Viet. Them/They/Their. Martell.
Lex is a full time student with only a little time on their hands and a load of responsibilities on their back and who rly shouldn't be on tumblr rn jfc.
sidebar art by ghostbees
Recently, I was doing a workshop on racism. We wanted to divide the group into a caucus of people of color and a caucus of white people so that each group could have more in-depth discussion. Immediately, some of the white people said, “But I’m not white.”
I was somewhat taken aback because although these people looked white, they were clearly distressed about being labeled white. A white Christian woman stood up and said, “I’m not really white because I’m not part of the white male power structure that perpetuates racism.” Next a white gay man stood up and said, “You have to be straight to have the privileges of being white.” A white, straight, working-class man from a poor family then said, “I’ve got it just as hard as any person of color.” Finally, a straight, white, middle-class man said, “I’m not white, I’m Italian.”
My African-American co-worker turned to me and asked, “Where are all the white people who were here just a minute ago?” Of course I replied, “Don’t ask me. I’m not white, I’m Jewish!”
Most of the time we don’t notice or question our whiteness. However, when the subject is racism many of us don’t want to be white because it opens us to charges of being racist and brings up feelings of guilt, shame, embarrassment, and hopelessness. There are others who proudly claim whiteness under any circumstances and simply deny or ignore the violence that white people have done to people of color.
In any case, some of us are quick to disavow our whiteness or to claim some other identity that will give us legitimate victim status. We certainly don’t want to be seen as somehow responsible for or complicit in racism.
I want to begin here - with this denial of our whiteness - because racism keeps people of color in the limelight and makes whiteness invisible. To change this we must take whiteness itself and hold it up to the light and see that it is a color too. Whiteness is a concept, an ideology, whim holds tremendous power over our lives, and, in turn, over the lives of people of color. Our challenge in this discussion will be to keep whiteness center stage. Every time our attention begins to wander off toward people of color or other issues, we will have to notice and refocus. We must notice when we try to slip into another identity and escape being white. We each have many other factors that influence our lives, such as our ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, class, personality, mental and physical abilities. Even when we’re talking about these elements of our lives we must keep whiteness on stage with us because it influences each of the other factors.
We are understandably uncomfortable with the label “white.” We feel boxed in and want to escape, just as people of color want to escape from the confines of their racial categories. Being white is an arbitrary category that overrides our individual personalities, devalues us, deprives of the richness of our other identities, stereotypes us, and yet has no scientific basis. However, in our society being white is just as real and governs our day-to-day lives just as much as being a person of color does for African Americans, Latino/as, Asian Americans, Pacific Islanders, Native Americans, Arab Americans, and others. To acknowledge this reality is not to create it or to perpetuate it. In fact, it is the first step to uprooting racism.
This is a resource post for all the Good White Person™s out there. You know, the ones who say things like “It’s not my fault I’m white! Don’t generalize white people!”, or “I’m appreciating your culture! You should be proud!”, or “Why do you hate all white people, look I’m a special snowflake who’s not racist give me an award for meeting the minimum requirements for being a decent human being”.
Well, if you are actually interested in understanding racism and how it ties into cultural appropriation, please read instead of endlessly badgering PoCs on tumblr with your cliched, unoriginal arguments and repeating the same questions over and over.
On White Privilege
aka don’t blame me just because I’m white:
- It’s Not My Fault I Was Born White: Basics of White Privilege x
- Racial Divide x
- Endless Examples of White Privilege x
- You Cannot Know What It’s Like To Be A Racial Minority x
- Intersectional Feminism x
- White Privilege Does Not Mean White People Have Perfect Lives x
- White Privilege and White Supremacy: A Presentation x
- You Will Never Experience Racism x
- Understanding White Privilege x
- White Privilege and Double Standards x
- Systematic White Ignorance x
- The Invisibility of White Privilege x
- The Luxury of White Privilege x
- White Privilege: The Harry Potter Analogy x
- Privilege Denial Bingo x
- Privilege and Cost x
- Check Your Privilege 101 x
- Whiteness x
- Whiteness is Not A Culture x
- White Privilege and Racism x
- Deeply Embarrassed White People Talk About Race x
- When White Anti Racists Talk About ~Their Struggle~ x
- White Privilege As A System x
On Reverse Racism
aka you are being racist against white people:
- Are White People Racially Oppressed x
- White People, the new Racial Minority x
- People Don’t Value Pale Skin!! x
- There Is No Such Thing As Reverse Racism x
- Racism vs. Not Racism x
- But White People Are Discriminated Against In Foreign Countries x
- The Myth of Reverse Racism: Why Cracker is Not N**** x
- Satire: A Step Wise Guide on Being Reverse Racist x
- Racism Against White People vs. Racism Against POCs x
On Cultural Appropriation
aka I’m just appreciating your culture:
- The Basics x
- Identifying Appropriation x
- But When We Wear It … x
- Why Can’t I Wear It (Hipster Headdresses) x
- Not Yours x
- If You Take The Bindi x
- White People Do It Better x
- Multiculturalism and Appropriation x
- Cultural Appropriation and Portrayals In Print Media x
- Diminishing the Cultural Significance of the Bindi x
- The Cultural Appropriation Bingo x
- Why We’re Fed Up of Your Responses x
- Identities Are Not Costumes x
- Hinduism And Appropriation x
- Religion and Privilege x
- Bindis Are Cool x
- Exotic India x
- What’s Wrong With Cultural Appropriation x
- Racism, Bindis and Ganesh Tattoos x
- BUT YOU’RE SPEAKING ENGLISH! x
- Cultural Appropriation Trolls x
- Guide to Being An Appropriating Douchefuck x
- New Age ~Culture Mixing~ x
- In case you’re tired of the prose, here’s poetry x
- Why You Shouldn’t Wear A Bindi x
- Appropriating and Sharing x
- Our Culture is A Punchline Until It’s a Trend x
- Homage Or Insult x
- Tattoos and Appropriation x
- Bollywood is Not Synonymous With Indian x
- College Party Costumes and Stereotypes x
- Dotheads x
- Bindis and Racist Humour x
- Hindu Iconography x
- Misuse of Hindu Iconography x
- Your Appreciation Doesn’t Help Us x
Assorted Vials of White Tears and Miscellaneous Antidotes
aka I can’t change that I’m white/not all whites are racist/we are all humans:
- Unoriginal Arguments Refuted x
- Quick Checklist: You Might Be Racist If x
- Your Opinion Isn’t Necessary x
- I’m Not Responsible For My Ancestors x
- The Kumbayah Myth x
- Proud to Be White x
- Good White Person x
- We Don’t Hate White People x
- Brutality of Colonialism And Why You Can’t Tell Us To Forget the Past x
- People Who Claim Not To See Race Are More Likely to Be Racist x
- All Races are Beautiful Said the White Girl x
- Race Blindness Is A Luxury x
- Well, You’re Racist For Calling Me Racist x
- I’ve Read About Its Significance, I Know What It Means
- Angry Because Someone Called You Racist x
- We’re Not All Like That x
- People Only Care About This Trivial Shit On The Internet x
- I Can’t Apologize for Being Born White, It’s Not My Fault x
- Why Can’t You Tell Me What I’m Doing Wrong x
- It’s Easy to Be Color Blind When You’re White x
- A Diagrammatic Guide To White Tears x
- Conversations I’m Sick Of Having With White People x
- Why Do You Hate White People x
- I’m Trying To Be Cultured x
- Sisyphean Conundrum x
- What is Your Problem x
- We Are All Human, We All Bleed Red x
- It’s Just A Bindi x
- How Not To Respond To Accusations of Racism x
- I’m Italian And 0.009% Native American x
- What White People Think Racism Means: A Venn Diagram x
- White Guilt x
- White Pride!!!111!!! x
- I Like *Insert Foreign Country* I Want To Live There x
- You Have So Much Hate, Fighting Fire With Fire Won’t Help x
- BooHoo, Don’t Call Me Racist x
- Not Everything Ended With Your Ancestors x
- The Racist Reaction x
- I Don’t See Why That Is Racist x
- Crummy Apologies x
Okay. I agree. I’ve been socially conditioned not to notice racism and recognize my privilege. What can I do?
I don’t care about this bullshit; you’re making a big deal out of nothing, go home and delete your blog:
I rly can’t tell if this is satire.
The fact that she’s white doesn’t give her the right to monopolize discussions on race. The fact that you’re a PoC doesn’t give you that right either. Get over it.
Right there. You told me to get over myself because I guess I was being too arrogant in a discussion about POC issues. Gahds, I guess anytime a POC speaks up it must mean they were monopolizing the conversation. You jumping to that conclusion over the posts already says you don’t give a shit about poc.
YES. IN HER MIND IT WAS RACISM. THAT’S THE FUCKING ISSUE. She didn’t want to critically think about it. She didn’t want to believe that racism against whites just DOES NOT EXIST ON A SYSTEMIC LEVEL. That what she experienced wasn’t racism but actually a kneejerk prejudice.
And I’m not gonna spend my time educating her when there’s plenty of information online. She came in where she did not belong and I told her to get out.
Are you not sure you’re one of those colorblind ideologists? Cause u sure as fuck sound it. Example:
You can’t spend your time trying to decide which slur is the worst. They’re all bad.
You’re not showing any understanding of the deep and violently racist history of these words. If you really think cracker is on par with the n-word then just get out of my inbox. Cracker will never have the same disgusting history as the n-word. I’m not black, I don’t feel it’s my place to go deeper into the whys and hows of the n-word.
However I AM transgender* and vietnamese. Do you know how often words like gook were flung at my race while we were being exterminated? What about tranny? You don’t get the same sense of fear. When they mark you as a gook or tranny then you fear for your fucking life.
When she was called a cracker she feared that she might not have anyone to sit next to during lunch.
Are you white? I’m guessing you are. Cause I don’t think a poc would come up in my inbox and tell me to get over oppression and racism.
Mothafucka do you really think I was monopolizing the conversation just cause I told her to gtfo of it? She had no place to discuss racism, she presented that she had no knowledge about racism/privilege theory, and she made the convo all about her poor snowflake self by claiming she knows what racism is because she went to a “ghetto” school where the kids called her a cracker, and she had the audacity to feel affronted when I told her to stfu & gtfo.
Cracker WILL NEVER have the same stigma and psychological impact of slurs like the n-word, gook, etc. White people don’t get killed cause they’re crackers. But srsly, keep reaching.
Of course race can be discussed by white people. When it comes to racism, however, it’s a whole nother deal. I would never interrupt my gay friends when they talk about gay issues the same way they’ve never interrupted me when I talk about trans* or poc issues.
CAUSE IT’S NOT THEIR FUCKING PLACE TO INTERRUPT ME. THEY KNOW THAT. They respond when I’m done the same way I respond when they’re done.
Oh mah gahd are you one of those ~I don’t see color~ types?
So I can’t help being compassionate as fuck even when I’m destroying their sheltered little lives.
I went to see if the girl was okay.
So I was relieved.
And then she said:
I was going to explain further but I just went “fuck it.” She’s going to continue on in life as an affluent white cis girl thinking that she’s experienced racism because she went to a school with alotta black kids that called her a cracker.
I felt dismissed, disregarded, and invalidated (which I’m guessing is what she felt after I told her to stop talking about racism like she knows shit).
Whatever white girl. Go pretend to be liberal, go to those gay straight alliances (little to none trans* visibility), and go on believing how ~progressive~ you are.
Carry on and deny the oppression and violence against poc like the true white liberal you are.
Annnnd I already made a white girl cry. She attempted to stick her mouth in a conversation about race, racism, and white privilege. Told her to back the fuck off and it’s not her place to say shit.
She countered with the usual whiteness.
Told her that racism against white people does not exist.
Omfg. I shut her down right there.
Then she cried.
So, I have just heard about this, and I’m sitting here trying not to cry or go burn something, because I honestly am having trouble understanding how someone, anyone, can think that this is okay.
I am a white teenage girl, and maybe I have no right to speak out against this, but I feel like I should. I honestly mean NO OFFENSE to anyone, and please correct me if I say something that is incorrect or hurtful.
Basically, this is crap.
From the gorgeous post above, here are the informative basics:
“And as always, educate yourself on the matter at hand before taking action or criticizing those who take action. Tumblr is filled with wonderful commentary on what is wrong with this book series, so in addition to the Save the Pearls tag, here are a few of my favorites: X x X x X x ”
After reading the above linked articles, I went to the main FB page to do a little reading.
Apparently, the FB page has been DELETING specific comments that they dont approve of, (and not just the ones with cursing) and the comments left are interesting to read. Please feel free to read them, and feel better because these people understand.
among the comments is a link to this guy who reads a bit of it aloud. It is biased, definitely, but you can hear the text itself and he mentions some points that I didn’t notice myself. (he mentions ‘passing privilege,’ and here’ the term explained in a transgendered/transexual discussion, and here, a great dialogue/whatever from a racial standpoint).
Also, the author, (because I thought this was crap written by a teenager, but I was wrong) Victoria Foyt’s website, where you can read here unsurprising/surprising about page (looking at which it would seem that she would write better) and her appalling Q&A page where she describes her ‘writing process’ and ‘intense’ editing regime, which she loves nothing more than. (again, surprising based upon the number of awkward sentences and continued delirium and delusion of her thematic elements in the selections I’ve read/heard).
The SaveThePearls youtube channel, where they promote blackfacing (which I thought hadn’t been a thing since the 1960’s, where it thankfully went where it should, away) blatant racism, misogyny, domestic violence, and basically stupidity.
look there^ and to the reviews on their good reads page to see another example of how humans basically such at being decent and fail again to treat each other with decency and respect (and notice how the opinions are entirely diverging and where they diverge)
let’s do something about this, guys.
again, this post is excellent. I hope any of these things helps in mine/our/anyone’s search to be informed about this mess, and if there are any questions/comments/corrections/links for info PLEASE let me know.
THANK U <3
Today, tumblr has exploded in opposition to Victoria Foyt’s novel “Revealing Eden,” the first book in her Save the Pearls series. This outpouring of intellectual criticism is great! Follow the “Save the Pearls” tag and you’ll found a huge collection of people who have written up poignant and articulate reasons why this book is a very, very bad thing. But what if you want to do more than post about it on tumblr?
- Rate the book 1 star on the websites for Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Goodreads, LibraryThing, and other popular book review sites. Even if you do not feel comfortable writing out a reason for your low rating, enough 1 stars will influence the book’s overall rating and discourage potential readers.
- Comment on the Save the Pearls Facebook page. It is actively maintained, so your comments will be read by some aspect of the publishing house.
- Reference Save the Pearls and Victoria Foyt on twitter. This is quick and fairly easy.
- The Save the Pearls website allows you to comment on the book’s video trailers and Eden’s blog. You may even submit your own videos there. Just be warned that the site has been “moderating” comments, so negative remarks may never actually be posted.
I will personally ask that all users who make direct comments towards the book and author refrain from using profanity, violence or threats, yet I accept that I cannot control or expect to control your actions. Use your best judgement.
Do you want to move beyond the Internet?
- Visit your local library to inquire whether or not they stock “Revealing Eden.” If yes, speak with the head librarian about the many options available for the library. You may start a petition to: a. remove and throw out any copies, b. personally buy the library’s copies from them, so that the establishment is reimbursed for the money they spent, or c. restrict access to the book for any reader under 18, requiring them to have a guardian’s permission in order to check out the book. Just keep in mind the library’s funding (or lack thereof) and how they typically acquire books. Some may find it painful and harmful to actually throw novels out, so offering donations or compromises will always be helpful.
- Create your own collection of alternatives that you can suggest/lend to potential readers. The genre of race-related dystopian fiction exists and there are high quality others out there. “Noughts & Crosses” by Malorie Blackman is a good place to start.
- Do not buy the book! If you are interested in reading it but do not support the author, then look into (legal) ways in which you can get a copy without giving money to the publishing house. Having one copy that you may lend throughout your circle of friends is a good idea, as is exchanging and borrowing digital copies through online libraries.
I do not recommend or advocate stealing copies of this book, destroying someone else’s property, or impeding upon an adult’s right to spend their money/read however they choose. If you want to have a bonfire, as I joked before, go for it. Just make sure that all copies are willingly and legally burned.
And as always, educate yourself on the matter at hand before taking action or criticizing those who take action. Tumblr is filled with wonderful commentary on what is wrong with this book series, so in addition to the Save the Pearls tag, here are a few of my favorites: X x X x X x
The person who made this confession is an idiot with no understanding of race and privilege. Le sigh.