Fannish insanity and social justice rage, all in one helpful place! eleanor_lavish on LJ and AO3, if you're wondering why all this seems eerily familiar...

 

I need white people to stop pretending consent was possible during slavery.

Stop lying to yourselves that those black cousins are the result of illicit love affairs & grasp that slaves could not say no.

When consent is not an option, when you’re only seen as 3/5ths of a human being & you have no legal standing? You can’t say yes.

I need white America to sit down for a sec. Look into the faces of black Americans with the same last names & figure it the fuck out.

Our ancestors were raped by your ancestors. Regularly. Some of the kids were treated kindly. Most were not. They were sold.

White mistresses punished the slaves for “tempting” master & congratulated themselves on that bloody work. Read the narratives.

Not the cleaned up ones either. Read Incidents in The Life of A Slave Girl & understand that Mammy was a victim, not the one who loved you.

She couldn’t care for her kids, couldn’t choose her husband or their father most of the time. She was a slave.

Millions of people died on the Middle Passage. Millions more died here at the hands of your ancestors. Own that.

Now you want to sing Kumbaya & keep oppressing our communities & erasing our contributions. Spare me the tired bullshit.

Male slaves fared no better. There’s a long history of them being raped, tortured & killed too. That was slavery. Stop romanticizing it.

Our children were fed to alligators as bait (feel free to look that up) died of starvation or exposure & that was slavery too. Yep, we were livestock & you use sickly livestock as bait.

Stop watching Gone With The Wind & fantasizing about beautiful plantations if you can’t accept what happened on those plantations.

House slaves had it better in the sense of access to food & possibly better treatment, but they were still slaves.

14 year old slave girls weren’t falling in love with the men who could beat them & everyone they loved to death.

Read the tales of enslaved women who killed their children to spare them. Read about people beaten to death as an example.

Sally Hemings could have left Jefferson in Paris. Of course her entire family was still in his power. And his “love”? Didn’t free her. Ever.

Go look at the pictures of former slaves backs. Whipped until they bled & left to scar so they were maimed for life & couldn’t run.

Also before you talk about the cleaned up narratives, remember that the people relating their stories knew lynching was always possible.

Records of slavery were deliberately destroyed so that former owners wouldn’t have to pay anyone.

That “peculiar institution” was generations of blood, pain, & terror. That’s what built America. Never forget that.

Now stop talking about anyone’s white ancestors like they deserve the fucking credit for the success of people descended from slaves.

American slavery began in 1619. June 19, 1865 was the last official day of slavery. Do the math on how long it takes to heal that wound.

After slavery was officially over? Black codes & Jim Crow laws followed. America’s history of oppression is longer than that of freedom.

Also before any d*mb motherfuckers land in my mentions. I have a degree in history. I will read you to filth & bury you in sources.

Trust & believe there is no country here for people who want to romanticize a system that is still grinding away at my community.

All this fluffy fucking talk about American history to coddle white kids feelings & engender patriotism? You won’t get it here.

My ancestors built this country, I served this country & I will tell the damned truth about this country. Don’t like it? Fuck you.

Now let me get in my feelings about slavery before Africans were brought here. Because we weren’t the first people enslaved.

We were deliberately sought out for our skill sets & resistance to disease. Know why we were resistant? We’d had contact for years.

All of that “My ancestors never owned slaves so it has nothing to do with me?” Go look at those NDN ancestors again. See how many were free.

While you’re in there checking that out? Look up those old country ancestors & see how many benefited from slavery indirectly.

Also while we’re talking about NDN relatives? Yo, learn a name besides Cherokee. Better yet, learn about the genocidal tactics they faced.

Look up immigrant groups becoming white in America. Find out who had to bleed so they could gain access to white privilege.

Let’s really talk about the Red Summer of 1919 & how it wasn’t an unusual occurrence. Tulsa, Rosewood? They were just famous.

Let’s talk about welfare & who could access it. Hell let’s talk about who is collecting more of it right now.

Let’s talk about the primary beneficiaries of affirmative action (spoiler! White women!) & what it means to attack black people instead.

Shit, let’s get into the Great Depression & the Great Recession & who is hurting the most financially through both.

Let’s talk about conditions on reservations, in the inner city, & the violence faced by POC who try to leave those areas.

Hell, let’s talk about why we don’t see shows that reflect the American population set in the past, present, or future.

Go read Columbus’ diaries & see what “civilization” really meant to the people he encountered.

For that matter go read up on King Leopold & the Congo. I’ll wait while you cry.

That’s the thing about whiteness as a social construct in America. It’s not about white people, it’s about white power over others.

When we’re talking about white privilege? We’re talking about what it takes to shape this society based on oppression.

America is a young country with a lot of power because of genocide, slavery, & continuing oppression. Individuals build institutions.

All of these conversations aren’t about bringing out white guilt, they’re about ending this institution developed over the generations.

Also let’s be clear that America is sick with this ish across the political spectrum. It may manifest differently but it exists everywhere.

Before I go, let me also suggest that people who are curious about anything I tweeted about take a tour through Google with terms.

It’s not that I won’t answer questions, but there are books out there that I think everyone should read on slavery, whiteness, & America.

Karnythia,  laying it down with righteousness on Juneteenth — the truth about slavery and its lingering effects on America.  (via skyliting)

I don’t want to see tl;dr no you ALL need to fucking read this. (via thisisnotblackhistorymonth)

red3blog:

Earlier tonight, the Seattle Seahawks earned their way into the Super Bowl with a dramatic victory over the San Francisco 49ers as Seattle cornerback Richard Sherman tipped a San Francisco touchdown pass into a Seattle interception in the last minute of play. Sherman was understandably excited and not a little triumphant towards 49er players that had been trash-talking the Seahalks. In a post-game interview, he trash-talked right back with the obvious benefit of having just proven his point.

So naturally, white people threatened to kill him among other things.

In the midst of the discussion on Twitter than ensued, I wanted to note the racialized way white people tend to use the word “thug”. As in the tweet above, I noted that “thug” is the sort of word white people will say when they really want to say another word but they know they’ll get in trouble if they use that. For all of the unmistakable racists quoted in that Deadspin article, there are going to be a LOT of somber editorials penned by white sports writers that are going to make the same exact point, just substituting “thug” for words they’d never be able to use in print.

This took on a more serious tone when I rewatched a commercial which had debuted earlier during the football game starring Richard Sherman. If you aren’t a football fan, Sherman grew up in Compton, California and attended college at Stanford. Actually, some of you on Tumblr may know Sherman from his "I’m Better At Life Than You" reaction during an interview with white sports pundit and well-known asshole Skip Bayless which has been gif’d a few times. Sherman has a reputation for bragadoccio, to be sure, but he’s also established himself as one of the most intelligent players in the league. In this ad for Beats by Dre titled "Hear What You Want", we see him in a locker room session with the press. His thoughtful answers reveal him not backing down from his confidence a bit, as this is who Richard Sherman is. But we also see an undercurrent of frustration with some questions about his character. The ad makes a point to establish his Compton background specifically so we can see Sherman relating to that. We see him taking the responsibility of a role model seriously as well as the pain of the insinuation that he isn’t a good one. The questions reach a crescendo when one reporter asks a down-right prophetic query given the post-game controversies:

"What do you think of your reputation as a thug?"

At this point, the sound goes out and Sherman slowly searches the room for the reporter who asked that. The camera lingers on his face, an unmistakable expression of frustration and pain from Sherman as he takes in the question. He resents being asked the question and all that the question means while at the same time, it is clear to us he knew it would be coming. It was unavoidable, but the sting is still real. He turns away from the reporter and softly shakes his head insisting, to himself more than the assembled microphones, that he doesn’t have that reputation. He then stops taking questions and puts his headphones on, revealing the double-entendre of the ad’s title: “Hear what you want”. Not just a selling point for high-priced headphones, but also a reality for Richard Sherman and so many black athletes like him who are defined by a media which shoves them into simplistic boxes informed by little more than racist stereotypes.

We’re going to see a lot of people “hearing what they want” about Richard Sherman in the weeks leading up to the Super Bowl, which makes this ad so chillingly effective. Because this isn’t new for Sherman. This is the cruel price media gatekeepers will extract for him because of his profession. These are the boxes racist white people will force onto young black people all while feeling perfectly entitled for no one to notice their racism because they abstained from using a slur.

misterracoon:

roachpatrol:

I am desperately sitting here going “latino wizards give me south american wizards of all sorts”

yeah seriously tell us how wizardry’s done in the new world tell me how the wizards from france and spain and britain stamped out the brujos and the medicine men and set up their own schools tell me what the fuck the british raj did to fucking india because the patel twins are going to school in scotland and what are they told about their history, tell me about native american kids learning to say wingardium leviosa with hate in their hearts and tell me about wizarding rabbis bickering about whether you can use potions on the sabbath tell me about the slaves on their ships with their wands broken, mouthing curses in the dark tell me about the runaways that made it with garter snakes wrapped around their wrists that told them when they tasted dogs in the distance, tell me about the underground railroad and abolitionists with unbreakable vows and home-spun invisibility cloaks and disilusionments, using obliviate, using imperio, knowing that they served a higher justice, tell me about what happened to black wizards in the fifties, about what gates they were storming in the sixties tell me about queer wizards taking love potions every morning in their coffee to stay married to their husbands and their wives because what else could they do?

the world only begins and ends with straight white christians if you don’t bother looking any farther than that and too many people don’t and i am tired, tired, tired

Oh. 

Judge who accepted private-prison bribes to send black kids to jail sentenced to 28 years

banji-realness:

cyborgmemoirs:

sourcedumal:

siddharthasmama:

knitmeapony:

Racism is dead, tho’.

Four thousand children.

Four thousand children.

Four thousand children.

Sent to jail to make this horrific criminal rich.

Jesus fucking christ.  At least he’ll rot.

This is it, y’all. This is what we are talking about when we speak of unfair sentencing, higher rates of convictions, lower rates of appeals, the school-to-prison pipeline of Black youths/people. He ruined* 4,000 lives. For what? Some money? ‘Cause Black bodies are dispensable, only valuable in terms of the all mighty dollar.

4000 babies sent to jail

4000.

Their lives were ruined by this man

Their lives were thrown away and it was all done for him to make a dollar.

Because Black bodies are to be used like currency in this country since its inception.

THIS IS WHY WE DO NOT TRUST THE JUSTICE SYSTEM

IT WAS MADE TO DESTROY OUR LIVES

y’all hear about this shit?

28 years doesn’t sound like enough… I’m (a tiny bit) encouraged that at least the PA Supreme Court overturned those 4,000 convictions, though I have to shudder at how many kids are still suffering because of what this monster did

strangeselkie:

Do I look suspicious?

Students at Howard University made this video. It is really powerful and poignant. And it manages to be of the moment without dramatizing the moment, to make its message very clear (in all those faces, in all those clicking Skittles) without using a hammer.

Jury finds John Spooner Guilty of first degree intentional homicide of his 13 year old neighbor Darius Simmons

blackfashion:

image
photo via chardline.tumblr.com

JUSTICE.

(Source: blackfashion)

When Trayvon Martin was first shot, I said that this could have been my son. Another way of saying that is, Trayvon Martin could have been me 35 years ago. And when you think about why, in the African-American community at least, there’s a lot of pain around what happened here, I think it’s important to recognize that the African-American community is looking at this issue through a set of experiences and a history that doesn’t go away.

There are very few African-American men in this country who haven’t had the experience of being followed when they were shopping in a department store. That includes me. There are very few African-American men who haven’t had the experience of walking across the street and hearing locks click on the doors of cars. That happens to me, at least before I was a senator. There are very few African-Americans who haven’t had the experience of getting on an elevator and a woman clutching her purse nervously and holding her breath until she had a chance to get off. That happens often. […]

The African-American community is also knowledgeable that there is a history of racial disparities in the application of our criminal laws, everything from the death penalty to enforcement of our drug laws. And that ends up having an impact in terms of how people interpret the case. […]

We understand that some of the violence that takes place in poor Black neighborhoods around the country is born out of a very violent past in this country, and that the poverty and dysfunction that we see in those communities can be traced to a very difficult history. And so the fact that sometimes that’s unacknowledged adds to the frustration. […] Folks understand the challenges that exist for African-American boys, but they get frustrated, I think, if they feel that there’s no context for it or that context is being denied.

President Barack Obama, in a surprise appearance at today’s White House press briefing, delivering remarks without notes.

(Please note, this is not a partisan post or blog; I’m not taking any position on the President’s words, which I heard only minutes ago and haven’t even fully processed; this is that rare occasion where I’m just passing along something I find newsworthy without editorializing.)

President Obama made four major suggestions in his remarks, beyond the protests and vigils, in the aftermath of this tragedy:

  1. He encouraged governors and mayors to implement racial profiling legislation at the state and local levels, similar to legislation then-Senator Obama passed in Illinois, collecting data on police stops and providing training against racial bias in law enforcement.
  2. He suggested revisiting and perhaps amending or eliminating "Stand Your Ground" laws which he said encourage rather than diffuse altercations, adding: I just ask people to consider if Trayvon Martin was of age and armed, could he have stood his ground on that sidewalk? And do we actually think that he would have been justified in shooting Mr. Zimmerman, who had followed him in a car, because he felt threatened? And if the answer to that question is at least ambiguous, it seems to me that we might want to examine those kinds of laws.”
  3. He proposed some sort of nation-wide civic initiative, still rather ambiguous and unformed at this point, gathering together “business leaders and local elected officials and clergy and celebrities and athletes” to figure out how to "do a better job helping young African-American men feel that they’re a full part of this society and that they’ve got pathways and avenues to succeed.”
  4. Finally, he advised “all of us to do some soul-searching”. He dismissed the idea of a politically-organized “conversation on race” as being ineffective, but suggested having conversations “in families and churches and workplaces” to ask oneself, "am I wringing as much bias out of myself as I can?"

(via sumayyahdaud)

(Source: zuky)

Inside I cried. But if I cried at every insensitive act that goes on in the name of safety, I’d have to be committed to a psych ward. I’ve just taught myself throughout the years to just accept it and maybe even see it as funny. But it kept eating at me (Well, I guess she never watched the show … My English was super clear … I called her “ma’am” like I was Webster … Those that know you know that you’re cool, but you definitely know that you are a walking rape nightmare — right, Ahmir? Of course she was justified in not saying her floor. That was her prerogative! You are kinda scary-looking, I guess?). It’s a bajillion thoughts, all of them self-depreciating voices slowly eating my soul away.

-Questlove, http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2013/07/questlove-trayvon-martin-and-i-aint-shit.html

(Long rambling about rape culture below. Because I’m a lady on the internet, so that’s, like, my job, right?)

This essay is really compelling to me because it touches on something that I spend a lot of time thinking about. In our oh-so-charming rape culture, there is no woman I know who hasn’t likely felt scared by a man alone in an elevator late at night, regardless of ANY of his characteristics beyond “appearing male.” It’s the result of being taught that being raped is a problem of not being safe enough, that our words/actions could cause an attack, that we could do something to deserve it (like, you know, be in an elevator while being a woman). And it’s a result of the simple fact that 1 in 4 women are raped and not only by obviously scary rapist dudes in obviously unsafe locations. I read this story and despite the description of how safe a building Questlove describes, I wouldn’t even blink if someone used the same setting to tell another story about how a tenant raped another tenant inside their superlux apartment. Rapists live in hard-to-get-into condos too.

Now, is it possible that, consciously or not, the woman in that elevator, or any woman, is disproportionately scared of Questlove because he’s Black and our society, along with all the rape culture bullshit, is also institutionally racist and teaches us to see Black men as violent? Absolutely. And that’s not okay because it’s not true and Black men are not any more likely to rape a woman in an elevator than any other man (I haven’t done any research but I feel comfortable with this assumption). So I see his point and I see that it feels hurtful. I sympathize with him. But, I still can’t help but empathize with that woman.

I walk home at night alone a lot. Most nights. Often pretty late. And because of all the aforementioned stuff, I spend most of those walks monitoring the people around me, waiting for someone to catcall or tell me to smile or say something that might even be charming if I weren’t so anxious (a la Questlove’s “flirting”), or worse. I usually cross the street if I’m about to walk near a man walking alone and I’ve even gone into a vestibule other than my own to wait for a guy behind me to pass my apartment. If you’re not a woman, ask a woman you know & she’ll confirm this is not just a me thing- it’s pretty universal. So I’m walking home, and I live in a relatively diverse neighborhood for this town, and every time I cross the street because I see a man alone coming towards me and he happens to be Black, I start thinking about this question. I’ve probably made someone feel the way Questlove feels in his story- like he ain’t shit because there was no danger and I just crossed the street because I felt unsafe because of something about him. And I always want to somehow explain that it’s not about him, or what he looks like, or something he did; it’s just about not feeling safe, ever.

So this essay is sticking in my brain for reasons unrelated to what it’s trying to say and why it’s being posted everywhere. Questlove is very eloquently trying to explain what it’s like to be a Black man in a racist society, one that specifically paints Black men as a threat. But he uses an example that I can’t help but see as part of what it means to be a woman in a rape culture that says women are responsible for preventing assaults on their body. And I understand his larger point and I sympathize, but I can’t get past the circumstance of the specific example. Not because it’s that the way the woman felt, the way I so often feel, is worse than how he felt. But because it’s easiest to identify with the person closest to you in a given story, I guess. And because I don’t know how to solve for x here given the variables we have- without racism then I could just argue that in our culture men need to understand that women never feel safe and they all, including Questlove, need to behave accordingly; without rape culture, I could assume that lady was being kinda racist, stay with the point of the piece and feel like Questlove deserves better. But with both, with what we actually have in the real world, we’re all just stuck there in that elevator, no simple solution, everyone feeling like crap.

(via champagnecarnies)

i don’t ever want to criticize what women do to feel safe in rape culture, but statistics about white vs black incarceration, historical hysteria from white men about black men being with white women, and knowledge about intersectionality means that for me as a white woman, i tend to assume i’m more likely to be safe alone in an elevator with a black man than a white one, precisely because his male privilege intersects with his racialized experience. any white man knows he’d get away with attacking me, given the statistical probabilities that i’d report him/that it would be followed by charges/that he’d then be convicted. i figure most black men would never make the assumption that they’d get away with it as easily as a white man, because he knows he’s already likely to end up in jail for no real reason and that culture constructs him as violent and as especially dangerous to white woman, so as a white woman i can’t imagine assuming i’d be worth the risk of exercising his considerably reduced male privilege. maybe the black man with me in the elevator with is actually a rapist, but he’s probably smart enough to know when to act and when not to, and everything i know about rapists says they act when they think they’ll get away with it. schrodinger’s rapist is a great way to explain the problem of living in a rape culture, but i think it’s worth remembering that not all men experience their male privilege the same way.

(via everyhopeanycost)

Man, all of this commentary is aces, and I still don’t know how I feel about Quest’s article, but this is a lot of it. Privilege and power and race and rape culture and fear and frustration are all rolled up into a sticky mess in that elevator, and untangling it might be impossible, but I like that we all want to TRY.