yeloson: (Magical Feeling)
[personal profile] yeloson
What if this Halloween, I dressed up to be a white person?

Not a celebrity, politician, or anyone with a name.
Not a police officer, a cowboy, a doctor or a profession or role.

A white person.

That alone, would mark me as different, strange, "dressed up". A costume for your amusement and enjoyment.

I wouldn't even dress up as a real white person as you see day to day. I'd dress up as a caricature of a white person, one which every white person would get to hear inflicted upon them day after day, for the rest of their lives to let them know some horrible, fucked up weird fetish person from shitty movies, pornos, and sites dedicated to hating and using white people, THAT fake person is what everyone thinks of when they think of white person.

That's what their kids would get to face too, not just this holiday, but everyday, for the rest of their lives. Coming home crying, because their real skin, their real lives, wasn't "authentic enough" for other people.

That horrible fake person would be me, dressed up like that, for fun.

Trick or Treat.

Date: 2009-10-30 06:27 pm (UTC)
willow: Red haired, dark skinned, lollipop girl (Default)
From: [personal profile] willow
Seeing several posts about this has helped me figure out why I've always reacted so violently to the whole 'Red, yellow, green hat with fake dreads'. I'd mostly focused on 'These people don't even know what dreads mean'.

But the concept of rastas as fantastical people? Of the Caribbean as a fantastical place? Now I also understand why the Pirates of the Caribbean movies sent me to a 'scratch your eyes out' place. I just thought I had a fannish (anti Disney) issue there.

Date: 2009-10-30 07:29 pm (UTC)
spiralsheep: Evil commandeers the costume budget (chronographia Servalan Evil Costume)
From: [personal profile] spiralsheep

Date: 2009-10-30 10:59 pm (UTC)
dhobikikutti: earthen diya (Default)
From: [personal profile] dhobikikutti
A-yep.

Date: 2009-10-31 04:37 am (UTC)
ardhra: Frida Kahlo (Frida)
From: [personal profile] ardhra
You make really good points, and they're totally spot-on, but I don't think the analogy holds very well because stereotypes of white people aren't used by poc in a systemic way to control, demean, and inflict violence on white people.

Bringing up the prospect of poc committing violence against white people makes it seem like there's an equivalence there, which can play into the 'reverse racism' moral panic, and can reinforce the conception that the suffering of poc is lesser than the feelings of white people. If a hypothetical white person's feelings are taken more seriously than thousands of actual poc's feelings, doesn't it kind of reinforce the dehumanisation you're trying to unpack?

Date: 2009-10-31 05:21 am (UTC)
ardhra: Natasha Khan of Bat for Lashes, with a feather fascinator in her hair and a colourful drape (Default)
From: [personal profile] ardhra
Well, the behaviour you described in the OP is abusive & violent.

Date: 2009-11-01 02:13 am (UTC)
ardhra: Natasha Khan of Bat for Lashes, with a feather fascinator in her hair and a colourful drape (Default)
From: [personal profile] ardhra
I'm saying that trying to get white people to sympathise with the experiences of poc, which is what you seem to be trying, by invoking a threat that doesn't exist (i.e. abuse, emotional and psychological violence) won't necessarily work. And I've seen white people dismiss your post for exactly that reason. Stereotypes don't affect them the way they affect poc.

I said the content of the post is problematic, not the tone.

Do you have any response to my arguments that don't attribute non-existent passive-aggressive behaviour to me?

Date: 2009-11-01 02:29 am (UTC)
ardhra: Natasha Khan of Bat for Lashes, with a feather fascinator in her hair and a colourful drape (Default)
From: [personal profile] ardhra
You're nitpicking.

Date: 2009-11-01 05:47 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] lucullean
why would you sort of viciously attack another person of color for her reaction to what you posted here? do you feel like her overall point (that white people wouldn't necessarily get the message you want them to get and that she has an abusive history with this stuff) is not valid?

Date: 2009-11-01 06:41 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] lucullean
I don't personally have anything on the post, but honestly? That doesn't sound like her and I find it curious that you are not responding to what I actually said, then accusing someone else of "evading points" and "projeciton."

Date: 2009-11-01 02:15 am (UTC)
ardhra: Natasha Khan of Bat for Lashes, with a feather fascinator in her hair and a colourful drape (Default)
From: [personal profile] ardhra
And I'm also saying, as a person of colour, that equating the violence (actual physical assault as well as emotional abuse) that has been done to me through stereotyping with stereotypes about white people is offensive to me personally. No white person I've ever known has suffered to any extent because of stereotypes of whiteness.

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