Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Overheard Elsewhere III

Jill and Robyn (and many other people at this event, but I want to focus on these two right now) empower me and encourage me to be a better sex workers rights activist for damn sure. Their bravery and compassion are really inspiring, so yeah, all the shit they’ve taken from so many people, for so many reasons? It’s exactly that: shit. Is the world a better place for having women like them in it? You bet your ass and a pair of snakeskin boots it is.

And you know, when I look at some of this other shit, for a second, I do think maybe they are just jealous. Not because of looks, or money, or power, or any of that shit, but because of solid, true allies and sisters like these.
by Renegade Evolution on Something Wicked This Way Comes! Maybe They’re Just Jealous!

Ridicule of African American and Latino (or other Americans of color) names and language or accent is usually racist because it has meaning only if one knows the underlying racist stereotypes and images. While it may appear to some relatively harmless, social science research shows that such mocking enables whites to support traditional hierarchies of racial privilege without seeming to be racist in the old-fashioned, blatant sense. Researcher Rosina Lippi-Green has noted, such mocking shows a “general unwillingness to accept the speakers of that language and the social choices they have made as viable and functional…. We are ashamed of them, and because they are part of us, we are ashamed of ourselves.” Language mocking and subordination are not about standards for speaking as much as about determining that some people are not worth listening to and treating as equals.
by Joe R. Feagin on Mocking Black Names in Covina: How “Liberal” are Our Youth?

The problem is said to be that many of us are too black. (Here I note that any marginalized group can fill in the blank of too “______ “- too brown, too gay, too female, too poor, too disabled… you get the picture. But for here I want to go with black.) We refuse to get rid of this blackness. Oh, we will try to tone it down, hide it, even denounce it when we see others being it - this black that is so offensive to this country, that, as Pat Buchanan has so charmingly put it; has been the best thing that has happened to black people.
But even if we refuse to own the blackness, or the whatever-ness, chances are high that sooner or later it will out. Some of us will bleach our skin, and straighten our hair and go under the knife so that our hips and thighs and noses and lips are not so offensively full. We will learn to modulate the tone of our voices and cultivate a manner of speaking that will make you wonder when you talk to us on the phone … so that we can get the job interview, but we know that when we show up the jig is up.
But some of us… some of us refuse to go along, either from the start, or eventually. Maybe it’s strategic, maybe we just don’t know better, maybe we just don’t care. We don’t talk right, we don’t dress right, we don’t live in the right neighborhoods, we don’t eat the right foods, we don’t go to the right churches - if we go to church at all. We don’t give our kids the right names. We refuse to let go of our blackness. It is in the way we walk and the way we laugh, the way we love and the way we die.
by Harrietsdaughter on Identity and Living Into Truth

No comments: