How To Be Against Race-Based Affirmative Action and Convince People You Aren’t Racist for Having That Opinion: 4 Easy Steps

Hey, guys! I’ve been dead for a while. Just long enough for the tons of shit to go down without my totally necessary commentary. Soccer hooligans are running amok. Religious people don’t have to bake cakes for gay weddings, under the pretense that wedding cake tastes too shitty to be considered food. A democratic socialist with very hard opinions on things and very vague explanations for how she’s going to achieve anything on her policy platform got elected in New York. Trump got called Literally Hitler for continuing deportation practices that have been going on for a decade. Then he promptly lost any sympathy by talking about how he wants to Liberate Venezuela, because trying to import freedom to a tropical country fucked over by socialism has never backfired on the US before.

I don’t feel like talking about any of that, though. None of those topics are close to my heart. But, would ya look at that–there is a topic I’m actually invested in being discussed right now, one nestled right in between by ventricles.

It’s race-based affirmative action. I guess I should say it was race-based affirmative action, because that shit’s probably gonna be gone soon. It looks like Donald Trump is just going to continue down this path of doing one thing that I can actually get behind to make up for the five instances of utter buffoonery coming before and after it. The last thing was the Space Force–not kidding. It’s the future, we’re gonna need a space army eventually. And the US is gonna be on top of that shit before anyone else. Gonna be great.

But back to affirmative action. I have never been a fan of it. It encourages minorities to have a very dangerous inferiority complex + entitlement issues combo that does no one any good. It encourages the soft bigotry of low expectations and is generally incredibly elitist and condescending to entire demographics of people who deserve to be treated with more respect and agency than that. I personally have a deep-seeded fear of being the Black Woman (TM) affirmative action hire, because that comes with the implication that I am comparatively incompetent and interchangeable with other black women. And I like being an individual human who is competent, so any indication that I’m not that doesn’t do great things for my self-esteem.

“Affirmative action” has managed to weasel its way right up to the top of the pack alongside terms like “social justice” and “diversity”–you know, the things that you are in no way allowed to point out the flaws or inconsistencies in the application of at all without being deemed a racist bigot with a contempt for minorities. I have been, still am, and probably will until the end of time be called an Uncle Tom for being against race-based affirmative action because being in favor of race-based affirmative action is seen as synonymous with not being racist. So I’m going to make a handy list of logical, non-bigoted reasons that you can be against race-based affirmative action for you to consult.

1.) It is outdated and doesn’t reflect modern-day issues or disparities.

For some background, the Supreme Court (under the Obama administration) ruled that race-based affirmative action was all well and good back in 2016. The Bush-era administration discouraged the practice but didn’t do anything to actively confront it, for the most part. Affirmative action, in some form, has existed, though, since the mid-1960s after LBJ signed an executive order requiring state/federal sectors to actively hire more minorities in an attempt to combat the systematic racism that remained after integration. Most colleges and universities followed suit by the early 1970s with their own affirmative action policies.

Affirmative action has existed in a liminal zone wherein the courts have outlawed racial quotas but have allowed universities to “consider race in admissions” in a vaguer sense. The inherent gray area with that allowance, combined with more blatant racial quotas (wherein they had an minimum/maximum percentage of insert race here students that needed to be sent acceptance letters every year) that resulted in many California universities rescinding the policy in the wake of the backlash, has contributed to the continued controversy.

A very important note that many people do not make is that affirmative action was never intended to be permanent. It was first instituted in a time where integration was a new thing that many places and people fought tooth and nail against. LBJ saying that integration was a thing did not magically make systematic barriers to integration go away. The feds requiring a previously all-white company to start accepting applications from black people resulted in little more than those companies taking the applications because they had to . . and throwing them away immediately, under the pretense that the black applicants weren’t qualified. Affirmative action was instituted to stop that practice: People who would have been considered qualified had they been white were being rejected largely because the world wasn’t used to Jim Crow laws being gone. Affirmative action was intended as a temporary but necessary measure to help the first generation of minorities in an integrated United States get their foot in the door in an environment that, just a year ago, systematically and legally discriminated against them even if they were well-qualified and able.

The problem was that it didn’t go away even after achieving the foot-in-the-door goal that was originally set for it. Affirmative action, like 60s-era welfare, was turned into a highly symbolic political issue. Welfare was considered pseudo-reparations to the black community, and affirmative action grew to be seen in much the same way. It grew to be seen as something the black community was entitled to, which meant rescinding it after 10 years as planned was a no-go. Then, throughout the 80s and 90s, with racism retreating more and more, affirmative action changed connotations. It went from “qualified black people need help getting their foot in the door” to “under-qualified black people are under-qualified because they’re black, so they need help getting their foot in the door too.”

You can see where there started to be a problem. Affirmative action was a policy designed for a very specific purpose at a very specific time. And even if you think we should have something like it–which I do, by the way–affirmative action in its current form is just not how we should be dealing with education gap issues in 2018. Our problems are different. The causes of those problems are different. The people being negatively impacted by those problems are different. Using a policy that has gone largely unchanged since its conception in the 60s to deal with the constantly fluctuating issue that is the education system is not a good idea.

For instance, women are still considered a minority under most affirmative action standards even though women, in 2018, make up more than half of all college students and are graduating both college and high school far more than men (who’s retention rates for high school in particular have been plummeting since the early 2000s). Black women are one of the most educated demographics in the United States (largely thanks to nursing programs), and that’s just not even mentioned whenever you bring up “statistically under-educated demographics.” Asian Americans are so well-qualified that affirmative action policies have actually backfired on them. White male literacy rates are plummeting to the point where there are almost as many illiterate white guys as there are ESL speakers, and yet white men are still considered the standard of education to which all other groups must be leveled up to.

Affirmative action, how it is now, does not reflect any of those things. So even if you support it, you should be in favor of huge sweeping reforms that make it a policy that actually reflects the demographic disparities we have now.

2.) It doesn’t do what it says it does.

I’m just going to pull some quotes from the linked article to get across the motivation of those who support affirmative action without paraphrasing.

“[It] involves favouring minorities during the admissions process in order to promote campus diversity . . .”

“Learning environments comprised of students from diverse backgrounds provide an enhanced educational experience for individual students . . . by choosing to create this kind of rich academic environment, educational institutions help students sharpen their critical thinking and analytical skills.”

” . . .  encourage diversity [by] granting admission preferences to students from certain schools based on demographics and considering a student’s race ‘among other factors in its admissions procedures’.”

Fun fact: Black and Latino retention rates at universities that proudly wave the affirmative action flag suck. Affirmative action’s way of “encouraging diversity” is to  screw over black and Latino kids by letting them into programs that they’re under-qualified for, that they then do poorly in grades-wise and drop out of after two years–a huge dark spot on anyone’s academic reputation. Call me crazy, but I don’t think having a bunch of brown kids there for half the time as everyone else, who don’t even get a degree out of it, and who are now faced with the new roadblock of having to explain their educational failings to potential employers and other universities is a good thing. I don’t think that helps diversify that campus’ portfolio. And, more importantly, I don’t think that helps the minority students that affirmative action claims to be helping.

Now, I agree that having students from diverse backgrounds and experiences actually does contribute to a more dynamic learning environment. But how is setting someone up for highly probable failure a nice thing to do? How is that the liberal position? This is like giving a dog chocolate because Spot saw you eating food and looked sad, and you felt mean for not giving him something, so you gave him a piece of chocolate to make him happy. No, bitch, dogs can’t eat chocolate. You’re not a nice person for giving Spot food that will make him sick because he looked sad about not getting a treat.

This is not me calling black kids dumb. The retention rates of minority students at places like UCLA who got admitted without affirmative action policies are just as good as everyone else’s. But when your policy to “improve diversity” is one that is so obviously lowering the bar for some people, even though that bar is at that height for a reason, you are doing nothing but hurting them in the short and long term. The road to hell is paved with good intentions, as they say.

I went to a liberal arts college. It was overtly in favor of affirmative action. It tried really fucking hard to have the “diversity” that enhanced people’s educational experience so much. Guess what it didn’t offer? Help. It was real interested in letting ya in so they can put that Racial Demographics pie chart on the internet for progressives to nod their heads approvingly at, but it wasn’t too keen on addressing the educational background disparities once people actually got there. Speaking of that . . .

3.) It doesn’t help.

Affirmative action is, and has always been, a band-aid. That’s why it wasn’t supposed to last forever. That’s why it’s so unintuitively unhelpful toward the “diversity” goal. It’s there to fix the symptom of a problem. And it fixes it poorly, to boot (I refer you to the “flunking out after sophomore year” part above). To put it very simply: Affirmative action at the university level is coming in too late to do any good. It’s there to try to account for educational disparities that start in pre-K by dealing with the aftermath of that 18 years down the line.

The damage has already been done. The black kid from Compton got a shitty public inner-city school education where getting all As means close to nothing because the educational standards are so low. The “standardized” classes are little more than teach-to-the-test courses designed to evaluate the teachers more than the students, that don’t stimulate the critical inquiry skills needed for higher education whatsoever and that don’t account for that shitty school’s limited resources. The standardized testing game needed to get into most universities is an economically exploitative racket run by two major corporate oligarchs that charge hundreds of dollars for the SAT and hundreds of dollars for the resources to study for it. And that information about fee waivers is buried so fucking deep that the only kids who’d be able to find it are the ones who are studying on their own anyway, because it’s not like Division B 121 George Washington Carver High is giving them any test prep, optional or otherwise.

That’s all totally ignoring the culture of most low-income high schools in both city and rural environments that utterly shits all over academic achievement and has non-existent encouragement from the burnt-out teachers and faculty.

Saying that you’re “going to get more brown kids into college” by coming in during the third act of that clusterfuck and ushering them into an academic environment that they are not prepared for doesn’t help, believe it or not. If you want to address educational disparities, start doing more university outreach to low-income areas. Support college access centers that provide guidance and study help that kids won’t get from their families, schools, or peers. Provide mentorship in the form of something other than an exploitative charter school. Hell, get over this 90s mentality that every kid needs to go to a four-year college and start giving them information about lucrative 2-year degrees and trade schools.

In short: affirmative action is a really shoddy band-aid that only makes the bone-deep problem worse by perpetuating a cycle of underachievement and lowered academic standards. I know a lot of people who support affirmative action also support those things I listed above, but they don’t seem to ever make the connection that affirmative action is actively making their goal harder to reach.

4.) It’s like class-based affirmative action, but less helpful and more racist.

I’m not totally against affirmative action as a concept. There are very commonly occurring extenuating circumstances that I believe actually should be taken into account by universities. A smart kid being hindered by some perpetual illness or sudden injury deserves some leeway. A smart kid who’s grades took a hit after his dad died in the middle of his junior year deserves some leeway. A smart kid who just has the misfortune of growing up in a shitty place with limited academic and extracurricular opportunities deserves some leeway. And yes, this comes with the aforementioned problem of someone going into a university unprepared. In my ideal world where affirmative action gets its much-needed reboot, there would actually be measures taken by colleges and universities to help the kids who got screwed over by life circumstances out of their control play catch-up and get to where they need to be. It would still be a band-aid to temporarily address much larger problems than college admissions pie charts.

You know what problems my version of affirmative action wouldn’t have, though? It wouldn’t be racially discriminatory. It wouldn’t mark an exceptionally qualified Asian kid lower on personality and likability (whatever the fuck that means) just as an excuse to reject her. It wouldn’t look at a kid with the name Samari and automatically assume that the standards would have to be lowered for him. It wouldn’t presuppose hardship and adversity where there was none just because the kid was brown, or presuppose comfort and easy access to resources even if the white kid was from rural impoverished Arkansas.

It would actually be about more than the easy racial demographics that you can point to and brag about “being diverse” because you had a 25% admissions cap on Asians and a 10% minimum on admission for black kids. It would actually be about addressing real, confirmed adversity on an individual basis and not just pre-supposing that Keisha, the girl with two professor parents from the nice part of Palo Alto, must be disadvantaged somehow, so she gets a pass for comparatively lower grades. And it would still apply to that poor kid from Compton who deserved a better high school education, too. It just wouldn’t be something that gets you sued for being racists. That’s a win/win, isn’t it?

Oh, who am I kidding, armchair progressives could give two shits about poor people.

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Jordan Peterson and the Lollipop Guild

If that is not already the name for some random French-Canadian indie rock band, then that is a shame. Anyway, onto the actual content.

Note: I’ve been trying to suss out what I would say in this piece for quite a while. Though it may look like I’m jumping on the bandwagon of anti-Jordan Peterson content–and, in a way, I am–just know that this post has been sitting in my archives, revised and edited and added to for nearly four months at this point. I simply required a few other hot takes to help me organize my own thoughts, and it just so happens that those hot takes are comin’ at ya now.

You have TJ Kirk who was prompted into writing a book on the subject of disagreeing with Peterson. Hugo and Jake from the Bible Reloaded have discussed Peterson’s questionable track record with transgender pronouns and Bill C16. Matt Dillahunty had a debate with Peterson about religion. And, most interestingly, one of Peterson’s colleagues recently wrote a lengthy article detailing why he thinks Peterson is falling into a dangerous position with his popularity.

Now, I don’t agree with every point made in every one of these examples. Do you trust that I can generally agree with something without finding it 100% perfect? Good.

Those above examples tackle the Jordan Peterson issue from multiple viewpoints. I highly recommend all of them. As you may remember, I do have some fondness for Peterson. I think he was the public figure who best elucidated why the commentary surrounding the American presidential election was such an ethically reprehensible shit show. I still think that. I think his academic work on the rise of authortarianism is very interesting. I don’t absolutely hate the guy. Part of the issue is that his rabid fanboys think I do because I don’t see every single word that falls out of the man’s face as a gospel Truth of the highest order. Had he remained a fringe figure well-like by certain circles on YouTube, I doubt I’d have much of a problem with him. But his shining star has burned bright enough to wear holes through the facade of intellectual excellence he’s been selling.

I am an atheist who did not take very kindly to Peterson pulling the 2004 Christian apologist move of saying, “Atheists who don’t run around acting like psychopaths are actually just Christians, they’re just stupid and confused so they won’t admit it.” I’m also technically a nihilist, so I don’t think his fears of nihilism are founded on much besides cherry-picked philosophical navel gazing. And though the “We already use ‘they’ as a singular pronoun in this one linguistic context totally unrelated to the context you are asking us to use it in now, so checkmate!” argument is stupid as fuck, there is something to be said for flexible language use and the practical purpose of pronouns that Jordan Peterson seems not to want to address.

That’s been talked about, though. For my part, I’m going to point out something that I haven’t seen many people touch on: Peterson’s intellectual influences that he quotes all the time and pulls examples from all the time and espouses the validity of all the time . . . are kind of stupid. And by that, I mean Carl Jung and Sigmund Freud are hacks.


Jordan Peterson confuses me very, very much in this regard. He’s a clinical psychologist who, from what I can see, does generally good work and conducts acceptable and scientifically valid research. His seeming obsession with Freud and Carl Jung as two of the frequently-referenced pillars for his sociopolitical beliefs, then, is the most paradoxical thing I’ve come across in quite some time. I’m not going to pretend to be some expert on the subject, but I do know quite a lot about both Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung. Hopefully, after going into their work more, you can see why it baffles me so much to see a modern-day clinical psychologist quoting Freud and Jung like they’re authorities on anything, let alone men whose advice is warranting of building an entirely new conception of Truth around.

Being important and interesting historical figures in the field is not the same thing as being legitimate sources to choose from in regards to psychological or philosophical argumentation. Peterson is an intelligent man, and he’s very good at making what he says sound intelligent even when it’s really not; and his constant invoking of Freudian and Jungian theories just comes across to me as a smart person taking advantage of the fact that most people don’t know enough about the topics he’s discussing to realize he’s making no sense and quoting people who no one takes seriously outside of philosophical circles.

I want to make that very, very fucking clear, because Peterson never has: Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung are not guys you go to for psychology. Their ideas are seen as very interesting philosophical frameworks. As an anecdote: I’ve done most of my readings from Carl Jung under the context of studying classical mythology. I studied Freud in psychology courses as a Significant Figure (TM), not as someone who was right about things. Peterson using his authority to lift his pet-thinkers up as psychological figures to people who don’t know any better annoys me to no end.


Let’s start with Sigmund Freud. He’s a very important guy. He is the founder of psychoanalysis, ie, trying to address mental and behavioral problems through dialogue between therapist and patient that uncovers the psychological underpinnings of one’s actions. For some context, before Freud came along with his (genuinely revolutionary for the time) idea that maybe having conversations about mental states would help mental health, people were still doing things like determining someone’s psychological traits by looking at skull shape.

Freud is one of those founding figures of psychology who–like many founding figures in many fields–was in the right ballpark . . . but not much else. The very generalized, very basic ideas that he pioneered are correct, but acting like he was in any way accurate beyond that point is getting into “Intentionally Misleading” territory. The main issue with most of Freud’s more detailed theories is that they are conveniently unfalisfiable.

“You do X now because Y happened when you were a kid, and you just don’t remember,” or “You do X because you subconsciously want to do Y, and it’s so subconsious that not even you know it.” There’s not much you can do with either of those statements, and that’s what Freud-style psychoanlaysis is. If that seems familiar, it’s because Jordan Peterson uses the same method of unfalsifiable psychoanalysis in his own speeches and claims constantly.

Look no further than his “Feminists who defend Islam are secretly yearning to be brutally dominated by a man.” comment. That’s a very nice example because it also ties perfectly into Freud’s insistence that most anxieties, neuroses, and eccentricities can be tracked back to sexual repression or being stunted during a (totally not accurate to actual human development) stage of psycho-sexual development as a child.

Peterson also takes very generously from Freud’s penis envy idea — that “young girls experience anxiety upon realization that they do not have a penis . . . that is a defining moment in the development of their female sexuality and gender identity.” While that may have been an accurate depiction of the 19th century aristocratic woman’s plight of living in a genuinely patriarchal society that meant her lack of a dick limited her social mobility, it’s been rightfully criticized as a not-at-all-accurate depiction of generalized female psychological development. Peterson’s own views on the importance of well-defined gender roles/societal responsibilities and the ultimate societal harms of androgyny/less defined gendered behavior (up to and including trans people and their pronouns) fits well within the boundaries set up by Freud; Children learn to not only notice the differences between the sexes but see similarity to the other sex as something anxiety inducing. A boy’s realization that girl’s genitals are different is referred to as “castration anxiety” for crying out loud.

If you want more examples of Peterson ripping off Freud’s technique of ascribing motivations where he logically cannot know them, I will gladly send them to you.


Then there’s Carl Jung and his most frequently referenced theory about collective unconscious. AKA the reason Jordan Peterson thinks that everyone with morals is religious and that art cannot exist without religion. To put it very simply: the collective unconscious refers to psychological structures or ideas that are shared among all people (with the more wishy washy point that they have a collective meaning and understanding cross-culturally and between individuals, not just a collective undefined presence in our psyche. Not all Jungian subscribers believe this.). More contentious still is the idea that those structures are ones we as humanity find extremely significant in informing our moral frameworks. That, I believe, is what Peterson is arguing for. This is one of the topics that he’s notoriously vague and word salad-y about.

The key word here is Archetype. A universal symbol that we all have some inherent understanding and connection to the symbolism of. People have used to to explain why most known religions oftentimes have the same character archetypes and stories (the Savior, the Wise Man, the Great Mother, the Great Flood, etc.).

I don’t think I have to go into why this isn’t scientific. This is philosophy if we’ve ever seen it. And there’s nothing wrong with that, except for the fact that Peterson uses it as fuel for his social commentary on psychological issues. I don’t even get how. He models a huge chunk of his rhetoric after Freud, who was a proponent of the idea that everyone’s unconscious mind and anxiety had some very individualized work put into it; but in the same breath he’ll mention Jung, whose entire shtick was that everyone’s unconscious mind is tapped into this collective where we all get our understanding of human morals and where deviation from those collective archetypal ideas is what causes anxiety. I’m not saying you can’t like both, Jordan, but you have to be better at explaining it, because right now I’m at an utter loss for how you can hold these two theories of where anxiety comes from at once.

 

That discrepancy doesn’t even touch upon his tendency to use the collective conscious to uplift socially traditionalist Christianity as the inexplicable go-to for social order and moral rightness. This confuses me because Jung makes it clear that religions are not the source of these moral archetypes, just a very salient expression of them that happen to hold the social zeitgeist. Peterson himself shows this very clearly with the high regard in which he holds the Pinocchio story and the archetypes found within it. Apparently, Jordan Peterson can find Pinocchio to be morally informative and beautiful, but if an atheist says they get their morals from somewhere other than a religion, they’re just lying or misinformed. Now, if he explained that as “Oh, the moral lessons you like come from the same collective unconscious as religious parables that teach similar moral lessons,” he’d at least be consistent. But he has yet to explicate it that way.

He also seems to have missed Jung’s point about religions not being the only expression of the collective unconscious and that religious stories having those archetypes does not therefore mean that those archetypes are owned by religion or are religious in nature, inherently. This is where I assume his comments about us not having any art without religion come from. I assume. The Blue Fairy from Pinocchio being like an angel does not mean Pinocchio was really a Christian story this whole time. It just means that angels and the Blue Fairy are separate expressions of the same archetype, one in  a religion and one in a fairy tale. That’s the entire point of the collective unconscious as an idea, to show that these values exist within humanity universally.

And Jordan Peterson has somehow managed to obsess over that and yet turn it into the utter antithesis of what it  initially was at the same time. He’s somehow managed to take an already questionable philosophical idea that tried to level the playing field for all stories, religious or otherwise, and turn it into a pitch about how the religion he likes the most should be the one we all look to for moral guidance. What?!

I’m getting worked up. I’m done. Read the article I linked to. It’s really interesting. Good night.

100 Easy Ways to Make Women’s Lives More Bearable: Another Response

Oh, God. This article exists. Why? I don’t understand who this is for. The 100 Things White People Can Do To Kiss POCs’ Collective Ass (But Not Too Much, Because Then It’s Weird) list has a companion piece, guys! Isn’t that great? Isn’t that fun? Now there’s a list for self-hating men to jerk off to, not just self-hating white people. It’s written by Dani Beckett, whose ideal man is one who walks around shirtless and attractive, bringing her tea in bed, according to the image accompanying this list. Because when you have the title 100 Easy Ways to Make Women’s Lives More Bearable, double standards about sexual objectification are bound to happen, apparently.

A few years ago I started compiling a list of easy actions that men can take to meaningfully support gender equality. Every year, I would post it on social media. Slowly, other women started contributing suggestions. So the list grew. And grew. It will likely never stop growing.

Keep the “meaningfully support gender equality” point in mind, guys. Make sure to keep a tally of things that do that as opposed to having minor, hyper-specific complaints about first-world problems. I’m also forced to question the validity of your victimization when a 100-point list of what men need to do for you to make you happy and fulfilled is apparently not even scratching the surface of Good Enough. The problem might be with you, honey. Just saying.

To the men reading: You may already do some of these things, and others you may not be in the position to do. But a good place to start is by, at the very least, reading the list through—in its entirety. And remember: These apply all year, not just during the annual 24 hours dedicated to half of the planet’s population.

How much you want to bet Ms. Dani Beckett gives no shits about International Men’s Day?

Edit: I tried treating this with the same point-by-point response to all 100 as I did the companion piece, but this one just broke me, guys. She apparently boiled this list down from multiple hundreds of suggestions, and it still manages to be repetitive, rambling drivel that couldn’t make a clear point to save its life. I couldn’t do it. It’s been days since I’ve started trying to write this and I’m still not done. Screw it. I’m picking the ones I had the patience and will power to answer and leaving the other ones on the cutting room floor here. I’m a failure, I know.


1. Before explaining something to a woman, ask yourself if she might already understand. She may know more about it than you do.

So . . . we’re starting off with man-splaining, huh? This is point numero uno. Okay.

I was going to bet money that at least 80% of the list is going to be the exact kind of patronizing condescension that Beckett accuses the entirety of men-kind of being so guilty for, but that’s just a rigged game. I wouldn’t do that to you.

2. Related: Never, ever try to explain feminism to a woman.

What if it’s a male feminist trying to explain feminism to a woman who is a part of the 70+% of women in Western countries who don’t consider themselves feminists? I suppose it’s only fitting that we get the woman=feminist point out of the way early. While we’re on the topic of feminism, I like how your movement that’s all about equality and eliminating gendered double standards apparently forbids men from being able to explain it to the uninitiated.

3. Trans women are women. Repeat that until you perish.

That was worded in a really needlessly aggressive way. Being a dick is not how you encourage people to to not be dicks.

And, yes, if someone decides to take on the social identity and appearance of a woman because it’s conducive toward their mental health to do so, fine. There are still plenty of people in the world–men and women–who think that’s it’s some sign of moral and intellectual fortitude to tell other people how to present themselves to the world. But engaging in unprovoked aggression towards someone who may already fucking agree with you is not helpful, and it certainly doesn’t make those aforementioned “red pilled” people want to listen to you and honestly consider your points. If you don’t treat them with basic levels of courtesy, there’s no reason for them to extend that to you.

4. RESPECT PEOPLE’S PRONOUNS. It’s not hard.

It is pretty hard when you’ve got people making up pronouns they want to be called. There are parts of human language that are fixed grammatical features (like pronouns) and parts that are flexible (vocabulary). Asking people to change the way they use fixed grammatical words actually is difficult, especially when you have people wanting to be called “they,” a fixed grammatical form that is typically only used to refer to a single person when it’s an unidentified single party, not a specific and named one.

I don’t want to make it seem like we’ve got a shit ton of people running around wanting to be called “xir”; The pronoun debate is mainly about using the preferred he/she pronoun of a trans person. And, sure, if someone wants to be called “Tom,” I’m not going to insist on calling them “Thomas” just to lord my own superior understanding of properness over them. The same goes for pronouns. Once again, though, you beating people over the head with this REPEK ME hammer and implying that they’re coming from a place of hate for not immediately toeing the line is not helping your fucking cause.

5. Remember that fat women exist and aren’t all trying to get thin. Treat them with respect.

I’m sure we all known fat women exist. It’s kinda hard to miss them. Ba dum CHING. I can make that joke because I’m a size 12.

6. In fact, just never comment on a woman’s body.

I’ll make sure to tell my loving, long-term monogamous boyfriend that he can stop telling me he thinks I’m hot. It’s not like I appreciated that or anything.

7. Be kind to women in customer service positions. Tip them extra. (But not in a creepy way.)

Okay, this is gonna seem like a tangent, but it needs to be addressed at this point. Can we please talk about how classist these people are? The companion piece to this article had a very consistent overtone of economic elitism wherein it treated “white people” as interchangeable with “upper middle class to wealthy members of of urbanite intelligentsia that donate money and go to culture clubs and sit in on panels,” with the one time it even acknowledged poor white people as a thing being to overtly and unashamedly say it didn’t care about them or their issues.

Then you have this article, telling people to give preferential treatment to the help if they happen to be women. Because being the help is apparently a peachy keen, high-paying gig where people treat you with respect and dignity as long as you’re a man working that job. It’s not like working in customer service sucks for everyone, but I’m sure that guy making $8.50 an hour to wait on you and your entitled friends really appreciates you lording your moral do-goodingness over him by paying him less to compensate for the privileges he has over you.

8. Trust women. When they teach you something, don’t feel the need to go and check for yourself. And especially do not Google it in front of them.

Are women just incapable of being incorrect now? If someone tells me something that I think is questionable, I’m going to Google it in front of them. It’s the 21st fucking century. I’ll do what I want. My group of friends is me and four guys; we fact check each other all the time. In our conversation about early 2000s anime, they can apparently question each other’s knowledge all day, but everything I say just has to be taken wholesale. If I say the Death Note anime came out in 2003, my friend isn’t allowed to say, “I don’t think it came out that early. You might be thinking of the manga. I’ll check,” because he has a dick. You’re essentially applying a double standard to any co-ed conversations. Way to go.

9. Don’t maintain a double standard for… anything, ever.

tenor

10. CLOSE YOUR LEGS ON PUBLIC TRANSIT, OH MY GOD.

Men have external genitalia. That’s certainly a better excuse to take up slightly more room on the subway than the perpetual old-lady-taking-up-three-seats-with-her-inexplicable-number-of-purses, or teenager-who-stretches-out-across-entire-benches-because-fuck-you.

11. Trying to describe a woman positively? Say she’s “talented,” “clever,” or “funny.” Not “gorgeous,” “sweet,” or “cute.”

What if she isn’t talented, clever, or funny? What then? What if she’s Caroline from Roses, who is mighty fine but not much else? Are you under the impression that some random man off the street is going to be complimented for personality traits he doesn’t have?

The thing is, I would actually agree with you if you didn’t constantly engage in this ridiculous implication that women should be complimented for positive traits that they don’t even have just because it’s not politically correct to acknowledge their appearance or femininity in any way. The “women are, men do” social standard wherein men are complimented on accomplishments (like being funny or clever) and women are complimented on internal characteristics (like being pretty or sweet), actually is a thing that actually does contribute to some arbitrary gender norms. This is my issue with internet feminists: Every time you have something resembling a point, you ruin it.

12. Examine your language when talking about women. Get rid of “irrational,” “dramatic,” “bossy,” and “badgering” immediately.

What if they are irrational, dramatic, bossy, or badgering? You are certainly all of these things, Dani Beckett. At least according to this list. Alex Jones is irrational. Kanye West is dramatic. Stanley Kubrik is bossy. Donald Trump is badgering. These are words that describe behaviors. You are telling people to not use words to describe things that those words describe.

13. Don’t think to yourself, I describe men like that too. A) You probably don’t. B) If you do, it’s to criticize them for acting like a woman.

Wow, I didn’t know Danni Beckett was a fucking mindreader. That’s impressive! I like how you have a built-in response to the inevitable criticism of that last point. And even in your forward-thinkingness, the best you could come up with is “you only use those words to deride people for being too womanly.” That’s sad.

14. Do you love “fiery” Latina women? “Strong” Black women? “Mysterious” Asian women? Stop. Pick up a book on decolonial feminism. Read.

I’m not sure about the third one, but the first two are stereotypes actively perpetuated by left wing people. Why don’t you stop it?

15. Stop calling women “feisty.” We don’t need a special lady word for “has an opinion.”

That’s not what “feisty” means. Even in it’s colloquial usage, it’s not a “womanly” thing, it’s a word used to describe someone/something that is unexpectedly intense or energetic. A cute dog that that barks and snaps at people is called “feisty.” An adorable little kid who mouths off to authority figures is called “feisty.” If you’re a 5’2″ blonde girl with resting nice face, you might be described as “feisty” if it turns out you’re really sarcastic and caustic in conversation. No one’s looking at Sheryl Sandberg or Ronda Rousey or Michelle Obama and calling them “feisty,” because they all have an overtly intense look and demeanor about them already. You are once again telling people to just stop using words that mean what they mean.

 

18. Examine the way you talk about women you’re attracted to. Fat women, old women, queer, trans, and powerful women are not your “guilty crush.”

It’s not enough to find atypical women attractive, guys. You have to own that shit. But not too much, because then you’re fetishizing us, and that’s sexist and wrong. This is the “find POC people attractive, but don’t think our race is an attractive feature” talking point all over again.

19. Learn to praise a woman without demonizing other women. “You’re not like other girls” is not a compliment. I want to be like other girls. Other girls are awesome.

Wow, I’ve never seen an SJW straight-up admit that they don’t want to be an individual person. I mean, it was implied, but . . .

This point is ridiculous. The guy is telling you that you are special, Dani. He’s calling you one-of-a-kind. He’s saying there’s no one else out there quite like you. If your response to that compliment is, “Nuh uh, I’m entirely mediocre, just like every other girl you’ve ever met! And that’s fine!” that guy should run away from you, full speed, never looking back.

I guess if your version of doing you is is being like everybody else, go ahead, but don’t get your panties in a knot when someone assumes that you value uniqueness as a trait.

20. Share writing by women. Don’t paraphrase their work in your own Facebook post to show us all how smart or woke you are. I guarantee the woman said it better in the first place.

This seems like a problem faced solely by the woke liberal crowds that seem overpopulated with enlightened ally men who talk the talk on social forums and rape the rape in private.  

Also, casual misandry is always fun. “I guarantee the woman said it better.” Try swapping that noun out with literally any other demographic and see how well that works out.

21. Buy sanitary pads and tampons and donate them to a homeless shelter. Just do it.

This is fine. Homeless shelters could always use more supplies of various kinds.

22. How much of what you are watching/reading/listening to was made by women? Gender balance your bookcase.

I don’t know. Let’s see.

According to Netflix, my most recent watches are John Mulaney’s new stand-up special, A Series of Unfortunate Events, and Bojack Horseman. I don’t think any of those are made by women. Reading-wise, I just finished The Book of Dust by Phillip Pullman and am currently reading a memoir called My Own Country by Abraham Verghese.  And as far as music goes, I’ve been obsessively listening to The Voidz, then there’s Jack White’s new album, ZelooperZ, and Death Grips.

My media is pretty male-dominated at the moment. You know why? Because all of those things are awesome and worth my time. I care about quality, and when women make things that I like–as they frequently do–I’ll give them my time as well. It’s almost like that’s how taste and interest work.

23. Feeling proud of your balanced bookcase? Are there women of color there? Trans, queer, and disabled women? Poor women? Always make sure you’re being intersectional.

This is why young people are turning to conservatism in droves. It’s not your policies turning them off. It’s not even that the conservatives are inherently more appealing. It’s this. You are not cool anymore, Dani Beckett. You are not the voice of a generation. You are not the counterculture.

You are the dowdy 40-something housewife with nothing better to do than observe from a safe, untainted distance the art other people like and turn your nose up at it for being uncouth. You are the geriatric whiner huffing and puffing about how the hip-hop and the rap music are destroying good morals and family values. You are the evangelical Christian forbidding your kid from reading Harry Potter because it promotes witchcraft. You are the concerned parents coalition that bans Marilyn Manson’s music from your households because he promotes degeneracy. You are the cringey youth pastor who passive aggressively tut-tut-tuts at the kids in his youth group not supporting enough good Christian artists. You are the AM radio conservative talk show host who wants to boycott Disney because Elsa from Frozen is a lesbian and those are bad morals to promote to children. You are the parents from Footloose, the elders from Happy Feet, the dad from The Lego Movie.

You are a moralizing pearl-clutcher who wants to control the kind of art and creativity other people are allowed to enjoy and take part in.

You are LAME, Dani Beckett. And that is why people are tripping over their own feet running away from you.

24. Don’t buy media that demeans women’s experiences, valorizes violence against women, or excludes them entirely from a cast. It’s not enough to oppose those things. You have to actively make them unmarketable.

You know, I don’t tell you that you’re not allowed to have shitty feminist media. I think you can like and buy and make and support on Patreon whatever the fuck you want. I think you can dislike and refuse to buy whatever the fuck you want.

I hate Tyler Perry movies. I think they perpetuate awful stereotypes and talk down to their black audience by assuming they are idiots amused by idiocy. But I’m not gonna go on the internet and say that we should start making Tyler Perry movies unmarketable just because I personally don’t like them. Because I acknolwedge that not everyone on the planet has to like exactly what I like, and want exactly what I want, and make exactly what I want them to make, and connect to the things I connect with. Why can’t you give other people the same courtesy? Why do you feel the need to police what other people are allowed to do, down to something as benign as what music they like or what movie they buy on Blu-Ray?

29. Stop raving about Woody Allen. I don’t care if he shits gold. Find a non-accused-abuser to fanboy over.

Midnight in Paris is a good movie that is worth watching. Woody Allen could have actually been a proven abuser–which he isn’t–and that would not detract from the fact that Midnight in Paris is a good movie that is worth watching. Fuck off. I’m done tackling these “people are only allowed to like art that I, Dani Beckett, personally approve of and curate first,” bullshit.

34. Share political hot takes from women as well as men. They might not be as widely accessible, so look for them.

Can I share political hot takes from Tomi Lahren, Candace Owens, Diamond and Silk, and Lauren Southern? Or are they not the “right kind” of women to be supporting and uplifting?

35. Understand that it was never “about ethics in journalism.”

It was though? Gamergate was started when the boyfriend of Zoe Quinn, a female game developer, had a very public emotional breakdown over her cheating on him repeatedly with some guys who, lucky her, happened to be media journalists who helped further her publicity and game-making career. That is as far as her involvement in Gamergate went. It quickly became not at all about her as the topic of discussion extended to the multiple kinds of corruption, nepotism, and brown-nosing found in that industry, of which she was only a single example. All of the people insisting that it was about Zoe Quinn and gamers “not wanting women in video games” have no fucking idea what they’re talking about.

36. Speak less in meetings today to make space for your women colleagues to share their thoughts. If you’re leading the meeting, make sure women are being heard as much as men.

Women are strong, guys! We swear. That’s why we’re in constant need of your help and support. If you are not working to uplift us and make space for us and encourage us 24/7, than we’re just not going to be successful.

38. Promote women. Their leadership styles may be different than yours. That’s probably a good thing.

More casual misandry again. Women are just better than men at most things and superior in most ways, guys. No big deal.

39. Recruit women on the same salary as men. Even if they don’t ask for it.

Once again–women are strong! That’s why you should entirely get rid of salary bartering as a possibility because women don’t take advantage of it as much as men, and that’s not fair. So now men can’t do it either. Gotta even that playing field somehow, and asking women to do something about it is just too much work, you know?

40. Open doors for women with caring responsibilities by offering flexible employment contracts.

I think the United State’s lack of sufficient maternal and paternal leave is stupid, so sure.

45. If you find you’re only interviewing men for a role, rewrite the job listing so that it’s more welcoming to women.

Women are strong! That’s why we have to be specifically catered to and ensured that we will continue to be specifically catered to in the future if you want us to send you an application.

47. Tell female colleagues what your salary is.

I make more than every single one of my male colleagues. It’s called bonuses and asking for a raise when you think you deserve it. But wait a minute, that required me showing something resembling initiative, and expecting women to have initiative to receive higher pay is stupid when you could just get rid of the concept of asking for a raise instead. Silly me! I forgot.

50. If you manage a team, make sure that your employees know that you recognize period pain and cystitis as legitimate reasons for a sick day.

As with the maternity/paternity leave thing, I think the United States’ utter lack of employee health standards in the work place, glorification of going to work while ill, and abysmal to nonexistent sick day policies is stupid. So yeah, give people more available sick days and make it clear that being bowled over by period cramps is sufficient reason for using one. I have no problem with this.

51. If you have a strict boss (or mom or teacher) who is a woman, she is not a “bitch.” Grow up.

Stop telling people how to use words. You’re straight up saying we can’t use insults and profanity if the insult-ee is a woman now.

We’re so strong, guys. It’s unbelievable how strong you can be from the safety of a fainting couch.

57. If you see women with their hands up, put yours down. This can be taken as a metaphor for a lot of things. Think about it.

I’ve thought about it, and it’s stupid. Stop telling people to socially demote themselves for the sake of making you feel better. It’s patronizing to everyone involved.

58. Raising a feminist daughter means she’s going to disagree with you. And probably be right. Feel proud, not threatened.

Or, or . . . you could not push your socio-political beliefs onto a child with no concept of what they truly mean or entail, answer their questions when they have them, and let them develop their own thoughts and opinions about things. You could do that.

God, you’re like those cringey conservative parents who give their newborns Baby Republican onesies or tell them they’re a Christian before they even know what the concept of God is.

65. Challenge the patriarchs in your religious group when they enable the oppression of women.

Does this apply to Muslims, Dani? Or just the safe-to-criticize, white people religions?

67. Trust women’s religious choices. Don’t pretend to liberate them just so you can criticise their beliefs.

Called it.

68. Examine who books your trips, arranges outings, organizes Christmas, buys birthday cards. Is it a woman? IS IT?

If it is, so what? Those are extraneous things. You know, the stuff you do because you want to do it. Nobody’s reluctantly booking a vacation or grumpily planning fun amusement park day trips. These are things you do because you want to do them. You’d think a woman who wrote a 100-point list on everything she wants from other people would get the concept.

69. And if it is actually you, a man, don’t even dare get in touch with me looking for your medal.

What the fuck is this list, guys?!

“You’re being a bad ally to women if you don’t do the things on this list, but if you do the things on this list, don’t expect me to be happy about it! You’re still a piece of shit who deserves no credit for doing anything good!”

What?! And I bet you wonder why more men aren’t allied with you and your cause. The whole “treating them like shit even when they behave exactly how you want them to” thing probably contributes to it, if I had to make a guess. Just a shot in the dark here.

70. Take stock of the emotional labor you expect from women. Do you turn to the women around you for emotional support and give nothing in return?

So . . . don’t be the emotional leech in a one-sided relationship? Wow, Dani, you’re so insightful into the human experience. We definitely required your enlightened list of grievances.

74. If a woman tells you she was raped, assaulted, or abused, don’t ask her for proof. Ask how you can support her.

What’s with these liberal circles and insisting that we take one specific group and regard their experiences and their claims in ways we would never regard other, similar situations? In the first list we have the idea that a POC perceiving a slight against them should just be taken wholesale even when we don’t treat anyone else that way. And in this list we have the idea that we should just believe a woman who says she was assaulted/abused wholesale even when we don’t treat any other crime that way.

But no double standards, ever. Amiright, guys?

77. Do not walk too close to a woman late at night. That shit can be scary.

Can a black man walk uncomfortably close to you at night, Dani? If you perceive that as scary, you’re being racist, remember? Intersectionality is important, Dani. Don’t half-ass your commitment to equality.

78. If you see a woman being followed or otherwise bothered by a stranger, stick around to make sure she’s safe.

Way to ask people to white knight for you in real life situations that could get them hurt, Dani. If you see a woman in a possibly dangerous situation, call the respective authorities–the cops, a bouncer, security. Don’t ask people to be civilian vigilantes on your behalf.

Also, women are strong, guys. That’s why we need random strangers to keep an eye on us to ensure our safety.

80. If you are a queer man, recognize that your sexuality doesn’t exclude you from potential misogyny.

Nope. Nope. You can’t be all intersectional on me yet, Dani. I still haven’t gotten an answer to the “Are women allowed to find black men scary?” question. Don’t bring the gays into it now. That overcomplicates things.

83. Remember that you can lack consent in situations not involving sex—such as when pursuing uninterested women or forcing a hug on a colleague.

Maybe don’t make implicit connections between being hugged when you don’t want to be hugged and being raped? Maybe don’t do that?

Fuck, I’m so done with this list.

85. Trust a woman to know her own body. If she says she won’t enjoy part of your sexual repertoire, do not try to convince her otherwise.

What do you mean, “Don’t try to convince her otherwise.”? That’s how experimenting sexually works! You are made aware of a kink or a fetish, and you’re not sure if you’d be really into it. Or you think you’d be into it, but you haven’t tried it. Then you go to someone and ask them if they want to try it out. And maybe they do say no that one time, but why does that then mean that you’re no longer allowed to bring up the topic again? Why does that then mean that you’re not allowed to bring up some counter-arguments to their worries or pre-conceieved notions to try to get them to meet you half-way? Relationships are about communication, and you’re essentially telling people that they’re not allowed to have discussions about topics that the woman involved is initially unimpressed by. There’s a difference between badgering your wife to do some sex act she’s repeatedly refused to do and trying to persuade your partner to be open to a sexual experience they’re unsure about, and absolutely no distinction between the two is being made here. Shocking.

How much you want to bet Dani Beckett is single and wondering why?

87. It is not cute to try to persuade a woman to have sex with you. EVER. AT ALL. Go home.

What is with this idea that women are these unshakably certain creatures who never change their minds about anything ever, who cannot be persuaded, who cannot be swayed from their initial opinion on anything? Once again, there is a difference between harassing a woman who has made it clear she wants nowhere near your dick and coy dating games wherein a woman says no to a man’s initial sexual advances as a step in the flirtation process, and it’s usually clear which situation it is for anyone who isn’t actually autistic. For someone who just wrote a point about body language and non-verbal cues, Dani sure as fuck loves to ignore them when they pop up in contexts she finds annoying.

89. Accidentally impregnated a women who doesn’t want a kid? Abortions cost money. Pay for half of it.

It takes two to tango, and abortions cost like $1,000, apparently. So sure, split the fee. Make it easier for everyone.

90. Accidentally came inside a woman without protection? Plan B is expensive. Pay for all of it.

What? What is the logic between points 89 and 90? As I said, it takes two to tango. Either you go halfsies on expensive Plan B pregnancy prevention measures, or you don’t. I don’t even get the internal logic of this one. A woman should be reasonably expected to pay $500 towards an abortion, but paying like $40 bucks towards a Plan B pill is just too much?

92. Examine your opinion on abortion. Then put it in a box. Because, honestly, it’s completely irrelevant.

Fuck you, Dani Beckett. Sincerely. You’re going to draft up hundreds and hundreds of points all about what men need to do for you, all about what men aren’t allowed to do, all about all the ways men fucked up, all about what men should do to be better–but men aren’t allowed to have any opinion on “a woman’s issue.” You can tell men what to do all fucking day. But their opinions on what women should do? Totally irrelevant. We don’t need to hear them.

But no double standards, guys. You know what? I take back my response to Number 89. Because if a guy’s input on the topic of abortion is totally worthless, I guess you don’t need any of his totally worthless money to help pay for one.

95. Believe women’s pain. Periods hurt. Endometriosis is real. Polycystic ovaries, vaginal pain, cystitis. These things are real. Hysteria isn’t.

It is though? Yeah, the old-timey definition of hysteria as “any mental or physical issue that makes a woman slightly discontent” is from a bygone era, obviously. But hysteria as a specific sub-type of anxiety is a thing. Congratulations on being so woke on mental health that you ignore an actual mental health issue because at one point the same terminology was used in a sexist manner.

All of those other things are also real. We’ve already talked about the various womanly pains and how they’re real and should be taken seriously. What did you cut out of this list if this repetitive bullshit is what you decided was crucial to keep?

97. Lobby your elected officials to implement high quality sex education in schools.

Heeeeeey, something that would actually be helpful. That’s a pleasant surprise for this list.

99. Do not ever assume you know what it’s like.

You’re not fucking special, Dani. And wait a minute, did you take it upon yourself to mindread and assume what’s going on in men’s heads and assume you know what their mental and external experiences are like in this very list? Multiple times?

Is that lack of an understanding only a one-way street where men perpetually know nothing but women just understand the trials and tribulations of all genders instictually?

100. Mainly, just listen to women. Listen to us and believe us. It’s the only place to start if you actually want all women to have a “Happy International Women’s Day.”

Oh, I wish I hadn’t taken it upon myself to listen to you, Dani Beckett.

This was fucking exhausting.

100 Ways White People Can Make Life Less Frustrating For People of Color: A Response

So, this article has been floating around. And I’ve been dead for a while, so why not spend two hours writing responses to this nonsense in the hopes that some white guilt-ridden 20-something will stumble across this instead and maybe not be riddled with self-hatred. Don’t worry, man, I’m a black woman. You can listen to my dissenting opinion without feeling dirty.


 

As someone with very low tolerance for racist bullshit, I’ve managed to surround myself with white people who are cognizant of their privilege and strive to make the world a less terrifying and frustrating place for people of color. This means that I often deal with said white people asking me what they can actually do to affect change.

You’d think someone with a low tolerance for racist bullshit would know when they were being unduly prejudiced against a group based upon race, but that observation skill is a one-way mirror, apparently.  That second part sounds really fucking awful. How low does your self-esteem have to be for your preferable company to be comprised of people who suck your metaphorical dick and think you’re wise and inspirational just for existing with a skin tone?

“What can we do, Vice journalist Kesiena Boom, to make your life more beautiful? What knowledge do you have to bless us lowly melanin-deficient scum with today?! Truly, just a spark of that raging inferno of insight existing within you would be enough to make my meager body alight with righteousness!”

So here, anxious allies of the world, are 100 simple ways to be the change. It’s not nearly comprehensive, but it’s somewhere to start. Go forth and disrupt our harmful racial paradigm!

When you have to describe your own allies as anxious because they’re so openly scared of doing something wrong around you, you’re probably a shitty ally to them. I guess I’m just in the wrong for thinking that allyship was supposed to be a two-way street. “Yes, go forth and disrupt the harmful racial paradigm!” said the person who divides the world into White People and Other as a means of determining who gets what treatment and who gets certain rules applied to them. That’s not a paradigm at all!


 

1. Just because you can’t see racism around you doesn’t mean it’s not happening. Trust people of color’s assessment of a situation.

How can this not just as easily be applied to white people saying that they’ve experience racial discrimination? Just because you can’t see it, doesn’t mean it’s not happening. You have to trust their assessment and their unique perspective.

We don’t do this for anyone else. If Kathy was abandoned by her dad at age 10 and then goes on to have abandonment issues with every guy she dates, we don’t then take Kathy’s word for it when she says her new boyfriend Dan not picking up his phone immediately when she calls him means he’s a cheating scumbag. That’s Kathy’s honest assessment of the situation, but it can be wrong, you know? Kathy having bad experiences in the past doesn’t mean she’s right on the money every time she thinks that’s what’s happening. People get that. But a POC maybe being mistaken about the racial overtones of an interaction or an event? Heavens no! There’s no need to ask any questions or require any clarifications when a black person thinks racism is afoot!

2. Don’t assume that all people of color share the same views. We are not a monolith.

Said the person who compiled a list of things that apparently all POC want all white people to do.

Said the person who also likes surrounding herself with white people who treat her as the voice of black opinion and black wokeness.

3. Don’t assume or guess people’s races. This is NOT a fun game for us.

Speak for yourself. I have a Racially Ambiguous Bingo game going. I just need to wear a headscarf for like a day, then I’ll sweep the fucking board! No one shall defeat me! Quick question: Are POC also not allowed to guess people’s races, or is this just a rule white people have to follow?

I also want to point out that one number down from “We are not a monolith” is this author using the royal Us to refer to the opinion of an entire group of people. An opinion that this brown person doesn’t agree with, shock of all shocks. It’s almost like claims of not being a monolith only apply to opinions she doesn’t mind brown people differing on. All the important stuff–like how annoying those white bastards are–is something we can all agree on.

4. If someone tells you they’re from Uganda, don’t say, “I went to Nigeria once!” Just, please.

Don’t ever leave the United States, hon. You’ll get a lot of “You’re from Tennessee! I went to California once!” conversation starters. International ignorance is not just a white people thing.

5. Related: Don’t refer to Africa as a country. It’s a continent and it’s wildly varied. Yes. Take a moment.

Who does this besides people who are stupid and don’t know the difference between countries and continents? Also, once again, don’t ever leave the United States. The USA and its culture is alternatively “Texas” or “New York City” and nothing else as far as most people abroad are concerned. It’s almost like people who aren’t from a place and who have no practical reason to know the slightest amount of information about it are prone to over-generalization or something. Hey, Kesiena, tell me about all the varied cultures and goings on of the UK. It’s an island made up of very separate and distinctive peoples, you know?

6. Oh, and rest assured that literally no person of color ever wants you to get back from holiday, show off your tan and excitedly exclaim, “Look, I’m almost as dark as you!” Cease and desist.

You know, I was expecting this list of Things That Would Make My Life Easier to be a little more substantive. I guess not having to spend two seconds hearing a stupid joke doesn’t not not make my life less frustrating.

7. Don’t assume that a person of color knows everything about their country of heritage. Do you know everything there is to know about America? Germany? Sweden? That’s what I thought.

But you’re being low-key oppressive if you don’t know enough about the geography of countries you have no connection to, whitey! Break out that Atlas and get to studying that basic knowledge your American public school education denied you or you’re raaaaaaaacist.

8. Don’t assume we can run if we’re Black, do math if we’re Asian, have drinking problems if we’re indigenous…

DO assume that we’re all oppressed and unhappy, though. Also, assuming that someone is racist because they’re white is fine. Stereotypes are fun.

9. Regard us as autonomous, unique individuals, not as representatives of our race.

I refer you to my response to Point Number 2.

10. Don’t make embarrassing jokes to try and be “down” with people of color. We’ll laugh at you, not with you.

Embarrassing jokes are lame on their own, not white people making embarrassing jokes specifically. What, is an Asian kid allowed to be cringey as fuck without you putting his cringe on a list of things that make your life hard? What’s with the unnecessary racial delineations?

11. Don’t rinse our culturally specific memes. They’re ours. Go enjoy that weird one about the plums.

Aw, cultural appropriation. The “Get off my lawn!” of sociology. Segregating cultures is great. Separate but equal, right?

12. If you’re at my house party, don’t turn off the Weeknd to put on Arctic Monkeys. (Okay this one is very specific but it happened to me once and I’m not over it. The audacity!)

I love the Arctic Monkeys. They brought back garage rock in a time that desperately needed it. Way to assume that no brown person likes garage rock, Kesiena, ya racist. Just for that, I’m going to listen to Suck It And See for the rest of this writing sesh.

The Weeknd is amazing when he’s channeling the 80s and just really boring when he does anything else.

13. Avoid phrases like “But I have a Black friend! I can’t be racist!” You know that’s BS as well as we do.

Aw, Kesiena, that probably broke all your sycophantic white friends’ hearts.

14. When you endlessly complain about how terrible white people are, you are being that terrible white person. Jeez.

Wow. It’s damned if you do, damned if you don’t here, isn’t it? “Why can’t white people be more openly cognizant of how bad they are? What, this white person is being openly cognizant of how bad white people are! Aren’t they just the worst.”

This is why Trump won.

15. Don’t say shit like, “I know what it’s like to be a person of color…I’m a ginger!”

HEY. That’s their word.

16. Don’t question someone’s Blackness if they’re light-skinned. It’s not your place. Other Black people can make sure that light-skinned Black people are cognizant of their privilege.

So they’re not even allowed to tell a privileged person to check their privilege if the person in question is slightly tanner than them? The fact that any white people support this movement where they’re seen as a perpetual nuisance even if they do everything you want them to is amazing to me. The amount of self-hatred rivals Kesiena’s self-esteem issues.

I love how this reasoning is pretty much: “Only Black people can question other Black people’s Blackness, not you!”

17. Never try and tell a person of color what is or isn’t racist.

“That cop who gave me a ticket for punting a toddler through a plate glass window was being racist!”

“DeAndre, I don’t think getting a ticket when you’re actually doing something wrong is rac–.”

“HOW DARE YOU QUESTION ME.”

18. When you find instances of racist bullshit online, please don’t send it to us. We know racism exists, thanks.

But if you don’t do what you can to spread the word about racist occurrences, you’re being a bad ally.

19. Read something already written about it rather than coming to your friends/acquaintances of color looking for hot takes on anything and everything appropriative a Kardashian/Miley Cyrus does. We don’t wanna think about this shit 24/7!

Holy shit! The Kardashians are vaguely brown, and this article mentions them as people who can do wrong! Oh brave wonders! I have serious trouble believing that you don’t want to think about this shit 24/7. This is like a Buzzfeed writer saying they don’t want to think about things only 90s kids remember 24/7. I don’t believe you.

20. Understand that some days are even more mentally exhausting for people of color thanks to the news cycle. Try not to badger us for our opinions on the latest atrocity that has occurred. Leave us to grieve.

$20 bucks says the next point is about how you’re racist if you don’t want their opinion on the matter.

21. But when we do have something to say about it, listen.

BOOM.

22. Share articles relating to the everyday experiences of race and racism written by people of color.

But I thought they weren’t supposed to share racism-related things with you because you knew already? Did you just forget writing that point?

23. But don’t be that person who is weird and sycophantic and loves to demonstrate their wokeness constantly to the people of color around them. Be thoughtful.

I refer you to the preamble of this piece, wherein Kesiena says she only hangs out with white people who frequently go to her as a source of wokeness.

You have to openly care about the trials of POC and support us and empower us. But not too much, because then you’re a sycophant, and that’s laaaaaame.

“‘Oh, what the hell,’ she said. ‘I just can’t win for losing.’ And she laid back down . . .” Oh my God, I’m a brown person who just quoted an early 2000s Rob Thomas song. That probably gave Kesiena an minor stroke.

24. Read books by people of color. I recommend Sister Outsider by Audre Lorde, The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander and literally everything that Junot Diaz writes for great insights into Blackness.

I believe I’ve said this before, but I’m a black writer. Don’t read my works just because I’m black, you patronizing, condescending assholes. Read my books because they’re interesting to you, or not at all. Soapbox: Done.

25. Watch shows that are created by people of color i.e. Atlanta or Insecure. (Seriously, if you haven’t seen Atlanta, you need to watch it. Now.)

Ew. Now I feel dirty for liking a show that this person likes. I guess I’ll edit this point to be more appropriate.

25. Watch shows that are created by talented people i. e. Atlanta on FXX or Happy! on Syfy (where Elliot Stabler and a unicorn voiced by Patton Oswalt hunt for serial killers on Christmas).

26. Have a critical eye when watching TV and movies. How are they portraying people of color and why? What purpose does it serve?

I bet you’re the kind of person who wonders why black people don’t get cast more. Hint: They’re not going to hire someone who is perpetually followed around by think pieces attacking the career and moral character of everyone involved.

27. If you go to an art gallery, notice how many works are by people of color. If it’s lacking, make some noise, send an email, query the curator. White people shouldn’t have a monopoly on what can be considered art.

Fuck appreciating the art that’s actually there! It was made by whiiiiite people *hiiiiiiiiisssss*

How would you even do this? I have a pretty white-sounding given name, so how would you even be able to tell that I was indeed an artist of a more acceptable skin tone when all you have is the art and my name attached to it? I guess that would force you to judge the value and merit of something based on its actual content and not the skin tone of who made it, though. Must be hard.

28. If a character you assumed was white in a book is portrayed by an actor of color in the movie, embrace it. Whiteness is not the default.

Unless that character explicitly was white, in which case they were race-lifted for no reason, but that’s still also okay, because diversity.

Hey, Kesiena, can we do an American remake of a K-drama and recast them as non-Asian? Is that okay? Korean is not the default, after all. Is it okay as long as they’re recast as non-Asian but also non-white? If so, you have a double standard on your hands that bears addressing.

29. Support plays written by and acted in by people of color. The world of theater is overwhelmingly white.

“Support plays written by and acted in by white people. The world of theater is overwhelmingly black.”

“Support films written by and acted in by black people. The world of film is overwhelmingly Jewish.”

“Support book written and published by men. The world of literature is overwhelmingly female.”

“Support films written and acted in by conservatives. The world of film is overwhelmingly liberal.”

“Support hip-hop written and produced by Jews. The world of rap is overwhelmingly black.”

“Support cartoons written and published by white people. The world of animation is overwhelmingly Asian.”

Which of these are problematic, and which aren’t? $50 goes to the winner!

30. Refuse to go to club nights or drag shows or burlesque nights that use culturally appropriative acts.

How dare those places try to be interesting by putting other cultures into the act! Don’t they know cultures are supposed to stay separate and unchanged by outside influence or incorporation–there have been multiple points on that topic by now!

This is also very indicative of the kind of crowd Kesiena is going for. Hey, working class father of four living off of food stamps and still struggling to make ends meet after the power company laid off 200 workers from your sector, stop going to drag shows where Trina Fabulous wears a kimono in one dance number.

31. If you have kids, buy them dolls of color and books with characters of color.

What if the kids don’t want those? If they want those things, sure, buy them. But am I just weird for being under the impression that you ask kids what items they want before you get them? I guess you can awkwardly force your racial views into Christmas gifts if you want, but that makes you a cringey parent.

32. Support crowdfunding campaigns for cultural products created by people of color if you can.

What if it’s a person of color who isn’t making a cultural product? Can they just go fuck off? What if it’s a cultural product made by someone who isn’t a person of color? Well, I already know what you think about that. Appropriation REEEEEEEEEEEEE.

33. Donate money to grassroots movements around you that are run by and support people of color.

This is actually a really fucked up point, the more you think about it. By all means, donate to local grassroots movements that do good work in your area. They could usually use the help. But why are you relegating them to movements run by non-white people/only helping non-white people?

Yeah, I know you started up a literacy program to fight this county’s staggering drop-out and illiteracy rates, but you’re a white guy, so . . .

Yeah, sure, you started up a food program to help impoverished children have lunch in the summer time when food stamps aren’t enough to provide more than two meals a day, but you’re helping mainly white kids, so . . .

That’s fucked up, Kesiena.

34. Support small businesses owned by people of color.

That struggling small business down the street floundering in its attempts to compete with mass merchandisers like Wal-Mart, though? Are they white? FUCK ‘EM.

35. If you’re upper or middle class try to avoid moving into an area that has historically been populated by low-income people of color. Gentrification tears communities apart.

They can move into areas that have been historically populated by low-income white people, though. That gentrification is fine. No white people got priced out of Nashville or Albuquerque once the hipsters started moving in.

36. Don’t assume people of color can’t speak English.

If you’re one of those liberals who thinks we should have open boarders and no language-learning requirements (as I can only assume you are), you can’t also get pissed off by people assuming that someone who looks and sounds like they’re from Mexico maybe doesn’t speak English.

37. But also be patient if our English isn’t perfect. Are you bi/tri/multi-lingual? Probably not. It’s hard.

Hey! A point I actually agree with! One for thirty-seven, I guess.

38. In general, just don’t assume we want to be white or want to assimilate. And don’t pressure us to do so.

This is just a double standard. I think Dan Harmon’s Community explained it best: Why does X have to accommodate and support Y being special and different, otherwise X is a bad person, but Y doesn’t have to do anything to accommodate the feelings and comfort level of X in return?

39. Recognize that you can’t assume someone’s religion based on how they look. Not all South Asians and Middle Eastern people are Muslims, not all Black people are Christian, not all East Asian people are Buddhist. You get the idea.

Hey! Another point I agree with! And so close to the other one, too, We’re on a roll, Kesiena!

40. Remember that not all people of color are straight.

Hey, we’re getting into the intersectionality clusterfuck now! Who wants to bet the next point is one that totally ignores the comparatively higher levels of homophobia/transphobia found in racial and ethnic sub-communities such as African Americans?

41. Remember that people of color are not inherently more homophobic than white people.

Called it!

42. People can be Black and gay and disabled and trans and middle class. Blackness is expansive. It doesn’t look one way. Keep this in mind.

Blackness is expansive! It encompasses all the disabilities! *laughs hysterically*

 

43. When we talk about race, we’re not just talking about men! Repeat after me: Intersections of race and gender exist.

I am a strong, independent black woman who don’t need no man. Mmmmm hhmmm.

Hey, Kesiena, you want to talk about how almost 99% of black people killed by cops are men? Men’s rights? What’s that?!

44. Remember that it is Black women and Native women and mixed race women who are most likely to be raped in their lifetimes in America. You cannot be an advocate against sexual violence without considering the impact of race.

I . . . think you can, but okay. Needlessly racializing rape like that’s going to improve local police department funding for rape kits seems like you’re losing track of the plot, but you do you, boo.

45. Don’t ask Black women if it’s our “real hair.” And don’t judge Black women for wearing wigs or weaves or having relaxers.

But they’re appropriating Europe and Asia, Kesiena. How dare they. Why can’t people ask us if it’s our real hair? People aren’t allowed to ask benign questions about hair care now? Also, way to juxtapose women being raped with . . . being slightly annoyed about questions about hair texture. Those are equivalent.

46. Don’t touch our fucking hair.

I’m starting to believe that this doesn’t actually happen that much outside of the lunch line in elementary school. I lived in Japan for a while. People were way more interested in touching my hair over there. Were they being racist? Or does their Asian-ness save them?

47. If you have a Black girlfriend, please make sure that your shower is always adequately stocked with conditioner. Never that 2-in-1 stuff!!! We beg you.

This list is really furthering the stereotype that the only ones obsessed with black women’s hair is black women. A disproportionate amount of this list as been dedicated to the topic.

48. Never try and pull any uninvited “race play” shit in the bedroom. Seriously, what the fuck?

Lol. What?

Lequisha and her boyfriend Kevin are getting hot and heavy. Lequisha is into it until Kevin breaks out the early-1990s-def-jam-comedy voice and has to pay $200 and go back to start. Why are you kink shaming people? For shame.

49. Actively try to identify and unsubscribe from orientalist tropes i.e. believing that East Asian women are naturally more submissive or docile. People of color are people, not characters.

Black people can believe the Love You Long Time stereotype all they want, though. It’s not racist because reasons.

50. If you call a woman of color “exotic,” you deserve to stub your toe every day for a year. Do. Not. Do. This.

What if she is, though? “Exotic” is a relative term. If you’re a white guy from Minnesota, a Latina from the Bronx is going to be exotic. I guess if she’s exactly like you culturally and behaviorally but is just a brown chick, calling her “exotic” then has uncomfortable racial undertones, but that’s a more specific situation. GASP nuance.

51. Also, saying “I’ve never fucked a Black/Asian/Native etc. person” to someone you’re trying to hook up with is a one way ticket to hell.

I guess I agree with this one. This is yet another example of this writer telling people not to be cringe as fuck in their interactions with other humans like being cringey is somehow a trait owned by the white race.

52. If you have such fetishistic thoughts, just don’t even bother coming near a person of color.

Find us attractive! Women of color are beautiful! Not finding us attractive is a sign of inherent racial bias!

If you’re attracted to us because you think our race is an attractive physical feature, you’re wrong and raaaaaaaaaaaacist.

53. Remember that having mixed race children is not a cure for racism or a way to live out weird racial fantasies.

Here’s a tip for helping your movement grow, Kesiena. Maybe don’t tell mixed race people such as myself that our parents are still secretly racist and awful. It doesn’t endear me to you or your cause, believe it or not.

54. If you’re trying to start a mixed raced family, sit down and deeply interrogate your intentions.

What the fuck is wrong with you?! “Deeply interrogate your intentions,” as if people wanting to have kids with their significant other have some nefarious, selfish ulterior motive about proving how non-racist they are. This just goes to show the kind of bubble Kesiena and the people she is writing to live in: Only the guilt-ridden, white Bay Area liberal would be someone who you actually feel the need to tell, “Hey, don’t invest the entirety of your adult life to another human being to the point of starting a family with them just as a way of proving how WOKE you are.”

Something tells me we’re going to get into the parts of this list that actively anger me.

55. If you do have mixed race children, make sure that they have access to people who look like them and who understand their experiences.

Kesiena, I’m going to tell you this as a brown-skinned mixed raced woman: My parents trying to force this was one of the most annoying and alienating aspects of my childhood. My mother is white and my father is black. I do not know my father. My white mother and her mother raised me. Them forcing me to hang out with other black people–for your exact reasoning of me “needing” to be around people who looked like me and understood my experiences–fucking sucked. Because I was a nerd and an atheist, and–shock of all shocks–I didn’t really enjoy the time I spent around my strictly Southern Baptist black “cousins” who made fun of me for liking books. It’s almost like personalities and compatibility of interests matter more to compatibility than race or something.

My best friend for the entirety of elementary school was a black girl. I hung out with her and her family because I liked them as individual people. We became friends the first day of kindergarten because I liked her and she liked me, not because my parents forced me to go hang out with one of the other black kids because “I needed to.”

If a mixed race kid wants to know more about their ethnic heritage and wants to be around people of either/both of their backgrounds to be more in touch with that part of their identity, go right on ahead. But forcing that on them as something that’s necessary for their development does not help–it arbitrarily boxes them into a category that they don’t even fully fit into, all whilst making them believe that it’s incredibly important that they identify with something that they may or may not even care about, and is a really fast way to give them a complex about “not being X enough.”

56. If you have a partner of color or children of color, trust and believe that you can still be racist. You’re not exempt. If anything, you have even more of a duty to examine your behavior for the benefit of your loved ones.

You see? This is why people shouldn’t date interracially! And why they definitely shouldn’t have interracial marriages or mixed race kids. Why don’t the whites just stick with the whites and leaves us colored folks to ourselves so we don’t have to deal with ya’lls awfulness.

57. Take your racist family members to task for the shit they say over the dinner table or via social media.

Yes, do encourage more one-sided social media stratification and familial alienation. That’ll do wonders for our generation’s plummeting mental health.

58. Confront your colleagues who say racist shit unchecked at work.

Don’t do it too much, though! You don’t want to be one of those white people, ya know what I mean? Seriously, it’s the same list. You can’t even be consistent within the same list.

59. Look around your workplace—are the only people of color cleaners or assistants? What can you do to change that? (The answer is almost never “nothing.”)

Yeah, pull some Inverse Magical Negro shit and use your white power to get the black janitor a job as the new company CFO. Mighty Whitey to the rescue, here to insist that the boss bring in more of the colored folk. Note to whomever’s reading this: Please don’t ever put me in the super awkward position of being the one person everyone knows is only there because Craig from accounting kept bitching about how we need an affirmative action hire.

60. If someone asks you to fill a role that you think a person of color would be better suited for, recommend a talented person of color who you know and forego the position yourself.

So literally, “deny yourself individual progress for the sake of my individual progress.” Okay. I’m gonna go ahead and assume that no one with anything resembling ambition and life goals is going to take that advice.

61. Don’t make us be the de facto diversity guy at work. Or at least pay us extra to do the labor of diversifying the workplace.

What?! You want to be paid extra literally for existing whilst not white? That won’t cause any racial tension or resentment among the staff at all!

And you wonder why conservatives accuse you of always asking for handouts.

62. Refuse to speak on an all-white panel. Regardless of the topic.

That’s racist as fuck. Talent and knowledge are not dependent on or mitigated by skin tone. To say otherwise is to essentially treat minorities and white people as interchangeable entities worth nothing on their individual merit and achievements, only deriving value from their unchangeable and mutual demographic attributes. It doesn’t matter how qualified two white people are–they’re both white and are therefore interchangeable. It doesn’t matter how qualified two black people are–they are both black and therefore interchangeable. We only need them for their skin tone. #Problematic.

Moving on.

63. If there are only a couple of people of color in your seminar, don’t weirdly stare at them when the lecturer poses questions about race and expect them to answer everything.

This would probably happen way less often if people like you stopped making every conversation that mentions race awkward as fuck to the point where there’s nothing to do but defer to the non-white person as the only human in the room whose opinion is safe.

64. If you’re in charge of making curricula, make sure there is work by people of color, especially women of color, on the reading list. And not just in the weeks dedicated to race.

Tokenize your curricula, guys! Remember: all women of color are interchangeable, just make sure you have enough of them at any given time! How many white people are making curricula anyway? Who is this for besides guilt-ridden members of leftists academia at this point? That’s a really hyper-specific sub-group in no way encompassing all white people.

65. Commission people of color to make work about race.

I’ll commission whatever the fuck I want, and so can white people.

66. Commission people of color to make work that has nothing to do with race.

Nah, you ruined it with that first point. It’s made overwhelmingly obvious that you only care about 65.

67. Don’t say things like “there are two sides to every story!” or play devil’s advocate when it comes to conversations about race.

Say it with me, folks.

This is why Trump won!
We don’t need to hear what anyone else thinks! They’re just bad. Acknowledging that different perspectives exists? Shut up!

68. In those situations, just listen.

Can a non-white person play devil’s advocate? Will you listen to the life stories and opinions of people you’re not morally obligated to care about then?

69. It’s never useful to say stuff like, “But what about the white working class!!!” Have you thought about non-white working class people’s needs?

I hope you don’t call yourself a communist or a democratic socialist or whatever, because that’s some bullshit. FUCK poor people if their race makes them someone I don’t feel like caring about!

And you wonder why poor white people don’t like liberals? How about the fact that you literally just said you don’t care about their very real, tangible problems because another group you’ve deemed more worthy of empathy and compassion is also poor sometimes?

You can fuck right the fuck off with that.

70. Don’t? Vote? For? Racist? Politicians? Can’t believe I need to say this one but it seems like possibly, maybe, some of y’all did not get this memo.

Tell that to the majority black populace of Atlanta or Newark who vote in black politicians who routinely and overtly fuck them over, but that’s apparently okay because “representation.”

71. Research your candidates. Who has progressive policies that won’t needlessly criminalize people of color? Vote for them.

Yeah, I know Jill Stein was a science denying anti-vaxer who thought homeopathic remedies should be used to treat polio. But at least she wanted to legalized weed! Give her your vote!

72. Remember that Black women are not here to save you from yourselves. You’ve gotta put in the work, too.

What?

73. Be cognizant of how your whiteness could be weaponized against Black people. i.e. white women, don’t play into stereotypes about Black men being inherently threatening to you. It gets Black men killed. See: Emmett Till.

This causes some Oppression Olympics issues. Women are apparently perfectly justified in being paranoid about men and the inherent danger of them and their toxic masculinity, and rape culture, and whatnot. But a situation that this author would probably lift up as the true lived experience of women if it was just non-specific women being afraid of non-specific men is now bad because it’s a white woman being afraid of black men.

74. Use your white privilege to be on the frontline between people of color and the police at protests. You’re at much less risk than us.

So . . . If Keith takes a truncheon to the face and fractures his skull, what did his white privilege do for him, again? Also, way to ask people to be human shields for you, that’s not borderline-sociopathic or anything.

75. Record police encounters you see involving Black people.

And when you record that the overwhelming majority of them go fine, don’t tell anyone, because that would ruin the narrative we’ve got going on.

76. Share alerts when ICE is planning a raid.

Do white people get texts from ICE with their weekly memo or something? How are white people supposed to know this?

77. Stand up to Islamophobia wherever you see it.

Hey, Hassim should be able to behead all the atheists and roof-throw all the gays that he sees fit! If you think him doing those things is bad, you’re being raaaaacist.

78. If you have ever thought a phrase like “Black lives matter” is too assertive, consider why you’re so uncomfortable with Black people standing up for our humanity.

It’s not too assertive. It’s not assertive enough. Go here for my reasoning. I’m not explaining that shit again.

79. Listen when Black people say, “I’m not comfortable in this situation.” You’ve seen Get Out, haven’t you?

Yes, I have seen the fictional thriller movie about white people stealing your body to use as a puppet to be young and hip. You realize that movie was an intentional exaggeration playing on paranoia, right? The juxtaposition of that film and real life is that in real life, most white people don’t have any malicious intent in their uncomfortable awkwardness, but the film is playing up the paranoia that they do. This is literally just another point telling people not to be cringe. I get it!

80. If you haven’t seen Get Out, watch Get Out. Understand that the everyday horror is real.

Yes, the everyday horror of hanging around awkward liberal white people trying to prove how not racist they are by being overly hip and indulging in positive stereotyping that may or may not be accurate. The horror. I feel bad for Jordan Peele. His relatively impressive directorial debut is going to be used as a think piece for lazy sociology majors for the rest of his life instead of being appreciated as an actual film.

81. Question whether you have double standards when it comes to drugs. Do you think it’s cool when white weed entrepreneurs make tons of money but think that Black people who are found to have traces of marijuana in their systems deserve to be thrown in prison?

Sure. This seems more like a class thing than a race thing–looking at you rich liberal arts college kids who openly do coke in your dorm on the rich side of town with no repercussions, while your janitor’s son just got thrown in prison for smoking weed two neighborhoods over. But who am I kidding, we already know this author doesn’t give two shits about class divides.

82. Don’t have dreadlocks if you’re not Black, just don’t. Beyond being offensive, it’s just not suited to your hair type. Do literally anything else with your hair.

Hmmm, what should I talk about after I address the horrifying reality of the American prison industrial complex? I know! I’ll tell people what hairstyles they are or are not allowed to have based off of race. Those are of equal impact and importance. I in no way cheapened the relevance of unjust drug enforcement by likening it to people wearing hair I don’t like.

83. Don’t refer to things as your “spirit animal” if you’re not Native. There are other ways to express affinity with something.

Wait a minute . . . didn’t you just say that it’s racist to conflate races/ethnicites with religious beliefs? And here you are a few points down conflating animistic spiritual beliefs with Native Americans, which is some old timey shit that not even most Native Americans alive today subscribe to. Way to go. You did it. I’m proud of you. Inconsistency is your spirit animal.

84. Do not compare the exploitation of animals to racism. Ever. I’m deadly serious.

Oooo, sick vegan buuuuuuurn.

85. I can’t believe I even need to say this in 2018 but here we go: Don’t wear Blackface.

What about tasteful black face?

86. Don’t even think about saying the N word. Even if you’re alone. Even if you’re listening to rap. Even if you’re alone and listening to rap.

Fuck context and human linguistics and the ever-evolving usage of words. That hurts our feelz. How is telling white people what to do when they’re fucking alone something that makes your life less frustrating? Whew, I was having a bad day, but just knowing that Bob down the hall is having his private language policed makes me feel much better.

Edit: This is extremely worrying seeing as how a teenage girl in the UK wound up getting arrested, prosecuted, fined, and given a curfew for the horrible crime of . . . posting rap lyrics written by a black person to her social media page, as a tribute to a deceased friend of hers who loved that particular rap song. It was “grossly offensive” because she was white and the lyrics contained the word nigga. All this talk about how context doesn’t matter is actually fucking dangerous. It’s getting innocent people arrested and punished for no reason.

87. Similarly, don’t use the word “g*psy” or “p*ki” or “r*dskin” or any other racial slur. Even if you’re repeating what someone else said or reading from a text.

Context doesn’t matter! Hey, Kesiena, you just typed all those awful words. Go flagellate yourself for your crime.

88. That includes the word “colored.” “Person of color” and “colored” are not the same. Trust me.

They are. Trust me.

What woman of color are you going to listen to?! OH NO!!!1!!1!11

Seriously, you can’t write three points about how context means fuck all and then say, “Oh, but context matters here, so these essentially identical terms are different now.”

89. Understand that America has what it has because it stole land from indigenous people and stole people from Africa.

Sure. You can say that about literally every other country, just swap around a few racial categories. That’s how societal development worked back in the olden days. You don’t have to like it. That’s how it worked. Go play Civilization. Saudi Arabia was built on the backs of black slaves! That’s past tense. It’s built on the backs South East Asian slaves now. Progress!

90. Care about race on the 364 days that aren’t Martin Luther King Jr. day.

Once MLK Jr. Day comes back around, though, you can give it a one-day breather.

91. Also, don’t whitewash his legacy and use it to argue that Black people should just take what they’re given lying down.

Read: Don’t criticize violent rioting in the streets that mainly harms the very communities this author is trying to protect.

Or I can only assume. That’s usually what this reference means.

92.Think about how race is operating even when people of color aren’t around. Be cognizant of it wherever you are, whichever situation you’re in. People of color have to, so should you.

FEEL GUILTY. FEEL IT.

93. Remember that your queerness/womanhood/transness/class background/disability doesn’t exclude you from white privilege.

‘Dat Oppression Olympics is real.

94. Make your feminism useful to all women rather than calling yourself an ‘intersectional feminist’. Show, don’t tell.

Well, steam-spouting intersectional feminists are annoying, so . . . sure?

95. Don’t assume, full stop, that you can understand what it’s like to experience racism. You can’t. That’s the whole point.

What if they’ve actively experienced racism before? Do they still just not get it?

96. Understand that nothing in your life has been untouched by your whiteness. Everything you have would have been harder to come by if you had not been born white.

Your backbreaking, low-paying, no-union factory job that’s already eaten two of your fingers and blackened your lungs? Easy to get ’cause you’re white. That staggeringly low for the first world literacy rate? Easy to get ’cause you’re white. That skin cancer? Waaaay easier to get ’cause you’re white.

97. Be grateful for the lesson when you’re called out on racism, getting defensive won’t help.

Back in my day, we had one color tablet! And it was WHITE. And we were THANKFUL. 

Can you tell I’m tired of this list, yet?

Can the white person be defensive when they’re called out for being racist even when they weren’t being racist? Oh yeah, I forgot, the people doing the calling out are never even slightly wrong or mistaken. POC are always right, white people are always in the wrong. We know. We get it.

98. Move past your white guilt. Guilt is an unproductive emotion. Don’t sit there mired in woe, just be better.

Honey, I don’t think any white person reading the list of 100 Things They Need To Do To Stop Their Existence From Being A Nuisance to Not-White People is going to get past their white guilt anytime soon.

99. Recognize that fighting racism isn’t about you, it’s not about your feelings; it’s about liberating people of color from a world that tries to crush us at every turn.

Affirm my victim complex! Do nothing to question it! The world is like a game of Unfair Mario for all non-white people, all the time, and no white person has ever had the deck stacked against them at any point. Don’t ask for any nuance or further clarification. That’s racist.

100. And remember: Being an ally is a verb, not a noun. You can’t just magically be an ally to people of color because you say you’re one, it’s something that you must continually work on.

It’s like Christianity. You’re never not tainted by horrible, horrible Original Sin, but sucking Jesus’ dick at most given opportunities is a good way to make up for it. Don’t worry, you’ll get paid back when you die.

#FreeDankula (also known as #WTFUK)

Holy shit, guys. I never thought that I, as an American, would be able to criticize another first-world Western country for authoritative overreach without it smacking of terrible irony. But here we are.

A bit of background: A jolly, ear-gaged British internet personality by the name of Count Dankula got into some legal trouble last year when he posted a short video of him pranking his girlfriend. What was this prank, you ask? Did he roofie her? Did he send her death threats over the phone? Did he secretly feed her ill-gotten birth control pills in the form of tiny snacks and sundries? No. Those kinds of things would actually harm someone and warrant legal action. No, he was annoyed by her gushing over how cute her little pug-dog was, so he decided to troll her by teaching the pug to raise its paw every time he said “Zieg heil,” because nothing is less cute than a Nazi.

Apparently, thinking that Nazis are the exact antithesis to cuteness and goodness is . . . encouraging Nazism? I don’t know. That’s what the British government thinks, because Count Dankula is now going to prison–fucking prison–for hate speech and being “grossly offensive.” The British legal system is sending a guy who likes gallows humor to the same place as child traffickers and rapists and guys who inject meth into their eyeballs before beating someone to death with their bare hands. He’s getting sent there for being crude on the internet.

What the fuck, Britain? I live in the United States. I hardly have any leg to stand on when it comes to criticizing other countries for imprisoning people for stupid reasons. But this is ridiculous. Everyone knows it’s ridiculous. I hope Dankula is set free as soon as possible and gets a heaping paycheck courtesy of the British government for undue pain and suffering. I personally don’t think the joke was offensive. (The joke is literally “Nazi’s are bad.) Even if it was offensive–even if you could find some objective means of measuring that out and determing that yes, Dankula said a totally mean, problematic thing, that still would not warrant legal fucking action. Being offensive is not something the government should be able to bear down on you over. I don’t care if it’s an actual Nazi in question who went on Snapchat and made a video about how gassing the Jews is awesome. You don’t arrest people for being unpleasant. You don’t arrest people for having demonstrably shitty beliefs about something. You don’t arrest people for thought crimes. 2018 Scotland is acting like goddamn Soviet Russia, sending people to gulags for complaining too loudly. This is messed up.

I’m sure you can see how ridiculous this is. Instead of going into it anymore, I’m just going to provide a list of all the people I can think of, off the top of my head, who should be arrested and/or detained for being “grossly offensive,” according to the UK.

1.) British native Ricky Gervais, who, in his most recent comedy special, made a joke about how he preferred Hitler over people with nut allergies. Obviously, making light of genocide.

2.) Bo Burnham, who has written song lyrics such as “and if we met in 1941, I was a Nazi, you’s a gypsy on the run,” and met it to be funny even though it’s about the Holocaust.

3.) Writer Dan Harmon who, in his show Rick and Morty, conceptualized a character named Abradolph Lincler, a combination of the goodness of Abraham Lincoln and the evil Adolf Hitler who was met to be a morally neutral world leader. Because acknowledging that Hitler was bad in a joke is unacceptable.

4.) Musical comedian Stephen Lynch with his hit song “I Think You’re a Nazi,” all about making light of problematic racism.

5.) All those people who take film clips of Hitler freaking out and sub-titling it different to make jokes when they should totally know that Hitler was a bad guy and not a laughing matter.

6.) The guys who make Epic Rap Battles of History, who featured a comedic portrayal of Adolf Hitler making Holocaust jokes non-stop not once but three times.

7.) Jewish comedian Larry David, who makes frequent Holocuast jokes in his show Curb Your Enthusiam.

8.) YouTuber JonTron, for once making a joke about how a Chinese rip-off of a Disney game featured a blimp with swastikas on it. Obviously not taking Nazism seriously.

9.) Quentin Tarantino, a film director who, in his fim Inglorious Bastards, featured Adolf Hitler as a villain but also had the gall to depict those who killed him as bad people as well. Evil, anti-semetic hate speech at its finest.

10.) Me and my friends, five academically and socially upstanding young adults who have never harmed anyone in our lives or broken any major laws, because we have an inside joke about heiling Hitler that we laugh about sometimes.

A Last Word on #MeToo, Human Awkwardness, and Witch Hunts

Oh my god, guys. Trump said a thing maybe. Look at him! Oh no, he said Haiti was a shithole and that Norway was nicer in comparison. Oooooh noooo. He is wrong in his assessment, and a meanie, and I bet he gets poor grades. I don’t wanna talk about this shit. If Trump even actually said that, he’s a buffoon who doesn’t know what PR is and that’s about it. Moving on.

* * *

I’m back, bitches! Grad school prep in conjunction with literary forays sucks and is time consuming. This will also be brief, because those are still things I’m doing! I just wanted to give some quick input into the latest controversies with the #MeToo “movement” that’s been going on. I’ve already discussed the topic once before, but it just seems like more needs to be said with some of the more recent bouts of rhetoric coming from that camp that I think are genuinely very troubling from a social and psychological standpoint.

Now, there are plenty of people who have an immediate negative knee-jerk reaction to criticizing #MeToo. It’s people finally outing rapists and scumbags who’ve gotten away with their immorality and exploitation for years. How can you have a problem with that, right? My problem is that it’s gotten to the point where people are being dropped by their agents and studios for simply being accused of something. And, worse than even that, it’s gotten to the point where the accusations themselves don’t even have to be all that damning to lead to that outcome. It used to be accusations of rape, pussy grabbing, and public masturbation. And I already had issues with those claims being believed wholesale for obvious reasons. But now those serious maybe-true-maybe-false career- destroying accusations have turned into “This male celebrity touched by lower back once, and upon further thought, I’ve now decided that it made me uncomfortable,” with the same career-destroying effects.

This is not okay. This is a witch hunt. I know people who support this movement start frothing at the mouth whenever anyone dares bring up that point of rhetoric, but it’s getting more and more difficult to deny. Left-leaning social movements like this one always have problems with cutting the bad fruit off of the tree, and this new mentality of internet-lynching every celebrity who some woman claims was a bit too pushy once is that bad fruit. Margaret Atwood, the explicitly feminist author of the Handmaid’s Tale (a book all about gendered oppression and misogyny and objectification and male entitlement to women’s bodies) has been called a rape enabler by the #MeToo crowd because she expressed concern for lack of due process in these harassment and assault accusations. Margaret fucking Atwood.

There’s the obvious case of Aziz Ansari,  who went on a really awkward date once, with that being spun as him being Part of the Problem (TM) by the #MeToo people. Also, go ahead and add Aziz Ansari to the list of Men Who Respect Womyn who only seem to be doing it to compensate for being an asshole either currently or in the past. Awkward sexual encounters that you regret going through with are now prime pickings for retroactive claims of abuse. And that is terrifying.

The worst part of it all is that I think there genuinely is a seed of something helpful here. You could genuinely use the Aziz Ansari “controversy” as a conversation starter for appropriate behavior with sexual conduct and reading body language and being clear and open with potential sexual partners. But instead of that actually helpful usage, articles about his case have turned into “articles that should be required reading for all men,” according to my liberal arts college friends.

FUCKING SHIT. This is why progressives are being intellectually and culturally curb-stomped. This shit right here. You have a perfect glowing example, lit up in the sky with neon lights and jittery pyrotechnics, of a Teaching Situation–a perfect real-world example to teach people about consent and healthy sexual interaction. A PERFECT EXAMPLE. And you use it, instead, as yet another thing to bash men as a sex/gender over the head with. It’s all men‘s fault. It’s all patriarchal entitlement’s fault. Men need to learn. Men need to be taught not to rape, doncha know?

Instead of using that case as a way to give everyone a lesson in how to make your limits and comfort zones clear in a budding sexual situation, you turned it into another example of how men are the ones who need to do all the learning and make all the changes, about how men should know better. It’s ironically incredibly misogynistic: Women, apparently, have none of these responsibilities. Women are apparently incapable of totally consenting to things because they’re just too weak-willed to make their boundaries clear, and a man not abiding by boundaries that he hasn’t been told about is apparently totally and entirely at fault while the woman is totally faultless and the victim.

That chick’s date with Aziz Ansari could have been a lot less awkward had she actually told him that she was uncomfortable with how fast things were going; but her keeping quiet and feeling gross afterwards is apparently all Aziz’s fault because he should have been a mind reader who could tell that she didn’t really want to suck his dick even when she consented to sucking his dick. I’m not even letting the dude off the hook here–he’s a grown man and should be better at reading body language and social cues that indicate someone being uncomfortable even if they don’t explicitly tell him so. But to act as though he’s entirely at fault whereas his date did everything right and did nothing to contribute to that awkward discomfort herself is flat-out wrong. The whole point of consent is that it is mutual–a mutual understanding between two people about what each of them wants and the limits each of them has. When your rhetoric makes it seems like consent is a one-way street–that it’s the man’s responsibility to uphold and be mindful of it while the girl has to do fuck all–your rhetoric is being misogynistic. Your rhetoric is painting women as unequal partners in that sexual encounter, the partner who has no responsibility to have that conversation or make their feelings clear, to ensure mutual consent, because they just can’t be trusted or expected to. What?!

* * *

This is also incredibly awkward for other reasons that I haven’t seen touched upon that much. As you all know, those on the left side of the spectrum seem to be more prone to cultural relativism than those on the right. “All cultures are equal, just different,” and all that jazz. Speaking as a girl who has dated and/or been asked out by men from different cultural backgrounds on multiple occasions, #MeToo’s obsession with painting awkward romantic/sexual encounters as assault/harassment might come back to bite them in the ass. Will they choose women or brown people? Who knows?

Personal shit alert. Warning you now. From personal experience, South Asian men (culturally, not just racially) are waaaay more sexually aggressive than what a lot of girls are used to. I have been in situations nearly identical to the scene painted by Aziz Ansari’s accuser, identical and sometimes more extreme: Super awkward encounters where the guy was far more enthusiastic than I was and didn’t seem to notice even when I thought I was making my lack of interest very clear. I regret those encounters. I find them awkward. They made me feel gross then, and they make me feel gross in retrospect. Do I think those guys are more than a bit asshole-ish for totally ignoring my body language and social cues? Yes, I do. Could they benefit from a talk about consent (and I mean a real talk about consent, not a “men are the bad guys, teach them not to rape” talk)? Probably.

But they didn’t assault me. They didn’t harass me. They “coerced me” in only the most basic “peer pressure” of senses. I didn’t fear for my safety. I just wasn’t good at expressing myself. I wasn’t good at making my boundaries clear. I wasn’t good at telling people what I was comfortable doing, because intimacy is embarrassing enough without talking about it beforehand, and it’s even more embarrassing to push someone away from you even when they’re having a nice time. Call that a stupid mentality all you want. It is. But that’s the one most sexually inexperienced people–men included–have. Everything is awkward, and there are people who never learn how to openly talk about it. And you should be encouraging that openness and comfort with sexuality for people of all genders instead of just telling men how much they suck.

Now, if I had done those things—if I did have those discussions, or if I did push the guy away and say “I’m not cool with what you’re doing”–and they still went through with stuff, that is assault. Call that out. The problem is that the #MeToo movement and its social media supporters have shown themselves to be woefully ill-equipped to tell the difference. And I worry about that. I really do.

People are fucking awkward. Human beings are awkward. #MeToo’s current standard for what they find to be “totally unacceptable, misogynistic behavior” doesn’t allow for any of that. It doesn’t allow for error. It doesn’t allow for mistakes. It doesn’t allow for misunderstandings. With their standard, my first high school boyfriend, who is a great guy and who treated me with nothing but kindness and respect, is Part of the Problem (TM) because a seventeen-year-old not being sure how physical intimacy works and holding you a bit too close or putting his arm around you when you’ve never really engaged in PDA before and weren’t really expecting it is bad. That’s perpetuating rape culture, doncha know?

Just . . . fucking shit, guys.

The Young Turks Supports Misogyny

Yeah, how’s that for a clickbait title? I can do it too, Buzzfeed. I can do it too.

To make things perfectly clear, I don’t think the folks over at the Young Turks support misogyny. I’m just doing some clever role playing, providing some ironic commentary.

So what happened? Cenk Uygur is the creator of the Young Turks (TYT), a very popular left-wing news commentator on YouTube. He also helped establish the Justice Democrats, a left-wing party that is against neo-liberalism and corporatism, with the intent of getting said Justice Democrats elected into major offices. And almost twenty years ago he made some very crass and insensitive comments about women while online. That may not seem like such a big deal to you, but, to quote ‘Bino: “Because the internet, mistakes are forever.” And, boy, did this mistake hit him hard, to the point where he may or may not resign as the face of the Justice Democrats because of it.

Here is the official Justice Democrat’s response:

We are deeply disturbed by recent news regarding & David Koller. Their language and conduct is horrifying and does not reflect our values at Justice Democrats. We would be hypocrites to not act immediately and ask for their resignation.

I bring this up because it raises some interesting questions about how we, as a society, should proceed. We are living in the midst of a full-blown societal moral outrage, where anything that we don’t perceive as perfectly aligned with our morals and values needs to pack its shit and GTFO. This is not me throwing leftists and liberals under the bus, by the way. The last widespread moral outrage in the US had right-wing evangelicals to blame, and there are plenty of triggered alt-righters and garden-variety conservatives cropping up in the mean time.

The thing stereotypical SJWs, right-wing and left-wing identitarians, and modern day populists have in common is that they all seem to require constant virtue signalling in order to remain a part of the club. This effectively means constant policing of morality of those both within and outside of their respective clubs. What’s happening to Cenk right now is the same thing that happened to the Bible thumping, anti-gay marriage Republican senators who were found out to have frequented gay bars back in their college days. It’s the same thing that happened to Lauren Southern when her significant number of alt-right fans found out she dated a brown guy once. It’s the same thing that happened to Pewdiepie, where some hack “journalists” scoured old vlogs for any off-color jokes they could find. It’s the same thing that’s happening to all of these liberal actors and entertainment stars who maybe touched a girl’s ass without asking once, thirty years ago. There’s absolutely no room for compromise. As the Justice Democrats stated outright, they would be hypocrites if they didn’t immediately excommunicate Cenk Uygur from the church for violating one of their most sacred laws.

And I’m just wondering how much longer the Morality Police and its ridiculous, ever-fluctuating standards of “what is moral” will be able to sustain itself in this day and age. All of the aforementioned shitstorms occurred because of the internet. Old photos uploaded to social media, old blog posts, old e-mails sitting in a forgotten account somewhere, people they used to know cropping up on Facebook or Twitter and letting the world know all these new and interesting things. If you make it your job, not only your job but your moral imperative, to make sure everyone you associate with is clean and pure from beginning to end with no regard for context or how much time has passed, then no one is going to be spared from this.

It’s almost 2018. The people who are young adults now hardly remember a time when they didn’t have some kind of online social media. The 18-year-olds just entering into the adult world have never lived in a world without online social media. And yet here we are, using the internet and digging up things from decades ago–almost two decades in Cenk’s case–in order to cast moral aspersions on people who may or may not even stand by what they did as though that moral judgement is totally and completely valid, no caveats necessary.

Cenk said piggish, sexist comments about women and how they’re defective because they don’t put out more back when the iPod was a new thing. This isn’t me saying that his comments were totally fine. This isn’t me saying he’s a great guy who gets too much flack. This isn’t me saying that the comments should just pass under the radar because “it was a long time ago.” What I am saying is that you can’t judge people for things they did or said in the past as though that questionable action just occurred, as though its something you can do anything about now, without even bothering to address the situation any further. And, when you’re playing Morality Police, it’s certainly not something you can use as a legitimate form of moral judgement. Can you imagine what kind of precedent this is setting for future social and political discourse?

“Senator, we have written verification that, thirty years ago in a YouTube comment section, you called someone a fag. Why are you homophobic? Why do you hate the gays? I can’t believe how immoral you are.”

“Our records show that, back when you were twenty-two, you made insensitive comments to one of your friends on Facebook. Why are you such a sociopath?”

“We have footage of you fifteen years ago given a speech at a Democratic convention, so why are you running as a Republican now? You hypocrite. You’re just taking advantage of people.”

It completely and utterly lacks any sense of scale. If you did something once, if you said something once, that must mean you stand by that thing forever. We can act as though nothing has changed whatsoever. And if nothing has changed, or they committed a legitimate crime, sure–rake them over the coals. Go through all the legal things necessary and called for and expected. If they most they ever did was give voice to a thought crime or do something a bit asshole-ish, that’s a situation that requires more thought than immediate banishment from the tribe.

Have they changed their opinion since then? Have they changed their behavior since then? Have they actively denounced the bad thing they did? Is the “bad thing” only a bad thing by some ever-changing societal standard that it’s unrealistic to judge any past actor by? Is the “bad thing” only a bad thing by your own incredibly subjective standards? Can they explain themselves and their past thoughts or behavior in a satisfactory fashion? That’s all very relevant to how we should currently be judging them and their character, and none of that shit matters, apparently. Because when you’re policing someone’s Moral Character (TM), the broader the brush, the better. If that thing’s any smaller than an industrial paint roller, you’re doing it wrong.

And, oh yeah, go ahead and add Cenk Uygur to the list of Men Who Respect Womyn who just seem to be compensating for being an asshole either in the past or currently.