On Graffiti, Women of Color Writers, & Yarn Bombing
Anonymous asked: what do you have against yarn bombing?
I’m p. sure I’ve briefly discussed this topic before. I’ll check if i tagged the original text and repost, but essentially my disdain with yarn graffiti is that it is a phenomena whose origins are an exercise in privilege. White feminists used yarn bombing as a way to ‘counter male-dominated realms of street art and graffiti’ (see here, here, here, here, here and here.) and forcefully insert themselves into a subculture made up of poor people of color, primarily black and latino youth.
The lumping of graffiti and street art alone raises red flags as it fails to acknowledge how the emergence of street art has negatively impacted women writers of color. While I don’t want to get into an in-depth discussion between graffiti and street art (because it is a ton to delve into), we must note two important and relevant distinctions which separate these realms—race and class. Graffiti (graffiti as an element of hip hop and not solely the act of writing on surfaces w/o permission) has always been an art attributed to kids of color from a lower socio-ecomomic background and is for the most part looked down upon as vandalism. While ‘street art,’ a relatively new art-form, has long maintained a white middle class majority artists as well patrons and is considered a legitimate art which has gained prominence as well as commercial succe$$.
Now, white feminists ignore these important distinctions and offer yarn graffiti as an alternative w/o understanding that although sexism is a problem that persists the graffiti world, we cannot ignore the problems of racism and classism that are contributed by these co-optive side-graffiti arts which both street art and yarn graffiti can be included in.
If there is going to be a change that challenges these issues it should be done from the bottom up. Women of color exist in the graffiti world. It is insulting that these feminists believe they’re solving our problems as women when they have no idea what it is to be a woman writer at the bottom of the graffiti hierarchy, especially when their solution is one that will never be criminalized/looked down upon but instead be seen as cute and edgy but most importantly an art that will be welcomed by mainstream culture.
in the end, yarn graffiti is simply yarn art made by probably racist women (first yarn art was attributed to a group who went by the name ofknittaplease—that name is questionable AF) who got bored and thought just because they liked a life that was foreign to them they would create a graffiti offshoot to cater a need of belonging while at the same time writing off women of color who have long participated and fought against misogynistic attitudes in graff culture.
It ain’t cool, and I ain’t down with it. Sorry for the long response, but i hope this answers your question.
"I believe that Gun Appreciation Day honors the legacy of Dr. King. The truth is, I think Martin Luther King would agree with me if he were alive today that if African Americans had been given the right to keep and bear arms from day one of the country’s founding, perhaps slavery might not have been a chapter in our history. And I believe wholeheartedly that’s essential to liberty."
…if African Americans had been given the right to keep and bear arms from day one of the country’s founding…there would be no country.
Who would’ve built it? Pasty white people burning up in the sun and skin-cancering themselves trying to raise crops and make money with absolutely no suitable agricultural skills whatsoever?
That, or there would be no white people. What, you think you can just forcibly take millions of people from their homeland in chains, bring them to some new place, tell them to make you a bunch of money, give them a gun, and they’re just gonna set it to the side and harvest your rice and indigo?
I’m sorry, where they do that at?
And let’s not forget how the NRA promoted gun control back in the 1960s when there were too many angry Black Panthers and white people got scared of colored folks with weapons.
So no, Mr. Ward, you don’t get to tie the plight of my forefathers in with your need to feel manly and powerful in a world where your importance diminishes by the hour. You take those issues up with your therapist and Viagra. I am not here to help you get your rocks off.
“Stay Away From My Elves”: Racism in Epic Fantasy Fandoms-Damned if you Do, Damned if You Don’t.
Like I said before, I think adding poc into things JUST for the purpose of inclusion is just as bad. But I don’t think adding them in to a fantasy story that has been around for decades with a very strong and dedicated following is the right way to do it. This isn’t about racism, this is about fucking with my fandom.
Stay away from my elves.
I’m all for being happy that a black person wrote a fantasy book with black protagonists, just as themselves, largely (though not entirely) away from any color related power struggles, letting them exist on their own merit and showing the obvious fact that fantasy characters don’t all have to be pale.
It would be nice if the responses weren’t “FUCK YEAR! FINALLY A BOOK FOR US! TAKE THAT YOU HORRIBLE, BORING WHITEYS”.
However I do fail to see how ‘race isn’t a conflict’ as someone (I think) mentioned above, when it’s really just about black supremacy, not white supremacy. BUT HEY DON’T MIND ME. I prefer not to read fantasy with an agenda, even if it’s in my favor.
I’ll reserve my adulation for a black writer who is above being racist entirely. I do not withhold judgment based on skin color.
You know, I kinda have a problem with this, as well. I’m white, but one thing I’ve made a major point in my life is to never see skin color. If you had told me this book was part of a wonderful fantasy series that would have been fine. If you had told me the protagonists were people of color and the antagonists where white: still fine. But you had to drive home the thought that it’s so superior just for those reasons, and that’s unsettling.
I mean seriously, you SJS Skidmarks whine and bitch about how authors don’t include enough “non-white” characters in their books. Then when an author DOES do so, you whine and bitch because they aren’t the star or the main character. And when an author makes one a pretty important character you complain about THAT.
Seriously, kindly write “racist” on a club and beat yourself to death with it. It’s what you want, anyways, but no one would likely care enough to humor you. You can make the club any color you want, though I think we can all guess what color it’d be. Funny thing is, regardless of that? It’d still be stupid and incredibly ironic.
“Naturally Thresh would be a black man,” tweeted someone who called herself @lovelyplease.
“I was pumped about the Hunger Games. Until I learned that a black girl was playing Rue,” wrote @JohnnyKnoxIV.
“Why is Rue a little black girl?” @FrankeeFresh demanded to know. (she appended her tweet with the hashtag admonishment #sticktothebookDUDE.)
“Awkward moment when Rue is some black girl and not the little blonde innocent girl you picture,”@sw4q
“Kk call me racist but when I found out rue was black her death wasn’t as sad,” wrote @JashperParas
But wait! Let’s not forget the Fan-made movie that was uploaded and waddled its way around the internet well before the ACTUAL film came out, which has OVER 3 MILLION VIEWS AND FEATURES A BLONDE, WHITE RUE, AS WELL AS DOZENS OF COMMENTS REGARDING HOW MUCH “BETTER” IT IS THAN THE ACTUAL HOLLYWOOD MOVIE
According to the filmmaker:
I know that Rue is described as being dark skinned in the book, but I wanted to show Savanna’s acting. I think she would make a good Prim though.
Everytime I watch this, I always think it was so much better than the movie. This vid is just epic. It captures the whole feeling of the book. It’s realistic, and for that reason it’s completely awesome.
I frankly, ya’ll, find it hard to get through every January cause I know all the phony stuff I’m going to have to listen to about Dr. Martin Luther King because the powers that be in this country have totally distorted what that man was, they’ve put him on a pedestal you see, he looks like a dreamer. He wasn’t a dreamer he was a revolutionary!
I may not know a lot but I know something about white folks cause I been one for 80 years. And I know that us white folks, we will do anything in the world rather than face the truth about what racism, and I prefer to call it white supremacy which is what it is, has done to us and to the country. But this is a very comfortable image, of the little black and white children walking the red hills of Georgia together. Well of course you’d like to have that happen but it takes more than that right? It’s very different from what he was saying in his Riverside church speech when he said, among other things- “true compassion is more than flinging coins to a beggar. True compassion recognizes that a society that creates beggars needs to be totally restructured."
When a White person uses MLK’s words to promote White supremacy, I have to go back and find this quote to calm down.
Listen hear white folks (and yes, I mean ALL of you),
There’s no sense in getting offended when we (Black people/oppressed people of color) don’t listen to your opinions. You’ve not experienced more than an ounce of what we’ve gone through under the hands of your oppressive bull shit (I’m talking currently, not slavery so I don’t want to hear any of that “can we be blamed for what our ancestors did” shit). Yes, you’re allowed to have opinions, EVERYONE is allowed opinions, however, we’re also allowed to not give a shit about your opinions, which most of us don’t. No, it is not reverse racism- no it’s not mud-slinging- no it’s not hate mongering- it is merely not giving any fucks about what you have to say UNTIL you ACTUALLY give a fuck about what we’ve been telling you for YEARS.
There is no malice in this message but you may sense a since of anger. If you have a problem with my angry tone then you can simply shut the fuck up cause I don’t care— you will not be heard because CLEARLY you did not listen to me.
That is all, for now.
Yup. That sounds about right.
“EVERYONE is allowed opinions, however, we’re also allowed to not give a shit about your opinions”
- White person: *says something racist*
- Anti-SJ: "I do not agree with what you have to say, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it."
- Person of color: *sigh* white people...
- Anti-SJ: Whoa! Wtf is with these angry 'social justice bloggers' being racist towards white people!? Shut up!
That image genuinely made me flinch in fear.
[TW: Lynching, Violence] “A Sight That Every White Person in the World Should be Able to See.”
“Brutally and dehumanizingly faced with death, I understood what it meant to be a black man in America. With the noose around my neck and death in my brains, I waited for the end…”*GRAPHIC EXPLICIT PHOTO OF MEN LYNCHED UNDER THIS LINK | DO NOT CLICK IF YOU DO NOT WISH TO SEE*
^The lynching of Thomas Shipp and Abram Smith. 2 Hang, but there was meant to be a 3rd.
I could hear the mob tramping up the jail stairs. In another moment, they would be at the door of my cell block. They would open the door, walk inside, and all hell would break out. Time was running out for me. Outside the door, the corridor was fast becoming jammed with violent men, ruthless men, black-people-hating white men. The leaders held back until they quieted down. The men carried ropes, shotguns, knives, clubs, swords, and rifles. One of the men held a submachine gun in the cradle of his arm. He acted like he knew how to use it. He was a big, burly, bushy-haired man with cold-looking gray eyes, glassy-looking, like he was high on some kind of a “fix.” It was frightening to look at him.
The men gathered around the door of my cell block They were the elite group of black intimidators. Their act now was to complete the path of destruction, death, and tyranny. While they were deciding on the kill, I closed my eyes for a moment to will my disappearance. I opened them again when I heard the eerie jangling of keys on the key ring. I was still in the cell block. There was no time to hide. There was no place to hide. Events happened so fast there was not even time to pray.
- PoC: white people benefit from a long and bloody history of colonialism, where PoC, and their native lands, are always exploited for their labor and resources.
- White people: its human nature.
- PoC: racism affects us today - years after our ancestors first paid the price for not adhering, or appealing, to whiteness - because our oppression is both ignored by public officials and cosigned by society at-large when the victims are to blame, where every time someone shows statistics that back up the fact that PoC are the targets (especially black people of color), they are told they are being racist for refusing to be 'color-blind' on an issue where shadeism is the problem.
- White people: it's human nature.
- PoC: PoC are told they are responsible for their own futures, and get no sympathy when their lives lead them to a life of crime as a means of survival in a world where they are not meant to survive, whereas their white counterparts are 'victims of circumstances' themselves, glorified and sympathized with beyond measure when - often times - their reasoning was "they just felt like it,"
- White people: it's human nature.
- PoC: White people will never understand, in complete detail, the complications behind things like racism, especially when things like instersectionality are still far beyond their own reach.
- White people: WHAT?!?!? THAT'S RACIST!!!
- PoC: White people would rather PoC refuse to confront them about their racist actions and words, because it threatens their own bloated opinion of themselves, where they are not the great white saviors they imagined themselves to be; where PoC must consider the feelings of those who'd harm them, and put the feelings of their oppressors before their own, because what's done - even if it was only a few minutes ago, and is still affecting a PoC, or their family, to this day - is done, but how the future of the oppressor is valued dictates a victims worth. We're told to be the bigger person, to stray from violence, even when we are, very literally, being assaulted and/or threatened.
- White people: Well...
- PoC: ?
- White people: it's human nature.
Students aged 13 and 14 were given imaginary tools including manacles, whips, thumb screws, iron brands, muskets and barracoons, and asked to devise a Dragon’s Den-style (a reality TV show known as Shark Tank in the US) business proposal for the capture and enslavement of African people. Lesson materials included direction on how to carry out a “slave raid” and manipulate “African Chiefs” through bribes and lacing them with alcohol. Perhaps the most debased suggestions were that the “best” aspect of being a slave trader was having “an affair with a beautiful African girl,” and that adult male “mixed race” offspring could be sent to Africa to “run the slave business” while his white father sailed to America.
Teaching the history of enslavement via a business plan model serves to erase violence, oppression and numerous traumatic events such as the systematic rape of black girls and women. The teacher/s involved in this particular lesson plan saw nothing inappropriate or offensive about their methods. Yet, it would be hard to imagine that these same individuals would sanction a history class on the Holocaust that required students to figure out how to exterminate Jewish people. But black genocide is somehow different, less painful, less abhorrent, and thus vulnerable to trivialization. In 1986, Susan Rice (presently the subject of unjust Republican opposition to her potential nomination for the position of Secretary of State) argued that:
The greatest evil in omitting or misrepresenting Black history, literature, and culture in elementary or secondary education is the unmistakable message it sends to the black child. The message is ‘your history, your culture, your language and your literature are insignificant. And so are you.’
The implicit message of this particular history lesson was not lost on one 13 year old black girl, who in a state of distress complained to her mother about the humiliation she felt during the class. The mother soon after met with two teachers who refused to acknowledge the harm caused to her daughter, and instead sought to justify the innovative approach of the class. They, and later a third teacher, argued that the class emphasized how the slave trade was largely “divorced from moral and social issues”, and that it had been taught for three years without objection.
wait wait wait
hold it right there
this is a perfect example of how color-blind racism is steeped in anti-Blackness.
they won’t teach the Holocaust the same way, but they will teach American chattel slavery in this manner.
they are human, so it’s a morality issue, but we are not, so no1curr.
Genocide as a murder game for children to learn business.
Because, that is how little all that death and suffering matter to these people. And I wonder if ANY, ANY, ANY other student or parent was concerned in the least.
White people always imagine hate means you have to work up anger and fixation - that it requires the energy of being upset, when in fact, their hate is that of the act of sociopathy - no feeling, the violence against POC, and Black people especially, is as normal and casual as tossing a tissue paper in the trash.
This is straight up white sociopathy
I’ve been so wrong
Fuck this talk about society making you racist
Something is straight up wrong with your DNA
Annoying Things White People Do in Racial Arguments.
They NEED to be validated at every twist and turn. They need you to let them know how open and accepting and good and not-racist they are. If every comment out of your mouth is not validating their existence as a Good Not-Racist Ally, they will derail until the cows come home and build a tent in your living room.
If we argued the way white people wanted, a racial essay would look much like this:
“I really hate white people, but only sometimes and only the really bad intentionally racist ones, which not all white people are. When I go into a store, the white security guards follow me around because I am black, but let’s not forget that not every white guard does this and that many white guards are amazing people who are great and completely not-racist at their jobs. Once, I joined a conversation with some white feminists, and when I brought up the issue of racism in feminism, they told me I was being a bad feminist for not supporting them. Those feminists were especially bad, there are many good feminists who support black feminists, so let’s take a few moments to sing a hymn to their praises. My brother got arrested and beaten for jaywalking, and the cops who did it got away with it, but remember that white cops are vital to our survival and they take care of us when we can’t or are too afraid to. I saw a white hipster wearing a Native headdress and an offensive logo on their shirt, and even though it was wrong, they probably didn’t mean it or know, and not all hipsters are insensitive like this. I was discussing my native language, which is Japanese, and someone kept asking me to say things in “Chinese”. I felt terrible because this happens a lot and is extremely dismissive of who I am. However, Japan and China are really far from America, and both languages aren’t very popular in this country, so I understand that the white person was probably confused and didn’t mean to continuously insult me, and of course, many white people know the difference and try to learn about my culture. Racism is perpetrated by white people, but a lot of white people hate that and try to fight with us even when they get it wrong. At least they’re trying.”
Perhaps seeing it written this plainly will help some people realize why this is problematic.
[Reblog because there’s a word-for-word repost floating around with no credit]
How shit goes down (and why I hate white people)
- Me: White people, man. White people.
- Co-Worker: What are you talking about, you're white.
- Me: I'm not white.
- Co-Worker: So then what colour are you? You're not black!
- Me: I'm Asian. I'm Chinese.
- Co-Worker: But what colour are you? You're not black, you must be white.
- Me: I'm Chinese.
- Co-Worker: But what colour is that?
- Me: In a classical Imperialist view, I'd be "Yellow" but that has obvious negative connotations, if we follow the thinking of the Golden Mongol Party For Self Defence, I'd use the term "Golden"
- Co-Worker: You have put too much thought into this
- Me: White people, man. White people.
Child kicked out of class because she smelt like “curry and spices” and made the teacher feel sick.
Jaswinder Paul, said his 13-year-old daughter, who is of Indian-Maori descent, was asked on Friday to move to another classroom because the teacher felt sickened by her.
That teacher should be kicked out cause the smell of racism makes me sick.