Tag Archives: racism

I am afraid, or, 2017: Abandon All Hope Ye Who Enter Here

I am afraid on the basis of all of my identities. That fear is not just of Trump himself, but of unchecked Republican control of the executive and legislative branches of our government, and likely soon the top level of the judicial branch as well.

As a black person, I’m afraid that Republican power will continue to deny that my and my people’s lives matter. That there will be no push from the federal government to hold police who kill unarmed black men and women accountable. That we will continue incarcerating absurd proportions of black and brown communities. That the fact that a businessman who was openly supported by the KKK was elected will give racists and white supremacists a larger platform, a stronger foothold, or even just make them more likely to take action in support of their beliefs.

As a woman, particularly as a sexually active woman of childbearing age who does not want to become a mother now or ever, I am worried about what full Republican leadership at the federal level means for reproductive rights. I have an IUD right now, that was made possible by the stipulation in Obamacare that requires all insurance companies to cover the cost of all forms of birth control. If (it pains me too much to say when) Obamacare is repealed, I will be required to pay for the medically necessary removal of my current IUD in 2018 and for the cost of inserting a new one, which can be upwards of $1000, if I choose to stick with this birth control option that has worked very well for me. If I choose to go with a lower cost, but also easier to misuse option, like the pill, I am scared that I’ll mess up and forget to take it one day, or forget to bring it with me on a trip, and then be faced with a potential unwanted pregnancy under an anti-abortion federal government. I am afraid of catcallers and other predatory men feeling emboldened by a president who has bragged about grabbing women by the pussy.

As a queer person, I am afraid that Trump himself doesn’t care about us, as he has released no policy plans for LGBT rights or HIV/AIDS. But I know how anti-LGBT the Republican party generally is: 2016 has seen pushback on marriage equality and adoption rights for same-sex couples, bathroom bills that have devastating consequences beyond just where we pee, endorsements of gay conversion therapy for minors, and a resurgence of “religious freedom” bills designed to allow businesses the ‘right’ to refuse to serve us. Trans women, especially trans women of color, are being killed every week in this country, and I have no hope that they will be protected under our new president-elect’s leadership. In fact, as the people who oppose QTPOCs very existence see how strong their numbers are, it’s hard to do anything other than expect the violence to get worse.

And speaking of the twisting of “religious freedom,” as a non-Christian, I am worried that a conservative majority in all branches of the federal government de facto pushes church and state closer together. I have extended family members who are Muslim (of the black power, Nation of Islam variety, but that didn’t matter to folks who abused and discriminated against them post-9/11). I am afraid for their safety in the red states of Georgia and Florida under a Trump administration.

As the daughter and granddaughter and niece and sister of people who have worked in the casino industry, literally for Trump himself and/or for people like him, I am worried that Republican control means even further erosion of what little safety net is there for our senior citizens who didn’t work fancy desk jobs with 401ks or pensions and now depend on Social Security and Medicare to literally feed, clothe, house, and care for themselves. I am afraid of what will happen to my father and my grandmother. I am worried that people who don’t make living wages will lose the scraps of support they are currently able to receive from programs like SNAP, TANF, and Medicaid, and won’t be able to literally feed, clothe, house, and care for their children. I am afraid that this administration will do nothing but widen the gap between the rich and the poor in this country, and further marginalize the voices of those being trampled upon.

As the daughter of a woman who has held down a full-time teaching job through multiple rounds of chemotherapy in order to keep her healthcare coverage, I am afraid that people will literally die as a result of this election. Obama was able to bring health insurance (albeit imperfect) to hundreds of thousands of people who did not have it before, and made it so that people couldn’t be denied coverage due to pre-existing conditions. I am afraid that if my mom gets too sick to work, a post-Obamacare America will be one in which she cannot be insured, and my family will have to watch a disease she beat once before overcome her because we can’t afford the treatments.

I feel America’s distaste for people like me, a distaste that ranges from a lack of empathy to a straight-up hatred, writ large this morning, feel it in my bones and in my spirit more heavily than I’ve ever felt it before. This place was built by us, but not for us, and is about to be run by people who aggressively don’t support us. I feel unsafe and unwanted here on the deepest of levels. If I joke or even more genuinely consider fleeing, don’t tell me it’s my responsibility to fight through and fix this. I didn’t break it. I don’t know how to heal the divide between rural America and urban America, between white America and diverse America, between people who legitimately support Trump’s platform and ideas and people like me. I don’t know if it can be healed. I am not hopeful this morning.

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Patricia Alvarado, Deconstructing racism!!! Understanding complexities!!!

 

In this work, I deconstruct a seemingly innocent anonymous question I received asking “Where are you from bc your skin color is like different, I love it!” to speak to the complexities and pervasiveness of racism. I’m interested in revealing how deeply rooted racism is. I want to speak to issues such as cultural appropriation, white supremacy, the sexism + racism navigated by WoC and the exclusion of WoC in feminist discourse, the lack of positive representation for brown and black people, and other similar sentiments.

This work is still in progress, and will result in a performance taking place in December 2014.

Patricia Alvarado

(via the dopest ethiopienne)

So here we have Beyoncé, a hyper-visible, successful, billionaire black woman and entertainer, one half of one of the top-earning couples in the world, explicitly detailing how she came to the decision to “let her freak flag fly” for this album. Here Beyoncé tells us specifically her motivations for moving in a more sexually explicit direction. Here she explains how she has always felt obligated to leave that part of herself on the cutting room floor.

 And then we have people insisting that Beyoncé’s sexuality is nothing more than an over-played ploy to capture male attention.
 What upsets me most about shallow critiques like this is that these “accusations” for want of a better word, always operate under the assumption that black women do not have any sexual agency, or that any show of sexuality is a confirmation of racist stereotypes. There is never any room left in the conversation for the possibility that the motivation behind a display of sexuality comes from within. It presumes that all female sexuality is in pursuit of the male gaze. This idea is the single biggest problem that I have with Rashida Jones’ assertion that pop stars need to “stop being whores.” Her limited worldview doesn’t allow for the women who choose to be overtly sexual because it is the way they are most comfortable expressing that side of themselves. The issue becomes “you’re not being sexual the right way; the modest, decent, lady-like way.” But that’s bullshit. There is no “right” way to be sexual, and a woman, (even a black one!) has a right to be sexual in any way that she so chooses.

the dopest ethiopienne:

how do you bring a black child into a world that plots their destruction before they leave the womb? how do you explain to a black child that their life is a crime, that they will be hated for existing? how do you weight your own love heavily enough to stand up to every force that tells a black child they are unlovable by definition? how do you bring a black child into this world?

The primary causes of poverty lie not in individual behavior at all, but in specific social and historical structures, in forces outside any single person’s control. If you haven’t lived it or even seen it firsthand, there’s almost no way to imagine it. Living in the ghetto, one faces problems with public housing, family violence, drug and alcohol abuse, the drug trade, negligent landlords, criminals, illness, guns, isolation, hunger, ethnic antagonisms, racism, and other obviously negative forces. Even forces that might seem positive in other circumstances- the law, the media, government, neighbors, police- can, in the ghetto context, make life miserable for the poor. And one has to contend will all of these forces- any one of which might be overwhelming- all at once, without a break. Turn to deal with one problem, and three attack you from behind. Experience a little unexpected bad luck, and you find yourself instantly drowning. The cumulative effect of the ‘surround’ is more than the sum of any of these individual forces. There is simply no space to breathe.

Urban Injustice: How Ghettos Happen by David Hilfiker, M.D, xii & xv

Police violence against racial minorities may never stop. Racism has been an indelible feature of American society and police-minority relations since slavery. Indeed, police arms, chains, and ropes are not new to the necks of black men, as well as black women and Latino/as. The killing of Eric Garner not only symbolizes the tight hold racism has on our society and individual psyches, but it is also a reminder of how normalized violence against non-white bodies is in the media and across racial/ethnic groups.

A history of police brutality against people of color.

(via KEW)