We were talking in my representing race class about attitudes towards interracial couples especially re: pairings of white men and Asian women, and we watched a video of men saying all this racist stuff about how asian women were submissive and acted like servants
and this one white kid raised his hand and said he has an Asian girlfriend and in his experience, the dudes in the video are right
and my professor replied “well, white supremacy is a hell of a drug”
Yeah, people in front of cameras and large groups of people generally wear makeup for a number of reasons. They might want to make themselves look younger, or perhaps they have blemishes they’d rather cover up. Hell, I carry a tube of concealer in my pocket just to go to class.
However, that’s not what our good friend Mittens was doing. In just about every interview up to this point, he’s been white as damn pancake batter. The one interview where he’s wearing enough bronzer to make Snooki say “tone it down” just happens to be the one interview in which he’s speaking to a predominately Latino crowd. Combine that with the fact that he’s on record as complaining that he wishes he was Latino so he could actually get the Latino vote (because apparently “doing literally anything to help the Latino community” is out of the question), and the fact that he’s really trying to play up the “my white dad was born in Mexico” thing, and it becomes incredibly clear that he isn’t just wearing regular on-camera public-speaking makeup, he’s wearing brownface.
Meanwhile, I’m just like “Dammit Willard, you painted yourself brown because you think Latino folks are too stupid to figure out you aren’t one of them and won’t do anything to help them.”
Tell me again, how is this guy a serious contender to be one of the most powerful people on Earth?
Every time I try to google something innocuous, I end up accidentally stumble onto a damn white supremacist website. This has happened when I’ve been looking for:
Why does this keep happening to me aaaaaaaagh
I’ve been seeing some stuff being sent by anons to Hellen, and while I don’t know the whole situation or the people involved, the gist of it is a debate over whether or not “white people are bad at basketball” is a harmful stereotype. Hellen is pretty much correct in saying this stereotype is offensive.
While I must take this opportunity to reaffirm the fact that since racism is prejudice plus privilege and white folks are, at least in America, at the top of the privilege ladder, you cannot by definition be racist towards them, I do stand by the idea that “white people are worse at basketball than black people” is a harmful stereotype for both white folks and black folks.
The harm to white people is obvious, the implication is that they’re inherently inferior to another group. I usually move past this, because honestly, I don’t object to taking a small taste of medicine after thousands of years of us pushing that crap on literally everyone else.
To see the harm to black people, I’m going to take you guys back in time. The country is America, and it’s around the 17th and 18th century. Black people are currently held in bondage, doing forced physical labor. The abolition movement is raging against pro-slavery advocates, who spit out a list of inaccurate bullshit about why black people in particular need to remain enslaved. Now fast-forward to the modern day. Many of the arguments used by slaveholders were repeated so often that they became stereotypes that many people take as read.
These stereotypes included the incorrect ideas that black people are dangerous (I refer you to George Zimmerman’s reasoning behind shooting Trayvon Martin, which I don’t think anyone would have questioned if Trayvon had been white), that emancipation will result in the mixing of the races, something that terrified pro-slavery folks (name one-movie that centers around a clearly interracial couple where the plot does not revolve around the fact that they are different races), and the complete bullshit lie that black people were naturally better at physical activity at the expense of their intelligence.
That bullshit lie, that black folks had almost beast-like (the slaveholders’ words, not mine) strength and speed, evolved into the stereotype that black people were naturally better at sports. That’s where that stereotype comes from.
So anyway, my point is that when white folks say that they’re bad at basketball because they’re white, it’s offensive to pretty much everyone involved.
I walk a narrow line, as a white man who talks about issues relating to racism and sexism. As a white man, like most white men, I have never experienced racism or sexism firsthand.
So when there’s a discussion about sexism or racism, the opinions of women or People of Color carry more weight than mine. They do, and they rightly should. If I have an opinion on racism or sexism and someone who’s experienced it firsthand says it’s not accurate, then it is not accurate.
Okay, here’s an incredibly oversimplified metaphor. Those are always fun! Imagine you and your friends are going out to dinner. One friend is from out of town and has never been to any of the local restaurants. So you and all your other friends are suggesting places to go, but every time you come up with a new place, he says “Oh, no, I hear their pasta is bad” or “I read their service is spotty” or some other complaint he’s heard through the grapevine. You and all your other friends, who have been to all these restaurants, assure him that no, the pasta is delicious, the service is amazing, and no, they do not include a built-in tip on the bill. At this point, your friend starts to get offended that you guys would question his expertise on the restaurants in the area, even though he’s never been to any of them and you guys are practically regulars.
That’s what it sounds like when a white person insists upon their opinion on racism, despite People of Color telling them otherwise.
So when I do a post about racism and a Person of Color comes along and tells me it’s entirely off-base, they are a ton more likely to be right than me, because they’ve got firsthand experience with racism and I don’t.
Just think about that next time you see a post about racism and think about sending messages to the author saying “I don’t believe the racism you described exists.” You sound like that asshole who thinks they know better about which restaurants are good than the crowd of people who have been to all of them.
If you’re doing racist stuff, you can’t just say “I’m not racist” and it goes away. You get to decide whether or not you do racist things, but you do not get to choose whether or not those racist things are racist.
Not all racists are sinister-looking dudes in white hoods and red armbands, rubbing their hands together and coming up with their new master plan to actively make life worse for people of color. Most of them just look like regular folks. You could walk down the street and pass somebody in a hoody and jeans, or a business suit, or a clown outfit, and they could be a big old racist. They don’t all have swastikas shaved into their heads. In fact, most racists are completely unaware of the fact that they regularly do racist shit.
While there are a number of hate groups out there, you do not need to be a card-carrying member to be a racist, and passive or incidental racism is not negated just because it’s not sanctioned by a grand wizard.
So when I call someone out on saying or doing something racist, I’m assuming you simply don’t know it’s racist, and I’m telling you so you can avoid doing it in the future. If that’s true, then there is no reason to be upset at the person who called attention to it because problems aren’t created by the person who points them out. If that’s not true, then you know it’s racist, you’re doing it anyway and making no effort to stop, and I couldn’t care less what you think of me.
And, by the way, if you need to continually clarify that you are “not a racist” because people are constantly saying you are one, you probably are one. The chance that you’re wrong is a lot higher than the chance that everyone else is trying to make you look bad.