Monthly Archives: February 2014

We are never gonna get anywhere as long as our economies of attraction continue to resemble, more or less, the economies of attraction of white supremacy.

–Junot Diaz, Facing Race 2012 keynote speech

(via queering the game of life)

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Jordan Davis had a mother and a father. It did not save him. Trayvon Martin had a mother and a father. They could not save him. My son has a father and mother. We cannot protect him from our country, which is our aegis and our assailant. We cannot protect our children because racism in America is not merely a belief system but a heritage, and the inability of black parents to protect their children is an ancient tradition.

–Ta-Nehisi Coates, On the Killing of Jordan Davis by Michael Dunn

(via queering the game of life)

 

As rapper Dr. Dre calls it, ‘People in the suburbs, they can’t go to the ghetto so they like to hear about what’s goin’ on. Everyone wants to be down.’ The desire to be “down” has promoted a conservative appropriation of specific aspects of underclass black life, whose reality is dehumanised via a process of commodification wherein no correlation is made between mainstream hedonistic consumerism and the reproduction of a social system that perpetuates and maintains an underclass.

–bell hooks, Outlaw Culture pg. 178

(via queering the game of life)

Being a perpetual performer in American society also brings the flipside into view—our long-standing invisibility. As black artists we have always been relegated to the notion of race, identity, and image, which in a certain sense perpetuates conservative notions of ’30s social realism, no matter how you clothe it with the contemporary. Black artists who don’t care to deal with the subject matter that is posited in image and arrested at the surface of race are usually rendered more invisible.

–Terry Adkins

(via KEW)

Spare us the invocations of “black on black crime.” I will not respect the lie. I would rather be thought insane. The most mendacious phrase in the American language is “black on black crime,” which is uttered as though the same hands that drew red lines around the ghettoes of Chicago are not the same hands that drew red lines around the life of Jordan Davis, as though black people authored North Lawndale and policy does not exist. That which mandates the murder of our Hadiya Pendletons necessarily mandates the murder of Jordan Davis. I will not respect any difference. I will not respect the lie. I would rather be thought crazy.

I insist that the irrelevance of black life has been drilled into this country since its infancy, and shall not be extricated through the latest innovations in Negro Finishing School. I insist that racism is our heritage, that Thomas Jefferson’s genius is no more important than his plundering of the body of Sally Hemings, that George Washington’s abdication is no more significant than his wild pursuit of Oney Judge, that the G.I Bill’s accolades are somehow inseparable from its racist heritage. I will not respect the lie. I insist that racism must be properly understood as an Intelligence, as a sentience, as a default setting which, likely to the end of our days, we shall unerringly return.

–Ta-Nehisi Coates, “On the Killing of Jordan Davis by Michael Dunn,”

(via KEW)

Black women deal with the paradox of assertiveness. In order to be respected as a human being we all need to assert ourselves. We need to let others know how we want to be treated and given the space to control the direction of our own lives. Because assertiveness is a derisive label plastered on Black womanhood it necessitates that Black women give up these basic human necessities in an attempt to avoid further mockery.

Because Black women are dealing with the threat of being accused of unnatural levels of assertiveness and independence whenever we in anyway defend ourselves we don’t defend ourselves. We are always threatened by the possibility of being perceived as putting down Black men or stepping over others. So we stay quiet. We often even police each other and encourage each other to remain quiet.

If a Black woman is doing anything but lying prostrate on her back she is accused of being “too independent” and assertive. This breeds meekness and docility. Black women are always concerned about taking up too much space for fear of being labeled as “loud.” Always afraid of being too forward about her accomplishments for fear of being viewed as too assertive. Never demanding for fear of being labeled as a “gold digger” or uppity.

Black women are encouraged to shrink themselves, to limit themselves. This goes unacknowledged when people insist that we are naturally (or culturally) primed to be assertive and independent irrespective of whether or not they frame it as a positive or negative.

“The Paradox of Assertiveness for Black Women” 

(via spinsterette)

It’s all about how you have to look a certain way or else you’re worthless. You know when you look in the mirror, and you think, ‘Ugh, I’m so fat, I’m so old, I’m so ugly’, don’t you know that’s not your authentic self, but that is billions upon billions of dollars of advertising, magazines, movies, billboards, all geared to make you feel shitty about yourself so that you will take your hard-earned money and spend it on some turnaround cream that doesn’t turnaround shit.

When you don’t have self-esteem, you will hesitate before you do anything in your life. You will hesitate to go for the job you really wanna go for. You will hesitate to ask for a raise. You will hesitate to report a rape. You will hesitate to defend yourself when you are discriminated against because of your race, your sexuality, your size, your gender. You will hesitate to vote. You will hesitate to dream.

For us to have self-esteem is truly an act of revolution. And our revolution is long-overdue.

Margaret Cho

(via spinsterette)