Going through my weeb tags I found this post (the first one that I replied to) that made me want to pull my hair out. See how hurt this girl’s feelings are because she can’t have something more ~exotic~special~different~unique? So I went through her archive to find a post that could have caused someone to tell her she can’t have a Korean name and then I found the second one. Her thinking about which last name she should use.
First of all, let me tell you how really fucking ignorant she is since 1. last names never change for a simple reason like ‘I want to change my name’ like just no never happens anywhere. 2. Lim/림 isn’t a common name at all, especially not in South Korea. In North Korean, however, 임 (Im, a rather common last name) is written as 림 so that could lead to very awkward situations. You don’t really want to be mistaken as a North Korean, unless you enjoy being treated like a dog.
Secondly. Korean names aren’t just a ‘mix and match game’. You can’t just put Min and Yeon together because it sounds cute. Our names don’t work that way. If that was how we got our names, there would be people with the names 새기 (close to 새끼 (saekki) which means bastard, 변태 (byuntae) (pervert), 생선 (saengseon, fish), 관리 (gwalli, administration)), 소주 (soju), 숙성 (sooksung, aging) and none of those make much sense as names. Parents put effort in choosing their child’s name, they base themselves on their ancestors, cultural history, their family’s past, the province they’re from, the dialect they speak and these are only a few examples. You can’t just take Korean sounding syllables and put them together, especially if you don’t know the meaning of those syllables and of the name you get in the end. (I think we’ve all seen this game based on Korean and Japanese names, “what’s your exotic name? take your birthday numbers and find your name!!!!”, it’s the same shit as what this girl is trying to do)
But what angered me most is how she thinks it’s not harmful, how she thinks people are psychotic for protecting their culture, how she has the right to have a Korean name and even Koreans should just deal with that because she’s oh so special. No. Every fucking day I spend in a place where Korean isn’t the main language, I get made fun of.
People have no shame in laughing at my name when I’m right there in front of them. My last name is Ham. English speaking people are most likely going to pronounce that has ham, hem. It’s Ham with an AAAAAAAAAA not an E in the middle. 함함함함 and I repeat it countless times. I try to speak slowly and clearly just to make sure they get it, but no. People think it’s funny so they disregard my effort and they make my favorite joke; the ham and cheese joke. “Do you come with cheese?”, “You must be tasty”, “Do you ever get discounts on ham?” and that’s only three.
My given name is I-Ryang/Iryang (pronounced as Ee-Ryang with the same A as in Ham ^^) Once they’ve noticed how it’s spelled, they start joking about me being the next possible Apple product. “Oh iRyang like an iPhone!” or the most recent one I heard: “E.T. phone home, Ee-Ryang phone home” my eyes almost rolled out of my skull upon hearing that.
My sister’s last syllable if Rim (림). I still remember some ignorant teen boys asking her if she liked rimming, or making other gross remarks like “She must like rimming since she even put the word in her name!”
Every fucking day. Even when I call them out on it. They don’t see the problem. It’s “just a joke”. It isn’t harmful because “it’s an innocent joke.”, I need to ‘get over it’ because it’s ‘just’ a name. "Get an English name if you want to be respected." Because things are that easy right?
Every fucking day I get made fun of. I need to tell people my name is Yang or Ryang because Iryang is too special, too much of an effort. I usually need to get official documents redone because they managed to fuck up once again. My name has 187918 different spellings because I need to simplify it enough so white people will understand and be able to write it too. I get weird stares when I tell people my name, people tell me how to write my own fucking name, people tell me how to pronounce my name because the way I do is ‘probably is gonna be too difficult for English speakers’.
The question “What’s your name?” is the most stressful fucking question in my life because I know that by telling them, I’ll be mistreated and this girl thinks it’s cool. It’s exotic, it’s unique, it’s special, she deserves it and I need to see a psychiatrist to get over my own problems because I don’t appreciate people misusing my culture, because I don’t appreciate being mistreated and disregarded for being myself, while girls like her can get away with it.
One of the things that sat with me earlier was around the idea of systemic anti-Asian attitudes in the same structures of white supremacy. Note that this post is not to position as a wedge or derail from discussions of institutional racism and, specifically, anti-Blackness. This post is more intended as a reminder about Asian American history, historical structures of anti-Asian racism in the US with a view towards the impacts that they hold in structures persisting to this day. If I do overstep in any way, please check me on it. I stand unequivocally against anti-Blackness, from white folks and from communities of color.
I think that it’s important to recognize that racism in Amerikkka is not strictly a Black/white binary. White supremacy functions at differing levels of oppression for different groups as a structural way to “reward” light skinned folks and endow some privilege on certain groups as a tool against Black folks, and in part against the communities upon which they are conferred. Do Asian (specifically, light skinned East Asian American) folks have privileges that Black folks don’t? Yes. Absolutely, and we need to recognize and deconstruct our complicity in white supremacist power structures. Do East Asian American folks hold privileges that are not afforded to South, South East, and PI folks? Yes. Does immigration status play a part in the exercising of these privileges and relative privilege? Absolutely. Are those privileges an equality with white folks? No, and I don’t think that we should be complicit in aspiring to anti-Black privileges of white supremacy.
Do API/As still experience the effects of institutionalized discrimination? I think that there is something to be said for that.
A lot of privilege comes from institutionalized and inherited privileges. Looking at our enclaves (something that came up before), can be illustrative. Chinatowns, Nihonmachis, Manilatowns, K-Towns and other communities did not arise out of a desire to be kitschy white tourist attractions. The latter part of the 19th century and the early part of the 20th century, particularly in western state, had heavy impacts from anti-Asian discriminatory policies and outright racism. Things like the Alien Land Act in California restricted the rights of Asian immigrants to own the land they worked, or the homes they lived in. A lot of the racism faced by early migrants to the US (a large portion of them agricultural workers) limited their access to housing and, as a result, inherited wealth—something consistently shown as a privilege of whiteness. A lot of these same communities still suffer from access to public services, poverty, and a host of other issues. Many of the communities that popped up were for protection, mutual aid and provision for a community faced with rabid anti-Asian racism. These images are both from the early 20th century:
Anti-Asian riots were common and violent occurrences during the same period.
There are lots of other examples of where Asian Americans experience the ‘bamboo ceiling’ or the recurring inability of the entertainment industry to believe that Asian Americans can play Asian/Asian American characters convincingly (see also, Miss Saigon Controversy). Let alone seeing Asian Americans in leading roles or positive, affirming and complex characters other than stereotypical tropes and side-characters.
Disaggregating our communities is also an important part of seeing the complexities of our communities. Checking out the realities of some Asian American communities, particularly South East Asian, is a very different reality from the privileges that east Asians have (y’all should check out PrYSM, and support their work if you are able). Looking at the profiling and police-immigration enforcement that occurs in some of our communities that leads to massive deportations of refugees or being gunned down by police while unarmed, is also something we need to be aware of.
Alongside this, we have the desexualization of the Asian male, they hypersexualized fetishization of the Asian female (as broader categories, though gender and sexuality shift some of these narratives, but still usually towards a position empowering white fetishization of APIA bodies). The perpetual foreigner and fear of a yellow planet that constantly reappear in public discourse. Obviously, there are a lot more pieces of racism that are so diffused throughout the structuring of US society, that it probably isn’t relevant to enumerate them all.
I think that as APIAs, we do experience structural racism, but in a different way than Black folks. We also need to remember that there are Black folks that are APIAs. We need to remember that, and fight the anti-Blackness that does appear in our communities. We need to remember that a lot of our politicization came from solidarity with Black folks and Black Power—that we should be standing in support of Black folks, rather than fighting for a place in white supremacist power dynamics that shit on all POC, but specifically on Black folks.
My apologies. This post probably could have, should have been written better—too many distractions around right now.
all autocompletes were screenshots of actual searches on 12/3/2013
photo credit: Mike Allen
The idea was inspired by the UN Women campaign by Memac Ogilvy & Mather Dubai.
Racism from Absence
In my 19 years in America, I’ve never been stopped and frisked. Cops are always nice to me. People have no problems sitting next to me on the bus. No one’s scared of me no matter what direction I pointed my cap.
The kind of Asian racism that makes headlines is cultural misappropriation -when some “insensitive” entertainer wears silk kimonos and painted faces to look exotic.
This never bothered me.
It’s the subtle, slippery racism that’s far more sinister. The absence of Asian leads in a non-martial arts movie or TV shows means I grew up knowing only non-Asian celebrities and role models. And if you’re an Asian guy, you are not the stuff of fantasies girls grew up dreaming about.
The absence of Asians from politics and upper management means that Asians can be hard workers and geniuses but never leaders.
Above all, there seems to be some perma-foreignness about Asians. It’s not unusual to be told to “go back to China” and to be mocked for an accent we don’t have. The manifestations of this viewpoint range from the seemingly harmless to the outright hostile. But the underlying message is the same. Asians are not real Americans.
I vividly remember seeing this racism first-hand in a conversation with one of my former business partners. I wanted to create a mentoring program in a predominantly Asian school organization.
He flat out told me he had no interest in helping Asians succeed in America. I asked him, “Are you serious?” He said, “Yeah.” He laughed a little.
He was serious.
It was a wtf moment for many reasons and was a major factor behind my decision to leave my position as a co-founder. I eventually heard from a mutual friend that he said I was a follower not a leader.
In retrospect, I’m fortunate to have heard him verbalize something that others keep to themselves. It allowed me to move on to bigger and better things instead of wasting time working with someone who never saw me as a partner.
Confessions of an ABC Banana Twinky
I’ve been uncomfortable being Asian since the 2nd grade. Back then I was the foreign kid who didn’t speak any English who became the butt of every joke.
This bullying motivated me to learn English fast. By 3rd grade, I was nearly fluent and huge chunk of my vocabulary were insults and comebacks.
In 4th grade I started seeing my race as a handicap. I thought the only way to be accepted is to break every Asian stereotype. As a result, I avoided the other Asian kids. I stopped caring about my grades. Then there was the denial. For a period of my life I was Chinese Clayton Bigsby. I actually felt like I was white.
In the 6th grade one of my friends picked a fight with me for no reason and told me to go back to China. In retrospect, I shouldn’t have taken it so hard. But I did. I couldn’t look past the fact he was just some 12-year old taking medication for hyperactive aggression. At the time I felt the full weight of my racial identity and caused me to stray further away.
When I moved to a better school district in the 8th grade, a lot of the overt forms of bullying disappeared. Despite this, I still scoffed at Asian cliques and was embarrassed to speak Chinese in public or do anything which reminded people of who I really was.
The only time I referenced my race was through self-deprecating humor.
In college, I became “ok” with being Asian. I didn’t feel embarrassed to speak Chinese in public anymore. I also started to see some value in Asian culture and re-developed interest in the history.
I was also in a serious relationship with someone who accepted me fully. I also joined a business fraternity that was predominantly Asian.
I took a lot of steps in the right direction, but I still felt divided. It wasn’t until my second time meditating with a Shaman that I finally confronted the self-loathing I built up through the years.
I learned that by acting opposite to my stereotypes, I’m still letting ignorance control my life. Instead, the only thing that matters is figuring out who I want to be, and seeing if my actions are consistent with that version of myself.
The challenge is being honest with myself and admitting when my actions come from a place of insecurity and defensiveness. Committing to change that behavior is one of the purest expression of “self” stripped of delusion and denial.
Note: I’m just a guy with a Finance background who rescues cats and makes videos. I’ve never had diversity and sensitivity training. I just know my own experience and how it shaped the way I think today.
But, I do hope some parts of this resonates.
If you have any comments, agreements, or disagreements please drop me a line via the confirm/deny link on the upper left corner. I’m also reachable by email here. Or tweet @stevesdrop.
When the subject of race comes up in his MFA writing workshop, author Matthew Salesses says, it usually feels traumatic — a burden personal to writers of color.
76% of users on the Internet’s most popular online hate site, http://Stormfront.org, are under 30.
but wait for teh old people to die off nd racism will be solved huh?
The Violent Xenophobic Racism in Ireland
At 9pm last Tuesday, 44-year-old Chinese doctor, Wu Youzhong, went to investigate the sound of breaking glass outside his home in Coleraine, County Londonderry, in Ireland. When he arrived at his front door, he saw that the window had been smashed. An intruder then attacked him so violently that he had to be admitted to hospital for several days, and required consultation from an eye specialist. Dr Wu’s wife, Luo Ruoyin, said, “I heard he was just screaming in pain and I was scared. He was just holding his head and covering his eyes and blood was just running down everywhere.” The police are treating the attack as racially motivated; the couple, who have a two-year-old daughter, are reported to be intending to move away from the area.
The Chinese community in Ireland has long been a target of racial discrimination. Anna Lo, an Alliance Party politician born in Hong Kong who was elected to the Ireland Assembly in 2007, was the first politician from an ethnic minority at national level in Ireland, as well as the first East Asian to be elected anywhere in Britain. Her campaign was dogged by violent racism – including death threats – to the extent that she had to carry a panic alarm as a precaution. One far-Right website published pornographic images of Chinese women, alongside derogatory references to Anna Lo. “People from ethnic minorities are very frightened,” she said. “I have never seen ethnic minorities so fearful in Ireland.”
the crumbling myth of white supremacy. white supremacy is violent. white supremacy is destructive. white supremacy is pervasive. white supremacy kills.
never read the fucking comments
For all the Irish folks always crying about how Irish people were ~*~*~ALSO OPPRESSED~*~*~
"Disappearing" at CUPSI 2013 Prelims
in gym class
my white best friend points to the flat of my face
and says “you don’t really have a nose.”
it’s the first time i notice the difference
in the geography of our faces
i wish for a tall, delicate nose like hers
like my white boy punk idols
like the girls the boys see as beautiful
7th grade is a year of disappearing
the boys lounging in the breezeway
cackle about how i don’t have an ass
the department store jeans sag over the thin of me
it’s the first time i learn my yellow body
does not exist here
i’m in college
the first time a man old enough to be my father
hollers at me on the street
"sup lil mama!
me love you long time,
his words lick the back of my neck, slow
there’s a part of me that takes it as a compliment
there’s a part of me that wants to falcon punch the lecher out his face
it’s the first time someone makes me understand
how my yellow body shouts
across the sidewalk
port of nagasaki thighs
for you to commodore perry open
cambodian countryside cunt
to bomb in silence
in the mirror
i want to skin the chinadoll off of me
these almond eyes
flushed porcelain cheeks
that betray me
look how cute you did yourself up today
you were asking for it
the halloween store sells costumes called
"geisha beauty to ninja cutie"
modeled by white women in black wigs
cleavage bursting through strategic seams
my skin a little something sexy to don for one night only
they wear the fantasy of it
but never know the itching
how we asian women
carry a certain insanity
with the yellow of our skin
tiptoeing the ghostland
between invisible and undesirable
visible and easy victim
i’ve learned to speak steel trap
when talking to white men
keeping my smiles from showing too much interest
because the air is heavy with ghosts between us
chinese women abducted into new world prostitution
british opium ravaging pearl delta apart
in 2008, the 16 asian women in oakland victimized by police
in 2000, the 2 japanese women in spokane
raped by 2 white men “infatuated with the japanese race”
i’ve learned i can’t trust anyone to see me
under the histories this country
has mapped onto our skin
the paper pale english major next to me in
seems too interested
in whether or not i have plans for the weekend
i can’t tell if he’s just friendly
or viewing the beginnings of a porno
in the corners of my smile
i want to tear the “undemanding”
the “passive” from my skin
i leave the classroom
hoping walking away
is enough to not disappear
I know it’s hard for a lot of ppl to understand why black people are so deeply affected by racism and it’s hard for people to understand why so many of us live in impoverished, run down places.
So here are some numbers that I think make the picture clear.
Black Americans as a group have spent more time in slavery than out of slavery.
Slavery lasted for 245 years, it has only been 149 years since we were “freed”.
And as you all know, we were freed without any money or land or any kind of support. And I’m gonna just glaze over all the share cropping and slave like labour that continued to happen to just point out that segregation didn’t even end on paper until the 1950s, meaning we’ve only been legally allowed to share the same spaces with white people for 60 years. Our grandparents/parents were living during major civil rights movements. (My grandmother couldn’t get a job that she was RECOMMENDED for because they didn’t realize she was black until she showed up in person)
So, 245 years of being chattel, 77 years of fighting for basic human rights, and 60 more years of still fighting against discrimination and trying to level the playing field, all while being told to forget that the majority of the time we spent in this country, we spent as slaves and/or being sabotaged by the government.
Just a little perspective
After seeing several submissions from fellow Filipinos, I thought I’d share my own experience growing up Filipino in America. Some of this may become ranty and incoherent, but hopefully I can reach those of you who have experienced something similar or at least can relate.
I remember when a Korean-American classmate in my orchestra class asked from what country in Asia my family came from. Of course, I said that I’m from the Philippines.
Lo and behold! His treatment of me changed from pleasant to utmost disdain. At the time, I did not understand why he suddenly didn’t want to interact with me anymore.
You see, back then (this was when I as 14/15 years old), I was very naïve and I thought Filipinos are just as Asian as all other Asians. I thought this way because both my parents instilled in me that we ARE Asians because of language, cultural, and political influence.
I did not know about the unspoken hierarchy that Filipinos were at the bottom of the Asian Hierarchy. Or were seen as “the wrong kind of Asian.”
And so, I wanted to really make friends with the other Asians at school, but I was often frustrated and ended up becoming a loner because I was often told these things:
“You’re too dark to be Asian.”
“You’re Pacific Islander because Philippines is an archipelago.”
“Your people do not have a clear cultural identity.”
“Filipinos are ‘Hispanic’ because they were colonized by Spain.”
Well, it did not end there. The worst part was when it came to dating and I saw my Asian-American schoolmates dating fellow Asians (most of the ones who dated their fellow Asian Americans were the pale-skinned ones) and/or white people.
I thought, “If they can date other Asians or white people, so can I!”
I was wrong.
So very wrong.
As a matter of fact, these guys, whether they were white or Asian American, won’t even look at me or see me as someone attractive, interesting, funny, and intelligent because all they saw is this dark-skinned girl from the Philippines.
At first, I couldn’t articulate why I was always felt so frustrated and dismissed or just seen as a place holder until they get their “Dream Asian Girl.”
Japanese girls were always at the top. Chinese and Korean girls were always a close second.
But I noticed Filipino girls were always some kind of “consolation prize” for these guys who can’t get a girl from the “East Asian Trifecta.”
Then it dawned on me that this is happening because I’m the “wrong” kind of Asian. I do not belong in the hierarchy that was established by whatever powers that may be out there.
I completely resented it. And for the longest time, I hated being Filipino because my heritage is always the butt of jokes!
That routine from Donald Glover didn’t help: http://thisisnotpinoy.tumblr.com/post/32867024237
What Lucy Liu said on the David Letterman Show http://youtu.be/s5NCE71wV5s didn’t help.
Why is being Filipino such a bad thing? Why is having a deep tan such a bad thing?
Why is having dark skin disqualifies Filipinos from being Asian?
Why is it so bad? Why do people hate us so much? Why do people not want us?
Even our own selves; we hate ourselves.
Growing up in the Philippines, the media that I saw had fair-skinned movie stars, news casters, and models. There were some dark-skinned actresses but they were few and far in between or they’re often type-casted as the punchline for the fair-skinned protagonist.
Then there’s an abundance of skin whitening products! How can we escape from this madness when we are deeply mired by our own self-hate?
I even hate myself to the point where I do not go outside in the sun, slather SPF100 and wear big sun hats so that I won’t become “too dark.” I am also very guilty of being flattered when relatives tell me “Oh, you’ve become so fair-skinned, you’re so pretty!”
I’m a full-grown woman now but I still find myself being petty about not disclosing my cultural background to people and doing my best to look East Asian as much as possible.
And going back to interacting with white people, they just see Filipinos as “good servants.” Is that how we all are? We just exist to merely serve?
I’ve encountered the question “No, where are you REALLY from?” followed up by a mangled version of some Tagalog phrase they try to use on me to impress me?!
Oh, here’s another “classic” pick up line from white men. They’d tell me they were stationed in the Philippines for quite a few years and talk about how the hospitality of the people and how “docile and submissive” Filipino women are. Then they would even go as far as talk about how they were offered a Filipino bride to take home to America!
That truly annoys me to the Nth degree!
It’s really irritating, frustrating, and tiring battling my own self-hate, discrimination from white people, and then discrimination from fellow Asians.
It is really complicated, being Filipino. I see myself and identify myself as an autonomous Human Being and yet I am always reduced to a caricature of my culture and heritage—not just by other people, but by my own self, too.
White people get so angry at the phrase, “You cannot be racist towards white people.”
I will never understand why.
Why are you so angry that you are being treated as actual human beings? You are not reduced to caricatures, but portrayed as characters. You are treated fairly, judged not by your skin tone, but by the ways that you carry yourselves, by your actions.
Why do you want to experience racism so badly? It is not fun to be mocked, dehumanized, attacked, killed, incarcerated simply for daring to exist. It is not fun to know nothing of your history or family because it was torn apart, whether through distance or death. It is not fun to hear, at every turn, comments reminding you of your lesser status as humans.
Do you really want to turn on the tv, open a magazine, watch a movie, play a video game, and not see yourself? Or, even better, to only see yourself as a criminal, as a drunk, a mocking stereotype, or as someone to be killed off? Or would you rather see fleshed out, well-written characters with lives and personalities and feelings? I know which I’d rather pick.
If I were a white person, the phrase, “You cannot be racist towards white people,” would be the best thing I could ever hear.
Overall, MTV confirms the general view of millennials: Compared with previous generations, they’re more tolerant and diverse and profess a deeper commitment to equality and fairness. At the same time, however, they’re committed to an ideal of colorblindness that leaves them uncomfortable with race, opposed to measures to reduce racial inequality, and a bit confused about what racism is.
When you hear MTV, you don’t think “research.” But, for the last few years, the music television channel has been building a public affairs campaign to address bias called “Look Different.” Aimed at millennials, it seeks to help them deal with prejudice and discrimination in their lives. And as part of the project, MTV has worked with pollsters to survey a nationally representative sample of people ages 14 to 24 to measure how young people are “experiencing, affected by, and responding to issues associated with bias.”
All of this is apparent in the findings. Ninety-one percent of respondents “believe in equality” and believe “everyone should be treated equally.” Likewise, 84 percent say their families taught them to treat everyone the same, no matter their race, and 89 percent believe everyone should be treated as equals. With that said, only 37 percent of respondents (30 percent of whites and 46 percent of minorities) say they were raised in families that talk about race.For this reason, perhaps, a majority of millennials say that their generation is “post-racial.” Seventy-two percent believe their generation believes in equality more than older people, and 58 percent believe that as they get older, racism will become less of an issue. It’s almost certainly true that this view is influenced by the presence of President Obama. Sixty-two percent believe that having a black president shows that minorities have the same opportunities as whites, and 67 percent believe it proves that race is not a “barrier to accomplishments.”
It’s no surprise, then, that most millennials aspire to “colorblindness.” Sixty-eight percent say “focusing on race prevents society from becoming colorblind.” As such, millennials are hostile to race-based affirmative action: 88 percent believe racial preferences are unfair as a matter of course, and 70 percent believe they are unfair regardless of “historical inequalities.” Interestingly, the difference between whites and people of color is nonexistent on the first question and small (74 percent versus 65 percent) on the second. But this might look different if you disaggregated “people of color” by race. There’s a chance that black millennials are more friendly to affirmative action than their Latino or Asian peers.
For all of these aspirations, however, millennials have a hard time talking about race and discrimination. Although 73 percent believe that we should talk “more openly” about bias, only 20 percent say they’re comfortable doing so—despite the fact that a plurality of minorities say that their racial identities shape their views of the world.
Millennials have a hard time talking about race and discrimination.
What’s more, for all of their unity on tolerance and equality, white and minority millennials have divergent views on the status of whites and minorities in society. Forty-one percent of white millennials say that the government “pays too much attention to the problems of racial minority groups while 65 percent of minorities say that whites have more opportunities.” More jarring is the 48 percent of white millennials who say discrimination against whites is as big a problem as discrimination against racial minorities. With that in mind, it’s worth a quick look at a 2012 poll from the Public Religion Research Institute, where 58 percent of white millennials said that discrimination against whites was as big a problem as discrimination against minorities.
It’s hard to say which is the “true” number, but there’s no doubt that a substantial plurality of young white people believe their race is a disadvantage, which is ludicrous given the small number who say that they’ve felt excluded because of their race (10 percent) or say that they’ve been hurt by racial offenses (25 percent).
But while this reaction doesn’t seem to have a basis in reality, it makes perfect sense given what millennials writ large believe about racism. Let’s go back to the results on colorblindness and affirmative action. Seventy-three percent believe that “never considering race would improve society,” and 90 percent say that “everyone should be treated the same regardless of race.”
From these results, it’s clear that—like most Americans—millennials see racism as a matter of different treatment, justified by race, that you solve by removing race from the equation. If we ignore skin color in our decisions, then there can’t be racism.
The problem is that racism isn’t reducible to “different treatment.” Since if it is, measures to ameliorate racial inequality—like the Voting Rights Act—would be as “racist” as the policies that necessitated them. No, racism is better understood as white supremacy—anything that furthers a broad hierarchy of racist inequity, where whites possess the greatest share of power, respect, and resources, and blacks the least.
And the magic of white supremacy is that its presence is obscured by the focus on race. When a black teenager is unfairly profiled by police, we say it’s “because of the color of his skin,” which—as a construction—avoids the racism at play, from the segregated neighborhood the officer patrols to the pervasive belief in black criminality that shapes our approach to crime. Likewise, it obscures the extent to which this isn’t just different treatment— it’s unequal treatment rooted in unequal conditions.
Millennials have grown up in a world where we talk about race without racism—or don’t talk about it at all—and where “skin color” is the explanation for racial inequality, as if ghettos are ghettos because they are black, and not because they were created. As such, their views on racism—where you fight bias by denying it matters to outcomes—are muddled and confused.
Which gets to the irony of this survey: A generation that hates racism but chooses colorblindness is a generation that, through its neglect, comes to perpetuate it.
People say “professional”
when what they really mean is “not having visual/behavioral markers of being poor, disabled, or culturally ‘other’”
which effectively shuts out of professional careers the very people who are most likely to be in dire need of income
I see your bullshit
Here, from the non-profit Economic Policy Institute, is a snapshot of how segregated public schools are, starting in kindergarten. It was written by Elaine Weiss and Emma García. Weiss has served as the national coordinator for the Broader, Bolder Approach to Education since 2011. García, who joined the Economic Policy Institute in 2013, specializes in the economics of education and education policy. EPI was created in 1986 to broaden the discussion about economic policy to include the interests of low- and middle-income workers.