Someone wanted this rebloggable and I didn’t see til just now. Sorry bout that, love.
EDIT: Replaced the last image to take the “ed” out of “cis-gendered”. I completely ditzed on that one. Thanks anon for pointing it out to me!
Say I’m 32 years old and you’re 22 years old.
In how many years will we be the same age?
Silly question, right? If you define aging as a process that stops at death, the only way we’ll ever be the same age is if I die first. If you don’t, then we’ll never be the same age. Every time you age a year, I also age a year. Since our ages increase at the same rate, you will never catch up to my head start. We have achieved a total equality of aging, but that does not change the permanent inequality of our age.
Okay, say I have a million dollars and you’re completely broke. If we both get a dollar a day, how long will it take you to catch up with me?
Now, this one’s even sillier, because if you have no other resources, your dollar a day is going to be eaten up by basic living expenses that it doesn’t quite meet, and I have an excess of money that can be spent on money-making opportunities that pay off far better than an additional $365 a year. I could literally burn the dollar I’m getting as part of our Totally Equal Income and still make more money in a year than you do just by sticking my money in the bank.
But still: both of us getting a dollar a day is totally equal, right? It means we’re being treated exactly the same.
And now, final problem:
If we have a world that contains structural inequalities, systemic imbalances, disproportionate danger faced by some, and unequal access to resources and opportunities, is “treating everyone the same” really going to result in equality?
Show your work.
Pam Oliver, a professor in the UW-Madison sociology department, explaining the historical roots of racism in the United States to her undergraduate students (mostly middle-class and White). I try to use this when I teach race now, too, to get past the defensive “but why are you BLAMING ME” reaction. (via cabell)
THIS. THIS THIS THIS THIS THIS THIS THIS.
To all the white people who say that they shouldn’t have responsibility in racism because they’re ancestors and not them who participated in slavery, think about this!
Useful and instructive prose.
hey, man, it’s cool. not everybody is obligated to Like Nicki. even as a person. it’s cool.
i mean, the fact that she felt the need to say so on her twitter account, perhaps to reach some community thru hate in her largely white fanbase, is just straight-up stupid
in general white people tend to feel ‘un-unique’, mostly because of the exoticized or sensationalized nature of people of color in media and society, so when they express themselves it’s ‘creative’ and ‘cool’, but when an already Unique Special Snowflake Brown Person expresses themselves it’s obnoxious, or, more recently, ‘unbearable’
nicki minaj doesn’t get to express herself because she doesn’t do it in a ~*european*~ way. she is loud, and wears loud, and acts loud, and sings loud. white ppl just wanna tell people of color to be quiet, because our skin is ‘loud enough’.
Unpopular opinions, sorry y’all. For whatever it’s worth I’ll remind you that I can say all this and love Teen Wolf at the same time.
… Here we go. Ladies! Queer folk! People of color! My hopes continue to be high for this show so many of us call “a gift”.
I am down with all this, and in fact posted about the women on Teen Wolf earlier in the week, not that anyone should necessarily care about that. I would like to say, though, that - and I could be completely wrong about this, but - Beacon Hills doesn’t really look like anywhere in California because it’s mostly Georgia, but the place it most looks like is actual Northern California, like - Mendocino and Humboldt counties, and both of those places are pretty white. Which is not to say there shouldn’t be more diversity on the show! Because I am always for diversity. But it would not actually be that weird for them to be in some small town/suburb in Northern California and for that town to be overwhelmingly white.
Okay so I was going to pass this one right on by, but apparently I’m unable to let stuff go sometimes? So okay, I’ll be up-front with you, I don’t understand what the point of counter-arguments like this is. I run into it all the time. People love to explain to me why, ~rationally, things should stay white or be whiter. (Hunger Games fandom, this is why we are not on speaking terms.) Why would you “like to say” this? When I say, “I’d like to see some more PoC in this fictional town! Here are some numbers that could work!” you say, “Well actually, whiteness is more realistic!” What purpose do you serve, what point do you make, by defending whiteness? Put down the reverse-racism and back away slowly. Whiteness doesn’t need defending.
(Quick note: For the numbers I’m using below, “white” does not include people who are both white and Latin@.)
I’ll give you this: you weren’t wrong about northern California being “pretty white”. Mendocino County, on average, is 76.52% white and 22.2% Latin@ (it is also 0.7% black. Remind me never to go there. Though if TW is set there, I’d like my one Latin@ character for every three white characters, please). Humboldt County, on average, is 81.65% white and 9.81% Latin@. Those are some depressing numbers, given that we’re absolutely guessing where in northern California Beacon Hills might be based on the landscape of Atlanta, GA (54% black, 36% white, if you were wondering) in the wintertime.
HOWEVER. If the show is indeed set in one of these towns where white people are such a huge majority? I can GUARANTEE YOU that it is extremely inaccurate to portray the McCalls’ (or Deaton’s, Morrell’s, Boyd’s or Danny’s) race as a non-issue. If accuracy is what we’re discussing.
I’ll ask too — and I don’t know you, and I don’t know what other shows you watch, so it’s possible you do this already, in which case, good — do you defend numbers this vigorously for shows set in other locations? Seinfeld, Friends, Sex and the City, Heroes, How I Met Your Mother, White Collar, Castle, Suits, 2 Broke Girls, and Girls are all set in Manhattan and/or Brooklyn. Manhattan is 48% white, 25% Latin@, 12% black and 11% Asian. Brooklyn is 35% white, 31% black, 20% Latin@ and 10% Asian. Statistically speaking, half of the friends on Friends should be of color.
What about media set in San Francisco? San Francisco is 33% Asian. Los Angeles is 30% white, 49% Latin@, and about 10% each black and Asian. Boston is 47% white, 22% black, 17% Latin@ and 9% Asian. Seattle is also only 66% white! Who knew! Or hey, let’s look at the whole USA. The US is 66% white, 16% Latin@, 12% black and 4% Asian.
If you’d like, I’m sure you could find ways to refute everything I’m saying. There’s always reasons you can invent for why almost all of the protagonists are white (lots of groups of white people only know other white people! Classism! Other reasons!), why a disproportionate number of black people are Magical, or evil, or dead, or various combinations of all three. I’m sure there are great reasons too why hardly any Asian or Latin@ characters get decent screentime. And of course, everybody has in their pocket a single show they like to hold up to prove the exception to the rule.
I guess, in conclusion, what I am getting at is that people of color are RIDICULOUSLY and unrealistically underrepresented in USian TV and film, and until this is no longer an issue, I REFUSE to entertain white people — I’m presuming you’re white, let me know if I’m wrong, I’ll still say heck no — who think it’s ~not weird~ that a show set in a fictional town in an indeterminate location is overwhelmingly white.
ok, i am fully sick of this shit, dictionaries are not sparkly magical oases of unbiased truth, utterly untouched by racism or political agenda
whose political agenda exactly? here, lemme show you. i took five minutes to search for the creators and current owners of merriam-webster and the oxford dictionary and this is what i got
noah webster, wrote the first webster’s. did you also know he was a hardxcore american nationalist and christian who thought the written word was explicitly a tool that needed to be used to control public dissent and individualism which he considered to be badwrong? LOOK IT UP, SHITDICK
oh but who owns it now? well websters became merriam-websters which is a subsidiary of encyclopaedia britannica inc. currently, but here are just some of the white dudes who owned the rights to webster’s shit along the way
hello richard warren sears, yes THAT sears, you are looking particular white and rich
senator william benton, yale graduate, founder of benton & bowles advertising company! rockin that rich whiteness
jacqui safra! member of the famous safra banking family, current owner of encyclopaedia britannica, and merriam-webster and spring mountain vineyard, friend of woody allen and financer of EIGHT of his films. how deliciously white and rich you smell.
here is a small sample of the white dudes that collabed on oxford dictionary originally, archbishop trench, herbert coleridge, frederick james furnivall and sir james murray by this point i was 500% done with reading biographies on boring white dudes doing boring white dude things so instead let’s just all bask in how boring and white they are
for added fun the wiki article on the oxford dictionary has a whole section on criticisms that basically outlines exactly the fucking problem here
Despite its claim of authority on the English language, the Oxford English Dictionary has been criticised from various angles. It has become a target precisely because of its massiveness, its claims to authority, and above all its influence. In his review of the 1982 supplement, University of Oxford linguist Roy Harris writes that criticizing the OED is extremely difficult because “one is dealing not just with a dictionary but with a national institution”, one that “has become, like the English monarchy, virtually immune from criticism in principle”.:935 Harris also criticises what he sees as the “black-and-white lexicography” of the Dictionary, by which he means its reliance upon printed language over spoken—and then only privileged forms of printing. He further notes that, while neologisms from respected “literary” authors such as Samuel Beckett and Virginia Woolf are included, usage of words in newspapers or other, less “respectable”, sources hold less sway, although they may be commonly used.:935 He writes that the OED’s “[b]lack-and-white lexicography is also black-and-white in that it takes upon itself to pronounce authoritatively on the rights and wrongs of usage”,:935 faulting the Dictionary’s prescriptive, rather than descriptive, usage. To Harris, this prescriptive classification of certain usages as “erroneous” and the complete omission of various forms and usages cumulatively represent the “social bias[es]” of the (presumably well-educated and wealthy) compilers.:936
so basically, fuck you, you fucking fuck, if you trot out a dictionary definition as proof of racism against white people cuz THE DICTIONARY SAYS that racism is defined only as “racial prejudice or discrimination” (merriam-webster) or “prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against someone of a different race” (oxford).
well guess the fuck what.
RICH WHITE PEOPLE WRITE AND CONTROL ENGLISH DICTIONARIES.
RICH WHITE PEOPLE ARE THE ONES DEFINING THE WORDS THAT MAKE IT INTO ENGLISH DICTIONARIES.
AND IF YOU THINK FOR A SECOND THAT RICH WHITE PEOPLE ARE WITHOUT MAJOR FUCKING BIAS YOU’VE GOT ANOTHER FUCKING THING COMING, MAINLY A WHOLE WORLD OF UNCHALLENGED IGNORANCE
White American males constitute only 33% of the population. Yet, they occupy approximately:
- 80% of tenured positions in higher education
- 80% of the House of Representatives
- 80-85% of the U.S. Senate
- 92%of Forbes 400 executive CEO-level positions
- 90% of athletic team owners
- 97.7% of U.S. presidents
Good thing we solved sexism and racism u guise
aquadevil asked: I would truly appreciate links to information about race relations and cultural appropriation because modern racism is incredibly complex and I often worry about being in the wrong. This is just my opinion, and I fully acknowledge that I may be very off base, but most people, actually sane, reject the blatant racism supposedly “of the past.” Instead, people seem to practice racism without active malice, sadly much harder for most to identify. This prejudice doesn’t seem to be rooted in hate, but ignorance of what’s offensive and general misunderstanding. I can see how a discussion about Colton’s choice could devolve - - “What do you mean that’s racist? It’s a silly costume!” “But it’s always wrong! He should know better!” - - and I hate the idea of dismissing ANYONE for a poor choice or sending hate their way. I understand that educating the masses is exhausting and the responsibility would all-too-often fall on the group facing “casual” discrimination, but in this instance, I would be really disappointed in Teen Wolf fandom if they can spare the time to pen Sterek dissertations, author petitions, vote in polls, protest unfair polls, message the creator, etc. but won’t pause to have a conversation about why a Halloween costume is problematic. If YOU don’t mind, please help. I need to learn.
The above ask came into my box in three parts; I’ve put them together and am answering it this way so that it’s complete. As always, if I get something wrong/do something problematic, I would hugely, hugely appreciate being told so that I can correct said error and apologize. I promise to offer nothing but thanks in return. <3
So, first and foremost: killsmedead put up a great post here full of links to the information you’re looking for. Among other things, that post will direct you to black-face.com, a fantastic site that gives a full run-down on the history behind blackface and why it’s wrong, and to this great article about cultural appropriation and costumes, and to this post explaining why Colton Haynes, specifically, is wrong (although, to be entirely accurate, I must acknowledge that that post was written in response to Colton’s LAST instance of using blackface, not in response to THIS incident of brownface). Additionally, you might want to check out Resist Racism’s Halloween post. If you’re looking for a broader educational experience, you might check out this post, which, in addition to linking to a number of articles about costumes and cultural appropriation specifically, can also direct you to information on such interesting topics as white privilege, ”reverse racism,” and, of course, shutting up and listening.
Of course, you could also type “racism resources” into Google. Or “cultural appropriation.” Or “why is blackface wrong.” It’s a magical thing, Google. The entire internet at the tips of your fingers! All kinds of ways to educate yourself! Isn’t technology awesome? (Speaking of ways technology is awesome, you should check out this post and, also, Jay Smooth’s completely brilliant TEDTalk in regard to the ignorance/misunderstanding/intent piece of the question you directed to me.)
Now, I would hope that the above links can assist you in the process of educating yourself on why what Colton Haynes did is wrong, and on some of these, as you mentioned, very complex issues. That said, I know that those links provide far more information, from a far more experienced place, than the random white lady on the internet you tasked with helping you to learn (hiya!) could ever hope to produce. Their voices are far more important than my voice on these topics, and they always will be. That is just How It Is, and I appreciate the opportunity to direct you (and hopefully others!) to them. The rest of this post will be dealing with the suggestion that it is the responsibility of anybody except you to educate you. It is, fair warning, a good bit harsher than the tone I usually strive towards striking, and is, as such, under the cut.
Ugh, gyzym, darling, thank you for fielding this one.
I’d also like to add, re aquadevil’s “I hate the idea of dismissing ANYONE for a poor choice or sending hate their way” — I personally am TOTALLY OKAY with dismissing people who do racist shit out of ignorance. Just putting that out there.
Like, I spend enough time being patient and understanding and teaching How to Treat Black People Like Human Beings 101 for free with people I actually know. Friends! Family! People I like! It’s completely ridiculous to expect me to do that with dickhead celebrities and strangers on the Internet as well.
Examples of what white privilege deniers THINK it means to be told to “Check Your Privilege.”
- Apologize for being white
- Believe white is bad or wrong
- Be ashamed of being white
- Feel guilty for being white
Examples of what people ACTUALLY mean when they say “Check Your Privilege.”
- You are inserting yourself into a conversation where you shouldn’t be. Acknowledge what you are doing, apologize and stop it.
- You are making my pain about you. Acknowledge what you are doing, apologize and stop it.
- You are belittling my pain. Acknowledge what you are doing, apologize and stop it.
- You are making my fears concerns and troubles less important than your annoyance about me talking about my experience. Acknowledge what you are doing, apologize and stop it.
If you believe that PoC want you to apologize for having white privilege, you are wrong. To be honest, I don’t get why you would think that in the first place. Let’s pretend for a second that I DO want you to apologize for having white privilege. Then, let’s pretend that you actually do apologize to me. How does that help me in ANY way? You see, some of you believe that we want to take away what you have or we want you to be ashamed of what you have. This is not the case. We want to be treated like human beings and we want you to understand that you don’t get to assert yourself or your feelings ABOUT OUR FEELINGS onto us or into our conversations.
Your guilt over white privilege also does me no good. You feel guilty? Okay and…? What does that do for either of us? If anything, your guilt tends to bring out MORE racism, not less. We don’t want to be treated BETTER, we want to be treated EQUALLY. Don’t pretend you like Black Joe when Black Joe is an asshole. That does not prove to me that you aren’t racist, it proves that you ARE racist because you are ONLY “Friends” with him BECAUSE he’s black.
Again…how does that help me in any way?
So you want to know what you should do about your White Privilege? See the second set of examples and follow them to the letter. Know that even if society tells you otherwise, you are not better, more important or more valid than anyone else. Know that your opinion should not be something you hold higher. Especially in situations you have not personally lived through. Generally, stop making things about you. That’s really the basics. No one believes that things are going to change so drastically that white privilege will disappear. We are all realistic people. It isn’t about taking something away from you. It is about you not trying to add you to our lives. It’s not about you. If you can only remember one thing, let that be it. It is not about you.