“Activists and writers have long argued that there are “racist elements” or “racist injustices” embedded in our current crisis of mass incarceration. [Michelle] Alexander would have us push this claim much further, arguing that mass incarceration is “a stunningly comprehensive and well-disguised system of racialized social control that functions in a manner strikingly similar to Jim Crow.” She disarms the popular notion that it is somehow wrong to discuss a modern Jim Crow in the age of Barack Obama, noting that “no other country in the world imprisons so many of its racial or ethnic minorities. The United States imprisons a a larger percentage of its black population then South Africa did at the height of apartheid.” In Alexander’s rendering Jim Crow didn’t die so much as it mutated.”—Books for the Horde: The New Jim Crow, Chapter One (via azspot)
“Here’s the dirty little secret about this though: there is no such thing as withholding sex because there is no situation in which you owe another human being sex. Ever. Your body is 100% your own and you get to consent or not consent to other people doing things to or with your body for whatever the hell reason you would like. This includes because you’re pissed off at the person, because they did something you didn’t like, because you just don’t fucking feel like it, because you’re tired, because you don’t feel attractive, because you’d rather read a book…any of the above. And not wanting to have sex with someone because you have negative feelings towards them at a given moment is not in fact punishment. It’s actually a very natural human feeling not to want to be physically intimate with someone when you’re annoyed/angry/hurt/sad with them. Oddly enough letting someone be close to your body when you don’t feel emotionally close to them doesn’t always feel great (if that’s your thing then go for it, but for those who don’t like it then there is no fucking reason to apologize).
But the idea that you can pull some sort of power play in a relationship by not giving the other person something which you don’t owe to them in the first place makes no sense. It would be like telling your partner that you’re going to punish them by not baking them chocolate chip cookies every day: sure, maybe they would like those cookies but in no way are you obligated to bake them cookies anyway, so they should probably be just fine getting along without it. The idea that you should feel as if the only way you can express that you’re angry or upset or unhappy in your relationship is by taking ownership over your body in a way that is so basic it should never have been a question is somewhat disgusting. If your partner has you so convinced that you owe them sex, no wonder you feel a little angry or vindictive towards them.”—“Withholding Sex” and Other Lies | We Got So Far To Go (via agustd)
“Those smiles do not indicate a 90% success rate. It means the woman is trying her best to end this interaction. Because if she doesn’t smile, he might tell her to smile. If she tells you to leave her alone, you’ll probably call her a bitch. And I know he thinks he’s different; that he’s classy, charming. BUT, since going to work isn’t a performance, we’re not looking for applause. What he’s doing is basically a high-minded, Lincoln Center version of ‘hey, sweet tits’.
That Telly Savalas lookin motherfucker should hold his applause. Because our walk to work is not there for him to comment on. It’s not a red carpet. It’s not a fashion week runway—it’s a sidewalk. And, believe it or not, getting the horny clap of approval from ANY guy does NOT improve my day—it actually creeps me out. So guys, get some impulse control, because I got some shit to do.”—Jessica Williams,The Daily Show (via ashlique)
“People are just people.” ”I don’t see color.” ”We’re all just human.” “Character, not color, is what counts with me.”
“Colorblindness” negates the cultural values, norms, expectations and life experiences of people of color. Even if an individual white person can ignore a person’s skin color, society does not.
Claiming to be “colorblind” can also be a defense when someone is afraid to discuss racism, especially if the assumption is that all conversation about race or color is racist. Color consciousness does not equal racism.
2) Reverse Racism
What they say:
“Blacks cry ‘racism’ for everything, even though they are more or just as racist as white people.”
Let’s first define racism with this formula: Racism = racial prejudice + systemic institutional power.
To say people of color can be racist, denies the power imbalance inherent in racism. Although some Black people dislike whites and act on that prejudice to insult or hurt them, that’s not the same as systematically oppressing them and negatively affecting every aspect of their lives.
People of color, as a social group, do not possess the societal, institutional power to oppress white people as a group. An individual Black person who is abusing a white person, while clearly wrong, is acting out a personal racial prejudice, not racism.
3) It’s Not Race
What they say:
“It’s not race, it’s economics.” ”Classism is the new racism.”
“Being Black and middle class is fundamentally different to being white and middle class.” This is what Dr. Nicola Rollock, a researcher at The Institute of Education at the University at Birmingham in the U.K., said after researching the issue.
For the report, “The Educational Strategies of the Black Middle Classes,” Rollock and her team looked at African-Caribbean families in particular, and confirmed that there is a Black “middle class” who work very hard to do the best for their children. But researchers also discovered that social status and relative wealth do not protect Black people from racism.
Racism is a reality in the lives of Black middle-class families and it extends to the upper class too, as Oprah Winfrey would agree based on her widely reported racial-profiling incident at a Zurich boutique last year.
4) Blame the Victim
What they say:
“Blacks are not willing to work hard.” ”Blacks feel entitled and want everything handed to them.” ”Blacks hold themselves back, not racism.” “We have advertised everywhere, there just aren’t any qualified Blacks for this job.”
When blame-the-victim tactics are used, it provides an escape from discussing the real problem: racism. Therefore, the agents of racism, white people and their institutions, can avoid acknowledging a system of oppression exists.
As long as the focus remains on Black folks, white people can minimize or dismiss our experiences and never have to deal with their responsibility or collusion in racism and white privilege.
5) Deny, Deny, Deny
What they say:
“Blacks are unfairly favored, whites are not.”
This form of denial is based on the false notion that the playing field is now level. When some white folks are expected to suddenly share their privilege, access and advantage, they often perceive it as discrimination. White people’s attacks on programs like affirmative action and Black History Month are usually rooted in this false perception.
6) Pull Yourself Up by Your Bootstraps
What they say:
“America is the land of opportunity, built by rugged individuals, where anyone with grit can succeed if they just pull up hard enough on their bootstraps. So Blacks need to pull themselves up from the bottom like everyone else.”
U.S. social propaganda has convinced many people that an individual’s hard work is the main determinant of success in the country. This ideology totally denies the impact of either oppression or privilege on any person’s chance for success, and pretends that every individual, regardless of color, gender, disability, etc., has the same access to the rights, benefits and responsibilities of society.
It also implies that Blacks have only their individual character flaws or cultural inadequacies to blame, and not racism.
7) Racism Is Over
What they say:
“Blacks live in the past. We dealt with racism in the 1960s with all the marches, sit-ins and speeches by Martin Luther King Jr. Laws have been changed. Segregation and lynching have ended. We have some details to work out, but real racism is pretty much a thing of the past. They need to get over it and move on.”
The absence of legalized, enforced segregation does not mean the end of racism. This denial of contemporary racism, based on an inaccurate assessment of both history and current society, romanticizes the past and diminishes today’s reality.
If there is no race problem, there would be no school-to-prison pipeline in Mississippi that leads to the arrest and sentencing of Black students for infractions as insignificant as wearing the wrong color socks.
New York City’s Stop and Frisk policy that led to 400,000 police encounters with innocent Black and Latino New Yorkers, would not have happened.
If there is no race problem, why is a Black person 3.73 times more likely to be arrested for marijuana possession than a white person, even though Blacks and whites use marijuana at similar rates?