A Black Person Answers. . . 27 Questions Actually Directed at me for Once

Oh my God, Buzzfeed. This video is still mainly learned helplessness distilled into audio/visual format, but (kudos where kudos is due) I recall saying that I didn’t think you’d have the intellectual integrity to make a “black peoples’ questions for other black people” video, and you proved me wrong. You actually made it, and I am both legit surprised and happy about that. Thank you for actually being consistent.

So first I responded to black liberal mouth pieces talking down to white people. Then I replied to the nonstop white guilt on steroids that was the follow-up video. Now, Disorderly Politics goes where its never gone before by responding to a video actually addressed towards it!

Now let’s answer Buzzfeed’s 27 Questions Black People Have For Black People!

Why is it so hard to be on time? Why does five to ten always become twenty to thirty?

Is this a thing? Is it a stereotype? I’ve never heard of lateness as “a black thing.”

Also, I’m just gonna go ahead and assume that benign racial stereotypes are going to be okay here even though they wouldn’t be if white people were involved, acknowledge the hypocritical nature of it, and just move on.

If my dab is on fleek, am I lit?

God, I feel so old. What?

Why is it a problem if I like anime?

Hey, a legit point! The answer is that black communities in America have essentially always relied on creating insular spaces away from other people and the influences of other people. Anime is, in that way, an alienating thing from outside the “black bubble.” And if that’s not the reason, it probably has something to do with anime being associated with geekiness, which is mistakenly seen as interchangeable with nerdiness, and nerdiness is “a white thing.” And being associated with a white thing is bad.

That being said, I like anime. I’m in Japan right now largely do to young me being enamored with anime. I’ve also talked about the borderline bullying I went through at the hands of other black kids for “being an Oreo,” bullying that I didn’t get from any other racial group. That all being said, the blerd community is pretty extensive and visible at this point. It’s not that hard to find us nowadays. And yes, the fact that we still have to call ourselves “blerds” because nerdiness is seen as so antithetical to blackness that being a black nerd needs its own qualifier is stupid. But I don’t think you could honesty treat this like a pervasive attitude anymore.

Why do black people look at your shoes before they greet you?

Is this a thing? I don’t do this.

Why are we more likely to engage in a new dance trend than we are to get involved in politics or open a business?

Yeah, now you choose to acknowledge that black people are part of mainstream, trend-following culture. That definitely wasn’t the case when you were bitching about white people following stupid trends like they were the only ones who did that.

Also, I think this traces back to the anti-intellectualism you find in the black community. Ever since the sixties (ie, post-segregation), insular black communities started putting “intellectual pursuits” below things like sports or musical prowess when it came to impressiveness. I don’t know if this applies to the business thing. I’d be willing to bet that most stores in black areas are owned by black people. I’m too lazy to research it, but the “black people don’t start their own businesses,” idea seems a bit farfetched to me.

 

How did watermelon become our thing? Everybody should love watermelon.

This is just a rehash of your fried chicken joke from the white people video! Write new jokes, Buzzfeed, God. Also, I’m allergic to watermelon, so I definitely don’t love it.

Why do you get upset when I don’t like a black celebrity? Race aside, some people are just terrible.

I agree that this is stupid and this is something black people do sometimes. But I’m gonna go ahead and pull the first of many bullshit cards here because this video is on Buzzfeed. Buzzfeed: the king of treating people who don’t like certain things or people as some kind of -ist. People didn’t like the pretentious chick who made Selma because they’re racist, don’t you know? Also, we need to support our black celebrities because institutionalized racism, and we need representation, and blahblahblaaaaah.

Why do we call each other the n-word but get vehemently upset when a white person  using the n-word? It drains my soul to hear the word, and I just don’t understand how people who have any understanding of history can use that word.

Another actual point, but once again I call bullshit. Also. Nigger. Nigger. Nigger. Nigga, nigga, nigga, nigga, nigga, nigga, nigga (that’s a song lyric, by the way. Black artistry at it’s finest). The n-word? Are we fucking twelve? Oh no, I just said the f-word, somebody go call my parents.

I agree that it makes no sense to vehemently insist that the word “nigger” is inherently and objectively awful in every conceivable way.  . . If you’re white. If you’re black it’s totally fine and not bad to say at all. It’s stupid. It’s a fast way to ingrain the word into public consciousness as something awful even though, in the end of the day, it’s six letters and two syllables of a totally arbitrary language system, and the fact that “nigger” can be used as a term of endearment or just a placeholder just goes to show that acting like words have objective power and weight doesn’t make sense. I think the black people who get all up in arms over someone else using “our word,” context and intent be damned, are dumb. And the other races perpetuating that knee-jerk, irrational offense taking by reverting to children afraid to even say the actual word are doing nothing but making that word’s arbitrary power and sway over people worse.

All of that being said, though, screw you. People can say whatever the fuck they want. You don’t like the word “Nigger”? Fine. Don’t say it. But you have no authority to tell people what they should or should not be saying because you find it offensive. Those other black people clearly don’t find it offensive, in certain contexts at least. Why should they? Because you think it’s unforgivabley awful, and you’re black, and they’re black, so they have no choice but to agree with you, otherwise they’re idiots? Shared skin tone doesn’t mean shared opinion.

Also, fun fact for people who love to bring up history as an excuse to be brought down to your knees in pain by hearing a word: “Nigger” does not and never has been a slur for black people exclusively. It is a catch-all slur for anyone thought of as lesser by someone else. Yes, it’s most associated with the racism of American slavery and the years following. But that doesn’t negate the fact that, at the same time, Irish and Italian people were being called niggers too. Also anyone from Eastern Europe. Also South Asians. But it’s okay because the South Asians in turn used it to apply it to South East Asians. Also, African slave traders (who already had a wide array of slurs for lesser people before white people showed up) refered to their African slaves who they sold to Europeans as niggers. And, according to the racial slur database, anyone can be a nigger, a qualifier (like sand-nigger and the like) being totally optional as far as being an asshole who calls other people racial slurs goes. So yeah, history is a dick to everyone.

Why is my natural hair, the hair that grows out of my head, a political statement.

Bullshit card! Someone should start keeping count. Buzzfeed, you have absolutely no room to talk on this point. You have backed yourself into a corner with one phrase that I know you support: “the personal is the political.” I know you support this phrase because your website is one of the first to talk about the dreaded culural appropriation. This is an argument that constantly instists, I remind you, that hairstyles are political things, expressions of culture by default. This is why white people are “appropriating black culture” if they ever wear dreads or an Afro, according to you. Hair existing a certain way for a certain group of people is apparently an expression of a shared cultural trait.

So, long story short, random-pretty-haired black girl, you can complain about this if you don’t also complain about white people appropriating your culture by perming their hair. Those are two dissident beliefs that can’t be held at once without some major cognitive dissonance. Either hair is just hair, or it’s an expression of your blackness. I don’t know which one you think because I’ve never see  you before. But I sure as fuck know what Buzzfeed thinks on the matter, so I call bullshit.

Why do we think people with light skin look better than people with dark skin?

I know terms like “high yellow” and whatnot were used in the past to differentiate light skinned black people from “less-attractive”dark ones. I don’t really see this as a cultural thing at this point though. Some black people engage in this line of thinking, but is it pervasive? If anything, it seems to be a matter of extremes, from what I’ve seen. Being really light is pretty, and being really dark is pretty. And the rest is kind of up in the air. So, I think this is stupid, but I don’t know if “black people” are doing this to the extent you imply they do.

Do you really believe that black is beautiful, or is that just something you say because it sounds cool?

I don’t think black is beautiful, and I don’t say it because I don’t think it sounds cool. Individual black people can be beautiful, but most people aren’t “beautiful,” black or otherwise. I’m all for self-esteem, but this 20-something obsession with being beautiful is stupid, and it’s also kind of sad if you’re attaching your self worth onto your skin tone like that. If you’re going to insist that you’re a beautiful, worthwhile person just by default, the least you could do is attach that insistence onto something you actually had a say in cultivating. You can’t control your race.

Yeah, I get it. You say it to combat Western  beauty standards. I know. But you’re taking it a bit to far, in my opinion. Beauty standards are dumb and arbitrary. Hardly anyone actually meets them. The white girl down the street is probably just as far off the mark as you are. Stop treating unattainable beauty standards like they’re important, and they won’t be important.

Why do some people say that you’re pretty ‘for a dark-skinned girl’? When that is said to me, it still makes me feel like the ugliest little black thing.

The people who say this are racists. Funny how black people can be racist assholes too, right? Also, how often is this said to you? You act like it happens all the time. Does it? Because if it does, I’m gonna go out on a limb and call your experience an outlier, because even racists aren’t this blatant most of time.

Why do some black men only date white women?

Because that’s what they find attractive? Unless you’re going to start dictating to people who they can and cannot find hot (which Buzzfeed seems to want to do, so I guess this makes sense), I don’t know what you want done about this.

Why is it okay for black men to date white women, but not okay for a black woman to date outide her race?

I don’t know. This confuses me too, actually. It’s like a weird inverse of Asia where it’s way more acceptable for women to have non-Asian boyfriends than the other way around. So yeah. Pass.

Why do you protest black lives matter, and then tear each other down in the next breath?

I protest Black Lives Matter because Black Lives Matter is an awful organization that took a perfectly legitimate grevience and turned it into an excuse to just endlessly play the victim whilst behaving like aggressors in high-profile events and getting nothing constructive actually accomplished. Is that a good enough explanation for you? I don’t have to support something just because I’m black. People have opinions. This is the equivalent of assuming all Jewish people have to support Israel’s war policies because they’re Jewish and Israel is Jewish, what Israel actually does in reality be damned.

What does “tear each other down” even mean here? In the context of this question, you pretty much just asked, “Why do you not support black people, and then go on to not support black people?” What? I will object to things black people do, if said things are objectionable. Is that what you mean? Isn’t that what you’re doing right now?

Why do we say that we don’t want to be seen as a monolith but then try to take people’s black cards away for not liking something that is supposedly black?

Bull. Shit. Buzzfeed. Bullshit! “We are not a monolith!” my ass. In your previous point – two seconds before this point – you had your panties in a knot over black people not supporting something that black people as a monolith are suppose to support. Not to mention your previous race-based videos where you had your infuriatingly regressive black employees speak for all black people. I think that black people aren’t a monolith, but Buzzfeed clearly does. Because that makes a complicated issue simple by reducing the number of parties involved.

And this does happen. In high school, I was effectively a white kid as far as my “authentic” schoolmates were concerned. But Buzzfeed has once again backed itself into a corner where it has no room to comment on black people judging other black people. This happens, once again, because of isolationism in black communities that promots the need to have a distinctive “black” identity, and a further cementing of the definition of “black” as simply not being like the other races. But Buzzfeed’s version of separate-but-equal diversity wouldn’t help this in the slightest.

Why are we so quick to support a non-black owned business, but then hesitate when it’s a black-owned business?

Does this  happen?

Is there a cut-off time for the whole homophobia in the black community thing? Because I’m really looking forward to that.

The black community is one of the most religious in the country. It is very socially conservative in many respects. If it weren’t for current Republicans constantly using the Southern Strategy to get votes – therefore alienating non-white political actors – the majority of black people would probably vote Republican, at least on social issues. I hate to keep bringing it back to this, but anti-intellectualism is probably to blame here again. This is slightly different because the black community’s religiosity and lack of tolerance for more secular views dated back way before the 1960s. They were an oppressed class, religion gave them hope and a solid community bond. That is still the case now, and seeing as how most anti-gay rights sentiments stem from that strong religious conviction angle, it makes sense. It should also change. But that’s why it’s like that.

Why is growing up without a father so common in our race?

Lots of reasons. I don’t have a father, so this is super relevant and stuff. This is an incredibly multifaceted issue. To be brief: A youth culture that glorifies having many sexual partners with little to no emphasis on responsibility, combined  with America’s broken welfare system that makes getting steady employment less lucrative than just staying home, combined with the school-to-prison pipeline that effects impoverished communities, combined with lack of knowledge on safe sex, combined with a normalization of single-mother homes leads to this. And children who grow up in environments where this is the norm are more likely to continue this cycle. It’s pretty bad. But it’s also something ultimately based in personal autonomy, ie, only the black community can do something about this. So I once again am forced to call Bullshit, simply because Buzzfeed has demonstrated time and time again  it’s reluctance to acknowledge personal autonomy in the black community.

Why don’t we like to confront our mental health issues? Therapy is such a wonderful, magical place.

Don’t glorify therapy like needing it is cool. Fucking hell, Buzzfeed. A.) Therapy is expensive and not a luxury many people can afford. B.) Religiosity, again. And C.) the black community is one that still oftentimes views mental health issues as a choice (much like Asian societies). Therefore, someone with issues “just needs to get their shit together,” and that’s the end of that. I agree that that doesn’t make a very healthy society, but the regressive left’s constant infantalization of mental health issues isn’t doing any favors to the cause.

Why is there a checklist for being black?

Ask that to the people who love playing the identity politics game.

Why is being educated considered a white thing? Why can’t I love school and also be black?

I already answered this. “School is for white people!” says large chunks of the black community.

I will use this as an opportunity to make a clarification, to avoid any accusations of hypocrisy which could be made without clarification. I am against generalization. You know this. Why then, do I refer to “the black community” in a more general fashion yet object to white people being generalized as a community? That is because, outside the deservedly-mocked racist groups like the KKK, there is no solid “white identity” or “white communit” in America.

In America, white children are typically raised in environments where their race is not important. They are raised under the auspices of being an individual because ethnic-cultural identity isn’t really an important thing. White people in America, excluding recent immigrants, are often laughed at for saying “Oh, I’m Irish,” or “My family is Scandinavian!” like those are deep, cultural connections they have when that is not the case.

The closest I can get to an example of a “white identity” existing in America is with Italian Americans, maybe. And with them, as you can see with the name, they form a community by having a shared Italian identity, not a shared white one. The “white community,” in that sense, does not exist. White people are not told to have any kind of kinship or shared identity with other white people. They’re just not.

Black people, on the other hand, are told that. This isn’t cultural. It’s not about being African or Carribean. It’s about having a skin tone – being Black. And black people in America are typically raised to regard being Black as something important. They are encouraged to have a strong connection to and a pride in their racial identity as Black. Black children actually have better self-esteem than other children because their sense of racial identity gives them a firmer sense of self at that age. Black people are typically encouraged to feel kinship with other Black people on the basis of being Black, and they form communities around this. Because of this, “the black community” is a distinct entity based in being an insulated and unique racial group, and it has its own ideas on how to maintain this separate community and maintain the “black identity.” Because the black identity, unlike the white one is taught to be deeply important. I was raised by my white family, and even they felt the need to enforce upon me the importance of my racial identity. My white grandmother went out of her way to make sure I felt a connection to and kinship with black people.

So I feel more justified in referring to a black community than a white one simply because, unlike white people in the US, black people have created community kinship based in being a distinctive racial group that has it’s own stuff and it’s own values. All that said, I still like to stress personal autonomy, especially for black people, since it is constantly implied that we have none. It is embracing the idea of individualism and lauding our abilities to determine our own actions and cultures that will get us out of this trap. But I feel like black people have been fed the notion that they absolutely need to place importance on racial connections, which makes enforcing individualism difficult in many cases. And the regressive left is not helping. Explanation over.

Why do I have to be mixed in order to have long hair?

What?

Why do you think well-off black people don’t know what it means to be black? Black isn’t only defined by adversity.

So.  . . Where does privilege factor into this then? I agree with the sentiment, and think that equating blackness with necessarily facing adversity is cynical and self-defeating. That being said, the entire idea of white privilege is based in the notion that being anything other than white is defined by necessarily facing problems that others don’t. So.  . . Are black people inherently victims of adversity or aren’t they? Another BS card for you, Buzzfeed.

Why do some black people say “Oh, I have Native American in my family,” in order to feel interesting or more valuable than other black people around them?

Isn’t this something that everyone does? Isn’t that a joke about Americans? That people brag about being like 1/36th Cherokee like that means anything?

Why can’t we just acknowledge that there are a bunch of differnent types of black people walking around, and they’re all amazing and unique and special in their own way?

Fuck  you, Buzzfeed. People are individuals now, huh? When did you decide on that? Because apparently, black people are homogenous enough for you to know what they think about all things. Also, I’m gonna need you to go back and say that “there are lots of different types of people walking around and they’re all unique and special and blahblahblah” speech about white people. Because the need to acknowledge the individual does not begin and end with you. But I can only assume that saying something nice about the Whites would give the entire Buzzfeed staff a fucking heart attack.

We, within the black community, are so quick to tear each other down and look towards other races in terms of their success and in terms of what they have, but never want to look in the mirror ourselves.

How is the black community supposed to look in the mirror and make some much-needed changes without “tearing each other down”? Hell, an article from The New Republic (which is quickly turning into Buzzfeed under its new management) called black people  self-hating and problematic for even daring to suggest that police violence was a two-way street and that black people contributed to the issue too, not just cops. So are you and your ilk going to stop screaming Uncle Tom and victim blamer every time someone points out that the black community could make some internal improvements independent of white people and their actions?

If not, shut up.

I love black folks, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have questions.

“I love white folks, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have questions.” Guess which racial group you’re allowed to express love for and which sentence makes you a creepy racist!

I’m done with this. I actually agree with some of the general  points made here, but this video still gave me an aneurysm just because of how incompatible it is with the rest of Buzzfeed’s very apparent thoughts regarding racial relations. Not to mention that, even when allowing black people to be surpsingly self – critical, this still falls into the identity politics pit that expresses contradictory sentiments of not being a monolith but totally all being a monolith at the same time.

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My Thoughts and Experiences with Affirmative Action

Fun fact! I didn’t know what affirmative action was until after I had already turned in my applications for college. Seven of them, only two of them in-state. All of them ridiculously expensive, with me hoping and praying that them touting themselves as loan-free providers of need-based financial aid wasn’t just something they put in their pamphlets.

It strikes me as odd now that I didn’t know what affirmative action was. I honestly don’t know how I managed to so thoroughly miss it in all of my research. But, somehow, I managed. I even remember when I first found out what it was:

I was at Amherst as a prospie or a pre-fresh, whatever you call it. The college had paid for my plane ticket, so why wouldn’t I fly up and check it out? I was talking with another prospie one night. He was Chinese American, and he was talking to me about getting the most for his money as far as picking a college went. He asked me if I was an affirmative action student, and I just nodded because I am excellent in social situations of all kinds. Later that night, I actually looked up what being an affirmative action student was, and I was confused, to say the very least.

Colleges had race preferences? Black people could be not as good as other applicants yet still be accepted over them? I was more okay with it before I started getting acceptance letters. It’s just another convenient thing to help me leave my shit town, right? I get a leg-up, isn’t that awesome?

But I worked hard. I worked my ass off. I took AP classes and rallied to get more of them so I could take those too, not content with simple Honors courses. I dual-enrolled at a local college my senior year. I ran my school’s newspaper for three years. I applied to writing competitions. I did everything I could to bring up my math grades. I went to conferences in the summer. I got to school early every day to be an English tutor. I taught piano to school kids. I worked my ass off.

And I didn’t just do those things to impress colleges. I didn’t even care about college until my junior year. I liked writing and tutoring and teaching piano. I liked having harder classes. I liked talking to my teachers. I liked being smart, as stupid and elitist as that sounds. But, as much as I enjoyed stereotypically nerdy things, I was still aware that I needed to be impressive, really, truly impressive if I wanted to go to the calliber of school I had set my sights on. I don’t care how much of a nerd you are, you don’t take the ACT twice along with a slew of SAT subject tests unless you have the extrensic goal of impressing a college interviewer.

I lived my life under the impression that I had to be a competitor. I had to be someone who could stand beside people who went to private New York boarding schools or charter schools in the city and not just be as good as them, but be better than them. With my economic background, I couldn’t rely on Daddy’s money or my parents’ connections to get me an impressive college degree and a good job. I had to prove that I was good enough to be there on my own, that I had merit on my own.

And it wasn’t until I got my letters back that I started to wonder. Was I good enough? Am I good and impressive, or am I good ‘for a black girl?’ Impressive ‘for a black girl?’ Was I just inherently not as qualified, with my acceptance focused on putting my face in a pamphlet next to a quote about diversity, and not on what I could contribute with my ideas? Yeah, she was probably not going to accomplish anything impressive, but hey, we can pat ourselves on the back for giving the black girl a chance, right?

After nearly four years, I’m still not sure if I was accepted only because my demographics look good on a piece of paper. Seeing as how I have a borderline crippling fear of failure and inadequacy, the notion that I wasn’t good enough but “fuck it they needed someone who looked like me in order to impress the Bay Area moralizers” is one that kind of makes me have a mini mental breakdown every time I think about it. It was necessary in a time when schools actively didn’t accept black students, but now? REALLY?

I just don’t understand how affirmative action, in this day and age, is something that is seen as helpful. It overlty fucks over perfectly qualified white people and Asians. It actually fucks over Asian kids more, so you even have to throw the “well, if it hurts white people it’s still okay” idea out the window. You can act like  Chinese kids getting rejected from Harvard for no reason  besides “we didn’t accept enough black kids yet” is a facet of white supremacy all you want. Everyone knows you’re talking out of your ass. And it actively ruins many minority kids’ chances at being successful.

Someone got in real trouble for phrasing this idea badly, so I’m going to be very clear here. You are not doing anyone any favors by accepting someone based upon race and gender whe  they otherwise wouldn’t be qualified. That is essentially setting them up for failure in an environment that they weren’t prepared for. Instead of letting someone go on to a program that they are qualified for and can grow and succeed in, you thrust them head first into a situation they are not qualified to deal with. This is not me saying that black people are stupid and should be cordoned off in air conditioner repair school. This is me saying that the black kid who gets a 25 on the ACT is not being helped by being thrown into a class made for kids who got 30s. That kid could have gone to a less rigorous college, improved there, and then applied to a more advanced school after that progress was made. But affirmative action bypasses that step and leads directly to failure for a good portion of students.

How many times have you heard social justice talking heads complain about low retention rates as if the fault is solely to blame on anti-black racism from the college? And this low retention  rate happens even with the myriad programs out there made specifically to cater to people of color in college in order to help them out even further. Not “people who need help,” mind you. Just “people of color,”as if those are synonymous, which is kind of insulting in of itself. But I guess that mentality makes sense when you pretty much know for a fact that a decent chunk of your non-white/Asian students are affirmative action kids.

This also contributes to the rampant anti-intellectualism found in the black community since the 1960s. Why try as hard as your white cohorts when you could conceivably get the same reward? Why spend as much time on that final report when it not meeting the standards will simply be dissmissed as an understandable byproduct of you being disadvantaged? Why be as good as everyone else when you’re not expected to be, and people are perfectly okay with lowering their expectations without it counting as a strike against you as far as you are concerned? Why try to be impressive when people are going to automatically assume that you’re not impressive on first glance. SJWs call that last one a micro aggression, but it’s a mentality that they created and cultivated. You cannot spend decades insisting that black people need help and that they’re not going to succeed unless someone gives them a leg up even when they’re not as good as someone else because them not meeting your standards is understandable, and then get insulted when  people assume that successful black people aren’t successful based on merit but because they got a leg up. You are the ones saying that. You are the ones enforcing the idea that the black community’s best and brightest are still only a 50 wat bulb compared to everyone else’s 100, and we just have to accept that.

And this is really sad, because it is yet another example of social justice painting black people as perpetual victims in constant need of saving, unable to succeed on their own merits, who you shouldn’t expect much from as a group. Not only that, but it’s telling black people to be okay with the standards being lowered for them, to see it as something so normal, so status quo, that not lowering your standards when regarding them is considered weird and racist. This is not empowering, people. This is empowering the same way giving the kid who came in last place a ribbon makes him a winner. The black community and its “allies” are insisting that standards should be lowered for them, as if they are permanently handicapped by having a dark skin tone. Even ignoring the incredibly low self-esteem that implies, as well as the unfortunate implication that black people can only succeed in situations tailor made to ensure that they do well, this mentality ignores people who actually are disadvantaged.

Being black is not an inherent handicap. I don’t even think the stereotype effect is a legitimate thing, but social justice people definitely do. Using the logic of that theory, them constantly insisting that ‘black’ should be synonymous with ‘disadvantaged’ is actually hurting more than it’s helping. And I’m actually okay with affirmative action if it’s based off of things that are objectively academically handicapping. Being a certain race is not an inherent obstacle anymore – unless you want to tell all the African and Carribean immigrants that being black is hindering them. Affirmative action based on class is something I’m fine with. If that was the affirmative action we had, I wouldn’t be complaining.

I grew up as a black girl in the Deep South. Being called nigger by a stranger in a passing car didn’t make me shit at geometry. Going to a school with one geometry teacher who was out all year with a broken knee and who was replaced by a series of progressively more incompetent substitutes because no qualified math teachers lived in bumfuck, nowhere made me shit at geometry. Being one of two black kids in the AP program in my school didn’t make it difficult for me to study for the exams. The AP practice book being $100 made it difficult for me. The other black kids calling me an Oreo didn’t stop me from filling out the Common Application for college. Not being able to afford a new computer after my laptop broke and being unable to go to the library because you had to drive there and my mom used my family’s only car driving two hours to work every day made it difficult to finish the Common App. Are you noticing a common trend here yet?

It’s hard to have a laundry list of extracurriculars and leadership positions when you spend all your time babysitting your four younger siblings. It is hard to take college level AP courses when your school doesn’t even have a Spanish class, let alone an AP program. It’s hard to take the ACT when your school does not require it and definitely does not help prepare you for it, and even harder to find the fee waiver information buried in the ACT website without a college counselor there to tell you it exists. It’s hard to fill out financial aid sheets when your parents are always out working and none of you would know what any of it meant even if they were home and your mom is embarrassed to give you her financial information. These are situations where someone not meeting the established academic standard actually makes sense. These are situations where leeway is actually warranted, because it’s not the smart kid’s fault that they were born in a place with no upward mobility and no chance to take Advanced Calculus or learn the cello.

Being black doesn’t mean any of those things apply to you. But, under the current system of affirmative action, the black kid who didn’t do as well on the SAT as he wanted is deemed the most disadvantaged by default. Because it’s institionalized racism’s fault that his scores are lower. The teacher administering the test was a white guy, and he was sitting next to a white person, and that just ruined his chances. Because, as you know, anything less than ideal test taking conditions is reason enough for doing poorly. It’s not like places have tried the weird “let’s segregate the classes and teachers!” idea and had it glean no statistically significant results.

The second generation Chinese kid whose dad is a sporadically employed construction worker and whose mom works at a nail salon sweeping the floors deserves to have points taken off his SAT score because his last name is Lin, which of course means that his family has to spend all their extra money on piano lessons so that he can do something to seem more impressive to the colleges they desperately want him to go to. The white guy living in a trailer in rural Kentucky who would play football if he didn’t spend all his time working at his neighbor’s garage to raise some meager funds for his sister who is knocked up at 15 deserves to be put at the bottom of the application list because his ancestors came over on a boat from Europe. Meanwhile, the kid who just didn’t do quite as well as he wanted gets special treatment because doing slightly not as well must mean that he’s faced tremendous adversity hindering him from reaching his full potential. That must be the case.

You want my solution? Take names, genders, and races off of college applications. Give everyone a number. Make sure the Common App has demographic-neutral topics. Have income level and citizenship be the only specific demographic information. Randomly trash a certain percentage, because the college acceptance game (especially for elite schools) would work better as a lottery anyway. Go through the rest. Accept people, and then figure out what they look like. And if your incoming freshman class does not have the demographics you want, that is in no way the college’s fault and you can rest easy knowing you accepted people based on merit and actual need. If you want to get rid of racial bias in college acceptances, focusing specifically on race is not how you do it.

The most ridiculous element of all of this, though is that, in my experience, the college system gives no fucks about people who are actually disadvantaged. This can and does include black kids, by the way – there are black kids who try super hard but who go to shitty urban high schools that don’t even have real names where the classrooms are packed and the teachers are incompetent. That happens, and they also deserve leeway based upon their financial situation. Even they wouldn’t be helped, though.

There are programs upon programs available to help people of color in college. Scholarships and clubs and special advisors and programs made specifically to connect people of color to other people of color to help networking. They are ever present. There is a new event every week for people of color. You know what isn’t though? Programs for low income students – you know, the ones who actually do inherently need some help. And seeing as how that “fast track to failure” idea can apply to low income students who aren’t prepared too, you would think that people would be chomping at the bit to help them.

You can throw a rock at my college and hit some demographics – based club. Black student society, afro-Latino, regular Latino, black immigrants, Native American, Asian American, multi-ethnic, etc. etc. My school got a group for low income students a year ago. A fucking year ago. We had to petition to get our college to pretend like it cared about low income students’ inexperience with financial aid processes which often screwed them over. Our work study program, which me and other low income students are required to do, pays less than minimum wage because “work study isn’t a real job even though we expect work study to replace a real job.”

Low income students typically have a very small number of options for summer programs and internships, which are the things that help you get a job, because my school provides almost no aid for them even though it says it does. My school told me it would definitely fund a summer program I was going to do, the money was already doled out and everything, I just had to ask for it.  But I had to pay over $1000 in advance since I went ahead and applied for it since they told me they would pay, which was money I didn’t have. So I spent half a year with $80 in my only bank account because that money I could get “at any time” did not work out that way. I had to get a loan to afford a plane ticket home. No one helps with that. Even the low income student group quickly devolved into its founders unabashedly making fun of a low income white student for daring to feel disenfranchised because he was held to high standards that he didn’t have the educational background to meet and was given no real assistance or aid and his claims of being disadvantaged were not taken seriously. The irony is palatable.

Meanwhile, the middle class black kids majoring in black studies who only ever hang out with their racial affinity group are skipping classes to protest because anti-black racism is rampant on our campus with a black studies department, black student center, multiple well funded black student clubs, black students advisors, a diversity dean, multiple scholarship programs in almost every field specifically for black students, multiple symposiums a year about race that favor the black perspective, funding for Black Lives Matter speakers, a program for black students to go tutor minority children, a demographic makeup where white people are the minority student base, a system made specifically to report and deal with racial biases, a general culture quick to scream racism at anything that makes a black student even slightly uncomfortable, and a black college president. Rampant, I say!

But what am I talking about?! Of course they should be allowed to skip classes their parents pay $60k a year for. They’re black! They weren’t going to do as well as everyone else anyway. No, it’s okay, we have a black alumni program to help them get jobs no matter what their grades are.

A Black Person Answers . . . Buzzfeed’s 24 Questions Black People Have For White People

Goddammit, Buzzfeed. I like your videos sometimes. This is just stupid though. Maybe if they were all tongue-in-cheek like the first question about scary movies this video would actually be funny, but it’s not. It tries to be serious. And to do the obligatory pointing out of the obvious, the double standard here is . . .  obvious. I doubt Buzzfeed is going to make “24 Accusatory/Villainizing Questions White People Have for the Coloreds” any time soon.

Let’s just get this over with.


Media and Culture

Why do you always make such horrible decisions in horror movies? It’s not cool to split up.

I agree! Seriously, white people. Paranormal Activity 5 even showed us what would happen if a bunch of Mexicans got haunted by that demon instead of you. Guess what? They’d shoot it and leave. Because we don’t fuck with ghosts and shit. Because we are smart.

2.) Why do you freak out when black people are cast to play white fictional characters?

I know non-white people, myself included, who fucking hate it when this happens. It’s counter productive. Does arbitrarily changing a pre-established character to be black “just because we needed one of those” really something that makes you identity politicos happy? Shouldn’t you be asking for more black characters to be created instead of just taking a character of another race and changing it because you feel like it?

When you do that, that newly “blackenized” character will be nothing but “the black X.” It’s not like the comic book reboot where Miles Morales is the new Spiderman. Miles Morales is a totally different character. They didn’t just make Peter Parker black out of nowhere and call anyone who complained racist. That changed character will never be their own character. Is that what you want? When you change a character’s race just because “we need diversity,” it doesn’t indicate that you are for having more racially diverse characters, it indicates that you just want less white ones. Equality . . . ? I would actually be okay with cross racial casting if the reasoning behind it was something other than “we just need one of those.” DC films casting Aquaman as a POC, for instance, I’m fine with – that casting had actual reasons to do with character perception and narrative. “Diversity!!11@1!!” is not a reason.

Why do POC freak out when a white person plays an originally non-white character in a movie? Oh yeah, because it’s racist.

What’s the big deal if Idris Elba plays James Bond?

Seeing as how the role of James Bond is always changing actors and I personally buy into the fan idea that James Bond is just a code name for multiple agents over the years, this is actually one of the few race changes I’d be okay with. James Bond just needs to be British. Idris Elba is British. Have at it. I already mentioned in another post why I think it’s weird that it’s only ever black people mentioned here. Where are all the people wondering why James Bond isn’t Chinese?

Why is a big butt and big lips considered attractive on a white woman, but they’re considered unattractive on a black woman?

Oh no, different things are considered appealing on different types of people? And that usually–as a result of stupid cultural beauty standards–entails something that that person isn’t naturally born with? It’s almost like how lots of people think black women are really attractive with light hair even though that’s almost never a natural hair color for black girls! But that would be appropriating white people . . . I guess.

Do you really think Miley was the one who created twerking? Really?

Why am I supposed to teach you how to twerk? I don’t know how to twerk.

Why do you want twerking?! It’s dumb. And everyone knows that Miley didn’t create fucking twerking. She popularized it. You know, the way Disney popularized fairy tales even though everyone knows they didn’t make those fairy tales. Maybe if there wasn’t a stereotype about white people not knowing how to dance, they wouldn’t ask you to teach them how. But stereotypes are fine when you’re indulging in them whilst making fun of Miley Cyrus, right?

Why is it that white people always act like they have “discovered” a new trend when people of color have been doing it for virtually years?

Because . . . they have? That’s how trends work, dude. They go on for a while as something only a small group of people does, then they get popular for some reason, then everyone else starts doing it. It’s like everyone all of a sudden loving Ed Wood films 40 years after they were made or Pokemon only getting popular after it came to America even though it existed years before that. Or man buns! Those are everywhere now even though I’m sure hippies were wearing their hair like that for years already. And this isn’t just “white people.” You do realized that black people are part of mainstream culture too, right? You do realize that there are plenty of trends that started in majority white spaces–like the man bun again? You just sound like a fucking hipster whose pissed off that Bright Eyes are more popular now because you can no longer feel special about knowing who they are.

Why is it when a black woman wears her hair natural, it’s seen as inappropriate, but when a white woman does, it’s praised?

This is the hair that I was born with, so you wearing it as a trend is not cute.

Where has this idea come from? I wear my hair naturally. It’s pretty much an afro. I’ve never gotten in trouble for it. And I’m pretty sure that, if this does happen, it’s not because you’re black, it’s because black people’s natural hair tends to be very big and most work places aren’t all that fond of 80s big hair anymore. One of my white friends had super-long and super-thick hair that she constantly got in trouble for because it was like a fucking lion’s mane. It went everywhere all the time. She got in trouble for her hair more than I did.

And what is even with that second one? So . . . you have a certain trait naturally, so other people who like that trait and think it’s pretty just aren’t allowed to have it because that’s not how God made them, I guess? Someone call up all the black girls straightening their hair and dying it other colors. That’s the hair my Scandinavian friend was born with, and you wearing it because you “like how it looks” is not cute. That goes doubly for any of you coloreds who even think that you can wear color contacts. Don’t think I’m being racist. White people, don’t you dare go to a tanning salon. That warm summer glow is just not for you, my friends. Someone was born with that skin tone already, so the world is all out of it right now.

Can you appropriate my student loans? Can you take that off my hands?

I’m pretty sure that most white people who went to college have student loans. Also, how the fuck is hair a culture? Something . . . existing a certain way doesn’t make it a culturally significant thing. That’s like saying people who get nose jobs to have a higher bridge are appropriating Greco-Roman culture because that’s the nose lots of Greek people naturally have! Also dying your hair red is appropriating Scot-Irish culture because lots of Scot-Irish people have red hair! What? Just what.

Why is it that white people committing crime is seen as an isolated incident but black crime is a reflection of my entire community?

Because the entire South isn’t demonized for being full of violent hillbillies and racists or anything. White trash people are judged at all for the crimes of their white trash brothers. Also, “black crime” is often concentrated in certain areas known to be dangerous and is often facilitated through majority black gangs, with gang-related, territory-based crime generally being the kind of crime reported on. Meanwhile, the “white crime” usually reported on tends to be lone actors without larger affiliations or gang crime with less defined territories. “Black crime” is often tied to the politics of communities those black people are in whereas “white crime” (at least the violent kind) is not or is more widespread and thereby is difficult to tie to one place. White gangs tend to move around. That’s kind of just how it played out.

When I see a story about a white person who is a serial killer, I don’t automatically think that all white people are serial killers too.

Good for you? I don’t think the average white person thinks all black people are thugs either. Not even in those high profile cases of “black crime.” You are generalizing and you know it. Also, I don’t buy that you don’t do this seeing as how it’s always someone like your lot who loves to point out how most school shooters are white kids to make a point about “whiteness” is connected to violence. But remember, racially profiling crimes is bad!

Talking about Race

Why does talking about race make you feel so uncomfortable?

Maybe it’s because it’s been drilled into their heads that they are inherently racist and therefore their opinion of race is undoubtedly tainted by their privilege and therefore not relevant to the conversation because “we’ve heard their racist opinion before.” And then if they get past that mental road block, they have to concede every point of the “conversation” to the black person otherwise be deemed a racist who doesn’t recognize their privilege. Maybe that’s why?

Is it because you’ll be perceived as racist if you talk about race?

FUCK YES that is their reason. A white person can’t accidentally look at a black person for too long without it being perceived as racist. Why would they want to actively talk about it? And it’s all about perception. It doesn’t matter if they’re actually racist if a black person makes that accusation. They just are.

You don’t really believe that racism is over because we have a black president, do you?

No. Racism will always exist. The question isn’t, “Does racism still exist?” The question is, “Is racism still a major societal problem?” And I would argue that it isn’t. Obama being black doesn’t mean that there are no more racists in America, but it does mean that society as a whole isn’t racist, not even “subconsciously biased,” seeing as how they voted in a black man to the highest government office twice. Society as a whole is not as racist as lots of people like to insist that it is. Certain subsections and institutions of it, perhaps, but not society.

Why is it so easy for you to notice when there are no white people around, but you hardly notice when there are no black people around?

This is an awesome time for me to ask you guys something! How the fuck do you know what white people think? How do you know what they notice? How do you know what they want? Would you appreciate someone assuming all of these things about you?

To answer the question: People tend to notice when they stick out like a sore thumb. If you are the only person who looks like you–this isn’t just race–in a room, you will probably be well aware of that. The other way around though? Why is that worth taking a mental note of? It’s not just something that plagues white people. That is something that all people do. Or do you go to your POC events and actively notice that there are no Asians?

Why is your goal to be color blind?

Being “color blind” doesn’t mean that you don’t notice someone’s race. It means that you notice it and don’t care or let that effect how you actively judge them as a person. And that seems fine by me. That’s what I try to do. But identity politic nutjobs would have you believe that someone’s race is inherently attached to their character and that their character cannot and should not be assessed without making sure that their race plays a huge part in it. Judging people by the content of their character and not the color of their skin is stupid.

Curiosity

Why do you want to say “the n-word” so badly?

If I don’t use it, why do you think you can?

You mean’nigger’? It’s a fucking word. Just say it. It’s not like saying it is going to summon Voldemort.

Also, people tend to want to do something when someone else tells them that they absolutely, cannot, 100% under any circumstance ever do it. Especially if the reason is all about how “it’s racist” when they know for a fact that they wouldn’t say it to be racist. But I forgot, intention doesn’t matter at all in these circles. Making something taboo makes people want to indulge in it more. It’s why twelve-year-olds sneak a can of beer into their room to try because they got yelled at for wanting to drink it once. It’s why abstinence only education doesn’t work. It’s why telling people not to click this link will make them want to click it more.

And white people don’t want to say ‘nigger.’ I am fairly sure that they don’t. They want the freedom to say what they want, and they don’t like being told that they–and them specifically–are not allowed to say something no matter what. I tell my white friends that they can say ‘nigger’ around me because it’s a word and words only have the power that you give them. If they don’t say ‘nigger’ as a slur, then it’s not a slur. And it shouldn’t be treated as a slur in that case. But even after being given express permission to say ‘nigger,’ even my white friends who were openly wondering why they couldn’t say it didn’t want to say it when I gave them the chance to. It’s not people just wishing their hearts out that it was more socially acceptable to say all the racist things they’ve been secretly thinking all these years and desperately wanting to use slurs. It’s people not wanting their language policed by forces who do not and will not take their intents into account when judging them for it.

Why do you always want to touch our hair?

Who told you it was okay to touch people without their permission?

Anyone who touches you without permission is violating basic rules of personal space and is wrong for that reason, not because they’re racist. Any adult who does this just wasn’t socialized properly. The only time this has happened to me is in elementary school with other eight-year-olds. When I’m in Japan, people ask to touch my hair a lot because they’ve never seen naturally curly hair before. I went to get my hair cut once and the girls who worked there freaked out. Fun fact: That also consistently happens at American salons. Hair dressers love my hair for some reason. I can understand it being annoying when people touch you without asking, but what if they do ask? Is that wrong? Curiosity isn’t a sin. This also doesn’t just happen to black people ‘because they’re black.’ Lots of people wanted to touch my tattoos while I was in Japan as well because tattoos aren’t very common over there. If you have a unique trait that people aren’t familiar with, them being curious about it isn’t bad.

Why do you feel like having one black friend makes you a cultural expert or not a racist?

And I take it that you are a cultural expert on white people seeing as how you’re making all these assumptions? As tired as the “I’m not racist, I have a black friend,” line is, it does kind of have a point. You don’t see members of the Klan hanging out with Omar on the weekends.

Is your only black friend comfortable being the reason why you cannot be a racist?

I really love how it’s taken for a given here that the white person is question is in fact a racist, they’re just denying it. It’s not like they’re actually not a racist or anything and being accused of being one befuddled them so much that they felt the need to state the obvious and say that they hang out with black people who they don’t hate. Nah, that proves nothing.

By that logic, then I’m not racist, I have a ton of white friends.

Did you just admit to being racist? How very self aware of you.

Why do you feel comfortable cursing at your parents?

My parents are white. I almost bit my own tongue off once because I was about to say the word ‘shit’ in front of my mom and tripped over myself to change it last second. Next.

Why do you kiss your dogs on the mouth?

A dog’s mouth is cleaner than a human’s, you judgmental ass. Why don’t black people like to go swimming? You know, since we’re asking pointless questions at this point.

How come you can’t pronounce black names like Quavonjionay . . .

Gonna be honest here, guys. I cannot spell that name. Quavonjine? Q’Vongine? I don’t know. What, were DaBrigashawn and LaVarius too normal for you? Also, you do know that black people don’t have to be named shit like TaRevica right? There are black people named Kevin.

But can say names likes “Schwarzenegger”, “Galifinakis”, and “LeBouf” just fine?

Because those are the names of famous people and therefore part of common household vernacular? Also, people mispronounce all of those names all the time, even with those names being more well known. I don’t get your point here. Can you effortlessly pronounce and spell “white people names” that aren’t fucking famous? Here’s my Polish friend’s last name: Blaszkiewicz. Yep. No white person is going to have trouble with that. How about this Nigerian last name that I’m sure you, as a black person, will have no issue with: Onwuatuegwu.

Black Lives Matter

Why do you feel like all lions’ lives matter, but black lives don’t?

Why is a lion’s life in Africa more important than the lives of black people here in America? What did Simba ever do for you?

Wow, this is super dated already. This is a logical fallacy. It’s taking two totally separate events that aren’t in any way framed as being related and then talking about them as if they were related and everyone knew that. Using this logic, people care more about panda bears than breast cancer. Because when you take two totally separate occurrences and see the two totally separate reactions to them, oh, would you look at that, people seem to care more about the bears. As it turns out, when you actually frame the issue correctly to make this fucking judgement and asked poeple directly what was more important, pandas or cancer, everyone unanimously agrees that breast cancer is more important. I’m pretty sure the same can be said for this lion situation. But if we actually did that, we wouldn’t be disingenuous, and being disingenuous is what we here at Modern Social Activism live for.

Why is it so hard for you to acknowledge your privilege?

Why is it so hard for you to acknowledge your privilege? See how easy that was? If you don’t see it or deny having it, it’s just because you, in all of your privilege, are blind to it! Oh, isn’t social justice fun? Making egregious assumptions about someone based solely on their race and how good I personally think it has made their life in comparison to mine is awesome!

How does it feel to not be the spokesperson for you entire race at any given time?

Must be nice.

Didn’t all of you agree to do this video where you actively speak for all black people? Being a spokesperson for you race can’t be that bad. Is this ironic? “Oh, doesn’t it suck having to do this thing that I agreed to do and am perfectly fine with doing?”


I can’t wait for this kind of mentality to DIE.

Refusal of Individuality in #BlackLivesMatter and the New Race “Discussion”

More personal stories! Yay. Read the title, and you’ll understand. I promise I’ll get to the point by the end. It’s a bit emotional and ranty, but this movement’s got me more than a bit pissed off.


I’m biracial. My mother is white and my father is black. I don’t know who my father is because [insert that one stereotype about black guys being shit dads here]. I make up for that racial stereotype by being allergic to watermelon, though, so it evens out. By virtue of not knowing who my father is (and at this point in my life not really caring to find out), for all intents and purposes, my family is white. My mother and grandmother who raised me are white. My aunts and uncles and cousins are white and sound like they’re straight out of Fargo. When I wrote a report on my family heritage in high school, I–with my brown skin and naturally curly hair–turned in a paper about being German-Irish, and I was super proud of it because the Irish part of my family is awesome. I remember being conflicted on standardized tests in elementary school where we had to fill in a bubble next to our race and there was no “Other” or “Multi-Racial” and we could only pick one. The teachers always told me to pick the race of my mother, which confused me because I definitely wasn’t just white and that seemed like something the test-people ought to know since they were asking about it.

I and all of my younger brothers essentially grew up in an environment where race was acknowledged and seen as “important” but not depicted as something that was relevant outside of issues of our own personal identity. Did we want to be connected to our “blackness” or didn’t we? And our parents let us choose that for ourselves. My grandmother has always liked for me to have some connection to being black even though I personally never got it and still don’t. I’ve never really seen it as anything other than the skin tone I happen to have, and even as a kid I was way more interested in hearing about the Industrial Revolution and Prohibition than in the Civil War or slavery. I did a book report on Harriet Tubman once, and my grandmother was proud of me for picking an African American to learn about (I did it because it was easy and someone took Thomas Jefferson already.). I oftentimes visited my black godfather’s family because they essentially saw me as their granddaughter, and they were really nice but also really church-y so I didn’t connect with them as much as I connected with my white grand-uncle who loved drawing cartoons just like I did.

Race hasn’t been something that’s concerned me mainly because it would draw an arbitrary line between me and my family members. “They’re X and I’m Y, which means we’re worlds apart.” But . . . that just isn’t true. They’re my family. They’re the most similar to me. The lines are blurred even more by the fact that interracial unions are a thing that happen. My brothers and I are half black and half white, with half of us looking the part and the other half looking like little, blond-haired Hitler youths. My youngest cousins are half white and half Mexican, as well as one of them being completely Mexican because my uncle got together with his Latina girlfriend when she already had one kid. My cousin just married a black woman who also already had a child. We don’t look related at all. My Taiwanese boyfriend went on a trip with us once, which, I’m pretty sure, cemented the idea in the minds of everyone around us that we were just a very large and ethnically diverse tour group of some sort. It eventually just gets to the point where there’s just so much of everything that race becomes a non-issue when compared to the wider idea of what a family is. All that needs to happen is for one of my brothers to eventually bring home a nice Middle Eastern girl, and our family will have all of the bases covered.


So why did I just go on a diatribe about all of my boring family relations and the racial environment that I grew up in as a child, you ask? It’s relevant, that’s why!

According to the race activism going on now, people aren’t individuals with their own thoughts and experiences, they are members of a racial group and that is it. And their racial group has an unbreakable grasp on what their thoughts and experiences are. Black people can apparently only have certain kinds of experiences. White people can apparently only have certain kinds of experiences, yadaydadyada. People are locked into boxes before they’re even able to open their mouths because the racial group they happen to belong to does all the talking for them. With this rhetoric, races are giant collective masses with one life and one experience and one personality. And it’s a detriment to everyone, not just white people, though they are the ones getting the brunt of the negativity since white peoples’ racial group is the on being demonized.

And according to this new Black Lives Matter movement that I’ve personally experienced (where white people aren’t even allowed to go to the meetings because it’s not “their place” and where white people are constantly demonized in said meetings–I had to sit in on one of my local Black Lives Matter activist groups to transcribe the meeting, and it was not a fun experience for me in the slightest) individuality doesn’t matter because your race is all anyone needs to know about you to know what you’ve gone through and what you think.

According to this new movement, my family wouldn’t belong in one of their meetings about helping black people because they’re white and not welcome in the safe space. Their opinion isn’t wanted because “they’ve heard the white opinion before,” and the only “help” from them that they accept only goes so far as to have my family finally admit to themselves that they harbor inherent racism so that they can dismantle their own biases and help teach other white people to admit it and do the same. That’s what they say. That is what they tell people. That is what they put on fucking fliers. The followers of this movement would tell my mother that’s she’s been racist all along and the only help she can give is to admit that to them and promise to change, because black people don’t want her help with anything else.

My mother lost contact with large chunks of my family because she dated a black boy in high school and they didn’t like that. They broke contact entirely when they figured out that she was pregnant with a black man’s baby. My grandmother hasn’t spoken to some of her siblings for two decades because if they couldn’t accept my mother and they couldn’t accept me, than she didn’t want to associate with them anymore. She was there when I was born, and she held me in her arms, and the first thing she said when she saw me was, “She’s brown!” and the second thing she said was, “She’s beautiful.” My uncle, whose best friend since high school as been a South Asian guy and who has had almost exclusively interracial relationships since he was a teenager, almost got arrested once because, when we lived in the middle of nowhere,  he was playing basketball in the driveway with one of my brothers when someone drove by and called my little brother a nigger and called him a nigger lover. He jumped in his truck and ran them down and nearly went to jail for assault. And when he got back he sat us all down and essentially told us that if anyone ever talked to us like that again he would kill them for  daring to attack his family. Hell, I had a boyfriend who was pretty much the first person in my life who ever made me feel like I might actually be pretty, and he got kicked out of his house because he told his dad to go fuck himself after he tried to force him to break up with me because he didn’t want his son dating a black girl.

But that doesn’t matter. They’re all racists. They all have a deep-seeded bias against me by default because they’re white, and they can only stop having that deep-seeded bias if they keep telling themselves over and over that they have an issue with me for being black, even if they don’t want to admit it. If my mom wanted to go to one of those meetings to ask them about what she can do to protect her children because whenever they’re late getting home from the gym she worries that they might have been shot by the police, they won’t care. Because she won’t be able to even get that far. Because she’s a white woman. How invested in our problems can she really be? She doesn’t get it. Because all white people are the same! They’re all racist deep down inside, and the only thing they could do for the Second Civil Rights Movement is to just admit that. They all have the same experiences! They all have the same opinions that we don’t need to hear anymore! Individuals? What are those?


And if I try to stress individuality, that is just me speaking from a place of privilege that I as a black woman don’t have.

I shouldn’t be disagreeing with anything they say because I’m black. By virtue of being black, what I can think and feel and what my experiences are must fit into the box they already have for me. If I disagree, something must be wrong. If I don’t see the value in Black Lives Matter, I’m, as they love to say, part of the problem. It’s not like I’m insulted and pissed the fuck off that you’re talking about my family, who I know damn well isn’t racist, like they’re the enemy, like there’s no way that any of them would understand “our struggle” just because they’re too pale to get it. It’s not like I worry about what this mentality is going to do to my younger brother who is biracial but doesn’t look it, who would get thrown out of your meeting and told to “educate himself” on the issues even though he has a black father and black siblings and a “black” name.

Black people aren’t individuals either in this way of thinking. No one is. We’re all just nodes crammed into a box of pre-determined lives, and that’s it. A lot of activists will say that black people aren’t afforded the luxury of individuality in this racist society that judges all blacks for the acts of few. Well, I don’t see how you’re going to get that “privilege” of being your own person by constantly acting like you’re not, by constantly acting like the “Black Experience” is perfectly homogeneous with all black people getting on board with certain ideas by virtue of being black. I also don’t see how it helps matter to strike out against white people by taking away their individuality in the discussion and acting like the “White Experience” is perfectly uniform across the board. What, if you can’t have it, no one can? How does that help? How is that anything but vindictive?

And that’s what this entire movement is to me: vindictive. It’s not a movement based in good ideas and positive assertions and desire to move forward, it’s a movement based in bitterness and the desire to strike back at the people we’ve deemed to be The Man while the iron’s still hot. It’s taken something that should be a fucking no-brainer–the justice system needs to be fairer to black people–and turned it into something that I want absolutely nothing to fucking do with. It’s just a bunch of people who want to get together and get back at white people because they really wish they were alive to follow Malcolm X, but this Black Lives Matter thing will have to do for now. What have they done, besides yell at politicians who are on their goddamn side and fear monger about all the black people unjustly killed by cops (even though there are relatively few)? What?

The Baltimore Incident: Stop Helping Us

Hey, guys. So, firstly, updates:

The school year’s almost over, but this summer’s updates will probably be few and far between. I’ll be teaching English overseas for a portion of it, doing research during the rest, and afterwards I need to start preparing for study abroad in Japan. Yeah, lots of time consuming stuff. But despite actually having a life, I can still find the time to be irritated about how people talk about “my people,” and the newest wave of “fuck ‘da man” “activism has finally hit in the form of the Baltimore protests turned riots. Specifically, I’ll be responding to this popular blog post about how people just don’t get it, man.

Shall we start? Okay. *Sigh* This is quite the long one, written over many days. I decided to make it one post, however. So buckle in.


In Support of Baltimore: Or; Smashing Police Cars Is Logical Political Strategy

Um . . . no it’s not? Props for the eye-catching title, I guess.

As a nation, we fail to comprehend Black political strategy in much the same way we fail to recognize the value of Black life.

Okay. I’m going to take a deep breath and respond to the first fucking sentence of this post without ranting. To be honest, this sentence is the reason I picked this post to respond to and not one of the myriad other posts on the topic about how rioting is okay as long as you have a “historically significant” reason to do it. I don’t know if this writer is black or a POC or just some random “I went to liberal arts college, so I get it” ally trying to help. But stop. Just stop.

Oh, really? The nation fails to comprehend “Black political strategies”? Does it now? What would those strategies be, exactly? What about them is so goddam complex that they’re just totally esoteric to the untrained observer? What is it about “Black political strategies” that people just fail to understand?

I’m going to say this is the calmest way possible. And I’m sorry in advance for how ineloquent it is, I know the use of profanity often doesn’t lend someone an air of intelligence, but it seems to be the most appropriate terminology to express how I feel about that statement about “Black political strategy.”

Fuck you. Seriously. Just fuck you. Not “you” as in this particular writer (who I can’t really blame for anything seeing as how they’re essentially just regurgitating what they’ve heard before), but “you” as in anyone who thinks this. Fuck you. Fuck your “help.” And fuck whatever idiotic sense of reparations you have that makes you think that this is an intelligent and insightful thing to think and spew out at other people who you look down your nose at for not “getting it.”

I’m sorry for that rant. I know I promised not to do that. But I’m sick of this. I really, honest to God, am just sick of it. I used to be able to just smile and nod whenever anyone brought this point up. But it’s like a douchey bro-country song being played on the radio one too many times: You can only listen to it for so long before you brain finally melts down under how insulting to the genre it is. And that’s what this idea is. It’s insulting. It’s insulting to social justice. It’s insulting to activism. It’s insulting to activists. And, as a black person, it’s insulting to me.

“Black political strategies.” You mean rioting, right? That’s what this post is all about: talking about the Baltimore riots and how people are focusing too much on the rioting and less on the reason for the rioting (which is a totally okay form of protest, according to this author). So aimless, mob-mentality violence is synonymous with the “Black political strategy” now? That is black how black people engage in politics. That is our way. Thanks. Thanks a lot. It’s good to know that my people’s civil rights are being defended by someone who essentially sees us as overgrown, petulant children who just can’t have anything more expected from us because we don’t know any better. Just pat us on the head and a give a juice box and send us on our way, “‘Cause we tried our best, idn’t dat right, Ma?” Oh, it’s okay for Jimmy to throw a tantrum when he’s mad, he’s a toddler. Oh, it’s okay for these people to riot in the streets, they’re black. What else do you want from them? You expected them to act like mature, civil adults with grievances to be addressed and a goal to achieve? What are they, white? You know you can’t expect that kind of behavior out of colored people. They get our attention with violence. It’s adorable, really.

Thanks a fucking lot. I’m glad to see you have my interests close to heart.

We see ghettos and crime and absent parents where we should see communities actively struggling against mental health crises and premeditated economic exploitation. And when we see police cars being smashed and corporate property being destroyed, we should see reasonable responses to generations of extreme state violence, and logical decisions about what kind of actions yield the desired political results.

I don’t see why you can’t see both of those things. I’d say that your view is unrealistically black-and-white, but not really. Your view isn’t even a gradient. It is a single-color paint swatch. I know everybody loves them an underdog. And who is a better underdog than the inner-city black youth fighting the Man and a society stacked against him at every turn because slavery was a thing once, and, of course, black people as a group will never, ever recover from slavery and shouldn’t be expected to even try to. That’s the perfect underdog. Let’s address each point one by one, shall we?

Ghettos and crime. The black people you’re referring to have these two things. I say “the black people you’re referring to” and not “black people,” because, proportionally, almost half of the African American population is middle-class or above. You shouldn’t associate poverty with being black. That’s just not the case. With that being said, I don’t know why you’re acting like they just shouldn’t be associated together when they’re clearly connected. Ghettos and crime are pretty interwoven. You take people in low-income situations and put them all in one place, and crime is going to happen. That’s not black people’s fault. Go to Britain to the council estates, which are mostly white, and they’re just as shitty a place to be.

Absent parents. I’d blame this on the culture cultivated by poverty–lack of education about sex with simultaneous glorification of sex starting at a very young age (it’s not uncommon to hear tween girls talking about their numerous sexual exploits in government housing areas), normalizing of youth pregnancy, sexual activity, and absentee parents, and a stigmatization against many acts that could be considered “good parenting” are  pretty prevalent.

Communities actively struggling against mental health crises. Once again, this is a poverty/lack of education issue. The hicks in rural Appalachia don’t know much about mental health either. With low-income black people, specifically, you have the added bonus of religiosity which generally does not go hand in hand with having a nice grasp on mental health. Plus, African American communities in of themselves, don’t tend to discuss mental health all that often. It’s still very stigmatized in that particular culture to have something mentally wrong with you, and, no, that’s not Whitey’s fault. That’s just how that played out. I don’t know what mental health crisis you’re talking about other than them just generally not acknowledging the importance of mental health. I’m sure less people would be in gangs if mental health were granted more importance in their communities, but I don’t see what that has to do with this instance of rioting.

Premeditated economic exploitation. Once again, this is a low-income problem. Not a black problem. There are more poor white people in America than black ones. To paint the–I’ll grant you–very real economic exploitation of the lower classes as “a black problem” helps nothing. If you want to focus on individual neighborhoods, that would be one thing. But you can’t make any generalized statements about this. America gives poor people shitty housing options so poorly planned out and poorly integrated with the rest of the area that they might as well of hung up signs saying “Do Illegal Activities Here!” The general standards of living are low, if addressed by developers at all. Because asbestos and thin walls are cheap, y’all! It doesn’t try to provide the residents of these neighborhoods with adequate information or education to better their situations. So separating them from everything else and making the place they’re relegated to particularly shitty leads to people turning to private forms of security and protection that isn’t granted to them by the official authorities, which leads to gangs. Which leads to gang territories. And pile on top of that this woefully ill advised “War on Drugs” that should really stop because it actively makes the “drug problem” worse by letting people disproportionally profit off of the drug trade which goes down in poor neighborhoods because that awesome architecture/development flaw I talked about, and you’ve got a crock pot of issues that fuck over poor people. So I agree that this is an issue. What does rioting do to help that, again?

And when we see police cars being smashed and corporate property being destroyed, we should see reasonable responses to generations of extreme state violence, and logical decisions about what kind of actions yield the desired political results.

Just going to throw this out there: they’re actually hurting themselves even more by smashing police cars and destroying corporate property. Just ignoring the fact that they’re trashing the place where they live and getting themselves hurt in the process, they’re also tax payers of the lowest bracket, which means they pay the largest percentage of their earning in taxes (another one of those exploitation of the lower and middle classes issues). Which means they’re going to lose the most once the government gets around to fixing this state-owned property. So they doubly fucked themselves over.

How in the hell is this reasonable? I already talked about how rioting makes no logical sense, but even if we pretended that they weren’t just hurting themselves more by doing it, what did it achieve? Another three weeks of people on the internet arguing over whether or not rioting is okay? That’s about it. I said it before, and I’ll say it again. Justifying something with “history” does not just give you free reign to do whatever the fuck you want.

Everyone has been screwed over by history at some point. Using this logic, it’d be perfectly okay for Jews to start rioting because the Holocaust was a thing and France doesn’t really like them anymore. So go destroy everything around you, Jewish people–no one will be mad, I guess. What “desired political results” are you talking about? You do realize that every single instance that has lead to black people rioting in the last few years hasn’t been made any better by them doing that, right? People don’t go to prison. Cops don’t get fired. What’s been accomplished? One state is maybe considering requiring cops to have cameras on them at all time to dissuade police brutality? Wow, what a sweeping change you guys made. And I’m pretty sure that wasn’t even something encouraged by rioting, so you don’t get that one either.

You seem to be forgetting that, throughout history, in America and everywhere else, the most successful social changes were not accomplished by violence. In fact, violence actively makes the fight for civil rights worse, if you want to look at the “history” that you’re so fond of using to justify it. Malcolm X’s violent rhetoric and insane actions only made white people more afraid of black people and less inclined to see them as equals. Brutally assaulting innocent men didn’t convict Rodney King’s killer, but it did set back and hinder the legal actions for years. Martin Luther King Jr. and Ghandi, who should pretty rightly be considered the go-to guys for what to do in Civil Rights, both actively decried people forcing change through violence and chaos. They acknowledged that their were forces they were fighting against that shouldn’t be ignored that contributed to the violence, but they also made it clear that violence wasn’t the answer. You can condemn the conditions that lead to violence, as I clearly do, without supporting the violence as “a logical response.”

It was organization and well-thought out points and events that could not be accused of being bad or making things worse that got things done. They told people to only do peaceful things, so that if the situation resorted to violence, it couldn’t be blamed on them. It could only be blamed on “the problem.” It could only be a reflection of what they were fighting against and proof that change needed to happen.The black kid sitting at the counter of a diner didn’t do anything violent. When he got coffee poured on him, that showed how bad everyone else was and left him totally blameless.

What do these rioters have to say? They’re causing harm. They’re getting themselves hurt–both in the chaos of a riot and because, lo and behold, the police actually have a reason to beat you with a nightstick when you go rioting in the streets. So doing something that actually warrants a bit of police violence to say how bad police violence is doesn’t make your point all that well. What is that proving? That the police rightfully react to things that they’re paid to react to? This isn’t Egypt, where the military literally drove a tank into a crowd of peaceful protesters. You can’t start violence in order to make a point about how the reactionary violence is bad. You can’t provoke random cops by calling yourself a protester and then yelling every bad name in the book at them to make a point about how, when that cop finally reacts to being yelled at for thirty minutes, his reaction proves he’s a bad, racist person.

What political result do you want, exactly? Short-lived acquiescence based in the state not wanting to pay more property damages, maybe a hashtag or two? From where I’m standing, rioting only gets you brownie points from the left-wingers who will never in their life say a disparaging word about anything black people do because “we don’t know any better.” The rest of society doesn’t seem to take “the message” to heart.

I’m overwhelmed by the pervasive slandering of protesters in Baltimore this weekend for not remaining peaceful. The bad-apple rhetoric would have us believe that most Baltimore protesters are demonstrating the right way—as is their constitutional right—and only a few are disrupting the peace, giving the movement a bad name.

All I heard here was “I’m annoyed that people dare to point out that acting like a violent idiot only makes you look bad and doesn’t help prove your point.” I don’t know how many are protesting “the right way” and how many are rioting. Maybe most of them were being perfectly fine, I don’t know. It seems like that is the case, with the peaceful protesters making up the majority. And good for them. They are not the ones that I’m talking about.

But the ones who did choose to riot (and they chose to–the admission that there was in fact another means of protest going on shows that rioting wasn’t the only option to get what they wanted), should not be given a free pass. Destroying things tangentially related to what’s actually hurting you is what toddlers unable to deal with their emotions do, not grown ass adults. An idiot destroys a police car in order to make a point about how the police are bad. If you want people to take you and your cause seriously, it helps to do it through a means that can be taken seriously as opposed to doing it like a soccer hooligan whose favorite team just lost. Do you think CNN going to host an interview with someone who organized a rally, or the guy who started a riot that one time and trashed a police crusier?

This spin should be disregarded, first because of the virtual media blackout of any of the action happening on the ground, particularly over the weekend. Equally, it makes no sense to cite the Constitution in any demonstration for Black civil rights (that document was not written about us, remember?), but certainly not one organized specifically to call attention to the fact that the state breaks its own laws with regard to the oppressed on a nearly constant basis.

If there’s a media blackout of any of the action that’s transpired, why are you so staunchly defending it? You can’t tell people not to be okay with what happened because they “just don’t know” and then turn around and talk about it like what went on was perfectly fine. If we don’t know, you certainly don’t either. What if something happened that you disagree with?

As for the not citing the Constitution, if that’s the mentality you have, fine. But plenty of Civil Rights leaders have directly cited the Constitution as a means of gaining rights. Just because something didn’t help you initially, that doesn’t mean that it’s tainted forever and always, never fit to help you at any point. Rooting the rhetoric in talk of Constitutional rights a.) gets more people to care, for the most part, b.) stresses that you are a citizen who deserves those rights as well, and c.) makes it easier to actually take legal action. The courts decide what is Constitutional. That’s like saying that poor people shoudn’t cite their Constitutional rights to get things done because it originally only referred to land owners. By stating that the authorities are violating the Constitution, it’s a good way to get Joe Everyman to care a bit more and to bring their actions into direct legal question as opposed to simply moral question, making it conceivably easier to deal with.So it makes just as much sense to cite the Constitution as to not cite it. It’s just a matter of strategy. Also, even if you decided not to argue for your rights on a Constitutional basis, the Constitution has nothing to do with violence and when it’s an acceptable form of protest. If anything, the First Amendment allows freedom of expression, but I’m fairly sure that that doesn’t cover overt vandalism of other people’s property. So even ignoring that, you’re essentially saying “They’re above all laws because some of the laws are bad.”

But there is an even bigger problem. Referring to Black Lives Matter protests, as well as organic responses to police and state violence as “non-violent” or “peaceful” erases the actual climate in which these movements are acting, the militant strategies that have rendered them effective, and the long history of riotsand direct action on which they are built.

What? America was built on tax evasion, tar-and-feathering Torries, and guerrilla warfare. I know pretty much everyone has a problem with the government right now, so quick, readers! Take up your arms and attack your nearest government official, and don’t forget to refuse to pay your taxes next year because it’s part of this country’s grand history of fighting against oppression! What?

How the fuck did you make having a long history of militant political strategies and riots sound like a good thing? You do know that just because stuff happened before, that doesn’t mean that it was good, right? But “history” really is just the end-all-be-all justification for everything, isn’t it?

I do not advocate non-violence—particularly in a moment like the one we currently face. In the spirit and words of militant Black and Brown feminist movements from around the globe, I believe it is crucial that we see non-violence as a tactic, not a philosophy.

Well, I can see that you don’t advocate for non-violence. You seem to be chomping at the bit for violent revolution to take place. What are we currently facing? The authorities–particularly police officers–are biased towards black people. That is the issue. People aren’t getting lynched in the streets so often that it’s not even news. There aren’t separate doors for whites and coloreds. Affirmative actions programs are in place in both universities and employment offices/job fields. The main issue black people face in America now is being disproportionately criminalized and abused by police.

What is your standard for something being worthy of riots? MLK looked down on rioting back when a black man could still worry about being randomly killed or beaten by a lynch mob walking home from work, with that lynch mob going wholly unpunished. The main issue now is that people take advantage of their over-glorified authority as a police officer to get away with most-likely-racially-biased brutality and unnecessary use of lethal force. The two issues are distinctly different in that this is dealing with abuse of authority and ignoring of laws in place meant to check that abuse, while the civil rights movement of the 60s dealt mainly with abuse from public figures and laws that still allowed that abuse to transpire. It was about laws. This fight is more about perception and actually observing the laws in place. So, once again, how do riots change perceptions for the better?

Non-violence is a type of political performance designed to raise awareness and win over sympathy of those with privilege. When those on the outside of struggle—the white, the wealthy, the straight, the able-bodied, the masculine—have demonstrated repeatedly that they do not care, are not invested, are not going to step in the line of fire to defend the oppressed, this is a futile political strategy. It not only fails to meet the needs of the community, but actually puts oppressed people in further danger of violence.

No. Non-violence is designed to protest in a way that preserves one’s own standard of conduct while also fighting clearly in the name of a cause. It’s not lounging around, doing and accomplishing nothing, like you seem to think it is. And does it ultimately leave a better impression on those who aren’t directly fighting? Yes. But that’s not the main reason that most non-violent protesters prefer that tactic. Even if it were, protesting is a game of politics. If you want to have lasting political influence, you get in with the politicians, which means having something resembling social tact and a concrete set of goals. The guy spray painting stuff on the side of the capitol building gets people’s attention, but he hardly has the influence that he wants due to alienating himself from the people who he ultimately needs the help of to make true change by being violent and unpleasant.

“When those on the outside of struggle—the white, the wealthy, the straight, the able-bodied, the masculine . . .” This is the issue. This person seems incapable of comprehending that someone could be something other than a straight white male (the Devil as far as social justice is concerned) and still not be okay with what is happening. Well, I’m a black, border-line poverty line, legally blind (my eye-sight is really bad) woman, and I’m still against rioting. I’m very much “inside the struggle.” And using “the struggle” as an excuse for any overtly terrible behavior is not only demeaning to yourself, but it’s demeaning to anyone who doesn’t fall into that pessimistic, fatalistic trap that black people “will always be like this.” Gang members who gun down children for wearing the wrong color use “the struggle” to explain it. Well, I’m sorry, but your life being shit doesn’t give you the right to behave that way. It may explain why you behave that way, but understanding why someone does something does not entail approving of what they do. They have plenty of reasons for rioting. have plenty of reasons to go out and beat the next trust-fund-hipster-“Daddy’s only paying for me to go to Paris for two months instead of three,”- kid I see with a crowbar. Doesn’t make it “reasonable,” and doesn’t make it acceptable.

I find it ironic that you seem to care so much about this community. The community that just got burned to the ground. I’m sure that took care of its needs and didn’t endanger anyone. And I’m sure the ill will caused by that will in no way lead to anyone getting hurt in the future. It’s only non-violent protests that are bad for the community. (Also, way to shit on all the people there who actually protested and didn’t start rioting and looting. I’m sure they’d all be really happy to find out that you applaud the dick who burned down a nursing home as someone who was helping the community, but you see them as problematic.)

Militance is about direct action which defends our communities from violence. It is about responses which meet the political goals of our communities in the moment, and deal with the repercussions as they come. It is about saying no, firmly drawing and holding boundaries, demanding the return of stolen resources. And from Queer Liberation and Black Power to centuries-old movements for Native sovereignty and anti-colonialism, it is how virtually all of our oppressed movements were sparked, and has arguably gained us the only real political victories we’ve had under the rule of empire.

They, they started political action. There’s a reason you never hear about violent revolutions ending well. Riots are, at best, a way of jump starting attention. I don’t see what this writer wants. We’ve already had riots. We’ve had plenty of them. Did those not achieve anything that you wanted? Did those not get enough attention for you? Or are you still just building up to the time where that will no longer be appropriate? How many more riots need to happen for the political presence you want to be obtained?

Once again, I’m not sure how trashing your community protects that community from violence. You should fill me in on that one. In the moment, some of those people need a new house. Get on that. What was the political goal of that community? Because it seemed to me like they’re collective intended goal was to peacefully protest a possibly-unlawful death. I don’t think the protesters wanted a riot to break out. But just deal with the consequences as they come, I guess. You gotta break a few eggs, amiright? I think I’ll go light a few buildings on fire now as a form of vague protest. The consequences of that don’t matter. #YOLO

We need to clarify what we mean by terms like “violence” and “peaceful.” Because, to be clear, violence is beating, harassing, tazing, assaulting and shooting Black, trans, immigrant, women, and queer people, and that is the reality many of us are dealing with daily. Telling someone to be peaceful and shaming their militance not only lacks a nuanced and historical political understanding, it is literally a deadly and irresponsible demand.

I love how your version of violence is only perpetrated by the police, and is never black people hurting other black people, which clearly happened in those riots. Of course. Because setting buildings on fire then actively trying to prevent firemen from putting the fires out is in no way violent. I also love how the dreaded straight, white man is apparently never a victim of violence.

I’m just going to throw this idea out there. What the fuck did that riot actually accomplish? This writer is talking about it like rioting s going to flip our conversation about race relations on its head because riots will finally get the Man’s attention. But has it even done that? What nuanced conversation is being had now because Tyler from Baltimore was gracious enough to trash his own neighborhood for the greater good? No one is talking about how badly race relations have gone. No one’s evening talking about the cops anymore. All they’re talking about is this particular riot and about how rioting should be okay. No one’s even talking about what they’re “protesting,” just that rioting is a good/bad way to do it. The rioters have very much co-opted that protest by making it all about them and their particularly controversial actions and not about “the cause” at all. People aren’t talking about “the cause.” They aren’t talking about Freddie. They’re talking about whether burning down a CVS is okay. This “protest” fucking failed.

The political goals of rioters in Baltimore are not unclear—just as they were not unclear when poor, Black people rioted in Ferguson last fall. When the free market, real estate, the elected government, the legal system have all shown you they are not going to protect you—in fact, that they are the sources of the greatest violence you face—then political action becomes about stopping the machine that is trying to kill you, even if only for a moment, getting the boot off your neck, even if it only allows you a second of air. This is exactly what blocking off streets, disrupting white consumerism, and destroying state property are designed to do.

Yeah, because nobody in Baltimore that was negatively affected by those riots was black. They were all a bunch of white people, which of course means that they deserve all the negative things that happen to them, because being vindictive towards random civilians who’ve never done anything to you on the basis of them being white is the best way to go about things, right?

I wasn’t okay with the Ferguson riots either, by the way. You can tell how effective they were, looking back on it. People . . . remember that they happened. Not much else, but yeah! Malignant protest is the best at getting things done! They help race relations so much! Actually, if we’re going to be technical, when it comes to being an inner-city black person, the main source of violence you face is from other inner-city black people and their assorted cohorts. As it turns out, you’re way more likely to get randomly shot in a drive by or gunned down by a gang member for no apparent reason than you are to get killed by a cop. Who’d a thunk. So that’s just a patently inaccurate statement. “The Man” isn’t the main source of violence for them.

Yeah! Rage against the machine! By going after things that have nothing to do with the machine and really more to do with my friends and neighbors! Yeah. Fucking myself and those around me over is the greatest way to show how much The Man has fucked me over.

So people are mad. That’s all you’ve said so far. People are letting off steam because they’re pissed off at all that has happened. Since when has being pissed off warranted this kind of behavior? Maybe if they directed that violence and vandalism at something that made sense, I’d give them more leeway. But they trashed police cars, which is at least consistent . . . and then just random places that in no way had anything to do with anything. They were just there, so let’s trash them, now. If violence is such an awesome way of showing political dissent, I want a little more fucking planning and organization in the next race riot. Instead of making it seem like you’re just engaging in mindless violence, maybe give that a little more direction. Take a page from V for Vendetta if anarchy is that great, and have an actual goal in mind with that violence. Go fuck up something relevant if that’s the only effective way to do things.

Black people know this, and have employed these tactics for a very, very long time. Calling them uncivilized, and encouraging them to mind the Constitution is racist, and as an argument fails to ground itself not only in the violent political reality in which Black people find themselves, but also in our centuries-long tradition of resistance, one that has taught effective strategies for militance and direct action to virtually every other current movement for justice.

Yeah, and look at all the good it did. Oh wait, the major turning point in the Civil Rights movement was a peaceful march to a government building. Oh yeah.

No, saying that it’s okay for them to be violent “because they’re black, what else are they going to do” is fucking racist. It’s pretty much saying that black people should not be held to the standard of every other human being when it comes to what conduct is acceptable behavior. The standard for them is lower. When this author finally writes about how this riot in particular was an effective strategy that actually did good for anything, let me know, by the way. Because right now, they’re just saying that rioting is effective without really giving reason to believe that. They say “the past,” but they can’t mention anything specific about it. They say black people have done it and had it work before, but they don’t bring up any instance of that. They’re just saying that it works better than anything else that could be done.

And while I don’t believe that every protester involved in attacking police cars and corporate storefronts had the same philosophy, did what they did for the same reasons, it cannot be discounted that when there is a larger national outcry in defense of plate-glass windows and car doors than for Black young people, a point is being made; When there is more concern for white sports fans in the vicinity of a riot than the Black people facing off with police, there is mounting justification for the rage and pain of Black communities in this country.

I’m just going to throw this idea out there and say that maybe the dudes going at the police cars actually had something political in mind. The ones looting and burning random shit to the ground don’t really strike me as people “with a cause” if you know what I mean. And seeing as how you’re contributing to this national outcry not by focusing on “the cause,” but by justifying the riots, you too are focusing more on rioting than you are on the actual supposed goal of the rioting.

I also love how the author only ever mentions that they trashed police cars and totally neglects to bring up the drug store and fucking nursing home that got burned down.  Nope, they were only going after strictly political targets. It was totally justified. I don’t think people care that they trashed some police cars. I don’t. If that was all they did, I would have disapproved of the escalation of the situation but ultimately would’ve seen it as a political move and a form of protest. What did burning down a nursing home accomplish in way of politics?

Acknowledging all of this, I do think events this weekend in Baltimore raise important questions for future direct and militant action in all of our movements. In addition to articulating our goals, crafting our messaging and type of action, we need to think carefully about what the longer term results of militant action might potentially be.

Glad to know that you’re planning more riots. Hopefully, you do what I suggest and actually, you know, plan one with something  resembling a goal in mind. Oh, but I thought the consequences of militant actions didn’t matter as long as they were sending the message you wanted?

  • Are we harming state and private property, or are we harming people, communities and natural resources? Is the result of our action disrupting state and corporate violence, or creating collateral damage that more oppressed people will have to deal with (i.e., Black families and business owners, cleaning staff, etc.)? Are we mimicking state violence by harming people and the environment, or are we harming state property in ways that can stop or slow violence? Are we demonizing systems or people?
  • Who is in the vicinity? Are we doing harm to people around us as we act? Is there a possibility of violence for those who are not the intended targets of our action? Are we forcing people to be involved in an action who many not want to be, or who are not ready?
  • Who is involved in the action? Are people involved in our action consensually, or simply because they are in the vicinity? Have we created ways for people of all abilities who may not want to be present to leave? Are we being strategic about location and placement of bodies? If there are violent repercussions for our actions, who will be facing them?

These three bullet points totally invalidate the entirety of this post. You just brought up everything wrong with the riot. Putting a  question mark at the end like those weren’t the obvious repercussions of what happened doesn’t make it a “deep” question. It just shows that you fully fucking acknowledge that rioting in your own neighborhood is a bad idea, but you’re propping it up as something awesome anyway. Which makes me stop thinking that you’re dumb and start thinking that you’re just a terrible human.

We should attempt to answer as many of these questions as possible before action occurs, in the planning stages if possible. We also need backup plans and options for changing our actions in the moment if any of the agreed-upon conditions are not the same when it comes time to act.

It’s good to know that wise ole’ Captain Hindsight finally showed his face here. “Maybe we should actually have a target for violence and not fuck up our own communities when it’s the cops we’re protesting against. We should keep that in mind for the next time we feel like engaging in mindless violence with a vague goal.” Who would have thunk it?

What kinds of actions will it take to make it widely understood that all policing is racist terror, and justice can only come with its permanent abolition?

“Policing is racist terror.” Wow . . . Is it sad that I just now realized that it’s one of those kinds of articles? Abolish the police, guys! No one needs them ever. They’re totally unnecessary and only their to help the Man be racist. Black people never do anything wrong ever, and whenever a cop bothers them it’s because that cop is crooked. no other reason.

Now, I’m all for putting checks on the power of the police and fully acknowledge that we live in a culture that glorifies authority figures like them beyond all reason, which is ultimately bad whenever that authority turns out to be in the wrong. I don’t think we train our cops very well, and I do think the general culture of the Boys in Blue and the personality types that that kind of job entails attracts people with preconceived biases of many kinds. That being said, we still need the police. No one else is going to do that job. Black people, do commit crimes, you know? It’s not like they’re only ever arrested because the cop is racist. They’re arrested too much, but that doesn’t mean they’re always innocent.

It’s good to see that Allan Moore is still reaching out the the young people, though, teaching them the beauty of anarchism.


Here’s a quote from another article:

“When nonviolence is preached as an attempt to evade the repercussions of political brutality, it betrays itself. When nonviolence begins halfway through the war with the aggressor calling time out, it exposes itself as a ruse. When nonviolence is preached by the representatives of the state, while the state doles out heaps of violence to its citizens, it reveals itself to be a con. And none of this can mean that rioting or violence is “correct” or “wise,” any more than a forest fire can be “correct” or “wise.” Wisdom isn’t the point tonight. Disrespect is. In this case, disrespect for the hollow law and failed order that so regularly disrespects the rioters themselves.”

What fucking war? Why do you people seem so fucking intent on there being a race war? I though liberals were all about preventing wars? How do you think that’s going to work out? I don’t think constantly using war-time rhetoric when talking about race relations is a good idea. I really don’t. It wasn’t a good idea in the 20s. It wasn’t a good idea in the 60s. And it isn’t a good idea now. Using war rhetoric is what inspires extremists to go out and assassinate people marked as “the enemy,” and it doesn’t fucking help.

Also, this is once again totally fucking ignoring that it’s not just the Man telling people to stop rioting. I agree with you 100% that the ones in charge of our country are absolute fucking hypocrites who pretty much never practice what they preach and who abuse their power over the populace. But this is vindictive. You know what fighting violence with violence does? It makes more fucking violence. And if someone ever comes out on top, which is doubtful, the new people in charge will most likely be just as bad as the old ones because they used the exact same tactics to get where they were that they decried the use of when they weren’t in charge. It’s just replacing one hypocrite with a carbon copy with different rhetoric.

Once again, if this violence that parts of the black community engaged in actually seemed to have a point, if it actually had rhyme and reason to it, actually had a concrete message to send and a goal to be achieved at the end of the bloodshed, I would cut it some slack. But it DOESN’T. It fucking DOESN’T. And people keep sharing photos from that “White people looting during the riot” like that’s somehow making a point about racism. I always fucking assumed white people were involved in that looting, and when I say that rioting is wrong, they’re included in that. I’m not saying that black people shouldn’t riot. I’m saying that no one fucking should. Although, I’d like to know why white people rioting is less acceptable than this riot. The most famous rioters of all are soccer hooligans, most of them being poor youths in poverty-stricken situations. And you’d think them being poor would be enough to justify that (you know “history”), but I guess not. You have to be poor and black in order for it to be “logical.”

Comparing rioting to a forest fire is a good metaphor. Because a forest fire doesn’t have a goal, it just destroys everything until it peters out and leaves nothing left for anyone. Maybe, you’ll get that one species of tree that only drops its seeds after a fire, but nothing else is going to benefit from that. Nothing. The fire burns itself out. It burns until it can’t sustain the heat any longer and dies, leaving no trace that it ever existed other than the destruction in its wake, because fire is an insubstantial, ephemeral thing that can’t last. While it’s burning, it destroys everything and hurts everyone in the general area, and even after its over with, those ashes don’t do anyone any good to breathe in. But, hey, it was chaotic right? And what better way to show your wrath than non discriminant chaos?


Fun fact: I’ve been in a riot. I wasn’t rioting, because I was a little girl. And I’d like to think that I wouldn’t riot now.  But I riot broke out around me once. It was also a riot started by black, urban youths, but that’s neither here nor there. The point is that rioting is not some beautiful moment of chaos where you finally see the anger boil over and well into physical action. Rioting is not something that happens in order to achieve some larger goal. Rioting is just insanity and chaos. No one has a plan of action in a riot. They aren’t a good thing.

These people burned down a drug store. You know the people who worked there aren’t going to get transferred to another location after their guilt by association with the rioters. So those people are out of a job. Never mind the horrible chemicals that people are probably still breathing in because someone had the bright idea of burning up a drug store. Also, I’m sure plenty of people are wondering where they’re going to refill prescriptions now or get medical care likes shots and vaccinations. Having a local drug store is very convenient for that. They can’t do that anymore.

They burned a senior retirement home. And when the firemen showed up, they stabbed the hoses and actively tried to stop them from putting the fires out. I wonder how many people are now struggling to take care of their elderly relatives or how many older people now just don’t have a place to live. I wonder how many people in general don’t have a place to live because they lived in a now quarantined-off danger zone because fires happened, and fires can stir up too much in the air for that place to be inhabitable for a while.

There were people standing out in front of their shops with loaded guns to defend their property from people who wanted to break the windows and steal their merchandise and trash the place.

There were Crips and Bloods in the peaceful protest, you know? Crips and Bloods intentionally setting the feud aside to stand together in unity against a system that they felt was unfair, so unfair that they decided to join forces with someone who they would have otherwise shot dead. They went to go and actually protest. To make a, really very shocking, show of solidarity and unity.

But they were apparently part of the problem. Peaceful protesting was hurting their community.

I would pay money to see someone go up to them and say “You know, trying to peacefully protest is just bowing down to the racists and actually hurting your community. But those rioters over there, man. They’re the true heroes!” It doesn’t even have to be a gang member. Just go up to anyone who was actually there, who saw their community getting destroyed. Maybe go up to one of the shop keepers who guarded their store with a loaded gun. Or maybe go to one of the workers who is now out of a job. Or maybe go up to one of the firemen who had to work against rioters trying to stop them from preventing arson. Go up to anyone and tell them that those riots happening was great and a sign of progress.

I’d like to know how many of the people clamoring to justify these riots as a “logical form of protest” would be okay with it if it happened where they lived. I wonder if they would justify the hurting of innocent people’s lives and livelihoods as an acceptable show of disrespect against the Man. I wonder how many of them have had to actually deal with being present for a riot and really see just how violent and terrible it can be. I wonder how many of them would be willing to go down to those places and talk to the people affected by it about how rioting is a great form of protest. I wonder how many of them would even be willing to go to a place like that at all, riot or not.

Azealia Banks: Wallowing in Her New Found Relevancy Since 2014

I don’t want to judge Azealia Banks. I don’t know her. I don’t listen to her music. I don’t feel qualified to judge her personal character. That being said, Azealia Banks is really starting to seem like an opportunist. Really starting to seem like it. Not to mention that she really seems like someone who is clamoring to gain relevance by “punching up,” and criticizing people who are more famous/more relevant than her. Now, I’m all for people with intelligent things to say criticizing people who should rightfully be criticized, and I don’t really care what the power dynamics of the situation are. If you’re a D-list celebrity who wants to point out that Tom Cruise did something wrong, go ahead. I think people accusing others of “Just being jealous and/or a hater” are idiots who are saying nothing and adding nothing and making it harder to get an actual conversation going. I don’t know that these are her intentions, obviously, but her actions are not helping her case. Her actions are not making her seem like “the genuine article.” I’m also firmly of the opinion that she would hate me, being a black person who has negative things to say about other black people, and all.

If Azealia Banks isn’t saying these things just as a way to desperately cling to the only thing that has granted her cultural relevancy in years, I would be really fucking surprised. I’ve been unwillingly following this who debacle for a while–Thanks liberal arts college friends on Facebook!–and from what I see of it, I’m really starting to get the impression that Banks likes the attention she gets by setting herself up as the voice of racial wisdom regrettably relegated to the underground scene while perpetrators of “the problem” who “just don’t get it” are given mainstream gigs by our dumb, racist society. And if Banks is the voice of “real” black America, telling it how it is, no wonder people think we’re dumb. Neil D. Tyson became the voice of science in America in an organic fashion by really loving and talking about science. He never came across as someone who was intentionally trying to become relevant. He just became that by doing what he did. Azealia Banks very much comes across as someone who is trying to become the “new voice” of the people. And she’s trying to goddamn hard.

I think it’s her targeting of specific people that’s starting to rub me the wrong way and making me thing this is just for publicity. If these problems are so prevalent and so pervasive in our culture, why does she target one specific person, one person who just so happens to be more famous than her? Why doesn’t she just talk about it? Why is it important to drag other people unwillingly into the conversation by tagging them in your Twitter rants and making fun of them both if they don’t respond and if they do and directly referring to specific people as “part of the problem?”  If these are problems everyone has, why does it seem like she’s calculating what A-list rapper to “criticize” next as opposed to just voicing her criticisms in a more generalized fashion and letting intelligent people connect the dots themselves? If Iggy is so obviously part of the problem, than people should be able to figure that out without Banks calling Iggy a bitch on Twitter (Really intelligent, by the way. Truly Azealia Banks is a voice of wisdom and objective social commentary.). Something tells me that she’s only one new Macklemore single away from dragging him out of whatever hidden bomb shelter he’s hauled himself up in since he dropped his last album and criticizing him over something, the fact that her criticisms of him line up with the time he became relevant again being totally coincidental.

So apparently, she had “intelligent social commentary” to direct at Kendrick Lamar. You know, Kendrick Lamar, one of the only mainstream rappers that has anything intelligent to say about anything anymore. That guy. Banks is punching up even more now! She’s put the cross hairs on someone with actual talent. As long as she’s not “punching down,” it’s fine. I have this to say: If people want to respond to what Lamar had to say about Ferguson, fine. I don’t care. But this particular instance of it is the most disingenuous, obviously pandering thing I have ever seen. Honestly. Banks’ reply to Kendrick Lamar seems more fake and coldly calculated to pander to a certain demographic than the Twilight series. She’s clearly trying to “get the liberal vote,” if you know what I mean. I don’t even know why liberals who agree with the general idea are sharing this article and liking it. I guess I just assumed they’d be smart enough to realize when someone is clearly just saying what they need to say to get you to like them, but apparently not.

I guess I should explain. Here is what Lamar had to say: “What happened to [Michael Brown] should’ve never happened. Never. But when we don’t have respect for ourselves, how do we expect them to respect us? It starts from within. Don’t start with just a rally, don’t start from looting — it starts from within.” A fairly benign statement decrying the violence that occurred during and after the Michael Brown debacle as unjustified. People responding to what Kendrick Lamar had to say is aright by me. If they want to disagree, that’s fine. And, you know, if one of my Facebook friends said the kinds of things that Banks said in response to this, I wouldn’t care. I wouldn’t agree, but I would also acknowledge that it’s something they would say. Banks’ tweets to Lamar, though, do not sound like something she would say at all. Q-Tip’s biased but generally okay text block about hip hop was something Q-Tip would say. Lupe Fiasco’s utter emotional breakdown on Twitter after he defended Iggy from “haters” is something Lupe Fiasco would say. From looking over her Twitter feed, Banks telling Iggy “If you’re down to ride with us bitch you gotta RIDE ALL THE WAY” is something Banks would say.

Now, I realize that there are only so many things to say. There are only so many points to make or buzzwords to throw around. It’s hard to not sound like you’re just regurgitating what you’ve heard elsewhere because sometimes, someone else has just said it all, and there’s really nothing else for you to add. That being said, people tend to say common things their own way. Her tweets about Kendrick Lamar do not sound like something she would say. Life is not a bad Oscar-bait movie–people don’t just stutter into eloquence whenever they have something “deep” to say. This really seems like Banks picked up a few buzzwords from her new fanbase of social justice lovers and just ran with it, sprinkling in some profanity so it doesn’t overly seem like she just copy/pasted what she said from someone else’s tumblr blog. So here they are:

“When we don’t respect ourselves how can we expect them to respect us” dumbest shit I’ve ever heard a black man say.”

“Lol do you know about the generational effects of poverty, racism and discrimination?”

“There are things in society that benefit a select few of us. fine…. But don’t put down the rest by saying they don’t respect themselves.”

“HOW DARE YOU open ur face to a white publication and tell them that we don’t respect ourselves…. Speak for your fucking self.”

Let’s go one by one, shall we?

“When we don’t respect ourselves how can we expect them to respect us” Dumbest shit I’ve ever heard a black man say.”

I don’t know, Azealia. I feel like any one lyric from No Flex Zone is infinitely dumber than even the stream of consciousness drivel that falls out of Kendrick Lamar’s face when he’s talking in his sleep. And I’m just gonna throw out some totally unironic Kanye West quotes now: “I am God’s vessel. But my greatest pain in life is that I will never be able to see myself perform live;” “Sometimes people write novels and they just be so wordy and self-absorbed. I am not a fan of books. I would never want a book’s autograph. I am a proud non-reader of books;” “I feel like I’m too busy writing history to read it.” But yeah. Kendrick Lamar’s quote about how people need to respect themselves before others respect them–no, that was the dumbest thing a black man has ever said. Hyperbole does not suit you, Ms. Banks. Quit using it. Also, what does him being black have to do with it being “dumb shit?” If it’s a dumb thing to say, it’s a dumb thing to say. The race of who says it should be irrelevant, though something tells me you’d be calling for his racist head on a fucking stick if Lamar was white and said that.

Next.

“Lol do you know about the generational effects of poverty, racism and discrimination?”

This is the one that really seems like she copy/pasted from something. Also, once again, adding “lol” as a preface to talking about racism does not make you seem wise. It makes you seem like a condescending prick. “Oh, hahaha, he doesn’t know about something I took an intro course on in college. How quaint, haha.” Now that the generally punchable tone as been addressed (great tone for “an educator” to use, by the way, really makes people want to learn from you), let’s look at the actual content.

I have my qualms with claims of institutionalized racism for the same reasons I have qualms with things like the patriarchy. Creating some nebulous historically connotative problem is interesting from an academic perspective but falters under scrutiny and application. Not to mention that it always seem infinitely cynical. I’m a cynical person, I acknowledge that–but claims of institutionalized racism don’t seem to help anything. They make “good white people” feel bad for no reason, and they enforce the idea that black people are just always going to have it worse in every situation ever no matter what. It’s like rape culture: simultaneously absolving people of all blame for negative outcomes yet also somehow making them look universally terrible anyway. Not only are black people exempt from having to take any responsibility for the negative aspects within the black community/black culture because anything bad they do is because slavery was a thing once, so it’s the white man’s fault; but they’re also implicitly depicted as a perpetually broken group of people unable to recover from any hurt dealt them, no matter how minor or how long ago–people who are just expected to turn out badly because they are nothing but puppets controlled by the strings of a universe stacked against them, pure victims of circumstance with no choice but to become criminals, so we can’t judge them. And that’s the left saying that. I don’t know what’s more racist, Fox News putting all the blame on black people even when it doesn’t make sense, or leftists just patting black people on the head and talking to them like petulant children who should have lower standards of decency because we shouldn’t expect much from them anyway.

What about all the other racism in America’s past? What about all the Chinese people who died horrible deaths building our railroads, and then that one tiny span of time where we put Asian people in internment camps and continued to treat them like shit afterwards until pretty much the 60s, right along with black people? What about all the Jews we kicked out of the country when they fled here in WWII? Hell, what about Italians? America treated them like shit. They still make up disproportionately huge chunks of the lower and working class communities in cities, they also created race-based gangs to protect themselves and foster kinship in the past, and the “poor Italian American thug” stereotype is just as prevalent as the “poor black thug” one. And all of that happened closer to now on the timeline than slavery did. But for some reason black people are the only ones held to a lower standard because their race got screwed over in the past. What about Native Americans–they got massacred in the past, yet the ones who are left are generally expected to have good, non-criminal lives if the significant proportion of Native American children applying to/getting into/going to prestigious schools is any indication. A Jewish Italian woman  is still expected to do well. A Jewish man in Germany is expected to do well. A Chinese immigrant who hardly even speaks English but who comes to America and gets put into the school system despite that language barrier is still expected to do well. It’s only black people who’s “inherently oppressed” circumstances give them an out to just suck at life and have people accept that without question.

The difference, then, is not that black people were treated badly. Tons of people are part of groups that have been treated badly. Most people are. actually. As it turns out, humans are dicks with a tendency to not be nice to anyone ever. All you have to do is look at English/Irish relations to know that having white skin does not make other white people treat you well by default. The difference then has to be more internal in nature. Because if Indians can bounce back from Andrew Jackson and Jewish people can bounce back from the Holocaust, it’s not just history being mean to someone that keeps their entire group down decades and even centuries later. You’ve got to take culture into account at some point. And black culture has some problems that you can’t blame the white man for. So, I am sorry, Ms. Banks, but I do not buy that institutionalized racism is a justification for acting like an ass. And many a person during the Ferguson debacle acted like an ass.

“There are things in society that benefit a select few of us. fine…. But don’t put down the rest by saying they don’t respect themselves.”

No, I’ll totally do that. I’m not going to say that black people don’t respect themselves. But I will say that the mainstream black culture that many black people adhere to is not one that cultivates self-respect. Black American culture has plenty of cool things, but–like every culture–it has its flaws. To stop talking about “the coloreds” for a moment–I love Japan. I am on my way to being fluent in Japanese and I hope to live there for at least a handful of years after college. It’s a cool place with a beautiful culture that I wouldn’t mind living in. It’s also repressive to a fault, oddly hypocritical when it comes to expressions of sexuality, more than a bit racist toward its Chinese and Korean neighbors, and on par with Russia when it comes to how isolationist it is. No culture is perfect and no culture is beyond criticism. Black American culture has flaws, and like how Japan can’t blame all of its flaws by being atom-bombed by America, black culture can’t sweep its flaws under the rug by writing all of the off as a byproduct of racism. Because when you blame your faults on someone else, it turns out that you don’t really do anything to even begin to fix those flaws yourself.

So back to black culture and self-respect. I’m sure that plenty of black people have fine self-esteem. But when you live around people who make fun of you for doing the right thing (because being an upstanding citizen is being white y’all), that is not a culture that values self-respect. That’s why black kids don’t like being smart a lot of the time–because being smart isn’t “being black.” It’s why black people with money are automatically deemed “less black” and “less authentic” because they don’t come from the hood and have shitty lives. It’s why black people who live in ghettos complain about gang violence but also do nothing to discourage it and get flat out angry when people actively try to stop it. And when you live in a country where the people “on your side” are telling you that you pretty much have no autonomy, that if you become a gangbanger who kills people for wearing the wrong colors, well you’re just a victim of circumstance and nothing greater should have been expected of you anyway, so you met the low standard they had and that’s all that matters–that is not something that encourages self-respect. That’s something that internalizes low standards as being perfectly acceptable. And when significant numbers of black people go on the record saying that they’re okay with rioting–not protesting, mind you, but rioting–just because they’re angry, that is not something that indicates very much self respect. (Even the peaceful protesting at Ferguson was questionable in my opinion: How is shouting down cops who may or may not have even done anything to you, and calling them loads of terrible things and then getting mad when they react to being called terrible things for hours, a protest?) And when others defend that reaction because “what else could they be expected to do–they’re mad–that’s how black people react to being mad, they don’t know any better” that doesn’t help. A culture that respects itself would go through effort to cut the bad fruit off of the tree, not continually act like the bad fruit is perfectly acceptable because that’s “just how we are, stop judging us, that’s racist.”

“HOW DARE YOU open ur face to a white publication and tell them that we don’t respect ourselves…. Speak for your fucking self.”

Azealia Banks is racist, guys. I know I said that in my last post on this topic too, but yeah. She’s racist. She is the stereotypical, as-seen-by-Fox-News black person with a chip on her shoulder and a nostalgic longing for Malcom X style race activism. Oh really, he told this to a white publication [enter scare chords here]? How fucking dare he? The nerve of him. It’s almost like he doesn’t relegate himself to only associating with people who have the same skin tone as him. The fucking race traitor. Doesn’t he know that all of us sit together at the cafeteria and no one is allowed to break from that?

That’s essentially what’s she’s saying. Kendrick Lamar is a race traitor for saying something bad about other black people around white people. I guess that makes me a race traitor too. Awesome. So, if he had said this to a “black publication” would it have been alright? Is it only when someone tells white people to their face that *gasp* “some of the problems black people have aren’t white people’s fault” that there’s an issue? Is deviating from the fucking hivemind of “Black person always victim, white person always bad guy, does not matter what actually happens–wash, rinse, repeat” an offense now? How dare he say something like that? Black people can only talk to the whites with a pre-approved script that doesn’t say anything too racy now? Azealia Banks is the kind of person who sat with all the other black kids at the lunch table and was perfectly okay with that arrangement. And I still have no idea how she became the liberal darling for “telling it how it is” when her treatment of white people is to be overtly racist and exclusionary toward them, and her reaction to a dissenting black opinion is condescension, righteous indignation, and betrayal. How could a black person say those things? E tu Kendrick?

I’ve officially had enough of this woman, guys. I have had enough. And why has no one called her out for being racist?! You’d think calling out racist rhetoric would be kinda important right around now. Oh, wait a minute, she’s only a bitch to white people and race traitor black people with internalized racism. It’s okay then. Barf.

Iggy Azalea is Relevant Again (Yay. . . .)

Why am I once again finding myself siding with Iggy Azalea? I don’t want to. Since my last post about her, she hasn’t done anything to change my opinion of her as an maker of soulless, boring music with little to no personality who is only interested in making the cash money. Which is all well and good–make yo’ money– but that’s not someone who I’m interested in listening to the music of or paying attention to in the slightest, and I was doing a great job at forgetting that Ms. Iggy existed for the longest time. But the internet won’t let me. Once again, she’s found herself in–what I find to be undeserved–hot water, most of it centered around her being a white woman in the rap game. I’m going to preface this defense of her by saying that I myself am a black woman, and the fact that I have to use my skin tone to justify having an alternative opinion is part of the issue (it’s also sadly something that Iggy Azalea can’t do, which is why she’s the source of so much vitriol in the first place).


Now, I’m sorry if some of the this is inaccurate. Believe it or not, I have a life outside of doing in-depth research on internet feuds between celebrities I don’t care about. So maybe the timeline of what happened before what is off, but I’m using a few select articles, that I’ll be addressing, so I don’t think the timeline matters much. Iggy Azalea is the “cool” person to go after right now. That’s all you need to know.

For the first article, that shows what, maybe, sorta started it all:

Rapper Azealia Banks never shies away from saying how she really feels, no matter who’s on the other end of her often blistering criticism.

Her latest victim is Iggy Azalea (her kinda name twin), who she says wants to reap the rewards of black culture without sharing the burden.

Specifically, she thinks Iggy ought to have something to say about Ferguson and the New York City Police Department, both big topics in the news because of the deaths of two unarmed black men.

I’m just going to trust that this article accurately depicts Ms. Bank’s character, because I don’t know who she is. Rap is one of my favorite genres, and the name “Azealia Banks” only registers to me as the name of someone whose music I listened to in high school some and found underwhelming so I never looked her up again. So I’m just going to trust that this “fierce, opinionated woman” thing is accurate. She seems kind of bitchy to me, looking over her Twitter, but I I’m a firm believer that Twitter turns you into a sociopath, so maybe she’s nicer in person.

its funny to see people Like Igloo Australia silent when these things happen… Black Culture is cool, but black issues sure aren’t huh?

If you’re down to ride with us bitch you gotta RIDE ALL THE WAY

“EVERYBODY WANNA BE BLACK, BUT DON’T NOBODY WANNA BE BLACK” – PAUL MOONEY

Okay. 1.) “Igloo Australia” is fucking racist, and not even the funny kind of racist, just the lame pun kind. If you’re going to complain about racism, it’d probably be good to not indulge in it yourself. 2.) Calling someone a bitch is a good way to make is seem like you just personally don’t like someone, as opposed to the having the “clever social commentary on Iggy’s actions” that people praise you for. Something tells me that she’s sick of her name only coming up in search engines because people misspell Iggy’s name. 3.) I would’ve gone with the “find we a white boy who can sing like a black one, and I’ll make you a billionaire” quote, but alright.

Here are Iggy’s responses:

Theres more to sparking a change than trolling on social media. World issues shouldnt be used as a poor excuse to promote fan battles.

Make sure you do something to let YOUR government know how you feel when something is unjust., not JUST your followers on twitter…

The world is too hung up on what is or isnt said on twitter. theres an actual world out there and multiple ways you can promote change.

I’m going to be honest. I found these responses surprisingly good and well-articulated for the woman who got in a hilariously surreal Twitter fight with Snoop Dog that involved white-face and bad movie references, for reasons I still don’t understand. She makes some actually good points, which I did not expect at all going into this article. So props to her, I guess. This does seem like Banks just trying to remind people that she exists by starting a feud with an acceptable target and setting herself up as the “good guy,” and internet activism is very annoying. Nothing Iggy said really sticks out to me as being egregious bad or ignorant.

Iggy Azalea isn’t required to weigh in on anything. I feel like that is a very crucial point that everyone is forgetting. Everyone talks about how *gasp* Iggy Azalea doesn’t want to talk about black issues like that’s a pre-requisite that she’s refusing to fulfill, like she’s supposed to do that but she’s just not doing it. But . . . no. She in no way has to talk about it. Like at all. Having Banks point a finger at her in no way makes her any more obligated than she was before. And frankly, I’ve got to admire the metaphorical balls it takes to pretty much spit in the face of this aspect of celebrity culture.

You know what I’m talking about: The idea that we just have to know what celebrities think about everything, especially the topical things? The idea that celebrities have to align themselves with a side in order to be seen as “good.” The idea that celebrities have to weigh in on stuff that happens. Even when they don’t, we just disproportionately care about putting a big face on a list of “People Who Agree With/Don’t Agree With Me on X Topic.” It’s like how it was a huge deal for celebrities to come out and say how they felt about gay marriage . . . up until it wasn’t a huge deal at all because the debate wasn’t topical anymore.

And no, Iggy being a rapper doesn’t mean she’s any more obligated to talk about it either. Her being a white rapper doesn’t mean she’s obligated to talk about it. She’s a musician. A shitty one, in my opinion, but that’s her job. Talking about current events is not her job. There are plenty of celebrities who have gone out and taken a stand on this issue, and good for them. I’m not saying that they shouldn’t have an opinion and make that opinion known. I’m saying that they shouldn’t be implicitly required to by force of the public demanding they do it, like entitled children who feel like the people who entertain them should bow to their whims and do what they want them to do, when they want them to do it. Believe it or not, some celebrities really do just want to make their respective artworks and their respective paychecks, and they do not care about weighing in on things, even the important things. And they shouldn’t have to. That would be like forcing your local police chief to tell the whole town what he thinks about black struggles because police are involved in this, and we need to know the opinion of every vaguely influential, tangentially related person to the incident.

This is the cultural appropriation argument. “Oh you like our stuff, but you don’t like us.” First, rap does not belong to black people. People who looked like you being the originators of something does not mean you own it. Should white people go over to Japan and complain about all the Japanese death metal bands because metal is “their” music? Iggy should not be required to be the face of white people in Black People Land. She clearly just wants to make money and music, so why make her something that she isn’t and has no desire to be and then shoot her down when she isn’t good enough at it.

She doesn’t want to talk about this. I’m actually kind of pissed off at how dick-ish this is. Maybe if it was actually her job to talk about this, I’d be okay with it. But God. “Fuck what you want to do, Iggy Azalea, we want you to talk about this, so you’re going to, or else we’ll start talking about how you’re part of ‘the problem’ again.” Why is being this dismissive of what someone wants what a “good guy” would do? She doesn’t want to, guys. She just doesn’t. She’s one, semi-relevant celebrity whose opinion only matters to the people who insist that her opinion matters to someone else. Harping on making one person talk about something that they don’t want to talk about does not make you look like a paragon of social justice, it makes you look like an ass who doesn’t bow out gracefully but keeps going at it even when it doesn’t make any difference.

To the next article, from Jezebel, so you know it’s good:

“Q-Tip Schools Iggy Azalea on Hip Hop History And We’re All Better For It”

We’ll see about that, overly hyperbolic clickbait title. We’ll see.

The past week has been rough for Iggy Azalea. Not only has she been duking it out with Azealia Banks, but this weekend, she was the target of hackers threatening to supply proof of an alleged sex tape to punish her for “misappropriating black culture” and disrespecting #ICantBreathe protesters (they have since dropped their beef with Iggy and gone after MTV).

Once again, all of this happening at once just goes to show that this has less to do with her or the social issues at hand and more to do with “Oooooo, there’s a cool person to hate on now, better jump on the bandwagon and start drinkin’ the Hater-Ade before it’s too late!”

But amidst all this, one really amazing thing has happened. Q-Tip took to Twitter to patiently, gently and compassionately teach Iggy (and whoever else needs a refresher) on the historical and political forces that created and continue to drive hip hop music. Over the course of nearly 40 tweets, he explained:

I at least know who Q-Tip is. I actually kind of agree with Iggy’s later response to this when she calls it patronizing. Not Q-Tips tweets specifically, but just go and read that paragraph again. The writer of this article is at least being patronizing as fuck, if you don’t think Q is. “Patiently and gently and compassionately teaching her” like she’s some problem five-year-old with undiagnosed dyslexia who just needs a little extra help to “get it.” I’ll get more into the “historical and political forces that created and continue to drive hip hop music” thing in a bit. I like history. I especially like pop culture history, and I like rap. So this is an interesting history recap at the very least.

“HipHop is a artistic and socio-political movement/culture that sprang from the disparate ghettos of NY in the early 70’s Coming off the heels of the CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT and approaching the end of the Vietnam war it was a crossroads 4 America specially for blacks in the US our neighborhoods were PROLIFERATED w/a rush of HEROINE.”

I wouldn’t dispute any of that.

“Our school systems here in NY dungeon traps with light for learning… blk men some of whom didn’t return from tours of duty n the ones who did came w/war baggage (agent orange, addiction, ect..)… these men had families but due to these events and throw into the mix the public emasculation… they proved to be handicapped parents. The surrogate parents? The STREETS… the streets of gangs, crimes, and the hustlers coddled us and swept us up.”

I feel like that’s an oversimplification, and a problem that most ‘Nam vets had to deal with (we were not nice to ‘Nam vets, in any capacity). Also, this rings of some weird fatalism that “black people will always be doomed to be thugs in the streets for reasons!”, but alright. Hip hop came from the streets. Go on.

“But! Being a spirited, rhythmic & expressive people music art dance outlined our existence… it proved a way for us to exhault to scream to dance to laugh and find OUR VOICE… we weren’t at the time skilled musicians as kids. We had records, turntables, ideas and INGENUITY being natural chemist we took from whatever was availed to us and we created something mighty and special.”

This seems a little ego-stroky, but alright. Black people are good with music. No one is denying that. Music helps you do a lot of things. No one is denying that either. Though he fails to mention that this (the 60s/70s) is also the time where things like music and performance were valued not only because they helped you deal with tough times but also because this was around the point where rampant anti-intellectualism became a thing in black communities, so it wasn’t like being an academic was going to get you smiles and claps the same way playing the trumpet would. Music was a way of being black and things like books and school were being white, so they wouldn’t have that. So it wasn’t all creativity rainbows and blossoms of artistic ingenuity. There was a bad side to it as well.

“We cut breakbeats back n forth we took a hybrid of Jamaican toasting along w/ radio jock rap( hank Spann, Gary Byrd, ect.) and we put our rap down.. it was a neighborhood thing really. Black and Latino Kids were carving out their space and it became infectious… eventually Keith Cowboy coined the phrase hiphop . Yrs later the first rap record was recorded and now we r moving.”

Okay, seems accurate.

“But during these strides this country still had the monster of racism and racial insensitivity breathing and ruling… believe it or not young black n Latino lives specifically weren’t acknowledged in mainstream American culture unless Of course.. the convo was abt gangs , being criminals or uneducated. And hey! Like I stated early our families were rushed our schools sucked and we were left to put devices to survive… but HIPHOP showed that we had DEPTH, fire, and BRILLANCE… the music was undeniable! It moved from NY N became national and even GLOBAL.”

Actually, black-centric schools were pretty good up until the mid and late 60s. They were full of black teachers who went to college and came back to their communities with high expectations for all the kids there. Black communities were isolated and had crime like any other isolated place, but they weren’t burnt out, no education hell holes like he’s depicting them as. It, ironically, wasn’t until their legitimate grievances about racism were given voice to in the 60s that things started really going downhill. I’m not saying the Civil Rights movement was bad, but that was an unfortunate consequence of it. This is also really oddly leaving out some really important pre-hiphop musical revolutions (Harlem Renaissance and be-bob anyone? Or even non-black centric ones like the rise of rock), but I’ll assume that it’s just for space’s sake that he’s sticking to hip hop. Hiphop was one of the ways that African Americans found a definitive voice in mainstream culture as a group, though.

Hiphop now was FOR EVERYBODY!! All of those who cld relate to the roots, the spirit, the history, the energy.. It reached YOU… it touched your spirit n took u up. We magnetized you! That’s what BRILLANCE does… now u are fulfilling your dreams … BUT! you have to take into account the HISTORY as you move underneath the banner of hiphop. As I said before… hiphop is fun it’s vile it’s dance it’s traditional it’s light hearted but 1 thing it can never detach itself from is being a SOCIO-Political movement.”

This is where I’m going to have to disagree with him. Music is for everybody, yes. It’s for everyone to hear, and it’s for everyone to make. But hiphop is not “brilliant.” A hip hop song can be brilliant. And entire album can be brilliant, but hiphop is not. And it’s not just this genre. This goes for literally every single music genre ever. As it turns out, most of the older genres started out as catalysts for socio-political movements. That’s what they started out as, and it’s a beautiful history full of beautiful music of all kinds. But it’s history. The music can still be that. But that doesn’t mean that that is what it still is as an entire genre, hence hiphop is not brilliant. Look at country. Country started out as the counter-cultural voice of the downtrodden and poor much the same way hiphop did. It was a humanizing voice for the voiceless, providing social commentary, and criticizing society and the government till the cows came home. Rock also started as a counter cultural, anti-establishment genre that provided a voice for people and ideas that weren’t acknowledged. Some of the most famous anti-war songs are country and rock songs, because the 60s just seems like when everything came to a head in the music world.

But you can detach rock and country from being soci-political movements the same way you can detach hip hop from it for one reason: Things change. And though all three of those genres can and still are used to make social statements plenty of times, that has no bearing on the fact that that’s not what the genre does anymore. So A Tribe Called Quest existed once, okay. Two Chainz  and Wiz Kalifa and Soldier Boy exist now, and I would bet all the money that I have in my bank account that none of them know about this history that Iggy Azalea apparently so desperately needs to know about either.

“Lolipop” is not a socio-political song. “Thong Song” is not making a statement about the black existence. Hell, “Ridin’ Dirty” seems like it’s trying to be a socio-political song, but it actually turns out being a song about an actual criminal getting pissed because cops peg him as an actual criminal. That’s not to say that rap still doesn’t make political statements, and that’s not to say that some rappers are still connected to the political commentary background of the genre, but popular, mainstream rap is hardly “smart” most of the time, just like every other genre. There was Swimming Pools by Kendrick Lamar a while ago that was a song with a smart social message, but that wasn’t even a “black” song, it was about alcoholism, a fairly universal issue. And it’s odd to say that rap has to be connected to that past irrevocably, no matter what. It severely limits what rap could talk about, because it implies that rap could only ever be about the “black experience” or could only ever have some kind of “message” because that’s how it was in the past. I think Q-Tip says this because he’s one of the rappers that has social commentary in his songs, but, a show of hands, how many of my readers know who Q-Tip is? “Social commentary” is not the face of rap and hiphop anymore, so it doesn’t make sense to tie the two together and say that must go hand in hand. The same goes for rock and country–“Save a Horse, Ride a Cowboy” isn’t making any anti-war statements, and the pop rock song “Tonight” doesn’t have much to say about the faults of society.

“U may ask why … Well once you are born black your existence I believe is joined with socio-political epitaph and philos based on the tangled and treacherous history SLAVERY alone this is the case it never leaves our conversation… Ever. WeAther in our universities our dinner tables our studios or jail cells… the effects still resononates with us. It hurts… We get emotional and angry and melancholy… did u know president Clinton was the ONLY PRESIDENT to apologize for it? did u know that remnants of slavery exist today thru white privilege? When certain “niceties” r extended your way because of how u look? Isn’t that crazy?”

Well, I don’t see why any current president would have to apologize for slavery. If that was a thing, literally every world leader everywhere should be apologizing, because humanity has had a shit ton of slaves everywhere all the time. Also, I think this is once again just a matter of opinion. He’s not wrong for thinking this way–that’s just how he, and I’m sure plenty of other people, think. And there’s nothing wrong with thinking that. It is, though, an opinion. He sees being black as being irrevocably tied to slavery and socio-political battles. I see being black as having a skin tone that I happen to share with people who got screwed over in the past. There is a treacherous history behind blacks in America, of course, but you’d be hard-pressed to find a history that isn’t treacherous for anyone. History isn’t kind, and the world can really only get better. The effects resonate with me sometimes, but they’re not some significant part of my life. It’s just who I am. I get emotional and angry and melancholy, but over lots of things. I’m sure everyone does.

I don’t need an apology. I don’t think whites have something to apologize for or give me reparations for. There are no stereotypical slavers in America, and I’m not going to say that white people should own that as their image and apologize. If we are forced to shoulder the sins of those who came before us, to own not only our pasts but the pasts of everyone vaguely like us, we must own all of it, the good and the bad. White people don’t just have slavery. They have plenty of good things too. Black people don’t just have being enslaved, they also had being the slavers. I’m privileged in ways others are not, and they’re privileged in that ways I am not. And it all depends on where and when. It’s fair in how unfair it is.

This is my opinion. It is the opinion of plenty of black people I know. You cannot paint one definitive “black experience” anymore than you can paint one universal “white experience.” Q cannot say that “this is what we feel about this, and this is what we do” as if all black people feel that way. We are not a monolith, you know?

“I say this 2 say u are a hiphop artist who has the right 2 express herself however she wishes… this is not a chastisement this is not admonishment at ALL this is just one artist reaching to another hoping to spark insight into the field you r in. I say this in the spirit of a hopeful healthy dialogue that maybe one day we can continue… I’ve been on twitter a long time and this will probably be my last series of tweets pretty much but I’m Kool with it as long as I got to share this w u. Zzzzzzz’s up! Peace!”

I hate the word “dialogue,” but I like Q-Tip, in the end of the day. This was less of a history recap and more of an extremely biased in favor of X and incredibly idealized recap of the history of X. Which is fine, I don’t expect him to be a historian, and this just shows that he really likes the genre he’s in. But yeah, not really a history lesson. I think it’s odd that he assumes that Iggy just doesn’t “get it” and doesn’t know the history of it all, as I’m sure she does, but he’s way better than the writer of this article, who goes on to say . . .

Of course it’s frustrating that one of the greatest lyricists has to take the time to teach a rapper about the genre of music she and some producers decided fit her best (like a piece of clothing she can take off), that this conversation had to happen in the first place. But while one can only hope that Iggy Azalea takes this to heart or even takes notice at all (doesn’t seem like it so far), we can all learn from Q-Tip’s history lesson.

Iggy came to America wanting to go into hiphop, you dick. She didn’t just show up a blank slate ready to “try on what looked best.” I think you should take a page from one of the greatest lyricists of all time and learn a little humbleness.


And to the third one, wherein Iggy responds:

Tip, who seemed concerned by the discussion swirling around Iggy’s obliviousness to the concept of cultural appropriation in hip-hop and pop, provided her (and all of us, frankly) with a brief, but multi-faceted socioeconomic and geopolitical map of hip-hop. Her response took two days, and isn’t even much of a response, but in all its glory, its embedded below.

Once again, not agreeing with you does not make someone “oblivious” or uneducated. I am black, and I was insulted by the notion that Iggy Azalea committed cultural appropriation (because black culture is apparently idiocy and poor grammar, and you ain’t takin’ that from us white gurl). Also, the “and all of us” part gives me the notion that you have no connection the genre that you’re so fervently fighting to preserve the purity of. “I don’t know about this, but I know that Iggy is bad, for sure!” I for one really do not understand claims of appropriation (wrote a whole post on the topic), especially in music, as art is for everyone to create and indulge in, no matter who they are or what the art is. As long as the art is good and/or they like making it. And even then, appropriation isn’t the problem, it’s the artist being a bad artist.

Considering the neutrality in the tone of Tip’s lesson, her tweets read more as an underhanded swing than anything of substance. Q-Tip was providing context, not chastisement, but as we’ve seen before with Iggy and her Twitter, her retorts remain self-coddling and off target.

Well, that’s what I expected before and was presently surprised to see otherwise, so let’s see how she responded to this.

Thanks lupe and will iam what you guys said was really nice and i appreciate it.

Well, this is just her being nice and thanking two of the only black people left who haven’t ripped her head off, so this doesn’t seem like an issue.

most people learn every and anything they can about the subjects they are passionate about, I’m no different.

i find it patronizing to assume i have no knowledge of something I’m influenced by, but I’ve also grown up with strangers assuming that.

so its completely fine and I’m used to it by now. i don’t lose any sleep over it.

I don’t know. This seems like a response to me. The writer of the article said she didn’t respond at all, but I’m fairly sure saying “I already knew that, and assuming that I didn’t was mean” seems like a pretty decent response. And I’m sure she has grown up with strangers assuming she’s just some white girl who “doesn’t get it,” so I don’t think she’s lying.

im also not going to sit on twitter & play hip hop squares with strangers to somehow prove i deserve to be a fan of or influenced by hiphop.

i would have to be an idiot or incredibly bored to think that would change anyones already cemented opinion of me. I’m neither.

I do think this is a little needlessly defensive (Q-Tip was one of the nicer ones, after all), but I get that. Iggy’s had a rough week, as you’ve said. That first tweet seems more like a response to everyone, not just him, her trying to justify her existence to everyone telling her that she shouldn’t do what she’s doing or that she isn’t good enough to be in the genre for reasons totally divorced from the music she makes within that genre. Once again, it goes back to people harping on the fact that she’s a white girl. I saw an article with a title along the lines of “We’re Not Saying That Iggy Should Quit Rapping Because She’s White, We Just Want Her to Acknowledge A, B, C Social Issues” when it’s clear that the only reason they want her to acknowledge A, B, C is because she’s white. No one is chomping at the bit to attack Two Chainz and Walka Flaka Flame over their lack of an opinion on America’s race issues. This is, once again, people attacking Iggy Azalea for doing nothing out of the ordinary for no other reason than that she looks out of the ordinary. People see her as a “white rapper” and nothing else, and when she refuses to talk about the “white” half because she’d rather focus on the “rapper” half, people get pissed off, even though it should be none of their fucking concern what she thinks or what she wants to discuss. So yeah, I get her being a bit defensive at this point.

how you feel about me blending musical genres together doesn’t bother me, no one is making you support or buy pop rap albums.

Okay, Iggy, I just defended you. Don’t start talking about how you “blend genres” like someone who makes good music. Although it’s true that no one makes you buy pop rap albums if that’s not the kind of rap you want to hear.

its entirely up to you what you support and are interested in, thanks if you are interested in me and enjoy my music. i love to hear that!

now, if you guys don’t mind… I’m on my christmas break enjoying it with people i actually KNOW…. in REAL life. you should do the same.

Once again, after the Snoop Dog incident, this is surprisingly okay on Ms. Iggy’s part. Defensive, yes. But I’d be defensive too if I spent the week getting bombarded on all sides by people calling me a terrible bitch. Now, how did Ms. Bank’s react, just to bring it full circle?

Qtip gave you some insight into the culture you’re influenced by and you really sat there and told him he’s hip-hop squares.

That tweet means nothing.

Azaelia Banks is a racist, guys. Just putting that out there.


I don’t want to defend Iggy Azalea anymore. It’s like the musical equivalent of defending the Transformers movies. I don’t want to do it. But people hate this woman for no reason. They assume the worst of her for no reason. They have needlessly demanding expectations of her for no reason. Well, they have a reason. It’s because she’s white. But that’s not a good reason. You don’t see people hounding Nicki Minaj for her opinion on the matter. Being a white rapper who doesn’t want to talk about being a white rapper does not make her a cultural stealing bitch, and being an entertainer who only wants to be an entertainer and not a social commentator does not make her “a part of the problem.” Iggy Azalea shouldn’t be forced into the position of being the voice of “the white girl among black people,” and people shouldn’t treat the situation like her opinion is so much more important to hear than anyone else’s just because we feel like she specifically should have something to say about how her race sucks.

The only reason people aren’t doing this to Marshall Mathers is because they know he’d be far more articulate in the crucifying of their needlessly race-centric arguments than she is. I don’t like Iggy’s music at all, but that, to me, is even more of a reason to not give a damn about what she has to say about whatever controversy is topical at the time.