They might be loathe to admit it, but good cheer likely wasn’t the only reason so many people connected to the NBA were so quick to declare Tuesday morning the final chapter in Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling’s relationship with the league. The problem is, the league’s own mechanics all but ensure that won’t be the case. And that’s just on paper.
Recall the previous post about Guante’s vid and its takeaway about being PC is really about not being a jackass. Well, this next pop cultural item is exactly why political correctness came into being in the first place.
Longtime Racialicious homie Angry Asian Man tweeted this:
The shit he’s referring to is the latest anti-Asian vid called “Asian Girlz” by some band called Day Above Ground. Well, one person didn’t listen…
Sis, I learned from your example. I listened and didn’t watch, but I did try to read the lyrics to understand why AAM said what he said. All I’m going to say is prepare yourselves for gross amounts of fuckery.
Even after it seemed we’d analyzed the “Sh-t (x) People Say” meme into the ground, the video above came from a perspective we generally don’t hear from, even in our safe spaces.
“Sh-t White Girls Say to Latinas,” put together by two eighth-grade Latina students, was sent to us a few weeks ago by their teacher, Jennifer Swift, in a Race, Gender and Culture course at their school. For the sake of their privacy, we’re identifying the students as Rosie (the girl in the blonde wig) and Alison (who does not appear in the video). Racialicious confirmed with the girls and with Ms. Swift that their parents approved of their decision to be interviewed via e-mail.
I’m still trying to work my way through my discomfort and analyze exactly where my discomfort of this Sociological Images post is coming from, so if this critique seems a bit scattered, it’s because my thoughts about it, at the moment, are that way.
First: I agree with where the post is coming from, in that the disenfranchised rarely ever have a voice of their own in mainstream Western culture, are always portrayed as the Other, which is defined as everything that said mainstream Western culture isn’t (at best as something that props it up and provides an aesthetically pleasing contrast, at worst as something that must be exterminated). And this leads to remarkably similar cycles of dehumanization and disenfranchisement. As so many minority thinkers/activists have noted, manufactured binaries between the privileged West and everyone else, even seemingly positive ones, ultimately end up reinforcing destructive hierarchies.
Where I disagree with the poster is the framing, which I feel makes the post, in some ways, as reductive as what it’s critiquing. Because there are different contexts in which the above cycle/process of exotification occurs, and those contexts matter and shouldn’t be handwaved, even (and I would say especially) if you’re taking the pov of the white outsider and attempting to deconstruct it. Social justice discourse loses its meaning when it becomes divorced from one of power relations.
Ah True Blood. We hate that we love you. This week’s roundtable – featuring Amber Jones, Alea Adigweme, Jordan St.John, myself and Kendra Pettis – had quite a bit to say on the usual suspects. Laffyette’s growing Orientalism and our mistrust of Jesus; more speculation about Tara’s boo thang; a few cackles about poor, paranoid Arlene (who, may in fact be right); and the evolving Jessica-Hoyt saga. But what shocked us all is how much time we spent talking about Sookie – who has recently realized her privileged status is in danger after her year long absence.
Latoya: Let’s focus on Sookie for the second. What themes do we see emerging with her, considering the last few seasons, she had at least some autonomy Alea: I think she’s beginning to realize that her options are few. She’s come back from Faerie Land to find her one refuge gone. She’s fair game now. Latoya: @Alea – It’s interesting how quickly she fell out of favor. Jordan:She seems to be fighting for it more than she ever has but now has even less control between the fairies, bill and eric Alea: @LP: I think people are sick of her shit. Amber: She also doesn’t completely understand what she is or what could be at stake. It seems as if for the first time she’s coming to terms with the fact that she doesn’t know everything.
Sookie’s Blood as Virginity Metaphor
Kendra: re ownership: I was thinking about her ‘light’ from last season, which we now know is her blood. But given the southern metaphors that are popping up, the obvious comparison is towards her virtue/white womanhood like we discussed last week. Alea: Yes! The purity of her blood falls right into that. Latoya: @Kendra – Oooh. So you think she gave away too much of her “virtue”? Amber: That also falls right in line with ownership and protection. Jordan: I find it interesting that for her there is this one drop thing going with her blood… she is a small part fairy but people can tell, it has become the defining thing about her Latoya: But she’s only as valuable as her blood. Amber: Which is apparently extremely valuable. Jordan: That is true… it is her currency. Kendra: Potentially… she’s given up that virtue, and maybe with that the autonomy. Because now the men are buzzing around her to protect/keep what’s left. (Assuming that Alcide will be playing that white knight role) Continue reading →
I can’t even begin to detail how my skin color has affected my self-esteem with dating. I am always aware of it. Just a few years ago, in college, it wasn’t nearly as bad. At that time, I felt I worked through most of my shit and figured, “I’m young, I want to fuck, and I’m going for it.”
But, the results were not what I expected. Everyone rejected me. Everyone. Now, I understand and welcome rejection because it keeps one’s ego in check. Still, it was every single person I showed the slightest interest in, all in a row. Why? I mean, I was (and am) an ideal catch. I’m young, cute, have a great body, super-smart, and engaging personality. That wasn’t good enough. I couldn’t help but analyze myself and asked, “Why all the no’s?” It wasn’t until I saw how two friends of mine began dating monogamously (although my friend repeatedly told me she didn’t want anything serious; neither did I, dumbass) that it hit me like a punch in the face: the other friend is white.
Despite our similarities, my friend edged me out in that all-important category skin color. I was furious. Here I was, the happiest I’ve ever been, and my race literally clit-blocks me. Pretty soon after the insecurities crept back into my psyche. It was heartbreaking. I had worked so hard to build up my self-esteem about my color, and when faced with a swell of rejection, it crumbled. In retrospect, I see how fragile my confidence really was. My conviction was never reinforced; it was all self-supported. To have all that progress destroyed so drastically really worries and frightens me. I don’t know if I can get that girl back. Continue reading →
Nicki Minaj is hip hop’s newest “it” girl — so why does it seem like her schtick has been done before? Oh, that’s right, because it has.
Minaj is a caricature of Lil’ Kim, taken even farther to the extreme than even Kim would find comfortable. After ditching the rainbow-coloured wigs of her early days, Minaj has fully adopted the hypersexualized, “poseable Black Barbie” look that Kim made famous. Like Kim, Minaj bares skin to sell shitty music to kids who can’t remember the good stuff: a close listen to her music reveals the uninspired, nonsensical lyrics, pedestrian sing-song hooks, and excessive reliance on Auto-tune that has come to characterize hip hop music today — something I like to call “The Drake Effect”. No wonder Kim is furious: Kim was actually a talented lyricist who, for better or for worse, found a way to sell her music to a sexist music industry. To her credit, Kim was a (perverse) representation of sex-positive feminism, which becomes clear when one juxtaposes her hypersexualized style with her lyrics. Minaj, on the other hand, is the Barbie doll who, in one song, craves the love of a man she compares to Eminem.
And I think I love him like Eminem call us Shady When he call me mama, lil mama, I call him baby
The feminist in me is practically climbing the walls: are we really okay with the idea that two of the most popular female hip hop artists of the last several years — Lil’ Kim and Nicki Minaj — are glorifying themselves as life-sized Barbie dolls? I mean, the bimbo and body image issues alone are enough to make anyone shudder — and we haven’t even scratched the surface of the icky, RealDoll factor. Someone pass me my Queen Latifah.
I haven’t seen The Social Network — nor do I really plan to see it anytime soon. I mean, how much do I care about rich White guys battling other rich White guys to be the richest White guys out there?
But, out there on the blogosphere, there’s been some vague excitement about the return of Brenda Song, freshly grown-up from her Disney Channel days. She is shown prominently in The Social Network‘s trailer, and there was some early speculation that Song would make for an interesting supporting character against the backdrop of Jessie Eisenberg and Justin Timberlake making billions of dollars with some simple databasing and a lot of drunken debauchery.
Turns out all of that hope was for naught: despite Aaron Sorkin’s normally brilliant writing of strong female characters (to wit, C.J. Cregg of West Wing), Brenda Song’s Christy in The Social Network is only the most visible of a long litany of hypersexualized, dehumanized female props that exist merely for the sexual gratification of the movie’s White male main characters.