Whenever possible, I like to signal boost the discussions being had on fandom racism on Tumblr. One of the most tireless speakers on the issues of racism in media, is Stitch, whose blog, Stitch’s Media Mix, and whose Tumblr posts, feature regular takedowns of fandom racism. Calling people out on their shitty behavior regarding how they treat PoC in fanfiction, how the media shapes the narratives of the lives of PoC, and how fandom borrows from that, and she does this far more articulately than I can. (I have a tendency to sound polite, even when I m cussin’ mad about stuff, while Stitch pulls absolutely no punches. )
Stitch identifies as a Woc too, and she’s often able to see things that I sometimes miss, and points it out in an unapologetic, and forthright manner. I have a spectacular talent for being oblivious to things she finds obvious, and she spends more time in the various fandoms, and in fan fiction, than I do, so her take on certain issues is invaluable to me when I need to research a particular topic. She is very astute at pointing out that just cause you are a fan of something, doesn’t make you less racist, and that fans of shows and movies, are not immune to the racial messages in the rest of the media.
As much as I complain about Tumblr hysteria, it has been a valuable resource in pointing out issues I didn’t even know were a thing, let alone whether or not I was practicing the thing. Being sensitive to the life experiences of other people, takes effort and vigilance.
I don’t know if Stitch gets enough thanks on her efforts at bringing awareness of fandom performance of media racism to public awareness, but she needs to know, we do appreciate it. She’s not obligated to teach us anything, so double thanks for taking time out of her busy schedule to point out the latest new wtf*ery, that the fandom has gotten up to just this week!
Some of Stitchs Greatest Hits:
Stitch also writes articles and fanfiction for pay. She has a Patreon and Paypal account for those of you who would like to support her online writing efforts.
Also on Tumblr you can witness arguments in real time as they are happening. People can leave asks in your inboxes, and sometimes those statements, questions, and assertions can be really interesting (and horribly wrong).
This was a takedown that I particularly enjoyed between an ally, and someone who claims to be an ally, about the use of AAVE (African-American Vernacular English). I have never understood the deeply, (and I mean deeply) ignorant people who are willing to walk into the middle of discussions that do not involve them, and offer their unsolicited opinions, while armed with nothing more than ego, and a basic knowledge of how a keyboard works. (I say basic because most of them have not discovered search engines, like Google or Bing.)
This discussion is between bigskydreaming and alegend45. I told Bigsky they did an excellent job of coming to get “they folks”. (This is how you do white allyship when one of y’alls is acting a fool.) Alegend inserted themselves into a discussion where they had not been invited and centered it around their feelings.
Bigsky clearly and unapologetically schooled them that this was unacceptable and why.
Three main reasons why I don’t support white people using aave and why I never explain black slang to white people:
- You’re almost always going to use it wrong. And even if you’re one of the down (that’s aave) white people who manages to use it mostly right, you are inadvertently giving other white people permission to use it, and they will get it wrong, and y’all literally never correct them, mostly because you don’t actually understand how it’s wrong.
- We literally can’t have anything. The second a black person uses a word y’all don’t know in a vine or a song, y’all go through the same stages. First you say we’re destroying the english language, then you turn us into memes to mock us, then you start using the word like you came up with it when, as above, you don’t know what it means. Y’all are literally the “You made this? I made this.” comic.
- Y’all make bank (that’s aave) off of our shit. The same shit that we get called ignorant and illiterate for creating, y’all get put on the Ellen show for repeating. You put it on pastel t-shirts and riot grrrl patches and suddenly it’s cute. And we never ever get credit unless it is to disparage us.
Honestly, I’ve given up on fighting this for the most part. Cause I know how y’all are and I know you’re never gonna change and it’s honestly not worth it for me to point out every time y’all do this. I would literally never have time to do anything else.
But trust me. I notice.
White people should reblog this
TBH I don’t think anybody should be using AAVE. It’s, quite frankly, a broken form of English with basically no real regulation. And language NEEDS regulation to be intelligible across many demographics. And sure, I get that sometimes, you need a secretive language. But then why not make your own language like gay people in England did? I believe it was called Polari or something like that. But when you get shit like that Nicki Minaj song “I Beez in the Trap” for “I am in the Trap”, you really have to ask yourself why the FUCK AAVE seems to have no rules. Keep in mind, she’s a black person, so you’d think that if she knew AAVE, she’d use it correctly.
…….yall really dont like to admit when youre uneducated. Just because you lack comprehension, does not automatically mean that AAVE has no rhyme or reason to it. Its beyond you. Its not for you to understand. Youre not Black. So leave it alone. You look silly tryna use Anglo Saxon Logic™ to make sense of BLACK venacular
Who asked the white person?
How are they praising gay people in England for making their own specific language in the same post they’re condemning black people for their own specific language? How Sway?
Clearly There are no gay black people or black British people
@alegend45 just stop talking forever.
And of course none of you actually tried to debunk my statements. You immediately went to “SHE’S A RACIST”, but yet, I’m not racist at all. Hell, when I met my black step-grandfather for the first time, I DIDN’T EVEN NOTICE HE WAS BLACK UNTIL YEARS LATER WHEN SOMEONE TOLD ME. I had no concept of race, I just saw people for who they were. And I still do. Like, if you use AAVE, REGARDLESS of if you’re black, white, OR PURPLE, you’re fucking uneducated.
And when you’re saying that AAVE is a made up language too, just stop please. Polari, my example, is a completely seperate and unintelligible language from English. AAVE is a semi-intelligible mishmash of slang and bad grammar. Again, language needs regulation. Every major language in the world is regulated EXCEPT English. The closest English has are grammar Nazis and dictionaries.
Promoting AAVE as a champion of black culture is like promoting casinos as a champion of Native American culture. It’s fucking stupid, and counterproductive. In fact, using my Nicki Minaj example, according to the usually agreed upon rules of AAVE, it should be “I be in the Trap”, instead of “I Beez in the Trap”. Then again, AAVE’s grammatical feature of the habitual be is completely unnecessary and adds no further ability to express ideas. “He be working” could just be rephrased as “He has a job”.
Also, it’s VERY insulting to say that just because I’m not black that I CAN’T understand black culture. Look, I know that black people are very underprivileged, I know about Black Lives Matter, I SUPPORT Black Lives Matter, and I HATE Blue Lives Matter for trying to shift the narrative away from innocent black people (some of whom are children). Oh, and as long as you’re pretending to be enlightened Social Justice Warriors, HOW ABOUT YOU TAG YOUR FUCKING TRIGGERS NEXT TIME? RACISM IS A TRIGGER, SO FUCKING TAG IT. I UNDERSTAND IF YOU FORGET AT FIRST AND EDIT IT TO TAG IT, BUT STILL. I am the REAL Social Justice Warrior here, because not only am I fighting against prejudice, I’m fighting against stupidity and self-righteousness as well!
“i’m fighting against stupidity and self-righteousness as well!”
bud, you’re losing that internal battle
literally everything you’ve written on this post is a gigantic mess and you’re too far gone to even see it
Okay, Real Social Justice Warrior @alegend45 –
So you’re fighting against prejudice, stupidity and self-righteousness….but who are you fighting FOR?
Because it sure as hell isn’t the black people in this post who have made it clear your attempts to regulate how they speak are not welcome – gee, can’t help but wonder why, idk, maybe because its RACIST AS HELL.
Like, as a white person who is so embarrassed by this cringe-worthy shit, I can’t even begin to imagine what it must feel like to be black and be faced with this much of a privileged temper tantrum. Let’s take a brief look at I’m A Privileged Self-Centered DoucheWizard Who is All For Equality As Long As Its On My Terms And Starring The Kind of Black People I Approve Of And My Role in Uplifting Them Is Respected And I Am Appreciated For The REAL Social Justice Warrior I Am: The Greatest Hits Collection.
1) The ‘I don’t see color’ line rendered as an art form.
Literally shut up. Unless you’re legally blind or color-blind, you saw the color of your step-grandfather’s skin. Pretending otherwise is disingenuous bullshit. No, what you really meant to say is you refused to acknowledge the color of your step-grandfather’s skin. Pro-tip: if you have to erase or ignore the things that make someone different from you before you can regard them as an equal, that’s not something to be proud of. There’s nothing wrong with the color of your step-grandfather’s skin. There’s no reason for you NOT to acknowledge it, unless what you’re ACTUALLY trying to say is that acknowledging that your step-grandfather was black would have made it harder for you to interact with him as an equal deserving of your respect.
Also, there are no purple people. Shut the fuck up forever with that kind of fuckheadedness. All saying something like that does is trivialize the actual issue at hand and advertise how little respect you have for it, and since you’re already doing such a bang up job of that with the condescension dripping from every single word of your post, ‘it wouldn’t matter if you were purple’ is honestly just redundant.
2) Much like your disdain for black people using AAVE. It’s different from what you’re used to, you don’t approve of it, it doesn’t meet your completely arbitrary and self-promoting standards of what constitutes an ‘educated’ dialect, so instead of accepting that members of another race have made something for themselves that you’re not welcome to, you’ve decided to withhold your respect for those special, elite black people who are educated enough to speak in ways that are acceptable to your oh so enlightened palate. LMFAO get the fuck over yourself, who the hell lied to you and told you that you were so special your respect was worth black people LITERALLY BASING THE WAY THEY TALK AROUND YOUR PERSONAL PREFERENCES. Oh right. Centuries of racism building a system of privilege that has enabled you every day of your life. How the fuck have you managed to convince yourself you’re fighting for the rights of under-privileged groups AT THE EXACT SAME TIME AS YOU DEMAND THEY CATER TO YOUR PRIVILEGE?
3) I’m a bit confused by your reference to racism as a trigger. Are you saying that as a white person who is triggered by racism? Because if so, holy fucking hell do you need to go back to the audition circuit of REAL SOCIAL JUSTICE WARRIOR – you might have missed the memo, but reverse racism is not a thing, and claiming you can be triggered by discussions of racism is just about the whitest thing you can do. It might actually even be whiter than doing the macarena while wearing a hula skirt and a bindi that complements the henna tattoos you got in the shape of your spirit animal. Or telling black people that they should stop using AAVE because you don’t like it. I’m sorry. There’s just a lot of white privilege going on here, I’ve completely lost track and I’m so pale I make motherfucking Dracula look tan.
4) Oh right. Racism as a trigger. If you’re not referring to your own triggers, I suppose it’s possible it occurred to you that there are PoC who are genuinely triggered by racism and discussions of it thanks to the shit they have to put up with on a day to day basis. Of course, in that scenario its too bad you couldn’t milk a little extra bang out of rubbing those synapses in your brain together and extend that thought process far enough to figure ‘hey, if people are triggered by discussions of racism, they’re probably just as likely to be triggered by me coming into a post specifically by black people talking about how exhausting white people are and proceeding TO SPILL MY GODDAMN RACIST BEHAVIOR AND CONVICTIONS ALL OVER THEIR VENTING-SPACE. EXHAUSTIVELY.’
5) The only thing your analogy about promoting black culture and Native American culture got right is that ‘promoting x as a champion of black culture is like promoting y as a champion of Native American culture’ in that YOUR OPINION IS RELEVANT TO NEITHER. Seriously, who died and appointed you the arbiter of what does and doesn’t deserve to be promoted as the champion of black/Native American culture? (PS – there’s no such fucking thing as Native American culture, you colossal dumbass, considering that what you consider a single monolithic Native America is actually dozens of distinct cultures with their own heritages, histories and traditions, often with little to no commonality between them).
6) Be insulted all you want, people are telling you that you can’t understand black culture because THE BOTH OF US CAN’T UNDERSTAND BLACK CULTURE OUTSIDE OF THE ABSTRACT. It is not our culture. It is not for us. It is not reflective of our experiences, it is not indicative of our struggles. The good news is, you don’t actually have to understand or personally relate to every aspect of another person’s life, culture, or experiences in order to respect them. Bad news is, your head is so far up your own ass you probably wouldn’t even begin to know how to respect black culture if you were ever even interested in trying. Which you probably never will be. Because you’re a self-centered fuckwit who’s only here for the ego trip of ‘helping underprivileged innocent black children’ in order to get those special I’m One of the Nice White People brownie points.
7) Seriously. The ego. Goddamn. “I’m the REAL Social Justice Warrior here!’ Who the fuck even talks like that? You sound like a supervillain. Oh my god. Do you practice your monologues in the mirror while twirling your moustache? Spoiler alert, if your ego rears its ugly head in a discussion you’re partaking in as an ally, you need to excuse yourself and get the fuck out of there until you have wrestled that shit back into submission, BECAUSE YOU HAVE NO BUSINESS MAKING SOMETHING THAT ISN’T ABOUT YOU ALL ABOUT YOU.
In conclusion, you’re ridiculous, the reality you’ve concocted around yourself does not reflect the reality everyone else sees when you open your mouth, I’d call you an embarrassment to white people except the whole problem if that you’re actually the shining embodiment of everything that is wrong with our race, but please please please keep doing the good work you’re doing combating stupidity and self-righteousness. Please send a singing telegram when you get around to combating it in yourself.
My apologies to everyone else in this thread for my fellow white person, and my own intrusion.
Let me refute your points one by one.
1) That’s not what I meant. I meant I LITERALLY DID NOT NOTICE IT. I was like 6 dude. I didn’t give a shit about the color of people’s skin, and I still don’t.
2) You do realize that I’m a trans woman, a lesbian, an autist, an atheist, and someone who thinks for themselves in the state of Texas, right? Technically, I could be considered LESS privileged than a Christian cishet black male. I could be shot and/or killed for doing nothing, I could have either the trans panic or gay panic used against me, and it might actually work (Keep in mind, this is Texas), I am banned from public office, I’m probably never getting jury duty (I know this because my dad was rejected for being an atheist), WHICH I WANT. So this isn’t about privilege, this is about people using an objectively worse system of communication, as I have outlined in another post.
3) Dismissed because I meant racism as a trigger to other people.
4) Again, this isn’t about race. This is about people using an inferior method of communication. I’d be fine if they made up their own language seperate from English, or adopted an entirely different existing language. But no, they are instead using broken English that has no benefits in expressive power, is irregular in its usage of rules, and is more complex than English. This makes it an objectively worse language. Please stop playing the race card as this has nothing to do with my decision making process.
5) I meant the culture that Native Americans have come up with since the white settler’s arrival, which is mostly monolithic to my knowledge, but okay. Then again, most of these tribes do seem to have forsaken their original culture, soooo.
6) The human brain is not affected in its reasoning capabilities by race. To say that would be incredibly racist. Next.
7) I am simply confident in my observations and arguments. Then again, having a big ego does not invalidate an argument AT ALL. Linus Torvalds (the creator of the Linux kernel) has a GIGANTIC ego, to the point where he flipped off an entire company over not supporting open-source software enough. But everything he does is justified by logic. He is a very logical person. So that point has been debunked.
Please come back when you have an argument that is not based solely on fallacy.
1) Intent doesn’t trump impact. Whether you were six or twenty six, the fact that you defaulted to the ‘I don’t see color’ argument as though it were a valid defense to people calling you out for racist behavior means you still regard it as having validity. It doesn’t. I already expressed why.
2) I didn’t bother going to your blog to learn anything about you past the fact that you were white, as already mentioned in this thread, because literally nothing else mattered. I am genuinely sorry for anything and everything you have to endure as a lesbian trans woman and autist. I certainly acknowledge I have more privilege than you. But none of that changes the fact that you are avoiding acknowledging that you still possess white privilege and as this conversation is explicitly about white attitudes and privilege in regards to black culture, that is the only privilege that matters here. You highlighting your areas of under-privilege is the classic straw man of ‘I can’t be privileged because my life has been so hard in areas x, y, and z.’ All of that can be true (and probably is) without in any way mitigating your white privilege. That is the whole point of privilege. It is inalienable. Nothing else that happens in your life can lessen the privilege you inherited just by being born white. And again, that is the only privilege relevant to this discussion which YOU voluntarily engaged in, despite OP making it abundantly clear that they were never looking for white opinions on this subject because white people have proven over and over, just like you, that they do not get it and are not interested in getting it.
(Also, why have you limited this to comparing yourself to black cishet males, when intersectionality is a thing and you’re willfully ignoring the existence of LGBT and autist black people, which only seems to serve to let you convince yourself you have it harder than everyone else, and if trying to win the Oppression Olympics isn’t the literal embodiment of white privilege, I don’t know what is).
¾) This is literally all about race because AAVE was created by black people for black people, and you, a white person, are attempting to tell them not to use it and why not. You can insist its not about race all you want, but that doesn’t make it true.
5) Your knowledge is inaccurate. My evidence is merely anecdotal, but every Native American I know is quite protective of their individual tribe’s identity, and would not be amused by the generalization they’ve all forgotten their original culture, so if by your own admission your knowledge isn’t completely comprehensive, maybe don’t go around presenting it as such.
6) More disingenuous bullshit. Racism is inherently illogical and not rooted in any sort of empirical rationale, and yet white people cling to their racist convictions more fiercely than anything else in history. Human beings are as much emotion as we are intellect, and for varying reasons white people have proven more than willing to let our emotions (such as pride, greed, envy) corrupt pretty much every thought we’ve ever had in regards to other cultures somewhere along the way between our brains and our words and actions, so maybe stop acting like treating someone else’s culture as an academic thought experiment you’re analyzing does anything other than prove my point.
7) Your ego has gotten in the way of empirical observation. Your worldview is supported only by your ego, not by fact. Rather than justify yourself with logic, you’ve long since crossed the line to twisting logic to justify yourself.
And because of that, you won’t allow yourself to ever be proven wrong in your own mind, which makes any further conversation pointless, so. Y’know. Bye.