Anonymous asked: about macklemore: i know he's still problematic as a white person in hip hop, but he does address white privilege and white privilege in the hip hop industry in his music, which i found surprising, in his song White Privilege. If you can, tell me your thoughts on it?
I didn’t really want to answer this (because… effort/the Internet exists…) but luckily @herocountry did:
: the institution will recognize him more
: ALSO YOU KNOW WHAT I BET TONS OF POC HIP HOP ARTISTS HAVE DONE SHIT ABOUT WHITE PRIVILEGE WITHOUT RECOGNITION
: EITHER WAY macklemore is a good guy apparently or w/e
: BUT HE’S STILL PRIVILEGED??? HIM RECOGNIZING HIS PRIVILEGE DOESN’T LESSEN IT????????
^^^ That last bit more or less sums up my feelings about it. Also people always act so surprised at thoughtful rappers or are willing to let ~conscientious~ white people who operate in a predominantly/culturally/historically PoC field slide when honestly the greatest injustice that’s ever been done to rap music as a genre is this notion that it’s all misogynistic, sexist, violent, associated with black/poor communities, etc. etc., and ESPECIALLY when it’s done by black people. Rap/hip hop culture has such a rich cultural history and so many black representatives that it’s frankly pretty insulting that people are falling all over themselves at Macklemore when, technically speaking, he is just a mediocre rapper with some slick production at best and appropriative at worst. Like, congrats on being a good guy/being aware of your privilege, Macklemore. Still doesn’t change the fact that you have that privilege.
HOW DID I END UP ANSWERING THIS ANYWAY I basically just said what Tori said, but more words T_T fml
Anonymous asked: So let's say the Dukies at that racist rager were actually Asian (I know they weren't but for the sake of a hypothetical deal with me). Why would that not make it any better? I'm of 100% Asian descent and if I want to partake in a stereotype of my race for fun, why is that bad?
Aw man, this kind of thing just breaks my heart. Perpetuating stereotypes (especially harmful ones, which is what the Duke party was participating in) is wrong no matter who does it. What is ‘fun’ for you can be and probably is harmful and insensitive for other people. There’s a certain amount of privilege that comes having the ability to make fun of a stereotype. Also I never understood this part much - where’s the fun in making fun of stereotypes anyway? What does it do for you? If you type or speak in an ‘Asian’ accent, who are you making fun of? Definitely not yourself, but instead the countless people of Asian descent in the United States for whom English wasn’t their first language? What’s ‘funny’ about that? Or what about wearing rice paddy hats, slanting your eyes back, calling yourself a chink, or wearing a robe and putting chopsticks in your hair? What self-respecting Asian would do that? I mean, my group of friends in high school was overwhelmingly Asian, and I don’t deny that I’ve said things that definitely fueled Asian stereotypes before, but I did it self-deprecatingly, to fit in rather than because I found it funny. I guess my question to you then, is: why is it good?
ETA from the always-thoughtful @cherrylet:
in my experience asians who like to indulge in their own stereotypes are signaling how “white”/assimilated they can act & because it makes them feel superior to other POC sub-populations (non-fluent english speakers, new immigrants, natives, etc)
what I mean when I say I hate white people
- the most important thing to remember is that I don’t actually hate white people. I just hate White People.
- I hate white people because it’s so fucking easy for them - easy for them to be racist and easy for them to point their fingers at other, ‘more racist’ white people, while asking me if, you know, they did well, waiting expectantly for me to give them a fucking honorary-POC get-out-of-jail-free card for the next time they make a joke out of my culture and my history.
- the expectation that I have to teach them about my culture, about my anger as an Asian American woman, and why am I so offended anyway when they ask me how to tell the difference between Asians? Why is it so offensive to perpetuate stereotypes if they’re ~*true*~?
- and if I don’t explain my anger calmly, in a way that makes it clear this is directed towards those other, actually racist white people and not the person I’m speaking to, who is clearly an enlightened exception to the rule who just didn’t know the proper terminology, then I am an angry, bitter, reverse racist, spitting seething POC bitch and I surely can’t expect people to listen to me if I can’t even talk civilly!
- oh but wait DO I EVEN COUNT AS A REAL POC? I’M PRETTY LIGHT SKINNED, RIGHT? ASIANS ARE TAKING OVER THE UCS, RIGHT? WE’RE PRETTY WELL OFF, RIGHT? THE MODEL MINORITY ISN’T JUST A MYTH, RIGHT? Don’t fuck with me, I know what you think and I see your skepticism, and, you know what, if other PoC want to debate this with me, I’m all ears - I am well-aware of the racism within the Asian American community and the tensions between Asian Americans (especially East Asians/light skinned Asians) and other communities but, white people, you, of all people, do not get to make that decision for me.
- white people having. it. so. easy. I have lived and will live every day of my life always hating myself a little bit even though I have finally learned how to love myself and cut the bullshit, I will always remember that, to some white person, I am not good enough, not smart enough, and definitely never American enough.
- I also hate white people for making me hate myself for the majority of my life thus far - I have learned to always second-guess myself, to always undervalue my worth because that’s always the safer route, to soften my anger when I always need it sharp, to believe and buy into, even for a second, the stereotypes, to find it hard to believe in myself, because my race has always meant everything. I will always know I amAsian American thanks to every fucking white person who has asked me where I’m from, no, they mean, where I’m really from.
- for worrying that I’m not being fun, that I’m being the party pooper of the privileged white kid party, that when I don’t find mildly racist and classist humor offensive, it’s because there’s something wrong with me, I am too serious about hating white people for me to ever truly be funny, because caring about issues is so UNCOOL and God, when I do my “Asian thing” - it’s just so awkward, you know? Everyone at the table feels awkward, why can’t I just let it go? It’s not like there’s real racism here or anything, right?
- And, God, just - white people. Having it so easy.
I will never ever EVER condone stupid musings on NYC every hip 20-something Tumblr user seems to loo0o0oO0OO0ve to write about.* Fuck the perpetuation of this New York City. New York City is so much more than Brooklyn or the East Village or the kinds of people who can afford to live there, or in brownstones. Fuck this New York narrative, and fuck the people who write it, perpetuating this glorified, gentrified bullshit vision of New York. I don’t give a shit about your wild Brooklyn warehouse nights, or your parents-funded apartment in Williamsburg, or how the only person of color in your life you deem fit to talk about is your morning bagel guy, or your packaged designer drugs and fancy weed with the same names as celebrities’ kids, your vinyl or your thrift stores or that quiet thrill you get when you take the subway home late at night to the safest, whitest neighborhoods in the entire city when you could very well afford a taxi, your (white) upper/upper-middle class narrative, where everyone is born in America and everyone has been waiting their entire lives to move to New York and make it big, where everything is glamorous and everything that isn’t is easily ignored. Fuck this New York narrative.
*NB. I understand this is the ~*real life*~ of some people and I don’t mean to discount that, but that fraction of people is tiny. Who ever writes about Queens? Who ever writes about Brooklyn past Park Slope and Williamsburg and Brooklyn Heights? Who ever writes about the Bronx? Are they not rich or white or hip enough? Are there too many immigrants, too many black people, too many poor kids, too many Asians who can’t speak English to glamorize? Is it too dirty, too different, too residential? Are there not enough young people who have the time and the spare income to do drugs and drink and party? Does that make you uncomfortable?
Anonymous asked: Fair enough. Do you think that your geographic location has anything to do with why white people act like that to you? I am of Asian descent as well and live in an area that is extremely racially diverse but the majority of the people are still Asian or of Asian descent. I personally have never felt victimized or insecure about my ethnicity (because cuz I'm the damn majority where I'm from). But you seem to have valid reasons for your opinions though, which I respect.
I’m going to have to say no. My hometown is Queens, NY - one of the most racially diverse places in the world and, as you can see, I still experience racism. I go to college in Grinnell, IA - pretty racially homogenous and, as you might imagine, I still experience racism.
To be honest, I don’t think geographic location has anything at all to do with it - find me a place in the United States where white people don’t oppress PoC.
Anonymous asked: In what specific ways/examples do white people oppress YOU as an individual?
- when I was put in ESL as a first and second grader, though I could speak English perfectly fine. The way my teachers/the school assumed I couldn’t just because, what, my parents spoke English with an accent? Because I was Chinese?
- the time I was on the 7 train on the way home and these two white men (one middle-aged, one teenager) started talking about Flushing (where I’m from) and how it’s overrun with Asians and how ‘dirty’ it’s become, and why don’t Asians learn fucking English, we’re letting them live here after all. How the neighborhood’s gone to shit and they want to move asap. This was during a train ride back to Flushing late at night, and the majority of the people on the car with them were Asian. I was sitting right by them and I SO DESPERATELY wanted to say something and stand up for myself and my community but I was also so fucking scared because if they wanted to say something back or if things got physical? If they started harassing me or following me? Who would protect me? Their careless violence, their ignorance, their goddamn privilege - I wanted to cry. I had to listen to this bullshit for over twenty minutes. I was literally seething on my bus ride back, but I felt hopeless too.
- when my fellow APIA friend and I were having a private conversation about cultural appropriation, and especially white appropriation of black culture, and the white guy who lives next door to me felt the need to insert himself in our conversation. “Don’t people listen to the Beatles? Don’t you think that’s appropriation of white culture?” And then proceeded to tell us we were the ones being ignorant and oppressive. My friend did his best to be polite but I couldn’t even get a word in otherwise, so self-assured this guy was.
- when people would ask me if I was half-white because I “wasn’t like other Asians.” Because I was “cool” and “pretty” and “had a sense of humor.” Excuse me? I need to be half-WHITE to be ~cool~ and ~pretty~? And the only reason I “had a sense of humor” was because I was too self-hating and uncomfortable to ever say anything when people mimicked so-called Chinese accents or asked me what the difference between Asians were or made fun of me for fulfilling some Asian stereotype. And now, alternatively, being told that I care too much, that there isn’t so much racism in media or the world, that I should “calm down” and stop looking for things to be mad about. I don’t even feel safe on my own blog - I feel like I have to apologize every single time I post something too ~radical~ about hating white people or whatever. I feel like so few of my friends (who are not PoC) take me/what I put here seriously.
I feel unsafe every single day because of white men. I am stripped of my personhood many times when it comes to men, and reduced to a stereotype or a sex fantasy. I am told that my problems are trivial, that race isn’t what’s the matter, that my opinions are unfounded and uneducated because they’re so personal or, even worse, that problems aren’t as big as I make them out to be, that America is “post-race,” that people shouldn’t even “see color.” I am made to feel like I am not American because my parents were immigrants. My community is mocked and has serious acts of violence committed against them because they’re not seen as citizens and, even worse, to have no one care about that.
God, I can’t believe I answered this. Is this a serious fucking question? You needed specific examples? Fuck outta here, anon. How do white people oppress all PoC? All WoC? Did you think we were just making it up? Are these examples good enough for you? Do they count? Did I change your mind? Aren’t there enough examples of oppression out there - I’d suggest reading a newspaper on almost any given day - without my measly contributions?
Anonymous asked: If you disprove (and here I use someone else's words as yours by proxy) of "ally terminology", and, it seems, people who identify as allies and (at least purport to) try to serve the interests of whatever group they're allied with, then that's fair. But I must ask you, and I do mean this respectfully: what the fuck are they supposed to do, then? Ignore? Turn an even blinder eye to their privilege? I know it's not the oppressed group's job to educate and accomodate, but I am genuinely confused.
I think maybe you have made a large jump here, from disliking ally terminology and people who identify as allies to ignorance. If you read the post, it is targeted specifically, as you said, to ally terminology and, yes, people who identify as allies. It is not asking for people to stop learning about or ignoring their privilege or turning a blind eye to the violence that occurs against everyone not in positions of privilege. This next part is something that is said on tumblr often, but - no one deserves a fancy title just for being a decent human being. No one deserves a fancy title just so they can feel better about themselves just for realizing that they have privilege. Why do white people need so desperately to be considered ‘allies’ of PoC? Why do men need so desperately to be considered feminists? Why do straight and/or cis people need so desperately to be considered LGBTQ allies? In these oppressed groups, why do people who benefit from that oppression still need to assured that they’re good people after all, that just for realizing that they have privilege and for, what, not actively taking part in oppression, they deserve some special title or, even worse, that they deserve to talk on behalf of the oppressed group because they’re an ‘ally.’
You ask, what can those with privilege do? Educate themselves. Educate others with privilege. Understand how the privilege benefits them and oppresses so many others. Understand that PoC or LGBTQ or other such groups existfor the sole benefit of those who created it or identify as such because they definitely aren’t going to get that kind of support anywhere else. Do not be offended when oppressed groups do not welcome you, someone who benefits from what oppresses us, with open arms. Respect that space. Do not think you deserve anything (praise, a position of leadership, a title, public recognition) for doing what you should.
You know this is a fucking pattern right here. When woc criticize white women even in the most respectful, constructive ways, they are then accused of being misogynistic or sexist or letting down the solidarity of women. Which just l o fucking l at a white woman accusing a woc of a lack of solidarity. So not only are woc supposed to sit around on the sidelines while white ladies get theirs, they’re also not supposed to say jack shit because then that’s Sexism. But when white ladies do fuck all for woc, that’s not only just how it is, it’s Lena Dunham “taking one for the team.” And she’s totally going to include like at least an extra of color in the next season they just haven’t gotten to that yet.
I’m sorry, but I side-eye EVERYONE who likes Girls. I don’t care how hilarious and “real” it is, I don’t care if Lena Dunham feels comfortable talking about her body or sex or whatever the fuck it is that makes Girls a ~feminist~ show. I don’t want to hear about it, I don’t want to see people talking about it, I don’t want anyone who calls themselves a feminist to watch that show or any more of these shows written by trendy liberal arts white girls who only care about feminism because feminsm only cares about THEM.
I am furious, as I always am when I think about how unfair, how exclusive, how HYPOCRITICAL the feminist movement is. How can I throw my support behind a movement that would much rather ignore the very real problem of racism within the movement than confront it? How can I care about feminism when the only sexism it cares about is sexism against white women? How can I care about feminism and Girls and Lena Dunham and Bunheads when all I hear from them is your stories don’t matter and your lives wouldn’t sell and have them package that as feminism?
UGH it actually makes me physically ill when I hear people talking about Girls and how revolutionary it is. I’M SORRY I HATE GIRLS SO MUCH BUT I’LL STOP HATING IT IRRATIONALLY WHEN PEOPLE STOP MAKING EXCUSES FOR IT IN THE NAME OF FEMINISM.