Hypocritical Hyperbole

The Abomination of Obama's Nation

Deep South Racism January 12, 2013

My homegirl over at Racism School wrote a little post about Deep South racism, and how that’s the only racism that gets acknowledged and how there’s some bit of safety in that. It’s real good, go read it. Then come back here where I add to it with a little bit of life and a bit of historical context.

 

I’ve been saying this for years and years and years. I have felt safer in the eight years I’ve been back in North Carolina than the twelve years I spent in Pennsylvania. It’s so bad up there. You cannot get away from the racism up north. It permeates everything in the culture up north. Stats say I’m much more likely to be killed by cops up north or out west than I am in the deep south.

There was a petition signed to prevent my family from moving into the neighborhood I lived in for the final seven years of my life up there. These neighbors of ours conveniently only let their dog out of their yard whenever I or my sister would be getting off of the bus from school. Of course it would chase us and bit her once (and it only ever chased or bit us) and everyone else in the neighborhood just made jokes and there as nothing we could do about it until I accidently killed the dog (by kicking it real hard and causing it to run into the street where it proceeded to get hit by a car. I don’t feel bad about it at all). No one knew I did it, and if they had I would’ve probably been killed for it. Because that’s how white justice works. (Note: the only reason we weren’t bitten more is because after the first time we started carrying sticks to and from the bus stop to beat the dog off us).

I had do deal with northern white liberals who told me EVERY DAY how nothing up north was racist and how I should be glad I didn’t live in the south anymore. I had to deal with all the bullshit of being told I spoke well. True story, when I was in elementary school I should’ve gone to speech classes where they teach kids who can’t talk how to talk good. Because I had a bad stammer. I still have a stammer, but it’s more under control now, no thanks to them. Even though I often t imes sounded worse than the kids they picked to go to the speech class they looked at me and said “you speak so well.. . .You don’t need this class.” So I just didn’t talk in school.

My parents caught teachers grading my homework incorrectly, teachers would lose my test because there’s no way a black kid could’ve done that well.

That’s just my personal life. We’re not talking about all the racially motivated zoning laws up north. (Look up zoning laws post reconstruction sometime and educate yourself). While the south had the national guard brought in on some integration shit, the north was busy enacting laws that prevented black people from moving into certain neighborhoods. The north invented and perfected gentrification.

Has anyone ever stopped to examine why black people have started moving back down south if the south is THE WORST place ever? No, because middle class white people have created a narrative of the stupid uneducated red necks down south being the only ones to perpetrate racism. Your Bill Mahers of the world continuously preach about how only stupid people are conservative. We act as if the republican party is only made up of people who never got out of middle school as if the catholic church doesn’t run the north eastern US, as if the Lutherans and Catholics haven’t been strangling each other for control of the midwest. We act like the new home of the KKK isn’t up in Montanna. We pretend the mormons aren’t holding sway out west. We just sit here talking about those stupid southern baptists, who, coincidentally, aren’t the ones who’ve had the cultural power to stop birth control and shit (that’s been the domain of the catholic church like forever. Cause money).

Here, people fly rebel flags. And I know exactly what that means. It means we don’t talk, we don’t look at each other, and we get out of the same space. There’s no great lie going on here. No one who’s born and bread in the south believes racism is dead. That’s only people from up north who have been force fed that lie since the 1830s. They may concoct some like in public about how that flag is honoring their ancestors, but they all know it’s a lie. They hold onto that shit.

Thing is, people don’t remember that in order to win the civil war (which the union was not fighting on behalf of slaves you stupid mother fuckers) the union burned most of the south’s crops to the ground immediately impoverishing a whole bunch of people. So all those white folks who had farms and shit for years and years with families and kids who had all been killed in this war were suddenly out of land, out of a job, out of food, and out of their families. Yeah, they be holdin a grudge, cause it took a long ass time to bring that shit back. Of course they blamed black people as much as the north, because they lost a portion of their work force (for a while, because slavery stopped for about seven or eight days before being reinacted, and a lot of people never became free after the civil war. I’m not talking about convict leasing and debt slavery. I’m talking people still  held legal receipts and shit owning people and were selling them years afterwards up into the 1890s and shit).

The south has its problems with lying about shit, too (I see you texas and virginia up in here making text books talking about how cool slavery was) but the first instance of  that came from northern abolitionists. Their motivations were all over the place. Most of them were white supremacists though, and some of them felt slavery made them look bad. Others felt the narrative around American slavery was getting away from them and their standing globally with their other white folks across the water was being lowered by it, so they wanted it to seem not as bad.

The real crux of abolitionism is that slavery was gonna put those folks out of work. Why you think Irish Catholics and the Italians went so fucking hard at black people? Cause they had someone to look down on and they were about to get put out of work by them. White people up north didn’t want to end slavery for the sake of black people, they wanted to end it for their own sake. They didn’t want black folks anywhere near them. Thus, zoning laws. Ohio’s are real bad and some of that shit is still on the books. Look at Cincinatti’s laws. The language has changed some, but the outcomes are the still the same. Why you think they riot up there so much?

The entire Pacific North West is a FUCKING PROBLEM. They straight up banned us from going out there. No slaves no negroes. Those were the signs and those were the laws. I don’t even know if Oregon ever officially took no negroes out of the law book, because I think it is intertwined in the no slavery law. That area of the country is the microagression capital of the world! Holy fuck do those guys suck at race relations. Not to mention how it’s essentially just a pit for native appropriators.

Basically, the United states is a country founded upon and built on racism. That’s what it’s always been, that’s what it’ll always be. It’s racist. Straight up. And EVERY PART of the country is racist. That includes where you live. It’s just that white folks all over have chosen to make the south the scapegoat for all that shit.

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It’s not just assault rifles December 22, 2012

Filed under: Social Commentary,Social Justice — Micah Griffin @ 09:24
Tags: ,

It’s all guns. Period. End Of Story.

The overwhelming majority of gun violence commited in this country are carried out with hand guns. I understand that y’all get all tore up over some pretty white kids getting taken out in bunches by someone with an assault rifle. I know. But peep game for a second, way more black and brown kids get killed with hand guns on the regular. A lot of those deaths come by way of white dudes who either have an actual position of power (say the police), some trumped up position of power (say the neighborhood watch), or just feel like black people make them uncomfortable (say Michael Dunn, who murdered one child and attempted to murder three other children because he felt they were playing music too loudly in their car).

This isn’t new.  This has been happening for years. Every 40 hours a black male is killed by either the police or someone with similar authority like security gurads and what not. Sometimes plain clothes officers will just attack and brutally beat someone to the verge of death just for being a black kid like in the case of Jordan Miles, or they’ll just shoot the kid for nothing and make up reasons later. There are actually dozens of cases of shootings similar to the Trayvon Martin and Jordan Russell Davis where a white man with a hand gun kills a black person (often black boys) and the reason is nothing more than the black kid looked threatening. That’s always the excuse of the police.

And it flies, because in America only white kids are innocent. Only white kids are allowed to be mourned after being killed. When the Sikhs were murdered in their temple there was no mourning, no flying of American flags at half staff. That was some brown people killed by another white terrorist and it didn’t matter to anyone in the slightest. No calls for gun control laws after that. But let white kids be affected and now people care. We get it. Our lives mean nothing to white people. My entire life I have been deemed a threat not for any actions I’ve taken, but because black kids are threats. We are terrors and need to be controlled, and if murder is the means of that control then it is justified. So white people can use their hand guns to kill as many of us as they see fit, and no one will lift a finger to do anything about it.  You’ll fight for your right to keep your hand guns so that you can continue to kill us. It’s your right.

The founding fathers would actually be pleased to know that white people were out here wanton killing black folks with guns. God knows it’s what they were about.

And stop trying to blame shootings on mentally ill people. That’s straight garbage. That’s just another scapegoat for the actual problem of no one needs to actually have guns. “just don’t let those CRAZY people have guns.” That’s stupid. That’s so stupid. I’ll go along with not letting people with mental illness have guns if we classify racism as a mental illness. Then we can get all these cops off the street. Then people like Zimmerman and Dunn wouldn’t be out here shooting black kids for shits and giggles.  What mental illness are we blaming on all the people who get angry during a fight and reach for the most devastating weapon they can get their hands on? None. Know why? Because murder isn’t a product of mental  illness. It’s just not. Mentally ill people are much more likely to be victims of violence. It happens every single day.

Go check your schools and nursing homes. No one cares, because we treat anyone with a mental illness like they’re stupid or a child. When they say someone has been abusing them we just ignore it or laugh it off.  Clearly they don’t know what they’re talking about. They can’t get someone to investigate beatings and rapes on their behalfs, because we as a society don’t view them as people. The number of people with mental  illness who have been the victims of physical abuse and murder outstrips the number of people who have been killed by a mentally ill person by A LOT. It’s a huge number. So take your ableism and stick it in your craw.

Back to guns. The fact remains that we have a severe problem with GUNS. Not with assault rifles, with guns. You don’t need to have them. I don’t need to have them. The cops don’t need to have guns. All over the world cops don’t have guns and somehow manage to solve crimes without shooting people. Don’t give me the second amendment. The constitution said I wasn’t a person. It said it was okay for me to be owned by another human. That document is junk. The 13th amendment actually didn’t stop that. Look it up, kids. People owned slaves legally in America long after that. Not just convict leasing and debt slavery. Just straight up slavery. Because American law actually is kind of toothless with regards to protecting the personhood of black people.

What about my right to not be killed because I look like a threat? What about my right to not get shot for being in an argument with someone. That’s where a lot of gun violence comes from. Two or more people get angry. They have a fight. Most people don’t want to be in a fight. They don’t. So they look for the quickest way to end that fight. They’ll grab a chair or a bottle or a knife. People survive those things with much greater frequency than they survive gun shots. That football player who killed his girlfriend? No gun in that house there’s a good chance no one dies in that situation. Could he have used a knife? Yup, but it’s a slower process. He would have to really want her dead. Shooting someone takes no effort. You don’t have to think about it. That’s the danger of guns. That’s the power of guns. Murder comes in a second. Not just that, but accidental murder comes in a second. You try to shoot one person and miss. Bullet travels and kills someone else. White dude ended up killing two black people just shooting his gun off in his back yard. The parents asked him to stop, and he just kept shooting and woah, what you know? They’re dead.  A man killed his son by accident because he shot without figuring out what was going on. A woman killed her husband on a hunting trip by accident. Gun just went off. Knives don’t go off.

I’m sick of hearing white people tell me how they need guns to protect themselves. It’s a bit disgusting. Really it comes down to them not being seen as a threat worthy of death for owning a gun. If they own a gun it’s seen as protection. If I own a gun I’m a criminal. Weather I have the gun legally or not. I’m seen as a criminal. The cops will shoot me without question if they even suspect I might have anything that could even be slightly misconstrued as a gun. White folks don’t have that problem. So they cry about needing guns. They go to rallies talking about violently killing the president and his family if he tries to take their guns. This is seen as okay. Our whole society shrugs at it. Because the murder of black people is cool.

But let some white kids get shot.

Now y’all care about guns.

 

SFF Community Face Check September 13, 2012

Filed under: Books,comics,Movies,Social Commentary — Micah Griffin @ 19:47
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This is a post that’s treading a lot of old ground, but all the recent stuff going on in the world of Science Fiction and Fantasy (and speculative genre fiction as a whole) made me think about it again. All this genre fiction is phenomenally racist and comes from places of phenomenal racism. Yeah exceptions, but look at the whole of it. Old days it was a bunch of white dudes patting themselves on the back for writing thinly disguised social commentaries that made themselves feel smart. Now it’s white dudes and white chicks doing the same shit and not really saying anything. It’s this big joke that no one is actually in on. The genre is filled to the gills with people  high on their own supply of white liberal bullshit.

Think about different races of fantasy/sci fi characters. Note how absurdly monolithic they all are, not just in appearance, but in cultures and motivations. Note how that’s how they deal with their ideas on racism. It’s always some white people coming into contact with aliens of some sort and they make a bunch of allusions to superficial conflicts and racism is bad, except for when it’s necessary because those aliens are uniformly out for blood and murder.

It’s no real secret, but that’s how white people view race relations. All of us different monsters are monolithic in appearance and approach to life. We’re not nearly as good as the default humans and our complaints are minor and could be easily fixed with some nice white intervention. We either desperately need help, or are too angry and need to be killed off or otherwise controlled in some way. The most we’ll get is a seemingly advanced society that is secretly even MORE awful at it’s core than the white people who come in to fix the problem could have ever realized. These magic alien societies are always corrupt. Unless they’re super white elves (shout out to Pratchett again for being awesomer than all his peers on that) who are more white and more pure than even the humans could hope to be.

I actually have a decently low tolerance for this kind of story telling because I didn’t grow up reading this stuff. I read crime fiction and military thrillers. There were always people of color around in those books. All the big genre heavyweights are ultra conservative pro guns pro military anti non white people white men, and yet, their books were a million times more inclusive. Looking back, now that I’ve spent so much of the last eight to ten years reading the Science Fiction/Fantasy stuff it is staggering how different the worlds are.

The reason is that on the whole, political thrillers, military thrillers, action suspense, spy novels and all that stuff over there doesn’t pat itself on the back. The people I talked to about those books growing up weren’t doing dances of joy about how progressive they were. They knew they weren’t. Dudes had guns strapped to guns strapped onto cannons on the back of their ford trucks. They didn’t give two shits about the idea of inclusiveness or any of that liberal nonsense. Their social commentary was blunt and the ideas didn’t match up with mine at all, really, but somehow it all felt less offensive. It was less skeevy that what seems to have been going on in SFF for the past sixty or so years.

David Palmer wasn’t president to make some sort of  political statement. He was president cause Dennis Haysbert was cool. Did Jack Bauer single handedly reduce the Arab-American population by half? Probably, and that’s fucked up. Thing is, no one is talking about how progressive a character Jack Bauer is. There aren’t legions of Jack Bauer fans talking about how Sunrow and Cochran (the show creators) are so feminist friendly and so forward thinking on issues of race. So when I say “it’s kinda fucked up how Jack killed Curtis and we quickly ran out of Black CTU agents” I’m met with a much less violent form of resistance. They get regular defensive because of race issues. Often times there’s a “Oh shit! I didn’t even notice.” There’s push back, but it isn’t the same as this conversation.

“How come there are no Chinese  people in this future where everyone speaks Chinese?”

“Oh, Joss probably did that on purpose as some sort of statement”

“What kind of statement? I’m too lazy to find Chinese actors to put in my tv show that I deliberately set in a universe where Chinese is the only language spoken other than English?”

“Why you bringing race into this? The show is brilliant. I’m sure there was a reason.”

“Yeah, racism.”

“No. You just think everything is racist. The show is full of black people, why aren’t you happy with that, you’re not even Asian.”

“Cause the show takes place in a world where everyone speaks Chinese, and yet.”

*Other person angrily walks away*

I’ve gotten more angry comebacks for talking about race issues the SFF/Super hero stuff than I ever got for talking about race issues in the generic Action Adventure/Thriller worlds. It comes down to the white liberal problem. It’s so hard for people who pride themselves on being forward thinking to be told they aren’t, or at least aren’t as forward thinking as they think they are. I mean. James Patterson is out here killing you guys. David Simon is making you folks look silly.

I think it’s time for everyone involved in SFF to take a step back. Stop congratulating yourselves on barely doing shit other genres have done before, and sometimes better. Not just writers and editors, but fans too. Especially the fans. Figure this shit out. You’re not nearly as good as you think you are, and it’s high time you recognized it. At your big stage you guys cheered on a stalker and dared anyone to say something. You’re a joke. You can spit as much game as you like about doing big shit, but we don’t believe you. You need more people.

 

Why the current system of capitalism isn’t set up to collapse on itself September 9, 2012

Keep in mind that profits don’t include money being put back into the operation of the business. 100% of that pie graph is the money left over AFTER that, which the ruling class are totally at liberty to redistribute more fairly if they wanted to. Too bad they don’t want to and never will. ~ joamette

That’s the thing people don’t understand about current finances and capitalism and all that. It isn’t just that these companies are making more money than they ever have before (which they are). Revenue growth is a thing for a lot of these people. Because of capitalism forcing smaller companies out of business more and more and individual citizens having  less of an ability to do  things for themselves due to space and cost effectiveness and time and education and a billion other reasons (make clothes, grown their own food, cook, provide their own entertainment locally, and a billion other things we don’t ever think about) more money is going into these large companies that can muscle their way into areas and completely disrupt local economics. They have no choice but to get bigger as smaller stores have no choice but to get smaller. The thing is, as they grow they can then afford to pay their employees less, offer less benefits or worse and cheaper benefits, force them into more hours if salaried or less if hourly and there’s no repercussions because the employees can’t afford to quit for even a week to find another job and every other similar place will treat them the same. So these large corporations are increasing their revenue and putting less and less into the company. It is only going to get worse as we continue to export this system of economics across the globe. The thing is, it won’t ever collapse. People talk about how it’s unsustainable, but it’s an infinitely sustainable practice. There are always people who need to work and are willing to do it for less money and there are always countries with laws that allow people to work for way little bits of money. It’ll change from country to country over a time, but the system won’t ever collapse under it’s own weight because the institution always wins. It has built in ways to protect itself form itself.

Not just that, but these fuckbrained republicans keep voting to increase corporate abilities to do shit like this. The whole point of capitalism and the free market is to exploit the most exploitable people and move on. Look at US history. White folks showed up and worked on getting Native Americans to work as slaves, then they tried to kill them off in a land grab and brought over a bunch of African slaves to do all the work. Then they had them keep doing the work through private prisons and convict leasing and a whole bunch of fun stuff. They got the Chinese to build railroads and snatched up all the gold spots from the Mexicans and made the ones who were suddenly not in their own country anymore dig it all up. They got black people to literally build all of the infrastructure that runs through the south and mid atlatnic U.S. Now we’re using cheap Chinese labor to make clothes and stuff way cheaper than we can afford to now. We’ve exploited just about the entire continent of Africa for minerals and labor. It won’t ever stop because a majority of people in the world refuse to believe that this is actually how it is, and when you bring it up get angry and defensive about it and claim it never happened.

 

Ruby Sparks: White Dude Rape Fantasy July 22, 2012

Filed under: Movies,Social Commentary,Social Justice — Micah Griffin @ 08:51
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So Clare and I went to the movies last night to see “Beasts of the Souther Wild” at the manor theater, and as a result got to see trailers for small movies no one cares about. Right out of the gate we were treated to the most disgusting thing I’ve ever seen.

Here’s the trailer TW awful stuff

It is unbelievable how this is being played off. Not actually, but it’s disgusting. It’s disgusting because it’s being played for laughs. The line goes “You can make her do whatever you want. For the sake of men everywhere you can’t let this opportunity go to waste.” What. The. Fuck?

So the movie is about some guy who can’t write, and then gets inspiration. He starts writing about a girl and he falls in love with her in his head. Then magically she shows up, but she’s all a part of his imagination, but she’s actually real. She exists in the world. At first I thought it was just “Manic Pixie Dream Girl: The Movie” Then it took this even creepier turn. The whole movie is just a white guy imagining his perfect woman who has no control over any part of her life. She exists purely to make him happy. Or to make him feel alive or feel anything. She’s a plot for his non existent novel.

HE CAN MAKE HER DO ANYTHING HE WANTS. She has no ability to consent or not. ANYTHING that she does is up to him. It’s all his fantasy, and it’s incredibly disgusting. Especially since the movie is played for laughs and it’s going to be praised for how much heart it has and how romantic it looks.

 

Fuck Your Independence Day July 4, 2012

That shit is a lie and you know it.

I don’t even need to write anything else. No thousand words today about how fucked up this bullshit is. You know what’s up. So seriously. Fuck all you white people out here partying for slavery and genocide. Party it up, and I hope you get food poisoning.

 

Look, I’m not saying Merida’s Hair isn’t cool July 3, 2012

It is just super annoying that people are having orgasm sessions over the rendering of this white girl’s hair. It’s super unkempt and therefor gorgeous and how amazing is it that Pixar took all this time and money to work on making it look great. They really spent like six years getting this right? It was so important to have all those curls render independently and have all the good collision detection. That was such a key feature.

Why does this annoy me? Because they’ll never put that kind of work into a black character’s hair. Especially not someone who intentionally leaves their hair curly. All black characters have stock afros, buzz cuts, big fat sticky dreads, or a funny box. That’s it. For black women specifically it’s always super white society presentable, no matter what the actual style of it is. If it’s in a Pixar movie… .well, they don’t actually exist. Yeah, there’s only the stereotypical black woman’s voice from Incredibles. That’s it. (not even any black toys)

It’s frustrating to see so much praise go to pixar for spending untold millions of dollars on this white girl’s hair and they won’t spend a dime on putting a black girl in a movie. We’re never going to hear about how pixar spent millions of dollar trying to figure out how to get my hair to look and act properly on screen. (My hair is big, and nappy, and only partially dreaded in some areas, and drives white people up a wall).

It isn’t just that they spent time and money on her hair either. It’s the specifics of it. It was supposed to be wild and loose because she’s wild and loose and can’t be tamed or whatever. Somehow it still manages to be conventionally attractive and perfect. No tangles or knots, just perfect curls everywhere. Gotta keep this white chick perfect. The thing is, this goes along with the idea that her hair can be completely unmanaged, and still beautiful. That doesn’t work for black people. Unprocessed or unmanaged hair is a sign of laziness, bad parenting, stupidity, lack of education, and a number of other things. There’s just the assumption that there’s something wrong with us if our hair isn’t in societally perfect condition.

So yay to her for having her hair do weird stuff. Yay to Pixar for making sure they got every intricate detail of that right. And hooray to them for continuing their streak of not paying one millionth that amount of detail to character casting choices. Here’s some more praise for all the work you haven’t and never will do getting black folks to look right at all in your movies. I do have one piece of advice though.

I know that developing and programming all these movies is hard, but this one little tip will help.

For your next  movie. Just try adding one actual black character to it. Just try it. Not a cameo appearance, but an actual character. You can’t make them better until you actually start doing it.

But of course you have no interest in that, because there’s no money in it for you guys to animate black people. (wouldn’t hurt if you hired a couple too, but we won’t get into that.)