Erase Racism Carnival April 2007 Edition

It's finally here. The April 2007 edition of the Erase Racism Carnival. It started out promising with some good posts being sent to my e-mail box. But after that it tailed off with no posts (and some pretty bad ones) being sent to me at all. So I sent out a frantic word to all I knew (thanks Yolanda, Carmen, Krish [and Blogbharti], and Belledame222) so I could get some posts sent to me. And it worked. So here now are the posts I have received for this month's Erase Racism Carnival.

Fighting Oppression Within the Movement:

Cynical Anti-Orientalist:
I think it's about time that we recognize the levels of oppressions within our communities. If we validate one kind of -ism then why do we subscribe to another? It's about time that we discuss these sorts of issues in our communities without writing them off as "not the priority" or "not our problem." Women and LGBTIQs are just as much a part of our community as men and straight people. So why is it that women and LGBTIQs rarely have a voice in our community or bring their identities into our community without being questioned?
The Silence of Our Friends:
In Bewildered Part II, I mentioned the pain of finding out that someone I thought of as a friend was only being my friend as a favor. In the comments of the first Bewildered post BlackAmazon can't get past the gall of white women saying they expect special commendations for loving their black husbands and mixed race children. There should be no special recognition for doing what should be normal, loving your partner and children no matter what their race! Expectations of unconditional love, gratitude, and undying loyalty no questions asked, are how you might feel about a dog you have rescued from the pound; not a real friend or ally.
Rachel's Tavern:
I also think that those in the multiracial movement who continuously attack African Americans in the name of asserting their own identity, as if it is completely distinct from the African American experience are joining a racist bandwagon. It should be duly noted that some of the biggest supporters of multiracial categories have been conservative Republicans such as Newt Gingrich (Williams 2006). To me this is a big red light–why would conservative Republicans, who are not generally proponents of racial Civil Rights support such a cause? One possibility it that allowing people to check multiple boxes doesn’t really change the racial order much at all. It doesn’t require a realignment of economic resources; it’s not an affirmative action program that could expand opportunities for groups traditionally left out. Another more sinister theory is that Republicans’ support multiracial activists because they see it as an opportunity to promote the idea that the US is colorblind and racism is over. For some of these Republicans the next logical step is Proposition 54 in California, which would have put an end to all collection of racial data (Prop. 54 did not pass.). This is not likely the end that many multiracial activists want, and it is my sense that multiracial activists are being used by the right in some of the cases to help prove that “racism is over.”
Beautiful, Also, Are the Souls of My Black Sisters:
Never having been in any way a fan of Marx, socialism, nor especially communism (well, afterall, I am a child of the “duck-and-cover era”), I never could reconcile myself with an ideology that said all “We have to do is get rid of capitalism, and everything will be hunky-dory.” Even at a very young age, still trying to understand communism, I still saw nothing but illogical insanity in that line of thinking and the concepts of communism. Besides, white males will never allow for socialism to reign in capitalist-driven America. As long as it means that EVERYONE gets a piece of the pie, as opposed to just white males hogging all of the pie to themselves, this country will go on working overtime to keep white males in power. And there is no way in Hell that white-male run America will give up power and privilege without a bloody to-the-death fight.
Give it a rest. This deep-thought, existential, misunderstood-victim act is as put on as Knipp's' blackface show (which, for the record, I researched when all this blew up because I was curious as to what the fuss was about.) No one is suggesting that if Shirley Q. Liquor went away the lives of black women would magically improve. What Jasmyne Cannick and other black gays and lesbians are arguing, though, is that the overwhelming embrace (and then defense) of Knipp's character makes them feel unwelcome among their purported (white) brothers and sisters in the LGBT community. This isn't about utopia, it's about deliberate and ongoing betrayal by people who pretend to be your friends and compatriots. It's exactly Jane Hamsher sitting up on a nationally-recognized, progressive high horse while simultaneously encouraging and abetting yahoo-racism on her website under the cover of fake "punk" rebelliousness. The adamant refusal of Knipp and other white folks to acknowledge the possibility that the character might legitimately insult members of their own community (their refusal aided and abetted by LGBT talking androids, of course) is the root of the problem here, not some insistence on blaming poor, innocent Charles Knipp for the problems of the world.
The Primary Contradiction:
I’m sharing this story with you all not to shame this person nor to start any public battles, but to relate an experience shared by too many people of color in the progressive movement. Anytime we try to hold white allies accountable for their actions, we take a huge risk. Whether that is the loss of a personal relationship, a smeared reputation, or simply the wrath of someone whose ego we have bruised, people of color in all strata of the left have an uphill battle in challenging white supremacy. Good people, you and I have seen and experienced many examples of white ally catastrophe.
Racism, The Subtle Everyday Occurrence:

Cynical Anti-Orientalist:
Throughout my childhood, because we were low-income, my family was always being used in the racist scheme of divide & conquer. Because they worked with other low-income people of color, they always stereotyped and racialized them as being lazy and dumb. I am sure that their white co-workers told them that Chinese immigrants like my parents are really the smart and hard-working ones, as to other immigrants of color. My parents were the "model minority" and they bought into it like many others. My mother would always justify her racism by stating that even though she was once poor, she was able to overcome her class status while other people (mainly Black, Latinos and Southeast Asians according to her) couldn't overcome their poverty because they were "lazy" and "unmotivated." For those of you who do not believe/have not heard of model minority imperialism, my parents are a classic example (this is not to put blame on my parents but to point out how people of color, throughout history have been pitted against each other again and again to maintain white supremacist policies and benefits).
Jamila Akil:
The reason for the difference in treatment between nouveau riche blacks and wealthy whites is clear: race. Those who look with disdain upon one and with indifference to the other do so because subconsciously they believe that blacks either don't legitimately earn money, don't know how to handle money, and/or don't deserve their money. A white businessmen who spends millions in opulence is perceived as being worthy of his fortune and thus deserving to spend it in any fashion. Poor black men who may or not have flunked out of high school, may or may not have criminal records, and whose only clearly visible talent is rhyming about cash, diamonds, and sex are seen as foolhardy deviants not deserving of anything.
Fetch me my axe:
Via Vox Aemliae: think the Shaquanda Cotton case was outrageous? Now they’re arresting kindergarteners, no shit:

Well, apart from the beatings and emotional blackmail (details at the link, it is upsetting) and the various abuses by -everyone else- who ever had “responsibility” for the thirteen year old and her not having anyplace else to go, no particular reason.

Oh, well, except for this: she’s still subject to arrest by the State. Prostitution is against the law, you know. And no, her age doesn’t make for any more tender treatment.
Putting aside Asshat Imus and his irrelevant defense of his now-infamous epithet, there's something that's been bugging me for ages about the manner in which the "Black community" and "Black culture" are often discussed by certain white folks and in the mass media. Having recently observed the discursive efficacy of Venn diagrams, let me put it this way (perhaps somewhat roughly but I think you'll get the idea)
Like my friend Field Negro so eloquently alluded to, this Imus business is par for the course for those of us LWB (Living While Black). I don’t like it, I don’t condone it, but do I expect it? Sadly, yes. Because, just in case anybody is late coming to the party, there are a lot of ignorant people in the house. To narrow the group even further, there are a lot of ignorant racists dancing poorly, to their own rhythm. And to whittle it down even one degree further, there are a lot of ignorant racists throwing their hands in the air like they just don’t care, ’cause they really don’t think they’re racists. I’m fairly certain Don Imus is one of those clueless types. The type that thinks that having a couple of black drinking buddies gives them free reign to say whatever and end up getting left at the bar (or in the studio) wondering “Hey…where did everybody go??
The Bipolar View:
I was sorting my mail tonight, and came across a catalog full of cheap tacky stuff. The catalog was clearly aimed at white people. Every model in the catalog appeared to be a nonthreatening middle-class white woman, and besides, who else would buy this stuff besides white people?

There are problems with manufacturing cheap stuff than nobody needs. The production of this garbage harms workers who are exposed to toxic materials and toxic wages, and there are costs to the environment.

But there are other problems. That catalog contained this...
All About Race:
What draws me back to my encounter with Freckles, is not that it’s the most recent time I’ve been called a nigger. It’s happened since, and in Chinese no less. And it’s not that a usually rational adult like me can devolve in a New York minute into a teasing, taunting ten year old. Nor is it even that I have no relationship with my father and have had no contact with him for more than 20 years. Or that, to the best of my knowledge, my father is not now nor has ever been in the auto sales business. What’s interesting is that Freckles not only knew about the “black tax,” but he used it against me as a slur.
Race In The Workplace:
There were so many things wrong with this exchange I couldn’t even wrap my head around it. Did Pat think we were all in on a secret plot to sneak in as many down-low Asians as possible with European last names? And could she have made it any more obvious that to her, “half Chinese” and “all-American” were mutually exclusive categories?

It seems to me that “all-American,” like “inner-city,” is one of those code words that people use when they don’t want to sound racist. But with or without the euphemism, I heard Pat loud and clear.
The Transracial Korean Adoptee Nexus:
Concurrently the 80s and 90s brought about yet another wave of transnational transracial adoption of Asian babies-mostly from Eastern Asia such as Korea and China. This new transracial integer in the racial equation of adoption paired with Newsweek’s growing “Model Minority” image of Asian Americans drove a deep racial and hierarchical wedge between Asians and other racial minorities (primarily Blacks and Latinos). A humanitarian and philanthropically perversed neo-liberalism birthed a massive exportation of Asian babies from the so-called “arms of conflict and poverty” to the warm embrace of safety and American Dream idealism.
The Transracial Korean Adoptee Nexus:
I’ve spoke with some transnational, transracial adoptees who refuse to consider this logic when assessing the immigration debate today. These are questions that need to be asked, and need to be used to address the power structure in this country that allows babies of color who are adopted into white families, not only a full array of class privileges and resources, but more importantly, how immigrant families of color enter this country wanting a better life for themselves and their family (just as our adopted parents are looking to provide us) and are unable to get the jobs, access to social services/resources, insurance, healthcare and much much more which we as adult adoptees now take for granted. While we may have it easy as adoptees who speak perfect English, and who have class privileges and resources to overcome hardships that we may face in our futures, we must take a firm stance on immigration.
A Black Girl:
This whole episode made me think about black women and madness. Madness as anger, and madness as psychological distress. I'm thinking about this with all eyes open, knowing that psychology has certainly over-diagnosed and under-diagnosed black folks for the past century and a half. I'm thinking about that, about how psychology has looked to our brains to pathologize deviance and primitivism. I'm thinking about how serious the affects of racism has caused TRAUMAS within the black community that actually warrant spiritual (not psychological) evaluation. I'm thinking about black folks' skepticism about psychiatry--how depression as an illness is a white thing. (Although WE invented a whole series of musical genres around depression: blues, hip hop...)
many white critics of gangster culture are actually talking about Black people. And the reason is simple: they're racist. They look at Tony Soprano or Don Corleone and they think, He's a good guy who does some bad things. They look at 50 Cent or Snoop Dogg and they think, Black people are dirty thugs.
Team Rainbow:
In a series of repetitive, attempted one-liners, DiCaprio keeps talking about this monolith Africa and how God abandoned this land, and how the natives believe the dirt used to be white but turned red over time with blood (that is absolute fucking export-quality bullshit concentrate no one thinks that unless they've been smoking some bad warporn). What annoyed me the most is that his position is actually portrayed with some sympathy in the movie, as if "Africa" did this to him and not vice bloody versa. Look, you started your career with mercenary fighting and ended it with conflict diamonds. You're hardly in a position to complain that Africa is depressing. Yeah. God did this.
Feline Formal Shorts:
“Colorblind” is one of those terms that makes POC shudder. The message is good, but the practice is often more frustrating than “normal” racism. [1] At least when someone yells at you, they aren’t claiming to be your friend, or insulting your intelligence by pretending that they didn’t say anything wrong.
The North Star:
we are aware that the africa of public imagination is not nuanced. she usually appears as one of abject poverty and misery, devoid of cultural richesse and private/habitual life experiences (ie love, social life) and is, instead, besotted with economic/political trouble. whether that is in fact the case in congo, journalism and esp. photojournalism which has the weighty task of assigning image to language (solidifying our definition of what a place is), should take to specify as much as possible, to avoid leaving assumptions to do the thinking for us.
Whiteness and Other Issues:

Julian Real:
The most powerful group of people in the U.S. are white men with corporate control. An apology from one of their more public employees does not touch the fact that these specific white men are in charge of what’s going on. They call the shots as they fire the guns. Their press-people make the occasional public statement, agreeing with the public that “something bad happened here.” Their staff decide what happens to our mass of emails and letters of protest. (Would you like to wager as guess as to what happens to them?) These white men, not the public, not the courts, dole out the consequences based on how much money they and their shareholders will lose should this get “really ugly.” And the “really ugly” part isn’t what the human rights violating celebrity did, but what the protesters do in response.
No Snow Here:
I honestly don’t think that my friend connected the actual people of color he knew in real life to people of color as defined by racist nazi hatespeech. Or maybe I just hope this? Otherwise, how could he stand to be around us, if he believed in that doctrine? I clashed with him continually on this issue. I felt as if I was debating whether or not I was worth anything. We had been friends for years. And none of our friends backed me up. They all said I needed to allow him his right to an opinion. –Why are we always called upon to “respect” opinions like these? It is like an affirmation of our subordinance; why would anyone ask this of another human being? Hateful!– After venting to a friend about how frustrated I was by the situation, she went straight to our hangout spot and told everyone all the things I had said. I was completely ostracized from the group. Fortunately I had other, non-nazi friends to live out senior year with.
Beautiful, Also, Are the Souls of My Black Sisters:
White men were the ones who started calling black women hos (whores/wenches) during slavery and Jim Crow segregation. And looking at America’s long history of racist hatred of black women by white men, Imus was just saying out loud what many white men already think of black women. Imus is just another white man being a white man: a race of men who have for centuries committed the most brutish, the most perverse and the most depraved abombinations that one group of people (white men) have shown towards another group of people (black women).
Tiny Cat Pants:
The problem is not that black folks are just sitting back quietly accepting whatever vomits forth from the record industry; the problem is that most white people don’t have the thoughts and opinions of their black peers even on their radar. I doubt they even know how to find out what regular black people are thinking and saying about things.

And why would they? Because as much as they grouch about Sharpton and Jackson, Sharpton and Jackson are on their TV screens spouting out opinions. Most white people don’t have to do any work to discover what’s on the minds of Sharpton or Jackson, whereas hearing from actual black people who can’t get on cable takes a little more effort. Far better to triangulate from the appearances of black folks on the news, ESPN, and BET what’s going on in the black community.

Never mind that that’s a little like watching CMT in order to figure out what white Nashvillians think about life.

The Unapologetic Mexican:

Because that was their gift. Not shrinking their hate, but expanding it. Expanding it by thinking of me as non-Mexican or as an Honorary White. In return for the "gift," (and what true gifts demand reciprocation?) I was expected, then, to let go of any reaction to insult or hate leveled at myself and my kin. This is sometimes also pronounced "a-sim-uh-lay-shun." Drop the affiliation, the resolute pride, la historia that favors the other side.

Fire On the Mountain:

Many of these areas remain lily white to this day. In fact, when Jaspin completed five years of research by writing a 16 part series for the Cox group, their flagship paper, the Atlanta Journal Constitution wouldn't publish it. It laid bare the truth about places like suburban Forsyth County, the whitest in Georgia, whose racism the AJC had been prettying up for decades. The debate over the series was covered by Creative Loafing, Atlanta's alternative weekly.

Overall, though, my impression is that Eliot Jaspin concentrates on the period from the end of Reconstruction through the 20s when a massive wave of ethnic cleansing took place.
diaries of an eccentric nerd athaba hijibiji:
I never thought of myself as a WOC until I came to this country. Similarly “Women of Color feminism” was not a term that existed in my political lingo until I was 22 or so.I came to the writings of US based wocs during a very crucial period of my life. I was feeling extremely frustrated both with the masculinisms of the leftist student groups I was working with and the short-sightedness of some of the more mainstream Western, white feminist texts. The WOC feminist literatures helped me to develop a fresh insight into lots of things during this critical juncture in my life.
Image From:
Student Labor Action Coalition


belledame222 said...

hey, thanks! linked. btw, please also feel free to check out the Carnival of Feminists that I just hosted & posted: first part here (with links to the other two).

Anonymous said...


Congratulations on your first hosting of the Erase Racism Carnival!

Well done.

And thsnks for including my essays.

I guess you were probably as nervous as a long-tailed cat in a roomful of rocking chairs as the old saying goes, but, you came through beautifully.


Anonymous said...


Thank you for including my essay in the Erase Racism Carnival!

I am honored and affirmed to be in such wonderful company. That's one thing about encountering and telling stories about racism, sometimes you feel really lonely. I feel a bit less so today.

Rachel's Tavern said...

Whoa, it's really growing. Good job collecting all of those posts.

Jimmy Higgins said...

Hey, all praise for the April Carnival. I just posted a piece calling on folks to check it out at my home blog, Fire on the Mountain, and crossposted it to the left-liberal, Democratic Party-oriented DailyKos which has the advantage of being huge.

When I crosspost or diary at dKOs I always get more comments than the same piece draws at FotM, because the broad audience is so much bigger. I mention this because I think some of the posts in the Carnival might have stirred some interesting discussion there. Does anyone else in this milieu have a dKos account? If not, consider it...

Carmen Sognonvi said...

Nice job! :) I have lots to read through. And thank you for including links to Racialicious and Race in the Workplace!

Anonymous said...

Wow! Thanks so much for including me.

This is an awesome carnival! I'll have plenty to read.

Anonymous said...

Hey-Thank you so much for including my post! I'm sorry I'm so late to the game in noticing-I'd intended to submit something after I saw the call for submissions at Yolanda's blog, but have been very sick-so thanks for including me!

Anonymous said...

Julian: I appreciate your nod towards "corporate controll(ing)" white guys. As a white guy who lives here in reality and who grew up "dirty white",it is refreshing for me to see someone address the fact that government jobs are increasingly given to white women and "others" in this generation, who hop on the rainbow striped demonization bandwagon of "white male opportunity".
Opportunity for many of us stops at the boardroom door.