Thursday, June 25, 2015

A Missive to the Most Anglo of Saxons

Dear straight white Christian-raised male,

Between the Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube, I can tell that this year is especially rough for you. I have seen taped rants, essays, and treatises from so many people just in the last few weeks, and I can tell that you are frustrated and angry.

There’s a trend in popular culture to cast and depict your originally white male heroes as women or people of colour. This seems to be so enraging to you, to see fictional characters who will have no real effect on your life be shown in a different light. It is as if Lawrence Olivier wore blackface to play Othello, or if Angelina Jolie was cast to play Mariane Pearl, an Afro-Sino-Cuban woman who actually exists.

You have no idea how to respond to Caitlyn Jenner’s transformation from Bruce. It must be so difficult for you to see an Olympian who you likely forgot about transition into a body and mind state that will ultimately make her happy and cause absolutely no consequence to you. How will you cope with this?

Just this month, you found out that your precious Alexander Hamilton may no longer be on the $10 in place of a woman. You poor things. The Founding Father who was felled in a duel will now be again felled by a person with ladybits, a push set forth because of all those pesky feminists, wanting women to be seen more prominently in society, just because they are 50% of society.

Then it was brought to your attention that it is offensive for a government office that claims to be working for all citizens and residents to fly the flag of a dead country that advocated owning other humans as a means to gain economic wealth and prosperity. It only took was 5,000+ murders and lynchings, plus the 9 that happened last week for you to realize that. Sure, the only reason that the flags were raised at those current government offices were to protest the fact that the federal government was starting to recognize that every citizen should be treated equally under the law. But you’re getting serious feels because “it’s just some fabric” and “there are more important issues”.

Why are all these things coming up at once? It is as if it is cool to be accepting and respectful of people different from you. I’ve heard you claim that it is all show and just a passing trend and sensation. It could not possibly be that these marginalized groups have been talking about this for years, taking to the streets at times, for hundreds of years, and people are just now paying attention in this century. There are books and speeches and manifestos promoting gender and racial and sexual equality that date back to when it was illegal to publish such literature, but it seems that the 20th and 21st century is when things actually started to change.

And for that, I am sorry. I truly am. I am sorry that your zero state has been put into question. I am sorry that you were too oblivious of the fact that there are other humans on the planet who have been offended by your zero state and have been screaming at the top of their lungs about it, but you were too busy dismissing their pleas for reason and respect. I am sorry that you can no longer casually say racist, Anti-non-Christian, sexist, homophobic things anymore without someone calling you out on it. Your life is so hard now, having to respect people. This is happening all of a sudden, and I am sure it is difficult for you. I will make an appointment to cry a river for you.


Thursday, June 18, 2015

Dylan McDermott Owes Us an Explanation

Speak for your people!
In light of the Charleston, SC church shooting yesterday, I am calling on Dylan McDermott to make a statement on behalf of all Dylans and all white people, condemning this heinous act of violence. Mr. McDermott, you need to represent your entire race, and your first name. You may have no relation or knowledge that this Dylann Roof ever existed until now, but this murderer of nine innocent black people in this church that was an epicenter for the fight for black freedom and civil rights is unconscionable. It is as if he was doing a victory lynching!

Dylann Roof is a known white supremacist. He has many ties in the white power movement. Sure, some say he was a “lone wolf”, but that is just whitesplaining for “known terrorist”. Roof is a terrorist, and though he was caught and will hopefully face justice, we need to crack down on ALL people of his ilk! We need to monitor on all white people named Dylan! Limit their movements. Flag them for extra screening at airports. Make sure they cannot practice their day-to-day routines. Check to make sure they are LEGIT Dylans. Sure, you can claim that they are mostly peace loving people, but look at what is on the news right now! A white guy named DYLANN killed nine people, and when he did it, he claimed it was because they were raping his women and taking over his country! How do I know that other white Dylans don’t feel this way! Perhaps we should round them all up and ship them back to Wales.

The name “Dylan” means “great tide”. Great tides have destroyed coastal cities for years. And I am to believe that these white Dylans are people of peace??? I don’t think so. I am afraid to walk out of my door, for my neighbour is a Dylan. What is he taking out of his mailbox at 6 in the afternoon? It looks like a Men’s Health magazine, but it could be anthrax. I’ll never know. Where is he going from 7am to 5pm every weekday? is there a meeting that his terrorist buddies hold to plot more violence?

Dylan McDermott, you need to come clean. Where is your birth certificate? Were you even born in the US? Why haven’t you dissociated yourself with this white Dylan yet? How do we know you’re not a Welsh terrorist? I’m afraid for my life to look up pictures of you now!

This boy loved racist ass flags.
I realize that Nicki Haley already gave a tearful speech regarding these killings, but doesn’t get you off the hook, Mr. McDermott. First of all, since this was obviously a terrorist crime against brown people, another brown person can’t dissociate a white Dylan from society and denounce the actions of this Dylann Roof with the amount of apologetic rigor that you can. Secondly, this particular brown person is the governor of a state that still flies a confederate flag on its capitol! The confederate flag is not only the American swastika, it is literally the flag of a rogue nation that sought to be not part of the United States. Now it is a symbol that racists and bigots use to show that they are against the social progress of the last 150 years. Not all who fly it are bigots, and many say that we need to preserve it “for history’s sake”, but I don’t see too many synagogues in Europe preserving and flying the Nazi emblem so that they can remember it “for history’s sake”. The best way to observe such a history is by teaching it in history class. In light of the flag, and that it is flying over the capitol of the first state to secede from the Union, Ms. Haley’s comments fall a little bit flat. I bring up all this flag fiasco, because Dylann Roof apparently has an affinity for the flags of institutionally racist regimes. Why else would he patch his jacket with the old flags of South Africa and then-Rhodesia?

Dylann Roof explicitly said he planned to kill people, and he had the means to do it. The public needs to know if that is the intention of all Dylans, Mr. McDermott. What so your teachings implore you to do in the name of Wales and all Dylans? Are your loyalties with the public or just your cadre of Dylans? Speak up, and show that you are part of society, and not another Dylan white supremacist terrorist, like Dylann Roof! Your apology for his actions will be appreciated.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

When 'Soul Man' Was Real and Not Funny UPDATED

This film was up for a reboot anyway.
In 1986, a movie called Soul Man depicted C. Thomas Howell as Marcus Watson, a white college student who got a perm and bronzed his skin in order to earn a scholarship for African Americans to go to Harvard. Hilarity ensued...maybe. I was 8 when I saw it, so it could have been a cinematic abortion. My 8-year old judgement cannot be trusted. As we all know, children are idiots. I still believed that a fat old white man annually came down my chimney and gave me presents based on arduous scrutiny of my behaviour. You know how stupid I was? WE NEVER HAD A CHIMNEY!
Well, Soul Man just played out in real life: Rachel Dolezal, head of the Spokane Washington NAACP, was just outed as being white, by her parents, no less. This sounds like the plot of a reboot, and why not a Rule 63 version? Sadly, it is nowhere near as funny, not even to my 8-year old self. It brings up frustration and anger for so many reasons, and not from the usual sources.
There is a cadre of seemingly sociology experts even though they are currently doing extensive studying in their parents’ basements in between stints at 7-11, who bring out the who “race is a social construct, and being mad at Dolezal means you’re a perpetrator of it”. That is a very nice sentiment that is also a load of socially constructed bullshit. Yes, race as we know it is a social construct. It was put in place to justify dehumanizing others, from Middle Eastern natives and  Africans and indigenous North and South Americans to Italians and Greeks and Irish and Italians. You know what else is a social construct? Marriage. Property ownership. City, province, and country border designations. Society is a social construct.

The fact is that with many social constructs, race has not gone away, and likely will not any time soon. If I am stopped by a policeman who says that he is responding to a call of a black man looking suspect in the neighbourhood, I can’t say, “Well, that can’t be me, because your perception of my blackness is a social construct”, and expect to not get locked up at best. Talk to the families of the few hundred unarmed black people who have been killed in the last few years about how their offspring, siblings, and parents were victims of the “social construct”, and see how much traction you get with them. Justice is a social construct as well, and they don’t have that. People who harp incessantly on the “social construct” of race and racism are oddly in the same camp as the #AllLivesMatter camp, who are “I’m-not-racist-but...” racists. You’re all just whitesplaining, and you’re not helping.
I'd like to think this is how she was found out.
Some think that the outrage is ONLY because she was imitating black as a race. Had she done this to another race, there would be no ripples in the water, because for some reason, African American is the Yale of complaining about unjust things that happen to us, no matter what. Tell that to Emma Watson and yutz who cast her to portray an Asian/native Hawaiian, when her skin is so porcelain, it is nearly certain that she had to sleep in a coffin during the day while shooting on location to prevent bursting into flames. People of all ethnicities are somewhat offended when they see someone not of their ethnicity portraying real historical figures who were definitely NOT white. I would expect just as much pushback of Samuel L. Jackson playing King Henry VIII in a biopic as there was when Christian Bale portrayed BatMoses. Keep in mind, fictional characters are free territory, so calm down nerds. Your griping about a black Spider-Man are still unwarranted. If DC makes a white Steel tomorrow, the world won't implode.
Another annoying group of individuals is the one who conflates this case of “transraciality” with transsexuality. It shows how badly we need to do better with teaching science and sexuality in our schools, and how mind-numbingly ignorant some people are. Rachel Dolezal wasn’t born thinking she was missing an ethnicity, or that she always should have been black. She took on the persona of what she thinks a black person is and ran with it. Ask any transperson, and they will acknowledge that something felt off or wrong about them. Transexuality, like homosexuality and bisexuality is more a physiological state than merely an emotional state. The only thing physiological that Rachel Dolezal shares with African Americans is that she is human…I guess now she gets to share the “joy” of her every move being overly scrutinized.

Dolezal during her Howard years
Here is the most annoying thing about Ms. Dolezal’s shenanigans: SHE NEVER HAD TO LIE. She was white when she went to Howard University, an historically black university. She was white when she married her black husband. She was white when she took family photos with her ethnically diverse family. No one batted an eye. She was accepted as a pretty decent person. Why lie when joining and leading the NAACP? It’s the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, and that includes if your color is pasty super-light beige. NAACP does NOT have an exclusionary policy when it comes to membership or leadership. It’s not the black KKK. It was founded by both black and white people, and there are chapters that were lead by people who are not black. Before The Internet lost its mind over this story, you could actually google the term “White NAACP Chapter Presidents” and get a few hits. ethnic identity is not, and will never be, a criterion for membership or leadership in the NAACP, contrary to what talking heads say. Half of the NAACP national president is white, for crying out loud!

Even though the NAACP stood by her and Dolezal resigned from her post, hopefully this will blow over soon. Is Rachel Dolezal just another Iggy Azalea or Vanilla Ice, though? She DEFINITELY appropriated an entire culture that was not originally hers, and she doesn't seem too apologetic or contrite about it, so you be the judge. The saddest part about this debacle is that now Spokane, WA now has no black people.

For future reference, though, people, no one has a problem with a person revering a American black culture. Go to an HBCU. Focus your studies on African American history and African cultures. Be the most educated white person on black history in your town. Focus your service activities on empowering underprivileged traditionally black communities. Enjoy some of our fashion and music. Hell, marry a black guy or woman or something. We will likely still respect you. Just DON’T LIE. 


Well, a few things came to the surface in the last few days since I first penned this. It seems Ms. Dolezal sued Howard University for racial discrimination in 2002. Obviously, she identified as white back then, or else there would be no impetous for suing a historically black college or university for discrimination. The court didn’t think she had a case, as the judge threw it out and made her pay Howard university’s $2,000 court fees. She also received a few pieces of hate mail...from herself.  She must have been black at that point. She claimed to have received hate mail and a noose in her PO box, but it was not sent through the US Post Office. The only way it could have gotten there was via someone with a key to her mailbox. Racist bigots don’t use the Post Office! Everyone know their favourite mail delivery is window/brick interface, stuffed in molotov cocktail, or ignited lowercase “T” on the lawn! Had she claimed to receive anthrax or ricin through the mail, she would have been more believable. Right wing nutjobs LOVE sending powder.

She also went on The Today Show and claimed she felt she was black since she was 5 years old. I guess she had a little bit of a “white spell” at Howard when she sued them, then.She also questioned the validity of her parents claiming that they were her real parents. beside the fact that they (used to) look like her, there is a large cache of photographic evidence that shows that they are definitely her blood.

The amount of cultural appropriation that Rachel Dolezal has done would make Iggy Azalea say, “That’s a bit too far, mate”, or “That shit ain’t trill, cuz”, depending on what day you see her. It was all unnecessary. She could have done everything she wanted to do without concocting such an elaborate ruse. She’s not Jane Goodall; she can appreciate, emulate, and support a culture and community WITHOUT making an entirely new persona and Pretending to BE a part of that community. This whole mess has completely derailed anything she may have achieved and any progress she was making on newer projects. I hope it was worth it to her.

Seriously, though, how the hell did she get her curls so TIGHT!? I know black women who spend $1,000s to get their hair UNcurly, but she mastered getting her hair as tight as lamb’s wool after a heavy rain! Maybe this was all a ruse to push hair care products...

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

O Banco da Saudade

It seems wise to save up one’s sorrow in preparation for something that you know will be kind of sad. When a bunch of your friends are graduating and leaving town, it’s usually time to build up capital in your saudade bank. When you couple that with one of your best friends/roommate leaving to build her life across the country mere days after graduation, you definitely want to compound that interest. The candy coating on these bitter pills is that even though they are leaving and you will likely lose contact for a while, they are at least moving on to bigger/better things, and and you’re pretty sure that they will excel in the greener pastures to which they are heading. So yes, It seems wise to keep a cache of somber emotions stored to prepare you for these specific occasions.

What you never expect, though, is that in between attending graduation ceremonies and parties and quality time with your soon-to-be ex-roommate, you will casually check up on your Facebook status and find out that a friend of yours was missing and subsequently found dead. You also don’t expect 5 minutes later to learn that another one of your friends passed away seemingly as suddenly, on the same day. All that saudade you saved that was supposed to be slowly dispensed as you said fond farewells and gave goodbyes hugs and kisses to your departing friends was just spent and debited in less than 300 seconds, and you STILL have yet to say goodbye to the people who are leaving.

What do you do? What else can you do, but say goodbye to the people to whom you can say goodbye, try not to harsh anyone’s mellow by talking about what you learned in between closing graduation ceremonies and opening graduation parties, and quietly say goodbye to those to whom you could not say goodbye until you have time to properly pay tribute to them.

Mind you, this is a terrible idea. Penning down your already spent sorrow to put on a mask and act like you are okay for a few hours for the sake of others who did not know your too-soon departed friends will make it worse with which to deal later. But what can you do?

Drinking the pain away doesn’t do much for your psyche, neither does visiting the approximate sites of their too-soon passings. Talking with friends brings tears, and thinking alone brings tears. You know that this is much more difficult because it was two people younger than you, and in two different situations. The odds of this happening are so slim, that it is hard completely contemplate it, which makes everything worse. You think you still have to maintain a strong face in front of your friends and roommate who are leaving. It was definitely a bad idea to spend a few hours holding down that pain and shock, but it would have been a terrible idea to skip saying goodbye to people whom you know you may not see for a long while. Because if there is one lesson you learned from untimely passing of your two friends, it is to not take for granted an opportunity to see people for which you care and tell them you appreciate them.

So you take off a day or two from work, process all of your spent sorrow for all of what happened during the weekend, and try to be cogent in life again so that you can face the world again. This all sounds great in print, but you’ll see how it goes tomorrow.

Que saudades.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Hateful Bigots Incite Anger from Hateful Bigots

No, this is not an essay about the current Republican Presidential Candidate field. This is about a hate group and its acts of terror.

This group espouses negative propaganda against a religious group that they depicted as an ethnicity at best, a group of subhuman group of bloodsucking goblins at worst. It has plastered city buses and subways with negative ads that blame its target for all of the ills of the world. It made major moves to block members of the religious group from worshipping in public. It made noise to prevent its targets from building centers for its members. This group is so insidious, it even disseminated conspiracy theories and rumours that involve the religious group infiltrating and tainting media, government, and all other areas of life in its attempt to take over and conquer our government an install an empire and crush its dissenters. No, I am not talking about 1930s Nazi-run German government and its treatment of Jews. I am talking about the American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI).

Since 9/11, I have been very distrustful of any group that has that many "patriotic" buzzwords in its title. Just like the USA Patriot Act that essentially deemed all Americans suspects subject to monitoring, The American Freedom Defense Initiative has nothing to do with love of America, freedom, or defense. Perhaps they'd be more convincing if they called themselves the USA American Defense F-150 Skull-Hump a Frenchie with a Bald Eagle Dick Patriot League (USAADFSHFBEDPL), they'd be more convincing. Regardless, the only reason AFDI exists is to use its words and actions to try to destroy destroy the religion of Islam, which they colourfully depict as a disease that brown people from Asia and Africa have that can spread to innocent white people in the US. Had they existed in the early 1900's I wager Birth of a Nation would have had a bigger budget for turbans and brown shoe polish rather than watermelons and black shoe polish. Their rhetoric is so angering that it makes non-Muslims cringe and nearly want to fight someone.

For AFDI, though, it wasn't a non-Muslim that almost got to them; it was a pair of extremists who call themselves Muslim. Two ISIS sympathizers attempted to attack a "Muhammed Drawing Convention" that AFDI was holding in Garland, TX. These were members of a hate group. They hated EVERYONE who isn't what they deem as Muslim, but unfortunately, their vision of Islam is about as accurate as the Ku Klux Klan's, or AFDI co-founder Patty Mueller's, vision of Christianity is. They spread lies to gain power, and use violence as a cudgel to beat down and literally kill all dissent. Fortunately, a police officer at the front dispatched both attackers before they could even get into the event. They were the only fatal casualties. So here we are: a hate group that spreads lies was attacked by a hate group that spreads lies, and now the target is using the attacker's actions to claim their point is proven. Said group IS truly violent. I think both events were reprehensible, but I really don't know how to feel. This is like a Neo-Nazi group attempting to attack a chapter of the Aryan Nation, but everybody dies. Can anyone really feel bad about that?

I DO NOT THINK THAT THE SHOOTERS HAD ANY RIGHT TO TRY TO KILL ANYONE. However, every Muslim in America has a right to be offended. If someone berates you and constantly misrepresents your faith and core beliefs, you would get mad. I imagine what would happen if there was a group organized to solely antagonize absolutely everything I do or say. Let's call it the Americans for Supreme Sovereignty and Helping Others in Liberty and Equality for Some, ASSHOLES for short. They claim that black and brown people, in their fight to be seen as equal, are attempting to take over the nation and force their Western African and Central American traditions on everyone. When I take a train to my job, I see a billboard sponsored by the ASSHOLES comparing me to a gorilla or a rat. Sambo caricatures eating watermelon are all over town; ASSHOLES publish books explaining how black and Hispanic men are inherently feral beasts, yet somehow also devious and nefarious, who need to be eradicated. When I file a building permit to put a shed in my own yard, there are picketers at the city office claiming I am trying to build a training center and am bent on "blackifying" innocent white people. I mow my lawn, and there is a member of ASSHOLES claiming I am symbolizing the cutting down of white American lives. When my Mexican neighbour opens his own restaurant, ASSHOLES accuse him of attempting to push his Latino agenda on the American people. Now I hear that ASSHOLES is organizing a "SamboSpanic Drawing Contest", where people are to draw the most offensive caricatures of black and brown people that they can, perpetuating every stereotype in literal graphic detail. I think I would be hotly mad about that, and anyone would understand my anger, but I DO NOT THINK THAT THE SHOOTERS HAD ANY RIGHT TO TRY TO KILL ANYONE. Were she the organizer of an anti brown people group, her basic message would be "nigger nigger nigger nigger" in boldface Times New Roman, full justified. Why do most sit by just because she put "sand" in front of the "nigger"?

While violence is not a good way to get one's point across, it is good that this conflict ended with only the aggressors dying. Even with only them dispatched, Geller and her fellow conventioneers are STILL claiming that they proved a point, that Islam is violent and must go. No word yet on their thoughts on the Crusades, the Holocaust, or the modern day Christian militias that indiscriminately execute anyone they do not think is baptized. Two Muslims attacked Geller's Offendfest. No mention of the millions in the country who did not and are just trying to get by, though.

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