What does casual racism look like in LGBTQ spaces? A lot like casual racism everywhere else.
Casual racism thinks mixed race people are “exotic,” penis size is determined by race according to “some studies” that probably don’t exist, black women are aggressive, and just about every other common racial stereotype under the sun.
Really, stereotypes fuel casual racism in all its forms.
Casual racism also thinks that LGBTQ people have transcended all responsibility for dealing with racial issues.
For example, if you’re a queer person of color who wants to vocalize a racial concern in a predominantly white queer space and casual racism rears its head, you could be accused of being divisive (extra irony points if you were pointing out divisiveness that actually exists).
Sometimes casual racism masquerades as inclusion or open mindedness. For example, there are some gay people who go out of their way to date someone of another race just to say they’ve done it.
Such gays then receive the Congratulatory Cookie of Open Mindedness from people of color for letting us sleep with them.
But not really, because dating someone because of their race is as ridiculous as rejecting someone because of their race.
The same applies to predominately white gay groups that go out of their way to snag token people of color (oblivious to the fact that these spaces don’t always feel inclusive to the people of color in question).
Tokenism may seem progressive on its surface, but it’s really just another form of othering.
So if you see casual racism, remember it. And talk about it.
Notice if you’re ever guilty of it and, if you are, take responsibility for it.
I would say explain it to other white LGBTQ people, but it’s frustrating when it takes a white person saying the same thing people of color have been saying for ages to convince other white people to change their actions.
Instead, tell them to take the race related concerns of LGBTQ people of color seriously – as in listen to us.
As LGBTQ people, we get silenced all the time, told we’re too sensitive, told not to flaunt our sexuality.
Sexual minorities of color can find themselves silenced further when their concerns about race are dismissed by the predominantly white, mainstream LGBTQ community.
Let’s keep working to change that.
American teacher in Japan under fire for lessons on Japan’s history of discrimination:
Miki Dezaki, who first arrived in Japan on a teacher exchange program in 2007, wanted to learn about the nation that his parents had once called home. He taught English, explored the country and affectionately chronicled his cross-cultural adventures on social media, most recently on YouTube, where he gained a small following for videos like “Hitchhiking Okinawa” and the truly cringe-worthy “What Americans think of Japan.” One of them, on the experience of being gay in Japan, attracted 75,000 views and dozens of thoughtful comments.
Dezaki didn’t think the reaction to his latest video was going to be any different, but he was wrong. “If I should have anticipated something, I should have anticipated the netouyu,” he told me, referring to the informal army of young, hyper-nationalist Japanese Web users who tend to descend on any article — or person — they perceive as critical of Japan.
But before the netouyu put Dezaki in their crosshairs, sending him death threats and hounding his employers, previous employers and even the local politicians who oversee his employers, there was just a teacher and his students.
Dezaki began his final lesson with a 1970 TV documentary, Eye of the Storm, often taught in American schools for its bracingly honest exploration of how good-hearted people — in this case, young children participating in an experiment — can turn to racism. After the video ended, he asked his students to raise their hands if they thought racism existed in Japan. Almost none did. They all thought of it as a uniquely American problem.
Gently, Dezaki showed his students that, yes, there is also racism in Japan. He carefully avoided the most extreme and controversial cases — for example, Japan’s wartime enslavement of Korean and other Asian women for sex, which the country today doesn’t fully acknowledge — pointing instead to such slang terms as “bakachon camera.” The phrase, which translates as “idiot Korean camera,” is meant to refer to disposable cameras so easy to use that even an idiot or a Korean could do it.
He really got his students’ attention when he talked about discrimination between Japanese groups. People from Okinawa, where Dezaki happened to be teaching, are sometimes looked down upon by other Japanese, he pointed out, and in the past have been treated as second-class citizens. Isn’t that discrimination?
“The reaction was so positive,” he recalled. For many of them, the class was a sort of an a-ha moment. “These kids have heard the stories of their parents being discriminated against by the mainland Japanese. They know this stuff. But the funny thing is that they weren’t making the connection that that was discrimination.” From there, it was easier for the students to accept that other popular Japanese attitudes about race or class might be discriminatory.
The vice principal of the school said he wished more Japanese students could hear the lesson. Dezaki didn’t get a single complaint. No one accused him of being an enemy of Japan.
That changed a week ago…
this guy’s videos are really eye opening, really worth your time
This is what structural racism looks like.
Chicago, we have to do better.
Media criticism done on a napkin.
This is a great idea for a tumblr…
I will reblog this forever and ever
White supremacist hypocrisy…
meanwhile white people are excused with “mental illnesses” for being serial killers
“On December 29, 2010, Governor Barbour suspended their sentence on the condition that Gladys donate a kidney to her ailing sister.The two women were released from prison on January 7, 2011, and will remain on parole and pay the state of Florida $52 a month for the rest of their lives”
not having black people in something isnt racist it just means theres no fucking black people
sorry no. anything without minorities is racist. look at your bedroom. is there a black man in your closet?? no? racist. how about an asian woman under your bed? no? wow. you must live in the 1950s
People of color are a majority in this world. Thus, if your media shows only white people, and the story is not set in a remote and lopsided place—for example—Finland or Sweden, it does not reflect reality. Very simple.
A work of art or media without persons of color might not be racist, depending on a great number of factors, but writing the sentence “not having black people in something isnt racist” unquestionably makes you both stupid and racist, as does attempting to agree with that sentence with failed-ironic creepy-fantasy visions of stashing people of color under your bed and in your closet.
Yeah. Really lack of understanding of race relations and racism.
Also, loving the hipstery white shit in the comments.
For the OP:
Where is your piece set that there just aren’t any POC there? I mean, I’m sure there are places like that. Wherever it is that white people fly to when they take white flight comes to mind. Maybe you’re writing a story set in a gated community in the suburbs of Portland (Ranked Whitest city in the US based on census data!) Maybe you’re writing a story with a very limited cast, like a family saga of a white family, or a Protagonists-vs.-nature survivalist story where there just aren’t very many people.
But even if that’s the case?
It is relevant to ask yourself why you chose to set it there.
Because this brings back the argument of ‘It wouldn’t be realistic to have black people/other POC there!’
I mean, it’s not TRUE that there were no POC in medieval Europe… But it’s a well-accepted cultural myth. And given that myth, the question still begs: Why are so many people so eager to choose to set their stories there? Why are people deliberately choosing places where the audience will accept ‘POC just don’t exist here’?
Why are the fairies in Ferngully white, when the movie is set in Australia?
Why is it that the only black people in middle earth are orcs?
Why are there Chinese words but no Chinese people in Firefly?
Why did Pixar make a movie set in Medieval Scotland?
What’s the explanation for the overpowering whiteness of LA in Buffy, The Vampire Slayer?
Why are white Disney Princesses from ahistorical fantasy-worlds, but POC princesses have to be from quasi-historical locations? Pocahontas is from Virginia. Mulan is from China. Tiana is from New Orleans. Meanwhile Cinderella, Rapunzel, Snow White, and Aurora are from unknown and untagged Kingdoms. Why to POC princesses need scaffolding to explain why they’re there? Why are the POC Princesses -not actually Princesses- (unless they marry into it, in Tiana’s case)?
The answer to all of these is, of course, ‘creator choice’. Individual TOTALLY NOT RACIST OMG people made individual choices.
But these choices aren’t made in a void.
So, yeah. If you don’t have black people in something (Or more to the point, if you don’t have an POC at all) it’s probably pretty racist. Even if you set it somewhere where there just AREN’T any POC.
Because why are you setting it there? Does the story REALLY demand that? I mean, some stories do; Downton Abbey is set in WWI Era Ebgland among a particular rich, landed family; the story is kind of about how awful that place and time was. The Secret of Roan Inish is set in a remote area of Ireland that hasn’t seen immigration since the vikings stopped showing up, which is relevant because some dude decides to fuck a sealfairy because she’s a slightly different shade of white and that’s kind of a crux of the story. Both of these are good and sense-making narratives where POC are thin on the ground.
They still don’t exist in a void.
The creators chose these stories about white people as the important ones to tell.
That’s worth looking at critically.
The Walters Museum in Baltimore currently has an exhibit on Africans in Renaissance Europe. So, ya know, you can just go and bust that “no black people in Medieval/Ren settings” myth.
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