dismiss user interests or lived/digital experiences."

So now we arrive at issues within the community and how it treats PoC and the diversity of the ability for aces to identify as such. A good place to start is the “crux” of the community - AVEN - where we can see, in often popular threads, blatant racism.

A thread discussing World Pride 2013 and whether PoC aces should have a separate space:

image

AVEN forum search for keyword “racism” (6):

image

image

image

The AVEN thread “AVEN has traumatized me” (TW for sexual assault/rape/victim blaming) also brings up how often AVEN members come across racism in the forums and are unable to report it (7). The AVEN thread “Asexual People of Color” has many a post on the grievances aces of color face with their identities and on AVEN (8).

As we can see, there is an issue with racism, talking over PoC, and treating racism as a nonexistent issue, or else race itself as a nonfactor in asexuality and sexuality in general. But these issues are not limited to AVEN, which many identify as a generally problematic space and have thus abandoned for spaces like Tumblr. Here, and in similar spaces, the racism has been more subtle, and it is where I see the sweeping issue of racism in our representation, dialogues, and activism.

The faces of the asexual movement - and by “asexual movement,” I use a term and definition as employed by David Jay and his followers - have been exceedingly white. A simple example:

image

How popular was this image? Has it changed at all? Siggy writes again, two years ago (10):

"And yet, the publicly visible asexuals are disproportionately white.  An asexual who was Asian asked me the other day if there were any non-white asexuals I knew of, and was clearly disappointed when I could only think of a few.  This is both indicative of, and a contributor to greater asexual invisibility within API and other non-white groups.

And here I am, contributing to the problem even further.  I decided it was less worthwhile to present asexuality to an API audience than to a “general” (but probably predominantly White) audience.  I was further tipping the already imbalanced scales.  If all asexual activists did the same, it would become a major problem a decade down the road.”

Because, really, let’s look at who goes on talk shows, interviews with newspapers and magazines, and gets photographed. Who do we see associated with articles on asexuality, like HuffPost’s series?:

image

Some must wonder now if it’s that whiteness and white culture allows for greater visibility when it comes to queer identities. But is this true? What about the history of queer Black artists (musicians, visual artists, dancers, writers) and their precedence of very public activism? Because I say that the lack of brown and black faces in the public, representing us, cannot be completely chalked up to cultural differences. When I look at canonically asexual characters (or…attempted asexual characters), I see white faces - in fiction, where writers look at our community and try to create fictional characters, or else ace writers create these fictional characters. Sirens, House, Huge, Ignition Zero, Girls with Slingshots, Quicksilver all have canonically (or attempted) asexual characters that are white, and even articles/essays that seek to analyze the media where we find these characters will not bring up the race question a single time (11). These data can only reflect the community and the visible, un-erased members of the community - because not all of these authors are outsiders.

I also want to talk about how aces of color are cordoned off when it comes to dialogue. This is an especially subtle aspect of the community that I have noticed for a few years - where writers who discuss the intersection of race and asexuality are largely written off by the community as irrelevant to net community politics. For example, GradientLair’s posts almost never make the rounds of the tags or forums, except for black aces, as if white aces and non-Black aces of color have nothing to learn from an asexual Black woman’s important perspective on sexual politics.

There are two effects I observe from this habit. First, aces of color feel pushed out because their voices are not heard, or else they face racism as evidenced above in AVEN. Second, what is established is whiteness as the norm - PoC voices are, even if not actively, made an “other,” or a “niche,” and if these posts do make the rounds, they are not discussed, but tagged lazily with “intersectionality” or “boost” to be passed along for followers of color. PoC are made to feel like we are a separate cause and the nuances of our identities have no effect on the asexual community, where “asexual community” is thus equated with “white asexual voices.”

An example of this harm is the recent backlash against sex positivity rhetoric among the ace community. There is no harm in such dialogue, but what I find especially interesting is how aces, including prominent asexual activists who often represent the community publicly, have taken credit for spear-heading the critique of the sex-positive movement. As I’ve cited above, Black women in the West have traditionally been targeted sexually because of their race and as an effect of slavery - Womanism, therefore, has traditionally involved critical analysis of compulsory heterosexuality for decades. I recently began to compile a list of sources by mostly Womanists because of this strange trend among white aces (12). This type of irresponsibility and co-opting is exceptionally harmful to Black women and Black aces, who already face massive erasure, and furthermore it is distressing that leaders in the community propagate these attitudes in a largely white community.

In sum:

  • the community ignores or dismisses race as a factor in sexuality
  • blatant racism occurs in the community
  • aces of color do not get any visibility in the media
  • the issues aces of color face at the intersection of many identities are deemed irrelevant to the “broader” community, and so the community is equated with whiteness, and co-opting of QWoC dialogue occurs on a large scale

I want to wrap this response up here, because I think this information is sufficient enough to convince those willing to learn that racism is very much rampant in the asexual community, and that aces of color find it difficult to find a space in it as it exists currently. This post is not for those who refuse to teach themselves. You are the problem, not just those who merely don’t know what’s happening around them because of their privilege. I urge those of you in this latter group to recognize your privilege, end this Othering of PoC, challenge the presumed “normality” of the whiteness in our spaces, and magnify the voices of people of color around you. It is not tokenizing to stop erasing, and it’s not an attack on you to notice, let alone speak up.

Remember: being an ally is not about posting a political alignment on Facebook or any social equivalent. It means knowing that you will not be attacked for speaking up about a certain issue (ergo, you have privilege), and employing that power to protect and defend those of us who are vulnerable. Because we are vulnerable. I have personally received hate/abuse for even mentioning race in this space and offline spaces, and have been building up the courage for four years to discuss these issues on such a public blog, so please understand that I am not exaggerating. 

70% of anti-LGBTQ murder victims are PoC (13). 87% of hate murder victims in 2011 were QPoC (14). TPoC statistics reveal even more - and make sure to go through this whole study (15):

image

image

image

This isn’t fun and games, or petty complaints on a website. This is survival. 

Sources:

  1. http://skepticsplay.blogspot.com/2011/05/forecasting-issues-of-race.html
  2. http://ace-muslim.tumblr.com/post/66431409049/im-supposed-to-be-working-on-an-art-history-paper-rn
  3. This is a great essay on being Black and asexual that I personally learned a lot from: http://thingsthatmakeyouacey.tumblr.com/post/66431633676/im-supposed-to-be-working-on-an-art-history-paper-rn
  4. http://www.gradientlair.com/post/61224262021/heterosexuality-compulsory-uniform-black-women
  5. http://queerlibido.tumblr.com/post/74181237292/whats-r-ace-got-to-do-with-it-white-privilegehttp://www.thestate.ae/whats-race-got-to-do-with-it-white-privilege-asexuality/
  6. http://asexualagenda.wordpress.com/2013/03/10/interview-with-ianna-hawkins-owen/
  7. http://www.asexuality.org/en/index.php?app=core&module=search&do=search&andor_type=&sid=01af01fc2a34562772e26f8092174d5c&search_app_filters[forums][sortKey]=date&search_app_filters[forums][sortKey]=date&search_term=racism&search_app=forums&st=0
  8. http://www.asexuality.org/en/topic/95406-aven-has-traumatized-me/
  9. http://www.asexuality.org/en/topic/78085-asexual-people-of-color/
  10. http://skepticsplay.blogspot.com/2012/04/dilemma-on-asexuality-and-race.html
  11. http://asexualagenda.wordpress.com/2013/07/19/confirmed-asexual-characters-in-fiction/
  12. My masterpost of sex-critical writings by WoC/Black women, many of which discuss the issue of being simultaneously made hypersexual and “asexual”: http://thingsthatmakeyouacey.tumblr.com/post/82269213656/if-you-dont-believe-me
  13. http://colorlines.com/archives/2011/07/70_percent_of_anti-lgbt_murder_victims_are_people_of_color.html
  14. http://www.queerty.com/study-lgbt-murder-rate-at-all-time-high-but-hate-violence-on-wane-20120531/
  15. http://www.thetaskforce.org/downloads/reports/reports/ntds_full.pdf

(via weareallmixedup)

@1 week ago with 1972 notes
#lgbtqa #asexual #asexuality #racism 

"In the instances when POC say shit like ‘Oh I can’t stand white folk’ or ‘Damn white people’, they aren’t saying ‘Oh I think they are inferior, I want to humiliate them, abuse them, enslave them and wipe out their people!’, they’re saying ‘Damn, after a couple hundred years of white people thinking I’m inferior, humiliating me, abusing me, enslaving me, and trying to wipe out my people, I don’t wanna deal with them.’ The context is completely different."

Briana (via absinthedisco)

Reblogging every time I see it.

(via dr—grumbles)

(via quelinda-anijinha)

(Source: chumpkaboo, via madammistress)

@2 weeks ago with 52796 notes
#race #racism 
liamdryden:

stabra:

absolutezeronow:

fascinasians:

danapolis:

stabra:

after hearing about it through the submission to @angryasiangirlsunited, i checked out the trailer of Lucy and am even more disgusted. and so not surprised. whiteness is getting too old.


the upcoming movie lucy will feature the age-old racist narrative of pure white woman (scarlet johansson) being violated by scary, brown men. and the new white feminist trope of women gaining their power by violently eliminating brown men. who needs the white male savior when we now have white female saviors, taking it into their own hands to save their whiteness from all that non-whiteness. so radical.



My favorite part are the white feminists who are raving about this movie because “strong independent woman yaaaas!!”

Sigh.

i’m just wondering why there are herbs and fruits and vegetables written in a faded, creepy red on a prison-like wall in chinese.  are herbs and fruits and vegetables in chinese supposed to be part of some sort of scare tactics?  or am i missing something here?

it keeps getting better.

awww man see I immediately fell into the trap of being excited for all the kickass lady stuff and didn’t give this much thought
This is a very valid point and hugely disappointing

liamdryden:

stabra:

absolutezeronow:

fascinasians:

danapolis:

stabra:

after hearing about it through the submission to @angryasiangirlsunited, i checked out the trailer of Lucy and am even more disgusted. and so not surprised. whiteness is getting too old.

the upcoming movie lucy will feature the age-old racist narrative of pure white woman (scarlet johansson) being violated by scary, brown men. and the new white feminist trope of women gaining their power by violently eliminating brown men. who needs the white male savior when we now have white female saviors, taking it into their own hands to save their whiteness from all that non-whiteness. so radical.

My favorite part are the white feminists who are raving about this movie because “strong independent woman yaaaas!!”

Sigh.

i’m just wondering why there are herbs and fruits and vegetables written in a faded, creepy red on a prison-like wall in chinese.  are herbs and fruits and vegetables in chinese supposed to be part of some sort of scare tactics?  or am i missing something here?

it keeps getting better.

awww man see I immediately fell into the trap of being excited for all the kickass lady stuff and didn’t give this much thought

This is a very valid point and hugely disappointing

(via madammistress)

@2 weeks ago with 16799 notes
#feminism #racism #film #lucy 

"The problem is that white people see racism as conscious hate, when racism is bigger than that. Racism is a complex system of social and political levers and pulleys set up generations ago to continue working on the behalf of whites at other people’s expense, whether whites know/like it or not. Racism is an insidious cultural disease. It is so insidious that it doesn’t care if you are a white person who likes black people; it’s still going to find a way to infect how you deal with people who don’t look like you. Yes, racism looks like hate, but hate is just one manifestation. Privilege is another. Access is another. Ignorance is another. Apathy is another. And so on. So while I agree with people who say no one is born racist, it remains a powerful system that we’re immediately born into. It’s like being born into air: you take it in as soon as you breathe. It’s not a cold that you can get over. There is no anti-racist certification class. It’s a set of socioeconomic traps and cultural values that are fired up every time we interact with the world. It is a thing you have to keep scooping out of the boat of your life to keep from drowning in it. I know it’s hard work, but it’s the price you pay for owning everything."

Scott Wood (X)

(Source: luvyourselfsomeesteem, via house-of-mars-333)

@2 days ago with 58806 notes
#racism #privilege #patriarchy #feminism #white privilege 

Neil DeGrasse Tyson Said What He Thinks About Race Now That He's Made It, And Almost Nobody Noticed 

kenobi-wan-obi:

dynastylnoire:

He goes in

I really want this whole thing in transcript or quoted, it’s perfect.

(Source: jessehimself, via bringinglexiback)

@5 days ago with 4300 notes
#stem #science #neil degrasse tyson #feminism #racism 
swanjolras:

thebrokenhunterandhisbrokenangel:

worldofdrakan:

its-heaven-nowadays:

More Macklemore, less Robin Thicke.

And yet a huge percentage of Tumblr hates him. Not trying to be confrontational, but could someone please explain to me why this is?

Because he is a straight white guy and Tumblr isn’t always right. 

oh my god if i have to see this post on my dashboard one more time
all right, okay. let’s talk.
last year on a slow day in law/society class, my teacher showed us a movie where charlize theron was one of the only female workers in a mine in minnesota. she experienced a fuckload of sexual harassment, ofc; it was when she started daring to complain about the sexual harassment that shit got really bad.
i remember watching charlize theron go through all these awful things, and i remember getting vaguely invested in her as a heroine; yeah, you go charlize theron, you continue to work despite these harassment and assaults, you stand up for yourself when people shun you in the community, etc
and there was this climactic scene where the miners’ union was having a meeting, and charlize theron was going up to complain about something or tell people she was suing the company or smth, i can’t remember, and she stood there in front of this huge crowd of angry men who were booing her and catcalling her and shouting the worst things at her and she’s getting really miserable
and then her father, who also works at the mine, goes up and says “hey, you’re all jerks, think of your mothers & daughters, would you treat them this way,” and the miners are like “oh wow charlize theron totally does deserve our support etc” and then the movie continues
but all i could think was— what, so they’ll listen to a man but not to the woman who’s actually affected? why doesn’t charlize theron get to save the day and be the hero? in a conversation about sexism, why is his voice more important than hers?
we’re not mad at macklemore. or— well, we are mad at macklemore, but we’re more mad at the system that prioritizes macklemore over actual queer rappers, over actual rappers of color, who have been saying exactly the same shit for decades and been ignored.
we’re mad at the system that gives more attention to straight allies than queer activists.
we’re mad at the system that only supports queer rights when they are quiet and polite and have cute graphics.
we’re mad at the system that makes macklemore a hero of of the queer struggle but doesn’t know marsha p. johnson’s name.
we’re mad at the system that will listen to macklemore when he comes to defend us— but won’t listen to us.
we’re mad at the system that has constructed itself to make damn certain that only straight cis white boys can be heroes.
it’s fuckin’ great that macklemore thought he was gay in third grade. but the system would rather give his third grade gay freakout the spotlight than our actual whole-life queer experiences— and that’s not okay.

swanjolras:

thebrokenhunterandhisbrokenangel:

worldofdrakan:

its-heaven-nowadays:

More Macklemore, less Robin Thicke.

And yet a huge percentage of Tumblr hates him. Not trying to be confrontational, but could someone please explain to me why this is?

Because he is a straight white guy and Tumblr isn’t always right. 

oh my god if i have to see this post on my dashboard one more time

all right, okay. let’s talk.

last year on a slow day in law/society class, my teacher showed us a movie where charlize theron was one of the only female workers in a mine in minnesota. she experienced a fuckload of sexual harassment, ofc; it was when she started daring to complain about the sexual harassment that shit got really bad.

i remember watching charlize theron go through all these awful things, and i remember getting vaguely invested in her as a heroine; yeah, you go charlize theron, you continue to work despite these harassment and assaults, you stand up for yourself when people shun you in the community, etc

and there was this climactic scene where the miners’ union was having a meeting, and charlize theron was going up to complain about something or tell people she was suing the company or smth, i can’t remember, and she stood there in front of this huge crowd of angry men who were booing her and catcalling her and shouting the worst things at her and she’s getting really miserable

and then her father, who also works at the mine, goes up and says “hey, you’re all jerks, think of your mothers & daughters, would you treat them this way,” and the miners are like “oh wow charlize theron totally does deserve our support etc” and then the movie continues

but all i could think was— what, so they’ll listen to a man but not to the woman who’s actually affected? why doesn’t charlize theron get to save the day and be the hero? in a conversation about sexism, why is his voice more important than hers?

we’re not mad at macklemore. or— well, we are mad at macklemore, but we’re more mad at the system that prioritizes macklemore over actual queer rappers, over actual rappers of color, who have been saying exactly the same shit for decades and been ignored.

we’re mad at the system that gives more attention to straight allies than queer activists.

we’re mad at the system that only supports queer rights when they are quiet and polite and have cute graphics.

we’re mad at the system that makes macklemore a hero of of the queer struggle but doesn’t know marsha p. johnson’s name.

we’re mad at the system that will listen to macklemore when he comes to defend us— but won’t listen to us.

we’re mad at the system that has constructed itself to make damn certain that only straight cis white boys can be heroes.

it’s fuckin’ great that macklemore thought he was gay in third grade. but the system would rather give his third grade gay freakout the spotlight than our actual whole-life queer experiences— and that’s not okay.

(via tronlives)

@1 week ago with 544948 notes
#exactly #macklemore #lgbtqa #racism #patriarchy #feminism 
itsbollywood:

"Hollywood filmmakers do not write good substantive roles for Indian actors. Indian actors usually only get to be the nurse or hero’s roommate, the sidekick, the bit part. They are stereotyped. Even the biggest Indian stars can at best aspire for meaningful cameos. On the rare occasion they do get a slightly more substantial role it’s only to add an ‘exotic’ element to the film. Indian characters make little impact to the central themes of Hollywood films. Gravity provides a classic case. Everyone remembers George Clooney and Sandra Bullock. Poor Phaldut Sharma is easily forgotten. Of course, there are productions like Life of Pi and Slumdog Millionaire that have a heavy Indian presence. But these are India-centric scripts that simply cannot do without Indian actors. Hollywood filmmakers view Indian characters through the prism of social realities in their country. ”- Imran Khan

itsbollywood:

"Hollywood filmmakers do not write good substantive roles for Indian actors. Indian actors usually only get to be the nurse or hero’s roommate, the sidekick, the bit part. They are stereotyped. Even the biggest Indian stars can at best aspire for meaningful cameos. On the rare occasion they do get a slightly more substantial role it’s only to add an ‘exotic’ element to the film. Indian characters make little impact to the central themes of Hollywood films. Gravity provides a classic case. Everyone remembers George Clooney and Sandra Bullock. Poor Phaldut Sharma is easily forgotten. Of course, there are productions like Life of Pi and Slumdog Millionaire that have a heavy Indian presence. But these are India-centric scripts that simply cannot do without Indian actors. Hollywood filmmakers view Indian characters through the prism of social realities in their country. - Imran Khan

(via madammistress)

@2 weeks ago with 754 notes
#media #stereotypes #indian #race #racism 

"

Whites are drawn to Black culture because of the extraordinary quality of it, our aesthetic, our style. We set the styles. We are the trendsetters of America. America is known globally for its culture, which is Black.

They want to look like us, but they don’t want to be us. They don’t want to live in our skin. It’s kind of a cultural voyeurism. It allows white people to safely tour Blackness without being subjected to the reality of being Black.

"

Dr. Michael Eric Dyson, Jet Magazine Jun 25, 2001

(via bitteroreo)

(Source: knowledgeequalsblackpower, via weareallmixedup)

@2 weeks ago with 4330 notes
#race #racism #america 
The Word, “Ghetto,” is Racist: a Picture Essay.

queenquong:

ugobeast:

nomorewaterthefirenexttime:

I don’t understand why people make fun of “ghetto hairstyles.” Well, I mean, obviously I understand they do it because the person wearing the hairstyle is black. But, the thing is, these styles are actually innovative and visually appealing. I am literally going to type in “ghetto hairstyle” in Google Images and show you what I get:

image

So a quick analysis shows us:

  1. Black people are “ghetto” even when they’re not actually doing anything to fit that stereotype. Some hairstyles are deemed “ghetto” simply because they are on black people, as pictures 3 and 6 show us. Picture 3 would most definitely be tolerated if on a white person (or possibly a person who isn’t black) and Tyra’s hair in picture 6 is literally such a normalized hairstyle (when on non-black people, but especially white people) that I’m wondering how it even turned up in the top ten of these search results. What does this tell us? Well, when faced with the idea that “ghetto” or “ratchet” or words like them are racist words, people usually defend themselves by saying “No, it just means something ignorant.” However, this just goes to show that ghetto can be code for “something that I’ve labeled as ‘ignorant’ because a black person is doing it and I associate blackness with ignorance.”
  2. When hairstyles on white people are vividly colored or styled in ways considered typical to black hair styling, they are deemed “ghetto.” Besides picture 4, which shows Pink in a Coolio-esque hot pink hairstyle, the search results featured numerous white people with simple fros and dreads formed of their natural hair. Because fros and dreads are considered “black” hairstyles, those white people have been deemed to have ghetto hairstyles, even though the styles are pretty basic/how their hair naturally grows from their head. This tells us that “ghetto” can also mean "something I’ve labeled as ‘ignorant’ because I associate that thing with black people and I see blackness as ignorance."
  3. Many of these hairstyles are tolerated when on punk/alt/experimental white people, but are laughed at when black people wear them. We’ve all seen Lady Gaga’s bow, and if you haven’t, look it up. Picture 2 features a child with layered bangs, a giant, hot pink bow and a side ponytail (and it’s sooo adorable). Picture 5 features two high side buns, one sunshine yellow and the other pink, with hair that is so intricately folded and laid that if it were a clay sculpture it would be applauded. Lady Gaga was acclaimed for that bow hairstyle, but these black people with arguably better versions of the style are search results for “ghetto hairstyles.” As with the first case, this tells us that ”ghetto” can also mean ”something that I’ve labeled as ‘ignorant’ because a black person is doing it and I associate blackness with ignorance.”

In short, anti-black people, racists and self-haters don’t see black hairstyles like this as “innovative and visually appealing” because they don’t see black people as able to create “art” in the sense that art is something high class that takes talent and depth. That is, they see us, black people, as talentless and shallow, unable of the immensity of thought that they believe goes into “good” artwork. They also see black hairstyles as an unintentional joke instead of as intentional works of art. And thus our society is trained to laugh at black people with hairstyles that are actually pretty awesome, and for the time and talent that goes into creating them can only be called “art.” I’m going to show a few of my faves from these search results:

image

Besides the fact that we exist seeing variations of this on punk white kids every day without complaint, it annoys me that this is reduced to “ghetto” because IT’S SO AMAZING. That ombré mohawk! Those turquoise bangs!!! THOSE LINES! Please appreciate this!

image

If we appreciated black people as human beings capable of complex thought and depth, we could fathom how fucking cool it is that the shaved part is covered with money. Not only that, but the pieces were intentionally cut to form a hairline and the money was laid in such a way that it creates a pattern. 

image

I wish I could see her whole head, because I wonder if each individual line wraps around her scalp to form a circle before it’s all gathered into a ponytail. 

image

That side part is miraculous, those Farrah Fawcett curls are to die for, and every color compliments the others. But this beauty has their blackness working against them in addition to them having facial hair (which is also visually appealing and well-tailored, by the way).

Take a look through these pictures or type “ghetto hairstyles” into google yourself and try to truly appreciate the work that went into them, instead of immediately deeming them “ghetto” because they exist on a black person. To anyone who still thinks these are “ghetto,” I ask: can you make your hair like that?

THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

One time I took out al the keys n my keyboard, spray painted them pink, wrote the letters back on, and put the keys back. I now have a pink keyboard. showed it to my friend. His response was “ghetto fabuloyus!!”

DONT EVER FUCKING USE THE WORD GHETTO TO DESCRIBE ME I WILL FUCKING CUT YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

it’s no fucking coincidence that ‘ghetto’ is a synonym for ‘of low quality' as well as a synonym for 'black

and you cannot rationalize this association away as you try to explain why you’re not racist.

(via fyeahcracker)

18 hours ago
#racism #ghetto 
"The problem is that white people see racism as conscious hate, when racism is bigger than that. Racism is a complex system of social and political levers and pulleys set up generations ago to continue working on the behalf of whites at other people’s expense, whether whites know/like it or not. Racism is an insidious cultural disease. It is so insidious that it doesn’t care if you are a white person who likes black people; it’s still going to find a way to infect how you deal with people who don’t look like you. Yes, racism looks like hate, but hate is just one manifestation. Privilege is another. Access is another. Ignorance is another. Apathy is another. And so on. So while I agree with people who say no one is born racist, it remains a powerful system that we’re immediately born into. It’s like being born into air: you take it in as soon as you breathe. It’s not a cold that you can get over. There is no anti-racist certification class. It’s a set of socioeconomic traps and cultural values that are fired up every time we interact with the world. It is a thing you have to keep scooping out of the boat of your life to keep from drowning in it. I know it’s hard work, but it’s the price you pay for owning everything."
Scott Wood (X)

(Source: luvyourselfsomeesteem, via house-of-mars-333)

2 days ago
#racism #privilege #patriarchy #feminism #white privilege 
"A white student may feel discomfort when it’s pointed out to him how he has benefited from structural racism, but to compare that discomfort to discrimination is a false equivalency. Hurt feelings hurt, but it is not oppression. But hurt feelings can be bad for business. And a lot of powerful people think colleges should act more like businesses. When they do, students act more like customers. And our likely customers might not be amicable to discussions about structural racism. If the customer is always right, then the majority share of customers is more right than the minority."

Minneapolis professor Shannon Gibney: Reprimanded for talking about racism. (via sociolab)

Capitalism, as a system of oppression, is dependent and interlinked with White Supremacy. We have to overthrow both systems if we want liberation.

(via stoicmeditations)

(via sketchlock)

3 days ago
#racism #capitalism #education #oppression #patriarchy #feminism 
Neil DeGrasse Tyson Said What He Thinks About Race Now That He's Made It, And Almost Nobody Noticed→

kenobi-wan-obi:

dynastylnoire:

He goes in

I really want this whole thing in transcript or quoted, it’s perfect.

(Source: jessehimself, via bringinglexiback)

5 days ago
#stem #science #neil degrasse tyson #feminism #racism 
thingsthatmakeyouacey:

It…kind of is.
For now, I’m using the term PoC (people of color) as a shorthand, understanding that it refers to people in white-majority cultures and can’t describe white-minority cultures, for ease of writing, but also because I will largely discuss diaspora.
First, let’s discuss the issue of terminology and identity. “Asexual” is a difficult term for PoC to use. We are made hypersexual (e.g. stereotypes of Black women as very sexual) and asexual (e.g. Asian men being treated as alien, sexually dysfunctional; the Mammy trope). The term “asexual” is often actually used in these contexts. Even when it isn’t, to attach “asexual” to our identity means navigating a really complex, terrible issue where PoC bodies are regulated and controlled because of racist views of our “asexuality.” Sterilization programs that target minority women are realities in the US and other nations with racial minorities, while the simultaneous “aging up” of Black children and assumed asexuality means they are treated as sexually passive, and so often are targeted in sexual crimes. This sort of “de-sexing” has been a form to control PoC/especially Black women’s agency since slavery.
Siggy writes (1): 

"Stereotypically, Asian women are hypersexualized and Asian men are desexualized.  Each of these come with their own set of issues for asexuals.  Asian asexual women might be disbelieved because they conflict with the stereotype.  Asian asexual men might be assumed to conform to the stereotype completely, even if the stereotype is actually very different from asexuality in real life.  Also, sometimes people say Asian men are stereotypically asexual, which is bad because it’s using the word "asexual" as a pejorative."

With regards to the challenges Black women face, voltafiish writes (2):

"While asexuality has not had such a long history, the majority of its representation in the media has been overwhelmingly white. Asexuality is seen as a “white thing” too! For asexuality in black people (especially black women) from the outside looking in can be broken down into a few categories:
A) Asexuality functions as a white supremacist stereotype. This means asexual black person is not actually asexual, but simply a desexualized black person (like the mammy, for example) or they are simply suppressing their “true sexuality” in light of other racial stereotypes (like the jezebel). Of course, these are dependent on an inaccurate definition on what asexuality is but contrary to a lot of activism, a lot of people are still fixed on using this definition. Because people do not know what asexuality is, their first assumption is one that equates behaviour and attraction.
B) Asexuality cannot possibly BE a thing because black people MUST be sexual by “nature.” This is due to the myth and stereotyping and labeling of black people as hypersexual. If we operate on the definition on asexuality being about not having sex/being sexual and operate within the realms of white supremacy, black asexual people cannot exist. I remember looking up research concerning blackness and asexuality and came across someone make the very same statement: “Black people cannot be asexual because they are hypersexual.”
C) Asexuality (and any other sexuality for that fact) is not possible for black people because all black people are heterosexual. Cue compulsory heterosexuality.”

As you can see, not only does the concept raise issues for PoC self-identifying, but for those who identify as asexual but must, again, navigate larger issues.
GradientLair writes (3):

"If I tell anyone that I am 34 years old and I’ve been celibate for a little more than 8 years now, they look at my Black skin and female body and the judgment starts. Because I am a Black woman, I am automatically typed as heterosexual but “deviant” (as “normal” heterosexuality is reserved for Whites in a White supremacist society) and “hypersexual” (based on the long history of specifically anti-Black misogyny used to justify the rape, exploitation, lynching and dehumanization of Black women’s bodies and lives). Any sexuality that I ascribe to that is not heterosexual and hypersexual is deemed as me sidestepping the “norm.” However, this White supremacist lie is not the norm or even remotely explains the complexity of sexuality for any people, especially Black people because of our history."

I recommend if you are unfamiliar with some of the issues she discusses, to click through and then explore her embedded hyperlinks. Meanwhile, queerlibido/Alok Vaid-Menon discusses issues of intersection with respect to the South Asian male identity (4):

"As a queer South Asian I don’t feel comfortable ascribing the identity of ‘asexual’ to my body. Part of the ways in which brown men have been oppressed in the Western world is by de-emasculating them and de-sexualizing them (check out David Eng’s book Racial Castration). What then would it mean for me to identify as an ‘asexual?’ What would this agency look like in a climate of white supremacy? Can I ever authentically express ‘my’ (a)sexuality or am I always rehearsing colonial logics? The dilemma of this brown queer body is its inability to see itself through its own eyes. The mirror becomes a site it which we view what white people have always told us about ourselves. Regardless or not of the status of my libido, I’m not sure I will ever feel comfortable identifying as asexual because it seems like I am betraying my people. I am invested in South Asians and all other Asian Americans being able to reclaim, re-affirm, and be recognized for their sexual selves. I am invested in brown boys and brown gurlz being able to get what they desire. I am invested in the radical potential of brown (queer) love in a society where so many of us grow up hating our bodies and bending our knees for white men. I want to be part of this struggle. Sometimes I get angry at myself for not being able to eliminate the distance, not being able to join in solidarity. To fuck and be fucked, to publically claim and own my sexuality. I understand that there is something (as Celine Shimizu reminds us in her book Straightjacket Sexualities) radical about Asian American masculinities being displaced from patriarchal masculinities rooted in hyper-sexuality and hyper-masculinity and the reclamation of ‘effeminate’ and ‘asexual’ representations of our bodies as a political refusal of the very logics which have rendered those bodies numb.
…
So when I read this piece about how folks involved with the asexuality community feel as if they are post-race I’m pretty well, flabbergasted. Asexuality has always been a carefully crafted strategy to subjugate Asian masculinities. Asexuality has everything to do with race. Which goes to say that what if the very act of articulating a public asexual identity is rooted in white privilege? Essential understandings of being ‘born’ ‘asexual’ and loving my ‘asexual’ self will never make sense to me. In a world that continually erases Asian (male assigned) sexualities I was coerced into asexuality. It is something I have and will continue to struggle with. My asexuality is a site of racial trauma. I want that sadness, that loss, that anxiety to be a part of asexuality politics. I don’t want to be proud or affirmed – I want to have a serious conversation about how all of our desires are mediated by racism and how violent that is. My pleasures – or lack thereof – are not transcendental and celebratory, they are contradictory, confused, and hurt.”

He cites an interview on AsexualAgenda (5), excerpted here:

"Often, white asexuals and those who do not identify themselves use these threads to make statements that, 1) AVEN is a safe, diverse environment, 2) AVEN is a race neutral place and asexuals are color-blind, or 3) race is anarchronistic, un-important or itself “racist.” All three of these tendencies work to minimize the significance of race, to obscure “white” as a race by claiming neutrality, and to dismiss user interests or lived/digital experiences."

So now we arrive at issues within the community and how it treats PoC and the diversity of the ability for aces to identify as such. A good place to start is the “crux” of the community - AVEN - where we can see, in often popular threads, blatant racism.
A thread discussing World Pride 2013 and whether PoC aces should have a separate space:

AVEN forum search for keyword “racism” (6):



The AVEN thread “AVEN has traumatized me” (TW for sexual assault/rape/victim blaming) also brings up how often AVEN members come across racism in the forums and are unable to report it (7). The AVEN thread “Asexual People of Color” has many a post on the grievances aces of color face with their identities and on AVEN (8).
As we can see, there is an issue with racism, talking over PoC, and treating racism as a nonexistent issue, or else race itself as a nonfactor in asexuality and sexuality in general. But these issues are not limited to AVEN, which many identify as a generally problematic space and have thus abandoned for spaces like Tumblr. Here, and in similar spaces, the racism has been more subtle, and it is where I see the sweeping issue of racism in our representation, dialogues, and activism.
The faces of the asexual movement - and by “asexual movement,” I use a term and definition as employed by David Jay and his followers - have been exceedingly white. A simple example:

How popular was this image? Has it changed at all? Siggy writes again, two years ago (10):

"And yet, the publicly visible asexuals are disproportionately white.  An asexual who was Asian asked me the other day if there were any non-white asexuals I knew of, and was clearly disappointed when I could only think of a few.  This is both indicative of, and a contributor to greater asexual invisibility within API and other non-white groups.
And here I am, contributing to the problem even further.  I decided it was less worthwhile to present asexuality to an API audience than to a “general” (but probably predominantly White) audience.  I was further tipping the already imbalanced scales.  If all asexual activists did the same, it would become a major problem a decade down the road.”

Because, really, let’s look at who goes on talk shows, interviews with newspapers and magazines, and gets photographed. Who do we see associated with articles on asexuality, like HuffPost’s series?:

Some must wonder now if it’s that whiteness and white culture allows for greater visibility when it comes to queer identities. But is this true? What about the history of queer Black artists (musicians, visual artists, dancers, writers) and their precedence of very public activism? Because I say that the lack of brown and black faces in the public, representing us, cannot be completely chalked up to cultural differences. When I look at canonically asexual characters (or…attempted asexual characters), I see white faces - in fiction, where writers look at our community and try to create fictional characters, or else ace writers create these fictional characters. Sirens, House, Huge, Ignition Zero, Girls with Slingshots, Quicksilver all have canonically (or attempted) asexual characters that are white, and even articles/essays that seek to analyze the media where we find these characters will not bring up the race question a single time (11). These data can only reflect the community and the visible, un-erased members of the community - because not all of these authors are outsiders.
I also want to talk about how aces of color are cordoned off when it comes to dialogue. This is an especially subtle aspect of the community that I have noticed for a few years - where writers who discuss the intersection of race and asexuality are largely written off by the community as irrelevant to net community politics. For example, GradientLair’s posts almost never make the rounds of the tags or forums, except for black aces, as if white aces and non-Black aces of color have nothing to learn from an asexual Black woman’s important perspective on sexual politics.
There are two effects I observe from this habit. First, aces of color feel pushed out because their voices are not heard, or else they face racism as evidenced above in AVEN. Second, what is established is whiteness as the norm - PoC voices are, even if not actively, made an “other,” or a “niche,” and if these posts do make the rounds, they are not discussed, but tagged lazily with “intersectionality” or “boost” to be passed along for followers of color. PoC are made to feel like we are a separate cause and the nuances of our identities have no effect on the asexual community, where “asexual community” is thus equated with “white asexual voices.”
An example of this harm is the recent backlash against sex positivity rhetoric among the ace community. There is no harm in such dialogue, but what I find especially interesting is how aces, including prominent asexual activists who often represent the community publicly, have taken credit for spear-heading the critique of the sex-positive movement. As I’ve cited above, Black women in the West have traditionally been targeted sexually because of their race and as an effect of slavery - Womanism, therefore, has traditionally involved critical analysis of compulsory heterosexuality for decades. I recently began to compile a list of sources by mostly Womanists because of this strange trend among white aces (12). This type of irresponsibility and co-opting is exceptionally harmful to Black women and Black aces, who already face massive erasure, and furthermore it is distressing that leaders in the community propagate these attitudes in a largely white community.
In sum:
the community ignores or dismisses race as a factor in sexuality
blatant racism occurs in the community
aces of color do not get any visibility in the media
the issues aces of color face at the intersection of many identities are deemed irrelevant to the “broader” community, and so the community is equated with whiteness, and co-opting of QWoC dialogue occurs on a large scale
I want to wrap this response up here, because I think this information is sufficient enough to convince those willing to learn that racism is very much rampant in the asexual community, and that aces of color find it difficult to find a space in it as it exists currently. This post is not for those who refuse to teach themselves. You are the problem, not just those who merely don’t know what’s happening around them because of their privilege. I urge those of you in this latter group to recognize your privilege, end this Othering of PoC, challenge the presumed “normality” of the whiteness in our spaces, and magnify the voices of people of color around you. It is not tokenizing to stop erasing, and it’s not an attack on you to notice, let alone speak up.
Remember: being an ally is not about posting a political alignment on Facebook or any social equivalent. It means knowing that you will not be attacked for speaking up about a certain issue (ergo, you have privilege), and employing that power to protect and defend those of us who are vulnerable. Because we are vulnerable. I have personally received hate/abuse for even mentioning race in this space and offline spaces, and have been building up the courage for four years to discuss these issues on such a public blog, so please understand that I am not exaggerating. 
70% of anti-LGBTQ murder victims are PoC (13). 87% of hate murder victims in 2011 were QPoC (14). TPoC statistics reveal even more - and make sure to go through this whole study (15):



This isn’t fun and games, or petty complaints on a website. This is survival. 
Sources:
http://skepticsplay.blogspot.com/2011/05/forecasting-issues-of-race.html
http://ace-muslim.tumblr.com/post/66431409049/im-supposed-to-be-working-on-an-art-history-paper-rn
This is a great essay on being Black and asexual that I personally learned a lot from: http://thingsthatmakeyouacey.tumblr.com/post/66431633676/im-supposed-to-be-working-on-an-art-history-paper-rn
http://www.gradientlair.com/post/61224262021/heterosexuality-compulsory-uniform-black-women
http://queerlibido.tumblr.com/post/74181237292/whats-r-ace-got-to-do-with-it-white-privilege ; http://www.thestate.ae/whats-race-got-to-do-with-it-white-privilege-asexuality/
http://asexualagenda.wordpress.com/2013/03/10/interview-with-ianna-hawkins-owen/
http://www.asexuality.org/en/index.php?app=core&module=search&do=search&andor_type=&sid=01af01fc2a34562772e26f8092174d5c&search_app_filters[forums][sortKey]=date&search_app_filters[forums][sortKey]=date&search_term=racism&search_app=forums&st=0
http://www.asexuality.org/en/topic/95406-aven-has-traumatized-me/
http://www.asexuality.org/en/topic/78085-asexual-people-of-color/
http://skepticsplay.blogspot.com/2012/04/dilemma-on-asexuality-and-race.html
http://asexualagenda.wordpress.com/2013/07/19/confirmed-asexual-characters-in-fiction/
My masterpost of sex-critical writings by WoC/Black women, many of which discuss the issue of being simultaneously made hypersexual and “asexual”: http://thingsthatmakeyouacey.tumblr.com/post/82269213656/if-you-dont-believe-me
http://colorlines.com/archives/2011/07/70_percent_of_anti-lgbt_murder_victims_are_people_of_color.html
http://www.queerty.com/study-lgbt-murder-rate-at-all-time-high-but-hate-violence-on-wane-20120531/
http://www.thetaskforce.org/downloads/reports/reports/ntds_full.pdf
1 week ago
#lgbtqa #asexual #asexuality #racism 
swanjolras:

thebrokenhunterandhisbrokenangel:

worldofdrakan:

its-heaven-nowadays:

More Macklemore, less Robin Thicke.

And yet a huge percentage of Tumblr hates him. Not trying to be confrontational, but could someone please explain to me why this is?

Because he is a straight white guy and Tumblr isn’t always right. 

oh my god if i have to see this post on my dashboard one more time
all right, okay. let’s talk.
last year on a slow day in law/society class, my teacher showed us a movie where charlize theron was one of the only female workers in a mine in minnesota. she experienced a fuckload of sexual harassment, ofc; it was when she started daring to complain about the sexual harassment that shit got really bad.
i remember watching charlize theron go through all these awful things, and i remember getting vaguely invested in her as a heroine; yeah, you go charlize theron, you continue to work despite these harassment and assaults, you stand up for yourself when people shun you in the community, etc
and there was this climactic scene where the miners’ union was having a meeting, and charlize theron was going up to complain about something or tell people she was suing the company or smth, i can’t remember, and she stood there in front of this huge crowd of angry men who were booing her and catcalling her and shouting the worst things at her and she’s getting really miserable
and then her father, who also works at the mine, goes up and says “hey, you’re all jerks, think of your mothers & daughters, would you treat them this way,” and the miners are like “oh wow charlize theron totally does deserve our support etc” and then the movie continues
but all i could think was— what, so they’ll listen to a man but not to the woman who’s actually affected? why doesn’t charlize theron get to save the day and be the hero? in a conversation about sexism, why is his voice more important than hers?
we’re not mad at macklemore. or— well, we are mad at macklemore, but we’re more mad at the system that prioritizes macklemore over actual queer rappers, over actual rappers of color, who have been saying exactly the same shit for decades and been ignored.
we’re mad at the system that gives more attention to straight allies than queer activists.
we’re mad at the system that only supports queer rights when they are quiet and polite and have cute graphics.
we’re mad at the system that makes macklemore a hero of of the queer struggle but doesn’t know marsha p. johnson’s name.
we’re mad at the system that will listen to macklemore when he comes to defend us— but won’t listen to us.
we’re mad at the system that has constructed itself to make damn certain that only straight cis white boys can be heroes.
it’s fuckin’ great that macklemore thought he was gay in third grade. but the system would rather give his third grade gay freakout the spotlight than our actual whole-life queer experiences— and that’s not okay.
1 week ago
#exactly #macklemore #lgbtqa #racism #patriarchy #feminism 
"In the instances when POC say shit like ‘Oh I can’t stand white folk’ or ‘Damn white people’, they aren’t saying ‘Oh I think they are inferior, I want to humiliate them, abuse them, enslave them and wipe out their people!’, they’re saying ‘Damn, after a couple hundred years of white people thinking I’m inferior, humiliating me, abusing me, enslaving me, and trying to wipe out my people, I don’t wanna deal with them.’ The context is completely different."

Briana (via absinthedisco)

Reblogging every time I see it.

(via dr—grumbles)

(via quelinda-anijinha)

(Source: chumpkaboo, via madammistress)

2 weeks ago
#race #racism 
itsbollywood:

"Hollywood filmmakers do not write good substantive roles for Indian actors. Indian actors usually only get to be the nurse or hero’s roommate, the sidekick, the bit part. They are stereotyped. Even the biggest Indian stars can at best aspire for meaningful cameos. On the rare occasion they do get a slightly more substantial role it’s only to add an ‘exotic’ element to the film. Indian characters make little impact to the central themes of Hollywood films. Gravity provides a classic case. Everyone remembers George Clooney and Sandra Bullock. Poor Phaldut Sharma is easily forgotten. Of course, there are productions like Life of Pi and Slumdog Millionaire that have a heavy Indian presence. But these are India-centric scripts that simply cannot do without Indian actors. Hollywood filmmakers view Indian characters through the prism of social realities in their country. ”- Imran Khan
2 weeks ago
#media #stereotypes #indian #race #racism 
liamdryden:

stabra:

absolutezeronow:

fascinasians:

danapolis:

stabra:

after hearing about it through the submission to @angryasiangirlsunited, i checked out the trailer of Lucy and am even more disgusted. and so not surprised. whiteness is getting too old.


the upcoming movie lucy will feature the age-old racist narrative of pure white woman (scarlet johansson) being violated by scary, brown men. and the new white feminist trope of women gaining their power by violently eliminating brown men. who needs the white male savior when we now have white female saviors, taking it into their own hands to save their whiteness from all that non-whiteness. so radical.



My favorite part are the white feminists who are raving about this movie because “strong independent woman yaaaas!!”

Sigh.

i’m just wondering why there are herbs and fruits and vegetables written in a faded, creepy red on a prison-like wall in chinese.  are herbs and fruits and vegetables in chinese supposed to be part of some sort of scare tactics?  or am i missing something here?

it keeps getting better.

awww man see I immediately fell into the trap of being excited for all the kickass lady stuff and didn’t give this much thought
This is a very valid point and hugely disappointing
2 weeks ago
#feminism #racism #film #lucy 
"

Whites are drawn to Black culture because of the extraordinary quality of it, our aesthetic, our style. We set the styles. We are the trendsetters of America. America is known globally for its culture, which is Black.

They want to look like us, but they don’t want to be us. They don’t want to live in our skin. It’s kind of a cultural voyeurism. It allows white people to safely tour Blackness without being subjected to the reality of being Black.

"

Dr. Michael Eric Dyson, Jet Magazine Jun 25, 2001

(via bitteroreo)

(Source: knowledgeequalsblackpower, via weareallmixedup)

2 weeks ago
#race #racism #america