The Old Guard has totally blown up on Tumblr. The movie, which aired on Netflix last month was a real treat for women who love action movies, so much so, that there has been a lot of great meta writing and fanworks on the site.The movie is based on the Graphic Novel, by Greg Rucka, about a team of four immortal warriors, Andromache of Scythia,(Charlize Theron), Nicky, Joe, and Booker, living in the modern world, fighting a pharmecutical CEO ,who wants to use them for medical experiments. In the meantime, they need to find and recruit a brand new immortal, named Nile Freeman, and deal with a betrayal within, and outside of, their group.
Its one of those big idea movies, where the rules are all laid out beforehand, and doesn’t stint on the development of its characters. It has some truly lovely scenes between Nicky and Joe, and Nile and Andy. I thought the movie was a lot of fun, and I really enjoyed the characters and their interactions. I think its really worth a watch if you like action movies, with strong, ass kicking, smart women, who interact realistically with one another, along with a well illustrated, found family dynamic. There’s also a strong philosophical thread that runs through the movie, which asks questions about the purpose of living, and what its like to be alive for hundreds of years.
The Old Guard is a fairly predictable film as far as the plot. What makes it groundbreaking however is its Black female director, Gina Prince-Bythewood, the well executed action scenes, its racial diversity, its Black female co-lead, and the presence of a canon gay inter-racial couple, who both survive to the end of the movie.
I read a lot of meta on this movie and was moved by how much fans seemed to really embrace this movie, especially Nile, since fandom hasn’t always been any good about its approach to black female characters. Its true that some fans tend to infantilize her, but that’s somewhat understandable, since the character of Nile is a brand new, baby-immortal, just learning about her powers, and the actress who plays her, Kiki Layne does have a kind of sweet baby face.
The story makes an effort to set up the knowledge that the characters are immortal, but that their survival is not a guarantee, so the tension about who will survive, remains really high, no matter how many fights we see them get into in the film
One of the things I loved about this movie is that the stakes never were less than. You would think, because the characters are unable to die, that there’d be nothing for them to lose in the several firefights, but there are many intangible things they can lose. They can lose their freedom, they can lose their trust, or their friendship, for Nikki and Joe, they could lose each other, or even their sense of purpose, or self, the way Andy did.
Another love of this film was the character arcs. We find out at the beginning of the movie that Andy has been retired from fighting for over a year. She’s given up, she’s cynical, and has no hope that she has done anything useful for the world, and we watch as her character gets back her reason for fighting and Nile is the key to that. Andy doesn’t just go out and save Nile. Nile saves her too.
Even their treatment of Booker’s betrayal comes from a place of compassion. Yes, they’re very angry with him, but they don’t permanently exile him either. They think a hundred years of being separated from his family is punishment enough. They’re not out to physically harm him, or cause him emotional damage, but there have to be consequences for what he did. They know being alone however is horrible for him (it’s the reason he betrayed them in the first place) but it’s the only consequence they have available.
For male directors character development and emotions, may be a 3 or 4 on the scale of priority in a movie, and I normally don’t have a problem with that manner of filmmaking. I’ve watched enough action movies to be able to glean the emotions in them, but usually that’s not a male director’s focus. I’m mostly thinking of movies like Winter Soldier, Inception, and Fury Road, (and quite a large number of Asian action films,) where the focus is on the plot and action, with character development as more of an afterthought.
I think there are a number of male action directors who do bring emotionalism into their work, and manage to be successful at it, but I think the difference is for male directors their priorities are simply different than female directors. For women directors though, the priority on relationships, character interaction, and character development, may be at a one or a two, thereby making the plot much more character driven than in male directed films, where the plot is more situational, but that’s just an observation I’ve made with my limited sample size.
There really aren’t a wealth of action movies out there directed by female directors ,and the ones that do get made, are either always being trashed as the worst movies ever, or lauded as the second coming of Jesus. There seems to be no in between, reasonably thought out, reviews or critiques. Everything is either the best of times or the worst of times.
And yes, I am geeking out over the addition of a Black female character as an action heroine. There really are not enough female action heroes, but there are almost no Black or Asian ones. This is why I’ve become a lot more discerning about the kinds of shows and movies I watch now. I’m thoroughly spoiled for diverse content, that has depth and at least some meaning, and very dubious about sitting through any more all white, all male productions of shows and movies. I’m definitely not willing to sit through any of the lazy, sorry, excuses PoC have gotten in the past for not having diversity both in front of, and behind, the camera.
The Old Guard is a lot of fun, with just a touch of melancholy. Its just deep enough to be satisfying without getting too heavy. The plot isn’t really all that remarkable, and very predictable, but what the characters and director do with the plot is worth watching. It’s got some great action sequences, and although there are a couple of moments of cringey dialogue, and the music is sometimes overwhelmingly blase, its not too bad, and doesn’t stray very far from its comic book origins, as the script was written by Rucka. Theron carries most of the emotional heavy lifting in the story. In fact, she almost overpowers the story, but that gets nicely weighed by the other characterizations, and action scenes.
Fans are clamoring for a second season ,especially since there was a ice set up for it, in the last 30 seconds, but the word isn’t out yet on whether or not there will be one.
As for what Tumblr thinks:
This was a beautifully written examination of the movie’s characters. Please visit their Tumblr site for more insightful observations of their newest obseesion.
APPARENTLY I am writing a thing about The Old Guard today.
(Bear in mind that I haven’t read the graphic novel, although I’m eager to now, so this is solely based on the movie and some things I’ve read about the comic in articles about the movie.)
Under the cut for spoilers, although the discussion is fairly general.
the old guard and moral uncertainty
One of the things I love the most about The Old Guard, which I haven’t seen discussed much, is that there is no why to their powers. There’s no origin story, either via destiny or accident. There’s no prophecy, no curse, no ancient god, no super-serum, no lab accident, no mutant spider bite. If there is a reason why these people, in particular, are like this, we don’t know it and they don’t either. Where their immortality comes from, and why it fades when it does, is a complete unknown.
In other contexts I could see this coming off as a frustrating lack of clarity in worldbuilding. In The Old Guard I think it works as an essential piece of the philosophical landscape in which the story operates.
A parallel and interlocking component of this landscape is the fact that the immortals exist in a world where there are very few, if any, other superpowered beings. There are no pre-ordained forces of darkness, no aliens to fight, no neatly-arranged supervillains that only they can defeat. There are only humans.
This means they have to create their own framework of meaning for their actions, the way the rest of us mortals do. The mythology of their world doesn’t provide any built-in delineation of good guys and bad guys and What We’re Fighting For. There’s no easy certainty of purpose or moral clarity to be had.
I’m thinking particularly of the scene when Nile wakes up from the nightmare about Quynh, which honestly might be one of my favorite moments in the whole movie. The three guys are all sleeping in the same room as her and they all immediately wake up and reach for their weapons, ready to throw down. Like, at least a couple of them look like they’re sleeping on cots. They could have spread out around the space, but all three of them are sleeping in the same room as her, armed. Only Andy has chosen to separate herself and is not-sleeping in the next room.
And their reaction isn’t just an ingrained response from a very long life of combat. They’re all very clearly focused on Nile and whether she’s safe, and once it’s clear that there’s no physical threat, they want to make sure she’s okay emotionally and help her understand what she saw in the nightmare.
This is one of those moments where context sensitivity matters a lot. Because we can easily imagine a scenario where the exact same scene would play as overprotective, condescending or downright creepy. But when the focus of the scene is a Black woman, a moment that says this character is worthy of both physical, bodily protection and emotional support reads very differently.
We already know Nile is a tough and self-sufficient character. She’s an elite soldier who grew up in the inner city, raised by a single mom who pushed her to succeed. She has excelled in a dangerous, physically demanding, male-dominated career. She is, in many ways, the template of the Strong Black Woman, and a lot of movies would have left it there. But with this scene, and all the other little moments of care and attention she receives, the other characters are saying, hey, we know you are tough and self-sufficient, but you don’t always have to be.
grizvser is writing some very nice meta about this show, especially the two lovers, Joe and Nicky. Please check out their Tumblr site for more astute observations about the show and characters.
They were the ones who were kidnapped and tied up. Nicky had to watch Joe get stabbed repeatedly by Merrick. The two of them were the only ones who got experimented on, poked and prodded at and sliced into, and who knows what could have happened to them if they hadn’t been saved so soon. They had to deal with the trauma of possibly being kept there for god knows how long. When Booker and Andy were captured, they were only trapped for a little while before Nile came and rescued everyone. They never had to deal with any of that trauma.
Not only did they suffer the torture themselves, but they had to watch the person they love suffer too. If Booker hadn’t betrayed them, none of the events of the movie would’ve happened. Joe had to watch Nicky not only get tortured, but get shot in the damn head. All of this is because Booker sold them out.
Combine that with the fact that the two of them are clearly very loyal, honourable men, who are undoubtedly devestated that someone they trusted and thought of as their family would sell them out just because HE didn’t want to live anymore? Joe and Nicky are happy to be alive because they have each other, but Booker put that at risk because of his own feelings of grief. Even though I understand Booker wasn’t motivated by any malice and I’m empathetic to his struggles and feelings, it’s understandable why Joe calls him selfish. Joe is willing to live for eternity because he has Nicky (and the whole guard too, of course), and Booker’s actions could have taken that away from him.
Nile forgives him quickly because she’s new and doesn’t fully understand the weight of his actions, meanwhile Andy is more sympathetic because she, too, is a little bit tired of living, yet Joe and Nicky, the ones who want to live, bear the brunt of a lot of the suffering that came along with Booker’s choice.
Now, I do think they will get over it sooner than 100 years, but right now, the betrayal was so raw and the impact of what happened so fresh in their mind, I understand their reasoning.
One of the best things about Joe and Nicky in The Old Guard is their sexuality/relationship is a very important traits of both of their characters, but it’s not their only trait.
So many times when I hear people talk about gay/queer characters in media, I hear, “their sexuality isn’t an important part of their character” or “they just happen to be gay,” and I’ve always thought that was bullshit and a cop-out. Sexuality and romance plays a HUGE part in people’s lives. People spend a lot of their time looking for “the one”, looking for romance, looking for a relationship or sex or both. Think about classical male heroes and how often they bed women (think James Bond, James Kirk in Star Trek, etc.) Wouldn’t you say sexuality is a huge part of their characters? Yet with gay characters it’s said to be “not important.” It’s just a cop-out.
Joe and Nicky’s sexualities are very important because their relationship is so incredibly important to both of them. It’s portrayed to be the reason they’re both still happy to be living while Andy and Booker have grown jaded and suicidal due to loneliness. They are the most important thing in the world to each other. They aren’t “badass but just happen to be gay.” They are badass AND gay.
They’re incredibly competent fighters who can brutalize an entire army but when they go home they flirt, they wink at each other, they snuggle, they kiss, they talk about their love for one another. They’re no less masculine when they’re expressing their love for one another than they are when they’re massacring an army of soldiers.
Yet still, their characters are not reduced to just the token gay guys who are also tough. They have their own distinct personalities. Joe is impassioned, quick to anger, protective, playful, romantic, vengeful, but with a soft heart full of deep love. Nicky is quiet, reserved, compassionate, loving, and sweet, but also calculating and sarcastic and a force to be reckoned with in a fight.
They’re both such distinct, powerful personalities and it’s portrayed through their individual actions as well as through their love for each other. It fills me with so much joy that these characters were allowed to be so unapologetically, textually gay without it being an afterthought and also without it becoming the centerpiece of the story.
And these aren’t all. Visit Tumblr and type in The Old Guard to find whole blogs devoted to the topic, fanart, and various headcanon, and fictions.
Here are some interesting tidbits from Tumblr. I hope these are informative.
I was wondering what kind of female black characters do people want to see more of? Like, them being soft or selfish?
Black Girls & Women: Representation We Want
As a Black woman reader, I definitely want to see more soft Black girls and women in literature. Girls with their own self-interests (caring about oneself isn’t necessarily selfish) and not always someone else’s caregiver is great too.
Here’s my list!
More Black girls…
- In love
- With close family bonds and healthy relationships and support systems (that don’t require enduring abuse, fixing their partner, or overall emotional labor to earn domestic happiness)
- Being protected
- As main characters, heroines and anti-heroes
- On adventures
- In fantasy and magical settings
- In historical settings as peasants, upper-class society, and royalty
- Descriptions of Black Afro hair, skin, features as a normal thing in books (see this compilation) and not in an Othering way
- On the other hand, vibrant, sometimes hyped up descriptions that allude to their beauty (see this ask. Or this one). Not Othering, just appreciating!
- Put us in fancy dresses and give us a sword and let us dance at the balls and have admirers!
- Experiencing complex emotions not necessarily in reaction to racism or racist violence
- On the book cover! And with an accurate, not light or white-washed model
- Soft black girls and nerd girls who like cute things.
- Shy black girls not just in situations with boys.
- More lgbtqia+ black girls. Studs! Femmes!
- Gender fluid and non conforming constantly changing their style because they like it!
- Spies and not just as the ‘sexy bait’ or ‘weapons master’ let us sit behind the computer for once and be hackers and stuff
- Black girls who are just…people.
- I want a fantasy escapism adventure that isn’t a thinly veiled discussion on slavery or racism or any other aspect of The Struggle. I am tired.
- Can I just have a happy Black girl who believes in fairies or something?
@esmeraldanacho-1776 More autistic Black women/girls! I don’t care what genre really; just have them in there!
@briarsthicket And enby black people!
- Def soft black girls.
- Energetic and playful.
- Or shy and quiet.
- I want to see more black girls who are nerds and not just mommy mommying or nanny nannying everyone.
- I want black girls who want to be a ballerina, or a talk show host, or a game designer etc.
- I want a black girl who gets to be happy.
- Who doesn’t have to act older than she is and be the shoulder for everyone, always.
- I want more black lady nerds, if we’re talking modern settings!
- More black ladies who have a sporty/playful nature!
- Who aren’t afraid to get dirty and make chaos, without being dirty or frowned upon!
- Strange as it sounds coming from me, more black princesses! Brandy as Cinderella in the 90s was my first Cinderella, and I LOVE that.
- Please, god, more black wlws.
- I want to see tropes exercised
- Black women of all shades and tones
- Tbh just fellow black people being happy, like I rarely see that,
- Or enjoying hobbies
- Happily childless black women
- Black women traveling the world
- Fat black women in happy, healthy, poly relationships
- Black cis and trans women having a true sisterhood
- Autistic black women
- Black women in period pieces that aren’t about slavery and don’t take place in the US
- Black women thespians
- Black women painters
- Black women revolutionaries
- Black women front and center in the narrative
- Black women healers and storytellers
- Non christian Black women stories
- Black women rockers
#complicated black women characters #tell those stories
More Black Girls…
- With diverse cultural and social backgrounds!
- That are nerdy, girly, intelligent, ditzy, all the personality types that white girls in literature get!
- That are fragile, shy or anxious. Almost every single black woman I’ve seen in media or otherwise are wise and adult. Let us be an absolute wreck, or an anxious mess!
- In science! Characters like Shuri, Moon Girl and Iron Heart in Marvel revitalized me, cuz young black girls only get two types. Both these girls are in intellectual and in science, but have bery different personalities.
- In interracial relationships, and not because they hate black men or something along those lines. They just happen to be dating outside their race, black women get hate for that in real life and it’s unfair. Let us have relationships outside our race! That said…
- In platonic relationships with black men! I think that’s important, cuz I don’t often seen black solidarity unless it’s for the purpose of showing how diverse the writing is. Let them share interests, daily frustrations that they would only understand, but don’t force a romance.
- In solid friendships with other black girls! For some reason, we’re pitted against in each other inside and outside of writing! Write some sweet wholesome friendship!
- With different sexualities! Let there be some that are ace, others are gay, bi or pan! Just be sure you don’t sexualize them, or turn em into a robot.
- •Who are dark-skinned! This can be seen a lot in tv or movies, but when you want a black girl in your stuff don’t just hire a light-skinned black girl or a biracial black girl. It’s not the same.
- Who get to act their age! Black women have a long standing history of being adultified, starting from a very young age, and it’s extremely harmful. Little black girls can wear what they please, the problem is people sexualizing them. Let the teen black girl be a teenager, she can look out for her siblings but she isn’t the keepern the house or their lives. Young adult black girls are not ideal housewives or capable working machines, they mess up and mess around just as much as any young adult.
- With mental/physical disabilities or illnesses.Alongside with being forced to be more mature than they are, disabilities/illnesses are never taken seriously and we’re forced to just deal with it. Having black girls who happen to have these issues, but also have a healthy support group is always good!
- Seen as beautiful and desirable and NOT in a hypersexualized way
- Interracial relationships are wonderful because black girls are beautiful and lbr everybody sees it
- Sensitive and allowed to feel something other than righteous anger
- Some black girls are skinny! Some are big! Some are slim and some are curvy! There’s no mold!
- Dark skinned!
- A YA protagonist out to save the world from something other than racism
- Superpowers or magic that doesn’t come from generational trauma or slavery
- Black characters who support other black characters. None of this token crabs in a barrel business.
- Black girl nerds and punks and goths exist. I promise.
- And this may be a personal preference but I’m not against the idea of a damsel in distress. We are always being strong. Let her be soft and delicate and cared for. Let her be princess carried and rescued from the tower and the dragon.
[Note from Mod: It’s not just you! I love a Black damsel being saved and protected. What is progressive for one woman varies due to historical and present depictions and is why intersectionality in feminism is so important! -Colette]
As a writer, I write a lot of my black female characters like this because I rarely ever see black women being represented in these ways! ESPECIALLY on the covers of books, unless the author themselves is a black woman and even then its rare.
Too often black women are stereotyped as strong protector types that are always rough, tough, and don’t need anybody in books (and real life), when that’s honestly just dumb and inaccurate–black women are as vulnerable as anyone else (in some cases, even more vulnerable, but that’s another topic).
So yeah, this list is 100% accurate and I encourage those who are interested in writing black female characters (whether you’re a black woman or not) to consider writing them like this, because the stereotype needs to die lol.
Visit: alwaysanoriginal at the link, to continue reading the rest.
We’re all having “hard conversations” about racism, police brutality, and #BlackLivesMatter I hope.
You’ve probably noticed that detractors often use the same “racist talking points” in response. Here’s a researched and sourced guide to help you answer, for the times you may get stuck.
Feel free to save these images and share them!
#Say Her Name
Aiyana Mo’Nay Stanley-Jones
Sandra Bee Wilson
Tameka Evette Anthony
Emma Mae Horton
Guanda Denise Turner
Andrea Nicole Reedy
Tesha Reena Collins
Clanesha Rayuna Shaqwanda Hickmon
Dijon Senay Jackson
Denise Michelle Washinton
Clara Fay Morris
Gabriella Monique Nevarez
Keoshia L. Hill
Audwyn Fitzgerald Ball
Jameela Yasmeen Arshad
Jameela Cecila Barnette
Martha Regina Donald
Tessa “Teesee” Hardeman
Emily Marie Delafield
Queniya Tykia Shelton
Aubrey Zoe Brown
Michelle “Vash” Payne
Tiffini Kuuipo Tobe
Deshanda “Ta-Ta” Sanchez
Sharon Rebecca McDowell
Ricky Shawatza Hall
Lashonda Ruth Belk
Natasha Renee Osby
Rekha Kalawattie Budhai
Tracy A. Wade
Varez Michelle Cusseaux
Bessie Louise Stovall
Queonna Zophia Edmonds
Wanda Jean Allen
Summer Marie Lane
Halley Simone Lee
Erika Tyrone or Erica Rhena Tyrone
Antonia Martines Lagares
Delicia C. Myers
Dorothy Smith Wright
Chanda White (Pickney)
Deanna Cook Patrick
Vida DeShondrell Byrd
Rosa Flores Lopez
Sarah Ann Riggins
Yazmin Vash Payne
Rikessa La’Shae Lee
MOVE bombing victims
Kristina Grant Infiniti
Taja Gabrielle DeJesus
Brianna Elaine Carmina Ford
Kendrinka T. Williams
Talana Salissa Cain
Amber Nashay Carter
Catawaba Tequila Howard
Tamu Malika Bouldin
Alice Faye DeFlanders Clausell
Uteva Monique Woods Wilson
Marnell Robertson Villarreal
Angela Beatrice Randolph
Denise Nicole Glasco
Linda Joyce Friday
Shari Bethel Cartmell
Fandom is toxic to fans of color, especially Black women
TRIGGER WARNING: Mass shootings.
On another post I’m not going to link to, someone commented that people hate Kylo Ren because he’s a white dude and asked if that would still be the case if he were a woman of color.
This person seemed genuinely curious, so I did my best to briefly put that reaction to his character into a broader social and political context. Namely, that whether deliberately or not, Kylo Ren, as a character, exhibits traits analogous to mass shooters, and people may be responding to that because of the scars that mass shootings have left on the collective American psyche.
I also mentioned how we unfortunately live in a world where white male mass shooters are treated better than Black people murdered by cops and white men with guns, and people who would be targeted by the “typical” mass shooter (entitled, pissed off white males with alt-right/neo-fascist/white nationalist leanings) may find Kylo Ren particularly repulsive.
What the hell did I say that for?
You’d have thought that I said, “If you like Kylo Ren, you’re a horrible piece of shit, and you need to be locked up or executed.”
Which I didn’t, BTW. I have better things to do than shit on people for enjoying a fictional character. Like picking my nose.
Unfortunately, I can’t say I’m surprised. I’ve seen it all before.
This sort of thing inevitably crops up whenever fans of color attempt to address the larger social and political context of media and fandom. Almost without fail, someone will respond as if we said, “You’re a terrible person if you like this character, ship, or work of art.”
Unless you’re talking about outright bigoted propaganda like Birth of A Nation or Triumph of the Will, I rarely see fans of color say that. I have seen fans of color be sharply critical of behaviors some fans engage in. I have seen fans of color urge fans to be mindful of how they consume media and how they participate in fandom. I have seen fans of color attempt to add depth and nuance to the way fandom addresses race. I have seen fans of color apply the framework of intersectionality to better understand media and fandom. I have seen fans of color warn each other about fandom environments toxic to people of color.
But straight-up hating on fans who like something they don’t? Not really. I’ve seen fans of color, especially Black women, get labeled as haters and antis because they do the things I mentioned up there. I’ve seen fans of color, especially Black women, get accused of hating fans who like a certain character, ship or piece of media because they examine characters, ships and media from a social and political context different from the fandom norm. I’ve seen fans of color, especially Black women, get labeled as hostile, angry or mean because they didn’t code-switch thoroughly enough.
Most of the time when we catch this kind of flack from fandom, nobody sticks up for us. Nobody assures us that we’re valid. Nobody comforts us. At best, there might be a handful of women of color in the same fandom who see what’s going on and speak up. But the vast majority of the time, we’re on our own.
It’s painful and exhausting.
So where does this leave fans of color, especially Black women? It seems there are only a few choices if we don’t want to constantly deal with all that:
- Remain silent or stick to “safe” topics
- Keep to a small circle of other fans of color
- Leave the fandom
Many fans of color, especially Black women, just fucking leave. If somebody’s always going to get bent out of shape when a fan of color brings a teensy bit of BIPOC realness to the fandom experience, that’s not a place that’s healthy for fans of color to be.
As white people, we can’t begin to eradicate our internalized biases without knowing how to identify them. Let’s educate ourselves. And don’t forget that these are biases you need to call out when you see them in others as well.
Understanding Implicit Bias (article)
Stereotypes of African Americans (wikipedia): do the work to understand the links between old incredibly harmful stereotypes and modern white expectation that Black people be caretakers, for example.
Read about how scientific racism was used to institutionalize racism and justify slavery and white supremacy in the United States by claiming that enslaved people could withstand more pain.
Connect this to Black people today being denied the same medical treatment as whites: Some medical students still think black patients feel less pain than whites (article)
On calling Black people articulate/well-spoken/educated: The Racial Politics of Speaking Well (article)
Consider why perceptions of Black people as dangerous/aggressive make white folks so reactive to Black anger: to perceive civility as incivility and to perceive anger as a violent threat.
Perceptions and stereotypes of Black men being bigger, stronger and scarier can also be fetishizing. Fetishizing people of color isn’t a compliment, so don’t act like it is (article)
Is This How Discrimination Ends? (article)
I encourage anyone to add, with links or by writing out your own thoughts.
As white people, what should be guiding us is compassion: breaking down the way white supremacy has reduced our compassion for Black lives.
Anger Benefits Some Americans Much More Than Others, by Davin Phoenix, author of “The Anger Gap: How Race Shapes Emotion in Politics.” (article)
Racial Profiling and the Loss of Black Boyhood, by Hussain Abdulhaqq (article)
This is just a compilation of some of the posts I made for my Tumblr account. I post very different things there, than I do here, but sometimes I post some things which overlap. These are just some thoughts that occurred to me in the past couple of weeks, and I wrote them down really quick, because although my thoughts about things are consistent, I sometimes forget what I wanted to actually say, and how to say it.
On Narrative Conditioning
As usual, I have this habit of watching events that happen in the rest of the world through the lens of the films I’ve watched, because the analogy just hits me, not because I can’t tell the difference between fiction and reality. It’s just how my mind connects things to other things. Nothing that happens in stories is new, and I see fiction as a reflection and reinforcement of things and thinking that happens in the real world. On some deep level, white people do understand that certain things are wrong, because they keep making fiction (often fantasies) about it.
I think fictional narratives are important, even today, because so much of what we all believe about other human beings does not come from direct experience. A lot of what we believe comes from popular and mainstream media, which is primarily owned by straight, white, men, and it is their thinking about the rest of humanity that gets prioritized. The images of black people that white men put out in the world, for decades, not just in fictional narratives, but in news stories and opinion pieces online, all of it, essentially teaches the rest of the world that our lives are unimportant, and teaches us to hate ourselves. Everyone (yes, PoC, and me, too) are inundated with the idea that whiteness is the default, and takes priority. Some of us overcome this constant messaging by critically challenging these narratives. Some people don’t.
For example, as I grew up, I was inundated with the idea that I was ugly because I was black. Not because I was ever told I was ugly. And not because people told me that white was prettier, but because the words “beautiful” and “pretty”, were never associated with women who looked like me. Those words were used everywhere, in tv ads, and shows, and movie after movie, to only refer to thin, middle-class, white women. (For a good example of this, count how many times Uma Thurman’s character is referred to as beautiful in the Kill Bill movies, and how none of the other female characters looks are ever mentioned. Those women do not have to be called ugly for us to get the message. She just has to constantly be referred to as pretty, while their looks are ignored.) Now imagine a steady diet of this from childhood onward. No one is calling you ugly, but you get the message loud and clear, that pretty doesn’t mean you. This is what is meant by passive conditioning. All of us have this conditioning, and most of this conditioning is done through mainstream media, like books, movies, tv shows, and music.
On Not Thinking
One of the things I’ve observed about trump supporters is that many of them seem to be every bit as incoherent in their mental faculties as trump is. These are not people who have ever had clear, and consistent thoughts, in the sense that one idea follows the next, but instead, seem to have a collection of specific talking points, that are attached to whatever issue sparks their outrage.
These are not ideas that are part of a coherent schema, and most of these thoughts are separate and unattached to one another. It’s one of the reasons so many of them gravitate to raving anger when asked deeper questions about whatever it was they just said. If you ask one of them how sheltering in place is like slavery, to elaborate on that, then they’ll simply produce a string of more talking points, at the mention of the word slavery. They are simply parroting what theyve been told to think, when a specific word is mentioned, and it’s also the reason that while they are consistent from one person to the next, they are internally inconsistent with the individual.
This, I think, is why none of their thoughts make logical sense, to the rest of us, who do have a consistent life philosophy. We form our philosophy over time and then fit circumstances, events, life experiences, and people, into that philosophy. (I’m not speaking about Evangelicals because they’re a special case of nasty, so this doesn’t fit them.) I could be wrong about this but the bottom line is that non-trump supporters are generally pretty coherent and consistent in their thinking in a way that his deepest supporters are not.
Many of trumps supporters didn’t logic there way into the statements we hear them make, and so cannot be logicked out of any of those ideas. These are things they have been told to say, and believe, when a subject is mentioned, even if there is no consistency between the answers. They literally do not see the inconsistencies because they have been conditioned not to think critically, not to ask questions, while the rest of us have. I don’t think they believe sheltering in place is like slavery. That’s simply the thought that’s been attached to their frustration at being inconvenienced, even if that specific thought contradicts another thought they might have if you bring up slavery (It wasn’t real, black people need to get over it, I didn’t own slaves, etc.)
I wrote this one when I was feeling particularly salty, about some dumb shit, I saw on Tumblr.
On Speaking Out
So as soon as some shit pop off, you got white people coming out from under the floorboards, (honestly, these people are like cockroaches, they only come out when our lives are at their darkest), with their traditional hot takes about black violence. What do these people do? Lie in wait for an opportunity to tell black people how they should respond to white wtf*ery? Yes! That’s exactly what they do.
Some people are so shameless, they will take any and every opportunity to express their anti-blackness. They’re completely oblivious to injustices that aren’t happening to them, but when hands get thrown, they finally notice that, and manage to work up enough energy to care…but only about the response….like those teachers who only saw when you got fed up with being bullied, and finally kicked some ass!
If they didn’t have shit to say about a single Black person’s death, at the hands of vigilantes and extrajudicial killers, (or worse yet, didn’t even notice that shit was happening), they don’t get a say in how black people respond to the violence that was done to them, especially the kind of violence that could have been thwarted, if they’d paid closer attention to what was happening ,and done something.
Offering their shitty hot take, on what black people need to be doing right now, is very possibly some of the most mentally lazy, and easiest bullshit they can pull right now!
With the Floyd imagery, there is a visceral component to it,that even the worst of these types of videos lacked. As viewers we sat there, and watched his face, and heard his last words, and looked into his eyes for as long as it took to kill him, and that had an effect on people that the other videos didn’t.
Even in other videos we didn’t see the victims faces up close. The videos were from a distance, or the victims were seen from behind, or it happened so fast it almost didn’t register for some people. Just like in a movie, the way the image is framed has a lot to do with the level of emotional engagement with the subject. The closer the camera is to the people being filmed, the higher the level of emotional engagement with that image.
In closeup, in broad daylight, one man is being killed, while the person that does it, looks completely indifferent to what he’s doing.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think these are like movies, but this is how a lot of our minds have been conditioned, through decades of movies and television, to think and/or feel about death. If it’s not up close and personal to the viewer, then the emotional engagement, (certainly for a lot of non-black people), just isn’t there. They didn’t really SEE it, or FEEL it. But this time, they were standing right there, watching his face, hearing his last breath, watching the life being strangled from him ,and knowing it was real.
They watched the face of his killer, and could see the lack of humanity, of empathy, of care, in his expressionless face. In such imagery, there is a level of complicity that’s absent from mostof the other videos ,where you didn’t see the perpetrators face, or the victims expressions. This felt different because it looked different.
On All Cops Are Bastards
Would you eat from that bowl? Would you grab a handful and chow down, knowing that in a bowl of 100 skittles, ten of them will kill you?
No. You’d throw the whole damn bowl out. The whole damn bowl is bad.
We cannot tell, just by looking at them, which cops are going to kill us, and which ones won’t.
All cops are bad, because it is the system that is bad.
The correct phrase is: One bad apple spoils the whole bunch.
If one cop is bad, and the others don’t work to eject him, that makes them all bad!
You throw the whole damn group out!
“What does it mean when people say that all cops are bastards (ACAB)?”
If it were an individual thing, you’d give them the benefit of the doubt, but it isn’t; it’s an institutional thing. the job itself is a bastard, therefore by carrying out the job, they are bastards. To take it to an extreme: there were no good members of the gestapo because there was no way to carry out the directives of the gestapo and to be a good person. it is the same with the american police state. Police do not exist to protect and serve, according to the US supreme court itself, but to dominate, control, and terrorize in order to maintain the interests of state and capital.
Who are the good cops then? The ones who either quit or are fired for refusing to do the job.
While the following list focuses on the US as a model police state, ALL cops in ALL countries are derivative from very similar violent traditions of modern policing, rooted in old totalitarian regimes, genocides, and slavery, if not the mere maintenance of authoritarian power structures through terrorism.
- police shoot people twice as often as previously thought. Keep in mind that this was self-reported, so we have no way of knowing if these numbers speak to the actual number of shootings in the US. Many of these people are completely unarmed. Police kill far, far more people than terrorists in the US and have killed over a hundred people more than mass shooters did in 2019 that we are aware of. Mass shooters are easily tracked. Police killings are not. 1 2
- Oh, and cops also killed more people in 2019 than school shooters did in all of US history.
- And if they don’t shoot you, they might just airstrike your block and burn your children alive.
- They also shoot one dog every hour, every day. At the absolute least.
- Once you’re in jail, be prepared to sit there for weeks -or months or years. It’s so bad that people constantly plead guilty just so they can get out. It’s so bad and so common, in fact, that over a third of all exonerations come after an individual has pleaded guilty. So much for the right to a speedy trial, huh?
- And getting arrested is easy – tens of thousands of people yearly, in fact, thanks to lowest bidder garbage that police departments use in order to test for illicit substances. Field drug tests are about as reliable as lie detector tests or horoscopes. They just don’t work. They just don’t.
- Think you’re safe if you just follow directions? Yeah, no. And if they don’t just outright kill you, they could make their instructions so arcane and hard to follow that they’ll kill you for not following them, and they’ll usually get away with it. He got away with it, by the way. Surprise!
- They’ll prosecute you for even knowing about crimes cops have committed.
- Think you’re safe in your home? lmao nah. Not even your 7 year old is safe from getting her brains blown out. check out this horrifying megapost on no-knock raids
- Being a taxi driver is literally more dangerous than being a cop.
- cops are more of a danger to themselves than anyone else is to them
- they’ve admitted to stealing as much -or recently more– than burglars through “asset forfeiture,” and the rate of their thefts has been climbing yearly. Keep in mind, these numbers only articulate what’s been reported. It’s probable that they’ve stolen far more than just this.
- police are literally allowed to rape people on the job in 35 states, as they have the power to determine whether or not you consented to sex with them while in their custody.
- up to 50% of the people police murder are disabled
- the police are being trained to kill as if they’re an occupying army and we’re an insurgency. this is an inevitability, as the military-industrial complex needs to keep expanding into new markets.
- Eugenics was still alive and well in the prison-industrial complex up until very recently, and could very well be continuing for all we know, as it was forcibly sterilizing inmates as late as 2010. I honestly don’t see a reason to believe it’s stopped.
- The US surveillance state is massive (and while this post primarily focuses on the US, other countries are just as bad), though much of our surveillance is privatized. This doesn’t stop the police from partnering with private companies, however. This will only get worse as time goes on. Also, we can’t forget about the Patriot Act and Snowden’s PRISM leaks.
- the police, as an institution, are so completely steeped in violence, that up to 40% of them commit acts of domestic violence and other forms of domestic abuse. Most citizens are not even allowed to own firearms if found guilty of domestic violence, and these guys are expected to handle military-grade equipment.
- Police exist to control and terrorize us, not serve and protect us. That’s only their function if you happen to be rich and powerful.
also this: lol
the police as they are now haven’t even existed for 200 years as an institution, and the modern police force was founded to control crowds and catch slaves, not to “serve and protect” – unless you mean serving and protecting what people call “the 1%.” They have a long history of controlling the working class by intimidating, harassing, assaulting, and even murdering strikers during labor disputes. This isn’t a bug; it’s a feature.
The justice system also loves to intimidate and outright assassinate civil rights leaders.
The police do not serve justice. The police serve the ruling classes, whether or not they themselves are aware of it. They make our communities far more dangerous places to live, but there are alternatives to the modern police state. There is a better way.
(all links are to free versions of the texts found online – many curated from this source)
Malcolm X Grassroots Movement. (2013). Let Your Motto Be Resistance: A Handbook on Organizing New Afrikan and Oppressed Communities for Self-Defense.
Rose City Copwatch. (2008). Alternatives to Police.
Williams, Kristian. (2011). “The other side of the COIN: counterinsurgency and community policing.” Interface 3(1).
Williams, Kristian. (2004). Our Enemies in Blue: Police and power in America. New York: Soft Skull Press.
Source: Watch large group of officers protecting George Floyd’s killer (reddit user american_apartheid)
I am a movie lover, and I especially love horror movies written by Stephen King. I grew up watching horror movies. In fact, I think my mother and I (I blame her for my sordid addiction to horror films) tried to watch every one that got made between 1982, and 1989, before I went off to college.
One of the movies that always stuck with me, on a moral and political level, was Stephen Kings The Dead Zone. Christopher Walken plays a man named Johnny, who gets psychic powers after a car accident. After he gets these powers, he meets a union delegate named Greg Stillson, played by Martin Sheen, and has a vision of the future, where Stillson, as president, starts a nuclear war. Haunted by this image, Johnny decides to assassinate Stillson during his campaign for president. He doesn’t succeed in killing Stillson, but he does change the future.
During Johnny’s assassination attempt, Stillson, while standing at a podium, grabs a little girl (who happens to be the daughter of Johnny’s ex-girlfriend) and is photographed using the child’s body as a shield. It effectively ends his campaign and he never becomes president.
Movies often use the trope of a person’s willingness to harm the innocent to protect themselves, as a way to show how corrupt, ruthless, or just sheer evil they are.The other day, Trump, who has a life long record of shitty behavior it would take too long to get into here, used police brutality against a crowd of peaceful protestors (against police brutality,) and Australian journalists, to clear them away from a photo op he wanted to take at the church in Lafayette Park, which is across the street from the WH. Every moment of the brutality was caught on film.
George Floyd may have been the death heard round the world, but this is different. The footage from this was seen and heard around the world too, only this time, Trump was directly involved, and in doing so, has created an international incident that has received global censure. We have reached the point where government officials, of other countries, are openly trolling and just blatantly disrespecting the president, and his staff, on social media. Any kind of moral standing we ever had in the world, as a nation, has been entirely spent. Even the rest of the world are utterly sick and tired of this man, and are feeling free to express their contempt for American imperialism.
There have been a lot of times, we’ve watched his actions and thought, “This is it, this is the last time he can do something like that. His term is now over.” But it never happened. This may actually be Trumps Baby Shield moment. At any rate, with every terrible decision he makes during this crisis, he insures the demise of his career.
I certainly hope so.
But, I’ve been wrong about that before, huh?
I have a Tumblr blog where I follow certain people and conversations. I’m not on Twitter or Facebook ,as Twitter eats up far too much time, and Facebook is largley useless to me, for talking about issues. I talk about different things on Tumblr than I do here, and I noticed my manner there is more blunt and direct than here. I feel like when I’m on there I need to say what I need to say as fast and with as much clarity as possible, not like here on my own blog, where I can take my time to make my point.
On Tumblr, I can send some quick missives off into the ether, and maybe I’ll get some feedback, maybe not but its a good way to dash off some thoughts about something before forget what was being talked about. Here’s a few (largely unedited) hot takes I made in response to whatever issues were being talked about on my dashboard.
Tired Of Superheroes
These are just the thoughts that occurred to me after I had a conversation with a friend of mine (who is white, btw), and she and I got into a discussion about why she feels anytihng at all about movies she has no plans to ever see, and doesn’t care about. I’m genuinely baffled at the idea of people being angry about certain types of movies getting released. My friend knows nothing about comic books, or superheroes, so I get her disinterest. If she said she didn’t care for the quality of such films, I would understand, but that’s not what she said.
I was having a conversation with a friend of mine yesterday,and she proclaimed that she was getting really tired of superhero movies, and that they should start making other films. I had to get on her case about that, because I’m pretty sure she doesn’t know how she sounds. Hollywood does make other kinds of movies, but people don’t go see those. She certainly doesn’t go see them. Maybe if she went to see the other kinds of movies Hollywood makes, they would make more of those types of movies.
First of all how are you going to be mad about Hollywood making movies that you don’t ever go see, and are not particularly interested in? I mean how does it work that you’re upset that other people are making certain types of films popular. I also told her that these kinds of movies are still a relatively new thing, especially since the technology has caught up with out ability to imagine absolutely anything. Its really only been about ten years that this has really been kicking off, and that’s mostly due to the MCU.
Hollywood is going to keep making superhero movies as long as we keep giving them money and making them blockbusters. Now I happen to like superhero movies. I like their action, colors, and inventiveness. I prefer the comedies, and the straight up actioners, and I just enjoy watching the onscreen version of characters I’ve always only ever read about in books, and you know what? I simply don’t pay any attention to movies I’m not interested in. I hate watching Rom Coms, and Hollywood keeps making those, but I’m not angry they are making movies I don’t like. I just don’t go see those films. How you gonna be mad that other people are excited about movies you’re not interested in seeing? I’ve never understand that kind of thinking.
I also think it’s mighty funny that I’ve been hearing this refrain a lot more often, now that women, and poc are starting to get superhero movies made about their favorite characters. I’m not saying people who make such statements are racist, but it doesn’t look good, that the only time I hear so many people talking about how they need to quit making so many superhero movies, is when poc and women start to get theirs. When it was just white men, I heard this complaint a little bit, but not as much as I did after Black Panther was released. Now suddenly after Captain Marvel, and BP, Hollywood needs to stop making these types of movies.. That’s just an interesting observation.
White Feminism in Fandom
This is part of the continuing conversation to be had on Tumblr where we discuss intersectional feminism in movies and shows.This time it was about the treatment of Uhura, specifically her relationship with Spock, in fandom. Black women on Tumblr are forever trying to get white female fans to understand that the way Women of color are traditionally treated onscreen, is not the same as white women’s treatment, and how the treatment of black female characters in fandom is often full of racist tropes. As white women you cannot demand the same things of Black female characters that you can of white ones.
What white feminists want is for black Woman to be”strong and not need no man”. Uhura is just supposed to be unloved and single, like she was in the original series, like every black woman in genre narratives. I’ve been watching the original series since I was a little girl.
Don’t get me wrong. I grew up on Spirk, I read a lot of Spirk, and that was my thing for two decades because I knew no one was ever gonna let Uhura be loved, but when I saw that JJ had went there in the new movie, I stood and I applauded.
As a little girl I used to dream about being as beautiful and elegant as Uhura, and I was sure I was gonna marry Spock when I grew up, and I finally got that representation at my old age, but I guess the dreams of little black girls don’t mean shit to white women who just want, yet another, after another, after another, mlm ship, in yet another show!
Teen Wolf, The Flash, Walking Dead, in every single show where there is a black female love interest with the white male lead, white women fans always show their whole duplicitous asses, about the black woman not being worthy of their white male love, and how she should be replaced with any compatible white woman, any same age white male he’s ever locked eyes with more than once, and even the villains who have tried to kill him, and his love interest, multiple times. We’re not talking about your individual ship, or attacking you personally. We’re telling you you need to examine why you need yet another mlm ship in yet another show or movie when fandom has dozens of such examples, all of that while ignoring canon male interracial ships, at that!
Why do all the ships need to be white!
This is a pattern across multiple genres, for more than two decades! This is racism!
Fandom is not the same for black women as it is for white women. The stereotypes for black women are the opposite compared to white women, though the objective of those stereotypes may be the same. Where white women get damseled, we don’t. We get to be strong onscreen, white women don’t. White women in movies get to be brides, while WoC only get to be side pieces, and murder victims.
Ship what you want, but be mindful of what you’re doing. Be mindful of how it looks to black women. Be mindful of what you say in defense of your ship when someone says something to you about. Our biggest issue isn’t always with the shipping you do, it’s the deceitful and racist manner in which y’all defend said ships that piss us the f*ck off!
(Spirk= Spock +Kirk; mlm = men loving men)
This was said during a discussion about how the failure of BoP at the box office,(which is not a compete failure, but that’s another discussion), is being spun by the “manosphere” to say that movies that include feminist thoughts and ideas, are all going to be failures. I think this is once again just part of white men’s agenda to only have films made that center them and their needs.
One of the biggest complaints about BoP before its release was that none of the female characters were sexy. That said, the movie is unapologetically femme! So, the answer to that was “not sexy according to white men, no.” Now that the movie has under performed at the box office, these same men are using that to say that if the movie had given in to their demands to make the female characters sexier for men to look at, it would have done better.
Birds of Prey and Quality Films
This was a response to some white guy on Tumblr who was upset about Black people not wanting to interact with white people, calling it racist to not trust them. This sounds exactly like men who are upset that women have difficulty trusting that men won’t hurt them and refusing to interact with them, because as men, they are individual,, special beings, that women should be able to tell, just by looking, that they would never hurt anyone.
Habitual Foot Steppers
Every day, PoC in this country have negative, sometimes even violent, interactions with white people. Hell, they probably often have such interactions with members of their own culture, but it’s only white people, especially those who control mainstream public messaging through media, who are constantly advocating that white people are individuals who don’t represent their group, and need to be forgiven for those negative interactions, without a single one of them making any effort to bring those types of interactions to a halt.
In fact, many of them will simultaneously argue that not only should such actions be constantly forgiven, overlooked, or gotten over, they will also insist those interactions don’t happen at all. It’s the equivalent of people stepping on your foot every time they see you, and when you complain, or tell them to stop it, them telling you they didn’t do it, to prove they didn’t step on your foot, and it didn’t happen because they didn’t notice it, or intend to do it. You would naturally be well within your right to not only avoid that people in the future, and probably be more than a little pissed that they didn’t listen to you when you told them they hurt you.
All these different people, from the same cultural group, insist on stepping on your feet, while proclaiming loudly to their audience that not only didn’t they intend to do it, that it’s not hurting you, they didn’t actually do it, and you’re too sensitive and should get over it. And when you get angry about it and avoid them and express resent,ent over their behavior, they call you a racist, for not trusting them, and deciding to protect your feet by avoiding them.
These are some of the hot takes I left on Medium.com. This one was about men who think, if they pursue a woman hard enough, long enough, she will eventually give in to his desires, and this is an idea that is prevalent in Pop culture media.
Stalking for Love
One of the reasons some men are like this is because they are socialized to do so, from the moment they start consuming the culture. Songs after song, books upon books, movie after movie, and TV shows after show, are really good at imparting one major message. That women are prizes given to them for persistence, correct behavior, owning the right car, shoes, house, and sometimes just for having a penis!
They have been shown again and again, that if they pursue a woman hard enough, stalk her long enough, just keep asking, and asking, and asking, they will eventually wear her down, she will reach enlightenment, and of course, dispense her charms. “No”, in Pop culture, really just means, “Not right now.” or “Keep trying!” This is what they’ve been sold, and you can tell which ones have fully bought it, because they are the ones who get enraged when women go off-script.
They are behaving exactly the way they’ve been taught to behave, having fully, and uncritically, drank the Kool-aid, that persistence wins the girl. Almost nothing in our culture tells men they need to have the correct character, or hold certain virtues. Too much of Pop culture teaches men that they don’t have to be genuinely good, or kind, or gentle men, to attract women. They are taught that women are fickle creatures that need to be tricked, or hounded into wanting them.
This is not a hard and fast rule because there are plenty of men who have, somehow, managed to avoid this kind of thinking, but it is definitely an element in the thinking of these kind of men. I don’t think there is a causality, so much as a life long influence.
These responses I wrote as comments on Medium.com.
Both of these responses ended up being tangentially related to each other. The first was a response to an article about White people’s hypocrisy in calling PoC racist, whenever we express any form of unhappiness (or sarcasm) at the existence of White people in a public sphere. I remember that Asian woman who lost her journalism job over tweets she made years ago, where she joked about white people. It is important to keep in mind that these people are reacting to things that progressives have been doing, and its been the tactic recently of marginalized people not just to talk back to the kinds of people who victimize us on social media, and in public, but to see that such people be ostracized by society, by contacting their families and employers.
This particular article was about a young African American woman, who made a public statement about there being too many white people in her college’s Multicultural Center, and white (mostly men) opinionators in the news media, having a full on meltdown, and calling her a racist. For the record, I think what she said was kind of stupid, but it doesn’t make her a racist. It just makes her very young and silly.
Since reactionaries have a tendency to lack imagination, they have this nasty thing where they appropriate the tactics that have traditionally been used by marginalized people to fight their oppression. Its especially galling when such people use those same tactics against, not just the people who invented the tactics, but whom they have traditionally bullied. Marginalized people invented the tactics out of desperation, to teach a lesson, or to make the harm they cause have consequences, but what reactionaries are doing (as so much of their behavior is often motivated) out of pure spite.
I definitely think this is a backlash against white people being called out for everything they’ve gotten wrong for centuries. They’ve been calling everyone who isn’t white, straight, or a man, nasty slurs, since the invention of American English. They still do that on the regular today, and these same people are the ones who like to argue about saying the N*word, but let some anonymous black girl make a dubious statement, and they lose the entirety of their shit! I’d be angrier, except it’s amazing to behold.
But then: Never, in the history of this country, have white people been spoken back to, and challenged, by marginalized people, in such great numbers, as much as they have, since the invention of the internet.
(Every time they say anything, they are reminded that white people have caused an incredible amount of damage to other people, and are still doing it. No one likes to be called out for behavior they have always known is wrong, but are reluctant to change, because they derive emotional benefits that they are unwilling to acknowledge, what Du Bois called “the psychological wages of whiteness.”)
And this isn’t like before, where your garden variety white person was largely unaware of all this “talking back”, and could simply quash any talking back, they encountered by screaming, and extreme violence. Now its impossible to not know how marginalized people feel, and our pushback against oppression, and injustice, is often immediate, and intense. They are working desperately to reestablish their equilibrium, by upholding the status quo. But someone once said to me, that’s what Conservative means: to conserve. To keep things as they were.
They’re so used to simply ignoring any form of oppression, but now it’s constantly being thrown in their face. They can’t ignore it anymore. (This is mass white fragility (rather than individual).
I commented on this very thing in another post. I think it’s time for us to stop focusing so much on just black pain and racism. Although we can still make such stories, I think it’s time to start imagining ourselves in new environments, new types of stories, and in the future, which is why I’m a huge supporter of Afro-Futurism.
Part of the reason white fandom acts the way it does is that so often, those have been the only type of stories they’ve been exposed to, in mainstream media. Black people know there are other types of fun, lighthearted Black oriented, movies out there, that are not associating our race, yet again, with crime and slavery (even positive depictions still associate our race with these two topics). These are often the only ways that white audiences know us, even though we can list a dozen or more films about Blackness that don’t center either of those.
I think part of this is also a “white lash” against the pop culture demands of black people in the past ten years, demands which are finally, slowly, being answered. I know it’s not because we’re taking over white characters roles, because even with original roles, in original stories, black actors get harassed and vilified by white fandom. So it’s not about any of the reasons they state, and in quite a few cases, it’s simply an excuse for some of them to engage in the anti-Black bigotry they’ve always wanted to express, in the real world, but can’t do so without being called a racist bigot. I think that’s something that’s never going to change.
It’s because Black People are being highly visible, everywhere, and demanding, not asking, not begging, to be included in any industry that takes our money. We are demanding they include us, or we will give our money to someone, or anything else, or make our own, and rake in that dough (look at Fenty Beauty!)
There’s also an increasing sense of white male irrelevance, which is the kind of backlash that happens, every time there’s a pop cultural shift of any kind. This sort of behavior happens every time white people start feeling like they are no longer in control of the culture. It’s happened in music for nearly a century (Jazz, Rock, Rap). This is also currently happening in even the most innocuous subjects, like the knitting community, and Romance fiction.
I’ve been thinking about this, studying this, and trying to put it into some kind of historical context, for a while. This kind of behavior from (primarily) white people is far from new. It’s been going on for decades.
I’ve been on Tumblr for a while now, and I’m still not tired of it. Here are a few hot takes about various subjects.
sc*rjo made more than 2 facial expressions for the first time in her career and got a leading actress nomination meanwhile lupita played 2 entirely different people in the same movie and got snubbed.. shut it down
People in the comments are missing the entire picture.
It’s not as simple as ScarJo getting nominated and Lupita not and it’s not about our “fave” vs your “fave”.
Scarjo was nominated for playing a normal, regular woman whose relationship breaks down. Haven’t we seen this before? I think it was Revolutionary Road with Kate Winslet and Leo DiCaprio. Before that it was The War Of the Roses with Kathleen Turner and Michael Douglas, before that it was Kramer vs. Kramer with Meryl Streep and Dustin Hoffman, all of which were nominated for various awards from the Bafta’s to the Golden Globes to the Oscars… the point being, we’ve seen this role over and over again, the actress just changes.
Lupita literally played TWO SEPERATE PEOPLE in the MOST ORIGINAL MOVIE OF 2019 and was shafted. A very limited group of actresses could have pulled off what Lupita did in Us. Horror or not, she put on a better performance than Scarjo did in A Marriage Story. Horror or not, Us made $250 million dollars on a $20 milllion dollar budget mostly because of HER performance and she got squat.
One role could have literally been played by any actress.
The other required skill.
But guess who got nominated? Let’s stop celebrating mediocrity.
On Experiencing The New
Gonna tell y’all what I can hear now that I got my hearing aids
Birds! They chirp and it’s so beautiful.
Far away cow moos
My friend has this is his back yard and to say I cried is an understatement.
My best friends singing voice
The filter for my fish tank! Bubble bubble bubble
I sit in the bass section in band. Today I could clearly hear the flutes up at the front! They’re not great, but I can finally hear them!
The sound of walking in sand.
Soft but kinda crunchy? Very nice sound 10/10
Me playing guitar for the first time. Took the hearing aids out. Not a very good sound… yet
Tree leaves in the wind. I got a little spooked at first because it’s 1 am and I’m alone in the park but it’s a real good sound.
Let me say, it was really fucking terrifying walking past the flowering tree in my backyard and hearing zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz coming from it.
“sunlight” by Hozier
I sat in my car alone while listening to it. I knew it would be special but wow, that was a religious experience.
Their hooves make sounds in the grass but they are completely silent. Beautiful creatures. Beautiful sound
Pine needles and pine cones make crunchy sounds!!! Oh my! Very nice
On White Culture
On The White Savior Trope
On Gay Sarcasm
fellas is it gay to be gay
according to historians? no
Ugh, why can’t you just let friends be friends? Like where does all the friendphobia stop, I just wanna know. So sick of the societal pressure to bone a bro just cuz he’s sitting less than five feet away from you in the hot tub.
I mean for real, what I wouldn’t give to live in a time like Alexander the Great. When two fellas could just have such a deep and abiding bond of friendship – like, just pure platonic beefcake buddies with No Homo additives, not a single one, not even a vibe – that the King Bro almost bankrupt his kingdom throwing his best bud the funeral to end all funerals. And he owed to never take another bro, so long as he lived.
Like, that’s the dream. Just two dudes being dudes and doing dude things together. Just the two of them. No group hangs. Table for two only.
Both on Earth and in the afterlife, forever after.
*A moment of silence for the bro-ships of the days of yore, when polishing another dude’s staff of manliness after battle was just like, what a good friend does. Out of respect for his, y’know, battle prowess. And masculinity. And like. His muscles and stuff.*
….But then you guys had to go and make everything gay. Like wtf. That’s so gay, dudes.
petition to rename the usa ‘south canada’
what about alaska
are we then normal canada
canada a bit to the left
What about South America? Is that just America? Or South South Canada?
On Villains and Fans
This was my hot take on the discussion of fandom sympathizing and excusing pop media villains. I wondered if some of the reason some fans do that is because they identify with the villain, but villains are bad, and associated that villainy with themselves. If that is the case I wanted to reassure them that liking a villain in a movie doesn’t necessarily say anything, in particular, about your morals.
Somebody needs to let them understand that not only is it okay to like problematic shit, as long as you own it, it’s okay to like the villains. It doesn’t really say anything about you if you like a charismatic villain, but spinning up a bunch of bullshit philosophies about the villain because you feel ashamed to like them is the problem. And trying to cover up your racism (and sexism) by making up bullshit stories about the only PoC in the narrative is what’s our problem.
Nobody cares if you like Kylo, or Loki, but you DO NOT need to hate on the other characters to like them. You don’t need to make your liking of those characters sound like the most progressive thing one can do, by making up bullshit character traits for them that are not remotely evident in canon! We dislike the people who are showing their ass over liking a fictional character. That’s the problem.
I’ve liked plenty of villains over the years. I acknowledge the fact that they are charismatic villains, and I own that shit. That they are darkly seductive or whatever. I liked Darth Vader but I didn’t need to hate Lando Calrissian to do that. Hell I actually love Loki exactly for who he is, an emotionally messed up spirit of utter chaos, who is something of an asshole. I liked Hannibal from the tv series, but I didn’t need to hate Jack Crawford to do that! It says nothing about my character or morality that I find him enjoyable to watch, while condemning his actions. And it’s perfectly okay to like both the good guy and the bad guy simultaneously. Sometimes villains are created for the purpose of inducing such feelings in the audience. They’re handsome, or charismatic or sympathetic.
Plenty of black people loved and sympathized with Killmonger from the movie Black Panther. In fact that’s exactly why he was written the way he was written, to reflect certain thoughts and feelings of the audience, and we didn’t need to shit on T’challa to like him. I really wish these people would understand it’s okay to like the villain.
Unless, of course, your real goal is to express your racial resentment of other characters, and you’re using your love of the villain as a shield to do so…
On Getting Old and Tired
My hot take about not getting too excited to watch the latest movie, about Black people, showing how strong they are, by experiencing pain.
I’ve been a comic book, sci-fi, and film geek my whole life. I just love good stories, but now I’ve reached the point where if I haven’t read (name some famous black author), it ain’t gonna happen. Not saying I have no need for inspiration, or that such writing isn’t useful, and you do what you have to do, but I’m out.
I’m just damn tired of reading about black pain and misery. I don’t care what the reason is for, or how uplifting someone else thinks it is. It’s a phase I went through when I was younger, but I’m over it, now.
The only thing I wanna read about, and even watch now, is Black bravery, courage, and joy. Now that I’ve had access to those kind of stories, I’m spoiled. I want black love, black heroes, and black fantasies. I wanna see us in the future living our best lives. I wanna see us in alternate worlds bringing that black joy. I wanna see us defeating monsters, rescuing Excalibur, and flying rocket ships. I had so little of this growing up, I’m starving for it now.
I’m running up on fifty years old now, and that’s long enough to have traveled painful roads. And I’m really fucking tired. This world makes me shed enough tears. I don’t want tears in my fiction too.
On Cash Grabs and Disney
I’m just saying, it looks really, really, suspicious when the argument about Disney doing nothing but a cash grab only seems to pop up ,from certain corners of the internet, whenever they announce some form of diversity in their latest movies.
To be absolutely fair, there are people who have been making that argument since the beginning of the MCU phase, and I don’t begrudge them their opinion, because yeah, it’s a fucking cash grab. But my counter argument to that is nobody who goes to see these movies gives a flying fuck about how they get representation. They only care that they are getting some representation in some manner. And yeah, it’s a cash grab, because Hollywood is a fucking bizness, which only now, after a hundred years, is starting to realize which side of the bread their butter is on, and the butter is on the side with diversity (and possibly China!) Yeah, PoC are all well aware of Disney’s racist past! You ain’t whitesplaining anything PoC don’t already know. What we have decided is we don’t give a fuck if we get a Black Ariel, a new Blade movie, or the next Black Panther, cuz it’s what we been fucking asking for the past twenty years!
This argument however, doesn’t ever seem to make its way across my dash when Disney announces its latest iteration of “Chris-Somebody Blows Shit Up Real Good!” But as soon as Disney announces that anybody black, or female, or gay, is working in one of their movies, then suddenly people wanna complain about a business trying to maximize its business! What the fuck they suppose to do, appeal to the smallest possible fragment of the American public and go out of business?
Generic White Fandom
My hot take on racial issues in pop culture:
What I’ve observed, is that it’s not white gay men writing any of these characters. I’ve read erotica written by gay men and it is very distinct from fiction written by women. The primary writers of these all these characters are straight white women, (there, I’ve said it!)and there have long been conversations in the lgbtq community about straight women fetishizing white gay men in shipping! None of these fandoms, and we are speaking in the aggregate here, are even half as progressive as they want us to believe and like to hide their toxicity behind a faux-reverence for progressivism! In fact, it’s gotten to the point where I am automatically suspicious of any meta written by white women as I feel certain it will be their ex use to express their resentment of female characters who don’t look like them and any characters of color.
Absolute Fan wanking has finally hit the big f*cking time!
Another one of my biggest pet peeves, however, is the utter sameness of the characters being written, as the poster above says. It’s like these women, whose only knowledge of how men are actually like, comes from reading other stories exactly like the ones they write themselves, or the heteronormative relationships they are in, which they then pretend to sneer at in the source material, and only know three or four templates from which to cull their character’s traits, and they use these traits regardless of what any of these characters are like in canon.
On the other hand, I do like to try to give peope an out. And it’s this: White audiences have no f*cking idea what to do with characters of color. Since they’ve only ever been socialized by a racist pop cultural paradigm which centers white men, they can only ever villainize, or sideline, or make servile, characters of color, since those are the ONLY examples they’ve ever been given, and let’s face it, these people aren’t as imaginative as they like to think they are. Doing nothing more than reproducing the same dynamic that one has seen in decades of the source material, which sidelined characters of color, is not progressive or imaginative at all. And they really have no real examples to work from, either, Especially if their tastes in source material, are as white-centered, and/or truncated, as their ability to write fiction. Writing and thinking in a non-racist, non-sexist manner, requires active thought, and participation, and not simply the use of popular buzzwords!
Now put all that together with racial resentment, misogynoir, misogyny, homo- and transphobia, and their complete and utter inability to acknowledge their own personal insecurities, and you end up with thousands of white women writing a delusional toxic stew of all evil darkies, conniving and/or dumb white women, sassy and servile black women, and white gay men with as much character range as blocks of wood.
What is a Meme?
A meme is a virally-transmitted photograph that is embellished with text that pokes fun at a cultural symbol or social idea. The majority of modern memes are captioned photos that are intended to be funny, often as a way to publicly ridicule human behavior. Other memes can be videos and verbal expressions.
I spend a lot of time on Tumblr, which, much like Twitter, is meme central. Here’s a list of some of my all time favorite memes from the past ten years. I generally do not have a strong meme game, but I try.
I love this one because this perfectly describes me and my mother’s relationship, when it comes to me talking about things like superheroes, and some of the movies I like. Of course, that’s me, on the right, when Mom is enthusiastically describing whatever happened on her soap operas that day…
I’ve seen this meme all over Tumblr, and quite frankly, it describes a lot of people’s relationships with any one of their enthusiastically geeky family members. You just know that poor woman has no idea what the hell that girl is crying about, just like I have no idea of this meme’s origin story.
This is one of the many faces you simply cannot get away with making at your White co-workers because you will probably get written up or something. You can only do this face, when you’re discussing whatever nonsense you endured, to your Black friends, at some later date.
Here’s the thing, I have no idea what show this is from. I think it might be Parks & Rec, or The Office, but I’m not sure. I only know this guy’s face from this meme becasue I never watched either show. Its like that sometimes on Tumblr. I only know what has happened on a show I don’t watch through the gifs that appear on my dash.
Sometimes I do know a memes origins, and that’s why this is one of my favorites.This is from Quinta B’s short lived video series, about being an awkward Black girl, titled “Don’t Tell Me To Relax”. Quinta B is currently starring in The Black Lady Sketch Show on HBO, and she is one of the funniest Black women in comedy.
I love this image because her facial expression is absolutely perfect. That is the expression you wear when you know you’re right, the other person has acknowledged that you are right, and you want to just be a smug asshole…
…or this is twelve year old me winning a game of Uno!
This is Linnethia Monique “NeNe” Leakes from the show, The Real Housewives of Atlanta, which I have never watched. I only know her from her gifs and memes. In fact, I never did find out what she “said” she said, but Nene is the meme of every emphatically correct Black woman on the internet. “Don’t explain back to me what I just said. I know what I said!”
This one is called calculating woman. I have no idea where this is from, so I probably could use this meme, to explain my confusion, about who the hell this woman is.
I do know why I find this one funny.This is the look Black people wear when seeing White people do something inexplicable, like walking on the sidewalk in their bare feet.
I know these are two separate memes, but I have only ever seen the two of them paired together. I only like this because my mind is very literal when it comes to this set of images, although its pretty much used everywhere on Tumblr. I would be outraged if a smug little cat sat itself down at my dinner table, too. I also know that any cat would be completely unperturbed by me screaming at them.
The woman in this meme spoke about what it was like to actually become a meme. She says that although how its been used is pretty funny, it wasn’t about her squinting incredulously at anything. She said she made that face because, before this pose, she’d been in a kneeling position, and when she stood up, her knees hurt!
Either way, I can understand both of those moods.
I’ve only ever seen both these memes used in conjunction with people complaining about colonizing, or appropriation. They’re both so very different, but are almost always used to mean the same thing, often used in conjunction with the term Wypipo!
The “Some of You Have Never …And it Shows” Meme
Some Of You Have Never…
*Warning for symbols and Imagery of Anti-Semitism*
This post is for everyone.
So, you know that antisemitism is a major problem in today’s world. You know it is a system of oppression unlike any other. And you know you have to do something. But what?
Learn what Antisemitism is.
- You can’t really fight antisemitism if you don’t understand it
- This, of course, applies to every system of power in our society, but it especially applies to antisemitism for a few reasons:
- Antisemitism is probably one of the oldest forms of institutionalized hatred in our society (along with, like, misogyny). It is so old that its tropes are written into the foundation of our world. More than any other system of oppression, you are just as likely to accidentally say something antisemitic as you are to reference a common aphorism
- Antisemitism is a weird form of oppression that doesn’t function like other systems of oppression. In most systems of oppression, the oppressed are portrayed as weak, deserving their lower station, and lesser than the oppressors. Jewish people are portrayed as powerful and dangerous because of that power – and so, in a sense, Jewish people are portrayed as the oppressors of everyone else, and thus antisemitism is “justified” because the Jewish people have it coming, are privileged, etc. This is poppycock, but it’s built into the framework of antisemitism and thus our society. And it’s hard to remember if it’s not in your face every. damn. day.
- Antisemitism doesn’t really fall under any oppression umbrella well – it’s not really about gender and sexuality, you could say it’s about race/ethnicity but that doesn’t work completely either, and you could say it’s about religion but that doesn’t work either. It’s a whole other complicated beast, coming from a time before we tried to neatly partition our world into these boxes
- Western Society got really fucking guilty after the Holocaust and, in an effort to assuage that guilt rather than… I don’t know, improve? Apparently actually trying to be better is too hard for this mofos… most of Western Society, especially the United States began to spread this Mythos that:
- A) Judaism and Xtianity (Christianity) share an Intimate and Tightly Knit history; that Xtianity has always respected its parent religion, and that the two can be united as “Judeo-Xtian” to the exclusion of all else;
- B) that antisemitism was destroyed in WWII when the camps were liberated, and everything for Jewish People is Fine now;
- C) antisemitism wasn’t really a problem in “good” western countries before then anyway (see: more anglo-saxon-y/western-europe-y than Germany) and so the united states never had to improve to begin with, we were always completely against the nazis, go team!
- This all means that it is so ingrained in the mindset of Americans that there Isn’t a Problem Anymore and that feeds back into the whole “Jews are actually privileged!” mythos I mentioned earlier
- And then, on top of it, people have this weird kick in the Information Era of deciding that words should mean what their etymology suggests? Like, the whole “bisexual people are ONLY attracted to two genders” thing when bisexual people have said “two or more” for decades but that doesn’t matter; or “dinosaurs are lizards because saur means lizard” when that’s utter nonsense, etc. And so people think “semite = speaker of a semitic language group = people of middle eastern descent = antisemitism is prejudice against all middle eastern groups, not just jews” when, no, the word has an actual history, it was just a term designed to make jew-hatred seem “reasonable” instead of calling it, literally, jew-hatred, which is what it had been called before. it only has to do with jews.
- Also just… people… don’t understand Jewish history. At all. Which is weird, because they keep saying we have an “intimate shared past” with the whole judeo-xtian crap
- So you can’t just treat Antisemitism like you do Racism, Sexism, Homophobia, etc. You can’t. It’s a whole other Thing, because of the attitude people have towards the oppressed group
- Disclaimer: this does not mean it’s “worse” than any other system of oppression. I don’t play the fucking oppression olympics. We all have equally important problems and we all have to help each other, end of discussion.
- That being said, the unique mindset of antisemitism does present unique challenges that have to be uniquely overcome (just like every system of oppression has their own unique challenges.)
- So, what is antisemitism?
- Antisemitism is a form of oppression in almost every modern society that targets Jewish people for being Jewish
- Being Jewish has been defined in a lot of different ways over the years, but it is primarily an ethnoreligion
- This means that Judaism is the religious & cultural system for the Jewish People
- And the Jewish People are defined by their common ancestry from a small family of sheep-hearders from the ancient middle east
- So, being Jewish = someone who belongs to that group of people, either through being born into it or getting adopted into it (for the purposes of… everything, conversion to Judaism is literally just voluntary adult adoption.)
- And, usually, Jewish people follow the religious traditions of Judaism, but this is not an absolute rule
- In the past, the prejudice against Jewish people was based on them believing in Judaism. In the “modern” era (since the 1800s), it began to transition to be about their heritage – so even if a Jewish person converted to Xtianity, they were subjected to this new form of the hatred
- Still, in the modern day, it can literally be about either, both, or somehow none, because people are the worst
- This weird definition of what it means to be Jewish is why it’s hard to put antisemitism into a neat box, oppression-category-wise
- Like, it takes some stuff from racist power structures, but also those structures designed to keep xtianity in power, etc.
- Disclaimer: I am from the United States. As such, I can only speak about my experiences in a majority-Xtian country. While antisemitism is present in countries where the majority religion is something other than Xtianity, it is not my place to discuss it here. That is something that you have to research on your own.
- Also, just, so many of our antisemitic tropes evolved in Christendom or whatever you want to call it, and much antisemitism found in non-xtian countries is just… the fault of xtian countries to begin with, so. yeah. Oof.
- Antisemitism is, thus, built on a wide variety of tropes, prejudices, and assumptions about the Jewish people that stem all the way back to the split of Xtianity and Judaism 2000 years ago
- I can’t list every single antisemitic stereotype because A) there’s too many of them and B) that would be depressing as hell and I don’t feel like being more depressed than I have to be
- But here are some common ones (we = Jewish people):
- We killed Jesus
- Blood Libel (we are bloodthirsty in general, use the blood/flesh of Xtian children fro our food, etc.)
- We Have Horns/Are Manifestations of the Devil
- We are here to “test” xtians
- We are Greedy
- We are Rich
- We secretly control the government/the media/the economy/the world/…anything
- And that we have a secret club where we discuss controlling things
- We aren’t trustworthy/we break our oaths/ we’ll stab you in the back
- We are lizard people who, again, control the government
- We tax and suck the money from everyone who isn’t Jewish
- We are evil, greedy capitalists
- We are scary, violent communists
- We smell and are unclean
- We hate all goyim (non-Jewish people)
- We destroy Xtian objects
- We cause wars, revolutions, and catastrophes
- We caused the slave trade
- We are lying about the holocaust/any other antisemitic event
- We use our oppression and past to “get things” (influence in the government, in the media, Israel as a country, etc.)
- Usury stuff
- We are disloyal to our home countries
- We are immoral
- We are homeless/wandering/etc.
- yeah ok I’m done with listing shit
- If you see some contradictory ones in there yes, yes you do, isn’t it fun
- But, you can see how this feeds back to the unique nature of antisemitism: almost all of these tropes are about painting Jewish people as the source of all suffering or problems for non-Jews and, thus, worth hating and rising up against. Jewish people are portrayed as powerful and, non-Jews, as the people without power who must defeat them.
- So you can see how denying the problem of antisemitism is actually FEEDING INTO ANTISEMITISM what a world we live in
- How did antisemitism get started?
- No one likes an “other” or an “outgroup”
- And Jews are the Ultimate Outgroup
- I’m serious
- Judaism was a Different Sort of Religion in the ancient world. Rather than being paganistic, it was monotheistic (at least, after a point, it was monotheistic; let’s not debate the history of the view of Gd in jewish thought today) and, as such, the gods of other cultures couldn’t just be adopted into Jewish thought
- This was a common method of cultural exchange and how many empires imposed their power
- So, Jewish people, by refusing to take on other gds (by and large), marked themselves out as other
- Also, it didn’t help that our people originated in the Levant, which is literally the bridge between Eurasia and Africa and the crossroads of the Mediterranean world
- Everyone wants control of the bridge
- So, we kept being conquered and then exiled or oppressed in our homeland, because we wouldn’t do the Normal Thing of taking on other gds and we were on land that people really needed for Warring reasons (and trade reasons)
- Even before Xtianity was a thing, we were an Other
- And then Xtianity happened
- Xtianity, at its roots, is built on the Fundamental Idea that Jesus of Nazareth was the Mosiach
- The Messiah, or Mosiach, is a prophecy in Jewish thought of a man, descended through his father from King Solomon, would come and initate a time of complete peace on earth, when all Jewish people would be returned to the Levant and actually control our country again
- Jewish people rejected Jesus as the messiah almost immediately in most groups except for Jesus’ disciples
- Jesus wasn’t descended from Solomon through his dad (if you agree his dad is gd, then he really isn’t; if his dad is Joseph, then Joseph is from a different son of David, not Solomon, etc.)
- Jesus didn’t do jack diddly squat to start an era of peace and liberate the Jewish people from the Romans
- also, Jewish people are really strict about the Gd is One thing and even thinking that Gd could have an equally Gd Son is ridiculous in Jewish thought and also not part of the messianic tradition
- Moving on
- But, for Xtianity to be “valid” in the eyes of the early church, Jesus had to be the messiah
- And if Jews weren’t accepting Jesus as the messiah, xtians had one of two choices: either they were wrong, or jews were wrong
- Honestly, i can’t even blame early xtians for going with the second one, it’s just basic self-preservation
- And as xtians gained more power in roman society, they began to oppress Jewish people more and more, because they were literally a visible reminder that Xtianity might not be Right, which threatened the entire system of power xtianity was building for itself along the scaffold provided by the roman empire
- So, from the time of the end of the roman empire through the 1800s, almost all anti-Jewish thought was based around religious tropes and the idea that Jewish people, by rejecting the Messiah, were now agents of the devil
- Very little of it was ethnicity based
- Similar things did happen in the Islamic world to a lesser extent – Muslims see Muhammad as the Final Prophet and the successor to the Jewish prophetic tradition, Jewish people see prophets as not being a thing since a little after the babylonian exile, so by rejecting Muhammad jews kind of delegitimize Islam, etc.
- But it wasn’t as devastating for the foundation of Islam as rejecting Jesus was for Xtianity, so this sort of anti-Jewish prejudice in the Islamic world at the time wasn’t neaaaarly as bad – Jewish people had a lot more rights, on average, in the Islamic world than in the Xtian world during the middle ages
- This all laid the foundation for antisemitism to “evolve” (devolve) during the 1800s
- People trying to rationalize hatred against various groups needed a reason to hate Jewish people that wasn’t about religion because, something something Enlightenment Means We Reject Supernatural Explanations Aka Religion something something
- I dunno about you guys but illogical hatred seems Unenlightened to me but whatever
- And, so, the hatred of the Jews already present and built into Xtian society was turned into hatred of them because of their ethnicity/family ties/race
- this was around the same time women were considered lesser because it was just their biological condition that they were lesser, not because of eve or whatever
- also the same time racism against black people started to get a lot of pseudo-science crap to “back it up”
- it was a fun time. a fun, fun, super fun time of people wanting to continue to be crappy and trying to bullshit reasons to do so.
- This lead to the atrocities of the progroms and the holocaust to evolve out of enlightenment thinking
- But, do not get it twisted. Antisemitism is, at its core, because Jewish people refuse to assimilate into the main culture/religion of their larger society that they live in; and people just do not like the other. Everything else that has been used to justify and/or explain antisemitism in an attempt to have it “make sense” is just that: justification. Pulling shit out of their asses. Trying to make their hatred seem OK.
- Every trope of antisemitism has its own sordid history and I’m not going to continue to get into it
- It’s up to you to educate yourself about all of them so you can “spot them in the wild”
- ie, if your cousin Renee says “lizard people control new york city!’ just go up to her and slap her across the face because you know Lizard People = Jews now
- And if your mutual tumblr user IMissThePorn89 says “gal gadot killed children!” you can be like “this is blood libel she was a fitness instructor” because now you know what blood libel is
- Educate yourself slowly, carefully, and check your own assumptions and prejudices every step along the way.
Evaluate your own Risk.
- Before you start actively fighting antisemitism on the ground, ask yourself a couple of important questions:
- Am I Jewish?
- Am I Planning to Become Jewish?
- Do I belong to any other Oppressed Class, especially those that could put me at risk with certain groups such as the alt-right and nazis?
- Do I have friends and family members who could be at risk from my activism?
- Fighting against antisemitism is dangerous
- Nazis don’t really care about your humanity my friend
- You can get hurt. You can get punched, doxxed, SWAT’ed, attacked, or even killed, depending on how dire the situation is
- Neverput yourself in more danger than is needed based on a situation
- Use your head: if picking a fight won’t endanger anyone other than you and could get a nazi to shut the fuck up, then pick the fight. If picking the fight will just put jewish people (or other oppressed people) in the crosshairs, don’t pick the fight
- Only you know your own level of risk
- You know if you can afford to put yourself on the front lines against alt-righters, etc.
- There are a lot of ways to fight antisemitism that don’t involve making bonehead moves
- But, still, someone has to do the bonehead stuff. Punching nazis works. Just see Richard Spencer. Or, you know, Nazi Germany
- And, plus, you know what you’re best at
- Are you best at confrontation? Punch away!
- Are you best at talking? Try to explain to the ignorant how antisemitism works
- Are you somewhere in between? Handle lower-scale conflicts s
- Are you a lover and not a fighter?
- There are a lot of more peaceful ways to fight antisemitism that doesn’t involve arguing and physical fights
- Provide an ear for listening and a shoulder for crying for victims and survivors to seek support
- Break the law to weaken their power in a variety of ways
- Speak out in public, and preserve knowledge and truth in the face of “fake news”
- Every little bit of resistance can help against encroaching antisemitic fascist power
Recognize the signs.
- There are dog-whistles for antisemitism as there are with any system of oppression
- Recognizing these key phrases and ideas can help to identify someone with antisemitic opinions (or just straight-up an antisemite) before a situation escalates
- These dog-whistles tie into common antisemitic tropes
- Words such as:
- Triple Parentheses
- Zionist [note: this word is often used to refer to any jewish person as a way to legitimize hatred against them. please, please, please don’t get into Israel-related stuff on this post. Talk about derailment and feeding back into my main point]
- Jew/Jewess used as a noun
- Someone’s Jewishness being pointed out when not actually relevant
- Coastal Elite / Elite
- Hollywood Liberals / Liberals
- Mentioning individuals such as Soros and other powerful Jewish individuals when, again, they don’t actually matter for the situation
- Conspiracy Theories
- Lizard people
- Tropes such as:
- Hooked noses
- Wringing hands
- Piles of money
- Six-pointed stars
- These and other symbols are used to indicate “I know that the Jews are the problem, do you?” and, upon assessing that in the individual they’re interacting with, can increase blatant antisemtism or not
- This is what a dog-whistle does: it helps to identify members of your hate group and then group up together to create real damage
- And then, these dog-whistles are ways to gently trick people into being bigots with you
- It’s like a fast track to overt hatred
- So, if you recognize a dog whistle, call it the fuck out, even if that person is just ignorant
- Because it’s a short distance from ignorant to antisemitic
- You can very easily go from thinking globalists are the problem, to realize globalist = jew, to thinking jewish people are the problem
- So you call it out. every time.
Utilize your privilege.
- Gentiles have a unique positions. They’re not affected by antisemitism, but they can fight against it if they put their mind to it
- Jewish people, no matter their other privileges, do not escape antisemitism
- Of course, white-passing Jewish people can help to fight against race/colorism related situations and prejudices more than non-white-passing Jews, etc.
- And those kinds of prejudice often tie into antisemitism
- But really this section is mostly about what gentiles can do
- It is always more dangerous for a Jewish person to fight against an antisemite than it is for a gentile
- So, in terms of fighting on the front lines, the best way for a gentile to help Jewish people is to put themselves in positions of danger over a Jewish individual doing so
- Like, if there’s a choice between a group of Jews acting as security at an event that is at risk and a group of gentiles, the gentiles should step up
- If a Jewish person is arguing against an antisemite, a gentile should
- Uplift that Jew’s voice
- Repeat what they say
- Support them
- Fight against the antisemite themselves
- Don’t drag Jewish people into fights they’re not in
- If you see a nazi or other antisemite on the internet or in the meatspace, fight against them yourself
- Don’t drag a Jewish person into a fight
- This is why you have to educate yourself. So that Jewish people don’t have to put themselves in danger (or emotional distress) needlessly
- If you want to be a true ally for Jewish people, you need to use your privilege to do things that would be more unsafe for Jewish people to do. End of story.
Educate as much as possible.
- You’re always learning, obviously, but you need to help others learn too
- Education is exhausting, especially when talking about something that personally, negatively affects you
- Leaving the burden of education on Jewish people alone is problematic, even though we’re the experts on our own oppression
- So like, Jewish people should educate because we’re the experts
- And gentiles should educate because they’re not personally affected (to the same extent)
- But Jewish people shouldn’t educate beyond what they’re emotionally/physically able to do (exhaustion/spoon-wise)
- And gentiles shouldn’t educate beyond what they’re able to in terms fo knowledge
- It’s a balancing act and we all have to contribute
- Education is the main barrier against hatred
- The more people are educated about oppression, history, and society, the less likely they are to be bigoted
- That doesn’t mean it’s impossible – I know some really fucking well educated bigots – but education is by far the biggest tool we have (the second biggest tool is fighting)
- Spend your time making posts explaining antisemitism, helping others learn, and discussing how antisemitism works with leaders of social justice groups (or just members thereof)
- Antisemitism is a unique oppression. It requires unique attention and education. And you can help fight against it by bringing that education to others
Get your hands dirty.
- I touched on this in the privilege section, but you gotta get out there and do things
- Even if it’s internet-based things, you have to act
- Sitting and not saying anything is not doing anything
- You don’t have to argue. You don’t have to physically fight. But you do have to do something
- And, honestly, there are other ways to really get at the root of antisemitism
- Because antisemitism is literally built into the DNA of western society, it is everywhere
- This means it is a part of our government, our institutions, our history, even if it might not be as blatantly obvious as, say, racism and transphobia
- You can utilize graffiti and other forms of subversive art to spread anti-antisemitism messages
- You can prep portions of your home in case Jewish people need to hide there
- I cannot stress this enough
- It is literally a game among Jewish children
- “Will you hide me?”
- It’s how we measure trust
- Prepare yourself to lie to figures of authority – especially police – if things get really dire
- Again, the police are less likely to attack a gentile than a Jew in these scenarios
- You can use your privilege to lie to help a Jewish person stay safe
- Antisemitism is dirty, and it doesn’t play by the rules. Neither should you
Step outside of your comfort zone.
- None of these things are easy, so all of this might be out of your comfort zone
- But to grow as a person and as an ally/fighter, you have to do things you’re not completely comfortable with
- This is why it’s hard
- You’ve got to push yourself to make meaningful change
- It’s hard to step into it – especially if you’re a baby Jew (ie, conversion student or convert) and are new to all of this – but the more you step into it, the more you’ll be able to do
- Remember, not fighting against antisemitism is comfortable. It’s supposed to be, because society wants you to be antisemitic
- Any fighting against this (or other forms of bigotry) is, by definition, uncomfortable, because society says you should be comfortable with the hatred
- But you’re not. That’s why you want to fight. So what’s a little more discomfort?
Practice radical self-care.
- ALL OF THIS IS REALLY HARD
- ESPECIALLY IF YOU’RE JEWISH OR AN ALMOST-JEW
- TAKE. CARE. OF. YOURSELF.
- I can’t stress this enough
- You are no good to the resistance if you’re hurting yourself fighting in it
- Take breaks
- Step back from arguments
- Learn to say no
- This isn’t all on you.
- If you take care of yourself, then you can get back to the fight
- Learn to find your own limits and your own boundaries
- And, learn to ask for help
- So that, if you have to step back form an active situation, someone else can step in
- You have to know your own limits
- Of course, you also have to know your own comforts and ways of care
- For me, it’s playing dumb video games and cuddling birds
- For you, it might be going on hikes and taking bubble baths
- It varies and you should learn what helps you regain your energy and get back out there
- It is not a negative reflection of you if you cannot fight
- Either at all or in specific ways
- Anxiety, depression, etc. all make actively fighting against bigotry very hard
- Same with other mental and physical disabilities and conditions
- Because then you have other societal systems of oppression weighing you down (as well as your own body in most cases)
- And of course there are other factors (money, education, race, gender, sexuality, ethnicity, etc.)
- Do what you can, but don’t destroy yourself in the process. No one wants you to sacrifice yourself.
You are not alone.
- We’re all fighting this together
- Lean on other people for support and for help
- Never take on a problem alone
- If you’re Jewish, never put yourself into a dangerous situation alone
- Heck that applies if you’re not too
- We’re all. in. this. together. And we are stronger together than we are apart
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help, advice, and ideas to move forward
Don’t just listen to me.
- I’m a tired potato crying under a pile of moving boxes
- Everyone has different ideas and different emphases in how they fight against this horrible, horrible things
- You want to fight against antisemitism? Listen to a wide variety of Jewish voices, not just me
- Diversity is what we’re fighting for. Seek it out in your own education
Past Posts: Jewish Conversion / Rosh Chodesh / Rosh Hashanah / Days of Awe / Religious Fasting / Yom Kippur / Sukkot / Sh’mini Atzeret & Simchat Torah / Chanukah / Tu B’Shevat / Branches of Judaism / Second Temple Judaism
Yeah, this song is incredibly catchy!
I’m always late to these things. Apparently, this was some hot thing that was happening this Summer, thanks to Blanco Brown’s hit song The Git up. He issued something called The Git Up Challenge, and well, it took off from there. This mostly appears to be a Western or Southern thing, as I haven’t heard anyone talking about it up here in the Northeast really. Its not just a teen thing either, because I’ve seen grown ass men and women taking this challenge which is fun, and wholesome, and sorely needed right now.
That’s another thing I found interesting about these videos. All the young people have a mixed bag of friends of all different races, and I found that encouraging. This is what’s called Generation Z, I guess. these kids are my nice’s age. She’s 14, now. These kids are the future, and I just love to see them having a carefree time, and making the kinds of memories they’ll look back on with a cringe and a grimace, when they’re my age. Also, are mismatched sneakers a thing, now? Not that I intend to engage, because some things should just be left for younger people to live, but I didn’t know that was a thing the younguns were doing, (although I knew about the mismatched socks thing from my niece. She never even considers wearing matching socks.)
I was also encouraged by all the different types of people who participated in the challenge, everyone from small kids to seniors. The song really does seem to be universally loved!
A lot of people decided to do a Line Dance version of the challenge, which is entirely in keeping with Black culture. Black people will Line Dance anywhere. We’ll probably Line Dance at the Apocalypse, and if you’ve never joined in The Electric Slide at a family reunion, then you have not been living right!
I was a little less enthused about all the cops who love this song, and I avoided a lot of their videos, but a couple of them were very enjoyable. Like this guy. The twerking just killed me. I was dead! I don’t actually think the song was calling for twerking , but each person interpreted the song their own way ,and brought their own thing to it, and he thought of twerking, so…
Also, I kept getting distracted by the thought that the police were supposed to be working not twerking.
This is one of my favorite ones. I just wanted to post this, because I’m feeling good this week, what with our coming impeachment of the president, and I thought I’d share some good feelings. These videos just made me smile, and they’re a fascinating glimpse into the everyday lives of average Americans.
Earlier this year, Bill Maher, the comedian talk show host had a whole lot to say about people who read comic books, and like superhero movies. I’ve enjoyed comic books my whole life, and yes, it’s a way of keeping the wonder of my childhood with me always, but I never shirked any of my adult responsibilities to do so. So Miss Valente had to set his ass straight:
Here’s a thread I found very necessary, about how people who treat fat people like shit, aren’t interested in them losing weight, no matter how much they claim to give a fuck about their health. If they gave a damn about the health of fat people, then that person’s mental and emotional health would also be a factor, and I don’t see how traumatizing, bullying them, and causing emotional distress, is somehow supposed to help them. Miss Allison correctly states that fat-phobia is mostly helpful to making them feel good about themselves, at the expense of others.
Actually this is a truism across all power dynamics, and marginalized groups of people. The people vilifying marginalized people want to punish them, and make them suffer. They are not interested in people being equals or becoming treated in a less marginalized manner.
This tiny history on the creation of “Race”.
The racial categories that we’re familiar with developed only 200 years ago, primarily by England and Spain. Otherwise cut off from the rest of the world, England kept on invading Ireland, labeling the people as savages — in fact, the cruel saying “the only good Indian is a dead Indian” first circulated in England as “the only good Irishman is a dead Irishman.”
A little less than 2,000 miles away from England, Spain, loyal to the Catholic Church, was offering the Jewish and Muslim people under their rule three choices: “leave, convert, or die.” While many Jews and Muslims converted to Catholicism to escape persecution, church leaders questioned their sincerity, leading to the 1478 Spanish Inquisition, during which “interest in religious purity morphed into an obsession with blood purity,” as Matthew Desmond and Mustafa Emirbayer write in Racial Domination, Racial Progress.
In both England and Spain during this time, nationalism and capitalism began to rise. To satisfy Europe’s growing sense of nationalism and hunger for capitalism, the Age of Discovery began — “or, from the standpoint of the indigenous people of Africa and the Americas, the ‘Age of Terrorism,’” write Desmond and Emirbayer. When Christopher Columbus “discovered America” — aka happened upon an island in the Bahamas that was already inhabited — the Americas were populated by approximately 50 million to 100 million indigenous people.
With Christopher Columbus’ lead, the Spanish colonized the Americas; the English followed a century later. From 1600 to 1900, 90 to 99 percent of America’s indigenous peoples died as a direct result of European colonization.
With the rise of nationalism, capitalism, and European discovery of the “New World” — which, again, was only “new” from a European perspective — a different worldview was desired to make sense of it all. Through colonialism, “race” became a key element of that worldview.
Whiteness remains the dominant category today — other races are compared and contrasted relative to it.
To further their capitalist interests in the “New World,” the English needed a labor force. So, indentured servitude started. Indentured servants were often kidnapped. They included Irish, impoverished English, indigenous, and African people. (Note how the English and Irish are identified as people from two separate nations, whereas indigenous and African people, all from different nations, are considered as two monoliths.)
Indentured servitude evolved into chattel slavery. Among all other indentured servants, why were Black people singled out to be enslaved? It couldn’t be Native Americans, because their numbers were reducing rapidly, they could escape their captors more easily since they were familiar with the land, and they were already relied upon as trappers in the lucrative fur trade business. It couldn’t be the “savage Irish” because, upon escaping, Irish slaves could “blend in” with their English captors.
Africans, however, could not blend in. Furthermore, Africans were not accustomed to the American landscape, making escape from captivity more difficult; they were also immune to Old World diseases, unlike Natives, and many were already farmers. Africans soon came to be seen as “the perfect slaves” and originally not strictly because of their Blackness.
Thus, Whiteness and Blackness were born: “twins birthed from the same womb, that of slavery,” write Desmond and Emirbayer. The White race began to be formed “out of a heterogeneous and motley collection of Europeans who had never before perceived that they had anything in common.”
Whiteness remains the dominant category today — other races are compared and contrasted relative to it. Whiteness positions itself against ideas of, among others, Blackness, Indigenousness, Asianness, and Hispanic-ness. This is why people of color, rather than White people, will frequently be identified by their race. Whiteness has become the norm.
Yeah, this was my reasoning behind why w should give the more disingenuous bigots exactly what they ask for and teach a White History month, because I get tired of people asking this question every year in February, during Black History Month,, and then conveniently forgetting all about it, come March.
Dr. Who said it himself: History has been Whitewashed!
Literally the only reason people think the past was all white is racism in Hollywood. All the images of the past that you think are accurate from TV shows & movies produced during Jim Crow are actually fictional representations of what racists wanted the world to be like instead of their reality.
That’s why you have people arguing that Egypt isn’t in Africa and that Cleopatra looked like Liz Taylor. That’s why you have period pieces set in London with none of the Black Victorians, Chinese sailors in Limehouse, or Jewish communities. That’s why you don’t see the drag balls that were common in New York, Chicago etc. You don’t even see the diversity of Roman citizens or the Moorish Empire. Next to nothing about women of color at any point in history, despite them being inventors, pioneers, and artists who changed the world.
Gee, it’s like media representation has an impact across time. Like, maybe producing media that isn’t inclusive contributes to ignorance, erasure, and perpetuating racist, sexist, homophobic propaganda. If you’re still producing these bland historically inaccurate shows in 2015 that’s not about historical accuracy, that’s about your internalized bigotry. .
This tweet can be summed up as :
“The salient fact of American politics is that there are fifty to seventy million voters each of whom will volunteer to live, with his family, in a cardboard box under an overpass, and cook sparrows on an old curtain rod, if someone would only guarantee that the black, gay, Hispanic, liberal, whatever, in the next box over doesn’t even have a curtain rod, or a sparrow to put on it.”
a place where large numbers of people, especially political prisoners or members of persecuted minorities, are deliberately imprisoned in a relatively small area with inadequate facilities, sometimes to provide forced labor or to await mass execution. The term is most strongly associated with the several hundred camps established by the Nazis in Germany and occupied Europe in 1933–45, among the most infamous being Dachau, Belsen, and Auschwitz.
Right now, the US is operating concentration camps of men, women, and children, who came here legally come here seeking asylum, within our borders. Make no mistake, these are exactly what they are and are not new. But apparently the US does not wish to learn anything from history. The US has been responsible for the use of concentration camps before. The internment of Indigenous Americans, before and after the Trail of Tears, During the Civil War at Andersonville where some 13, 000 men died from neglect and disease, and The Japanese Internment Camps of WWII. The concentration camps (What Jewish people call The Shoah) were not the only instance of such camps, and Hitler himself credited the American versions of such camps, with influencing his idea to create his own.
Now we have repeated history again. The situation is complicated by Republican attempts to hold onto their power by pandering to his base constituents,. In service to their grasping for power, trump has created policies that have resulted in the unnecessary separation of children from their families, and the pointless detention of thousands of immigrants that come to America’s southern borders seeking asylum.
Do not listen to propaganda!
Seeking asylum is not illegal!!!
According to UN Convention of 1951, in a ruling that the US helped to craft:
That “Everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution” is enshrined in the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rightsof 1948 and supported by the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugeesand the 1967 Protocol Relating to the Status of Refugees. Under these agreements, a refugee is a person who is outside that person’s own country’s territory owing to fear of persecution on protected grounds, including race, caste, nationality, religion, political opinions and participation in any particular social group or social activities.
The immigrant situation has been further exacerbated by events in Guatemala and other Central American countries.
The CIA has a long history of involvement in Guatemala, having helped to orchestrate the army’s overthrow of a democratically elected government in 1954. … In 1977 the Guatemalan government rejected $2.1 million in U.S. military aid because it was conditioned on improved performance on human rights.
And now we have this:
This photo was taken sometime between May and December 1944. These people are enjoying a bit of “down time” before going back to work. At Auschwitz.
Not because I think what we’re doing is like what the Nazis were doing in 1944, but because this looks so normal. These people didn’t think of themselves as “evil,” any more than the people chanting at the Trump rally do.
Here’s the point: the Holocaust didn’t drop out of a clear blue sky in 1941. The concentration camps had been operating since 1933.
The first people sent to the camps weren’t Jews at all. It was socialists, communists (remember that if you run across someone who tries to claim the Nazis were actually socialists), Jehovah’s Witnesses (because their faith prevented them from swearing allegiance to the Reich or serving in the military), homosexuals, and other people considered “socially deviant.” The camps weren’t awful places in 1933. Guards who abused prisoners were disciplined and sometimes prosecuted.
By 1935, this changed. As Hitler consolidated power, he pardoned the guards who had been convicted for abusing prisoners and made it clear that that behavior was now acceptable. Jews were now sent to the camps, starting with ones who had come to “civilized” Germany as refugees from pogroms in Eastern Europe. They were described as “invaders,” accused of spreading disease and stealing jobs from Germans. I understand if that last sentence sent a bit of a chill down your spine.
There were dozens, probably hundreds of concentration camps in operation by 1937. Many prisoners died there from abuse or simply from being worked to death, but they still weren’t places people were specifically sent to die; it was just that no one cared whether they died or not.
By 1939, mass killings of Jews had started. Not in the camps; the Nazis weren’t bothering to round people up and transport them just to kill them. They would typically be rounded up by the Nazi army and shot en masse and buried in mass graves.
Mass killings of civilians proved to be bad for morale even for Nazi soldiers, which led to the Final Solution. Eight extermination camps were built and went into operation by 1941. None were in Germany proper, so the scale of what was happening could be more easily kept from the German people. Six were in Poland, one in Serbia, and one in Belarus. Some (like Birkenau, sometimes called Auschwitz II) were on the same site as concentration camps (Auschwitz), and some (like Treblinka) were completely separate. Most were in Poland because that was where the largest number of Jews in Europe lived.
These women worked as typists, telegraph clerks, and secretaries in Auschwitz, and were called Helferinnen, which means ‘helpers. Their racial purity had been established—should an officer be looking for a girlfriend or a wife, the Helferinnenwere intended to be a resource.”
The point of these photos is that the Nazis were not all Eichmann and Mengele. Their horror was possible because of the many, many people who went along with what they were doing or at least were willing to look the other way. And it didn’t start with Chelmno and Sobibor. It started with people being willing to vote for Nazis out of fear of the communists and responding to their appeals to “true Germans.”
This photo shows people reading the Nazi newspaper Der Stűrmer (The Attacker) in 1935. The sign above it reads “The Jews Are Our Misfortune”.
How far, really, are people who would chant “send her back” about an American citizen at a political rally from the people calmly reading that newspaper? Remember, that was still four years before the war, six before the extermination camps. It was when the groundwork for those things was being laid.
Let’s talk about our camps for a moment. Pro Publica recently published a long story about someone who works for the Border Patrol and spent time working at one of the camps. Here are a couple of excerpts:
The Border Patrol agent, a veteran with 13 years on the job, had been assigned to the agency’s detention center in McAllen, Texas, for close to a month when the team of court-appointed lawyers and doctors showed up one day at the end of June.
Taking in the squalor, the stench of unwashed bodies, and the poor health and vacant eyes of the hundreds of children held there, the group members appeared stunned.
Then, their outrage rolled through the facility like a thunderstorm. One lawyer emerged from a conference room clutching her cellphone to her ear, her voice trembling with urgency and frustration. “There’s a crisis down here,” the agent recalled her shouting.
At that moment, the agent, a father of a 2-year-old, realized that something in him had shifted during his weeks in the McAllen center. “I don’t know why she’s shouting,” he remembered thinking. “No one on the other end of the line cares. If they did, this wouldn’t be happening.”
No one on the other end cares. If they did, this wouldn’t be happening. Let that sink in for a moment.
The CBP agent in the story is in his late 30s, a husband and father who served overseas in the military before joining CPB.
It’s kind of like torture in the army. It starts out with just sleep deprivation, then the next guys come in and sleep deprivation is normal, so they ramp it up. Then the next guys ramp it up some more, and then the next guys, until you have full blown torture going on. That becomes the new normal.
This is how it happens. Step by step, we become the monsters. Look around the country. Try to remember how things were in 2012 or so. How many things that are simply accepted now, often with a “what can we do about it?” shrug, would have seemed possible then?
Referring back to the grim conditions inside the Border Patrol holding centers, he said: “Somewhere down the line people just accepted what’s going on as normal. That includes the people responsible for fixing the problems.”
“What happened to me in Texas is that I realized I had walled off my emotions so I could do my job without getting hurt,” he said. “I’d see kids crying because they want to see their dads, and I couldn’t console them because I had 500 to 600 other kids to watch over and make sure they’re not getting in trouble. All I could do was make sure they’re physically OK. I couldn’t let them see their fathers because that was against the rules.
“I might not like the rules,” he added. “I might think that what we’re doing wasn’t the correct way to hold children. But what was I going to do? Walk away? What difference would that make to anyone’s life but mine?”
When asked whether he simply stopped caring, he said: “Exactly, to a point that’s kind of dangerous. But once you do, you feel better.”
This man is a father. He watches hundreds of kids. He had to stop caring on order to do his job.
Let’s say that again: he had to stop caring in order to do his job.
Just like, I imagine, the Helferinnen had to stop caring. To look the other way. To learn helplessness against the system.
I know, there are a thousand reasons why we can’t change this. They broke the laws. The President says so. What will we do with all of them if we don’t do this? It will encourage others if we don’t do this.
Know this: those are all justifying inhuman behavior. I’m not saying the people running the camps or the people in the government are Nazis; every historical moment is different. But they’re using many of the same tools the Nazis used. And the same tools are being used against the Uighur in China. And the Rohingya in Myanmar.
Andrea Pitzer is a journalist who has written extensively about the history of concentration camps. Here’s what she had to say on Twitter this morning:
When I went into the Rohingya camps in Myanmar in 2015, I also talked to people in town who were happy their former neighbors were in camps. Insisting they weren’t racist or bigots, many said all they really wanted was for the government to deport the Rohingya to another country.
They claimed the Rohingya were illegal immigrants, rapists, and terrorists. If I mentioned a Rohingya they actually knew, they would sometimes acknowledge maybe *that* Rohingya person wasn’t a criminal. They often argued that the Rohingya should be deported as a group anyway.
It was heartbreaking. I was there just after Trump had declared his candidacy in the US, and it was the same rhetoric, almost word for word. A little over a year later in Myanmar, the military drove hundreds of thousands of Rohingya over the border amid terrible atrocities.
Send her back. Send them back. We’re really not racists. Jews will not replace us.
Do you honestly believe it can’t happen here?
Right now, the American government in the form of Homeland Security and ICE ,are grabbing up migrants, and immigrants, (whether they have legal status, or not), and deporting them, or sending them to the camps. Tumblr and Twitter have done a great job of disseminatng information to protect individuals from ICE raids, (which are often announced in advance by the president, as a distraction from whatever government coverup he is currently engaged in.)
Protect yourself! Know Your Rights!
thalia: “The difference between an ICE warrant and a JUDGE warrant.”
ACLU: “The ICE warrant on the left does NOT authorize agents to enter a home without permission. La orden de ICE a la izquierda NO autoriza a los agentes a entrar al domicilio sin permiso.”
If ICE agents show up at your door:
1. Don’t open the door, but be calm. You have rights.
2. Ask what they are there for (and ask for an interpreter if you need one).
3. If they ask to enter, ask if they have a warrant signed by a judge, and if so, ask to see it (through a window or slipped under the door).
4. If they do NOT have a warrant signed by a judge, you may refuse to let them in. Ask them to leave any information at your door.
5. If they force their way in, don’t resist. Tell everyone in the residence to remain silent.
6. If you are arrested, remain silent and do not sign anything until you speak to a lawyer.
If ICE agents come to your place of work:
1. Ask if you are free to leave. If so, you may calmly walk out.
2. You have the right to refuse consent to a search. Say out loud that you do not consent to a search of your belongings.
3. You have the right to remain silent. You do not have to discuss your immigration status with anyone, such as about where you were born, whether you are a citizen, or how you entered the country. But if you have valid immigration documents, you should show them. Never provide fake documents.
4. If you’re arrested, say that you wish to remain silent until speaking with a lawyer.
5. You have the right to record your interaction with immigration agents as long as you do not interfere.
Know your rights! It has been reported that these tactics have worked successfully at a number of locations.
Most of the detention center refugees are being held in ICE detention facilities, and private prisons operated by corporations such as the GEO Group. This post provides a list of such facilities:
2600 Magazine has compiled a full listing of Customs and Border Patrol stations, a number of which are being used to imprison migrants, immigrants, and/or refugees, many of whom are children. In the interests of openness, we are sharing that info here. Please note that not every facility in this list is being used for this purpose, but many existing camps are either at one of these addresses or are being managed there. And the potential for expansion is ever present. This is also only a partial list of the total number of camps, as others are operated by different branches of the government, as well as by private companies. We will be updating it as we receive and compile more data. If you have additional info to add, please write to email@example.com or visit our SecureDrop page at www.2600.com/securedrop where you can find out how to anonymously submit info to us.
Things to do with a list such as this:
- Spread it.
- Download it, keep a back up.
- Publish it offline as well, put it in your local anarchist zine, print posters.
Things to do with the location of camps near you:
- Spread that specific information in your area.
- Get people together. Talk about this. Consider what you can do to spread more information and get more people together. Maybe distribute information at crowded local places.
- When you have a good lot of people, hold some solidarity rallies outside the camps. Inform yourself about your rights before hand. Don’t get yourself all arrested if this is your first step into action and you don’t know each other well.
- If you have a good reliable group of people together and have done some minor actions, start first talking about and then training for more direct actions. Learn your legal rights. Invite activists who can help you as a medic, legal team, etc.
- When you’re ready, blockade the traffic going in and out of these camps.
- Consider moving to more disruptive actions from there.
But there is good news in response to the Ice raids, (which are meant to keep Immigrants silent, and terrified, and distract everybody from the hideous garbage fire going on in the White House.
i wanna share with y’all a great thing that happened in my city yesterday. early in the morning, ICE tried to kidnap an undocumented man while he was leaving for work with his son in the car. this man had no warrant and no criminal record, and had lived in his home with his family for the past 14 years. these ICE agents, un-uniformed and in unmarked cars, blockaded this man’s driveway, while he and his child sat locked in their van, for 4 hours. (obviously this isn’t the good part.)
the man’s neighbors were the first to gather and confront ICE. phone calls were made, and dozens of local organizers, lawyers and activists showed up, in addition to more neighbors. they bought gas and siphoned it into the man’s car so he could keep the AC going. they passed water and food through the car windows. the city government was flooded with calls, and a few city council folks showed up in support of the man.
and ICE left.
the man’s neighbors & the activists formed a human chain around the car so the man and his son could get back into their house. and later, his whole family was escorted to a safer location.
today, that man is still with his family. his children, though undoubtedly shaken and scared (especially the son who was with him the whole time, and was so frightened he threw up at one point) still have their father. one of the neighbors said: “they picked the wrong neighborhood on the wrong day” and “I know they’ll be back, and so will we.”
I know a ton of posts get shared about doing this exact thing, but i want you to know that IT WORKS. community works. so please, above anything else, get to know your neighbors. keep an eye out for each other. don’t let people disappear. keep each other close, keep each other safe.
Direct action gets the goods.
“Neighbors and activists gathered for hours in a Hermitage driveway Monday morning while they said two Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers attempted to talk a man and his 12-year-old son into getting out of their van.
Eventually, more than 10 bystanders linked arms around the van, creating a pathway for the pair to enter their house.
ICE public information officer in Nashville Bryan Cox said the officers then drove away to deescalate the situation.”
“ICE has taken 35 of 2,000 people they were trying to deport into custody. They are blaming community defense efforts for their lack of success. Keep it up y’all.”
“Immigration and Customs Enforcement arrested only 35 migrants targeted as part of an operation targeting families with court-ordered removals, that President Donald Trump had touted on Twitter, the agency announced Tuesday.
The raids were planned to target around 2,000 migrant families who had been ordered removed by an immigration judge, but the latest numbers show the arrests fell far short of that goal.”
This is depressing. This is demoralizing, but remember, cruelty, not just ot immigrants, but to the rest of us who witness these atrocities, is the point. To make us look away. To try to ignore it. To tell ourselves its not really happening.
Don’t do that.
We ,the good decent people in this country, outnumber the frightened, and hateful. We are the majority. We have power. We can do something.
In the meantime, there are several things that ordinary citizens can do. They can contact their representativesto ask what they are doing about the conditions in detention facilities. They can volunteer and/or donate to groups involved in the fight. The National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, a California-based nonprofit, lists several “organizations actively working for just and humane border practices in the United States and Mexico.”
- Pledge your frequent flier miles to Lawyer Moms of America and Project Corazon, which have teamed up to help get pro bono lawyers and migrant families where they need to go.
- Launch a Dignity Not Detention Campaign in your state. You can learn more about that on the Freedom for Immigrants website.
- Write a letter to the editor to your local newspaper. These reach a broad audience and are often monitored by elected officials. You can find tips on the ACLU website.
In Maine, legislators, community leaders, nonprofits, donors, and volunteers, including immigrant Mainers—who know how hard it is to start anew, with nothing—are joining forces to welcome these migrants to our state.
“These are people who arrived here in Maine with their families after traveling thousands of miles over the course of many months to flee violence and escape hostility and brutality,” said Governor Janet Mills. “They’ve undergone this dangerous journey in pursuit of freedom and liberty, concepts and principles that are the cornerstone of our nation’s principles . . . .”
Americans often wonder why good Germans didn’t do enough to stop the Holocaust. But good Americans didn’t do enough to stop the Japanese internment camps on our very soil, and now here we are again.
• KIND—Kids in Need of Defense—has been leading advocacy efforts for kids in immigration detention.
• The Women’s Refugee Commission is leading national efforts against family separation and child detention to preserve access to asylum, increase use of alternatives to detention, and improve detention conditions.
• The Catholic Legal Immigration Network plays a crucial role coordinating legal services in response to administration-created crises.
• The ACLU Immigrants’ Rights Projectis litigating these and other policies at the border.
• RAICES is the largest immigration nonprofit in Texas offering free and low-cost legal services to immigrant children and families.
• Al Otro Lado serves indigent deportees, migrants, and refugees in Los Angeles and Tijuana, Mexico.
• The Florence Project provides legal and social services to detained immigrants in Arizona.
• Lawyers for Good Government suggests that you can contribute to the Project Corazon Travel Fund to send more lawyers (particularly Spanish-speaking immigration lawyers) to the detention centers and refugee camps. You can also pledge your frequent flier miles to help get more lawyers to the border and volunteer as a lawyer or translator.
• Justice in Motion has created a network of human rights lawyers and nongovernmental organizations across Mexico and Central America to find parents deported without their children and help families reunite in their countries of origin.
• Immigrant Families Together supports bonds, living expenses, and medical and legal needs of migrant families.
• Innovation Law Lab builds tools for immigration-related crisis response, aiming to improve representation and due process.
• ActBlue has a one-click button to support many of these organizations at once.
• Lights for Liberty is doing local event coordination and is organizing nationwide protests and vigils being planned for July 12.
• United We Dream, the American Immigration Council, and the National Immigration Law Center are organizing to help immigrants in the event of raids.
• Human Rights First is a national organization with roots in Houston that needs help from lawyers.
• The National Immigrant Justice Center represents and advocates for detained adults and children facing removal, supports efforts at the border, and represents parents in the interior who have been separated from their families as a result of aggressive enforcement.*
Finally, the administration has ramped up “ordinary” immigration enforcement against individuals and families all over the United States, many of whom have lived here for years and even decades. Many have valid defenses against deportation that they are unable to assert because they lack the resources to pay immigration counsel. In our home states of Michigan and Virginia, two organizations that meet a fraction of this need are the Michigan Immigrant Rights Center and the Legal Aid Justice Center. Your state has an organization too. Google “indigent immigration defense” and your state’s name, and you’ll find it.
Update, June 25, 2019: This article has been updated with more organizations that are helping families at the border.
Support advocacy organizations.
And Congress Must Be Held Accountable
Concentration Camps in the US
The Trump administration will be able to conduct itself in whatever way it wants to without anyone knowing what’s going on inside. Think about what that means. Think about why they would want that. This is happening RIGHT NOW.
15/322.7K5KElizabeth C. McLaughlin@ECMcLaughlin·
ICE facilities with beds and food are EMPTY, because the Trump administration is moving refugees into military-run concentration camps where they can do ANYTHING THEY CHOOSE without oversight, media scrutiny or advocate access.
16/703.9K5.5KElizabeth C. McLaughlin@ECMcLaughlin·
This administration is already committing atrocities at CBP facilities. Border Patrol agents at the facility where my friend was working refer to these human beings as “bodies.” Not people. “Bodies.” They are denying medicine, toilets, beds, food, shelter and clothes.
17/412.7K4.7KElizabeth C. McLaughlin@ECMcLaughlin·
My friend said that “Flores is on very tenuous ground.” We’re days away from being met with “we’re not going to let you in, no matter what.”
18/131.7K3.9KElizabeth C. McLaughlin@ECMcLaughlin·
What is coming is crimes against humanity. America is already perpetrating mass human rights violations, and this administration is setting it up so they can do far worse, in secret, under military supervision.
19/613K5.6KElizabeth C. McLaughlin@ECMcLaughlin·
Military forces are already been shifted to CBP. My friend saw *coast guard agents* (read that again) working for CBP at this facility. If we do nothing, there will be blood on our hands.
20/362.1K4.5KElizabeth C. McLaughlin@ECMcLaughlin·
If Pelosi does nothing, there will be blood on her hands and the hands of every Democrat who refuses to act to end this administration’s reign. Fascism is here.
21/933K7.1KElizabeth C. McLaughlin@ECMcLaughlin·
If this enrages you, devastates you, frightens you, share this thread. Then call your member of Congress and read it to them. Then call @SpeakerPelosi and ask her why she sits silently by as our government does this.
22/632.9K6KElizabeth C. McLaughlin@ECMcLaughlin·
We’re on a fast train to hell. There’s only one way to stop it. Trump must be removed from power immediately, by any legal means, using every weapon in our arsenal.
23/812.2K6.2KElizabeth C. McLaughlin@ECMcLaughlin·
This is where we are. This is WHO we are. Look reality in the face. Don’t look away. Fight like human life depends on it. It does. It does. It does. /end471.9K5K
This is from Eilzabeth McLaughlin’s Twitter thread yesterday.
We need to spread this information! The mainstream media is doing and saying nothing.
The basic definition of the two is fandom that is practiced in one of two ways by either collecting information about the source material, or transforming/changing the source material to best interact with it. Sometimes there is a degree of overlap, but the motivations for the overlap tend to differ. Male fans generally engage in curatorial fandom, where the degree of fandom is noted by how many details of the source material can be collected and/or memorized, from figurines, to dialogue, to plot details. There is sometimes quantification involved such as rankings and listings. See those YouTube videos and posts that list episodes in a series from best to worst, or movies in a franchise. Curatorial fandom does not require intimate engagement with the material. One example is the movie Endgame, where male fans got caught up on attempting to parse how the Time travel worked in the movie, while female fans on Tumblr wrote meta-analysis about the different character’s psychology and emotions.
Transformative fandom, as primarily practiced by women, involves a deep interaction with the source material, along with the collection of details for transforming the source material into something else, usually something that resonates with that particular fan, such as cosplay, fan art, fan fiction, and meta- analysis.
This is not a hard and fast rule, as there can be some degree of overlap. There are plenty of men involved in cosplay, fan art, and meta-analysis, and there are plenty of women who memorize dialogue, and collect information about their favorite shows.
Transformative fandom seeks to change the source material to reflect its needs, or analyse the source material for why those needs aren’t being met, and how it could. One of the tenets of Curatorial fandom is that it doesn’t question the source material, simply accepting it. Having not been the primary audience for much of the source material of many fandoms, Transformative fandom this is mostly, but not exclusively, engaged in by PoC, LGBTQ, and White women.
It has been speculated that one of the reasons white male fans have been reacting in fandom the way they have is that Curatorial fandom is in opposition to Transformative fandom, which seeks to change the canon source material, thereby making the collection of facts and figures obsolete or irrelevant. Such men have defined their fandomhood, sometimes their very identities, by the amount of knowledge they possess about their particular fandom, and in their minds, Transformative fandom seeks to arbitrarily, and unnecessarily, change it. So, beyond the idea that they are no longer the audience for the material (something which is not ever going to change) is the false idea that female fans are taking the material and making random changes to it in the form of fanfiction and fan art. Helping matters along is that Speculative and Fantastic fiction is becoming more diverse, with creators changing the canon sources themselves by changing characters to women (Thor), stating the sexual orientations of older characters (Iceman), or making other characters PoC (Candace Patton as Iris West.)
Curative fandom is all about knowledge. It’s about making sure that everything is lined up and in order, knowing how it works, and finding out which one is the best. What is the Doctor Who canon? Who is the best Doctor? How do Weeping Angels work? Etc etc. Curative fandom is p. much the norm on reddit, especially r/gallifrey. Transformative fandom is about change. Let’s write fic! Let’s make art! Let’s make a fan vid! Let’s cosplay! Let’s somehow change the text.
Transformative fandom seeks to interact on an emotional level with the source material. It wants to question it, and work within it, which is why so much of it centers on characters and relationships between the characters, while taking place in different environments. I know plenty of people consider Coffee Shop AUs to be cliche, but it is a way for female fans to self insert, while analyzing the characters, by changing the environment in which the story takes place. It is not about removing dramatic impetus from the source, but understanding who the characters are, how they interact, and giving themselves the happy endings that so much of the source material in Fantastic fiction disdains. Its also a way for marginalized people to imagine themselves in source material in which they are not represented. The Mary Sue, the Self Insert, and Shipping, are all attempts by Transformative fandom to interact personally with the source material.
If Curatorial fans ,who are well represented in the source material, imagine themselves as being one of the characters in it, then Transformative fans like to imagine interacting with the characters in it. Its not so much that they want to be Buffy, or Willow, but self inserting as a friend of Buffy, gives such fans a way to express their love and affection for any of the other characters she may interact with in the show, like Spike, Anya, or Giles. Or putting themselves in the situations the characters encounter. many of the tropes of fan fiction come from female fans imagining what they would do if they found themselves within the source material, like defeating the villain, having love affairs , or offering comfort when their favorite characters are in pain.
My preferred explanation is the idea that the vast majority of what we watch is from the male perspective – authored, directed, and filmed by men, and mostly straight white men at that. Fan fiction gives women and other marginalised groups the chance to subvert that perspective, to fracture a story and recast it in her own way. … It often feels as if there isn’t much space for difference in the dominant cultural narratives; in fandom, by design, there’s space for all.
Another issue is the devaluation of women’s interests and hobbies. Because Transformative fandom is mostly engaged in by women, there is a tendency to disregard it, along with its problems. There is also a certain level of mockery and disgust, whereas the same level of disgust is not aimed at, for example, men’s sports fandoms, which can be far more violent. Narratives aimed at a female audience, or interests and hobbies of women and other marginalized people are often disregarded, the way movies aimed at Black audiences were often disregarded or considered of no importance by White audiences. Don’t believe me? Name the top three favorite films in the Black community. From before 2000!
What is not often discussed, and this is where devaluation comes in, is that Transformative fandom also has its contingent of harassment and bigotry, but because its women, its less obvious than the harassment engaged in by Curatorial fans, dismissed as not being important, and mocked as fans just being crazy. Bigotry in Transformative fandom changes source material that may actually be progressive, to reflect the mainstream status quo, by erasing women of color from canon relationships, or abusing Black male characters, by writing them into slavefic. When WoC question and/or analyse the source for racism and misogynoir, they are often harassed, gaslighted, or shouted down by White female fans. When Gay fans question the fetishizing of mlm characters in fandom, they are often treated the same. There are plenty of white women fans harassing WoC actresses, who happen to be paired with White men in the source material, like the still ongoing harassment campaign against Candace Patton, from The Flash.This is not the type of bad fandom behavior that gets covered in mainstream media, which attributes such harassment only to White men, and as a result, the public tends to think that White women are innocent of it. They are not. They simply have different motivations.
The attacks on her character range from obvious bigotry referring to her as a . Look through Tumblr, Twitter, or even the recaps on popular sites and you’ll find for things other white female characters get a pass for.to more subtle remarks about how the two love interests don’t
There were plenty of White female fans denigrating Kelly Marie Tran, and her character, before she deleted her Instagram account. The only difference was their behavior wasn’t in the public eye, because they were not attacking the actress directly. They were attacking her fans instead, or engaging in transformative media, in the form of tweets, essays, and fanfiction that erased and/or vilified her character. This is typical in Transformative fandom, where White women deliberately fail to understand, or choose to ignore, intersectional feminism, in favor of uplifting white female characters, while diminishing WoC in both fandom and the narrative.
Hell, did y’all see how the Agent Carter fandom demanded that WOC support a show where we weren’t even vaguely represented – all in the name of feminism – and then blame us for the show doing poorly in its second season? (Or, Tamora Pierce wading in with a totally wrong and racist interjection about 1940s New York must have looked like and what Black people would’ve done in that time period.
There has been a lot of discussion lately about Curatorial fandom behaving badly, while ignoring that Transformative fandom often behaves just as badly, but because the perpetrators are White women, who tend to be more subtle in their practice of it, whose interests and hobbies tend to be devalued, and who have traditionally always been seen as innocent of bigoted and racist behavior, this gets ignored by the mainstream.
Now, this isn’t to say that one form of fandom is better or worse than the other. They are both simply differing ways of being a fan. But that is not to say that Curatorial fandom doesn’t have issues. We’ve already talked about how bigotry and racism from Curatorial fans is covered in mainstream media, but one other issue is that sometimes curatorial fandom does not go beyond collecting information about the source material, and has a tendency to lack depth. Fans may not ask questions, or seek to think any deeper about it beyond simply knowing it in detail, or ranking it from best to worst. That can lead to a certain amount of shallowness , and we’ve already seen that it can lead to gatekeeping, where members of a particular fandom feel a need to test newer fans on their knowledge about it, before being permitted to enjoy that fandom. Since they practice fandom in a Curatorial style, , a lack of knowledge, in their minds, means that someone isn’t a real fan.
Another side effect of Transformative fandom is that fans can get so caught up in their imaginary version of the source material (known as head canon) that they bully and harass others who don’t believe as they do. They will attack other fans, thereby keeping the harassment in-house. This accounts for the many “shipping wars” that are bizarre and puzzling to outsiders, like what happened in the Supernatural fandom, when certain fans became convinced that their imaginary relationship, between Dean Winchester and the Angel Castiel, (called Destiel) was actually a canon relationship being kept from them by the creators. It got to the point where such fans were also harassing the actors, their wives, and the writers, by making fanciful claims about the real life actors relationships with each other and their wives, and bullying those fans who refuted these beliefs.
Fan fiction is written by people who watch a show or a movie, or read a book, and look at what they are given and think, but what if this happened?
Although there are differences in how fandom is practiced, there is a great deal of overlap in type, and no way of performing fandom is better than another. Both styles of fandom have significant drawbacks, especially when practiced carelessly, by forgetting that other types of fans exist, acting and thinking without regard to other members of the fandom, or even the creators. These are just different ways of enjoying the narrative, and most people engage in at least a little bit of both kinds of fandom. But when people feel threatened by, for example, changes in the source material, or by other fans (sometimes other marginalized fans) who refute their ideas about the source material, the kind of behavior we see is usually based on this divide.
All we have to do to open up curative fandom is incorporate a little more of Column B, shifting the curative focus from “catalog everything in the collection” to “what’s the most interesting thing in here?” By leaning harder into the curatorial roots of curative fandom, Marvel’s hit upon the solution to it.
Or, to put it another way—Ready Player One feels like the past. Black Panther feels like the future.
**This is just my attempt to understand why some fans behave so badly, and yet still refer to themselves as fans, because one of the first things I did was question whether or not these people were real fans, and these essays somewhat answer my question. My definition of fandom wasn’t wrong, it just needed to be expanded to include different performances of it, and that a lot of the behavior we see coming out of fandom is due, at its foundation, to this difference in thinking. This is not to give these people an out for their bad behavior, or an excuse, but for me to understand the psychology behind why people do what they do in fandom, and pass along some of that understanding.
I’ve noticed that the topic of Introversion is one of my most popular topics on this blog. Well, here are the links to all the posts on Introversion, most especially being Black and an Introvert.
Being Black and and introvert comes with its own set of rules and/or difficulties, like the idea that Black people cannot be introverted at all:
There’s also a couple of newbie links too:
And from Medium.com:
The Life of the Black Introvert
The Dilemma of The Quiet Black Girl
How to train your extrovert, the essential guide for introverts
The modern introvert’s essential guide to navigating people who think out loud, invite you to weekend parties, and interrupt your leisure reading just when it’s getting good.
This cute little video, from Pixar, is an allegory for workplace sexism. I was especially drawn to it because Purl is so sunny, and happens to be a ball of yarn, (probably wool) and I love knitting. I found myself rooting for her, and actually feeling disappointed, when she wasn’t behaving according to my expectations!
This is one of the funniest sketches about movie cliches I’ve ever seen. Seth Myers perfectly captures the trope of The White Savior, who comes barrel rolling into every scene where a Black character might appear to need a little assistance. The part of the video that made me laugh the loudest is the scene where the Black woman befriends a racist character because yeah, these types of movies love to present the idea that forgiving the racist is going to end racism, and we would all just get along if Black cozied up to our oppressors.
Black people are so inundated, in movies especially, with the idea that we should not be angry about racism, that this leads me to believe that White people’s deepest, most terrifying, nightmare, is Black people being angry about racism.
I thought this video was just cute. It’s from Pixar, the same studio that produced Bao by Domi Shi ,which just won an Oscar.
This movie, about a Black woman who just wants to go on vacation some where, any where, else, and stars Alfre Woodard, and who is totally underrated as an actress, will air on Netflix.
All I know about Pokemon did not come from being a fan, but from living in a house with fans. My two little sisters pretty much controlled the TVs in our house, when they were kids, so I got a crash course in Pokemon, even though I really hated the show. Nevertheless, I did manage to develop favorites like Pikachu, and Bulbasaur, so I was really tickled at the thought of this movie. Who came up with this crazy idea? And what were they smoking?
We Got Cows
There are a whole series of these videos about cows being attracted to yodeling women. They just come running! And then they just stand there listening. And nope, I don’t understand why I find that deeply funny.
Everything I learned about Naruto came not from being a fan, but from watching gifs about it on Tumblr, and some things are just hilarious, even when you know almost nothing about the subject beyond the character’s names. From what I’ve observed, Black people really, really, really love Naruto, so that explains these types of videos. I am not, however, one of those Black people, and I have not bothered to fix it, probably because I just enjoy being a contrary asshole.
Time For Sushi
This was just a series of weird dance videos I found on Youtube. Watching this is probably going to really mess up my algorithms probably.
Yes, these figures are naked. No, they are not real people. No, I have no idea what the hell is happening, or why this happened, but if my eyeballs had to see this, yours do too.
Time To Do The Dancing
I don’t want to make fun of these people, but they make it so easy. Goths are so tortured with angst, that they can’t look as if they enjoy dancing, and that attitude makes this look like some weird exercise video. Nevertheless, they do manage to approach their lack of enjoyment in body movement, with a great deal of enthusiasm. So, they probably like “the dancing” but can’t be seen to be enjoying themselves, since dancing pretty much goes against being “Goth”.
Stupid Spider Videos
There’s an entire series of these videos of mate-dancing spiders twerking it to various songs like YMCA, and Staying Alive. I do not like spiders, as a rule, but I can watch these without issue because they’re just so ridiculous. This one with the lightsabers was…well, see for yourself.