Posts tagged race
Posts tagged race
“Blacks are more than three times as likely as whites to be diagnosed with melanoma after it has reached a late stage, and Hispanics are nearly twice as likely, according to a University of Miami study.
Late diagnosis of melanoma generally significantly reduces the chances for survival. The survival rate for those with early detection is about 99 percent, according to the National Cancer Institute. With later detection, the survival rate falls to between 15 and 65 percent, depending on how far the disease has spread.”
Also, because the disease is more likely to occur in light-skinned people, many prevention and detection efforts are aimed at them, he [Dr. Robert Kirsner] said.”
This article on Skin Cancer in the Black community was really interesting. A lot of the problem focuses on the lack of adequate medical access Black people have that could diagnose the problem early, and increase survival rate. Don’t die of ignorance, we don’t have to die from this.
If you notice new growths/bumps/spots on your skin that are abnormal in size, or are not healing, seek medical advice. But meanwhile, here is information from the Skin Cancer Foundation that may help you distinguish these growths from “normal” ones.
Sunscreen up everyone.
<3This is SERIOUSLY important, people. No matter the levels of melanin in your skin, EVERYONE is susceptible to skin cancer, especially if you spend a lot of time outside. This summer is going to be a really hot one, so please, use sunscreen, hydrate, and stay healthy.
Racism is not just about color. I repeat. Racism is not just about color. When we tell these clueless folks on Tumblr that racism is prejudice + power, we should break down that power into easy-to-comprehend nuggets for better retention:
Prejudice: the ideology that Group B is inherently superior to Group A, and having biases about Group A simply for being Group A.
How is this prejudice supported and substantiated?
Colorism: the practice of believing that one is superior to another on the basis of skintone and then creating a hierarchy based on the quality of the person’s color. Many people believe that racism is only discriminating against someone because they are of a different color, but this is just one aspect of it. Colorism and prejudice become everything else down the line.
Ethnocentrism: the ideology that all ethnic cultures outside of your own are of lesser value and importance than your own and that yours is of utmost relevance to the world. This includes every part of a culture, such as language, behavior, religious beliefs, customs, folkways and cuisine.
Vigilantism: the act of Group B carrying out hate crimes against Group A, via social ills such as domestic terrorism, tarring-and-feathering and rape (ex.: Ku Klux Klan)
Racialized Sexism: the belief that the genders of one’s own ethnic group/race are superior to the genders of another group. This can be reinforced by pitting the genders from both racial groups against one another to create a hierarchy of sexual and ethnic privilege, a combined weapon. Within racialized sexism, certain punishments and rewards are put in place to make sure that people of the oppressed group, Group A, can never rise above their place in the hierarchy. Example? It was perfectly acceptable for a White man to rape an Indigenous woman because Indigenous women were not considered human and thus not women.
Only White women were considered human and worth saving. For men to be the victims, it has to come from a place of repression, not oppression, because men are repressed by the patriarchy rather than oppressed. Example? White folks created the myth that Black men were lascivious half-devil monsters who wished to rape White women, so the consequences of a Black man even daring to so much as look at a White woman would mean instant death. Also, a White woman had the power to immediately cry “rape!” at his expense, even if he: (a) didn’t make an advance and (b) was being molested by her in the first place
Number one, he’s Black so that’s already a strike against him. Number two, he can’t claim “rape” because the patriarchy says that: (a) men can’t be vulnerable and the racism says that (b) Black people are not human and cannot be victims of anything they didn’t deserve. The same story goes for every race/ethnicity of man and woman in the hierarchy.
This kind of thinking also allows people in Group B to believe that they should have willing & ready sexual access to the bodies of Group A at all times, and if Group A denies them this right, it is “reverse racism”. It’s not reverse racism. Group A just don’t like your racist ass and wants you to stop turning their ethnic background into a Halloweeny fetish.
Supremacism: a more concentrated form of prejudice (which is passive), supremacism is an active philosophy that advocates for the legalized defamation of other ethnic groups to be beneath one’s own on the social ladder. Supremacism is often carried out publicly and loudly and is meant to shape the minds of the supposed superior race into believing these teachings through various mediums. Some mediums of where supremacy is used are in familiar ones such as film, television and literature.
Genocide Culture: genocide culture is when you take supremacism to a more violent, consequential level. If Group B deliberately raids, rapes, destroys and exterminates folks in Group A, this is genocide culture. This is ethnic cleansing. Genocide culture becomes genocide denial down the years after full oppression has taken a foothold. Examples of genocide culture are: the Holocaust, the Eugenics Movement, the Trail of Tears.
Institutionalized Discrimination: the act of denying persons of the undesirable group equal access into social facilities, or making it intensely more difficult for persons of Group A to maintain sovereignty in the world because Group B denies them equal treatment. This can happen anywhere, anyplace & anytime, but when discrimination is legalized, such as in Apartheid Laws of South Africa, it is then institutionalized exploitation. Discrimination will undeniably have a negative effect on the class system as well, because climbing the social ladder will be far more difficult on purpose. Even when legalized discrimination is taken down, cultural discrimination still takes place, and is strengthened by biases in the collective cultural consciousness of the more powerful racial group, Group B.
Hate Speech: Anyone can practice hate speech, but the cultural and social severity of said hate speech is conditional on the ethnicities of the persons in question. Prime examples of hate speech within racist contexts are ethnic slurs such as: nigger, squaw, wetback, slanty-eye, etc. These words come directly from the institutions that have sanctioned racist acts a normal way of life. Should the people these words are directed at, Group A, then begin to use words against Group B, this is not racism, this is hate speech. The associations between words like “nigger” and “spic” carry more weight than the associations between words like “honky”. Although it isn’t nice to call anyone an ethnic slur, for a privileged person of Group B to deliberately use such words against Group A holds more consequences. Such terms cannot be removed from their oppressive contexts, especially since the racism in the society is still ongoing.
Privilege-Granting or Favoritism: Because all of society is arrayed against Group A, Group B then reaps the benefits of this by being allowed to be the center of everything in the society. People of Group B will be granted special permissions for everyday things like job offerings and representations in the media, because Group B is the standard by which everyone must measure themselves in the society. This thing, called privilege, seeps into EVERY single aspect of the society, even in places where people of Group A & Group B may have some oppression in common, such as being Women or LGBT. And even though they may share this oppression in common, people of Group B will still maintain their power because of their race. As a reaction to this, Group A is forced to either: (a) be eternally subservient to the wishes of Group B or (b) create their own safe spaces and niche groups where their community can be uplifted (HBCUs, Tribal Colleges, PoC organizations, etc.)
Conditionalism: when oppressed groups within the oppressor group (Group B) are discriminated against and dehumanized. Example? The oppression of Anglo-Americans towards the Irish. Conditionalism manifests when oppressed groups within the oppressor group are given a choice: (a) accept the terms of their fate or (b) work towards freeing themselves of their lower status. How do they work towards freeing themselves of their lower status? By oppressing Group A. Example? Irish folks were not considered “white”, but “white negroes” and were seen equally as horrid as Blacks, but Irish folks were able to achieve their Whiteness by performing Blackface at the expense of Black peoples.
Exploitation: part of discrimination, exploitation is the art and science of manipulating the society in order to make things extremely difficult for Group A’s success to flourish. This often manifests itself in places where people in Group A are forced into substandard living conditions because of laws that prohibit them from making the same successes as people in Group B. Even if a person from Group A “makes it”, his or her success will be constantly threatened by circles of power that seek to: (a) discredit him or her, (b) defame him or her. Also, should the successful person in Group A ever seek to help his or her own people out of their abject poverty, this will be seen as a threat to the stability of the order (and it is). The life-line of the success is always conditional on the ability to be consumed by the dominant culture.
ALL OF THESE PRACTICES ARE STILL IN ORDER IN SOME FORM TODAY AND EVERYONE IN GROUP A, ALSO KNOWN AS PEOPLE OF COLOR, ARE STILL SUFFERING FROM THE HISTORICAL AND PRESENT-DAY NEGATIVE BACKLASHES FROM CENTURIES, EVEN MILLENNIA, OF OPPRESSION BY OPPOSING, POWERFUL FORCES. THIS SORT OF OPPRESSION GOES UNNOTICED BY PEOPLE IN GROUP B BECAUSE THEY NEVER HAVE TO THINK ABOUT BEING JUDGED BY A DOMINANT POWER BECAUSE OF THEIR RACE BECAUSE THEY ARE PART OF THE DOMINANT POWER. AND RECEIVE ITS BENEFITS. RACISM IS NOT OVER. IT DID NOT MAGICALLY DISAPPEAR WHEN BARACK OBAMA WAS ELECTED.
IN FACT, IT GOT WORSE. MUCH, MUCH WORSE. DON’T BELIEVE ME? ASK PEOPLE OF COLOR ABOUT OUR EXPERIENCES. LOOK UP STATISTICAL ANALYSIS FROM THE AMERICAN CIVIL LIBERTIES UNION AND AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL. KNOW YOUR PRIVILEGE. TAKE OWNERSHIP OF YOUR PRIVILEGE. DECOLONIZE YOUR MIND. FREE YOURSELF FROM THIS BULLSHIT. AND THAT’S ALL I HAVE TO SAY.
Essential reading for this post is “A brief history of white androgynous radical queerness.” I’ll wait.
The point of this post is to, in part, explain why I never bother dealing with [r]dfms myself and also why, as some people occasionally wonder, if [r]dfmnism can ever be reformed.
1. White patriarchy and [r]dfms
By making teh patriarchy being the fundamental axis of oppression all they do is re-enforce the *white* patriarchy as colonial tool used to subjugate people across the globe. (yes, [r]dfms, this means that you are actually complicit in the oppression of women of colour everywhere). This wikipedia article notes that early [r]dfms viewed the patriarchy as ‘transhistorical’ which is so absurd that, well, such a point shouldn’t need refuting. And I’m not really going to refute it. Especially not by pointing out the many, many, many non-white pre-colonial (and ocassionally still existent) non-patriarchical societies and civilizations that have existed. Because [r]dfms, for the most part, aren’t interested in facts or history.
[r]dfms consistently fail to see and understand how the patriarchy so currently omnipresent in the world is a result of white colonialism, a colonialism that they currently benefit from (as white people), perpetuate, and are complicit in. This particularly holds true when the few ‘race conscious’ ones decided to get on that white saviour horse and try to liberate those Black and/or Brown and/or Indigenous and/or Asian women in the third world from their savage men. In doing so, they fail to understand how their actions and theories always presuppose the primacy and supremacy of *white* patriarchy, thereby reifying and enforcing the very thing they claim to be against.
2. [r]dfms, transmisogyny, and white supremacy
The importance of point one as context for the transmisogynistic theories and veiws of [r]dfems cannot be stressed enough. The intertwinning of [r]dfmnism and colonialism is important and part of why they stay being white supremacist.
It goes further than that, of course.
While [r]dfms don’t believe in intersectionality (as if it were the easter bunny), my race cannot actually be separated from my gender. At all. Who I am is rooted in my culture. (I’m gonna be using white terms to describe myself in this discussion for the sake of convenience — do not turn around and use any of these words for me, I still and always only use bakla as my gender/sexual ID).
Being a trans feminine poc, who if forced to pick a white gender would probably transition to being a woman, I am one of the perennial targets of [r]dfms. One of their biggest bones of contention tends to be that I’d be appropriating the ‘woman’ identity.
But note how this always presupposes the default ‘white’ position. Having a white [r]dfm tell me that I’m appropriating their identity is ridiculous beyond belief. Because I’ll never be a white woman. Like. I’d be a Filipina. And the only people able to tell me whether or not I’m appropriating their IDs are other Filipinas. End of story.
Nonetheless, who I am is a product of my culture. So. When [r]dfems run around shouting that ‘men in dresses’ are disgusting and should be mandated out of existence, they are calling for nothing less than genocide of me and mine. Because it can never, ever be a neutral thing for a white mouth to say that me and my fellow trans feminine poc should simply cease existing. Moreover, as per point one, white people already tried this shit (and as your obvious example shows, stay trying to do this). And if you think you can do better than 400+ of colonization and missionaries and shit, you are wrong.
We were here before white people came and we’ll be here after white supremacy has been dismantled.
But really. [R]dfms are really part of a longer history of white colonialism, white supremacy, and genocidal tactics that have been going on for hundreds of years. Neither their claims nor their methods are unique (or, dare i say it, radical).
3. the consequences
Perhaps one of the biggest clues that [r]dfem rhetoric is inherently white supremacist, is gleaned from looking at the consequences of their actions and organizing.
The consequences of transhobia (particularly transmisogyny) are largely and most heavily felt and experienced by those trans people of colour. You’ve only needed to pay the slightest bit of attention to notice the many reports of Black trans women who’ve been violently attacked or murdered this year. And this doesn’t touch on the poverty, sex work, and seriously reduced access to the medical industrial complex (and if you think this comment is only about *transitioning*… well. no).
But going globally, the consequences are such that bakla in the Philippines went from being assistants to women who served as spiritual leaders, to be beauty parlor operators (if they are lucky) or sex workers (often for white tourist men). It is such that in Latin@ countries, trans women often face violent oppression (see the numerous refugees). That places like China have entirely forgotton or suppressed their long history of gender variance.
And all of this is the consequences of white patriarchy and its attendant binarism/gender roles. This is the result of the same system that white [r]dfems benefit from, perpetuate, and enforce (often in disgustingly violent ways).
It is neither accidental nor unintentional that the people suffering most from white [r]dfms are trans feminine people of colour. This is only to be expected from a white supremacist ideology.
4. conclusions and last thoughts
My hope with this post is simply to illuminate the larger historical context of colonialism under which [r]dfms operate. There are other ways, shocker, that you can understand their ideology as being inherently white supremacist.
But for me, it will always be the fact that their ideology of liberation is such that it would require the complete and utter genocide of all trans poc (as well as wholesale destruction of the cultures we belong to), really says it all. For the only way that women of colour anywhere could achieve white [r]dfm liberation would be to first, accept the white gender model and, the, to remove all Indigenous traces of their previous society.
tl;dr Any group that calls for the genocide or complete erasure of a group of poc is and always will be inherently white supremacist.
I keep having discussions about Disney films and how racist many of the classics are, but the subject that I most fall upon is the 1953 version of Peter Pan, which holds an absurd breadth of racial stereotypes that there are musical numbers and plot sequences directly the product of such racial stereotypes of Native Americans. Certainly, the film’s portrayal undoubtedly permeated into the pretend games of children and their perception of how Native Americans behaved - I know this movie influenced me to wear feathers in my hair, pretend to do Indian tribal dances, and say “how” over and over.
The defense I hear most often from people is that films like Peter Pan “were not racist at the time they were made.”
What they really mean is that white people didn’t think it was racist at the time they were made. The film is just as racist then just as it is now. The fact that people can say movies like Peter Pan were “products of their time” negate that actual Native Americans have been vocal about their objections to the homogenization and stereotypical portrayal of their cultures and their race for literally centuries, but white people just didn’t listen to them. The constant apologism that something “wasn’t racist back then” implies that it is white society that deems what is racist, rather than the people of color directly affected and portrayed. Again, if it is racist now, it was racist then.
Also, children buy into these stereotypes, but children didn’t make this film; grown men did. It was a grown man who wrote the original Peter Pan story and its stereotypical portrayals of Natives. People talk about white creators back then as if they were little kids who didn’t know better. We shouldn’t give them an easy reprieve because a bunch of grown men “didn’t know better” to consider that Native Americans were people and not caricatures. If you like Peter Pan, you can like it, but we shouldn’t downplay its racism nor make excuses.
I need to know why when we talk about bullying in schools, no one points out that children of color are often bullied for their race. Especially if they are not the majority group in that school. A whole lot of fights I got into were after someone had some slick shit to say about my hair, my color, or my body. That’s one of the things that never seems to come up when people start going on & on about kids of color getting into fights at these schools. I mean if we can have 44754747 conversations about that one time the black girls were mean in 6th grade, where are the discussions about racial slurs that get tossed at kindergarteners? Or the conversations about racist teachers who encourage the bullying & the administrators who ignore what’s happening? When we’re talking about low test scores & drop out rates why don’t we talk about school environments & what kids have to face from their peers & the authority figures just to try to succeed? Oh right, those are hard conversations & they require listening skills & for people to believe children of color when they talk about their experiences and their feelings. They require a willingness to confront others (yes, even people you think are nice) when they do fucked up things to children of color under the guise of helping them. And no one really wants to do that work. My bad.
So I bumped into this post on tumblr talking about how effemiphobia is a real thing. Having never even heard of this term, despite being one of its putative targets for years, I checked google to see if this really was a thing. So see here and here for more writing about this (the second link has the benefit of some discussion about this in the Black community).
Alright, but what is effemiphobia? Here is one definition that seems good enough for what it is:
Effemiphobia is the fear of men who are too effeminate in the societal view of what a true man should look, act, and speak like. This term has defined decades of hetero men who were uncomfortable around other men who weren’t as masculine as they were. In some cases this phobia went beyond mere discomfort and speared itself into pure hate causing many hate crimes against feminine gay men.
Now, the original article that drew my attention to this points out that this is a problem both within and without the cis gay community (my guess it is similarly treated in the trans gay community too). Which, I can sort of see based on my own experiences of having my femininity constantly and continuously punished by cis white gay men.
Except… Isn’t the term of this femmephobia? Which applies to all cases of femmeness regardless of gender? Do gay white cis men really need to have their own term for this? Do they not see how ‘effemiphobia’ is inextricably tied up with misogyny and trans misogyny (most especially this) on a larger scale?
Like… when straight people have or act on the stereotype of the effete gay man, is this not just homophobia?
And when it is in the community as has become more and more of a problem, isn’t this really just a consequence of the processes and intentional expulsion of trans women and trans feminine people (particularly people of colour) from the larger gay community?
And, when thinking about the expulsion of trans women and/or trans feminine people from the gay movement, one cannot but forget how inextricably this is also linked to race, given that it trans women/feminine people of colour who were so forcibly ejected from the movement they began (see Stonewall). How it is, accidental I’m sure, that white cis gay (or hetero) men who’ve become the pinnacle of masculinity (with Black men being cast as hypermasculine for reasons related to racism and Asian men being automatically femme for reasons related to racism)…
Like. Making up a bullshit oppression that is actually self caused by the gay white cis community’s trans/misogyny is a more than a little amusing.
If you are upset that your femininity is being punished or that your inability to meet certain arbitrary standards of masculinity in the white gay cis community… you aren’t gonna solve it by trying to convince people that you face some kind of special oppression when your community is literally built on trans misogyny. You are definitely not going to solve it if you fail to recognize and understand *why* white gay cis men have become so virulently anti-femme and the history behind this.
But to answer the question in the title… effemiphobia *needs* to be established by the white gay cis community so that it can *stay* trans misogynistic and continue to stand on the backs of the people who built their movement. It is doomed to fail, of course.
Sometimes *her* judgement is a little clouded. (But aw, she’s *sweet*. And … African-American, which had to be pointed out - and she was supposed to take the final image as a joke?)
I was designing a banner for a university website to advertise upcoming business classes. The ad contained a stock photo of a group of business people. My client was a really sweet African American woman who is a great designer. But sometimes her judgement is clouded…
Client: It looks good, but please choose a more diverse image.
I realize my image ONLY contains white people, so I quickly find an image that contains two white men, one white woman, a black man and an Asian woman. I email it to her.
Client: I still don’t like the image you’ve chosen. It reinforces the “dominant role” of older white men. Please choose another image.
Baffled, this time I choose an image that contains a single white man, a black man and woman, an Asian man and a Hispanic looking female.
Client: Do you really feel that this image reflects the diversity our organization is striving for? Please choose another image!
Not understanding how an image could be more diverse than the one I chose. I jokingly inserted a picture from one of the university’s African American Women’s Studies classes. It contained four black females.
Client: Perfect! Thank you for understanding the diversity our organization is striving to achieve.
It’s totally normal that the designer didn’t even notice the first image they chose was all white people and that their second choice was still mostly white people, but putting an image of four Black women in an ad for business classes was done as a joke. Just want to make that clear. And the fact that a woman asking for “diversity” chose an image featuring all non-white non-men is the punchline of this story. This is some serious white male privilege/ white-male-as-neutral bullshit at work.
yeah what a condescending douchebag