In class this morning my professor spent a lot of time talking about a woman named Frances Thompson, who was (as she told it) one of six women raped during the Memphis race riots in 1866. What was distinctive about this that the women testified against their rapists in court, which was kind of a turning point for Black women and their ability to seek legal protection/repercussions for sexual violence by white men, a rarity if not impossibility in the U.S. up until this point. But, when it was discovered that Thompson had been assigned male at birth, and had a previous arrest record for “cross dressing”, she was used to delegitimize hers and everyone else’s testimony, placed in a male prison and put on a chain gang, where she also became a sort of tourist attraction/laughing stock for local townspeople. She served 10 months in jail and died shortly after being released from prison, having suffered trauma that caused her to seclude herself and not seek treatments for her ailments.
I tried Googling her and couldn’t find much about her and especially not outside of academic articles and that kind of infuriates me. This feels like a really important part of queer history in the U.S. and it seems to have been largely erased. I feel like her story, particularly for its time period, and the fact that she had been enslaved and lived a woman in slavery, says a lot about gender identities and the ways people will resist and survive in their own ways in even dire circumstances.
I had a research paper proposal due in another class today and I brought this up and it was approved, so I’m really, really excited to read more about her and relate it back to the the histories that get told, which ones get erased and how that shows whose stories and bodies are valued, even in a modern context. One of the few non-academic sources (tw: misgendering) I was able to find had this really great analysis of her: “[S]he thinks the white persons who brought him to this country should be punished, if anyone is to suffer for [her] wearing woman’s attire.” And even though Frances’ story predates these constructions (or, at least, their wide acceptance), it’s difficult to not want to place in her a longer history, right there with We’wha, of how gender variant people of color have been resisting for so fucking long.
for fuck’s sake, Brad Paisley, you are not allowed to defend confederate flags when there are still confederate flags flying in the yards of KKK members in sundown towns.
Grace Lee Boggs, the 97-year-old feminist, activist, and philosopher, was born in the United Stated in 1915 to Chinese immigrant parents. Boggs earned her PhD in 1940; these credentials were no shield against discrimination based on her Chinese ancestry. When Boggs married African American activist James Boggs, over a decade before the Supreme Court of the United States invalidated laws prohibiting interracial marriage, she made the choice to add his name to her own. Their marriage would last until James Boggs’ death 40 years later.
In observing debates around the politics of naming, especially when it comes to gender, I often think of Boggs. Someone who knows little of her life and politics, or of intersectionality, might judge Boggs’ last name as an acceptance of a patriarchal naming tradition that privileges men. But is it?
The argument could also be made that by adding the last name of her black husband to her own Chinese name Boggs was putting into personal action the political solidarity between people of color traditionally pitted against one another by white supremacy. Perhaps her acceptance of the name was even a revolutionary act that flew in the face of the laws of a country that said race must determine whom you choose to love?
Or maybe, in 1953, a deeply political Chinese American woman marrying a black man simply had bigger fish to fry than worrying about her last name? Of course, these arguments are just as much speculation as the first. Still, I’d argue it is Boggs’ life-long record as a thought leader in the labor, civil rights, women’s rights, and environmental justice movements that actually defines her identity.
Boggs put into action hooks’ concept of ideas over identity long before the rest of us even started talking about it. That’s an example that could do us all some good.
The black origins of many elements of youth culture in the United States have been well documented; trends in music, dance, fashion, sports, and language in a variety of youth subcultures are often traceable to an African American source (e.g., Kiesling, this issue; Lhamon 1990; Rose 1994). This connection is often obscured, however, for as increasing numbers of European American teenagers embrace particular black cultural practices, these practices become detached from blackness—they become deracialized, or racially unmarked, at least in the eyes of the white youths who participate in them. At the same time, such practices often lose their urban associations and become normalized in suburban and rural settings as well (witness the expansion of rap in the past decades). Even the concept of coolness itself stems from African American traditions (Morgan 1998).
As a result of their status as cultural innovators and trendsetters, black students at Bay City High, as elsewhere around the country (Solomon 1988), were often viewed by their white counterparts as cool almost by definition. Yet for European American teenagers to adopt elements of African American youth culture before the deracializing process was well under way was to risk being marked by their peers as racially problematic; this was the situation for many white hip-hop fans at the school. Conversely, for white teenagers to refuse to participate in youth culture in any form was likewise problematic, not only culturally but racially. It may be said that appropriate whiteness requires the appropriation of blackness, but only via those black styles that are becoming deracialized and hence no longer inevitably confer racial markedness on those who take them up.
White nerds disrupted this ideological arrangement by refusing to strive for coolness. The linguistic and other social practices that they engaged in indexed an uncool stance that was both culturally and racially marked: to be uncool in the context of the white racial visibility at Bay City High was to be racialized as hyperwhite, “too white.” Consequently, the production of nerdiness via the rejection of coolness and the overt display of intelligence was often simultaneously (though not necessarily intentionally) the production of an extreme version of whiteness. Unlike the styles of cool European American students, in nerdiness African American culture and language did not play even a covert role. This is not to say that individuals who were not white never engaged in nerdy practices, but that when they did they could be culturally understood as aligned with whiteness.
“Back when I was in high school, they had a Ku Klux Klan bookstore, right there on main street. They used it as a recruiting tool.”
1. A white woman says something racist.
2. A black woman points it out. (It could be any person of colour but it works best against black women for reasons given below.)
3. The white woman says she is not racist and starts crying.
4. For added effect the white woman can run out of the room.
5. Other whites, particularly white men, come to the aid and comfort not of the wronged black woman but of the racist white woman!
6. The black woman, the wronged party, is made to seem like the mean one in the eyes of whites.
7. The white woman continues to believe she is not racist.
Tables turned! It works so well that it is hard not to see the tears as a cheap trick.
This is more than just a woman using tears to get her way. It is built on a set of White American ideas about race, listed here in no particular order:
It works best when these two stereotypes can be applied:
The Sapphire stereotype - black women as mean, angry and disagreeable
The Pure White Woman stereotype - white women as these special, delicate creatures who need to be protected at all costs. It is what drives the Missing White Woman Syndrome – and, in the old days, lynchings.
The r-word: to be called a “racist”, however gently and indirectly, is a terrible, upsetting thing for white people – far worse than, you know, being a racist.
White people and their feelings are the centre of the known universe.
Hearts of stone: meanwhile whites seem to have a very, very hard time putting themselves in the shoes of people of colour.
Moral blindness: white people think they are Basically Good, therefore if someone points out something bad about them it must be out of hatred.
White solidarity: whites are afraid to stand up against racism, particularly when they are with other whites. Also, they do not like it when you call other whites racists – they seem to take it personally for some reason.
So this racist piece of fuckery came up on my Facebook wall. Just waiting for people to say this isn’t reminiscent of a minstrel performer.
Because those deliberately brightened cheeks and lips against that coalblack skin doesn’t mean anything. Because the suit and tie coupled with top hat doesn’t mean anything. Because Blackface is only an American phenomenon even though it started in the 1600s Europe.
There’s just really no similarity at all.
Y’all…the people rushing to defend this ish on pinterest are how I know my life & choices need examining. Clearly as long as you deny all historical & social context reality doesn’t matter at all.
FOR FUCK’S SAKE BEAUTY INDUSTRY. COME ON.
Jesus Christ. How the hell did this racist as shit advertising campaign make it through legal??
I don’t own any Llamasqua cosmetics and I sure as shit won’t buy any now.
This probably went through several hands and NO ONE went “Dudes, this is fucked up”?????
All of the ladies here at Geekquality are HUGE makeup nerds (hell, Rick actually works for a cosmetics company!) and this is seriously disappointing, horrifying, and inexcuseable. I guess I won’t be purchasing any Illamasqua again.
Despite studies indicating that race and gender are two of the most easily identifiable qualities seen by people, color blindness and gender blindness inundate our everyday interactions. “There is only one race: the human race.” “When I look at you, I don’t see color.” “We are all Americans.” “Regardless of your gender or race, I believe the most qualified person should get the job.” Such statements and their orientation serve to deny the racial, gender, or sexual orientation reality and experiences of these groups. Sue (2010) has suggested that “the denial of differences is really a denial of power and privilege. The denial of power and privilege is really a denial of personal benefits that accrue to certain privileged groups by virtue
|Val Kilmer:||Twain used his gift, his eloquence, his gift of words, and his authority as a truth-teller and public persona to attack someone who was, at least from Twain’s point of view, in service of the same cause to which he gave his life.|
|Lawrence Inglee:||And what was that cause?|
|VK:||In a word?|
|VK:||Love. He was an artist working at the highest level. He wrote a book, his masterpiece, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, that put America on the world stage for literature. It’s almost as if, if you start reading that book as a racist, you cannot finish it and still be a racist. So, he is a voice of truth and a voice of equality and a voice of tolerance. Which means he is a voice of love; so was Mrs. Eddy.|
A young African American girl was set on fire by 3 white men while walking in the park this morning. Authorities are reporting this as a HATE crime. CNN, Fox News, and msnbc, The Huffington Post, AOL News have yet to report the story. Please help get National Attention for this news story by Liking and #Sharing this page with all of your friends! THANK YOU!
Texas Republican Rep. Louie Gohmert says “slavery was a blot” on the United States but the country is actually a lot worse off now because people are “openly rebelling” against God.
During a Tuesday conference call supporting Vision America Pastor Rick Scarborough’s plan for 40 days of prayer asking God to remove ungodly people from office “so that godly people can take their place,” Gohmert warned that the U.S. appeared to be like other failed countries as they moved “toward the end of their existence.”
“There is so much that is so critical to whether or not this country continues,” the congressman explained. “No explanation as to why we’ve been so blessed other than the people who went before us were blessed, they followed God’s rule book, in our founding they followed biblical teachings.”
“We strayed away at different times, Andrew Jackson’s time was not a great time, at different times slavery was a blot on our existence,” he continued. “But the trouble is we have never as an entire nation overall been so far away from God’s teaching and so openly rebelling, even from the top, against God’s teachings in the Bible.”
Earlier this year, Gohmert had blasted the Obama administration’s contraception mandate because he said it was similar to banning communion.
Listen to this audio via Right Wing Watch, recorded on Oct. 16, 2012.
There are so many white feminists waxing poetic about a Taylor Swift song that slightly deviates from her message of misunderstood special snowflakery that I want to vomit. I want to vomit, take a picture of said vomit, and post it to tumblr so everyone can see that Taylor Swift literally made me vomit. There’s not a marginally talented white girl on earth that white feminists can resist making the new face of feminism.
Also, you know who’s been writing feminist jams, chronicling her transition from girlhood to womanhood, all while leaving men in the dust? Beyonce. Since she was 15. Write an essay about that when you’re done pouring your T-Swift feels into your Lisa Frank diaries why don’t you.
I really don’t want to do any Taylor Swift vs Beyonce here but the point about Beyonce’s career progression is very much on.
I think I disagree with some of this but I need to think about it more
I do think TSwift vs Beyonce is interesting, in that Taylor is usu. vilified for un-feminist lyrics by feminists way way way more than Beyonce is upheld by feminists as a feminist icon, and the sudden switch from “feminists should hate TSwift” to “YAY TSWIFT” is telling, but I’m also interested in the vilification/praise dynamic, cause shitting on TSwift gets you lots more pageviews than reiterating that Beyonce is a feminist hero, shitting on people is easier and more fun than praising them.
at first glance though, let’s point out that we are not limited to choosing between “hate TSwift because she is at best bad at feminism” and “turn TSwift into a feminist icon because she did one vaguely feminist thing”
In light of recent racist incidents that have occurred in West Campus, students from Huston-Tillotson University, The University of Texas, and residents of the Austin community at large are joining forces to take a stance against these acts of ignorance and hate. There have been several incidents in the West Campus area in the last few weeks, where white students have thrown “bleach bombs” (water balloons filled with bleach) at African American students and their cars in an attempt to intimidate and “white wash” them.
Other students of color have even been called “dirty n-” while walking to their respective homes in West Campus. These said incidents have been reported to The University of Texas Police Department and University of Texas officials. NO action has been taken to address these issues, until now. We’re calling ALL students, faculty, and staff of Huston-Tillotson and the University of Texas, as well as the entire Austin community to join us in a peaceful demonstration against these incidents and the ignorant culture of hate from which they come.
We will be meeting at the Martin Luther King, Jr. statue on the UT campus at 5:30 PM on Tuesday, October 2, 2012. From there, we will walk together through the areas of West Campus where the bleach bombs were thrown to represent our solidarity and collective resistance to the hateful acts that have taken place.
If we continue to over look occurrences such as these, those who carry them out will continue to think that this type of behavior is acceptable, they WILL become more frequent, and you may very well find your own self a victim of such incidents.
Please forward this message to everyone that you know. For more information,questions and/or concerns, please visit the Facebook event.