Stories of people of color “passing” for white have been well known since the time of slavery. Almost any person of color in the United States has a relative in the past or present who has “passed” for white. But “passing” was a ticket out of the worst injustices of racial oppression that has been open to only a select few. The history of “passing” in the United States is a story filled with pain and separation. It has never been a story of liberation in the way in which Dolezal is trying to describe it. I point out that there is a difference between Dolezal’s claim of racial liberation and the forced denial of race in order to escape oppression.
New Racism Museum Reveals the Ugly Truth Behind Aunt Jemima. The Atlantic. David Pilgrim has spent decades collecting racist pictures, signs, and knick-knacks. Now he’s sharing his collection with the world.
Your White Privelege, My Microaggressions…or Death Water Cooler Convos. Microagression is the “brief and commonplace daily verbal, behavioral, or environmental indignities, whether intentional or unintentional, that communicate hostile, derogatory, or negative racial slights and insults toward people of color.”
Who’s Your Token Asian Buzzfeed. An infographic titled “Who’s Your Token Asian?”, created by a 20-year-old Asian-Australian student, has been widely shared in several Asian diaspora groups. The poster presents the “lose/lose situation that Asian women face as they must continually choose between different societal expectations or risk being isolated by both sides,” Li told BuzzFeed News.
The Model Minority Myth. Why Asian-American Poverty Goes Unseen. Mashable. The “model minority” myth presents an image of successful Asian-Americans that leaves little room for the 2 million Asian-Americans living in poverty.
White People: I want You to Understand Yourselves Better Ijeoma Oluo I may be coming across as arrogant but honestly, I’m just exhausted. From the moment I was born my life has been steeped in whiteness. Not just the MTV I grew up with or the Disney characters I loved, but the white history I learned from white teachers, the white art I learned to revere above all else, the beauty standards I knew I’d never live up to. I know what songs y’all like the most, who your biggest movie stars are, how you achieve the hottest hairstyles in your magazines, what fashion you’re appropriating. I know what your “ideal” family looks like, what your definition of “American values” is. I know what you find funny and romantic. I know your definitions of success.
Racial Bias Even When We Have Good Intentions New York Times. Ugly pockets of conscious bigotry remain in this country, but most discrimination is more insidious. The urge to find and call out the bigot is powerful, and doing so is satisfying. But it is also a way to let ourselves off the hook. Rather than point fingers outward, we should look inward — and examine how, despite best intentions, we discriminate in ways big and small.
What White Privilege Really Means. New York Times. What’s happening in Ferguson is the result of several recent historical factors and deeply entrenched racial attitudes, as well as a breakdown in participatory democracy.
On Black Humanity and the White Gaze. Water Cooler Convos. “ Is it because I’m black?” This is the question we often ask ourselves when the taxi won’t stop or the other pedestrian on the sidewalk won’t smile back or when coworkers intentionally exclude us from lunch dates and such.
Taylor Swift’s Shake It Off is Racist. Water Cooler Convos The entire song is about how Taylor Swift is young, white, pretty and carefree so she doesn’t have to care about what people think about her. Then, she caps this narrative off by making fun of black women ‘twerking’ as she crawls between their disembodied legs. End plot.
Racism Doesn’t Work Both Ways and Neither Does Cultural Appropriation. Water Cooler Convos Cultural appropriation is wholly different from taking on presumably respectable behaviors to garner material or social benefits.
Black Hair Is Not a Joke—It’s a Powerful Mode of Self-Expression. Vice. Like many forms of black self-expression, black hair is not often noticed by broader society and only enters mainstream conversation when something has gone awry.
Cornel West: The Fire of a New Generation. New York Times. I do it because integrity, honesty and decency are in and of themselves enough reward that I’d rather go under, trying to do what’s right, even if it has no chance at all.
The Unbearable Whiteness of Advocacy The Well Examined Life Dear White Advocates for Social Justice, If you are silent about your pain, they will kill you and say you enjoyed it—Zora Neale Hurston
10 Ways Well-Meaning White Teachers Bring Racism Into Our Schools. Everyday Feminism. Though I know there are actively racist teachers out there, most White teachers mean well and have no intention of being racist. Yet as people who are inscribed with Whiteness, it is possible for us to act in racist ways no matter our intentions. Uprooting racism from our daily actions takes a lifetime of work.