“The only reason white people think being called a ‘white person’ is racist, or harmful or wrong is because they are used to the privilege of just being seen as a ‘person’ without their race or color being an issue for them. You see, when you call them ‘white,’ suddenly, they are not just a person, but now they have a color. Suddenly, they are no better than a PoC. And that scares the shit out of them.”
I don’t think any person, race, religion, sex, or culture likes to be stereotyped. I hate being called “the white girl” just as much as I hate being called the “girl with big boobs” because that’s not my name. Each person should be able to and have the right to be an individual and not be grouped in or stereotyped. Unfortunately, there are people OF ALL COLOR that still see color, and this post kind of proves that to me, in my opinion.
Only a white person can say such a thing. I AM black. I don’t mind being seen as black. What I mind is all the WRONG assumptions that come along with my being seen as black. So, RESPECT my color; don’t use it as a reason to oppress me. And don’t try to erase me: Colorblindness is a serious problem:
Racial issues are often uncomfortable to discuss and rife with stress and controversy. Many ideas have been advanced to address this sore spot in the American psyche. Currently, the most pervasive approach is known as colorblindness. Colorblindness is the racial ideology that posits the best way to end discrimination is by treating individuals as equally as possible, without regard to race, culture, or ethnicity.
At its face value, colorblindness seems like a good thing — really taking MLK seriously on his call to judge people on the content of their character rather than the color of their skin. It focuses on commonalities between people, such as their shared humanity. However, colorblindness alone is not sufficient to heal racial wounds on a national or personal level. It is only a half-measure that in the end operates as a form of racism.
Problems with the colorblind approach
Racism? Strong words, yes, but let’s look the issue straight in its partially unseeing eye. In a colorblind society, White people, who are unlikely to experience disadvantages due to race, can effectively ignore racism in American life, justify the current social order, and feel more comfortable with their relatively privileged standing in society (Fryberg, 2010). Most minorities, however, who regularly encounter difficulties due to race, experience colorblind ideologies quite differently. Colorblindness creates a society that denies their negative racial experiences, rejects their cultural heritage, and invalidates their unique perspectives.
Let’s break it down into simple terms: Color-Blind = “People of color — we don’t see you (at least not that bad ‘colored’ part).” As a person of color, I like who I am, and I don’t want any aspect of that to be unseen or invisible. The need for colorblindness implies there is something shameful about the way God made me and the culture I was born into that we shouldn’t talk about. Thus, colorblindness has helped make race into a taboo topic that polite people cannot openly discuss. And if you can’t talk about it, you can’t understand it, much less fix the racial problems that plague our society.
Colorblindness is not the answer
If you can’t see it, you can’t fix it.
Many Americans view colorblindness as helpful to people of color by asserting that race does not matter (Tarca, 2005). But in America, most underrepresented minorities will explain that race does matter, as it affects opportunities, perceptions, income, and so much more. When race-related problems arise, colorblindness tends to individualize conflicts and shortcomings, rather than examining the larger picture with cultural differences, stereotypes, and values placed into context. Instead of resulting from an enlightened (albeit well-meaning) position, colorblindness comes from a lack of awareness of racial privilege conferred by Whiteness(Tarca, 2005). White people can guiltlessly subscribe to colorblindness because they are usually unaware of how race affects people of color and American society as a whole.
Colorblindness in a psychotherapeutic relationship
How might colorblindness cause harm? Here’s an example close to home for those of you who are psychologically-minded. In the not-so-distant past, in psychotherapy a client’s racial and ethnic remarks were viewed as a defensive shift away from important issues, and the therapist tended to interpret this as resistance (Comas-Diaz & Jacobsen, 1991). However, such an approach hinders the exploration of conflicts related to race, ethnicity, and culture. The therapist doesn’t see the whole picture, and the client is left frustrated.
A colorblind approach effectively does the same thing. Blind means not being able to see things. I don’t want to be blind. I want to see things clearly, even if they make me uncomfortable. As a therapist I need to be able to hear and “see” everything my client is communicating on many different levels. I can’t afford to be blind to anything. Would you want to see a surgeon who operated blindfolded? Of course not. Likewise, a therapist should not be blinded either, especially to something as critical as a person’s culture or racial identity. By encouraging the exploration of racial and cultural concepts, the therapist can provide a more authentic opportunity to understand and resolve the client’s problems (Comas-Diaz & Jacobsen, 1991).
Nonetheless, I have encountered many fellow therapists who ascribe to a colorblind philosophy. They ignore race or pretend its personal, social, and historical effects don’t exist. This approach ignores the incredibly salient experience of being stigmatized by society and represents an empathetic failure on the part of the therapist. Colorblindness does not foster equality or respect; it merely relieves the therapist of his or her obligation to address important racial differences and difficulties.
Multiculturalism is better than blindness
Research has shown that hearing colorblind messages predict negative outcomes among Whites, such as greater racial bias and negative affect; likewise colorblind messages cause stress in ethnic minorities, resulting in decreased cognitive performance (Holoien et al., 2011). Given how much is at stake, we can no longer afford to be blind. It’s time for change and growth. It’s time to see.
The alternative to colorblindness is multiculturalism, an ideology that acknowledges, highlights, and celebrates ethnoracial differences. It recognizes that each tradition has something valuable to offer. It is not afraid to see how others have suffered as a result of racial conflict or differences.
So, how do we become multicultural? The following suggestions would make a good start (McCabe, 2011):
Recognizing and valuing differences,
Teaching and learning about differences, and
Fostering personal friendships and organizational alliances
Moving from colorblindness to multiculturalism is a process of change, and change is never easy, but we can’t afford to stay the same.
Comas-Diaz, L., and Jacobsen, F. M. (1991). Clinical Ethnocultural Transference and Countertransference in the Therapeutic Dyad. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 61(3), 392-402.
Fryberg, S. M. (2010). When the World Is Colorblind, American Indians Are Invisible: A Diversity Science Approach. Psychological Inquiry, 21(2), 115-119.
Holoien, D. S., and Shelton, J. N. (October 2011). You deplete me: The cognitive costs of colorblindness on ethnic minorities. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 10.1016/j.jesp.2011.09.010.
McCabe, J. (2011). Doing Multiculturalism: An Interactionist Analysis of the Practices of a Multicultural Sorority. Journal of Contemporary Ethnography, 40 (5), 521-549.
Tarca, K. (2005). Colorblind in Control: The Risks of Resisting Difference Amid Demographic Change. Educational Studies, 38(2), 99-120.
The folks over at Comicbooked interviewed Greg Rucka where he discusses the treatment of women by Hollywood and DC Comics. Rucka’s discussion of Hollywood comes in reference to the development of his Queen and Country for the big screen. That discussion, as you’ll see, turns into a discussion of the comic book world. Rucka left DC Comics in 2010.
You should go click through to the whole interview and listen to the podcast this was taken from but here are some of the more provocative soundbites:
“There’s an absurd marketing issue which is this conceit that Hollywood labors under and they’ve got studies to back it up, that their market is men 18 to 34, and they won’t go see a woman in an action role, which is utter bulls**t. I mean, if you can think of any demographic that’s more likely to go see women in an action role it’s going to be a guy who’s eighteen! What’s the thing that eighteen-year-old is constantly thinking about? Girls. It’s absurd and the more you look into it, the more the fallacy falls apart….
….The same studies that these guys swear by—‘our demographic is men age 18 to 34, who drive purchasing’—well, alright. Those same studies say it’s women age 20 to 40 who control the income outlay. They control the pocketbook, so why aren’t you marketing to them? It doesn’t make any sense and it’s a fundamentally misogynistic market field and people wonder why we see such negative representations of women or the same consistent galling of women and objectification of women in media and you strip everything away and the only argument that remains is it’s a misogynistic industry—they don’t like women. And you see that all over comics now, too.
These things aren’t going away now and I think in large part the reason they’re not going away is that in particular DC did an extraordinary job of revealing the truth of their situation—they don’t care.
That’s what they said at San Diego—not only do we not care but we actually don’t want you here, go away. Well, guess what? That’s a sh***y business model and you’re going to lose money and you’re going to lose readers. It doesn’t make any sense to me from a business standpoint, right? I was lecturing at the University of Oregon yesterday and the only analog I can come up with is if Apple had said, ‘you know what? We’re only selling iPhones to blondes.’ It doesn’t make any sense—why would you just exclude a whole portion of your market? And the combination of arrogance and ignorance is appaling, and people should be angry. And the mere fact that the people who then actually spoke out about it who were threatened—talk about wanting to make ourselves look good. Nice endorsement for the industry, there.”
Put it on your Facebook wall, never to be deleted from your ever-growing and cluttered timeline.
Trayvon Martin is not an inkblot, the meaning of which is yours to interpret.
He is not a walking Rorschach, whom one is free to see however one wishes.
He was not put on this Earth to be deciphered by you, dissected by you, problematized by you, labeled by you, slandered by you, or shot by one who had done all those things to his seventeen-year old black body before you even knew his name.
He was a child. A child dearly loved by his parents and sibling. And the fact that he was black doesn’t complicate that. The fact that he wore a hoodie doesn’t complicate that. The fact that he had a tattoo, a partial gold grill on his teeth, and liked to play-act in front of a web cam from time to time, posing as a man, flashing cash and acting tough doesn’t complicate that either. It is the rare boy who doesn’t tough-pose in a mirror, making muscles for some imaginary admirer, or perhaps just for himself. But it is the rare child who, having done so, finds himself suddenly the recipient of so much contempt for his cold, lifeless body — a body whose now inanimate state has been blamed for that condition because of his swagger, his clothing, his minor disciplinary problems in school, anything so as to shift attention from the real issue; namely, that Trayvon Martin is dead because George Zimmerman decided to confront him. And George Zimmerman decided to confront him because he was black, and for no other reason.
That’s right: for no other reason. The fact that Martin, according to autopsy reports, had trace elementsof THC (the chemical found in marijuana) in his system means nothing. The amount of the compound was so minimal as to suggest that not only had Martin not likely smoked weed that day, but whatever he had smoked, whenever he’d smoked it, would not have been sufficient in quantity to have in any way affected his behavior the evening of his death. Which is to say that Zimmerman’s uneducated conjecture on that 9-1-1 call, to the effect that Martin looked like he was “on drugs” carries no weight whatsoever. All he was doing was walking, looking around as he did so, and talking on the phone to a girlfriend.
He wasn’t casing townhouses.
He wasn’t peeking in windows.
He wasn’t blazing up a blunt in the courtyard.
He wasn’t doing anything at all.
But being black. And male. And wearing a hoodie (in the rain, imagine).
And yes, I know: the autopsy report indicates Martin was shot at relatively close range (certainly less than a foot away given the stippling around the entrance wound in his chest), and Zimmerman’s wounds appear consistent with his claim that he shot Martin during a fight. And yes, at least one witness seems to confirm that Martin was, at one point prior to the shooting, on top of Zimmerman, punching him.
But is that all it takes for so many white folks to cavalierly dispatch with the otherwise inviolate right to life, which they would have extended (one hopes) even to Martin, prior to the release of that information? Does a black child, followed and confronted by an adult, have no right to be afraid of them? To fight back upon being accosted? To stand his ground? The claim that Zimmerman had given up on the pursuit of Martin and was returning to his vehicle when Martin blindsided him is corroborated by no one, was not believed by investigators on the scene, and is utterly discredited by Martin’s girlfriend, who heard the words exchanged between the two, and then the sound of shoving, 2-3 minutes after the end of Zimmerman’s 9-1-1 call. If one chooses to believe Zimmerman on this absurd point, it can only be because one finds the story so plausible based upon one’s own preconceived notions of black aggression, that the facts in evidence no longer matter.
Finally, does one have the right to kill a child, just because, having initiated all the drama to begin with, the first party suddenly finds himself not nearly as big and bad as he had long believed? Is getting one’s overly suspicious, meddling ass beaten a legitimate excuse for homicide?
Apparently so, if the victim is young, and black, and wearing a hoodie, and has a tattoo (even if it is a tattoo of his mother’s name), and a partial gold grill, and occasionally poses with macho swagger on a webcam, and has been known to smoke weed. Although none of these are officially listed as penalty enhancements within our nation’s justice system, let the word go out from this point forward that they have been elevated to virtual capital offense status on the streets, by a frightened, racially-anxious white public, always seeking to rationalize every death of black men, at the hands of cops, or just folks pretending to be cops.
i already assume every man trying to talk to me on the street is a rapist.
first of all, i’ve been told my many people (these creepers included) that i look mean when I’m walking alone, which is probably a subconscious defense mechanism, yet they try to talk to me anyway. i have earphones in, yet they try to talk to me anyway. they are obviously not worthy of me, yet they try to talk to me anyway.
i reject every single man that approaches me. every single one. yep that doesn’t work. i have a blank face on, that doesn’t work. i point to my earphones & shrug my shoulders, doesn’t work. say i have a boyfriend, doesn’t work. say I’m not interested, doesn’t work. yell at them, doesn’t work. say I’m a lesbian, doesn’t work. say I’m pregnant, doesn’t work. yell at them, DOESNT FUCKING WORK. my best bet is to either stop fucking existing or to move out of their vicinity. going through some variation of this routine just about everyday, tells me that my boundaries mean nothing. i mean nothing to these men. that as a woman, my desires, my needs are less important than their desire to do nothing more than bother me, to essentially tell me that I don’t belong in public space & maybe this may even be their attempt to “get to know me”, “become friends with me”, have consensual sex with me, or rape me. They have absolutely no chance to be friends with me or to start a relationship with me so I’m going to have to assume that they are rapists. Does it make me paranoid as fuck? Yes. But honestly, if you’re cool with flippantly disregarding & crossing my boundaries like that, YOU ARE either a rapist, potential rapist or a rapist in waiting.
& y’all have to pick one: you’re either gonna victim blame everyday until you die and continue to tell us that our biggest fear in life should be being raped or you’re going to stop being mad at womyn for protecting ourselves. For not going out at night because we’re afraid we’ll be raped. For not talking to you cuz we’re afraid you could be a rapist. For carrying pepper spray or a taser cuz we’re afraid we might meet a rapist.
& To the men who holler: “Not all men are like that!!, Don’t judge me by my gender or by what my other men do.” I have to judge you as all the same. & that’s my right. In my eyes, until i know for a FACT that you aren’t a rapist or a potential rapist, I’m keeping my distance & I’m judging you. Rape is supposed to be YALLS issue, since y’all keep raping people. But its my job to keep myself safe & I can’t do that worrying about YOUR feelings about being grouped together & judged. Don’t waste energy telling me “we’re not all like that”, talk to your fellow man, guaranteed one of them IS indeed a rapist.
fucking this. my blank face is a bitch face coz my mouth turns downward naturally and my eyebrows are also naturally really arched. but i still put on a mean mug on top of it and you think that shit works? they still harrass me. all i get is even more dickbags tellin me to fucking “smile” for them. and having a kid w you DOESNT WORK EITHER. these motherfuckers out here yellin obscene shit as you push a fuckin carriage and shit.
if anything i feel like they think a kid makes you more vulnerable. like “heres some desperate ass prey”, and when they size you both up like youre a fucking happy meal that comes w a toy….. *shudders*
I’ve reached the point where I try to avoid walking around alone. Which…I have so many feelings about not being able to walk around alone whenever I feel like it, because men will feel free to say awful shit to me & bystanders will not only let them do it without censure, sometimes they look at me like it’s my fault I went outside in my body. I don’t give a fuck what strange men who don’t have to live with this shit think of how I interact with them. You don’t care enough to stop your boys from doing this shit to women every day & I don’t care how I hurt your feelings by telling you to go straight to hell.
“You’ve never seen my silky-smooth, pendulous, natural breasts. You’ve never seen my big, brown eyes with the long, silky lashes. You’ve never seen my full, womanly hips, my long, tapered fingers, my 100% natural full, juicy lips. You’ve never seen my pink, petaled vulva or felt my salty-sweet, perfectly healthy, natural vagina. And you never will. But you can imagine what my womanly body is like — and you know that you will never, ever have one.”—
roseverbena(The source of the cis tears from a little while ago).
I’m sorry. I saw this in a post and had to share it. I guess I’m a bit of a sadist (you’ll understand if you read the whole thing).
This thing has always intrigued me ever since I saw it from the train. In perfect lazy Philadelphia fashion, they decided to just board up this old escalator instead of bothering to get the proper resources to remove it. If you’d like to see it for yourself, just go to the…
“What if a demon were to creep after you one night, in your loneliest loneliness, and say, ‘This life which you live must be lived by you once again and innumerable times more; and every pain and joy and thought and sigh must come again to you, all in the same sequence. The eternal hourglass will again and again be turned and you with it, dust of the dust!’ Would you throw yourself down and gnash your teeth and curse that demon? Or would you answer, ‘Never have I heard anything more divine’?”—