Hey, I came across your tumblr from the TTW14 panel you were on, and wondered what your favorite race-centric tumblrs where? I'm especially interested in tumblrs from the non-western world, women of color, trans(especially especially trans femmes) people of color and queer people of color.
Sorry, I (Latoya) forget to check the inbox on Tumblr. Favorite is hard to choose - I follow a mix of art, political, fashion, and theme blogs and then I just select things that match with race. I love 18 Million Rising and Dynamic Africa, but a lot of the great stuff are reblogs from smart people like Ethiopienne. Feel free to look at who I follow personally on Tumblr - a lot of what goes on Racialicious is curated from there.
Hi, I love your blog! I’m a mod at bookendeds. We’re a diverse media review blog focussing on books. Our aim is to bring media with themes and characters that are scarcely represented in mainstream media to your attention, as well as to give you an overall assessment of its progressiveness and quality. We’re new and could use some promotion. Would you mind publishing this ask for your followers to see?
Hello. Welcome to the party! Book reviews are difficult for us and we’ve done less of them as the years have gone on, so we are excited to see what you post.
What is the Racialicious opinion on the video for All About That Bass by Meghan Trainor? Like with the Lily Allen song Hard Out Here, there are racial issues in the casting of black dancers to twerk behind a white lead singer - but it is less extreme than in Allen's video. With Allen, the issue was the simultaneous appropriation and shaming of black culture. Do you think this video did the same?
I don’t think we have an opinion yet. This is the first I’ve heard of the song/video, though Kendra or Arturo may have. Will look into it. - LDP
“Every single Marvel Studios movie has centered around a presumably straight, white, male protagonist, even if white women (mostly love interests) and men of color (support roles) have played roles in the film. The franchise is a box office juggernaut and has a ton of movies on this list, but we’ve gotten two to three movies about each of the men on the Avengers and there’s yet to be a film about Black Widow.
Ryo Oyamada, a 24 year old student from Japan, was struck and killed by an NYPD vehicle in a hit & run. Witnesses say the police car had no lights or sirens on and was going over 70 mph. The released footage by NYPDwas proven to be heavily altered in a cover-up, showing “lights” on the vehicle, when compared to footage from the NY Housing Authority on the same street with the same timestamp.
On a personal note: I know that this will probably not be shared or reblogged very much, because Asians are not very prominent in American culture. I understand this, because Asians (like me) are partially at fault for being so passive. But I am begging you to please consider signing this petition out of human decency. Ryo was just a student walking home, then struck by a nearly silent police cruiser going at excess speed, and the NYPD covered it up.
Here is the side-by-side comparison of the released video footage, including updates from the case. *Edit* This article contains a link to a graphic video moments after the crash, showing the body of Ryo Oyamada and NY citizens yelling at the police. Please advise, it is highly disturbing.
And the following is an excerpt from the petition, which as of now only has 286 signatures.
On February 21st, 2013, Ryo Oyamada was struck and killed by a police cruiser while crossing the street. NYPD claimed that the cruiser’s lights and sirens were on before the collision, but multiple eyewitnesses stated otherwise, that the lights and sirens were only turned on afterwards, and that the cruiser was speeding in excess of 70 mph down a residential street. None of these eyewitnesses were interviewed for the police report.
“The idea that that’s what’s driving this strikes me as completely wrong. I mean, first of all, there’s a lot of people grateful that it’s getting covered. Second of all, people forget this- these protests started within minutes and hours of the death of Mike Brown and they started on the street on which Mike Brown was shot and killed, among the whole neighborhood. I talked to an owner of a barber shop on West Florissant who told me; it got to him real quick and before he knew it, everyone had left out the barber shop to go down there, okay? So there was no media at that point. There was no cameras down there. There were people rushing down to the scene. There was a very heated standoff with police as Michael Brown’s body was on the street. That was not people trying to get on camera.”—Chris Hayes, live on msnbc, on Captain Johnson’s claim that the media is instigating protesters to act out. (via iwriteaboutfeminism)
But I still wasn’t quite prepared for the sheer volume of people who chose to answer the above question with “gay”, “Asian”, or outright homophobic or racist slurs.
Sure, maybe not everyone intended to be racist by pointing out Sulu is “Asian”, but that just shows how we view people of colour as “other” whereas whiteness is invisible. I can’t imagine seeing the same question about, say, Tom Paris with so many people responding “White.”
Or “straight.” I think some of the people describing Sulu as “gay” are LGBT supporters who think it’s cool that Takei is an LGBT activist, but there were also clearly a whole bunch who thought answering “gay” was just funny, or took it several steps further:
And this guy replying to a commenter who said, “People who are so shallow to just see him as gay, without really understanding more about this complex person, are pretty sad”:
I remember first being introduced to Chris Lilley via his show Summer Heights High on HBO. I loved it and thought it was funny. So when his new show, Angry Boys, was announced I was ecstatic.
Finally, a show that was funny and different. But all that changed when I saw this 30-something year old white Australian man not only in blackface, but yellowface.
Even though I knew what black and yellowface were and that they had long racist pasts, none of that clicked in my mind while I watched Angry Boys. My mind didn’t put two and two together—that a white man in brown make up donning an Afro wig and appropriating AAVE playing as a wannabe rapper and that same white man in a black wig speaking tight, broken English playing as a Japanese woman who was trying to make money off her son by saying he was gay (he wasn’t)—meant that he was a disgusting human being.
For whatever reason I never saw him as racist. I felt very uncomfortable whenever these two characters showed up on screen, but I couldn’t place where these feelings were coming from. That uneasiness, that discomfort.
One could say it was because of my age. I think I was barely in high school at the time these shows were on but that still doesn’t make any sense. For one, I’m black. I think I should know what’s racist and what isn’t. Yet oddly enough I couldn’t. For some strange reason I could not.
It’s not until now that I’m 17 that I can see racism (and sexism, for I am a girl) from a 10 mile radius. I can now see all the blatant racist, homophobia, and sexism in Lilley’s shows that was staring back at me 3 years ago as if from now open eyes.
So when I discovered that Jonah from Tonga was a new show where Lilley was going to star as another character from his previous series Summer Heights High via Wikipedia with the description of
"The mockumentary series follows Jonah Takalua, a rebellious 14-year-old Australian boy of Tongan descent (played by 39 year old Caucasian Chris Lilley in brownface make-up and a curly wig) who was previously seen in Lilley’s series Summer Heights High.
The series was called “racist”,
 “creepy” and “dreadful” and spawned an online protest movement by young Tongans concerned at how Lilley’s inaccurate portrayal might affect their communities and futures.” (X)
I realized how deeply ingrained his racism was in his so-called “comedy.” It pulled back S.mouse and Jen Okazaki from Angry Boys and Jonah Takalua and those racist moments with Ja’mie from Summer Heights High.
I now know that I cannot watch another one of his shows. I cannot support a man—a white man—in any way that is making money off of being a complete and utter racist when there are so many other ways to be even slightly “funny.”
By EDITOR Originally published on Rhode Island NPR Mon June 3, 2013
Code-switching can be far from empowering. When I was 2 1/2, I was adopted from Korea. I went from one culture to another, one language to another. For me, code-switching wasn’t a freedom, or a choice. It was a one-way street.
I wasn’t aware that I was code-switching, of course. I only knew that I was different and that I didn’t want to be. There were times, when people stared at me and my white parents, that I felt as if I had been caught in a lie. I hated those stares not because they reminded me of my difference but because they reminded me that no matter what, that difference would always be there. People had their own opinions of who I was.
Often we code-switch in an effort to fit expectations, whether consciously or unconsciously — an athlete speaking differently on-court than in a press conference, or a job applicant trying to sound more professional for an interview — but what about when those efforts aren’t believed, or accepted?
When I returned to Korea as an adult, I was surprised to find that many Westerners’ attempts to speak Korean drew compliments while gyopos’ (foreigners who are ethnically Korean) often drew lectures.A white dude who attended my traditional Korean marriage in a hanbok was seen positively, as making an effort, or at least neutrally. In America, though, my fully cultural whiteness never seemed positive except as a reflection on my parents. I was “lucky” they had adopted me.
In Korea, I was teaching English at a language academy where almost all of the teachers were white North Americans. There were times when I wanted to speak English and behave within the social mores I grew up with. In order to hang out, though, I often had to code-switch in a way that made me feel ashamed, that again made me realize my permanent difference. At this point, I was far more aware of what I was doing. I knew I was switching.
I would be out with a group of teachers, and someone would complain about Korean men, Korean schools, the Korean government, and then others would chime in — and I would find myself speaking out against Korea, too. Not out of any real opinion, either agreement or disagreement, but because they seemed to like me more. “It must be hard for you here,” they would say. “Koreans are so racist. They probably don’t accept you. But of course you’re an American.” And so on. They included me by my exclusion from Korea. I felt then as if I were catching myself in a lie.
So why did I continue to code-switch with these teachers? The question is a tough one. If we code-switch to get jobs, to make friends, at what point are we indicating that we will mold to expectations no matter how they clash with our realities? Why do we try so hard to fit in when doing so might make it harder for us to be seen as we are? That is, when our trying to fit in makes it so that people expect us to try to fit in and yet also makes it so that we never can.
I met my wife in Korea. At first, she was like a guide to the me I had lost. Sometimes I wonder what our marriage looks like to outsiders: an attempt to reclaim my heritage, or a rejection of my earlier code switch? My wife and I live in a constant state of in-between, mixing Korean with English, eating Korean and American food, watching k-dramas with subtitles for me. But this in-between feels comfortable, maybe because I never feel obliged, or disbelieved. It is the freedom to put forward whatever part of you, and be seen as the same.
Now that we have a baby, we try hard to teach her Korean culture and language. We do want her to be able to fit in, yet it’s not really about that. It’s more about giving her control. It’s about being already, in her heart, confident in who she is, however people may judge her. We want her always to feel true to herself.
Matthew Salesses (@salesses) has written about adoption, race and family for the New York Times Motherlode blog, The Good Men Project, The Rumpus, Hyphen Magazine, and elsewhere. His most recent book is a novel, I’m Not Saying, I’m Just Saying.
I actually auditioned the year before for Angel, I think for the part that Amy Acker got. I don’t think I got very far. But it was nice that they brought me in again for Buffy — my character was supposed to be an Asian girl.
Fucking…. Ugh. And this isn’t the only time Joss has pulled these shenanigans. Kaylee Frye from Firefly was originally written as an Asian woman.
as were both of the Tams, Detective Tanaka from Dollhouse (played by Mark Sheppard), and Dr. Lin from Cabin in the Woods (played by Amy Acker). and these are just the ones that we know of, with obvious Asian last names.
Sadder still that the only other Asian Potential in Buffy couldn’t speak English and her foreignness and inability to communicate was played off as sooo hilarious oop~
And then I saw that Melissa Fumero had been cast as Amy Santiago on Brooklyn Nine-Nine, and I felt my guts roll up into my throat and try to escape out of my mouth. Omgomgomgomg that’s it then. There’s no way in hell a major network is gonna cast two Latina actresses in such a tight ensemble show I AM SCREWED.
And then next day my agents called and told me I’d booked it.
I couldn’t believe it. I had been saying to my boyfriend the night before how there was JUST NO WAY. Normally, The Latina is a singular element of the ensemble she is working in. She’s there to provide contrast, or sexuality, or humor. Or she’s there to clean the floors and/or steal your man. There are some serious stereotypes very much alive in film and TV today, and The Latina is one of them.
Here’s the thing though. The world is changing. Slowly but surely, television is changing. The character stereotypes are changing, or being turned inside out by some fantastic writers and actors (I’m looking at you, Orange is the New Black, Scandal, and The Mindy Project). People of color are on TV playing roles that are fleshed out, complex, human. And yes, some of those characters are maids. Some are sexy heartbreakers there to steal your man. Some own BBQ joints, while some are Chiefs of Staff. Some are prisoners, and some are cops. All are real people with hopes, dreams, ambitions, fears, and all the other vast human emotions and desires…
…This is important. Because young women are watching TV, and they are getting messages about who they are in the world, who the world will allow them to be. And in big important steps, television is showing a reflection back to those young women that YOU CAN BE WHATEVER THE HELL YOU DAMN WELL PLEASE, and that two Latinas on one show is NORMAL. I think that’s a win for everybody.
Do you feel like those kind of old-fashioned ideas about race are slowly changing?
"Yeah, it’s amazing. Ten years ago, I probably wouldn’t even be allowed in the room for this character. I think fans want to see themselves represented on TV and I think comic book fans want to see themselves represented in comic books and so for me to even be a part of the shift and the change in that, it’s awesome. I know when I booked the role, Andrew told me, "So don’t read the comments section. Stay off the Internet for a couple of days," but mostly it’s been supportive. It’s an interesting thing. I would be silly to say that racial issues are not still prevalent in the world — they are. But like you said, I think five minutes into watching the show, it’s so irrelevant and that’s what counts and more TV should embrace that and more networks should embrace the fact that it’s about the story and race at the end of the day, it’s really irrelevant."
The protest demonstrations against The Mikado are over, but the work is not. I am relieved that I can take a break from hostile, misinformed, racist white folks.
Some of the comments said to us by audience members:
- I’m wrong. - I shouldn’t be so sensitive. - I’m too late. And I should have brought this to the attention of director and production staff. - To go back to back to where I come from - To get something better to do - We support what you’re doing (but walk into theatre to watch show) - Asked if I believe in diversity, because this is it. - I’m an idiot. - I need an education. - You just don’t get British satire - That I’m mispronouncing the name wrong. And we should learn how to spell. - Yellowface isn’t racist. I’m fact, their faces aren’t painted yellow. - I’m British. I should be offended, not you.
Seattle may seem liberal and progressive to white liberal progressives, but the struggle is real for people of color. While we stood there with our signs and flyers trying to share our perspective, hostility and disrespectful comments were hurled at us from fellow Seattleites.
Not everyone acted this way, but those who did, said their antagonizing comment and walked away. It was so hard to not engage back through anger.
Damn. I really love Seattle, but this is so not ok. Yellowface is not ok. And the negative and stereotypical portrayal of any community of color is wrong. Seattle is showing it’s true colors.
thank you for taking a stand against this racist production.
this is the reason i’m not going to that production. seriously seattle, i expected better from you.
So I’m going to jump in on this because yes, Seattle theatre has a horrible time with this sort of thing.
That’s right: people are going out of state for the sole purpose of finding jobs because they know Seattle doesn’t have the best reputation for hiring non-white actors - or because they aren’t actively being reached out to, and therefore think it’s dumb to continue, because it’s a non-sustainable thing to pursue.
Obviously people need to be educated that no, racism still exists, and if they looked outside of their whiteness every once and a while maybe they’d notice that.
This is not British satire, because decent Satire is meant to point out these issues ON PURPOSE, in order to generate discussion to make such things stop happening. Dictionary Definition: “the use of humor, irony, exaggeration, or ridicule to expose and criticize people’s stupidity or vices, particularly in the context of contemporary politics and other topical issues.” [from the Macbook Dictionary app].
The last three bullet points simply emphasize the ignorance being spread by - I’m sure - old white people.