Intro by: The Last Poets
Last year around this time Nobel Prize laureate, James Watson, shocked the scientific community with his ludicrous claim that race is a scientific category.
Watson, you may remember, won the Nobel Prize for his research that led (in part) to the 'discovery' of DNA.
So, it is October again. Now comes a report that Akhil Bakshi, a fellow of the prestigious Royal Geographic Society and celebrity photographer, is pushing the preposterous claim "that blacks, whites and Asians have different ape ancestors."
I am really uncomfortable with how a lot of vegan cooking is described as “exotic” (to whom?). It assumes so much about the audience racially & culturally, & as well is loaded with really creepy connotations — the exotic is there to be conquered, mastered; it’s there purely to titillate your (white/Western/etc.) self (which also implies that white people have no culture — a convenient excuse used by people participating in cultural appropriation, but not actually true). It’s a “safe” way to imagine you’re experiencing other cultures without, you know, having to do that pesky thing known as actually engaging with the people whose cultures you’re attempting to eat via their food.
I've heard a constant refrain lately – at work, on TV, on the internet – from some of my black brethren about Barack Obama.
He doesn't need to "lecture black people" about personal responsibility.
He should be mindful of the tone he uses when he speaks to us.
He's just saying what racist white people want to hear.
He sacrifices black people to score points with whites and other non-blacks.
I was offended by his criticism of black people.
What gives him the right to call anybody out about anything?
Since he doesn't have anything good to say about black people he shouldn't say anything at all.
What do we want from this man?
Over the next five days, the blog Brown Man Thinking Hard presents "What Do We Want?" which will explore some of the issues that underlie this intraracial discord within black America.
In regards to the eurocentric dominant culture, this has meant four things. One, I no longer felt any responsibility to be their teacher (and/or confessor… as a way for them to ease the angst of their white privilege) on the effects of white supremacy - eurocentric superiority thinking and practice on people of colour. Two, I had no desire for the material and/or societal trinkets which signifies “success” in their society. I could no longer be bought. My soul… beliefs, values and principles… are more important to me than to “gain the world”. Three, I don’t expect anything from white people. I don’t expect them to be fair. I don’t expect them to be just. I don’t expect them to be empathetic to my situation or to the struggles of people of African descent. I don’t expect them to take any sort of responsibility for their past, present or future behaviours. Finally, I care about all people… regardless of nationality, ethnicity, colour, religion, gender, age and sexual orientation… who are oppressed and/or taken advantage of. I don’t compare and rate oppressions on a scale. However with that being said, the issues concerning people of African descent are first and foremost in mind… because I am one of them… and what we need to do, not only to overcome to survive, but more importantly, to empower ourselves to live, is the core of my cause.
...race is not real; it is a socially constructed phenomenon based solely on visible physically differences. Race is so fictitious a concept that in the post-emancipation U.S. a man could be considered Black in one state, and White in another!
Although race is not real, the effects of racial differentiation; however, are very real. Not every racial group experiences racism in the same manner or to the same degree. Racialized groups (those who society labels “visible minorities”) continually face institutionalized, racial discrimination based solely on stereotypes attached to our skin tone.
Bernie Mac is a lot like George Lopez to me–I had some real problems with a lot of his material, but I respected him as a true comedian. He was an observer of people, and those observations, more often than not, were funny as hell because they pointed out human and cultural truisms and flaws that were embarassing, endearing, interesting and enraging.
He material was sexist and homophobic, but he was also one of the few that discussed po’ black communities (as in poverty stricken and devistated, not just the idealized ‘poor’ that Cosby and other comedians of color talk about or idealized gangsta ‘poor’ that younger comedians like Cedric the Entertainer riff on) , drug addiction and how it affects the children, the addicted person and older family members.
I mean, the clip below has got some homophobia and abelism that really rides the line between being a joke and being fucking mean.
Anyone who saw the Féria hair color ad in this month's Elle (pictured, left) might have had to do a double-take to make sure it was really Beyoncé, and not the long-lost twin of the light-skinned model on the product's box. Today, in a NY Post report cheekily headlined "O, RÉALLY?," L'Oréal reps deny altering the singer's features and skin tone. The chairman of the media-monitoring committee of the National Association of Black Journalists even chimed in, arguing that "magazines have to be sensitive to perceptions that light-skinned African Americans are more acceptable."
By now, most of us are used to pretty much all commercial images of celebrities getting the Photoshopped-into-oblivion treatment. But shouldn't there be some sort of line here? We don't know exactly what or who is responsible -- severe makeup? odd lighting? digital alteration? too much time indoors? -- for making Beyoncé practically unrecognizable. Whatever the culprit, whitewashing a well-known face in the interest of selling hair color (that is wrong for 'yoncers anyway) takes the "anything for a great shot" argument a little too far.
What do you think -- does the ad offend you, or is this sort of "optimized" commercial image safe in the plasticine land of Fictionarnia we've all come to generally accept at this point, and therefore unworthy of a second thought?
By the numbers, white people still hold a preponderance of the positions that count, out of proportion to our presence in the population, from which I would argue we are able to maintain white-privileging control over the systems and institutions that shape our society, including business, legislative and judicial systems, property sales and management, education and health care. (Note that the percentages of non-white, non-male legislators was considered too small to be tabulated.)
Of course, not all white people are employed in positions that afford economic power and privilege. Whites represented 44 percent of the 37 million U.S. citizens living below the poverty line in 2006. The (historically constructed) sad thing about that is that most of the white people living in poverty think they have more in common with wealthy white people than they do people of color also dealing with poverty. And that keeps folks from banding together and working together to insist on change in an unjust reality.