Look, without our stories, without the true nature and reality of who we are as People of Color, nothing about fanboy or fangirl culture would make sense. What I mean by that is: if it wasn’t for race, X-Men doesn’t sense. If it wasn’t for the history of breeding human beings in the New World through chattel slavery, Dune doesn’t make sense. If it wasn’t for the history of colonialism and imperialism, Star Wars doesn’t make sense. If it wasn’t for the extermination of so many Indigenous First Nations, most of what we call science fiction’s contact stories doesn’t make sense. Without us as the secret sauce, none of this works, and it is about time that we understood that we are the Force that holds the Star Wars universe together. We’re the Prime Directive that makes Star Trek possible, yeah. In the Green Lantern Corps, we are the oath. We are all of these things—erased, and yet without us—we are essential.
Junot Díaz, “The Junot Díaz Episode" (18 November 2013) on Fan Bros, a podcast “for geek culture via people of colors” (via kynodontas)
Junot Diaz stay not fucking up. This is a really good interview.
By not seeing that racism is systemic (part of a system), people often personalize or individualize racist acts. For example, they will reduce racist police behavior to “a few bad apples” who need to be removed, rather than seeing it exists in police departments all over the country and is basic to the society. This mistake has real consequences: refusing to see police brutality as part of a system, and that the system needs to be changed, means that the brutality will continue.
The need to recognize racism as being systemic is one reason the term White Supremacy has been more useful than the term racism. They refer to the same problem but:
A. The purpose of racism is much clearer when we call it “white supremacy.” Some people think of racism as just a matter of prejudice. “Supremacy” defines a power relationship.
B. Race is an unscientific term. Although racism is a social reality, it is based on a term which has no biological or other scientific reality.
C. The term racism often leads to dead-end debates about whether a particular remark or action by an individual white person was really racist or not. We will achieve a clearer understanding of racism if we analyze how a certain action relates to the system of White Supremacy.
D. The term White Supremacy gives white people a clear choice of supporting or opposing a system, rather than getting bogged down in claims to be anti-racist (or not) in their personal behavior.
Why Yellow Fever is Different Than “Having a Type”
Yeessss awesome article
I’m so tempted to tweet this at my ex you have no idea
Racial fetish is also different than other types of kinks because it’s not just about a self-chosen lifestyle (S&M, for example), a self-determined action (thanks for making Golden Shower well-known, R. Kelly), or sexualizing a body part (feet fetishism seems pretty prominent). Yellow/Jungle/Salsa/Curry Fevers are about exotification of groups of people based on a part of their identity that they have no control over.
The movie is about Northup, and at several points an audience is free to remember that most movies about the Civil War and slavery have been appeals to our higher, nobler selves. They’ve been appeals to white audiences by white characters talking to other white characters about the inherent injustice of oppressing black people at any moment in this planet’s history.
This is how we get movies in which white lawyers defend innocent black men (To Kill a Mockingbird, A Time to Kill). It’s how we get romances — Jezebel, Gone With the Wind, Cold Mountain — that use the antebellum South and Civil War as backdrops but feature either the most entertaining black slaves or almost no slaves at all. It’s how you get Mississippi Burning, a thriller about three murdered civil-rights activists in which even the one-dimensional racists have bigger speaking parts than any black person.
It’s how you get Cry Freedom, a thriller about Steve Biko (Denzel Washington) that mostly locks Biko into flashbacks while a white journalist (Kevin Kline) tries to flee apartheid-era South Africa; a movie about the death of Medgar Evers that’s focused on his assassin; Steven Spielberg legislative historical dramas about white men fighting over who owns black people and what it means to do so. It’s how you spend 35 minutes hearing Christoph Waltz talk and talk in Django Unchained and get nervous that Quentin Tarantino momentarily forgot what his movie was called.
The quality of these films is not the issue. A few of them are great. But after decades and decades and dozens of titles, you get the political point. Movies1 are the most powerful ways Hollywood has to say it’s sorry. There is a kind of audacity in something like Lincoln, in which important white men get discursive about the moral quandary in which slavery mires the country. That debate required men to search their souls and vote accordingly. But after enough of these movies, you’re just hot with insult. You have to stop accepting apologies, accepting, say, The Help, and start demanding correctives, films that don’t glorify whiteness and pity blackness, movies — serious ones — that avoid leading an audience to believe that black stories are nothing without a white voice to tell them that black people can’t live without the aid of white ones.
McQueen and Ridley turn that dynamic inside out. Their movie presents the privilege of whiteness, the systematic abuse of its powers, and black people’s struggles to get out from beneath it. A different movie might have taken this story and turned it into a battle between Epps and the white men who feel a duty to free Northrup. That’s what we’re used to.
"Or if I had a song that said "I am a gangsta"? Or if I had a song that said "I am a pimp." All those colors and petinas fit better….on a person like me, right? But to say you are a god? Especially when you got shipped over to the country you’re in and your last name is a slave owners’? How could you say that? How could you have that mentality?
more importantly, i wish there was some way to address black girl sadness in all its form, and depression amongst black women and black queers cause it’s so so important and doesn’t really get the attention/fleshing out it deserves. i wish i had someone explain why i was sad and how to take care of myself in elementary school when i started getting sad for really long periods of time. i wish mental illness wasn’t so stigmatized and that someone could have really helped me.
if i ever get big enough/get some sort of power i wanna start an afterschool club or camp or SOMETHING for black girls and have them do fun creative things like make music and rap and do art. a WHOLE summer of that shit. just to have somewhere to put the sadness sometimes. that’s what i wanted the most as a kid.