the good ship misery
diallokenyatta:

Wilma Rudolph was once asked by a reporter if she wanted equality with the White man. She replied; “No, because I don’t want to stoop that low.”

diallokenyatta:

Wilma Rudolph was once asked by a reporter if she wanted equality with the White man. She replied; “No, because I don’t want to stoop that low.”

Notes
the meanings of names that people would typically think are ghetto and meaningless:

shakethecobwebs:

suzy-carmichael:

  • lakeisha: a swahili name meaning “favorite one”
  • lateefah: a north african name meaning “gentle and pleasant”
  • latonia: a latin name. latonia was the mother of diana in roman mythology
  • latisha: means “happiness”
  • takiya: a north african name meaning “righteous”

reblogging to remind everyone

Notes
No, You Can’t Touch My Hair

forevableedinggold:

Earlier this afternoon I was at Los Angeles’ Griffith Park public pool with my kids. We were having a pretty good time. And that’s despite the fact that some random old man hobbled by me and said, “Nice tits.”

I was pretty shocked by his comment but he was gone before I could respond. To make things even stranger, he proceeded to walk over to an overweight pre-teen boy and say the same thing to him!

It was definitely a crazy moment, but it was a gorgeous afternoon so I contented myself with watching my sons splashing in the water and reading “O” magazine.

Unfortunately, the madness wasn’t over. A few minutes later, a woman, a white woman, approached me, her hand extended toward my head. “Ooh your hair is sooo pretty. Can I touch it?”

I immediately leaned away out of her reach and said, “No.”

Her response? A shocked and outraged, “Are you serious? I can’t touch your hair?

“No, you can’t,” I replied. I guess she’s never seen my #donotpetmyafro hashtag on Twitter.

Indeed, she had the nerve to look confused and offended as she asked, “Why not?”

Really, lady? You want me to explain to you why I don’t want you to touch my hair? Let’s see…

Because you’re a STRANGER.

Because I’m not an animal in the zoo.

Because this is my body and I don’t have to let anybody touch any part of it, EVER, if I don’t want to.

Because my black ancestors may have been your ancestors’ property, and had to smile while they got touched in ways they didn’t want to, but I am not YOUR property and never will be so you’d best move your hand away from me.

I was so overwhelmed by anger that my mouth opened and no sound came out. I think my eyes must’ve had shown what I was feeling because she made this weird face, turned on her heel and huffily walked back over to her towel.

Unfortunately her towel was maybe 10 feet away from mine. Just great.

The pool was closing in 20 minutes so I yelled a five minute warning to my kids and got busy packing up our stuff. That’s when I overheard the woman talking smack about me to her child.

“I’m a nice person and I try so hard to be nice to THEM, but I’m tired of trying to be nice to bitchy black women.”

My kids hopped out of the water and began drying off, all while she threw me dagger looks and ranted to her child. “All I wanted to do was touch her hair. What’s the big deal about that? She should be happy I asked to touch her hair.”

My eight year-old caught on pretty quickly, “Is she talking about YOU, mommy?”

It made me so angry that my sons were being exposed to the situation. I wanted to hit something. I wanted to drag the woman to the side of the pool, hold her head under water and scream, “*&#*%^ TOUCH THIS!”

Instead, with as much dignity as I could, I hustled us out the door, tears of pure rage pricking my eyes.

I couldn’t go over to her and explain why her request was not OK. Why should I have to explain, especially when I feel like nothing I would’ve said would’ve made it right? The only thing that would’ve made it all better is if I’d said, “I’m sorry you’re upset. Go ahead and touch my hair.”

She wanted to objectify me and have me go along with her request, a request that smacked of racial superiority and privilege. But when I didn’t like it, Ibecame the problem.

I know there are those who’ll think this woman’s behavior has nothing to do with racism and subconscious privilege, and is instead a matter of someone being rude and unable to respect personal boundaries.

Being rude and being racist are not mutually exclusive things. In this situation I’d say that this woman’s attitude — a black woman, with all her afro-y exoticness must let me touch her hair because I’m curious and I did ask— is both rude AND racist.

In addition, her subsequent comments gave voice to the prevalent racist American stereotype that black women are bitches. But, like so many, this woman failed to recognize what role her own attitude may have in any negative interactions she may be having with black women.

With her comment that I should’ve been happy she said my hair was pretty, I found myself feeling like I could’ve been the slave that the missus had deigned to notice. “Isn’t our colored woman’s hair cute?”

I know there are those who think black women should let folks from other backgrounds touch their hair. How else will we learn about each other, right?

In that line of thinking, I was just being mean to someone who was merely trying to be open minded.

Here’s the thing: I don’t really like people touching my hair, period. I don’t care who you are.

I don’t ask to touch other people’s hair, either. But if we have a relationship where we’re really good friends and a piece of lint has blown into my hair and you’re offering to get it out for me, OK, you can touch my hair.

Otherwise, let me say unequivocally, please don’t try to use my hair as some sort of cultural learning experience. And don’t expect me to be all, “Oh thank you, missus! You sho is thoughtful to notice ole nappy me!”

You want to know what a black woman’s natural hair feels like? Get your own black female friends and ask them, not me. That is, if you can stop thinking we’re bitches long enough for that to happen.

On the car ride home my sons rapid-fired question at me. They wanted to know what had gone down. As I explained to them what had occurred they were shocked and angered. “How dare she try to touch your hair! You’re not her dog!”

Exactly!

Hours later, my eldest son keeps hugging me and saying, “I’m so sorry that happened to you, mommy. She had no right to treat you like that.”

No, she had no right. But sadly, I’m sure this will not be the last time I have to say, no, you can’t touch my hair.

Source

Notes
shwetanarayan:

iamabutchsolo:

I keep having discussions about Disney films and how racist many of the classics are, but the subject that I most fall upon is the 1953 version of Peter Pan, which holds an absurd breadth of racial stereotypes that there are musical numbers and plot sequences directly the product of such racial stereotypes of Native Americans. Certainly, the film’s portrayal undoubtedly permeated into the pretend games of children and their perception of how Native Americans behaved - I know this movie influenced me to wear feathers in my hair, pretend to do Indian tribal dances, and say “how” over and over.
The defense I hear most often from people is that films like Peter Pan “were not racist at the time they were made.”
What they really mean is that white people didn’t think it was racist at the time they were made. The film is just as racist then just as it is now. The fact that people can say movies like Peter Pan were “products of their time” negate that actual Native Americans have been vocal about their objections to the homogenization and stereotypical portrayal of their cultures and their race for literally centuries, but white people just didn’t listen to them. The constant apologism that something “wasn’t racist back then” implies that it is white society that deems what is racist, rather than the people of color directly affected and portrayed. Again, if it is racist now, it was racist then.
Also, children buy into these stereotypes, but children didn’t make this film; grown men did. It was a grown man who wrote the original Peter Pan story and its stereotypical portrayals of Natives. People talk about white creators back then as if they were little kids who didn’t know better. We shouldn’t give them an easy reprieve because a bunch of grown men “didn’t know better” to consider that Native Americans were people and not caricatures. If you like Peter Pan, you can like it, but we shouldn’t downplay its racism nor make excuses.

What they really mean is that white people didn’t think it was racist at the time they were made.
I’ve been having trouble making this point coherently for YEARS, thank you.

shwetanarayan:

iamabutchsolo:

I keep having discussions about Disney films and how racist many of the classics are, but the subject that I most fall upon is the 1953 version of Peter Pan, which holds an absurd breadth of racial stereotypes that there are musical numbers and plot sequences directly the product of such racial stereotypes of Native Americans. Certainly, the film’s portrayal undoubtedly permeated into the pretend games of children and their perception of how Native Americans behaved - I know this movie influenced me to wear feathers in my hair, pretend to do Indian tribal dances, and say “how” over and over.

The defense I hear most often from people is that films like Peter Pan “were not racist at the time they were made.”

What they really mean is that white people didn’t think it was racist at the time they were made. The film is just as racist then just as it is now. The fact that people can say movies like Peter Pan were “products of their time” negate that actual Native Americans have been vocal about their objections to the homogenization and stereotypical portrayal of their cultures and their race for literally centuries, but white people just didn’t listen to them. The constant apologism that something “wasn’t racist back then” implies that it is white society that deems what is racist, rather than the people of color directly affected and portrayed. Again, if it is racist now, it was racist then.

Also, children buy into these stereotypes, but children didn’t make this film; grown men did. It was a grown man who wrote the original Peter Pan story and its stereotypical portrayals of Natives. People talk about white creators back then as if they were little kids who didn’t know better. We shouldn’t give them an easy reprieve because a bunch of grown men “didn’t know better” to consider that Native Americans were people and not caricatures. If you like Peter Pan, you can like it, but we shouldn’t downplay its racism nor make excuses.

What they really mean is that white people didn’t think it was racist at the time they were made.

I’ve been having trouble making this point coherently for YEARS, thank you.

Notes
Paula Gunn Allen, Native American writer (via thewayofthebunny) (via bankuei)
“I have noticed that whenever you have soldiers in the story it is called history. Before their arrival it is called myth, folktale, legend, fairy tale, oral poetry, ethnography. After the soldiers arrive, it is called history.”
Notes
lightspeedsound:

rubato:

highvoodoopussypope:

notdoingmywork:

highvoodoopussypope:

rubato:

lightspeedsound:

h2wong:

idriselbow:

Did you experience racism while growing up?
❝It was difficult, because my skin looks pale, so how can I have racism in my vocabulary? One of my closest friends was playing Frisbee one day, and a car drove by too fast, and my friend said, “You stupid Chink!” Then she saw me sitting on the stoop and said, ”Oh, I’m sorry, I didn’t really mean that. It’s not about you.” That was incredibly painful for me. I didn’t know how to talk about it. I couldn’t say that was racist, because people don’t really understand racism unless it’s clear, like I’m black, you’re white. It’s kind of the same thing as when they were rounding up the Japanese and putting them in camps. If you were Chinese or Korean, nobody’s gonna be able to see the difference. Everyone goes down with the ship.❞

Trying to think critically about this. On one hand, I think she approaches colorism right off the bat and explains how it is hard for aapi to see, let alone explain, the racism we encounter because it isn’t talked about or acknowledged. I think that’s a common struggle for us and ties into our our community/culture functions. And a part about being seen as a monolith at the end.
On the other hand, I can see how it might fall under non-block poc who go and use anti-black racism as an example (which I personally have done and need to check myself on). I’m not sure. 

I mean right off the bat I was like wtf.
When she was like “it was difficult because my skin is pale, so how can I have racism in my vocabulary?”
Like pale-skinned whine right thurr.
But then like the rest of it SORT OF makes sense.
I will say that a lot of Asians experience the whole, “are you Black or white?” bullshit, esp. in areas where the asian communities aren’t that large.
And also, yes, of course are grouped together. But Black people are also grouped together (despite lots of differences in origin).  So it’s like: this metaphor is broken.
Either way, lightskinned asians always, ALWAYS have privilege. ALWAYS. 

^^^^^^^^^^^^^
to me this very much reads like the antiblack light-skinned PoC rhetoric of “but why are we focused on the black-white binary we need to move beyond the binary”

does anyone else have a problem with “my skin looks pale”
no
your skin…IS pale
so disappoint in you rn lucy liu
so
fucking
disappoint
especially because you don’t know how many of those not-pale-faced PoC stan for you
urutora suupaa disappoint

I feel like she addressed the Asian privilege she experiences with that first sentence, though. She says it to note that what she experiences is nothing compared to what darker people experience. Or at least, that’s how I took it, as a pale Hispanic person. Maybe I’m reading it wrong. But if it’s read like that, is it still anti-black?
I’ve been googling this phrase and I’ve yet to find the answer I want that can explain it, so if anyone’s up to explaining I’d appreciate it. Otherwise I’ll keep googling later.

honestly i keep reading the line over and over and over again and i just cannot see that interpretation in it
every time i reread i just pray that she didn’t mean it to come out like that, but as of right now i am going to translate it as…
“People say that because I am light-skinned, I don’t experience any racism.”
Which still makes me twitchy but as long as this is the only fuck-up I’ll be aight.

I really hate to break it to you but
this is not lucy’s only fuck-up
she also participated in the I am african campaign
:/

oh god what even is that.
and also, I mean, Lucy Liu is essentially the go-to Asian woman of Hollywood. She’s been turned into this bastion of asian womanhood. 
And so of course she’s got to speak out about racism, because like, let’s be real here, who else can bring this shit up for the Asian community (for women, at least. I mean, there’s Kal Penn and George Takei and John Cho, but for Asian women in America, there is Lucy Liu and Margaret Cho, both of whom are problematic). 
But like this.
This is like 
“let me play my tiny violin and talk about how horrible it is that I’m considered a classic chinese beauty”
“look how pale my skin is”
“it means I can’t talk about my feels”
Like this reads to me as exactly how a white whine reads.
Including the whole, “at least Black people can talk about racism as victims because everybody knows they’re victims like ACKNOWLEDGE ME” bullshit.
like false rhetoric, dude.

i know people are trying to give her the benefit of the doubt, but judging from the rest of the interview (http://www.latimesmagazine.com/2012/03/qla-lucy-liu.html), i’d say her statement(s) def deserve the side eye

lightspeedsound:

rubato:

highvoodoopussypope:

notdoingmywork:

highvoodoopussypope:

rubato:

lightspeedsound:

h2wong:

idriselbow:

Did you experience racism while growing up?

It was difficult, because my skin looks pale, so how can I have racism in my vocabulary? One of my closest friends was playing Frisbee one day, and a car drove by too fast, and my friend said, “You stupid Chink!” Then she saw me sitting on the stoop and said, Oh, I’m sorry, I didn’t really mean that. It’s not about you.” That was incredibly painful for me. I didn’t know how to talk about it. I couldn’t say that was racist, because people don’t really understand racism unless it’s clear, like I’m black, you’re white. It’s kind of the same thing as when they were rounding up the Japanese and putting them in camps. If you were Chinese or Korean, nobody’s gonna be able to see the difference. Everyone goes down with the ship.

Trying to think critically about this. On one hand, I think she approaches colorism right off the bat and explains how it is hard for aapi to see, let alone explain, the racism we encounter because it isn’t talked about or acknowledged. I think that’s a common struggle for us and ties into our our community/culture functions. And a part about being seen as a monolith at the end.

On the other hand, I can see how it might fall under non-block poc who go and use anti-black racism as an example (which I personally have done and need to check myself on). I’m not sure. 

I mean right off the bat I was like wtf.

When she was like “it was difficult because my skin is pale, so how can I have racism in my vocabulary?”

Like pale-skinned whine right thurr.

But then like the rest of it SORT OF makes sense.

I will say that a lot of Asians experience the whole, “are you Black or white?” bullshit, esp. in areas where the asian communities aren’t that large.

And also, yes, of course are grouped together. But Black people are also grouped together (despite lots of differences in origin).  So it’s like: this metaphor is broken.

Either way, lightskinned asians always, ALWAYS have privilege. ALWAYS. 

^^^^^^^^^^^^^

to me this very much reads like the antiblack light-skinned PoC rhetoric of “but why are we focused on the black-white binary we need to move beyond the binary”

does anyone else have a problem with “my skin looks pale”

no

your skin…IS pale

so disappoint in you rn lucy liu

so

fucking

disappoint

especially because you don’t know how many of those not-pale-faced PoC stan for you

urutora suupaa disappoint

I feel like she addressed the Asian privilege she experiences with that first sentence, though. She says it to note that what she experiences is nothing compared to what darker people experience. Or at least, that’s how I took it, as a pale Hispanic person. Maybe I’m reading it wrong. But if it’s read like that, is it still anti-black?

I’ve been googling this phrase and I’ve yet to find the answer I want that can explain it, so if anyone’s up to explaining I’d appreciate it. Otherwise I’ll keep googling later.

honestly i keep reading the line over and over and over again and i just cannot see that interpretation in it

every time i reread i just pray that she didn’t mean it to come out like that, but as of right now i am going to translate it as…

“People say that because I am light-skinned, I don’t experience any racism.”

Which still makes me twitchy but as long as this is the only fuck-up I’ll be aight.

I really hate to break it to you but

this is not lucy’s only fuck-up

she also participated in the I am african campaign

:/

oh god what even is that.

and also, I mean, Lucy Liu is essentially the go-to Asian woman of Hollywood. She’s been turned into this bastion of asian womanhood. 

And so of course she’s got to speak out about racism, because like, let’s be real here, who else can bring this shit up for the Asian community (for women, at least. I mean, there’s Kal Penn and George Takei and John Cho, but for Asian women in America, there is Lucy Liu and Margaret Cho, both of whom are problematic). 

But like this.

This is like 

“let me play my tiny violin and talk about how horrible it is that I’m considered a classic chinese beauty”

“look how pale my skin is”

“it means I can’t talk about my feels”

Like this reads to me as exactly how a white whine reads.

Including the whole, “at least Black people can talk about racism as victims because everybody knows they’re victims like ACKNOWLEDGE ME” bullshit.

like false rhetoric, dude.

i know people are trying to give her the benefit of the doubt, but judging from the rest of the interview (http://www.latimesmagazine.com/2012/03/qla-lucy-liu.html), i’d say her statement(s) def deserve the side eye

Notes
darkjez:

alostbird:

howtobeterrell:

i hate this lil white girl…just mocking black women
urgh

Glad I’m not the only one. 

There was an article about this shit on Salon.com the other day & I can’t tell you how many white folks came out the woodwork in the comments section tryna say that this is just the way southerners talk. Like, no. Firstly, “southern culture” has always ripped shit from black folk & tried to pass it off as just a regional thing. Secondly, this isn’t fucking culture, this is just white people who’ve watched too much goddman Jerry Springer building their entire personalities around a fucking stereotype & getting paid to do it.
ETA: It’s fucking minstrelsy without the cork grease.

darkjez:

alostbird:

howtobeterrell:

i hate this lil white girl…just mocking black women

urgh

Glad I’m not the only one. 

There was an article about this shit on Salon.com the other day & I can’t tell you how many white folks came out the woodwork in the comments section tryna say that this is just the way southerners talk. Like, no. Firstly, “southern culture” has always ripped shit from black folk & tried to pass it off as just a regional thing. Secondly, this isn’t fucking culture, this is just white people who’ve watched too much goddman Jerry Springer building their entire personalities around a fucking stereotype & getting paid to do it.

ETA: It’s fucking minstrelsy without the cork grease.

Notes

Peggy McIntosh - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

and part of the reason the “privilege” framework pisses me off so badly is that it is something that a *white* person “invented” (if you will—i hate using that word, but i’m so fucking tired, i can’t think of a better one right now—y’all know what i’m talking about tho).

and what does it mean that what MY ancestors and community named very very explicitly as *WHITE SUPREMACY*—got renamed as “white privilege” by a white woman?

(via mmmightymightypeople)

“The “Invisible Knapsack” is a term coined by McIntosh in her essay, “White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack, based on racial inequality.” McIntosh argues that the unearned resources carried in the Invisible Knapsack are not in broad view or intended to be seen. Her short essay states that, “White privilege is like an invisible weightless knapsack of special provisions, maps, passports, codebooks, visas, clothes, tools and blank checks.[4] McIntosh emphasizes that these privileges are not distributed equally or shared by individuals of every race.”
Notes

emeraldtriangleprincess:

white anthropologists: purposefully staying basic much longer than necessary to prove their general superfluousness

#white anthropology is irrelevant esoteric hyperfetishized colonial-intellectual masturbation

Notes

bad-dominicana:

you want reverse racism?

k

lemme shove you out all the positions of power

deny you access to all your basic needs

quarter, skin, hang, burn, villify and enslave you

en masse

degrade every last physical trait and your existence

and take credit for anything youve ever done well

for several hundreds years at that

and then

we can talk about how

“reverse racist” i am

Notes
Let Me Say It

blackamazon:

I have no problem that CeCe is smiling

None 

NOt a jot.

I WANT our babies to be able to get into life and death battles and smile .

After Winning.

Cause my dash this week, 

One set of young men assaulted in Australia.

One young man left in a cell for five days till delirium ( for POT)

One dead young woman at point black range.

The racist screeds of Travon Martin’s killer.

I couldn’t reblog it cause y’all I’m so sick of it .

Let’s be real.

I’m not sorry she can smile. I’m sorry she’s not better trained.

I’m sorry that she didn’t know how to hit to put someone down instead of dead. 

I ‘m sorry thats not part of the training of our kids right now

I don’t like violence. I love all life 

But if it becomes necessary

I want every single one of our babies ( POC LBGT T ESEPCIALLY) to be trained 

To kill

If necessary

I want them to have that training with a deep and utter sanctity of life. I want them to respect it so much the WWorld Star videos stop . That watching each other get hurt stops being funny because it’s no laughing matter. I want them to use that video to back each other up and keep each other out of jail

I want them to refer life to it’s highest and I want em to know if they need to 

They can take one.

I’m so sick of seeing people being sad and thinking that it’s ” noble” for our kids to go quiet . I’m so tired that we advocate this. 

This isn’t marching, there’s no movement right now. This is what they get for BREATHING OUTSIDE.

So yeah let me say it

If I gotta chose between bailing you out or burying you in the ground. I go for bail

EVERYTIME

Notes

so-treu:

jcoleknowsbest:

blackanteaters:

Photos from Wednesday’s I AM Rally at UCI.

Thank you to all who participated. This is not the last time you’ll see us or hear us.
Take notice. 

All kinds of yes for dis!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

YESS!!!!!!!

!!!!!!!!!!!

Notes

imnopicasso:

Elledy: Dear ignorant white folks in Korea:

elledy:

imnopicasso:

[…]

(I don’t know how long this discussion will go on and no one’s certainly obliged to respond after this point, but I want to elaborate on why this matters so much to bilingual/bicultural Koreans, and why people outside of that group probably don’t understand where we’re coming from. At least the next time something like this happens, I can say “NO, READ THIS”)

People who’ve never left Korea don’t know what it’s like to be second-class citizens for being Korean. They may face their share of white privileged foreigners who get inserted into good jobs/ads/media roles, but as a homogenous country, their government does not undermine their citizenship and heritage on a racist institutional level. Hence, they have no idea what it’s like to fight racialized constructs like the model minority or the perpetual foreigner. They don’t know what it’s like to have bilingualism used against them – as in fellow citizens telling them “this is ____, speak English” or “go back to your country” because their faces and maternal tongues are a sign of the “other.” (but multilingual white people get cookies for being “educated” and “worldly,” bloop bloop bloop)

They possibly can’t imagine having their domestic TV or movie productions hijacked via whitewashing because parts meant for Koreans suddenly went to random white actors. And of course they aren’t disenfranchised and dehumanized by slurs like “gook” and “chink” among their own people. They don’t have to grow up with racists who pull up the corners of their eyes at them, yell “SARS,” and spout imitation “Asian” words to make fun of their accents. I can go on a tangent about the status of women in Korea, but they don’t face racialized misogyny to the same extent that WoC do in other countries.

On the other hand, people who didn’t have a Korean upbringing don’t know what it’s like to be connected to the cultural and political landscape through generations. There are just certain linguistic nuances and old school colloquialisms that you pick up from being taught Korean from the very beginning (even good chunks of 2nd/3rd/etc. generation Koreans with rusty conversation skills can understand what 90% of what they hear). Non-Koreans wouldn’t have grandparents and aunts/uncles who survived the Korean War and to have parents who grew up in its aftermath. They aren’t told stories of the American soldiers who shot and bombed indiscriminately, all the atrocities that were never published in newspapers or textbooks, or the U.S-backed military governments that used “communism” as a scare tactic to round up, torture, and kill thousands of their own people (though this happened all over the world).

They don’t know the siege mentality that develops after being exploited by Japanese imperial powers and nearly being stripped of their language and identities, only to be used as pawns in a proxy war by western powers who arbitrarily carved their land in half and devastated family ties. To this day, American forces still occupy Korean territory, wreak havoc on the population, and undermine their autonomy. You don’t think some people harbour bitterness and resentment over having to learn the language of an occupying force, all the while knowing that they have to participate in a western-controlled system of globalization that privileges English speakers? It’s a very colonial way of thinking to expect every homogenous country to open its arms wide to foreigners, especially if said foreigners have a lovely history of biting that country in the FACE. Repeatedly.

The people who initially reblogged that old post were not looking for real answers or a fair discussion. They were using typically loaded language that assumed inferior knowledge of Korean on my part, probably because what I said conflicted with their assumptions and expectations of Koreans who meekly sit back and don’t confront them on their privilege. At that point, no one had anything original to say and they were the embodiment of white supremacy in the asshole foreign English teacher archetype. It’s not easy to reconcile two different types of origins and upbringings that meet on a linguistic, ethnic, cultural, and political level, and it certainly doesn’t bring out my good side to see people act completely ignorant about critical race theory or the power imbalances that make this an especially sore issue.

Even now, the “convenience” of non-Koreans using the “gook” romanization apparently supersedes what actual bilingual Koreans have to say about their marginalization. Because of…what? Because of a singular academic entity that likely fails to take account how the English language and intersecting oppressions affect millions of non-resident Koreans? Because irrelevant busybodies think they have the right to “reclaim” or change the connotation of a slur that never even affected their lives? Because they have that one Korean friend they can trot out as an excuse, though said friend probably never grew up bilingual in a violently racist society? Because their “right” to learn a language on their self-absorbed terms is more important than a word that has decades of murder, rape, and destruction attached to it? As if academic and political institutions in Korea (or elsewhere) have never reinforced white supremacist goals before? It tells me everything I need to know about their priorities.

As negative as I sound about foreign English teachers, most of my information does come from actual resident Koreans as well as foreign teachers themselves. They’re not isolated incidents. It’s not exactly a secret that employers prefer white applicants on the assumption that their whiteness makes them more qualified. They’ve been hiring more non-white people in recent years, but still not at the rate of white teachers. Then there’s the fact that most people see overseas teaching as a last ditch attempt to pay off bills or student loans post-graduation, and/or they want to get paid for being on an extended vacation. They’re notorious for being hired on unrelated degrees, no teaching experiences, and no reliable confirmation of non-criminal behaviour, and yet they coast by on positions that they never would’ve gotten otherwise back home.

I recently heard of a non-Korean who threw a shitfit and reneged on her teaching position because she didn’t get placed in Seoul and wouldn’t be able to enjoy the shopping, nightlife, cheap booze, etc. with her friend (who also backed out). I’ve heard people admit to teaching ludicrous or outdated things just to get laughs at the expense of unwitting children who repeated them, or just slacked off in general because neither the principals nor students would know any better. They say needlessly cruel things about kids who act like kids, or assume that their “failures” can be attributed to them being Korean. And because of the temporary nature of the work and the fact that most people go home eventually, they suffer absolutely no repercussions for it. How fucked up is that?

If your typical Euro-North American education system indulges in racist ideologies on a daily basis and sets up children of colour to fail (ie. forcing them to re-enact fucking slave auctions, not evaluating their schoolwork on a equal level, handing out disproportionate numbers of suspensions/expulsions, etc.), then I certainly wouldn’t expect a mostly undereducated hiring pool to teach English overseas without oppressive or half-assed attitudes. And we’ve already seen that white and non-Korean people alike can be equally detrimental to anti-racist efforts and gleefully participate in derailing by sticking their noses where they don’t belong (not to mention all the gross overestimations of their own Korean abilities - if they haven’t been speaking it for 20+ years, they’re free to take a stadium of seats and see where they went wrong).

I’m glad that at least a few people seem to know where I’m coming from. But I hold absolutely no regrets about how caustic or vile I appeared to some people. This was an exercise that demonstrated just how little PoC gain from engaging the privileged, and how utterly absurd it is for them to prove their humanity to its barest bones to be taken seriously.

And if you are getting called out on your privilege, the last thing you should do is take it as a personal attack. It’s not a permanent stamp that says “you are a bad person forever and ever.” You’re supposed to learn from it and do better next time instead of making it about you. I don’t enter conversations about LGBT issues and expect accolades for my unwanted straight/cis interjections. I don’t get personally upset if someone says “you systemically benefit from our suffering whether you like it or not” because it’s true. Intent or feelings don’t mean a thing in the grand scheme of entrenched oppressions.

Well. I’m sorry to hear that you’ve decided to feel that way about white English teachers in Korea, because you’ve heard some bad stories and once saw this thing in a blog.

If you’re looking for the flip side to the coin, my blog that mostly relates to teaching is here, and here is the blog of another white English teacher in Korea who regularly writes about his job and his students. Surprise! He’s even a real card-carrying teacher in the West, as well. In those two sidebars, you can find links to lots of other blogs by great teachers here in Korea. Some of them are white, some of them are not.

Just in case you’d like to expand your knowledge in this area of interest you have. But no, probably not, huh?

go choke on some glass while you wallow in your own racist filth, you shit stain

most of all, i hope your students eventually realize that the vague uneasiness they felt in the back of their minds while you were their teacher was due to your active and frighteningly eager perpetuation of white supremacy.

i hope they realize how the presence of white scum like you is POISONING the country. 

i hope they use what they learn from you and other structures of whiteness to fight against every fucking racist thing you stand for.

i hope they use their time with you as an example to help fellow krns understand korea’s history of white colonialism. i hope they pick apart every single time you ever condescended to them or whitesplained anything, and i hope as all hell that they laugh at your expense.

it’s clear you don’t give a damn about krn people who don’t ingratiate themselves to you or anything that doesn’t line up in your narrow white scope, so i hope your students realize that they never EVER have to give a shit about you or your maggot-infested ideals.

Notes

imnopicasso:

Elledy: Dear ignorant white folks in Korea:

elledy:

halfshocked:

elledy:

Why are you teaching English in Korea when you lack basic reading comprehension?

Why are you telling Koreans that they shouldn’t be offended by racist slurs?

Why are you even stepping into a conversation that doesn’t even concern you?

Please direct your mangy selves where you are actually…

I dno… I haven’t read every word people have had to say about this waygookin stuff and I’m sure people have heard enough of my opinions for one day, but…

As a general rule of thumb, surely:

1) I do something that I don’t realize might be racist and could upset people

2) Someone tells me that they think it’s a shitty thing to so and they find it upsetting, or offensive, or something.

3) I say ‘shit, I’m sorry, I won’t do it again’, and try my best to understand what went wrong. I don’t lose anything (in fact I learn something) and they feel less bad.

People are saying that lots of words contain racial slurs in them and that we shouldn’t stop using them, and that’s fair enough. But what I got from the Jeremy Lin ‘chink in the armor’ thing was that using a phrase like that isn’t totally necessary, so if it might cause distress to people then surely just don’t do it? I remember reading somewhere that newspapers now have a general policy against using the word ‘niggardly’ because it just puts that other word in your head, and why do that when it’s not necessary? Is the word niggardly so important? No.

Having said that, clearly the word ‘waygookin’ is more important than the word niggardly or the phrase chink in the armor, because that is what we are; it’s our descriptor. It would be stupid to never say the word at all. 

But when someone stands up and says they think it’s a bit shitty to emblazon it across the top of a website, and they find it triggering, why not listen to them? Treat their opinion with respect instead of derision and admit that they might know more than you in this situation? Is the name of the website really so important? Step 3) is so close, and yet so far.

What is standing in the way?

Reblogging because this is the closest thing to sanity I’ve gotten so far, and because I want to have something big in my records the next time someone asks why I’m not “nice” in discussions like these. Also, addressing a few points that I didn’t want to engage directly, because a whole lot of white/non-Korean people been cray tonight and I don’t want to flood my dash with that crap.

I think the ugliest part of this whole thing is how people who didn’t grow up speaking Korean are telling bilingual Koreans how shit should be done. It reeks of white smugness and arrogance and pretty much describes asshole expat behaviour to a T.

It’s very telling because if they were anywhere close to being native speakers, they’d know that romanization is not the be all or end all. In 외국, “weh” is the closest thing to the 외 sound (not “way,” because of that longer end syllable). And for 국, the “u” vowel is shorter than how English speakers say “gook” (with a long “u”) so it doesn’t even end up sounding like the slur.

As for that ridiculous anti-black claim that 니가 sounds anything like “ni**a”…I don’t know what kind of anti-black shit they’re even getting into, because the long “e” and the hard “g” sound nothing like the slur. “Niga” would make more sense. Not surprised given all the “stuff black people do wrong” on their blog, though. White people have always wanted this weird possessory title on PoC slurs. That’s why I briefly mentioned their history with the n-word (a.k.a. “it’s not offensive, why can’t I use it, it doesn’t mean what you think it means, it’s just a word, etc.”), and why didn’t address the rest of that straw-reaching nonsense.

So what does that blurb on pronunciation lead up to? It means all these “lol she’s a kyopo/교포 who doesn’t know Korean” identify-policing assholes can miss me with that shit because I could come up with an equally douchey ID-policing response for the kool-aid drinking puppet PoC or two on their end. If they had piped the fuck down, moved on, and accepted that they had no business telling bilingual Koreans how their own language worked in conjunction to English, then we wouldn’t have this wall of text.

If these people would just stop reading selectively, they’d realize that I don’t care if they or their dogs or their grandmas say 외국인 or any other variation of 국. I don’t care if they scream it from their keyboard warrior bases or their rooftops. But another thing that this crowd failed to realize is that you don’t learn pronunciation from romanization alone. That’s like muting a TV and trying to speak English by reading the closed captioning. You need an actual speaker to tell you how words sound.

So why the hell are they so stuck on “wah I can’t write gook” if romanization is unimportant in the grand scheme of things? Why are they trying to appeal to examples of “gook” used within a non-English speaking society when those aren’t the people directly affected by a western-invented slur? What does it cost non-Koreans folks if they can’t write “gook?” How does “kook” hurt them or affect them on the same level as racism?

If sound is more important than relatively non-uniform romanizing, and “k” has been widely accepted as a g-like consonant (and if they tell me otherwise, it just shows the pea-sized extent of their romanization/history knowledge), why is it so hard to avoid being racist?How often will they even write out “waygook/waykook” compared to actually saying or writing 외국인? No one has managed to answer that coherently without pandering to white supremacy or their personal selfishness.

And contrary to all the wild claims coming out of the wazoo, I never even said that all expat English teachers engage in deliberate racebaiting. But it’s clear to me that none of them have even thought about the violent, racist, and imperialistic legacy in Korea and how their blissfully ignorant and whitewashed view of the world contributes to garbage like this. It proves how reactionary and privilege-denying they are when it comes to acknowledging their messes. We pointed out the racism in one website’s URL and they went fucking nuts defending it. And it only drove home the point that they didn’t know a single thing I was talking about. It was the same thing that repeated itself over years of online and offline discourse.

They don’t care that slurs are painful for PoC. They don’t understand what it’s like to be institutionally dehumanized by words. They’re totally apathetic about anyone getting triggered or why they might have an adverse reaction to “gook” in its written form. NO bilingual Korean has given me static for this as these non-Korean expats have. All they’ve proven to me is that 1) they don’t care about PoC 2) they don’t care about PoC 3) they don’t care because they don’t ever want to concede to PoC. As they always have. So why would I have faith in their ability to teach English without looking through some fucked up colonial blinders?

I’ve currently got all sorts of idiocy still flooding my dash because now they’re tone-policing my language, getting bingo all over the place, hitting every section in Derailing for Dummies, and whipping out the dictionary definitions of racism as per usual. They’re on some trip about how “they” is grammatically incorrect within a context where I’m trying not do misgender someone like a cissexist douche. Which tells me that this crowd can’t even get the fucking basics right and I’m throwing pearls before swine.

And I am tired, because it’s the same arguments, the same educating, and the same damn people saying the same things they’ve always said. Except it didn’t matter when I presented pretty little logical arguments on a silver platter like a good girl minus the cursing and the sass and the .gifs. Pretty much any PoC who have had to argue with ignorant privileged white people will tell you that nothing we do is ever good enough for someone who places the burden of educating on marginalized people, but doesn’t want to learn and will never learn. So why waste civility to begin with?

I wasn’t even that abrasive today until they kept insisting that my personal and cultural upbringing with the Korean language was invalid. That their learning stages of Korean gave them the authority to speak over people who’d been speaking it all their lives. So if you think I’ve got a short fuse? Reproduce this bullshit times a million. And even more so for people who actually blog anti-racism with several thousand followers (and haters/stalkers).

The sad thing is that once the butthurtness wears off in this crowd, they can go on their merry way because nobody will get up in their business about how their pain is trivial and meaningless or try to call their heritage into question. And we have to deal with this racist mess from some other source somewhere down the line. Privilege is truly grand.

I can’t respond for the rest of Tumblr, and God knows I wouldn’t even try, but I do feel like I owe this conversation a follow up on my part. A big part of me does just want to walk away, mostly because I don’t know how to continue a conversation where the other side is starting from a place of assuming I’m out to cause harm. Which is what it feels like when I’m classed as an uneducated, racist money grubber. Not because it’s racist against white people, but because I don’t know how I even stand a chance at making a point. And the other reason why I just stopped participating yesterday was exactly what I said, which was that once someone’s being hit by all sides, even if I disagree, I don’t see the point in heaping my response on top.

But it seems like having all of the white English teachers in this conversation just turn around and walk away from it would only solidify the terrible image of us that you have, for whatever reason.

To explain my portion, for me it really never was about needing to romanize 국 as gook. I did start out confused about your original point — it’s standard practice for foreigners to sometimes use Korean words in romanization here, because there are foreigners who have just arrived or who have yet to come who can’t yet read Korean, and there are other things such as laziness to switch keyboards, or whatever. And in the case of a website title, I’m sure you know it has to be romanized at least in the url. I did get confused about your point, and why it wasn’t okay for us to use that word in romanization. But that wasn’t at the heart of my issue with the OP, or your response to it.

I know that the romanization issue was what was at the heart of some other people who responded, but for me, at least, it’s not about that. It was about the OP’s assumptions about who we are and what we do here, and your response and affirmation that we are only worth hating. That the reason why that word was romanized in that way is because we are all racists who are here making money and having a laugh at Koreans’ expense. It wasn’t about “racism against white people”, either — it was about a whole-sale condemnation specifically of my life and my position as a foreigner and a teacher in this country. Which I do take personally, whether I should or not.

What I really wish is that I could take you into my classroom. Let you see me teach, and interact with my students. I wish that about every person who writes an article in the newspapers here about how bad or unnecessary or invalid what I do is. I wish you could see for yourself how much I love my students, and how hard I work to do the best that I can for them. And if you do ever take the trip that you mentioned — and I’m not being facetious, but 100% genuine, here — you are actually welcome to contact me and sit in on one of my classes. Maybe then it wouldn’t be so easy to dismiss what I do because someone used standard romanization in a triggering way in a website title.

I am sorry. I am sorry that the website title was triggering, and I’m also sorry that you got dog-piled on. And I hope that my response isn’t adding to that now — to be clear, you pointed out that we could all just walk away from the conversation, and I thought that was a fair point, and I wanted to make an effort not to do so. I understand that there are certain places on the internet where English teachers in Korea post that would make it hard to take us seriously, or to not be alarmed that these people are in classrooms with Korean children. But that’s not what we are all doing — not by a long shot. And I didn’t think that was fair.

the fact that THAT’s what you took from elledy’s posts confirms exactly what they wrote about

that you literally centered a conversation about krn people pointing out a racial slur that’s directed at them on yourself and your feelings and your own experiences is all the proof anyone needs to see what you’re truly valuing in this interaction

here’s a tip: the fact that elledy and poc in general hate on white people is because white ppl pull the shit you just tried to. all. the. fucking. time. we’re not on some rage-fueled mission to seek out the various ways we can hate on whiteness. we hate and deride and DEFEND because whiteness hates us to the point where we are NOTHING and our history and cultures are NOTHING and our experiences and pain are NOTHING. nothing but a springboard for white ppl to use to talk about themselves. 

you know that friend who always, no matter what the fuck y’all are talking about, somehow manages to make the conversation all about them? guess who it is this time. 

guess who it is every time. 

Notes
S