attn: white people
- sucking up to the 1% billionaires because they are white and you are white to pave the way for you to someday benefit from being rich and white - will do you no good.
- they see you as no different from POC
- they want your money
- if they run out of non-whites to fuck over, then you’re next, but only if they somehow missed the chance to fuck you over already
- they count on you being ignorant, violent and racist as a means to exact the violence needed for their wealth acquisition and protection. they count on your ignorance because they purchase your ignorance by feeding you lies and religion and news stories that repeat their lies.
- they hate you
- they mock you
- they are not your friends
- they are not like you and you will never, ever in a million years be one of them
- you’re not even middle management. you’re a sucker, duped into managing your own slavery and poverty. that’s it.
- every time you hate a non-white, blame a woman, rail against laws that protect you, cry over the pains that CEO’s and priests make about not being free to do whatever they want - you are repeating the exact thing you were told to say by the 1%.
Racism 101: A Comprehensive Guide for 2012
This is a guide to answer some of your racial questions. I am not sure why we still need to explain some of these things in the year 2012 but here it is!
I will let you know that this is coming from my personal perspective so the races being spoken about are black and white. I am not intentionally leaving out other races. I can only speak from my own perspective.
15 things every good racist/non-racist should know
1. Black people say it (Item One)- No they don’t. This seems to be the favorite argument of racists when talking about the N-Word and who can say it. (I’ll get to the saying of the word a little later) Let me tell you why when a person says this, I know for sure, they are a racist.
If you believe that “Black people say it” is a good bit of reasoning for you using a racial slur, it means that you see “Black people” as one single entity.
We are not.
The idea that because the guy that sings that one song that you love, the guy that used to tell that one joke that was your absolute favorite or even the fact that you’ve heard that one guy at work say it means that in your head, ALL BLACK PEOPLE say it, tells me that you do not see black people as PEOPLE.
We are people.
As in, plural.
As in, multiple.
As in, black person A might say it and black person B might not.
If you currently use, have used or believe on any level that “Black people say it” is good argument for YOU saying it, you are a racist.
2. His name is Mike so your name is Mike- Let’s say I meet a white man with blue eyes, blond hair and two ears. He tells me his name is Mike. Now from here on out, every single time I meet someone with blond hair, I call him/her Mike. No matter what he/she tells me his or her name is. Every single time I meet someone with blue eyes, I call him/her Mike and every single time I meet someone that is white, I call him/her Mike even if they tell me their actual name AND request that I call them by it.
You’d think I was either crazy or at the very least, you’d think I was an asshole, right?
So why are you complaining when black person A asks to be called black and black person B asked to be called African American?
I hear all the comments about how you “Just can’t keep up with it all.”
Here’s the thing, you don’t have to. What you DO have to do, if you aren’t a racist that is, is acknowledge their request. It doesn’t matter if you understand why. It matters that they have made a specific request.
To point out the obvious here, it causes you no harm what so ever to use the specific term you have been asked to use. You say the wrong thing and someone says, please call me African American instead, your reply should not ever be “…but that guy just told me to call him black.”Your reply should be, “Oh sorry about that.” and move the fuck on.
If there is any confusion as to why two different black people would make two opposing requests, please re-read item one.
3. Barack Obama- The race of The President of the United states of America does not have any affect on race relations in America. I know, that if you are racist, you enjoy using the non-white President to further your racist language. Announcing that we now live in a “Post racist America” tells me that in your limited thinking, you believe that the only thing that continued racism in America was the idea that black people have limited achievements within the country. You have refused to note (or maybe you refuse to believe) that black people have made any contributions to the country. It tells me that you believe that the single act of a black president not only could change the entire country’s racial view point but that a black person holding this one single job, now makes things equal.
I have to be honest here, the thinking on this is just ridiculous. I mean, even for a racist.
4. The Black pass-This is a thing. No really, it is. I admit it freely. I have given them myself. There seems to be a couple of things that are confusing to racists though, so I’ll clear those things up now.
You can not give yourself this pass. No matter how many black friends you claim you have. No matter how long you have been living in, driving to or hanging out within what you consider to be the black community. I repeat, you can not give yourself this pass.
When a black person tells a white person that they have this pass, it is a term of affection. No more, no less. It doesn’t open any magic doors. It doesn’t suddenly allow you to use words that you couldn’t use before. It doesn’t mean that you now tan really well. It just means, you are my friend and I feel like I could take you anywhere within my community. It means I know I can be myself around you and I know that you feel like you can be yourself around me. That is what a “Black pass” is.
It is not, a reason to be an asshole. It is not a reason to now evoke each and ever stereotype about black people and apply them to yourself. So…you think black people have big dicks? That’s super but guess what, if you had a three inch dick before the pass, you’ve still got it after. Sorry. If you even think this way in the first place, you need to have said pass revoked immediately because you are clearly a racist.
5. Blame the black people-Some of the racist people that are more up front with their feelings like to blame black people for things. Let’s use Ron Paul’s news letter as an example. In one, he (or the mysterious ghost writer) stated that (I’m paraphrasing here) because of black people, America has turned to the “Ghetto lifestyle.” Yep, you read that right. The letter went on to proudly describe what the ghetto lifestyle entailed. Fun things like: Low morals, drugs, having multiple babies just for the food stamps, stealing, etc.
I’m sure we can all agree that this is open racism. However, let’s be honest about this. Yes, there are people within the black community that could fall under each and every one of those categories. Problem with this argument is that there are people that fall under each and every one of those categories in EVERY SINGLE RACIAL GROUP IN AMERICA.
Now, if you read that last line and thought “Well, then Ron Paul was right. It is the fault of black people.”I am going to be forced to tell some hard truths…
If you believe that the reason these things exist are the fault of black people, you must either believe that black people are the most powerful group on the planet (or at least in America) or that every other American is weak as hell. I know, this statement is confusing right? Don’t worry, I’ll explain!
If you have the low mental capacity to believe that these shitty things are the fault of black people, you believe that LESS THAN THIRTEEN PERCENT OF THE POPULATION CONTROLS AND/OR INFLUENCES THE OTHER EIGHTY-SEVEN PERCENT.
How do you feel now Mr.& Mrs. Racist? You just said you think black people are more influential than all other races.
Thank you for your continued accidental support!
6. Bringing up Slavery- When you get called out for saying something racist and your immediate response is something about slavery, you are confirming your racism. If you say things like “You think you are owed something because of slavery” or “You act like you are just one generation out of slavery” or any of the other hundreds of genius things racist people like to say about slavery and how black people evidently feel about said topic. You need to loosen up your hood because it is clearly cutting off the circulation to your brain.
If it is you, not us but you who are bringing up slavery, it’s your issue. It’s your concern. It’s your reasoning. It’s the thing that you have decided in order to justify your own racism. Hey, if black people are going to blame you for slavery, you get to blame them for all the evil in the world, right? Makes perfect sense. Problem is, well…it’s YOUR issue. I didn’t bring it up because the reason I am mad about that racist thing you just said is because it’s racist. My ancestral history didn’t make that racist comment, you did. You did.
Yes, it’s true there are absolutely black people who will talk about slavery as if it happened not only yesterday but to them personally. Yes, this is true. I don’t know any of them. I am sure they exist. Hell, you might even live next to one of them. I just haven’t come across one myself.
Now, if there is some confusion about the fact that I freely admit that there are black people in America that are thinking exactly what you think they are thinking, please re-read item one. Also, please note that your racism doesn’t go away if you evoke slavery. Your comment, the thing that lead me to call you a racist in the first place, yep…still racist. Even if I was one of those damn angry black folk that spent my day talking about slavery, your comment, no less racist. Just sayin’.
7. The Black Teacher- No, this is not a thing. I don’t mean that there are no black teachers. I mean that black people are not the teachers of the black experience. You are not entitled to ask questions about why black people do the things they do, feel the way they feel or walk the way they walk.
Black people are not your spirit guide.
When you ask question that start with “Why do black people…” or any variation of this, you are forgetting item one. If you have asked these questions, please re-read item one now.
You are not entitled to know what it’s like to be black. You are not entitled to know why black people think it’s okay to blah blah blah. Again, re-read item one.
There are exceptions and then there are down right “Fuck you’s.”
Exception-You are with your black friend, one on one, you have the kind of relationship were you don’t feel uncomfortable asking racial questions and you have asked if it is okay to ask them. Your black friend has given the okay. You ask, they answer. This is perfectly acceptable as long as you think before you speak and don’t ask questions like “Why are black people so lazy?”
The fuck you-More than one person asking a single black person questions. It’s bullshit. Even if you are friends. Even if there are three white people and one black person and the four of you have been friends since you were five years old. It’s still bullshit. You are doing two things in this scenario. First, you are ganging up on one person for information you feel entitled to. No matter how close you all are, when it is not a one on one situation and asking these questions haven’t been okayed, you are putting the person in a defensive position. Even if you don’t think you are asking “Negative” questions. It’s unfair. It’s not okay. There may be occasional exceptions to this but in general, you are a complete piece of shit if you act this way. Don’t even risk it. If you have a burning question, try it one on one after you’ve gotten the okay to ask it. Otherwise, move on to something else.
Second, You are putting this one person in a position to speak for the entirety of a race. See item one. As much as you might like the idea of having nice tidy answers to all your black people questions, there aren’t many, if any. We are a race of PEOPLE.
8. Nigger/Nigga- Here we go…This is the bane of many racist people’s existence. My first instinct is never to explain why it’s not okay. It’s always to ask, “Why do you WANT to say it?”
Really, why? You DO know why it’s not okay for you to say it. You aren’t dumb. You want to say it because Jay-Z says it? If you are willing to risk hurting people to be more like a guy that panders to you for your dollars, you need to re-think your life choices.
Yes, there are black people who use this word in their every day language. I still don’t see why you want to say it. You know the history. You know why it’s going to be a problem if you say it. On a more human level, why would you WANT to say something that you KNOW will hurt people. Yes, it DOES hurt people when you say it. Why do you WANT to say it? Just because you don’t think there should be an “Off limit word?”
Okay, so your argument for saying a word that you KNOW will HURT PEOPLE is that you’re mad because someone else gets to say it and you don’t?
I am clearly missing something here.
Why is this an argument you are willing to have? Why would you get into a conversation with someone and have “Black people say it so I should be able to say it too” as your reasoning?
Okay, let’s look at this from a different perspective. We’ve been over the “Black people say it” fuckery. Let’s suspend that for just a second. For just a moment, let us pretend that ALL black people really do say the word Nigger. Okay, there it is. You’ve got what you wanted. Now, there’s still a problem with your argument. If you are telling me that you should get to say it because “Black people say it” that means that you DO acknowledge that it is a black race SPECIFIC word, right?
Okay, you look confused. Let me break this down real quick-If YOU have stated that “Black people say it” and you believe this with all your heart, hell even if this statement was true, YOUR COMMENT says that YOU BELIEVE that BLACK PEOPLE say it. As in, not ALL people say it. SPECIFICALLY, BLACK PEOPLE SAY IT.
You said that. This is information YOU have floating around YOUR head. So if YOU have decided that this is a black specific word and based on YOUR comment of “Black people say it,” you HAVE made this decision. Again I have to ask, why do you WANT to say it. Are you saying you want to be black? I don’t think that is what your saying. Are you saying you think it’s a super duper cool word and having access to all other words is just not good enough. Your life can not be complete without this ONE word? I don’t think that is what you are saying either.
I think you are saying one of two things. Either-“I will not live in a world were a group I feel is beneath me can say something I can not say” or “I am such a racist that I believe that if I come up with a good enough argument for saying this word, I’ll get to say it as much as I want!”
If you are not black and you are fighting to say this word. Your options are that you are a racist or you are a cold heart moron.
Again, why do you WANT to say it?
9. Not a compliment- Things racist people say as if it were complimentary.
- I’ve always wanted to fuck a black person
- Your skin is so dark and pretty can I touch it
- It must be great to have hair that doesn’t move
- Bright colors must look so good with your skin
- Your skin makes your teeth look so white
- …any variation of the above
((I feel like some of you will read the above and feel like they are things no one would ever say. I want you to know that I picked these lines because they are all things that, although not always directed toward me, I have heard with my own ears))
10. Things racist people say-This is a list of things racist people say to prove they aren’t racist but actually serve to prove that they are.
- I have black friends/My best friend is black
- I have black people in my family
- I work with black people
- I gave a black person a ride home once
- I gave a black homeless guy a dollar once
- I love black people
- I have dated black people/I am dating a black person
- The guy that cuts my hair is black
- I just talked to a black person outside
- …any variation of the above
((Sadly, I have also heard each and every one of these with my own ears as well))
11. Silence- You are in a group of people, you’ve just heard someone say something racist. Not full blown N-Word racist just run of the mill racist (we’ll get to this in a minute) and you stay silent. You are a piece of shit.
I don’t expect anyone to go out and call out each and every racist thing they hear from each and every human being. Not only because you’d have no time to eat, sleep or breathe but in some cases, it could actually be dangerous to do so.
I am talking about that one time when you and your black friend were out with a group of people and someone said something racist. The black person was left to defend themselves while you stayed silent. Later, when you and said black friend were alone, you let them know how wrong you thought that person was and how much you agreed with everything the black person said.
You are a piece of shit.
If being friends with a black person is to much for you, don’t do it. If you are going to sit and silently agree that something was racist and wrong, keep walking. You are not a friend.
Your silence is deafening.
Being an ally behind closed doors and only behind closed doors is not being and ally at all. It is being a coward. Be a coward with someone else. You are not a friend.
If your beliefs aren’t strong enough to show in daylight, I don’t need you at night. Perhaps you didn’t speak up because you really aren’t an ally in the first place. Perhaps you weren’t to scared or nervous to speak up. Perhaps it was more that you felt like you didn’t totally disagree with what was said. Now that you are alone with your black “friend” you feel guilty so you want to reassure them that you are on their side.
You aren’t. Your black friend is not stupid. Thinking your black friend is stupid further proves your own racism.
12. Africa-We don’t know what Africa is like. We also aren’t thankful or impressed that you want to help Africa. I am glad that you want to help. The end. I would be equally glad if you wanted to help the homeless or the fight for breast cancer. You don’t get points for your philanthropic project having an African theme.
Furthermore, randomly telling me about either your love for Africa or that you want to help Africa let’s me know that you are saying as much because I am black. Don’t act like you directed that tidbit of information at me when there are eight other people in this room and then get offended when I think you said it to somehow connect to me on a racial level.
I don’t know Africa. Africa doesn’t know me.
Oh and just to be clear on something, when you pick me to say this to out everyone in this room and then phrase it in some variation of “I do blah blah blah to help Africa” I not only think you are trying to tell me that you “Like black people” but I also think you are either a complete idiot or a complete liar. “Africa” doesn’t need your help. Darfur might need your help. Ethiopia might need your help but Africa does not your help.
13. Trying to escape- Black people don’t succeed because they are trying to escape the ghetto. We succeed because we have merit and ability. The end.
14. Positive Racism-There is no such thing. You think black people are better athletes? What a compliment. Thank you for justifying that the predominantly white team was really destined to lose because they faced a predominantly black team. It couldn’t possibly be ability. It must be racial. Thank you for letting me know that if the predominantly white team had won you would somehow believe that it was a real victory because they had to overcome racial superiority. Therefore, their victory should be celebrated in a way that no black team ever could.
You think black women are over-sexed and you really want to fuck one of them? Thank you for letting me know that you believe black women are someTHING to do and not someONE to be respected.
I could go on but really, do I need to?
15. Racism is- If you have been on Tumblr for more then an hour you have seen some post about how racism isn’t just about race. It’s race plus power. This is 100% true.
However, even those that will agree to the correct definition will not agree with what is actually racist. In the world of many, a white person calling a black person nigger is racist. Anything outside of that…eh, not so much.
No thank you. Give me that old time confederate flag waving racism. You see, as evil and sick as the out right racism is, it still gives more respect to the oppressed then this sorta-kinda racism.
The out right racist is saying “Look, I hate you. You are trash and nothing you say or do will change that. I have no problem with telling you face to face what I think about you.”
While the possible racist tries to disguise and deny their racism. This person is saying “While I agree that I to hate you, think you are trash and nothing you say or do will change that. I also want you to know that I think you are to stupid to realize that I feel this way, I believe that denying my racism will allow me to both be racist and be a victim of your accusations. On top of all that, I still get to belittle your feeling each and every time you call me out for saying something that maybe could be racist….but isn’t because I’m not a racist.”
See the difference there? See how that works?I hope this will help some of you who have continued to be confused and ask these same questions even though we are now entering 2012. I hope this will somehow clear some things up and although I may not have covered each and ever topic, I hope this serves as a jumping off point for you to learn more about racial etiquette. Yep, that IS a thing!
Jessica Yee: Responding to the mainstream feminist blogosphere on Feminism FOR REAL
By Special Correspondent Jessica Yee
So while I was out in the real world yesterday working up north in Nunavik (which is not Nunavut – for those of you who think you’re bad ass having heard about Nunavut before – Nunavik is a completely different Inuit region) this happened in the feminist blogosphere regarding the lack of mainstream feminist coverage of Feminism FOR REAL – Deconstructing the Academic Industrial Complex of Feminism.
Yes it’s true I edited Feminism FOR REAL and have since been sussing out various reactions and mentions of the book. I don’t consider myself a writer at all – I work 24/7 leading the Native Youth Sexual Health Network across North America (the first book I put together Sex Ed and Youth: Colonization, Sexuality, and Communities of Color was my initial attempt in entering book world) so I’m new to all this you need to do A, B, and C to get a book out there because I often struggle with what books and blogs mean when shit goes down in real life (which is also why my online writing has stopped as of late)
The publisher of the book was the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives but the book is by no means a “Canadian” book only. Several of the contributors live in both the US and Canada, I myself live in the US part-time, work in the US part-time, and being Indigenous don’t identify as either US or Canadian. But people telling me that I need to sell my soul to Amazon or a bigger name publication and not stick with an independent, small-house, union printed publisher so we can be “known” isn’t something I want to do (and is honestly counter-productive to what the book is about anyways).
However I strongly believe in the contributors and creators of Feminism FOR REAL and what we’re saying so I’m going to address some major points of clarification here about what we always wish the mainstream feminist blogosphere and world(s) in general would own up to/change/or just do but as time and actions prove yet again, rarely happens:
1) The mainstream feminist blogosphere and organizational world in the US and Canada is dominated by white girls with a long history attached to how that came to be. Let’s come to terms with that and stop derailing with “but this one guest blogger of color did this” or “but we’re looking to change one day/hopefully/soon/eventually”. How about we save some time and effort and just be honest about what’s going on in reality and that this is absolutely influencing in small or large degrees who is talking about the book and why. So when the white girls at these mainstream feminist blogs are saying they didn’t know about the book, or need to be educated about it, or can’t be expected to be bothered to know about its existence – I believe them.
2) I’m saying point number 1 because it has to do with who knows what, when, and how. Meaning that this isn’t just about “I didn’t get the e-mail about the book” or “I admit I received it but didn’t take it seriously” or “the promotion of the book in my world sucks!” Let’s go back to the why – why didn’t you hear about it? Why isn’t your world talking about it? Beyond being busy (me and my ancestors have been busy for the last 500+ years trying not to be erased – but that’s neither here nor there) it also has to do with what you yourself are or aren’t making an effort to be in the know about or do and the fact that so many people think that what’s right in front of them is everyone else’s reality as well. To clarify – I’m not beyond being accountable to the inaccessibility of information and the mediums it’s available in because we most definitely exist in ableist, classist, and hierarchal settings. If you didn’t get the e-mail about the book – no worries. I’m talking about why people aren’t more involved in supporting and promoting our work to begin with at places like Racialicious, the Native Youth Sexual Health Network, Muslimah Media Watch and more (all who posted more than once about the book’s existence) beyond when they want to check mark box that they had their mandatory being progressive dosage of people of color (which typically amounts to saying things like they are such huge fans of us but don’t actually read, buy, or promote without having to explicitly be told several times what we’re writing)? I believe in all of our work so damn much – so yes I do think people ought to know about us more – especially if they are going to write stuff on blogs or organizational profiles about being so “inclusive”.
Several of the books contributors are Indigenous – so are people way too busy including and actively seeking out young Indigenous people to be part of what they’re doing that they somehow missed this? Have there been countless mentions of books written by Indigenous people on feminist blogs who are actively talking about how feminism is actually an Indigenous concept that this book would have been one too many? Didn’t think so. What isn’t being said is that so many people don’t know about our work – not because they didn’t get the message – but because they aren’t really invested in knowing about us to begin with, or at least to the extent of knowing we produced this book. Which sounds eerily familiar to when people tell me it’s not their fault they don’t know about colonization because no one told them about it – while the people in my community continue to live through the highest rates of violence, suicide, and poverty in North America. At what point does it become enough that you oughta know – or oughta use the power and privilege you may have to tell other people in your own community(ies) when you find out yourself?
3) Which brings me to my biggest point of all which is that I myself am not looking for this book to be the most popular, reviewed, or mentioned in the universes of feminism and I’m ESPECIALLY not interested in taking a seat at the tiny place of the big table that’s been carved out for me. In fact the whole book questions the many fucked up areas and products of “Feminism” and asks readers to be for real about exactly what so many movements are quick not to do – appear divided, critical, or accountable to fuck ups – in this case Feminism – policed in and outside of academia – for fear of not being truly “united”. Western notions of polite discourse are apparently the tactics we should follow. I know damn well that if I had a certain well known last name in Feminism that one random post somewhere about this book would’ve been picked up by dozens and then we wouldn’t even be having this discussion. And are we really prepared to say that even if we had spent thousands of dollars on PR for the book that it would be magically sold and picked up with soaringly high levels of support? Really?
Which is all sounding to me like I’m being the educator again of other people’s oppressions and in all honesty it’s way too tiring. I’ve been reflecting a lot lately on how we are so busy telling other people not to be oppressive to our communities that we have little energy left to deal with what’s going on inside of our own communities. I’m finished with doing the educating on how feminism needs to change – it’s been done. And it’s no longer going to come at the physical, mental, and spiritual costs of me being frustrated, exasperated, and then empty – for what? My community needs me and we’ve paid the price for other people’s comforting disillusion with reality for far too long.
Perhaps this showed us that we really shouldn’t expect the mainstream feminist blogosphere to talk about Feminism FOR REAL. I really should have believed them the first time I got shoved out.
Feminism FOR REAL contributor Shaunga Tagore on “Filling the Gap”:
Some of us live our lives in ‘the gap.’ This ‘gap’ is where we were born, how we were displaced from our homes or removed from our histories. The gap is where we were forced to forget our languages, our traditions and our cultures. In this gap we love and express ourselves in ways that don’t fit into neat categories, but instead shake the grip that rigid boundaries have upon our world and our lives. Look at this gap—acknowledge it, notice it, VALUE it— and you’ll see the complex and varied ways in which we fight, challenge, survive, celebrate and love fiercely, even while enveloped in a system that enforces our separation from our spirits and selves.
When feminists ‘call-out’ other feminists for their racism, transphobia, homophobia, sexism, ableism, ageism, or classism, when a solid anthology is put together making clear the ways in which Feminism (capital ‘F’) has Progressed (capital ‘P’) through maintaining the oppression it supposedly wants to dismantle (and through the unrecognized labour, effort and heart of the people it oppresses), when numerous people contribute to this anthology and read this anthology with the aim of steering feminism to a more helpful and empowering place, when someone posts a blog recognizing that the book itself has been ignored in many feminist spaces (for WHATEVER reasons it might be ignored for): these ‘call-outs’ are not just people ‘complaining without taking action.’ They are not ‘pointing to a gap and refusing to fill it.’ They are pointing to real lives, real histories and experiences, real beating hearts and REAL feminism that deserve to be acknowledged and refuse to be silenced. We ARE the gap and we’re not just an empty space waiting to be filled. We’re full to the brim, and spilling over.
The book Feminism FOR REAL actually spells out what I’m saying in much greater detail. It might be more useful for feminism to engage with it rather than thinking up all the reasons we don’t have time to read it.