Trump, Clinton, and A Tale Of Two Racisms

Hillary Clinton, the presumptive Democratic nominee for President, is working tirelessly to distance herself from her (former) friend, Republican nominee Donald Trump. Her method in doing so suggests that she is somehow critically different from him. But, young people of color don’t seem to be buying that claim. This begs the question: Why are her supporters struggling to understand this dissonance? Well, it’s likely because many of those in the Clinton camp have a problematic definition of racism and, to a larger extent, systematic oppression in general.

Far too often, it is assumed that racism and many other public forms of oppression are reserved for conservative, usually Republican, people in America. Mythological ideas about old southern racists grasping their confederate flags and antebellum nostalgia still emerge in the collective psyche when folks discuss explicitly racist manifestations of hatred in the United States. The problem with this conception is that it only focuses on one type of racism: the explicit kind. And, even then, it doesn’t acknowledge the ways that racism has transformed into colorblind systems of oppression which are usually embraced by younger, “liberal”, upwardly-mobile Whites, precisely the types who support Hillary Clinton.

This limited perception of racism leaves out the ways that many people in power (especially White, affluent, generationally wealthy people) maneuver through society without any intention of ending racial oppression. In this context, people of color who have voiced opposition to Clinton (and also Bernie Sanders), are repeatedly disregarded, overlooked, and effectively silenced as Clinton’s supporters ignore their political concerns as they espouse their own form of “egalitarian liberalism.”

 

Read the full article at Black Youth Project.

‘Zootopia’: Disney’s Feeble Attempt At Discussing Racism Without Discussing Racism

Disney’s new film Zootopia has been universally praised by critics and watchers alike. Some have even called it an “instant classic.” The film features a slew of characters dealing with structural oppression and the politics of fear, but the title should clue you into the fact that they are all animals. And while that is a major problem for me, I was more concerned about the film’s handling of race, sexism and misogyny, police brutality, and a host of other very serious issues facing communities of color. It took the same preachy, white-washed, tone-deaf tenor that just isn’t going to dismantle any oppressive institution in the United States. Continue reading “‘Zootopia’: Disney’s Feeble Attempt At Discussing Racism Without Discussing Racism”

The Racists Are Winning: Why I Can’t Say ‘Micro-Aggressions’ Anymore

I realized today that I don’t know how to be a carefree Black girl. I think part of me wants to be. But, most of me can’t for reasons (read: White Supremacy).

Between the omnipresence of Black Death displayed via the very public execution of unarmed Black bodies  (as most recently reproduced in the case of Walter Scott), and the perpetual anti-Blackness I experience every single day in academia, I’m finding that I do care. I care a lot. Yet, I’m growing so weary of it.

This weariness is the exact goal of modern racism. Just wear Black people down until we have no fight left. Just bludgeon us on all sides until we can’t even figure out a plan or mode of attack (or defense). I feel like they’re winning at it too.

I used to use the term “micro-aggression” to describe my daily battles with Whites and non-Black people of color (NBPoC) who reproduce White Supremacist oppression. But, I have grown and matured. My race-related lexicon has expanded. I have more flowery words to describe this limited term now. Truth is though: microaggressions aren’t micro at all. They are a part of a macro-level system of White supremacy and White privilege which systematically isolates and excludes Black folks from equal access to justice, representation in politics, respect in the public sphere and from institutions, and opportunity for social mobility.

Read more at WCC.

WCC: Hashtag Activism, Silencing, and Sacrificial Lambs of the New Media Movement

One of the most dangerous byproducts of this age of new media is apathy. In this era, far too many people underestimate the power of social media. Conversely, far too many others abuse it. There just isn’t enough people floating in between. And, when it comes to what many call “hashtag activism” – better known as just plain old activism – social media has been the weapon of choice for many heteropatriarchal anti-acitivists seeking to stifle the grassroots work mainly led by women of color.

We have seen several attacks on women of color this year at the hands of virtual bullies and anti-activists. Namely, Suey Park – best known for creating and amplifying the hashtag #CancelColbert – and Jamilah Lemiuex – Senior Editor of EBONY Magazine. Continue reading “WCC: Hashtag Activism, Silencing, and Sacrificial Lambs of the New Media Movement”

WCC: ‘Hyper-Racialism’: Where White Privilege Meets White-Guilt-Paranoia

It seems the quickest way to see a white person in America clam up is by mentioning the obvious. I have done this many times without meaning to. What did I do? Well, I just started talking about the color of my own skin. You see, it’s brown. I just so happen to be a black woman. This fact – though normal to me – seems to send white folks into a tizzy whenever I talk about it. I have termed this issue “hyper-racialism.” And, it just so happens to be colorblindness’ ugly, disfigured cousin.

What is Colorblindness?

Colorblindness is a unicorn. It is a figment of our collective imaginations like dragons and fat free milk. It is the assertion – mainly by whites – that it is possible to be ‘blind’ to the color of one’s own skin – and anyone else’s. Somehow, by simply ignoring skin color altogether, colorblind and post-racial zealots believe that all racial animus will be assuaged. Not so.

As Aamer Rahman has noted, race and racism are intrinsically linked to history. Racial genocide is in our blood. As long as we have history books, old people with memories, and our own functioning cortexes, we will have racial animus, awareness, and shame. To be actively colorblind is to be self-inducingly ignorant.

And who wants to be ignorant?

This is the equivalent of closing your eyes when you see someone’s broken arm. Simply shutting it out doesn’t make it go away. And, it does nothing to help the person who has the broken limb. All it does is make you look like a jerk for being insensitive, in-compassionate, and too immature to handle the situation like an adult.

Read the full article at WCC.

xoJane; IT HAPPENED TO ME: I Was Punished For My White Co-worker’s Racism

Graduating from USC with a degree in industrial engineering never could have prepared me for the racism I would face living in Orange County, CA. In fact, my education at USC did the exact opposite. I moved in diverse circles, chatted with folks from all over the world on a daily basis, and even though I was born in a predominantly black area in Oakland, CA, I had pretty much become accustomed to racial heterogeneity. There were tons of people like me on campus and in Los Angeles. Then I got my first job at a popular theme park and everything changed.
I was 22. It was my first job. I loved the company and intended to be there until I retired. I had pretty much worshipped the brand since I was a small child. I basically came in both wide-eyed and with my eyes wide shut at the same time.
I was the only person of color on my team, but that didn’t bother me. It actually seemed like an asset at first. Being black with an engineering degree drew people to want to know more about me. No doubt they thought I was some kind of exception -– even though I really wasn’t. I enjoyed it nonetheless. I was more than happy to show my analytical ability in just about every scenario I found myself in. I was confident.
I had an older peer, about 60, who had been at the company for 40 years. He was a pretty nice man. He made jokes about everything and knew the theme park like the back of his hand. Our jobs required that we work in close proximity to one another. He was a white male who, as he got more comfortable with me, frequently used the term “cholo” as an adjective. He found great amusement in the Spanish-speaking staff on campus. I never said anything. It was the combination of a fear of ruffling feathers, desperation to have a paycheck for my growing family, and acquiescence to authority that silenced me.
One day we had some downtime in the office. We were chatting about life at the park. He started,” I have been here a very long time.”
I was eager to hear more.
“You know, when I first got here, you had to be dressed up to go into the park. All the receptionists, hostesses, and food workers were these tall, thin white women.”
He chuckled. I did too.
Then he pointed at me and said, “And, ‘Africans’ -– like yourself –- they would never have been allowed to work front of house. They had to stay in the kitchens.”
I froze. I had no idea where this was going next, but I was already hurt. I just stood there and plastered a smile on my face.
Read the full article at xoJane.

WCC: Coke Ad Shows Diversity, White Conservatives Die a Million Deaths [VIDEO]

Americans are vile human beings. Besides our issues with jingoism, white superiority, and ethnocentrism, we are also stupid. So stupid in fact that we become completely bent, afraid, and offended over the stupidest things. For example, a man in Temecula, CA answered his door by pulling a gun on a young girl there to sell him cookies. Cookies. What imminent threat she presented is unknown. It is truly frightening the amount of freedom these simpletons have. But, something else happened recently that sent Americans (read ignorant white Americans) over the edge once again. It was a Coke commercial that featured people who weren’t white and English-speaking singing ‘America the Beautiful.’ Cue the tiny racist violins and white people tears.

The minute long ad called ‘It’s Beautiful‘ is a patriotic tribute to this country ‘from sea to shining sea.’ What ruffled feathers? Well, the people in the commercial weren’t the right complexion for many white viewers. You know how that goes. So, those pissed off white people had no other choice but to lash out.

Read the full article at WCC.