Qu'est-ce Que J D?
This is an editorial cartoon by Anthony Jenkins that ran in the Globe & Mail (a national Canadian newspaper) in 2008 as commentary on the proposition of developing an Africentric curriculum for Toronto schools.
I feel like a chump that I’ve never known they did that.  Does anyone know if the apologized or retracted and severed their relationship with Jenkins?
I’m tragically accustomed to gross racism in mainstream media, but I feel like this is way more blatant than usual?
EDIT: Dug around online and found the text of a form letter that was sent to people who wrote to complain.  I won’t reproduce it because it was long and fundamentally unrepentant.  They explained that Jenkin’s intent was not to be racist but to provoke conversation by using exaggeration because that is what cartoons are.
I mean to me that sounds like just describing how to be racist step by step… does that make it something different?
They go on to point out that they have run lots of editorial content that is defensive and vindicating of African-Canadian communities, which I guess also makes running a racist cartoon not racist.
The weirdest part was where they tried to rebrand “Sup dawg?” as “a phrase associated with an American Idol judge,” and claimed that an error in transcription made the algebra on the board seem wrong when that wasn’t the point.
Even that useless response letter wasn’t printed in the paper.  They stand behind it by saying nothing in public, and indeed when i posted the cartoon here, i downloaded from the globe & mail website.
So that all sucks.  I am running out of news media i can comfortably consume.  I’m going to turn into a bitter and paranoid old conspiracy theorist soon and i don’t loom forward to it.

This is an editorial cartoon by Anthony Jenkins that ran in the Globe & Mail (a national Canadian newspaper) in 2008 as commentary on the proposition of developing an Africentric curriculum for Toronto schools.

I feel like a chump that I’ve never known they did that.  Does anyone know if the apologized or retracted and severed their relationship with Jenkins?

I’m tragically accustomed to gross racism in mainstream media, but I feel like this is way more blatant than usual?

EDIT: Dug around online and found the text of a form letter that was sent to people who wrote to complain.  I won’t reproduce it because it was long and fundamentally unrepentant.  They explained that Jenkin’s intent was not to be racist but to provoke conversation by using exaggeration because that is what cartoons are.

I mean to me that sounds like just describing how to be racist step by step… does that make it something different?

They go on to point out that they have run lots of editorial content that is defensive and vindicating of African-Canadian communities, which I guess also makes running a racist cartoon not racist.

The weirdest part was where they tried to rebrand “Sup dawg?” as “a phrase associated with an American Idol judge,” and claimed that an error in transcription made the algebra on the board seem wrong when that wasn’t the point.

Even that useless response letter wasn’t printed in the paper.  They stand behind it by saying nothing in public, and indeed when i posted the cartoon here, i downloaded from the globe & mail website.

So that all sucks.  I am running out of news media i can comfortably consume.  I’m going to turn into a bitter and paranoid old conspiracy theorist soon and i don’t loom forward to it.

white people cracking Zimmerman jokes now

i feel that there’s a narrative convenience to tracking the many misdeeds of George Zimmerman, and especially to having the liberal mainstream collectively shake their heads and be like “what a dirtbag geez what an outstanding menace what a totally unique and spectacularly antisocial individual wow” as though they are all standing over HERE and he is over THERE and they can regard him across a distance as a fuck-up

It’s a really convenient way to eschew responsibility, and pretend that one is not a cog in the white supremacist machine that has condoned and coddled Zimmerman all along.

Gee what a miscarriage of justice we get to say, as though justice as we have access to it is built to do something other than it has done.

This miserable individual is not worthy of national or international news attention, however. He’s one of many thousands of people who do awful things habitually and whom I hope are intercepted at some point in their trajectory and encouraged by some means to do otherwise. He’s personally responsible for what he did to Trayvon Martin, and what he’s done to the women in his life, and the other people he’s known to have harmed, but he’s not an avatar of the whole institution. He’s a celebrity of it.

He’s not the master villain. He’s not the final boss. He’s a henchman of the system and he does its work. He’s a toy, he’s nothing. I say this not to exonerate or exculpate him, but to clarify that the real threat isn’t this one dude you can keep track of and tsk tsk at when he gets in the news. Hell the news itself is another agent of the real threat.

George Zimmerman can do a finite amount of damage in his life. The system that encourages and condones the damage he does also has a record that you can look at from before he killed Trayvon Martin, and also continues to wreak a swath of violence ever since without remitting, and it’s NOT in the news for smug white allies to sarcastically exclaim what a big surprise it is every day. It’s US, COLLECTIVELY.

So how about we get off the high horse. We white sideline commentators are NOT the Trayvons, we ARE the Zimmermans, so let’s show a little respect is all I’m saying. Like maybe we don’t have to make it FUN to talk about maybe that would be respectful if we could feel like shit about it for real.

*popcorn*

writeswrongs:

acetucker:

writeswrongs:

Hi, just your local Mayan here reminding you the world isn’t ending tomorrow.  

Also, that Mayans still exist.

And finally, that we have a language that is still spoken, and written, and that our science and other studies have developed with time and we’re not some stone age group of savages carving shit into rocks for all eternity just so some iztacchuatl will find it and tell us white jesus is gonna end the world when our calender stops working for her.

gringos impitzoyos.

Great points, but one correction.

It’s “the Maya”, not “Mayans”. Clearly, you’re not a native Maya.

This white man just said I’m not really Mayan.  I’d just like use this as an example of white supremacy in action - when a white person corrects a non-native English speaker on how to talk about your culture in English.  Ever seen a Salvadoran try to say “Salvadoran” in English? That’s right, they don’t say it properly, because it’s not how they have learned to speak of themselves.  Most Salvadoran English speakers might use “Salvadorian” because that is a more natural anglicized version of speech.

So the fact I was speaking Nahuatl wasn’t important to the white supremacist, the fact I couldn’t speak of my own existence properly in his terms was.  White supremacy only speaks its own language and cannot fathom (and refuses to try to understand) other languages.

Saw this made into a gif set when I was skimming tumblr on my phone this morning, on the bus to work.  I wanted to really hear it though so I checked for it on YouTube and was not disappointed.

And now I have something to forward to every person who defends themselves against a call out by explaining that if you KNEW them, you’d KNOW they don’t hate the particular group that they’ve just said or done something to marginalize… like as IF your FEELINGS matter.

Suprem(acist) Mathematics

The other day I had what felt like a flash of insight, but one which I couldn’t connect to any readily available evidence and which may therefore be specious.  It was the thought that the practice of expressing ethnic heritage in fractions or percentages is inherently white supremacist.

"Half" seems maybe liminal in that estimation, because it’s not really math it just talks about parentage in a way that would be completely abstract if it wasn’t expressable as a fraction.

But it’s a pretty weird thing to estimate quantitatively, isn’t it?  I feel like only a perspective that privileged some kind of ethnic or racial purity could make a quantitative breakdown of genetic heredity a desirable thing.  Plus it may be a testament to some limits in my experience, but anyone I’ve ever met who claimed to be one-sixteenth or one-eighth anything was visibly white and socialized white.

I’m visibly white and socialized white and as far as I know my heredity is all white, but if I discovered that the hushed rumours are true about that one great-great-grand-something whose name no-one knows, it wouldn’t actually change my experiences retroactively.  I would still be just as white of a white person in every way.

But this isn’t me trying to tell people of mixed heritage how they ought to experience things.  I just think the culture I come from has taught itself a fucked up way to talk about these things, and I just started to think about this one aspect of it.

Anyone have any critiques of this line of thought?  I’m not convinced I’m right.

oh my poor benighted people

my darling white motherfuckers…

so frightened to hear the WORD racism…

and so comfortable surrounded by the thing itself.

How are we ever going to get better than this?

Space is the Place: Tales of Gentrification in Oakland

I have too much ADHD to comfortably read so much text in a sitting, but I really felt an obligation to push through and take this journal in… and it was very rewarding to do so.

feral-femme:

To be clear: this post was written by chaka85.wordpress.com, and I reposted it to tumblr because I felt it extremely relevant. I’m used to tumblr etiquette of proper sourcing/linking back/using blockquote in order to give credit, but some folks think it still looks like I wrote this piece! I definitely do not want to take credit that’s not mine. Check out this person’s blog cuz it’s full of goodness. xo

Last night The Corner Collective, the radical black art collective I am a part of with my homies Crunch and Tracy, decided to go out to the bottoms after we heard that it was reggae night at Revolution Cafe. I was excited to hear that the cafe, which is the only coffeeshop and one of the few businesses in West Oakland, was staying open later and hosting events in the neighborhood. There aren’t a lot of spaces for the residents of west Oakland to go to and hang out at. There aren’t even a lot of schools anymore, due to the budget cuts closing them down or turning them into a police station like they did to Cole Middle school. The budget cuts are disproportionately effecting youth of color in Oakland and the k-12 sector.  Schools and after school programs are closing down, while Oakland Police continue to gain more power through their continual funding and the gang injunctions, which allow them to target and profile brown and black youth in North Oakland and the Fruitvale. There aren’t a lot of safe spaces for youth and people of color to hang out at, where the threat and hassle of the police isn’t an issue. Again, this is why I was excited to learn that Revolution Cafe in West Oakland, a historically working-class black neighborhood and home to the Black Panthers, was staying open later and having free reggae nights for the people in the community. And this is why The Corner Collective decided to go and get our puff and sway on to the rhythm. We are interested in building more artistic and social spaces for the people of Oakland, especially people of color, and we are interested in being a part of cultural spaces that already exist and are doing that work.

This is why we were shocked when we pulled up  to the cafe and were greeted by a crowd of white punk rock kids and hipsters dancing toska music. This wasn’t our version of a ‘reggae’ night in West Oakland. I understand that West Oakland is changing. It’s been changing for years now. For a long time it was largely black and then working-class latino families living in the neighborhood. But the recent years have been met with a large influx of white professionals and punk/traveler kids in the neighborhood, who have been quick to carve up a lot of space without really understanding what that means to the working-class black and brown residents in the neighborhood or even Oakland as a historical city. Revolution Cafe has been in existence for years now and owned by a long time resident of Oakland. The Panthers used to hang out there. It has always been a community space, but the community is changing and that was obvious last night. James Baldwin once said ‘urban renewal means negro removal.’ And I can’t help but look around West Oakland and wonder where did all the black people go?

When we entered the place we immediately retreated to the back patio to sip on some libations and mentally prepare ourselves to go back inside. The back patio wasn’t much nicer. We were met with cold stares by kids with denim studded vests. It reeked of bad beer and there was broken glass all on the ground. I had never seen the patio so dirty. We begin to get our smoke on when this white man walked up to us, and asked if he could ‘get a hit off of that.’ I looked up at him like ‘are you out of your damn mind’. There was no, ‘excuse me guys I don’t mean to interrupt but could I please get a hit off of your piece’. No manners…nothing even close. Just give me. I was like man you bold you already have taken over our spaces now you demanding trees too without even a please. We were the only brown faces in that patio, and the first thing you do when you approach us is to ask for something. There was no hello. No introduction. I was disgusted. A few seconds went by where I just looked at him then I replied clearly ‘no’. And he had the audacity to scoff at me ‘really no’ and walk away angry like I was the rude one. I couldn’t believe it. We laughed about it amongst ourselves, but there was something really disturbing to me about the way this man felt he could treat us, and make us feel in this space. We stayed for a few minutes more, but the largely white male punk rock folks who we were sharing the back patio space with, begin to play fight resulting in more broken glass and bodies being shoved in our direction. The overall energy felt aggressive and particularly hostile towards us so we left with feelings of marginalization. I felt angry that we, as radical young black people, were being pushed out of this historical space in West Oakland. And I felt angry that there aren’t more underground spaces for young people of color to hang out in, and feel comfortable in; where the vibrant cultural and political history of Oakland can be celebrated and continued. And I am left wondering  if the punk rock kids, who were drinking their PBR’s in the front of the cafe, are aware of this rich political and cultural Oakland history.

Now don’t get me wrong I am not trying to race bait these young white people and overly simplify the situation that these are just some privilege white kids moving into our neighborhood and I don’t like it. The situation of gentrification and theredevelopment of Oakland is more complicated than that. I am also not saying that they shouldn’t be there, but it was difficult for me to wrap my head around why they werethe only onesthere in this space. And why myself and my two friends, Tracy who is born and raised in East Oakland, had to feel marginalized in this space and forced to leave, because we didn’t feel safe by their hostile attitude towards us. We also prefer to not kick it and relate to each other by slapping each other in the back of each others heads and breaking beer bottles inside a cafe in our community. Maybe these are just cultural differences, but I felt like it was so difficult to co-exist in that space and feel safe and welcomed. I understand that a lot of these punk kids, who are moving into West Oakland, aren’t just trust fund kids who like slumming it in the ghetto. Some are. But a lot are also working-class, and West Oakland is still a more affordable neighborhood than others. I understand that.  That said, the economic capital they are missing is made up for with all the cultural capital and freedom they access through their racial privilege. They are not as vulnerable to the police like the youth of color hanging out on the block, because there are no spaces for them to be at. They are able to more freely move in and out of space. When we were leaving last night I was amazed at the masses of young white people hanging out on 7th street with their dogs drinking beer with no worries about cop harassment.  Meanwhile, we had a cop follow my car for a few blocks giving me a tremendous amount of anxiety.  The street has changed so much. A former partner of mine used to live off of 7th street. We would often hang out on the block people watching, and talking to the neighbors. It looked much different even two years ago.

I found myself thinking of brilliant and controversial jazz musician Sun Ra’s classic space age film and commentary on race Space is the Place. The plot is centered around Sun Ra trying to organize black people to leave the United States and settle on a new planet. Garveyite message aside, there were moments last night where I asked myself and my friends ‘where are our public spaces?’ Do we need to get a space ship and move to another planet, where the hipsters might not invade like they are doing in Oakland and Brooklyn. I am not for removing myself, and I am not trying to counteract the hostility and privilege of these white youth with more hostility. However, I don’t want to allow myself to feel marginalized in spaces that I feel like I have a right to be in. I think its important that we intervene in these existing spaces and make them more open to everyone in the community again. And we can do this in a positive way that isn’t just trying to marginalize others. But it is important that white youth also understand the history of Oakland and the new spaces they are occupying. It is important that their comfort in living in the hood doesn’t result in them approaching my friends and I, and demanding things from us in disrespectful ways. But what is more important, and which was made clear to me last night, is that we need to start building and making new spaces for all of the communities we are a part of. Spaces that are safe and reflect our political and cultural perspectives. This was something the Panthers were good at; creating spaces for the community to be in through their survival programs. There are political critiques of it now, because the Panther work degenerated into solely providing social services, which are needed, but is not the sole task of the revolution. Today the revolutionary fire of the Black Panther Party is out and has devolved into the liberalism of non profits. We need that revolutionary fire again, and a part of that work is building relationships with people in our community through spaces we share. And if there is a lack of these spaces then we must build them. This is no easy task, but one we must do to sustain ourselves, our communities, and all of our important political and artistic work. And despite all the discomfort we felt last night, I feel excited by the inspiring brilliant radical artists around me to build with. <3