I listen to a bunch of podcasts. To narrow it down, I asked myself which ones I listen to every single time the post a new ep. Which ones am I a completist for? And the list was surprisingly long (hurray for daily train commutes from Bay Ridge!)
I’m not endorsing anybody here, nor am I trying to…
“Janice Jackson, another team member who is also working on a Ph.D. in communication disorders, conducted an experiment using pictures of Sesame Street characters to test children’s comprehension of the “habitual be” construction. She showed the kids a picture in which Cookie Monster is sick in bed with no cookies while Elmo stands nearby eating cookies. When she asked, “Who be eating cookies?” white kids tended to point to Elmo while black kids chose Cookie Monster. “But,” Jackson relates, “when I asked, ‘Who is eating cookies?’ the black kids understood that it was Elmo and that it was not the same. That was an important piece of information.” Because those children had grown up with a language whose verb forms differentiate habitual action from currently occuring action (Gaelic also features such a distinction, in addition to a number of West African languages), they were able even at the age of five or six to distinguish between the two.”—
everyone should know i have mad appreciation for linguistic social justice, i am a huge proponent of recognizing ALL utterances as valid and not ‘right’ vs. ‘wrong’ or ‘smart’ vs. ‘stupid’ as seen in prescriptivist traditions such as english; it halts the progression of natural language development to call certain things ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ in a language. there is only what is mutually intelligible, and if you can’t understand someone’s dialect it is because you are unfamiliar, not because you are stupid (though you may be ignorant). speakers of AAVE are noted to ‘turn off’ their dialect and speak in what people might crudely call the ‘job interview dialect,’ but this is important information: AAVE speakers are able to speak two dialects fluently, but speakers of standard american english can only handle their one. who’s stupid now?
“For years, I opened my 11th-grade U.S. history classes by asking students, “What’s the name of that guy they say discovered America?” A few students might object to the word “discover,” but they all knew the fellow I was talking about. “Christopher Columbus!” several called out in unison.
“Right. So who did he find when he came here?” I asked. Usually, a few students would say, “Indians,” but I asked them to be specific: “Which nationality? What are their names?”
In more than 30 years of teaching U.S. history and guest-teaching in others’ classes, I’ve never had a single student say, “Taínos.” How do we explain that? We all know the name of the man who came here from Europe, but none of us knows the name of the people who were here first—and there were hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of them. Why haven’t you heard of them?
This ignorance is an artifact of historical silencing—rendering invisible the lives and stories of entire peoples.
[…] In an interview with Barbara Miner, included in Rethinking Columbus, Suzan Shown Harjo of the Morning Star Institute, who is Creek and Cheyenne, said: “As Native American peoples in this red quarter of Mother Earth, we have no reason to celebrate an invasion that caused the demise of so many of our people, and is still causing destruction today.” After all, Columbus did not merely “discover,” he took over. He kidnapped Taínos, enslaved them—“Let us in the name of the Holy Trinity go on sending all the slaves that can be sold,” Columbus wrote—and “punished” them by ordering that their hands be cut off or that they be chased down by vicious attack dogs, if they failed to deliver the quota of gold that Columbus demanded. One eyewitness accompanying Columbus wrote that it “did them great damage, for a dog is the equal of 10 men against the Indians.”
Corporate textbooks and children’s biographies of Columbus included none of this and were filled with misinformation and distortion. But the deeper problem was the subtext of the Columbus story: it’s OK for big nations to bully small nations, for white people to dominate people of color, to celebrate the colonialists with no attention paid to the perspectives of the colonized, to view history solely from the standpoint of the winners.”—Bill Bigelow, Rethinking Columbus: Towards a True People’s History (via professorpinka)
Over the past four months the city of Toronto has seen the ‘mysterious’ deaths of three young native women- mysterious mainly because the police are barely investigating the cases. While there is an excess of police in Black and minority areas to harass local residents, the deaths of young indigenous women don’t seem to be a priority for Toronto Police
“In a lot of ways Piper was my Trojan Horse. You’re not going to go into a network and sell a show on really fascinating tales of black women, and Latina women, and old women and criminals. But if you take this white girl, this sort of fish out of water, and you follow her in, you can then expand your world and tell all of those other stories. But it’s a hard sell to just go in and try to sell those stories initially. The girl next door, the cool blonde, is a very easy access point, and it’s relatable for a lot of audiences and a lot of networks looking for a certain demographic. It’s useful.”—
Jenji Kohan, showrunner of “Orange is the New Black” on stories about privileged white women and criminality. (via racebending)
Reblogging this post to add an editorial from The Nation by Aura Bogado: White is the New White. An important read. Bogado writes:
Slave narratives became most fashionable among abolitionist circles in the mid-nineteenth century. These narratives remain deeply powerful, yet each one is framed by a white introduction, which authenticates the black experience. The white practice of verifying the lives of black fugitives who were skillfully plotting their own liberation has changed in circumstance and in medium—but the role of white people at its center has not. Today, its latest manifestation is playing out in the Netflix hit series, Orange Is the New Black.
…As a bestselling author who’s sold the rights to stories of women that aren’t even hers, [Piper Kerman has] profited from the criminalization of black and brown women who are disproportionately targeted for prison cages.
…I will acknowledge that Orange Is the New Black has created a credible role for a trans black woman, played by Laverne Cox, an actual trans black woman. And I can’t deny that the series has created a payroll for many actors of color. But again, just like the practice 150 years ago during the height of the slave narrative era, those experiences are first authenticated by a white person—in this case, a white woman whose prison stint can never be a substitute for the violence institutionally carried out against women of color in the criminal justice system.
Karl Marx did not invent or found socialism…he just discovered it…We call in America the laws of gravity, Newtont’s Laws but Newton cannot invent that a body falls at 32 feet per second squared. Marx cannot invent where capital oppresses labor that labor will rise up and overthrow capital.
Kwame Ture, responding to the oft-cited claim that socialism is a product of european thought or eurocentrism.
Also, please read the part where Marx admits that he got his ideas from reading about the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) Confederacy, but then because he thought Indians were racially inferior he called that “primitive” socialism.
I tried to ignore Miley’s antics for as long as I could. After all, her catchphrase said it all – she’s just bein Miley! But when she dropped her video for We Can’t Stop, a catchy, summer-fueled jam made popular by famous hip hop producer Mike WiLL (who’s worked with the likes of Kanye West and Lil Wayne), it became impossible to look the other way.
That’s because We Can’t Stop – not to mention Miley’s Twitter, persona, and overall attitude – is riddled with cultural appropriation. (If you haven’t seen it already, go get ready to vom on your keyboard by watching it here.)
The video features Miley writhing around in an (aptly enough) all-white getup, surrounding herself with black people, who are supposedly her friends and party guests. She’s wearing a gold grill. Black women twerk around her in the background as she grabs their asses and sticks her tongue out cheekily at the camera. Basically, as VICE says, it shows her accessorizing with black people, using them as props to boost her authenticity as she tries a different sound in her music. AKA she literally said to her songwriters, “I want urban, I just want something that just feels Black.”
The message of the song is pretty simple, and matches the tone of most of Miley’s public image recently. She’s all grown now. She’s independent. Whatever, Disney Channel! She’ll do whatever she likes, because she DGAF.
Here’s why you should give a fuck, Miley. Because you grew up steeped in white privilege; with your father’s name, you’ve been wealthy your entire life. Because your simultaneous appropriation and stereotypying of black culture is harmful and oppressive. You can twerk and pretend to be “ratchet” but it only lasts for the three minutes and 34 seconds that you’re on screen, and then you can take it all off and live life as the privileged white girl that you are. Other people of color can’t do that. They have to deal with the awful stereotypes, the racism, the discrimination that comes attached to their non-whiteness.
A comment on the youtube page for “We Can’t Stop” really sums up why everything about this sucks: “I love how miley twerks. its not the casual black girl, big ass, twerk, but a white girl showing off her moves. loved it!” Great – so not only are we into the appropriation and exploitation of black culture for profit, but now we’re mocking and degrading that very culture when it’s authentically performed by black people, only to praise it when it’s performed by white people? Ugh.
I left home at age 10 in 1961. I hustled on 42nd Street. The early 60s was not a good time for drag queens, effeminate boys or boys that wore makeup like we did.
Back then we were beat up by the police, by everybody. I didn’t really come out as a drag queen until the late 60s.
When drag queens were arrested, what degradation there was. I remember the first time I got arrested, I wasn’t even in full drag. I was walking down the street and the cops just snatched me.
We always felt that the police were the real enemy. We expected nothing better than to be treated like we were animals-and we were.
We were stuck in a bullpen like a bunch of freaks. We were disrespected. A lot of us were beaten up and raped.
When I ended up going to jail, to do 90 days, they tried to rape me. I very nicely bit the shit out of a man.
I’ve been through it all.
In 1969, the night of the Stonewall riot, was a very hot, muggy night. We were in the Stonewall [bar] and the lights came on. We all stopped dancing. The police came in.
They had gotten their payoff earlier in the week. But Inspector Pine came in-him and his morals squad-to spend more of the government’s money.
We were led out of the bar and they cattled us all up against the police vans. The cops pushed us up against the grates and the fences. People started throwing pennies, nickels, and quarters at the cops.
And then the bottles started. And then we finally had the morals squad barricaded in the Stonewall building, because they were actually afraid of us at that time. They didn’t know we were going to react that way.
We were not taking any more of this shit. We had done so much for other movements. It was time.
It was street gay people from the Village out front-homeless people who lived in the park in Sheridan Square outside the bar-and then drag queens behind them and everybody behind us. The Stonewall Inn telephone lines were cut and they were left in the dark.
One Village Voice reporter was in the bar at that time. And according to the archives of the Village Voice, he was handed a gun from Inspector Pine and told, “We got to fight our way out of there.”
This was after one Molotov cocktail was thrown and we were ramming the door of the Stonewall bar with an uprooted parking meter. So they were ready to come out shooting that night.
Finally the Tactical Police Force showed up after 45 minutes. A lot of people forget that for 45 minutes we had them trapped in there.
All of us were working for so many movements at that time. Everyone was involved with the women’s movement, the peace movement, the civil-rights movement. We were all radicals. I believe that’s what brought it around.
You get tired of being just pushed around.
STAR came about after a sit-in at Wein stein Hall at New York University in 1970. Later we had a chapter in New York, one in Chicago, one in California and England.
STAR was for the street gay people, the street homeless people and anybody that needed help at that time. Marsha and I had always sneaked people into our hotel rooms. Marsha and I decided to get a building. We were trying to get away from the Mafia’s control at the bars.
We got a building at 213 East 2nd Street. Marsha and I just decided it was time to help each other and help our other kids. We fed people and clothed people. We kept the building going. We went out and hustled the streets. We paid the rent.
We didn’t want the kids out in the streets hustling. They would go out and rip off food. There was always food in the house and everyone had fun. It lasted for two or three years.
We would sit there and ask, “Why do we suffer?” As we got more involved into the movements, we said, “Why do we always got to take the brunt of this shit?”
Later on, when the Young Lords [revolutionary Puerto Rican youth group] came about in New York City, I was already in GLF [Gay Liberation Front]. There was a mass demonstration that started in East Harlem in the fall of 1970. The protest was against police repression and we decided to join the demonstration with our STAR banner.
That was one of first times the STAR banner was shown in public, where STAR was present as a group.
I ended up meeting some of the Young Lords that day. I became one of them. Any time they needed any help, I was always there for the Young Lords. It was just the respect they gave us as human beings. They gave us a lot of respect.
It was a fabulous feeling for me to be myself-being part of the Young Lords as a drag queen-and my organization [STAR] being part of the Young Lords.
I met [Black Panther Party leader] Huey Newton at the Peoples’ Revolutionary Convention in Philadelphia in 1971. Huey decided we were part of the revolution-that we were revolutionary people.
I was a radical, a revolutionist. I am still a revolutionist. I was proud to make the road and help change laws and what-not. I was very proud of doing that and proud of what I’m still doing, no matter what it takes.
Today, we have to fight back against the government. We have to fight them back. They’re cutting back Medicaid, cutting back on medicine for people with AIDS. They want to take away from women on welfare and put them into that little work program. They’re going to cut SSI.
Now they’re taking away food stamps. These people who want the cuts-these people are making millions and millions and millions of dollars as CEOs.
Why is the government going to take it away from us? What they’re doing is cutting us back. Why can’t we have a break?
I’m glad I was in the Stonewall riot. I remember when someone threw a Molotov cocktail, I thought: “My god, the revolution is here. The revolution is finally here!”
I always believed that we would have a fight back. I just knew that we would fight back. I just didn’t know it would be that night.
I am proud of myself as being there that night. If I had lost that moment, I would have been kind of hurt because that’s when I saw the world change for me and my people.
I am greatly astonished that the French have so little cleverness…in the effort to persuade us to convert our poles, our barks, and our wigwams into those houses of stone and of wood which are tall and lofty…Very well! But why now,…do men of five to six feet in height need houses which are sixty to eighty?…do we not find in our own all the conveniences and the advantages that you have with yours, such as reposing, drinking, sleeping, eating, and amusing ourselves with our friends when we wish?
This is not all, … my brother, hast thou as much ingenuity and cleverness as the Indians, who carry their houses and their wigwams with them so that they may lodge wheresoever they please, independently of any seignior whatsoever?
…Thou reproachest us, very inappropriately, that our country is a little hell in contrast to France, which thou comparest to a terrestrial paradise, inasmuch as it yields thee, so thou sayest, every kind of provision in abundance.
Thou sayest of us also that we are the most miserable and most unhappy of all men, living without religion, without manners, without honor, without social order, and, in a word, without any rules…lacking bread , wine, and a thousand other comforts which thou hast in superfluity in Europe…
I beg thee now to believe that, all miserable as we seem in thine eyes, we consider ourselves nevertheless much happier than thou in this, that we are very content with the little that we have; and believe also once for all, I pray, that thou deceivest thyself greatly if thou thinkest to persuade us that thy country is better than ours.
For if France, as thou sayest, is a little terrestrial paradise, art thou sensible to leave it?…seeing, in our own experience, that those who are natives thereof leave it every year in order to enrich themselves on our shores…
Now tell me this one little thing, if thou hast any sense: Which of these two is the wisest and happiest-he who labours without ceasing and only obtains, and that with great trouble, enough to live on, or he who rests in comfort and finds all that he needs in the pleasure of hunting and fishing?
It is true, … that we have not always had the use of bread and of wine which your France produces; but, in fact, before arrival of the French in these parts, did not the Gaspesians live much longer than now? And if we have not any longer among us any of those old men of a hundred and thirty to forty years, it is only because we are gradually adopting your manner of living, for experience is making it very plain that those of us live longest who, despising your bread, your wine, and your brandy, are content with their natural food of beaver, of moose, of waterfowl, and fish, in accord with the custom of our ancestors and of all the Gaspesian nation.
Learn now, my brother, once for all, because I must open to thee my heart: there is no Indian who does not consider himself infinitely more happy and more powerful than the French.
A Mi’ kmaq Responds to the French (1677)
Chrestien LeClerq, New Relation of Gaspesia, with the Customs and Religion of the Gaspesian Indians
“"I’ve changed music four or five times. What have you done of any importance other than be white?"
Davis attended a reception in honor of Ray Charles at Ronald Reagan’s White House in 1987. This was his reply to a Washington society lady seated next to him who had asked him what he had done to be invited.”—
Miles, the Autobiography (1989)
After reposting the Miles Davis quote (which isn’t actually a Miles Davis quote) earlier I decided to look up the quote it was based on. This is what I found. Still awesome.
“Well, I’ve changed the course of music five or six times. What have you done except fuck the president?”—Miles Davis to Nancy Reagan at a White House dinner in 1987 after she’d inquired as to what he’d done with his life to merit an invitation. (via rosadefuego)