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Blatant lies and cooptation

December 8, 2010

Disclaimer: I am opening up comments here with the understanding that we will not see any white woman apologizing for having ever done any of this. I am not looking for an apology, actually its the last thing I want because it then becomes about how sorry you are and about patting you on the head for being sorry and less a bout actually discussing the cooptation of our struggles/oppression and the revision of our history by all oppressor casses and by all non-whites who are higher up the racist hierarchy. Please stick to the topic, bring up whatever questions you have and lets all respect that this is a sensitive topic.

Originally published: 12/6/10

 “It’s like black women are supposed to be satisfied with results no other group would consider triumphant. It’s a success that black women have to worry about being slammed with discrimination or sexual harassment suits from non-blacks and males but the fact that white women have to deal with the effects of males having co-opted feminism and also worry about being accused of sexual harassment or sexual discrimination by males is a travesty. Black women are supposed to be happy that black movements have been re-purposed as “civil rights” movements for everyone under the sun who’s oppressed, but white women are allowed to be disappointed that feminism has been re-appropriated as “humanism,” also for the benefit of everyone under the sun who’s oppressed. If it’s a success in one case, why not in the other?” ~ Margaret Jamison

Dear gay males, white women, trannies, non-whites, het males, white males

STOP CO-OPTING THE BLACK EXPERIENCE! STOP CO-OPTING OUR HISTORY AND STRUGGLE! STOP MAKING BELIEVE THAT EVERYTHING IS RIGHT AND FINE FOR BLACKS AND YOUR GROUP IS SHIT ON MORE SO THAN BLACKS! STOP BEING DEFENSIVE ABOUT YOUR WHITENESS, MALENESS, HETERO-NESS, ETC! AND STOP INVIZIBLIZING BLACK WOMEN BY USING BLACK MEN AS THE STANDARD BY WHICH YOU BASE YOUR RACIST OPINIONS. I have nothing to say about the racism black men face, that is their issue and it is HIGH time that THEY be the ones to do some work on it without forcing black women to accept, adapt and enforce their ideals as our own.

I am really tired of reading dribble like: “well its ok to call “life saving” surgery butchery, but if you were talking down to a black person it would be a problem” you are a RACIST if you believe that! This lil nugget is nice too: “It is a derail for bw to insist that ww have privilege over them, and its unfair for them to “rage” at us when really they should upset with white men(read: really they’re just mad they’re not us white women who are privileged)”  this is another great one: “Black women “go after” white women because its easier” You are totally FUCKED UP if you think that using the ONE (or many frankly idgaf) time you weren’t treated according to how you are normally treated, which is privileged over blacks ALWAYS, is ok to excuse and inviziblize our history, struggles and very CURRENT oppression, you are a RACIST. I cannot tell you how fucked up and racist it is to believe it is at all easy to deal with you purposely obtuse white, male, non-white, tranny folks, especially you white women who are so goddamn famous for these lies of how “easy” it is for a black woman to risk EVERYTHING and any credibility to challenge your inherent racist attitudes. It’s never easy, or easier to deal with you racist white women and I have the MOST contempt for you of all because of the repeated ways you suck up to the patriarchy at our expense and on our necks and backs. I am tired of it.  So the next time you feel the urge to say “gay is the new black” as if black oppression is old, outdated and no longer in existence, or you feel so hurt that bw don’t trust your racist ass because you have continually proven to be racist/apologetic for other’s racism and refuse to be accountable for that, GROW THE FUCK UP and deal with it. The option to NOT oppress us is always there, and if you actually picked that one you wouldn’t have to be held accountable in the first place.  But do NOT expect, demand, or attempt to manipulate or coerce black women into accepting your racism as anything other than racism.  And please lets stop with the bending truths like pretzels to fit who you are as a racist and to justify your racism.

I get so tired of seeing you ppl steal from us, appropriate our voices, derail our discussions (our lives really with your racist dribble yes I said you are a derail in our lives!!!), covet our ideas, abuse the language we created to describe our oppression/discrimination at YOUR hand.  Its disgusting and you all should really be ashamed, not that I ever expect any of you to actually give a damn enough to feel anything but selfishness and self-interest. I’m tired of you dismissing our RIGHTEOUS anger at your fuckery by calling us bitter, aggressive, and calling us angry as if we have NO RIGHT to be angry at your racism and racist sexism and sexualized racism.

That is all

[snark quotes mine]

7 Comments
  1. December 9, 2010 1:55 am

    Just reposting this from the other thread:

    Completely agree, sis. Whatever “WOC” might have been in the past, it now serves as a way to invisibilize the distinctions in experience between nonwhite women who stray far from the Aryan standard and women who, but for a minor physical “exoticism” here or there, don’t really look any different from white people, or who, but for an accident of ancestry, real or imagined, wouldn’t even be calling themselves anything other than white.
    I actually think there’s a lot of self-hatred in a demand that we all recognize how much lighter a black woman’s skin is than the actual color black. Certainly, whenever I’ve encountered children who object to the term black, it has generally been half-breed children with one black parent or very light-skinned children with two black parents. They recognize that society treats them differently than darker-skinned people and so they want a racial term that doesn’t obscure their higher value on the whitemale supremacist market. They want to be called “golden” or “tan” or “brown,” or they want to be called “of color” (any color but black) or “of African descent” (but not one of those Africans whose skin is very close to black in color) or “partly of “African descent” (enough to give an “exotic” feature or two but not enough to give one skin that actually looks nearly black). Those phrases may be accurate on some level, but in lots of places, especially in the Americas, one could just about say that everyone is African-descent, since slaves were owned and raped over most of the Americas, everyone is European-descent, because of the rape of black female slaves and a good deal of black men chasing/raping nonblack women after that, and everyone is Native-descent since in large part the Native Americans who weren’t killed off or left isolated deep in South American jungles were raped by white males, participated in the enslavement and rape of black females, or otherwise mixed genes with the white interlopers and black slaves on their continent.
    I think it’s better to use terms that refer to one’s physical manifestation, rather than terms that refer to ancestry, since ancestry is not always visible to the naked eye.
    I’m glad to talk about this too. I was sad to see that you’d closed comments on that post, sis.

  2. December 9, 2010 2:12 am

    I am really tired of reading dribble like: “well its ok to call “life saving” surgery butchery, but if you were talking down to a black person it would be a problem” you are a RACIST if you believe that!

    I cannot tell you how sick I am of hearing this kind of shit. And it really is everyone – white women believe that they still have to put up with misogyny in the workplace, but that somehow black women don’t have to put up with racist-misogyny in the workplace. Or, gay white males play on stereotypes of blacks, saying things like “calling someone a faggot goes unchecked, but calling someone a nigger gets your ass kicked,” when I can tell you firsthand that I’ve been called a nigger on several occasions and absolutely nothing happened to the racist whites and latinos in question. Many white women also believe that while women will accept tranny males as female, no nonwhite person would ever accept white people as nonwhite, when, really, most of the nonwhite communities I’m familiar with positively *jump* at the chance to have some blond-haired blue-eyed “member” to call their own. My personal favorite is the idea that the movement for blacks’ liberation in the US was a success, despite the fact that everything black americans worked for has been co-opted by foreigners and whites for their own ends and blacks are just as subject to accusations of “discrimination” as whites are, while the fact that males have largely co-opted feminism is seen as failure.

    It’s like black women are supposed to be satisfied with results no other group would consider triumphant. It’s a success that black women have to worry about being slammed with discrimination or sexual harassment suits from non-blacks and males but the fact that white women have to deal with the effects of males having co-opted feminism and also worry about being accused of sexual harassment or sexual discrimination by males is a travesty. Black women are supposed to be happy that black movements have been re-purposed as “civil rights” movements for everyone under the sun who’s oppressed, but white women are allowed to be disappointed that feminism has been re-appropriated as “humanism,” also for the benefit of everyone under the sun who’s oppressed. If it’s a success in one case, why not in the other?

    • December 10, 2010 3:14 pm

      Yeah, there are definitely two issues there – on the one hand white women believing despite all evidence to the contrary that white folks are not accepted as members of nonwhite groups. They definitely are, and they’re seen as prizes, like Bill Clinton being claimed by many blacks – and not even completely in jest – as the “first black president.” Hell, Obama isn’t even the first black president! And, yeah, we can talk all day about whether or not any black person actually considers Clinton black, but I’m not sure if that’s even really relevant. Do most of the women allowing trannies into women’s spaces *really* believe that trannies are just as female as actual female people? I don’t think so, but that doesn’t change the fact that to whatever extent they act on such a notion, it does a disservice to real females. In the same way, to the extent that black people act on the absurd notion that Clinton – or even the half-breed in office now – actually acts in the interests of blacks, they do themselves a disservice.

      And, then, yeah, there is also a certain entitlement, the idea that nonwhite folks *should* accept white folks – or at least that the accident of some nonwhite ancestor whose genes are now invisible should make them part of a group they don’t belong to. Well, if tranny-ism is determined (doubtful as it may be) to be genetic, do they think then that it should give male trannies more of a right to be in female-only spaces? I don’t personally think so. So, why should the genetic “basis” for a white person’s claim to nonwhiteness be given any more credence?

    • December 10, 2010 5:10 pm

      I just heard a collective scream coming from every university admission’s department across the United States. They are now in a confused state as to what to do with the numerous applications from white men who have asked to be considered for admission on the basis that he is in fact Native American. LMAO! Those zany white men will do anything to further their privilege.

  3. Pseudoadrienne permalink
    December 9, 2010 5:16 am

    The Third Wave “feminist” and white “hipster” liberal blogospheres have made a sport and even an art form out of erasing and dehumanizing Black women and their experiences, and then turning around and usurping *their (*Black women’s) narratives for their own use. “Oh look how enlightened, progressive, and multicultural you are because you quoted Angela Davis, Audre Lorde, and Assata Shakur while having a pity-party over your trials and tribulations growing up as a white, heterosexual, Christian, middle-to-upper class American in suburbia, and you’re so conflicted over whether to go to Zoey’s Women’s Studies potluck at her parents’ million dollar house or Skyler’s College ACLU kegger at his frat-house this Saturday, and you’re pouty because your Black female professor told you how offended she was by your bigoted description of Black women being bitter and jealous over ‘nothing’ in your words.” Fuckers. Willfully clueless, hateful and they don’t give a fuck, because they only want Black women to exist to make them feel superior. Can’t feel superior if you don’t have someone to trample, not to mention stealing their narratives because it’s “hip” and “urban”. Shameless racist-misogyny against Black women (and racist lesbophobia against Black lesbians).

  4. December 9, 2010 5:55 am

    I can tell you for a fact that there are some EEO offices that are inundated with investigations in which a white man claimed a black woman and/or man have discriminated against him, especially when said black woman/man is his work-superior. Resources being wasted, when it is really the white man’s racism. He acts as if no black person should ever have to tell him what to do or rate his job performance. In his eyes, the very act is discrimination. The same when white male students have to read a black author.

  5. December 10, 2010 10:21 pm

    Soulsis, you asked me to move what I wrote over here, so will try to do that (though my computer keeps freezing up.) But do you still really want that here? I wouldn’t have presumed to add what I wrote. Over there, I was responding to you questioning what words I’d used and needed to explain why I’d done that.

    Also, I wanted to add when I had put in my article about hopefully anyone with a heart and half a brain would not accept someone white saying they are of a different race, I didn’t mean to ignore how often that does happen by those claiming a fraction of ancestry that is racially oppressed in spite of getting all the usual white privilege. I know that happens, like you described at work, and it’s so wrong. I meant that hopefully someone just making that announcement and then moving into power positions in a community oppressed by racism would not be so readily allowed as Lesbians who embrace men saying they are Lesbians. That was based on when I’ve asked Lesbians supporting those men if they would accept Elliott or others who are white suddenly claiming they’d had a race change, and they’ve said no. But, you’re right. It does happen more than I realized.

    Bev Jo permalink
    December 8, 2010 10:26 pm
    Hi Soulsis,

    I certainly don’t want to offend, and basically have tried to honor what I’ve been told in the past. Twenty-five years ago I was in a Separatist group with Monifa Ajanaku, Vivienne Louise, and Linda Strega. Monifa very kindly and patiently explained to me and Linda why and how it was offensive to her and Vivienne when we used the terms “Black” and “white.” She sat next to me and put her arm next to mine and questioned if that is what our skin color was. I had felt it was a term of pride and was commonly used in this area. She explained how important it was to identify with continent or country of origin and asked us to never again use the terms “black” and “white.” Not long after, Linda was in a post office and a woman there proudly called herself “African-American, not black!”

    I really wanted to respond to your other post about “WOC,” because, again, I was patiently told that that was the preferred term when talking about women who were oppressed by racism. 40 years ago in this Lesbian Feminist community, the term was “Third World.” It seemed to me that in all radical movements of oppressed people there’s a change with growing awareness and politics, but also fads for a while (and it seems to have gone backwards with some Lesbians’ terms for Lesbian!) A white friend suggested “non-white,” but that was so criticized 40 years ago.

    So, I want to not offend, I want to support, and I want to fight racism. But I’m not sure what to do!

    I also wanted to say I’m so sorry that your friend dropped you when you tried to talk with her about racism. Of course, Black women are more oppressed by racism than Latinas. And of course the most dark-skinned are treated worse on so many levels in such a racist culture. Latina isn’t even a good term since it doesn’t differentiate those who are completely white from Indian from mixed from Black. I can’t find your thread! I wanted to respond more. It’s so unfair to lose a friendship over trying to have it be fair and equal.

    I also learned from Monifa and Vivienne about how upset they were at the racism in the “Lesbian of Color” community. They were furious when they went to Conferences for Lesbians and women “of Color,” which were run by very light-skinned Lesbians and women, who Monifa and Vivienne felt could and did otherwise pass as (as they said)”European-descent.”) These women (Michelle Cliff, with her “Reclaiming an Identity They Taught Me to Despise” comes to mind) weren’t just there — they were RUNNING it. Which I’m sure you know about, and which reminds me a bit of the trannies. I know it’s not the same at all because those men are still men in every way, but still — the arrogance of a relatively privileged person claiming an oppression while ignoring the woman there who is far more oppressed by that oppression.

    Sorry to go on. Please know I want to support you and not oppress or offend. I just felt I had to explain why I used the words I do.

    I really agree about the men and how they complain poverty and oppression when they have so very much privilege. The one who made sure his contract kept his male salary before he “transitioned” was classic. And of course here, the “National Center for Lesbian Rights,” with their unaffordable events (which make me and others know we’re not welcome) hired such a man as one of their lawyers instead of my Never-het, Separatist friend. No Lesbians for them.

    And yes, it’s a travesty to see what that testosterone does to the faces of women. Not to mention the balding! I’m hoping you’ll like my next article about all that. I love to see your writing.

    Your comments are here and I respond:

    Bev Jo permalink
    December 9, 2010 5:29 am

    Soulsis and Margaret, I’m not sure if I should post on the other thread, but still don’t know how to reach it, and so want to answer you here. I understand what you mean and agree. But don’t want yous to think Monifa and Vivienne were sell-outs or self-hating in any way. They were proud of being dark-skinned, which is why they resented the privilege the lighter skinned women got. “Black” was the common term in this area at that time, so they were going against what was acceptable and expected to say what they did. I had listened to and read many Black women and Lesbians talk and write about racism, but heard new information from Monifa and Vivienne, and will always be grateful to them for that and the political work we did together.

    They used “WOC” only for general references to groups of women who weren’t white, but used African-descent or African-American for themselves.

    No of course I didn’t think all Black women were one, but I wanted to explain why I was using those terms so you didn’t think I was an idiot or deliberately insensitive. I was surprised at what they said too because Black to me had seemed to clearly be a term of pride on many levels, especially in a culture where being lighter is so stupidly valued.

    Yes, I would love to read what Margaret wrote. How do I find it?

    Anyway, I want to support you both in every way possible, which means trying to understand your decisions and politics. I felt reluctant to talk about it, to not irritate or offend you, but felt I had to answer when I clearly had offended you, Soulsis.

    I cannot get to Margaret’s site that you recommended. Can anyone try and send on all info you suggested I read? I spent an hour trying to paste this in with the computer not responding.

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