Tag Archives: Facing Race

Racialicious Crush Of The Week: Janet Mock

By Andrea Plaid

Janet Mock. With permission of the interviewee.

Janet Mock. With permission of the interviewee.

The lyrics to the Mary Tyler Moore Show were written several decades too early–or really, really prescient. I contend that the woman in those lyrics refer to is this week’s Crush, trans activist and writer–and Mad Men fan–Janet Mock:

Who can turn the world on with her smile?
Who can take a nothing day, and suddenly make it all seem worthwhile?
Well it’s you girl, and you should know it
With each glance and every little movement you show it

Fab Janet graciously took time out of her busy, busy schedule to answer a few of my questions. But first, I had to get her vibe on something and a fashion scoop. Read on…

Gurl, can I first say “Thank you!” for being there for and with me on Melissa Harris-Perry!! I felt so much more comforted seeing your face when I got to the Green Room! How did you think the MHP‘s “Scandal Watch Party” went this past Saturday? And I have to ask the question on quite a few minds that day: where did you get your dress?

Wasn’t it a phenomenal space to be in? Beyond just the five of us on camera discussing a show we shamelessly adore, I was gagging over the brilliance of the women of color behind the scenes who made this moment possible for all of us to bask in. So shout-outs are in order for MHP staffers! I wish I could’ve been able to discuss my love for Olitz and their chemistry and the whole scandalous, out-of-this-world, only-in-Shonda’s-head, star-crossed lovers thing. I wish I was also able to discuss the fact that Olivia is shattering other stereotypes too, like the fact that she was on the swim team in high school and keeps her laid mane in check via swim cap plus a fierce white one-piece swimsuit. Get into her style, honey!

I was surprised by the number of #nerdland tweets about my dress, which was a purple sheath from NastyGal.com. It was a nod to Kerry Washington’s first appearance on MHP Show, in which she wore a purple leather frock. Gorg!

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Video: The Opening Speech At Facing Race 2012

The 2012 elections, said Applied Research Center Executive Director Rinku Sen, demonstrated that the allegiances between communities of color are gaining not only strength, but speed–turning back the Three Strikes law and the posse of Republican rape deniers, turning the war on women into a meme and, last but not least, helping Barack Obama win a second term as president.

“Paul Ryan says it was the ‘urban vote’ that did this, not the issues,” Sen said as she opened this year’s Facing Race conference. “We know what the ‘urban vote’ is. But it was not the ‘urban vote,’ it was the majority vote. It was the majority vote that is telling Paul Ryan, in the words of people more polite than I, where he can stick those issues.”

With the election over, said Sen, the publisher of Colorlines, this new majority has the ability to not just win accountability from its elected officials, but to “blowing up” the ladder of racial hierarchy and challenging the notion of racism and tribalism as endemic.

“I don’t think we have to live that way. I don’t think we have to refuse the answer the door when a mother whose children have been swept away by a hurricane knocks on it asking for help,” Sen said. “I don’t think that we have to be sheared down to the thing that is least important about us–our skin color. I think that we can be actual full human beings, and I think that we can change the way that human beings see each other, not by applying some bankrupt concept of ‘color-blindness’ that has no grounding in reality, but by demanding what we really want, which is the taking apart of the racial hierarchy.”

Watch Sen’s speech in full, delivered Nov. 16, above, courtesy of ARC.

#FacingRace: The Morning After

By Arturo R. García

Fun fact: It wasn’t until this past weekend that I met my colleagues in the flesh.

Thanks to the internet, that’s not quite so weird to say anymore. But I can tell you that it felt great to hang and collaborate in person with Latoya, Andrea, Joseph, and Kendra–on top of contributors Tressie McMillan Cottom, T.F. Charlton, and Caitlin M. Boston–after four years(!) writing here, was a great turning point to reach in our association.

It was also, believe it or not, the first time I encountered not just many of our allies and collaborators, but our fandom in person; for whatever reason, it seems many of our Racializens are based out of the East Coast, so it was interesting to see that flicker of recognition for our work–and, thank goodness, appreciation for it–play out.

In a testament to both the amount of conversation the conference generated and how plugged-in of a constituency it attracted, Facing Race became a trending topic on Twitter both Friday and Saturday last week. At one point Tressie called the whole affair “TwitterCon.” And, over the course of the week, we’ll begin to do our best to retrace our steps for all of you, with Storifys, video, etc. And that’s just from the panels we were able to get to. There’s a whole host of signals out there just waiting to be boosted.

But this morning, at least, I’m going to enjoy the weekend just a little more. Big thanks to the Applied Research Center for putting this all together, and to our readers and supporters who were able to make it out there. If you weren’t, though, don’t sweat–we’ll catch you up soon.