Last night I was talking with A about my simple rules for maintaining a healthy relationship. The gist of the conversation was this: there are so many books and articles and thoughts on the subject, when it really boils down to these five sentences.
1. Assume the best.
Well, that’s racist.
Why are you posting racist shit? Are you racist? Do you not understand that it’s racist? Do you not care that it’s racist? Wtf, lady.
This kind of response is the reason a lot of people of color find white people untrustworthy and unreliable as friends, acquaintances, and allies.
You apparently like or identity with the imagery of the warbonnet and the stereotype and symbolism white culture has applied to it enough to have wanted this image on your blog. Yet, when an actual Native person tells you this image is racist and tries to open a dialog about it with you, all you have to say is “ok.”
You could not make it clearer that you don’t actually give half a shit about the culture you’re promoting the theft and bastardization of or the people whom it belongs to. And that’s racism. It’s the very definition of privilege: entitled to everything, accountable for nothing and to no one. Shit’s offensive.
More than that, though, it’s really disappointing because I actually thought you were cool. In fact, that’s why I tried to address it rather than just assuming you’re an unapologetic racist. My bad, I guess.
Ok excuse me for reblogging something from someone else. I really just liked her tattoos. Also, I have Native American ancestry so piss off.
I don’t care if you’re full-blooded Cherokee. Our cultures are not interchangeable. You’re not Lakota, so it’s not your fucking culture to do with as you please.
Fuckin’ racist bitch. I am so tired of you people.
I guess it’s racist if we wear moccasins too. damn. I guess I can’t wear a kimono or anything not made by my own race because I don’t want to be racist. That person probably didn’t want to open up a dialogue with you about how that could possibly be racist because you approached them with hostility instead of trying to have them empathize with you. That’s also how negative feelings towards other races are brought about. Not saying your feelings are invalid, just maybe you shouldn’t be rude about a picture that is on tumblr… be more upset about 4chan or something. :p
Moccasins are shoes. A war bonnet is more or less the cultural equivalent of the US Medal of Honor—the highest award a person can receive. The Medal of Honor is so respected that it’s literally a federal crime with a prison sentence to even falsely claim to have one, let alone to wear one, even a fake one, without having earned it. And that’s how offensive some white chick wearing a war bonnet as a hat is. Moreover, it’s redface (the equivalent of blackface), and the nudity paired with Native imagery sexualizes a group of people who face rape at far greater rates than other women in the country. Ingrained racism allows all this because it deems our cultures irrelevant or undeserving of respect. It’s the same reason you felt confident inserting yourself into a conversation to excuse offense for something you literally know nothing about.
The colonization of America was the worst genocide in history, and, when it was no longer politically correct to kill us; it just turned into a cultural genocide—forced assimilation, outlawing of religions and customs, the commercial exploitation of our histories and cultures, turning us into costumes and sports mascots, stereotyping us. And, don’t get me wrong, I know folks today had no control over much of that history, but you still benefit from it today and that dehumanization and exploitation is still constant and ongoing. Native cultures are deteriorating and even vanishing because they’re constantly stolen, bastardized, stigmatized, stereotyped and otherwise diminished by mainstream American culture. And that doesn’t exist in a vacuum, and neither does Tumblr. Photos like this one perpetuate it, excuse it, and even glorify it.
I’m hostile because of people like you, the girl I reblogged it from, and the one in the photo. People on this site readily agree that you shouldn’t wear a band shirt if you aren’t a fan of the band but have no problem telling me to fuck off when I bring up these cultural issues. Your ignorance is your responsibility, not mine. You think you should be able to take whatever you want from my culture and use it however and whenever you please, but you don’t even respect it enough to take 5 seconds out of your day to Google it before talking to me about it. Why shouldn’t I be hostile toward people who think they’re entitled to my cultural identity but not accountable for their actions toward it?
You actually implied that me not being friendly to a person engaging in the perpetuation of these types of racism is similar or worse than the racism itself. If you want to talk about how negative feelings about other races are created, that’s how! Your ignorance, apathy, and entitlement are how. Your refusal to consider the weight of your actions is how. The time to empathize with me is before you act like a racist. That’s your responsibility as a human being in a multicultural society. And if you’re going to insist on doing whatever the hell you want without that consideration, then you need to make peace with being held accountable for it by the people you hurt and upset because absolutely no one owes you a smile and a courteous word when you let your ignorance run rampant over them.
“If ever there is tomorrow when we’re not together… there is something you must always remember. You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. But the most important thing is, even if we’re apart… I’ll always be with you.”
― A.A. Milne
Powerful & creative imagery
the food and education made me sad.
I have always been fascinated by these ‘world of 100 people’ things, I remember spending hours thinking through the ones on a poster at church when I was 9 or so. It really, really makes some really important stuff so blindingly clear, in numbers we can understand. And it should, I hope it does, inspire us to act.
On St Andrew’s Day (or Andreasnacht) girls should kick a straw mattress in the nude to attract a future husband, and pour molten wax into water to see what the future holds
Picture: St Andrew’s Day by Magic Madzik
Down but not Oort?
Comet ISON, presumed dead after its sun-grazing trip yesterday, may have survived … maybe. Something survived, anyway. This NASA image from the SOHO satellite shows a smaller, diffuse tail reforming on Nov. 29th:
Frankly, comet-watchers are pretty stumped by ISON. That’s ok. Science is messy. Considering that this particular chunk of frozen space stuff has been hanging out in the Oort cloud for a few billion years, we’d be forgiven for not knowing everything about it.
Phil Plait has all your updates and background on the ISON undead-comet saga, and future, at Bad Astronomy.
Who’s up for renaming this thing “Comet Icarus”?
(Most excellent comic at top via xkcd)