Dios mio y medio. These comparisons are ridiculously unnecessary and are probably rather insulting to the Black community. Transatlantic slavery will never equate to the current problems undocumented workers face today in the US.
As an inmigrante I get how tough life can be. We are belittled, ignored, exploited, denied basic human rights and when we’re sent off to those detention holdings—like any other prisoner—we are forced to do slave labor. Pero, that in no way means that we need to peg our struggle to the horrors that was the trans atlantic slave trade. Do you understand that people were kidnapped, beaten, piled on top of each other on a voyage where many didn’t survive, treated worse than animals, families separated, violently forced a religion, a language, an entire culture?
Inmigrantes come to this country because racist foreign policy has forced brown people to migrate north for survival. The Black people who were enslaved during this time were kidnapped, sold, and brutally assaulted for generations. We’re talking about an extremely systematic and violent slavery and genocide. Latin@s and people cosigning on these overly-simplied graphics need to comprehend that although undocumented immigrants have a very limited choice between 1).coming to the US and being able to at least feed your children or 2). staying in your native country and starving, you still have the privilege of making that decision. That was an option slaves did not have. The Black slave did not have that choice to up and quit if their white overseer decided to beat him. The children of undocu workers are not taken away from their mothers to be sold like stock to the highest bidder. In fact, there are plenty more examples why undocu workers are in no way experiencing the same horrors that black people faced during slavery. Read a book!
What you are really doing by making or cosigning these over-simplified comparisons is that you are disrespecting the black community. And then you wonder why some black people are apprehensive to stand with you in solidarity when you’re fighting white oppressive powers. And why would the black community back you up when you’re undermining a part of history that to this day continues to affect them even though slavery was long abolished—from jim crow to prison industrial complex, to urban segregation, etc.
Not to mention, that these comparisons are a little too convenient to a community que habeces dabbles in the mess that is anti-blackness, both here in the States and back in our countries of origin.
Ya no se what else to add other then: parele con sus chingaderas. Respect people and their struggles instead of using their struggles to make a political point. Learn your history, put your critical goggles on and analyze why graphics like this are problematic.
It’s definitely not okay to shit on the histories of Black folks in the Americas for shock value. There is no solidarity in that. Our Ancestors are not yours to exploit.
If you erase a post from a black person talking from a black person’s POV and make it so that it says “PoC,” you’re an anti-black mother fucker.
And I will call you one.
Yes, PoC in general experience racism when it comes to relationships with white people. No fucking duh. A black person talking from their POV doesn’t erase yours at all. It really fucking doesn’t. That feeling of being “left out” when black people don’t say “PoC?” That’s your anti-blackness showing.
We’re not erasing your experiences. Why erase ours? That’s not fucking showing any solidarity whatsoever. And I don’t want any solitary with any mother fucker who does this.
MAKE YOUR OWN GODDAMN POST ABOUT IT. YOU EDITING AND ERASING A POST BY A BLACK PERSON IS OBVIOUSLY AN ANTI-BLACK ACT.
Because this happens far too often. Don’t do this. Seriously.
Read the words of this post and commit them to your heart.
Absolutely, I’ll clarify.
To return the comment y’all so ungraciously deleted, what I said was this:
Clarifying question: Does this mean y’all are also officially enacting a ban on fake afros too? Or is it just simply not ok to appropriate Mexican culture but ok to appropriate Black culture?
and then, when someone in the crew stated the ban was enacted I replied:
Cool, well don’t be shy about adding that to the event description now and into the future.
And that’s when people got defensive and accused me of “reading” on facebook…
Well sure, I could have worded my initial post, as well as the ensuing comment differently, but I’m mutually “disappointed” and “bummed” by the tone of the responses from Devon and Tim which imply that I owe y’all kindness because of very abstract notions of us being in the same community. I find it funny, but ultimately “disappointing” that I’m read as reading, but Devon sent Tootles a message thanking her for comment, in which she specifically addressed what you do as a party in relation, or lack thereof, to Black culture when I had yet to be that explicit. Interesting how the Black person speaking up is “reading” and “cutty,” but the other brown person is congratulated. You acknowledge only other brown people positively and me with contempt and somehow I’m placing privilege among groups of color, hmm…
And I’ll indeed acknowledge that the subject of my post was the wearing of fake afros. It’s pretty clear to me that the Pico De Gallo is problematic, but the current theme nor the responses to it were not the focus of my criticism. I did not lie to, nor did I at any time even speak to any of my Latino friends now addressing your theme. There is a large(r) Latino community here, many of whom are (clearly) capable of handling shit without some outside force telling them which way is up. Because no one speaks, respects, or gives a shit about black culture I anticipated dealing with whatever defensiveness and backlash on my own, and I for the most part I still am.
Honestly, when I read the event description it literally made my heart sink. Given the basis of your party, where blackness is the ongoing theme, and where afros have been worn on more than one occasion, how can you attempt to enact a temporary moratorium on the appropriation of Latinos while remaining silent on the appropriating atmosphere you create?
I’m now seeing a lot of white people jumping very quickly to point out that there are poc members of the crew, as well as members of the crew themselves, as justifying the pico de gallo theme, and again the theme has been addressed by the people who need to address it so I won’t. However, looking at what your concept of a party is every month, and who is on the organizing team, and who overwhelming is in attendance (yes, it’s white people!) how do you justify yourselves with no black people taking part in the creation and ongoing organizing of this event? There are brown people who throw the party yes , and being brown is 100% different than being black. Anti-black racism still exists in mass effect in, even in the bubble of SF queer culture. It has always been American values to disrespect black people. Brown people are certainly capable and often willing to participate in that system, because as your party exemplifies - as well as many other DJ/party endeavors do too - it’s profitable to engage in the exploitation of black culture and I guess money comes before anything else.
The fact that I expressed critique about how my image and my culture as a black person is misrepresented in your space was met with quick reactions of frustration and defensiveness is disappointing and makes me feel “bummed” too. This is what anti-black racism continues to look like: a black person attempts to claim space and objects to their misrepresentation and is met with backlash. Legally it’s no longer ok to enact physical violence or explicit racist remarks, but instead we have moved into a culture that now reacts with unreasonable frustration, defensiveness, and sarcasm…
The wall posts I’m seeing certainly reaffirm that we’re not apart of the same community. The number of white people as well as brown people who are assisting in the denial of racism and the need to have a dialogue about racism shows that. They also show that racism is a real thing, many queers are doing it, and as people in such a powerful position as HF is, actively (re)shaping queer culture, socially and politically, I think at this point you have a responsibility to intervene, or at least acknowledge the ways your spaces are unsafe for people who are lower in the social hierarchy in terms of race and class. I’ll (with great pain) withhold the Spider-Man quote…
I will also remind us that white people cannot define what is racist and what’s not, as the abusers who never actually experience it. Yeah, y’all can say whatever you want, but I advise people of color not to listen. Would it be “just a dance party” if someone walked in with a “God Hates Fags” shirt, or would that just be ironic and funny too? White people will never implicate themselves as participants in racism as a system, so why would I or any poc listen to a white person who thinks the pico de gallo theme or fake afros are “just cute.”
As a party, I honestly don’t know how you can do what you do differently to “balance” the appropriation. Blackness is the groundwork for the party, I don’t know how you could do it without that foundation. Luckily that is not my question to answer. This was your crew’s choice to make since the party’s inception, and I find it hard to believe that no one, especially the self proclaimed “brown and down” members of the group didn’t for a second think how it could be offensive, as the black population in SF is quickly being pushed out of the city.
I realize the commodification of black culture is a widespread cultural phenomena not unique to Hard French. It happens in multiple queer parties in SF, multiple parties across the country and world. But everyone makes a choice to be a part of that history of exploiting Black people. You don’t have to do it, and you don’t have to do it as you do.
The fact that you refuse to include any language which would encourage your patrons to have respect for the people who’s culture affords you large amounts of money, as well as a lot power socially and now politically, is insulting, appalling, and again racist. The fact that blackness is the undertone theme and joke, as latinos are the joke in cinco de mayo, and y’all have ferociously refused to make any attempt to frame black people in a positive light is “disappointing” and makes me “bummed.”
I absolutely acknowledge that Hard French is a labor of love for the promoters, that y’all do work that, for you and your friends and followers, makes SF a better place, and that there are brown people behind the scenes. None of that means that you can’t make mistakes, and it certainly doesn’t mean that any of these realities are incapable of producing racism, as well as classism, in the process of creating safe and fun spaces for specific groups or communities. Good intentions do not always produce good results. I don’t apologize for the tone of my original comments, but what I was anticipating was for it to become an entry point into a conversation I’ve been wanting to have with HF and many party promoters who do similar work while claiming that we’re in the “same community.”
I also absolutely acknowledge that I make and have made mistakes, and that I’ve internalized racism and classism, and every other ism in the book. I also acknowledge that just acknowledging it doesn’t make the shit disappear: its a process.
Given what I’m brining to surface for us all to look at, do y’all (hopefully) feel inclined to engage in an ongoing discussion about these topics, or you want to continue to replay white culture, claiming you know what does and does not constitutes as racism, classism, misrepresentation, and abuse and go into the the next month like this never happened? Is this going to be simply another “controversy” dismissed which you can add to your belt? Clearly your followers would encourage nothing but. However, as people who claim to be “making SF a better place” are you going to follow their route, or will you truly act as leaders in your community and attempt to do work that that is hard and isn’t considered fun, glamorous, or even valuable by the people around you?
Again, yes, our culture is fucked up in a lot of ways and we replay it, but there is also a choice to intervene at any time.
Finally, again I was very sad my intial post which sparked this so called “campaign” was deleted because it was initiating this dialogue. Hard French is a public entity, it takes up a lot of space in local queer culture, and provides a monthly service to the public, why would I care to have this conversation in private? Tim’s ongoing harassment shows another shade of why I was and am not interested in private conversation:
I’ve yet to speak to the current “dialogue” until here and now, certainly not in any manner which I am being accused of. And I certainly didn’t “author” the note Millán posted which was commented on:
You can tell because Millán posted it, on his account, and I did not! Amazing how people see what they want when they’re in denial…
Stating that by addressing your silence on afros which = anti-black racism I’m literally conspiring behind the scenes “over nothing”, manipulating the Latinos (writing documents and pushing them to post it?) who have addressed your crew on the nature of your “theme” is racist, again exemplifying why this dialogue needs to happen, and is really fucked up as you’re “married” to a brown person and putting on soul music party. If you can’t have a dialogue about race and racism, things you don’t experience and just don’t know anything about other than what your white peers tell you, without getting angry and defensive, perhaps you shouldn’t be playing black music.
So in light of Tim’s perception of the situation, If any of the brown people who throw Hard French want to engage in an in public dialogue about what I’m addressing I’m down. Someone has suggested over a brown brunch perhaps…
I also believe I’m doing what I can to make SF a better place, and in attempts to do so I want to keep this dialogue going into the future and I hope that can happen from here without defensiveness, frustrations, or accusations.
Essex O. Lordes
Hey there, I’m wondering if this post I wrote has a place on your tumblr.
In SF, this “queer” soul music dance party called Hard French got a lot of heat for calling a recent party Pico De Gallo in some sad attempt to prevent people from wearing sombreros as it was the same day as cinco de mayo.
They have a history of allowing people to wear fake afros in the party (cuz its soul music as the theme, so i guess its all good…) and I asked them to clarify which is ok and not ok: black appropriation or mexican appropriation. a hole lot of ensued after, but ended with me writing them this letter:
This situation is rooted in anti-black racism, poc internalized racism, and classism in gay/queer culture. I’m in the works of talking to my community on how to proceed from here in establishing dialogue. I’m wondering if you would post this to 1. de-privatize the situation as these ism are public health issues and 2. to get more input and reflections from you and your followers on the social maladies this exemplifies. If so I can put the issue in more concrete context.
miswritten replied to your post: i’m a poc who goes to a hbcu. i notice that some of my poc friends (specifically desi & arab) who go to pwi’s/historically white colleges use the word “nigga” self referentially/ironically in all-poc contexts ie “nigga please!” with the rationale that “brown is the new black.” how do i articulate to them why this is problematic?
there are plenty of pretty thorough tumblr posts about why the n-word isn’t something non-black poc should be saying, period… wish i remembered the links :\
I know I should be good and responsible and dig up some nice, educational links. But they wouldn’t do much good irl when someone is using it.
Perhaps if some followers have some energy and want to drop some relevant links in the ask or submit box?
I don’t really think there is a way to be articulate about this.
Maybe kick them in the shins, while repeatedly screaming:
“STOP USING THE MOST DISGUSTING, DEHUMANIZING WORD IN THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE. IF YOU ARE NOT BLACK YOU CANNOT SAY THIS WORD!!!!!!”
It might get through to someone ignorant enough to not realize that Black is still Black, both old and new.
Oi. Calling out people is always tough.
I’ve never really mastered it. The first thing I do when shit like this goes down, is not participate. No laughing, nothing to indicated that what just happened is okay. I think this is the minimal requirement.
There is no good or elegant way to do this. My only advice really, is do what the circumstances allow. But do something. Anything. If you are bad at confrontations, get up and walk away. Wait until you get home, find a blog post or something (because Black people have been writing about this stuff for forever) and email it to all of them. If you have the spoons, explain to them why making anti-Black jokes fails to be humorous.
The point is: do something.
(caveat: if you are not a poc or not part of the poc groups you are calling out or don’t know them well, be damn sure these poc making the jokes aren’t actually Black. Black people are diverse and you shouldn’t necessarily make the mistake of relying only on visual cues.)
I’m often asked why I’ve focused so much more on anti-black racism than on Asians over the years. Some suggest I suffer from internalized racism.
That might well be true, since who doesn’t suffer from internalized racism? I mean, even white people internalize racism. The difference is that white people’s internalized racism is against people of color, and it’s backed up by those who control societal institutions and capital.
But some folk have more on their minds. They say that focusing on black and white reinforces a false racial binary that marginalizes the experiences of non-black people of color. No argument here. But I also think that trying to mix things up by putting non-black people of color in the middle is a problem because there’s no “middle.”
So there’s most of my answer. I’m sure I do suffer from internalized racism, but I don’t think that racism is defined only in terms of black and white. I also don’t think white supremacy is a simple vertical hierarchy with whites on top, black people on the bottom, and the rest of us in the middle.
So why do I expend so much effort on lifting up the oppression of black people? Because anti-black racism is the fulcrum of white supremacy.
When you hear about black children being put in detention camps, and you get really, really upset… that the word “concentration camp” was used.
Anyone who claims that POC are “appropriating” the term concentration camp requires a history lesson.
The term “concentration camp” was invented by the British as a euphemism for the camps they built to imprison Boer (i.e. Dutch colonists) and African civilians (mostly women and children) while carrying out “scorched earth” warfare in South Africa as part of the war between the British and the Dutch over colonial holdings in Africa.
It should surprise no one that even though the Boers were the people they were actually at war with and the Africans were innocent civilians caught in the crossfire, conditions in the concentration camps for Boers were much better than conditions in the concentration camps for Africans. It is estimated that over 26,000 women and children died in the British concentration camps, all due to entirely preventable starvation and disease. And, of course, the majority of those deaths were Africans, not Boers.
Child in what world did you think it was okay to use this kind of comparison or language as a response to a sporting event?
All together now: That’s racist.
What the fuck did I just see cross my dash?
1. The kkk are a disgusting white supremacist group responsible for the murder and terrorizing of many Black americans.
2. While it is likely a sad but true thing that there likely enough anti-Black Filipin@s that something like this could happen, it is absolutely gross for you to be trivializing it in this way over a boxing match.
3. That tag? You don’t get to use any variation of the n-word unless you are Black. You tumblr profile indicates you aren’t.
I know you did this because you think it is funny. It isn’t funny. And you owe every single Black american in your life (if there are any) an apology. You owe the community a heartfelt apology. And you really, really need to spend sometime examining you disgusting levels of anti-Blackness before you continue interacting with other human beings.
You are an embarrassment to Filipin@s everywhere.
Fuck you and fuck this shit.
This needs to be here.
Fellow Filipin@s? This is not okay. Don’t do this. Ever.
Trivializing something so serious like the kkk over a boxing match is a disgusting display of an inhuman lack of empathy.
Wow, OP, using the KKK for something so trivial.
Anti blackness in Philippine culture needs to stop.