My gay friend Travis sent me a blog he found in Time, “Dear White Gays: Stop Stealing Black Female Culture” by Sierra Mannie. In the piece, Mannie kvetches that Black women’s hair styles, clothes, language and dance moves are being pillaged by gay white men. That they are taking all of the glitz and glam and leaving behind the degradation, humiliation and stifled opportunities that characterize the black female experience. Essentially she’s saying there’s a line between appropriation and appreciation.
That’s very true. It seems like every time I turn around some black person is squawking about something we created being stolen by white people. And the list is long of black inventions, tangible or cultural, that have been appropriated by other races, for which we see a pittance, if any, of the resulting dividends.
My problem with the squawking is two-fold. One, what other races appropriate are often the most base, ridiculous and silly traits, things perpetuated by the media and a very small percentage of black people. I say, let ‘em keep that neck-popping bull crap. It has very little if anything to do with real – yes, I said real – black culture and history. Continue reading “Are White Gay Men Stealing From Black Women? #LGBT #diversity”
This week, the WestView News got a lot of attention when it used the N word in the headline for an op-ed piece on President Obama, “The Nig-r in the White House.”
Of course everyone’s on fire about it. It’s been a long, twitchy chorus of ‘how dare he,’ and ‘I’m so offended.’ But for me, all the kerfluffle that has ensued is just another example of the public allowing itself to be distracted from an important message. The media articles I’ve seen have been quick to assert that the piece was pro-Obama, calling out the racism of far right voters, but that message has been almost completely obscured by that one controversial word. Continue reading “Don’t Be Distracted by the N Word #diversity #racism”
I’m no expert on web series, but The Unwritten Rules is exceedingly well done, fearless and spot on. I recommend it for anyone who wants to teach diversity and inclusion through a visual medium. If I had a c-note for every time someone said “you sound white” to me, or “you’re so articulate,” I could probably retire. It’s one of those shitty, shifty microinequities that gets under your skin and makes you wanna muff someone in the face.
As I child that refrain was so common I often wondered, do white people have a monopoly on Webster’s dictionary? Is using grammatically correct English and extending my extensive vocabulary really the mark of whiteness, or does it simply mean that I’m a fabulous communicator? You decide, but the whole conversation is bo-ring. Continue reading “You Sound White…Really? ‘Cuz Webster is for everyone #diversity #communication”
Growing up I always knew that being black might cause problems for me. But it was only after I was an adult that I realized how many problems being a woman would cause.
Luckily, I’ve never been physically abused, nor have I been targeted by a mass-murdering virgin with an ax to grind, but hatred for women — in its various iterations and degrees — is pervasive around the world.
So when a man — whether he’s deranged or not — feels that it’s perfectly in order for him to kill women, who he views as inferior beings who rejected him but to whom he is nonetheless entitled — it’s baffling to me how anyone could argue that misogyny and its effect on our culture is not an issue. Continue reading “Misogyny: The Big, Pink Elephant #ElliotRodger #gender”
I would like to state for the record that I think most of the people who are vocally professing their “disgust” for Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling are being overly dramatic.
Unless I’m to believe that his comments are sincerely shocking to most rather than just irritating and sad? Unless it is truly outside the realm of comprehension for a wealthy and privileged man with power to secretly harbor feelings that proved hurtful to others? I’m sorry, but I can’t even get behind that idea.
I mean, too many people are appalled, shocked, distancing themselves from his racist stink as fast as a corporate sponsor can pull its funding. But are they really that surprised? How could they be? I wasn’t. Continue reading “Why So Shocked About Sterling’s Comments? #diversity #NBA #LAClippers #racism”
You may have already seen this image of Dasha Zhukova, editor-in-chief of Garage Magazine. If not, gird your loins. It’s real. The photo was used in an editorial on Buro 24/7, a site run by fashion darling Miroslava Duma, that was released on the Martin Luther King Jr.’s holiday.
Of course I’ve been vocal in my sadness over it on Twitter. But at the end of the day I have to consider several things.
1. In the immortal words of Zora Zeale Huston, black women are the mules of the world. We do not have a good or even an acceptable global image. Unless, of course, you find crack addicts, whores, baby’s mama’s and ill educated, neck popping ghetto birds positive ideals. Continue reading “When Art Masks – Actually It Kicks the Cover Off – #Racism and #Gender Issues #Diversity”
Nelson Mandela died Tuesday at age 95. He will be forever known as a humanitarian – a man who carried a message of reconciliation and forgiveness close to his heart, even after being jailed for 27 years, and consistently shared it with others. Mandela’s belief in peace and equality never faltered during his incarceration. In … Continue reading Remembering Nelson Mandela: 1918-2013
Okay, so a friend hipped me to Lily Allen’s new single “Hard Out Here.” I watched the video because my buddy gushed over Allen’s supposed statement for the piece, one of empowerment and a kind of middle finger to the music industry for trying to force women into skinny, cookie cutter molds.
I get that, in theory. Allen said the video was intended as a light-hearted commentary on the objectification of women in modern pop culture. I’ll give her the benefit of the doubt that she meant well. But the trick is, to understand someone actually has to listen to, and think about, her lyrics. If you don’t, and you just look at the video – which I’m afraid is what usually happens with a lot of pop music videos – you don’t get the point.
Without those lyrics – and really, who’s going to be listening when those glorious brown bums are defying gravity and having liquids poured over them – essentially she’s doing the same thing as other music artists who feature a preponderance of scantily clad, overly sexualized women – she’s using them to get attention. Continue reading “Dear Lily Allen: Point Not Well Made”
Want to know the best way to respond to racism on the Internet, or to racism in general? Take a lesson from Stephen Colbert – laugh. He had a good time with the Twitter backlash that followed the crowning of new Miss America Nina Davuluri, who is of Indian decent. Key takeaways from his commentary: … Continue reading Miss America Is a Terrorist…Because She’s Not White @StephenAtHome #racism