Happy Yom Kippur and Eid Mubarrak to all people who are celebrating holidays this past week!
The fashion industry continues to co-opt black trends that are considered “ghetto” or “ratchet” and make them fashionable. For an example, look at this ridiculous and overtly racist photoshoot from VICE magazine.
Read this great response to the appropriation of black culture by Elizabeth Wellington. She hits the nail on the head here:
My issue isn’t with borrowing elements of style that started in the heart of black America. Appropriation has been at the center of pop culture since well, the dawn of culture.
What’s difficult to digest is this “praise” of all things black — from cornrows and large booties to acrylic nails, door-knocker earrings, and tribal fabrics – only becomes “chic,” “trendy,” and “epic” when worn by white women. When these same cultural markers are on black women, they are “ghetto,” “urban,” and “ratchet” – meaning, unpretty.
In more appropriation news, the founders of the “Thug Kitchen” cookbook and website are white.
You can see how the internet responded via Facebook by finding screenshots like this on Tumblr.
Did you read Pippi Longstocking growing up? Did you ever see the movie that was produced in the ’80s? Did you know there was a TV show in the ’60s? Well, good news! Sweden is going to edit the racism out.
Speaking of racist TV, Donald Trump, who is naturally a scholar and expert on such topics, has lashed out on Twitter over the racism of the show Black-ish.
Twitter tried to educate him, which was a valiant effort but let’s be honest, is entirely ineffective.
Ben Affleck appropriately blew up on Bill Maher for his racist intolerant views on Islam and Muslim. Maybe Ben Affleck is the hero we need, but not the one we deserve.
Internet crush Jesse Williams has joined the voices calling for a boycott of Exodus by advocating for this via Tumblr.
In other casting news, perfect sweetheart Yvette Nicole Brown is leaving Community to take care of her father. While we all understand and respect her decision, she will be deeply missed, as she was already underutilized on the show.
I’m sure by now you’ve heard of the Ohio woman who is suing a sperm bank for a sperm mix-up where they received the sperm of a black donor, not a white one. She says because of this error, her daughter, who is biracial, will face many hardships since they live in a racially intolerant town. While I agree that the sperm bank is at fault for this error, the mother seems to be seeking compensation not just for the clerical error, but for the hardships she now faces because her daughter is biracial. In all articles that I’ve read she points out that they will have to move away because her town won’t tolerate a mixed-race child. If she lives in such an insensitive town, I don’t know how she could live there as part of a queer family. She also points out how hard it is to have her daughter’s hair done and she must drive to far away neighborhoods where they can adequately deal with her daughter’s hair. While I don’t doubt their love for their daughter, this whole story just reeks of white privilege to me and leaves me feeling worried for the little girl because her own mother can’t get past her “otherness.” What it seems like to me is that this couple is now forced to acknowledge racism as they are being personally affected by it and that makes them uncomfortable. That they feel that simply moving away will help with racism speaks of their white privilege. They don’t yet understand that it’s not just one town, but a whole cultural and political system that will affect their daughter’s life. Good luck Payton.
Once again proving the gross injustice of the judicial system, ex-cop Jon Burges, who was accused of torturing over a hundred black men in the South Side neighborhood of Chicago, has been released from prison after serving 3 ½ years. He was in prison for lying about the torture, not for the actual torture. Let that sink in. He has been released with his full police pension benefits, while his victims continue to seek reparations for the heinous acts committed against them.
Apparently we’re now using the moniker “post-Ferguson” even though there are still protests and activists struggling to be heard in Ferguson, and I guess “post-mainstream media coverage of Ferguson” isn’t that catchy. Washington Post had a study on “post-Ferguson” racial attitudes, which are fairly unsurprising to anyone who’s been paying attention.
And a flash mob interrupted the St. Louis Symphony with a song that made me teary-eyed calling for justice for Mike Brown.
I think it’s important because the people sitting at the Symphony are the kind of people that can ignore everything happening in Ferguson and this flash mob brings it to their safe space. In the video you can hear one person calling Mike Brown a “thug and a criminal.”
Want to know the most racist reason to send back a letter from an insurance company, or from anyone ever? This is a good place to start.
Jessica Williams continues to be the hero we need by continuing her segment on catcalling and street harassment.
This article on ABC Family as a leader in LGBT inclusive television highlights the diversity of The Fosters and other ABC Family programming, but doesn’t quite emphasize they way they portray intersectional identities.
Cracked has a pretty great article highlighting the struggles of child migrant workers on farms in the U.S. For the whole GMO/organic debate, these debates often remove the workers from the equation, and this article is a nice reminder that they exist and should be brought to the forefront of all discussion about food in America.
NaNoWriMo is coming up, and since October is usually the month where people are outlining and planning their projects, here are some helpful notes about terrible tropes for PoC characters, i.e. the wise-cracking minority or magical minority, framed mostly through a Native lens, but applicable to all stereotypes of various people of color.
We leave you with on the biggest bits of music news this past week, which was Aretha Franklin’s cover of “Rolling in the Deep.” Enjoy!