professorsparklepants:

gethinblake:

so many of my friends are queer that i genuinely forget that the majority of the population isn’t on a regular basis

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Anonymous said: I'm not saying white privilege doesn't exist on a global scale, it does. It just bothers me when Americans try to dictate other people's identifies when they know nothing about their country, or their people's struggles, or treat everyone as though they're American/responsible for American issues, while at the same time not caring at all about issues in other countries.

ibutsu:

stirringwind:

that imo is “American privilege”- it’s a problem here on tumblr. Like yeah, to my American followers, I know lots of you try to learn and I wouldn’t generalise to say all Americans do this- but there’s a big problem especially amongst popular social justice blogs here.

What is very disturbing about the tumblr social justice discourse is that a lot of popular US social justice bloggers like to splatter the US categorisation of race and understanding of racism over the rest of the world. Race, and racism- are both social creations. Therefore, it only makes sense that they can vary from society to society. Here are some issues:

1. Things like insisting that white people cannot face racism in the world. I’m sorry, but I can tell you that’s BULLSHIT in Europe, at least. How people are othered operates differently sometimes. It’s pretty obvious I have Chinese ancestry, for example, but I speak fluent English. That often makes me seem more assimilated and less of an “Other” in the UK, than the immigrant worker from Poland whose accent is plainly obvious. Do Chinese people face racism in the UK? I’m sure they do sometimes.

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  • But my point is that the way xenophobia and hostility is targeted isn’t always based on skin colour. The Holocaust, the Nazis’ deliberate starvation and mistreatment of Soviet soldiers, the genocide of Bosnians by Serbians are all instances where genocide was committed against people who WOULD be racialised as “white” in the US, who were genetically European. I will seriously throttle anyone who dares to suggest no racism is involved or tries to literally posthumously say claim the victims are “POC” to fit their narrative that global oppression is “White people oppressing POC!!!” ( E.g “Bosnians were not really white because they were Muslims.” WRONG. Genetically they are Slavic people- like Russians, Ukrainians…and Serbians themselves). There was more about cultural otherness, religious divisions at play here, about Serbian nationalism really, rather than seeing Bosnians as “less white”.

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Bosnian Muslims in concentration camps in the 1990s 

  • The experiences of “white people” are far from universal AND they can be very familiar with racism, oppression and marginalisation. I mean like try telling a recent Russian immigrant to the US who was descended from Russian serfs that he has MORAL RESPONSIBILITY for slavery in the US? Geez. Yes, maybe he’d benefit from “white privilege” but to say his ancestors benefited from it would be nonsensical when they were getting similarly abused by landowners in the 1800s Imperial Russia. Please tell me how a US POC is necessarily always more familiar with oppression than a Polish person or German whose family lived under Soviet authoritarianism right up till 1989, who lived in fear of the Stasi, aka the East German secret police?

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An extremely privileged, white Russian serf girl listening as two landowners bargain over how much they want to pay for her.

  • This is an example of ridiculous mental gymnastics to maintain the “White people oppress POC!!!” paradigm.

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Haha, ok. So this person (it’s a US blogger) has proclaimed Ashkenazim are not white. Alright, how about some…experts? Like real Ashkenazi Jewish people?

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  • How about this other Jewish person’s opinion? 

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  • See? The “wtf Ashkenazim aren’t white they will slap you” person was American-splaining (yes, they are American) European race categories with clearly a US-centric understanding of race and subconscious failure to realise for Ashkenazi Jewish people, the definition of whiteness CAN FLUCTUATE in the US vs Europe. I understand that how Jewish people conceptualise identity can vary and may not fall neatly into “whiteness” or “non-white”. But the quarrel I have with that comment is because it’s obvious that person completely refused to countenance the notion that those people murdered in the Holocaust could be “white” because they don’t want to think about the complexity of racism around the world, they just want to perpetuate the narrative that racism globally is “white people oppress POC!!!” And that’s wrong, if you are gonna distort and step on other victims’ experiences for your own ends, no matter how noble your own cause is.
  • (Btw, MANY Ashkenazi Americans identify and do look “white” in the US.) Genetically, studies show they’ve enormous amounts of European ancestry because it seems European Jewish communities were formed from constant intermarriage with European women for CENTURIES, before they started to marry within the community. Just imagine how minimal their non-European heritage might be by then- 80% of Ashkenazim can trace their maternal line to prehistoric Europe. See why oversimplifying Nazi racism as “less-white” is kind of a wrong paradigm to understand it? And how it’s kind of wrong if you are so insistent on denying “white people” can face racism when we are not talking about neo-Nazis saying “white genocide!!!” about immigration, but real crimes against people?

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2. “POC” cannot be racist. Sure. I’m laughing. I guess it wasn’t racism AT ALL when officers in the Imperial Japanese Army said they saw Chinese people as “subhuman”. When one of my family’s most awful experience of imperialism was under the Empire of Japan during World War 2. Where Chinese people were buried alive and experimented on. Young men executed en masse. Women forced to become “comfort women” (aka forced prostitution) to service the Imperial Japanese Army. So, my teenage grandmother bound her chest, cut her hair and rubbed her face with ash- and spent the entire time disguised as a boy in order that she wouldn’t be raped. All war crimes the Japanese government doesn’t want to apologise for even till today.

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How about the fact that the people of a group who were victimised at one point can also have racist and discriminatory policies themselves?

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And hurt their OWN people too?

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Purges during the Chinese "Cultural Revolution".

  • So, saying “POC” cannot be racist (or oppressive in general) is offensive precisely because it lets governments who haven’t apologised off the hook. Because, hooray, all racism and oppression only comes from what is the US understanding of “white people” (European origin?) ! How about Ottoman Turkey’s genocide of 1 million+++ Armenians, Greeks and Assyrians? (Greeks! “White” victims at the hands of “non-white” people? I know, shocking, but it has happened. Also, it’s another debate whether Turkey can be so easily be considered “non-European”.) Hideous things like forced death marches to the desert. If what the white settlers did to the Native Americans is genocide, what the Ottoman Empire did to their Christian subjects sure as hell is genocide too. Like you know what, yes I’m glad Turkey criticises Israel for its policies towards Palestinians which indeed look like ethnic cleansing- but at the same time…I think, “what about you? When are YOU going to admit those 1 million people were murdered because you wanted to exterminate them?”

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Wanna bet that anon earlier doesn’t know who this guy is? He’s Mehmet Talaat Pasha btw, Grand Vizier of the Ottoman Empire and chief architect of the Armenian genocide.

  • How about the “Death Railway”, where plenty of “white” POWS died working in conditions of near slavery building a railway line for the Empire of Japan, treated no better than the Asian labourers working alongside them?

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  • That’s why the term “POC” doesn’t speak much of solidarity to me with that kind of history. Outside the US…it’s very often meaningless. In Europe, it’s already problematic because it obscures inter-European racism, and in countries where non-European people are a majority, some of the worst things we have suffered were by the hands of other “POC”. And that is exactly why the term “POC” and the entire “white people oppress POC” dichotomy SHOULD NOT be indiscriminately spilled all over non-US contexts and pre-US history.

3. If you’re an American person of colour, I’m going ask you, as a non-American and fellow non-white person, to think twice about trying to claim solidarity with all non-white people around the world and blaming all problems like modern capitalism and exploitation on “White supremacy”. Because that is not true, because that is a shameful abdication of recognising our moral culpability in other forms of oppression.

  • Like…US POCs, imo, are quite culpable in US foreign policy imperialism. How can they not be? Many do benefit from America’s political hegemony over the world even if within their country they’re less privileged than white Americans and still face discrimination. But vis a vis some poor person in another country about to be trampled by the boot of US foreign policy, they are privileged. Many US POCs serve in the US Army. The President is a person of colour.
  • One cannot claim equivalency in marginalisation with the Pakistani man whose family was killed in a mistargeted drone strike- because you are a US citizen. Just as I can’t claim I’m somehow as oppressed by capitalist exploitation as those Chinese villagers whose water supply got poisoned by factories making goods for the MNCs. Because although my great grandparents were poor Chinese who left China amidst the strife caused by the Opium Wars, I am not them. I had an infinitely more privileged upbringing, because I am a consumer in the developed world and actually on the other side- the side that in many ways enables oppression. My hands may be clean vis a vis white supremacy, but they ARE NOT when it comes to the way the developing world is exploited. Are wealthy Chinese businesspeople who mistreat their workers free of moral blame?

Are these people

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as underprivileged or institutionally oppressed as these?

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Are these two’s experiences, privilege and power

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EXACTLY the same as these rural Kenyan kids- who are happy that they now have access to clean running water?

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(Yes, Kenya and the African continent as a whole have made great strides. But it is a fact that these children face more challenges and have fewer opportunities and are much less privileged than most Americans.)

NO.

Just because we have been wronged by others in the past doesn’t mean we may not be hurting others now, and that we don’t have a responsibility to stop it. 

It is one thing to talk about your own experiences and raise awareness about the injustices you face. That is great and should be supported. But it is another to step on other victims so your narrative of oppression is the loudest and drowns them all out. Oppression is not a contest, and we can talk about our experiences in SOLIDARITY with one another, recognising that throughout human history, racism and oppression has worn MANY faces around the world- not just white ones.

This is very good and important. The main problem with social justice blogging is its focus on American issues, without any sense of nuance for the rest of the world. 

“Since her death in 1979, the woman who discovered what the universe is made of has not so much as received a memorial plaque. Her newspaper obituaries do not mention her greatest discovery. […] Every high school student knows that Isaac Newton discovered gravity, that Charles Darwin discovered evolution, and that Albert Einstein discovered the relativity of time. But when it comes to the composition of our universe, the textbooks simply say that the most abundant atom in the universe is hydrogen. And no one ever wonders how we know.”

Jeremy Knowles, discussing the complete lack of recognition Cecilia Payne gets, even today, for her revolutionary discovery. (via alliterate)

OH WAIT LEMME TELL YOU ABOUT CECILIA PAYNE.

Cecilia Payne’s mother refused to spend money on her college education, so she won a scholarship to Cambridge.

Cecilia Payne completed her studies, but Cambridge wouldn’t give her a degree because she was a woman, so she said fuck that and moved to the United States to work at Harvard.

Cecilia Payne was the first person ever to earn a Ph.D. in astronomy from Radcliffe College, with what Otto Strauve called “the most brilliant Ph.D. thesis ever written in astronomy.”

Not only did Cecilia Payne discover what the universe is made of, she also discovered what the sun is made of (Henry Norris Russell, a fellow astronomer, is usually given credit for discovering that the sun’s composition is different from the Earth’s, but he came to his conclusions four years later than Payne—after telling her not to publish).

Cecilia Payne is the reason we know basically anything about variable stars (stars whose brightness as seen from earth fluctuates). Literally every other study on variable stars is based on her work.

Cecilia Payne was the first woman to be promoted to full professor from within Harvard, and is often credited with breaking the glass ceiling for women in the Harvard science department and in astronomy, as well as inspiring entire generations of women to take up science.

Cecilia Payne is awesome and everyone should know her.

(via bansheewhale)

A friend of mine, Alice Sheppard, wrote quite a bit about Payne for Finding Ada. Well worth checking out.

(via cgranade)

princess-cadence:

pshh yeah dark pit what a dor-[thousands of pictures of dark pit fly out of my pockets] wh-what no those aren’t mine I- [more pictures fall out] shit i’m i’m holding these for a friends just [more fall out] ju-just LISTEN

hachidorable:

chipsprites:

Tell me this isn’t going to be the most beautiful game in Pokémon history.

oh my gosh, yes! this is wonderful.

hachidorable:

chipsprites:

Tell me this isn’t going to be the most beautiful game in Pokémon history.

oh my gosh, yes! this is wonderful.

sonofbaldwin:

knowledgeequalsblackpower:

dhaarijmens:

bemusedlybespectacled:

washingtonpost:

In a post-Ferguson world, Americans increasingly doubt the notion of colorblind justice.

HOW THE FUCK DID THE PERCENTAGE GO UP FOR WHITE PEOPLE
IN WHAT UNIVERSE DOES A POLICE OFFICER SHOOTING AN UNARMED BLACK KID (AND THEN ATTEMPTING TO COVER IT UP AFTER THE FACT) CONSTITUTE EQUAL TREATMENT IN THE JUSTICE SYSTEM
LIKE WHO LOOKS AT THAT AND GOES “WELL, BEFORE I THOUGHT THAT THERE WAS RACISM IN OUR JUSTICE SYSTEM, BUT THEN THIS SHIT HAPPENED AND NOW I SEE THAT IT’S PERFECTLY EQUAL”
WHAT THE FUCK

This increase can be explained by an interesting social phenomenon called ‘denial.’

They benefit from not knowing.. and from believing in myths. 

Comparing beliefs before and after Michael Brown’s murder and the surrounding revelations of racism that have sprung out of it, white people, as a demographic believe, MORE THAN EVER BEFORE, that the criminal justice system treats whites and blacks equally.That is, MORE white people believe the criminal justice system treats black equally now than they did before Michael Brown’s death.In essence, for white people, blatant systemic oppression and the murder of an unarmed young black man gives them even more reason to believe blacks are treated fairly by the system.This confirms an earlier study that said the more you tell white people that the system is inherently racist, the more they supported harsher punishments for black people: http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2014/08/07/3468368/study-white-people-support-harsher-criminal-laws-if-they-think-more-black-people-are-arrested/Marinate on these inhumanities for a second.

sonofbaldwin:

knowledgeequalsblackpower:

dhaarijmens:

bemusedlybespectacled:

washingtonpost:

In a post-Ferguson world, Americans increasingly doubt the notion of colorblind justice.

HOW THE FUCK DID THE PERCENTAGE GO UP FOR WHITE PEOPLE

IN WHAT UNIVERSE DOES A POLICE OFFICER SHOOTING AN UNARMED BLACK KID (AND THEN ATTEMPTING TO COVER IT UP AFTER THE FACT) CONSTITUTE EQUAL TREATMENT IN THE JUSTICE SYSTEM

LIKE WHO LOOKS AT THAT AND GOES “WELL, BEFORE I THOUGHT THAT THERE WAS RACISM IN OUR JUSTICE SYSTEM, BUT THEN THIS SHIT HAPPENED AND NOW I SEE THAT IT’S PERFECTLY EQUAL”

WHAT THE FUCK

This increase can be explained by an interesting social phenomenon called ‘denial.’

They benefit from not knowing.. and from believing in myths. 

Comparing beliefs before and after Michael Brown’s murder and the surrounding revelations of racism that have sprung out of it, white people, as a demographic believe, MORE THAN EVER BEFORE, that the criminal justice system treats whites and blacks equally.

That is, MORE white people believe the criminal justice system treats black equally now than they did before Michael Brown’s death.

In essence, for white people, blatant systemic oppression and the murder of an unarmed young black man gives them even more reason to believe blacks are treated fairly by the system.

This confirms an earlier study that said the more you tell white people that the system is inherently racist, the more they supported harsher punishments for black people: http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2014/08/07/3468368/study-white-people-support-harsher-criminal-laws-if-they-think-more-black-people-are-arrested/

Marinate on these inhumanities for a second.