yeloson: (Default)
Of Activists, Feminism, and Mammy Issues breaks down the whole expectation that black folks are somehow supposed to also go fight everyone else's battles as well as their own.

I think it's real interesting, clueless, and fucked up how many folks can't be bothered to learn something about black rights and the battles fought here, and simply buy into the McDonald's/American Kumbayah story that "Now all the black peoples are free and happy!" and imagine that, now everyone's sitting on beemers and Oval Office desks, and dammit, why aren't they helping anyone else?

The Reference to the Court of Appeals post puts it nicely:

The reference to ‘court of appeals’ is a metaphor for how (‘american’) Blacks are often expected to authenticate the suffering of non-Black people of color. For instance, I’ve read the work of diasporic South Asians who have faulted ‘american’ Blacks for not caring sufficiently about (or even supposedly participating in) the profiling of people-who-look-‘Muslim’ at airports. What gets erased is that, before Sept. 11, diasporic South Asians weren’t organized against racial profiling because it was Blacks who were (and still are) being racially profiled.

So ‘solidarity’ is always supposed to go in one direction, *from* ‘american’ Blacks *to* non-Black people of color. When non-Black people of color are in trouble, Black people are supposed to be front and center validating the struggle with their presence, even though non-Black people of color are only there for Blacks when it’s convenient.

There's a real split between "Get mine activism" and actual, equality & human rights activism. The former has a simple, fucked up goal - which is to get the same privileges as white men. Not to actually get equality for everyone, but just for themselves and maybe a few folks like them.

That mentality shows itself really quickly- they're only upset when it comes to power being used against them, but no one else, and unsurprisingly, accept that basic concept - that black people are supposed to be magical negros mammies for the cause subservient StepinFetchit "Allies" when they need it, though they remain silent in the face of police murder, economic targeting, focused relocation (who remembers Katrina?), and a host of other, goddamn-it's-blatant bullshit.

I had a conversation on Twitter awhile ago, pointing out the problems of how quick a lot of East Asian Americans are to buy into being #2 on the racial hierarchy system. If you have any understanding of racism, then it's pretty clear that your duty is to step up as an ally MORE if you've got privileges than it is expect more from the people with LESS or NO privilege.

And frankly, if you couldn't be bothered to know the people and listen to them who you're now asking for support? That you understand their history through the propaganda of the oppressors? Why should they ally with you?

There's no such thing as "equality for one" - either we all get it or it doesn't exist. "Get mine" greedy activism, in the end, only becomes the oppression it claims it's fighting, and in the end, supports it the entire way.

ETA: A nice commentary on willful ignorance with regards to black folks while demanding servitude in activism
yeloson: (Default)
I just came across Cereta's excellent post on men and rape by way of Coffeeandink's links and post.

The first rule of abuse is that we don't name it. And when we have to deal with it, we rename it, we call it something else, point the finger at someone else, or anything else than call it what it is. The abuser renames things because it serves to hide what is being done. The abused renames things, for survival. Speaking truth has consequences. Speaking truth might mean having to admit someone you love, someone you trust, even blood relatives JUST RAPED YOU.

And those of us men who might not have committed such acts? We benefit in renaming it because we don't want to have to admit that our teachers, our fathers, our friends, our family members, have raped either.

For the rapist, it's a chain of rationalizations. About how he's not responsible, how she did this or that to make it happen, or how she didn't say no, or she didn't say no in the right way, or enough times, or a thousand other excuses that in the end, are about him getting his.

For the rest of us? The chain of rationalizations are "Well, I don't know the full story!", "Oh, she's kind of dramatic!", "Maybe they're exaggerating!" "People say a lot of things when they're angry.", "I'm sure if it was really a problem, someone would press charges!"

You know what? Fuck rapists. And fuck every goddamn man who makes excuses for it.

See, this shit happens because fuckfaces, like you, like me, like us, don't step up and stop this shit. To be sure- there's 51% of the population who suffer and have an interest in stopping it, but let's be real, we are the ones with power, and privilege and we're either raping or standing by while rape is happening. Worse yet, we're standing by silently while it's happening. We're even defending it.

Every time you do that, you're saying to your mother, sister, daughter, friends, girlfriends, cousins, teachers, students, coworkers, anyone who happens to have that other chromosome? You're saying "Hey, I'd feel -bad- if you got raped, but I wouldn't do shit about it."

Maybe that's not what you mean, but that IS what you're saying. And, because you are encouraging that environment, you're making it more likely to happen. ("I hate me some of THOSE PEOPLE, they can all hang from trees, but you, you're different, I wouldn't do that TO YOU", "Ah thanks!")

This is a rape culture.

This is the culture where we make heroes out of troops while we ignore the fact that they rape the people they're suppose to protect. They rape their fellow troops who are risking their lives to protect them. We ignore our clergy who rape our kids and fellow believers. We ignore our bosses. We ignore our activist leaders who rape the very people they're supposed to protect. We ignore our cousins, uncles, fathers, friends who do this to other people we love.

And to flip it and look at the other side? At the women? That means we ignore the fact that all these people we care about, know, and work with- we ignore that they're being raped.

What kind of fucking love is that?

Stop worrying about calling yourself a man. Try being human for once.
yeloson: (Default)
Endgame vol. 1, Derrick Jensen:

My understanding came when I happened across a line by Nietzsche, "One does not hate when one can despise." I suddenly understood that perceived entitlement is key to nearly all atrocities, and that any threat to preceived entitlement will provoke hatred.
From the perspective of those who are entitled, the problems begin when those they despise do not go along with- and have the power and the wherewithal to not go along with- the perceived entitlement. That's where Nietsche's statement comes in, and that's where hatred of the sort I'm trying to get at in this book becomes manifest. Several times in this book I have commented that hatred felt long and deeply enough no longer feels like hatred, but more like tradition, economics, religion, what have you. It is when those traditions are challenged, when the entitlement is threatened, when the masks of religion, economics, and so on are pulled away that the hate transforms from its more seemingly sophisticated, 'normal', chronic state- where those exploited are looked down upon, or despised - to a more acute and obvious manifestation. Hate becomes more perceptible when it is no longer normalized. Another way to say all of this is that if the rhetoric of superiority works to maintain the entitlement, hatreda and direct physical force remain underground. But when that rhetoric begins to fail, force- and hatred- waits in the wings, ready to explode.

(Emphasis mine)

One need never mention nor object to "normal" things. In fact, it is taboo. One thing Jensen does particularly well in his writings is tie the behavior of abusers- silencing, minimizing, the desperate need to indoctrinate and normalize the abuse- to the larger scale of culture- that the culture, too, does the same thing.

Who doesn't get to matter.

And, who is entitled to decide that. Who isn't penalized for enacting force and violence. Who doesn't get to be called on their shit. Whose systemic violence isn't "politicized", but normal.

I often say internalized self hatred is culture wide Stockholm Syndrome. The self hateful are just as dangerous as the abusers- the only difference is that while both may have been tools of the system of violence and indoctrinated as such (see what happens to men ally with women controlling their own bodies?), one group has been indoctrinated by receiving violence and one group has been the perpetrators OF violence.

A link Jensen does make elsewhere in the book: Abusers most frequently kill their victims when they try to escape the relationship.

In the normalized kyriarchy, "Freedom or death" might be the only possibilities of our society.
yeloson: (Default)
Like most hetero guys, I grew up with a solid dose of fucked up ideas, and perpetuated them.

Something like 10 years back, one of my closest friends came out as bisexual, and I was at a loss "what to do". I asked some dumb questions, like, "Are you sure?" and freaked out a bit on the inside with my own hetero-ness threatened with equally dumb worries like, "What if he likes -me-?"

Luckily, I didn't do anything too stupid, and instead of going, "Oh, you're one of -them- but you're 'different'", I was able to go, "Oh, I'm the one tripping here. People are people and this really isn't that big a deal, and I need to get the stupid out of my head."

Instead of making him an exception to my heterosupremacist world view, I changed it.

Working through all that, took a few years. But here's the thing... I didn't tell him I was doing this, I didn't tell anyone. It wasn't about making a show or needing approval that I was trying to do the right thing.

It was about me becoming worthy of the friendship and trust he gave me in coming out to me, when he hasn't to so many others..

Really, just like 2 years ago, I came to him and apologized for the stupid questions. It weighed heavy on me for a few years, because as I became more and more aware of what a dickhead I was, I was more and more afraid I had hurt him in my ignorance.

He wasn't even tripping off it, but the fact was for me to even get to making an apology, I had to change myself first, to make sure I wouldn't do the same thing again, so that the apology could have meaning.

I keep watching people do racist, sexist, and heterosexist stuff, and then turn around "Oh, I learned my lesson! I'm sorry!" the next day, as if the years of stupid that you've been indoctrinated with that let you even treat your fellow humans as less than human, could be so easily unlearned. And, those of us on the receiving end know you'll do the same damn thing again, because you've shown no desire or effort towards changing your thinking or your behavior.

Those of us who want to kick the kyriarchy always find ourselves digging out old programming, sadly finding we're not as far as we want to be. But the difference is, we keep fighting to overcome it, because it's worth it.

I struggled 8 years to even be worthy to attempt a single apology.

If you imagine you can learn to overcome a lifetime of programming overnight, you're lying and you're not apologizing- you're insulting people - as much as if you stabbed someone 102 times and then testified at the trial, "It was an accident".

And that's the opposite of being an ally.
yeloson: (Default)
Last year, there was the Women of Color Beauty Carnival, in which several women, and a few male allies wrote about WoC, what is beauty, and the issues therein. My particular contribution was picked up by Racialicous and passed along, quoted heavily, while several pieces by the actual women of color were marginalized.

Along comes a storm of "that's so great, that's so great", and the first thing I did, was go over there and remind them that it was the WOC Beauty carnival, and that it was deeply problematic to put the male allies voices above the women in their own carnival.

They didn't really understand the point of that, because, I was refusing cookies. For some reason, they imagined my "objection" was that I didn't want my piece linked and quoted, and not the deeper problem of raisng men above women in their own damn carnival.

Allies do not step back and go, "Oh, I wash my hands of it, this is what other people are doing, I have nothing to do with it". Allies remind people who matters and, instead of taking the space to say the words, step aside and let the people who it's about say it for themselves.

Alliance begins when you can say, "It's not -about- me, but it is my responsibility to help you, in the ways that you need, to have the space to say what you need to say and do what you need to do."

You don't have to do the oppression yourself, you can just stand by and say nothing while it happens. The only way to wash your hands of it is to fight it. The status quo don't change by us sitting on our asses.

But allies know that already.


yeloson: (Default)

November 2012



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