By Andrea Plaid
Stumbling back from the back-end blue field called Tumblr, I can say that a whole lot of you Racializens seriously enjoyed what we posted this week–like hundreds of you! So let me say for the record that, to borrow from our current president, we love y’all right back, and we hope to keep posting people and things you love…
…like this bit of magnificence that has the late Eartha Kitt reclaiming her signature role as Catwoman! Comic Book Sources reports:
Eartha Kitt is on holiday, searching for the purrfect wave. When suddenly??? Well we won’t spoil the surprise. But in the tradition of DC Nation and all good things for all ages comes Eartha Meets The Gorgon, the first in a series of advemtires done with the blessing of the legendary actress/singer’s estate.
The comic book dropped yesterday!
Speaking of beloved Black people, you all gave a lot of love to what Clutch Magazine’s Chaka Cumberbatch wrote for xojane about being a Black cosplayer who dressed up as a non-Black character and the hatred people heaped on her for it–but only online:
“’For a black cosplayer (not to be racist) she did an amazing job!’ the original Tumblr post read. It was later was edited to include ‘I love her skin tone’ after all hell broke loose.
Personally, I’ve always been stuck on those first few words: ‘for a black cosplayer.’ As if the bar was set lower for us, as if we weren’t expected to perform on the same level as white cosplayers.
I lost track of how many times the post was liked, reblogged, linked to other websites–even now, nearly three years after the picture was taken, complete strangers will come up and reference it to me at cons, and it’s even come up in job interviews. My Venus became the unintentional face of the cosplay race debate online, an unwitting example of ‘Black cosplayers doing it right,’ as if 9 times out of 10, black cosplayers were doing it wrong by default.
What kills me is that in person, nobody has the balls to say a word about whether or not they think darker-skinned people should cosplay lighter skinned characters–but online is a completely different animal. Online, I was ‘N****r Venus,’ and “Sailor Venus Williams” because I am black.
My nose was too wide, lips were too big, I had a ‘face like a gorilla’ and wasn’t suited for such a cute character, because I am black. My wig was too blonde, my wig wasn’t blonde enough, or, my wig was ghetto because I was making it ghetto, by being black and having it on my head.
And furthermore, if I was going to insist on ‘ruining characters,’ I could have at least picked one with black hair so it looked more “natural.” I should have worn blue contacts — but if I had, it would have looked ghetto. Because I am black.
You all loved it so much that it’s one of the most liked/reblogged posts ever since we started our Tumblr! And you stayed extending the love to Muslimah Media Watch’s Shireen Ahmed’s read on World Hijab Day:
Will having my teammates wear a hijab for a one hour match allow them to understand a lifetime of stares, barriers, “No, sorry you can’t play with that on” decisions, struggles and then my own strength and confidence to embrace it and keep going?
No. No, it won’t.
Just like wearing a hijab for one day will not provide a woman will contextual understanding of challenges and the realities that a woman in hijab may face: misogyny, cultural stresses, financial problems, prejudice, racism and even effects of war.
Does it realistically give people a glimpse of struggles faced by millions? Of a religion that is marred and scarred by stereotypes and assumptions, that is rife with misogynist practices? That has incredibly intrepid people working for the benefit of the world? That has kindness and millions of women who are Muslim who do not wear hijab?
Do we celebrate International Paghra Day with Sikhs? Or International Habit Day with Peruvian Nuns? International “Wear a Wig to Shul” Day with Orthodox Jews? Nope. Because that would be minimizing and politicizing their choice.
This dress-up activity is no more effective than having me wearing a firefighter outfit. I respect First Responders and love red. Does it give me full insight into their plight, intensity, committment, courage and years of training?
No. No, it doesn’t.
I’m going to wrap up my report with a video many of you loved of, according to News One, an unidentified Native American dad who single-handedly wrapped up and sent home a group of anti-immigrant protesters in Tucson, AZ. (TRIGGER WARNING: Sexist and anti-immigrant language.)
See what all the love is about on the R’s Tumblr!