I’ll be gone for the next ~2 weeks, barring any sporadic internet access. Catch y’all on the flip side.
““I am always amazed when I hear white folks speak about their fear of black people, of being the victims of black violence. They may never have spoken to a black person, and certainly never been hurt by a black person, but they are convinced that their response to blackness must first and foremost be fear and dread. They too live in denial. They claim to fear that black people will hurt them even though there is no evidence which suggests that black people routinely hurt white people in this or any other culture. Despite the fact that many reported crimes are committed by black offenders, this does not happen so frequently as to suggest that all white people must fear any black person. Now, black people are routinely assaulted and harassed by white people in white supremacist culture. This violence is condoned by the state. It is necessary for the maintenance of racial difference. Indeed, if black people have not learned our place as second-class citizens through educational institutions, we learn it by the daily assaults perpetuated by white offenders on our bodies and beings that we feel but rarely publically protest or name. Though we do not live in the same fierce conditions of racial apartheid that only recently ceased being our collective social reality, most black folks believe that if they do not conform to white-determined standards of acceptable behavior they will not survive. We live in a society where we hear about white folks killing black people to express their rage. We can identify specific incidents throughout our history in this country whether it be Emmett Till, Bensonhurst, Howard Beach, etc. We can identify rare incidents where individual black folks have randomly responded to their fear of white assault by killing. White rage is acceptable, can be both expressed and condoned, but black rage has no place and everyone knows it.””
Y’all need to understand how DANGEROUS it is for us to allow our kids out the house even looking a LITTLE ashy/raggedy/disheveled/unkempt. It means that The People will come and take your kids from you. It means that some teacher or social worker at the school will assume that your home is a dangerous place and call DCFS on you.
Even if your kid has done nothing but played hard on the playground before class. Even if you have to leave CRAZY early for work (or not get in from your night job until the kids are gone) and don’t have time to do a Body/Wardrobe check before they leave for school.
Our kids can’t have shoes that are too small or pants that too short or skirts with a loose hem. That could mean you will lose your kids if some person of the System decides that what they thought about your Black Mothering (oh, that is ALWAYS called into question) is true.
This is why we scrub our children almost raw in the tub, comb and brush and hot comb our girls’ hair into reluctant submission and shop for clothes sometimes in lieu of paying the electric bill. This is why we slather our babies down with Vaseline because shiny= healthy and clean (slavery imprinted that on us).
Mothering While Black is living in constant fear and under constant judgment.
But…BUT: We’ve been trusted with White babies since we got here.
I remember being in the store once with kid #1 & he had chalk dust all over him (as they do when they are tiny), and some woman making a really nasty comment about “those people” that ended with her talking about someone should do something. Mind you, this was sidewalk chalk dust. What child with blue & pink stains on his otherwise clean shirt is endangered? Then again, when he was in 4th grade some woman tried to tell me I was too mean to him because I told him that if he forgot his gym shoes again he’d have to take the lost points. The minutiae of life is an excuse to police our parenting & people who think we’re overreacting should go look up some stats on which kids are taken into custody & how long they stay there vs which families are offered services & how long those services are accessible.
A few years ago I grasped why my mother insisted that I was always spotless, well groomed, and unnaturally fresh when I saw the notes in my file from my brush with social services, which noted that I was “clean and well adjusted.” Those notes were one of the reasons I was able to stay in my home with my mother during an incredibly stressful time. I shudder to think what would’ve happened if, before one of those visits I had went to play with my friends, fell off my bike as I was prone to do, burned myself attempting to curl my hair, been sullen, had unpermed hair, the list foes on and on and on.
It is unfair, and incredibly restricting to be denied the stages of childhood and adolescence where we are unconcerned with anything but out own joy in finding our limbs, in conquering the jungle gyms, skate parks and empty spaces of our youth. This is an example of the incredible and impossible standards we are held up against, another burden for our mothers to constantly curtail us, to ensure that we are protected against a world that will not allow us our humanity.
But my relationship with that reclamation does not come without a price.
Black women do not have the privilege of reclaiming the word slut without validating the historically entrenched idealology and recurring messages about what and who the Black Woman is.
Black women have worked tirelessly since the 19th century colored women’s clubs to rid society of the sexist/racist vernacular of slut,jezebel,hottentot,mammy,mule,sapphire so that may be able to build our sense of selves and redefine what women who look like us represent.
When white women reclaim the world slut, it is considered a revolutionary act. When women of color reclaims the word, the world shoots us a look as if we’ve finally admitted to the truth.
So I beg white feminists to understand that although we support your right to reclaim ‘Slut’ and wear whatever you choose,wherever you choose,and whenever you choose, we as women of color do not have the privilege and if we DO choose to reclaim the word it is not to be romanticized by white feminists or SlutWalk.
Our relationship with the word ‘Slut’ is a bumpy road, a road that is filled with hate,validation by a racist misogynistic society,and a struggle to maintain bodily integrity in a world that has done everything against us. That is a road that we as Black Women must choose to take, and ours alone, and if we choose not to, PLEASE respect that choice, and do not demand that reclamation onto us.
so apparently tumblr did something awesome and connected all our tumblr accounts to facebook. it’s not directly logged in to our facebook accounts but just in case deselect that shit under ‘blog settings’.
fcu kthat noise
ok, this explains a lot. Sometimes on my phone I try to operate certain menus/buttons here, & I something fucks up & I get kicked over to a facebook login page. Which is always spooky bc I DON’T HAVE A FACEBOOK ACCOUNT
JFC THE BOX WAS CHECKED OH MY GOD i almost had a heart attack
TW: State-sanctioned violence, militarization, murder, racism
According to a diplomatic cable published by WikiLeaks, U.S. troops willfully massacred an Iraqi family in the town of Ishaqi in 2006, handcuffing and then shooting 11 people in the head including a woman in her 70′s and five children ages five and under.
McClatchy is reporting that the soldiers then called in an air strike on the house to cover up evidence of the killings.
This account differs sharply from an official version of the 2006 incident, which indicated that coalition forces captured an al Qaeda in Iraq operative in the house, which was destroyed in a firefight. The WikiLeaks cable, however, corroborates accounts by Ishaqi townspeople and includes questions about the incident by Philip Alston, the U.N.’s special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions.
The cable is dated twelve days after the incident, which took place March 15, 2006. In it, Alston says that autopsies performed in Tikrit on bodies pulled from the wreckage of the farmhouse indicated that all of the dead had been handcuffed and shot in the head.
If true, this action, although not as egregious as the My Lai massacre of March 16, 1968, wherein 347-504 unarmed civilians were shot to death by U.S. forces during the Vietnam conflict, still speaks volumes about war and the atrocities committed for war’s sake.
Read the original article (warning: graphic images)
Oh my God.
And people ask why I don’t believe in military?
just because *I*, one single solitary person of color who identifies as chicana and mestiza (thus indicating my mixedness) finds it necessary to understand and negotiate a certain type of whiteness—THAT DOES NOT MEAN ALL PEOPLE OF COLOR DO.
1. NO, WHITE FOLKS. YOU DO NOT GET TO USE MY WORDS AGAINST OTHER PEOPLE OF COLOR FOR ANY REASON EVER. that extends to ALL VARIATIONS OF: “but we should pay more attention to class, cuz see! it extends across all races!” and “hm. i don’t know why YOU have to be so unruly when OTHER people of color can work with us just fine!”
2. I’m not willing talk to ALL white people. My very specific organizing strategy involves poor white folks. poor white folks who reach out to me in good faith i reserve the right to talk to and open up further communication with. all others? naw. As much as I don’t particularly appreciate “calling people out” as an organizing strategy? any post I’ve made about “cracker” and “poor white folks” needs to be recognize as a call out of middle/upper class gentility (ie. classism) and white supremacy.
yeah, if anyone misconstrued the previous post about cracker as in any way criticizing people of color’s use of that word, you’re all kinds of wrong
it’s criticizing white people’s use of ‘cracker’ against poorer white people, and ONLY that case
Demilitarizing the hood.
Not using fucking flash grenades and paramilitary tactics in our neighborhoods. Not fucking RAIDING people’s neighborhoods because they’re here w/o bullshit paperwork. Not RAIDING people’s neighborhoods because the only jobs left are selling drugs to white suburbanites. Stop DUMPING TOXINS in our gulf, air, food, all over the reservations you stuck people on. Let Indians prosecute non-Indians for rape committed on their land against their communities.
Other great preventative treatments: Not doing strip searches. Not doing cavity searches. Not stopping and frisking.
You could pay to train more mental health professionals to provide assembly-line therapy… or you could fucking get rid of people’s debt so we can LIVE and heal ourselves.
We need rest. We need sleep. We need food. We need our families.
We need time between the violence inflicted on us. Right now there’s none. It’s constant. A cop is always ready to shoot. People are always hungry. Constant exposure to violence and nothing but work work work workworkwork just to die sooner after living with a broken mind, body, spirit…
And y’all still wonder why we’re angry?
i have ptsd because of raids. literally. so fuck yes to everything here in this and more.
I’ve been reading all of the talk around 50 Shades of Grey, & noting how often developing a BDSM relationshionship in romantica/erotica is written as though sex comes before trust & then running into convos on & offline that center around the idea that kink is something white women do. That being sex positive is a movement that requires you to discuss your sex life with all & sundry & be white to boot or you’re a problem & not a person. Somehow the fact that WOC not only have kinky sex, but enjoy it is a hard concept for some folks to grasp. And things get more complicated when you factor in our high rates of sexual assault, violence, & cultural norms that mean our sexuality is often something we share with partners but not with the public for our own safety. WOC can figure as props in the sexual fantasies of others, but people seem to think that we don’t deserve any agency over ourselves for our own pleasure. And that makes conversations about sex in general & kink in specific really hard to have, especially when it comes to kink, how WOC may choose to engage in it & whether or not we utilize the same spaces for connections as white people. Our voices are erased from so many media outlets (see the casual moments of racism in 50 Shades of Grey and how little has been said about that), and what we speak of when we do speak to each other is often not for public consumption. But not talking to or for outsiders isn’t the same as not talking at all.
So, let’s talk about what it means to stand at the corner of Madonna/Whore as Mammy/Jezebel & how that impacts our expressions of our sexuality. Let’s talk about why sites like Fetlife being underpopulated with WOC doesn’t mean WOC aren’t interested in kink. And let’s talk about what a cultural history of being unrapeable legally might do to the idea of sexual freedom. If we’re seen as whores from birth regardless, what do we do to own our sexuality? How do we navigate kink in our minds & with our bodies? How do we find partners & what do we disclose & when? For those of us in kinky relationships, what does it mean to play? Do we attend munches/classes/parties? Are those environments safe for us? And what about things like race play, how do we reconcile ourselves to that if it is or isn’t part of our kink?
What’s that? No honey, the fact that the okimâwastotin (that headdress worn by clueless hipster girls all the time) is generally reserved for males in Plains cultures is not sexist or patriarchal. You can stop trying to ‘save us from sexism’ thanks.
In fact, we were centuries ahead of you in the gender equality department. There are of course a great diversity of socio-political traditions in our various nations, but one thing comes through loud and clear…our women held positions of power. Not merely over hearth and home, but politically as well. In some nations, women run the roost, and this without denigrating or subjugating men (in case you were worried).
Centuries of racist and sexist interference by European powers has taken its toll. We do indeed face sexism in our communities, to an extent unthinkable before Contact. It is sadly the case that the oppressed often internalise their oppressor, and the oppressor for us has always been racist, and sexist.
To combat this, we look to our traditions, which are egalitarian. Where men and women are respected and venerated. We do not fumble towards equality as sameness, as so many settler feminists insist we should (in our context only, as they often recognise this is a ridiculous approach otherwise). We revive equity. We acknowledge different gender roles, and recognise that the female is not subservient in our cultures.
When we discuss ‘women’s power’ and ‘women’s roles’, you hear echoes of your history. But your history is not ours. Our history speaks proudly of the strength of our women and our men. Gender roles were not created in our societies to elevate men and turn women into chattel.
You settler women have much to overcome. Your history is fraught with inequality and abuses. I am sorry that you come from such twisted traditions.
Do not attempt to transplant your historical circumstances into our Nations. You have no idea what the headdress means in our cultures. To claim that the restrictions on who can wear it are ‘sexist’ merely highlights this ignorance…your inability to see outside your own cultural norms, outside your own sad, sexist cultural history.
Colonisers always believe they have the right to define reality, particularly for those they have colonised. What kind of feminist are you, when you take part in these inequalities of power, and proclaim for us the meaning of our own symbols and traditions?
In case you’re not sure, it makes you a racist feminist.
Thank you for that. Good stuff, and it corroborates what I learned when I was studying Wudang from a Lakota martial arts teacher in Long Island (I know, a Chinese guy learning kung fu from a Native teacher sounds funny, but these things happen; he had spent years studying with a distinguished teacher in China, so I wanted to learn from him and I also got some Lakota education as a bonus).
People who have been reading me for a while are already familiar with this but for the new folks, I wrote a few years ago about the Haudenosaunee origins of (white) US feminism:
Haudenosaunee women led lives that must have shocked and confused many of their European American contemporaries, who often found themselves trapped in isolated lives of drudgery and servitude. […] Haudenosaunee women enjoyed tremendous stature in their society. They were leaders of their extended clans. They farmed their own fields in communal groups. […] They were guaranteed custody over all their children and owned everything in their homes except for their husband’s weapons, horse, and sacred implements; even when a husband brought home game from the hunt, it became the woman’s possession; she decided how to dispense it and she collected the money from the hide. Haudenosaunee women appointed male chiefs to manage the state, and if a chief did not properly serve his people, women could vote to impeach him and remove him from office. […]
Lucretia Mott, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Matilda Joslyn Gage — three of the principal architects of 19th century US feminism — all had personal contacts with Haudenosaunee women. Indeed, Lucretia Mott, a key organizer of the historic convention [at Seneca Falls], actually spent time in the Seneca community of Cattaraugus in June of 1848, one month before the convention. There, she saw women leading spiritual ceremonies, and she watched women exercising equal power in political discussion and decision-making as the Seneca nation ratified changes to its governmental structure.
and it’s my personal opinion that “judging somebody by their skin color (or sexuality, gender, etc)” is…shitty, but whatever. WHO CARES. if you look at me and see a breeding animal or a invading cockroach? I don’t really all that much give a shit.
what I *DO* give a shit about is you USING THAT JUDGEMENT TO DENY ME RESOURCES, LIFE, SAFETY, AND/OR HAPPINESS.
so even if every single person of color ever in the entire world thinks JUDGE ALL WHITE PEOPLE BY THEIR SKIN COLOR—until those judging people of color start denying white people voting writes, quality food, clean water, warm houses, jobs to buy all this with, AND they start building coal burning plants in their neighborhoods, shooting their children in the backs, arresting them protesting for educations, etc etc etc etc???? UNTIL THAT TIME HAPPENS—
white folks need to sit down and contemplate “racism” and “white supremacy” in a way that extends beyond quoting dictionaries.
it’s not my favorite word in the world. and i don’t choose to make it a part of my political paradigm. why? because the situation i live in positions me between the poor white, poor mexican and poor black communities. and for MY survival, i need to spend a lot of time working to understand the relationship between poor people and that includes whites. so it’s not useful to MY survival to use the word cracker.
i’m tired of seeing white folks insisting that cracker is being racist. it’s not. and just because using that word it’s not useful to MY survival? doesn’t mean the use of the word cracker doesn’t keep some other person of color alive. that they *need* that word for THEIR survival. it’s called flipping the script. keeping your white supremacist bullshit out of our bodies by naming you for what you are.
it’s not a racist word. people of color who use that word are not racist. WHITE PEOPLE WHO USE THE WORD ARE BEING CLASSIST. “cracker” and white trash, red neck, hill billy, etc, whatever their original origins are, are used *specifically* by upper class whites to justify resource hoarding. THAT is where power plays out in the use of that word. people of color are NOT calling people crackers as a way to keep resources within communities of color. They use it to flip the script—fuck, they even may be using it to be hurtful assholes.
but it’s UPPER CLASS WHITES who use those words *specifically* to designate SOME white people as deserving of resources—and others are just a bunch of low class crackers who (according to them) deserve to go hungry, live in houses with no heating, etc.
so white folks need to shut up about how “cracker” is racist and people of color who use it are being “just as bad” as white folks who use the N word.
My critiques of using a “racism” paradigm rather than a “white supremacy” paradigm not withstanding, you only have to ask WHERE DOES THE POWER PLAY OUT WHEN DIFFERENT COMMUNITIES USE THAT WORD to know that the “reverse racism” white folks are full of shit.
And those middle class/upper class white folks who are rebelling at being called crackers need to especially sit down and think through why that class based term that IS USED BY YOUR FOLK TO DENY PEOPLE RESOURCES is too offensive for you to be labeled with.
Only five days left to support youth media makers in Detroit! THey need to hit $5,000—they’ve already raised $1,485!
I know tumblr can help with this. $5000 IS NOT A THING ON TUMBLR Y’ALL!!!!!
Hey tumblr, check this out! 4k in five days should be easy for the internet.
I’m pushing this fundraiser by youth media makers in Detroit so hard for multiple reasons. Probably the biggest reason is because it is entirely youth led, youth run, youth organized. And those youth are creating media from multiple perspectives. Food justice, environmental justice, digital justice, transportation justice all dominate the perspectives that they’re creating, along with just good old fashioned fun.
And this is important. *Extremely* important. Not just because of the justice perspective—but I need you to ask yourself something. What do you think about when you think about Detroit?
Having done workshops and known a lot of people who’ve done workshops that start off asking this question—and hell, just reading the Detroit tag on tumblr—the majority of responses sound something along the lines of:
burned out houses
and on and on and on. Every once in a while, some people will mention the gardens and a few people will mention music. but 90% of the responses fall into the “dead dying” category.
What does this mean for Detroiters in general and Detroit youth specifically? It means that already marginalized communities (not the hipsters in midtown or corktown, but the generational detroiters in SW or 48217) are further marginalized. Why? because when something is dead or dying—do you give it resources?
or, as current mayor bing has decided—if the only parts of the city that are “viable” (i.e. “alive”) are the places where hipsters and young professionals are settling, do you give “dead” parts of the city resources? or do you redirect all the resources into the “viable” areas are?
this are not questions you’re meant to think through. you’re meant to see what is happening in Detroit. you’re meant to see that because of the ruin porn that gets reblogged endlessly on tumblr, people really DO stop and think through these questions. they assume that any neighborhood that looks like what they see on tumblr *needs* to be shut down. it only makes *sense*. why would you put resources into burned out destroyed dead communities?
or—more specifically, why do you put resources into a *black* city?
these youth—they aren’t focusing on showing that Detroit really is a good place (that’s the realm of the hipsters)—they’re instead working to build a new world. And the media they create *documents* that process. and through their documentation, they’re creating new narratives about Detroit. Detroit is where liberation isn’t just dreamed—it’s where liberation *happens*.
it says something to me that ruin porn of Detroit can get thousands and thousands and thousands of likes on tumblr, but youth that are doing such amazing work need to be contextualized so that people understand exactly how significant their work really is.
but i’m not really even bitter about that. it’s just a part of the work i need to do as an adult ally.
and now you can do it too. support this campaign in anyway you can. reblogs, donations—even just shifting how you understand detroit will help. asking your friend to pause and really think through what he’s saying when he says something like “detroit is such a [insert bad thing].” Do it so that eventually there comes a time when Detroit youth need help with their work and there are no explanations at all needed.
Everybody just helps however they can, no questions asked. because they know to do so means to be creating justice.
Oh, PS—did I mention that any donation will be doubled??? so that teeny donation that you think is so insignificant it’s not worth it—will actually be doubled???
EVERY LITTLE BIT TRULY DOES HELP!!!!!
…thirty new dwarves just arrived at my fortress. THIRTY. I only had thirteen until just now.
- me: omfg ily i swear we're like long lost twins or something your blog is my life
- me: also what is your name