Some years ago I decided I was done with certain kinds of “race writing.”…
Tag: white supremacy
By Guest Contributor Harsha Walia
The Oak Creek Gurudwara is my brother’s and frequently my parent’s sangat. Over the years, they have described to me how, with deep love and commitment, the community came together to build the Gurudwara. How every week the Gurudwara provided a refuge, a sanctuary, a sense of home, a sense of belonging from the isolation of being an accented brown-skinned immigrant living in Wisconsin. When I heard about the shooting at Oak Creek Gurudwara, I happened to be facilitating at an immigrant and refugee youth camp. Dozens of young middle-school and high-school aged racialized immigrants and refugees from Latin America, Asia and Africa were describing being taunted and bullied at school, feeling discriminated against by their teachers, the hardships of systemic poverty, daily fears of detention and displacement, and feeling like “unwelcome and unwanted parasites.” As young people in British Columbia, Canada they were articulating an experience of racism similar to that which my family faces living in the Midwest of America.
While these murders were abhorrent, they were not ‘senseless’. The ad nauseaum suggestion that the killings were senseless attempts to construct the shooting as random and without logic, when in fact racist hate crimes operate through the very deliberate and precise logic of white supremacy. Read the Post Hate Crimes Always Have A Logic: On The Oak Creek Gurudwara Shootings
For me, the family fukú is rape. The rape culture of the European colonization of the New World—which becomes the rape culture of the Trujillato (Trujillo just took that very old record and remixed it)—is the rape culture that stops the family from achieving decolonial intimacy, from achieving decolonial love. – Junot Díaz
This two part article from the Boston Review was more bracing than a morning cup of coffee. Paula M.L. Moya guides us through an amazing conversation with Junot Díaz, digging deep into cultural theory to come up with a treasure trove of insight around the academy, Junot’s body of work, and missing pieces from our cultural conversations about race. While you should go read the whole thing, I particularly loved a few paragraphs.
Yunior’s a victim in a larger, second sense: I always wrote Yunior as being a survivor of sexual abuse. He has been raped, too. The hint of this sexual abuse is something that’s present in Drown and it is one of the great silences in Oscar Wao. This is what Yunior can’t admit, his very own página en blanco. So, when he has that line in the novel: “I’d finally try to say the words that could have saved us. / __________ __________ __________,” what he couldn’t say to Lola was that “I too have been molested.” He could bear witness to everyone else’s deep pains but, in the end, he couldn’t bear witness to his own sexual abuse. He couldn’t tell the story that would have tied him in a human way to Lola, that indeed could have saved him.
One has to understand that all the comments, all the things that Yunior does in Oscar Wao, move him inexorably away from the thing that he most needs: real intimacy which must have vulnerability, forgiveness, acceptance as its prerequisites. So that even though Yunior is sexist, even though he’s misogynist, even though he’s racist, even though he mischaracterizes Oscar’s life, even though he’s narcissistic—at the end he’s left with no true love, doesn’t find himself, doesn’t find that decolonial love that he needs to be an authentic self. In fact, he ends up—like the work that he assembles and stores in the refrigerator—incomplete. […]
Thinking about Yunior as having been raped made (in my mind at least) his fucked-up utterances in the novel have a different resonance. And while he wasn’t yet ready to bear witness to his own rape, it gave him a certain point of view around sexual violence that I don’t think would have been possible otherwise. It helped me produce a novel with a feminist alignment. A novel whose central question is: is it possible to overcome the horrible legacy of slavery and find decolonial love? Is it possible to love one’s broken-by-the-coloniality-of-power self in another broken-by-the-coloniality-of-power person?
Over at the Click the Toad Blog, the Chief Toad explains how the MLK Jr.…
by Latoya Peterson
So, I have been trying to motivate myself to write about the Jesse James – Sandra Bullock saga, but I am just not feeling it.
For those new to the situation, Jesse James is the proprietor of West Coast Choppers, a television personality, and the husband of Sandra Bullock. Fresh off her Oscar win for The Blind Side (yes, this is one big racial cosmic joke), Bullock found out through the tabloids that Jesse James was pulling a Tiger Woods, with mistresses coming out of the woodwork. The twist? Michelle McGee, one of said mistresses (who claims she isn’t racist, which is de rigeur in these situations), is at the very least Nazi tolerant.
According to Gawker:
Michelle ‘Bombshell’ McGee denies being a white supremacist: Her sexy Nazi photo shoot was for fetishists, she says, and the W P tattooed on the backs of her thighs stands not for “white power” but the revolting-in-a-different-way “wet pussy.” She says, “Jesse and I had a conversation about it and he says a lot of his friends have the tattoo.” (Is that an inside joke? That statement could use context, including an updated assessment on McGee’s believability. She has said she’s Amish as well as a third-generation French Canadian. Is that even possible?) Suing for custody of their children, her ex-husband said she had “child block magnets on the refrigerator that spell out ‘White Power’,” and that her older son from a different relationship “is Jewish and she think it’s funny that she makes the Nazi salute.” UPDATE: McGee lists Mein Kampf as a “Favorite Book” on her Facebook page. This lady is totally a Nazi.
Meanwhile, it is revealed that James’ ex-wife went on to marry “an admitted skinhead.” Gawker asks “How many neo-Nazis can you date without being one?” Read the Post Jesse James, Sandra Bullock, and Public Discussions of Racism
by Guest Contributor Minh-ha, originally published at Threadbared
This post is supposed to be about the latest occurrences of blackface in fashion — specifically, the 14-page editorial featuring Lara Stone, a white Dutch model, painted black and shot by Steven Klein for the October 2009 issue of French Vogue and also Carlos Diez‘s show at Madrid Fashion Week (September 22, 2009) in which models walked in blackface and, at times, with bared breasts.
There is indeed quite a lot to say about both events. To begin, fashion’s seeming ineptness for dealing with race in ways that do not accommodate and/or supplement the already too long histories of racial objectification and commodification. We’ve discussed much of this history on Threadbared (see especially here, here, here, here, and here) already and will no doubt continue to, as there seems to be an inexhaustible amount of material. Second, these events (and others like it) are revealing of the ways in which multiculturalism and multiracialism –under the guise of postracialism, postmodernism, or just artistic edginess– enables the continuation of white supremacy. Read the Post Blackface, and the Violence of Revulsion
by Carmen Van Kerckhove
Mat Johnson is winner of the prestigious Hurston-Wright Legacy Award for fiction and currently teaches at the University of Houston, Creative Writing Program. Read more about him at Niggerati. Click the thumbnails below to read full-size pages from his new graphic novel, Incognegro.
Mat: Thanks. It’s a hell of a lot better than watching a book tank, I’ll tell you that.
Mat: I miss that. We had fun.
Carmen: …and longtime listeners will remember that former co-host Jen and I used to do a segment called “Racial Spy.” Your book takes the racial spy concept to a whole new level – can you explain to our readers what Incognegro is all about?
Mat: Incognegro is about a mixed race Negro journalist who looks white who investigates lynchings in the 1930s. The story is about when his own brother is framed for a murder, and he must go Incognegro to solve the crime and free him.
Mat: So was Vertigo. I sold them the idea based on the synopsis. [Note from Carmen: Vertigo is Mat’s publisher, they’re an imprint of DC Comics.]
Carmen: How did you come to make Incognegro a graphic novel?
Mat: I have read comics since I was 6 and still read them. I thought this story had the elements of the comic hero, but had the chance to do something new in the form as well. With my prose, the work is character based, prose based. Graphic writing just let me focus on the story and the dialogue.
Carmen: I think the format really works well – as I was reading it, I kept imagining what an awesome movie it would make. Speaking of… I hear there is interest in turning Incognegro into a film. Anything you can say on record about that at this point? Read the Post Interview with Mat Johnson, author of graphic novel Incognegro
by guest contributor Masheka Wood
Previously on Prison Break: Michael finally finds out Sarah’s dead, starts a chicken-foot fight against Whistler for a distraction, and watches his first Sona escape attempt go completely F.U.B.A.R. Lechero (a.k.a. Norman the Milkman) gets stripped of power, a newly released Mahone gets squirrelly without his vein-candy, and we discover Susan B. Anthony (a.k.a. Gretchen) is in cahoots with Whistler.
And now for the recap of the fall season finale, in which …
‘Don’t Fear The Reaper’ (a great Spanish version) plays over a montage of various prisoners doing prison-y stuff like weight-lifting, drug-smoking and corpse-covering. Ahh, life in Penitenciaría Federal de Sona!
During visitation, Linc informs Michael that Company operative Susan has given them four more days to bust out—and that Susan plans to kill them as soon as they’re free. Michael doesn’t care; he’s still pissed that Lincoln waited so long to tell him about Sara’s beheading. As far as Michael is concerned, Linc used Michael like the Company used them both. Damn, that’s cold! And kind of weird because, as many fans have noted, Michael constantly uses others for his gain. Guess it hurts more when your bro does it. As Michael leaves the outdoor visitation area, a welder installs reinforced steel bars to prevent any other window escapes.
Meanwhile, General ‘Pad Man’ (so-called because his fear of listening devices often leads him prefer writing pads to speech), the Company boss from season 2, pays Susan a visit at her hotel. He orders a “bang or burn” operation ASAP. If the mission fails, he’ll make her past rape and torture as a prisoner of war “look like a massage.” Shaken, Susan visits Whistler and notifies him of the new plan. She also tells him to kill Michael—at which prospect Whistler has the decency to look sick.
Back in Sona, Lechero sneaks over to talk clandestinely to Michael through the bars. Michael needs him to persuade the colonel to delay reinforcing the prison windows, or the new escape plan is useless. Lechero reminds him that he no longer has the influence he once had but has another idea.
Later, Sammy, Lechero’s right-hand man, speaks with Lechero and says that they need more allies to maintain rule over Sona. but Lechero doesn’t trust anyone, especially now.
On side note, Lechero (as played by Robert Wisdom) is a very interesting significant character, a black man who holds a position of great power while under incarceration for avenging his mother’s rape by her wealthy employer. Read the Post Prison Break recap of episode 308: Bang and Burn