Tag Archives: class privilege

Blade as allegory for dealing with privilege

22 Oct

OK OK, I’m being serious here.

I’ve been thinking about issues around privilege a lot lately. And I watched Blade last night, and the third Twilight movie a couple of weeks ago. These two movies combined have created some weird connections in my brain. This is my attempt to convey these connections. It will probably make better sense if you have seen both of the films, but I wouldn’t spend money on it.

The third twilight movie is a good example of colonialism/racism and how the vampire concept plays into it. In that movie they actually show white, colonist vampires engaging in genocide of indigenous people. Who happen to have the ability to turn into werewolves. The werewolves are indigenous people of color. The vampires are almost exclusively white- blindingly glittery white. The movie itself is full of racism in terms of the representation of the indigenous people. The movie also contains a lot of promblematic content in terms of how emotionally and physically abusive etc. the relationship is, as well as the Mormon points of view about sex, marriage, and monogamy that are very clearly promoted in the content.

Basically I am bringing up Twilight only to explain why I was originally starting the think about silly vampire movies in contexts of racism and privilege. Twilight is pretty racist. And so I started thinking about vampires as having a lot in common with white people.

In Blade, Blade is a person of color who was born right after his mom got bitten by a vampire. Continue reading

On Racism- from CPHP#5

19 Oct

<!– @page { size: 8.5in 11in; margin: 0.79in } P { margin-bottom: 0.08in } –>

Racism

My collective and roommates Kayla and Eric and I went to Diversity Thrift the other day to see if they had halloween decorations and to get some more clothes for the cold weather. We checked out the LGBTQ book section and I found some really cool murder mysteries with LGBTQ characters. I love crappy mystery novels and so it was super good to read some that were not supporting the patriarchy. One of the books was pretty awesome, called Murder in the Collective by Barbara Wilson. It talked about collectives and consensus and queers and dealing with alcoholism and more! And there was a really awesome quote which I will repeat here! Page 133,

 

you worry about being called racist as if it were syphillis or something. Like you were accused of carrying some dread, disfiguring, incurable disease. But I think it’s more like telling someone or being told, “Hey, you’ve got snot hanging out of your nose.’ You say thank you and wipe it off. Though that doesn’t mean the snot’s not ever going to drip again.”

I think that is soooo good. And I want to reproduce it a lot, and would encourage other people to as well. It is such a good way to talk about racism (or classism, sexism, etc.) and point out why there is no need to be defensive. Of COURSE being oppressive or racist/sexist/classist etc. is fucked up. But of COURSE we all fuck up all the time. These things are not good, and they do need to be called out, but people need to realize that trying to avoid being called out is counterproductive. No one is perfect.

*An addition that was not in the zine but that ought to be thought about by white people- prejudice+power= racism. POC are not racist towards white people, because they do not have the backing of institutional powers.

Also, letting someone know they have proverbial snot hanging out of their nose is not the same as saying that you yourself have never had snot hanging out of your nose. Frankly, I think a lot of the reason people are ABLE to point out to others when they have been racist or sexist etc. is because they recognize their own previous behavior. Getting called out can make your ego feel bad. Getting defensive and attacking the person who called you out is not a productive or appropriate means of dealing with the situation. Someone calling you out is NOT them saying they aren’t fucked up. Someone with privilege can call out others on their privilege- it does not mean they are denying their own privilege or problems. Allowing guilt or defensiveness to get in the way of dealing with the snot hanging out of your nose is not going to lead to positive things for yourself or your community.

Class Privilege

24 Sep

My parents just bought me a brand new bike for my birthday. Riding it home I came up with the start of a song on class privilege.

I’m not gonn a lie,
my parents bought me everything
you see class privilege,
well it is a real thing

I’ve got a ford truck,
it was given to me
I’ve got a new bike,
its that trickle down theory

lets talk about privilege
without that immobilizing guilt please
how privilege affects us
we’ve gotta speak truthfully Continue reading

Genderqueer

18 Aug

I think that there are many misconceptions about the concept of gender queer. It has not been a particularly mainstream idea for very long. Arguably, it still is not mainstream.

Genderqueer is essentially a rejection of the binary gender system (male or female, boy or girl, man or woman). Claiming gender queer is basically saying, fuck a binary gender system, these gender roles that exist are too confining/limiting/inaccurate/fucked up etc.

Claiming genderqueer is not the same thing as saying you are trans. There is definitely overlap. Many radical trans people will also identify as genderqueer because they see the gender binary system as inherently oppressive. Some genderqueer people choose that identity because they see more than 2 genders. Others, because they don’t feel comfortable as either of the 2 genders. There are many reasons people choose genderqueer. It is a fairly fluid concept, with the main point of unity being a rejection of the binary gender system.

Claiming genderqueer is not oppressive. Claiming genderqueer does not cancel out other privileges that one may have. It is not a way to deflect those privileges. If a male bodied person says they are genderqueer, but they frequently pass as male, they still ought to acknowledge the way that male privilege plays a role in their lives. If a white person is genderqueer, that does not in any way eliminate their white skin privilege. And I have never personally encountered anyone trying to use genderqueer as a way of avoiding accountability for their other privileges. Continue reading

May 4: Kent State Massacre

4 May

On May 4th, 40 years ago (1970), students at the Kent State University in Ohio had been protesting since the April 30th announcement by Nixon that the US was invading Cambodia. This move was seen by many as an escalation of the Vietnam War. Due to the previous days of protests, unrest, and riot the Mayor of Kent had declared an emergency and obtained Ohio National Guard soldiers.

On the morning of May 4th, there were approximately 77 National Guard members on the campus of Kent State University. Students were having a protest, and the guards decided that it needed to be stopped. The National Guard troops advanced on the students with bayonets, guns, and teargas, forcing them to relocate. As this was happening students would be pushed away and some would try to return to their position. Continue reading