Monday, September 21, 2009

Now for something completely...well not different.

First I must point you all to the piece that sparked this. Head over to the Rumpus (one of my FAVORITE internets magazines) and read this.

This was written by Roxane Gay and for a minute, when I got to #4 on the list I had an OH SHIT YES moment because I have had that conversation, in fact I had it recently.

It's a variation on a conversation I've had with people my whole life.

"Oh do you know (insert name here) she's black and she's into (insert odd thing here)" I actually don't.

There were a few people over at The Rumpus who didn't find Ms. Gay's piece funny, I found it hilarious.

Personally after 32 years of being a Black person in America, honestly at some point you just have to shake your head and laugh. And sometimes laugh quite heartily.

I will tell you something else.

Some of you, this will cause your panties to wad up a little, have patience and pull them out slowly.

Fact is I have heard this kind of unintentional, racism via ignorance type of state from Ultra Liberal type people.

As I was saying to my bestie last night, Seattle is RIPE with it.

The fact is 90% of the time I give back snarky responses to this sort of thing along the lines of Ms. Gay's piece. There is the blank look, the exaggerted patois, occasionally I will say "are you fucking serious?"

Quite often people are baffled and butthurt as to why I may not be nice when they are complimenting my amazing ability to be well spoken.

With the speaking thing my favorite answer to that ever is:

"You know they let us po' negroes read books right?"

Let me explain why these are not compliments, why Black folks do not want to hear this bullshit.

Saying these things is often indicative of the assumption that Black people (or other People of Color) don't normally do whatever it is in your estimation so, this Black person must be super fucking special and awesome.

That is a racist assumption and a racist place to come from even if you "didn't mean it that way".

I'm going to stop there for now. Let that marinate in your brain meats.

I'm also stopping there because I have run out of Educating Negress energy today.

Instead let me tells you internets, I am a little...okay really obsessed with this dress from Eshakti.

Now I would rock that with some stompy boots and stripey or colored tights.

Yes. I. Would.

I started this on Friday and completely forgot to post it because I'm um...awesome.

In other news I'm having some trouble with the essays for the book thingy I've been yammering about putting out.

I have shit tons of notes but I'm not as organized as I'd like to be.

However I have pulled a few older entries here to be gussied up and dropped into the collection. Any requests?

Thus far I've got a couple of essays about sex of course, some stuff about body image, Blackness. You know the stuff I like to talk about here. I'm having a little bit of trouble deciding what I keep to myself for an essay and what I put here.

It's such a weird thing to be thinking about since this isn't like my big publishing break or anything.

But, I really do want to give those of you who want to carry around a little of my brain the chance to. Is that weird?

To tell you the truth I am HUGELY nervous, I put a lot of pressure on myself to make sure I'm giving something from a good and honest place.

But have no fear my darlings, it is happening. I've got my big girl panties and my mother fucking hard hat on. I am ready to do the damn thing.

So for at least the next little while keep your eye here for some randomness, some fatty fashion. And moar sexytimes advice. I seem to recall getting another question or two but I cannot for the life of me find them. I'm a little afraid I deleted them while I was sick and trying to do some cleanup on my database. Also, you'd think I'd have learned from the last time not to do that kind of shit while I'm sick huh?

that is such an awful habit of mine. I find it almost impossible to not be doing something whether that's writing, crocheting, hand sewing things at home.

I've heard this from other working poor folks but, it's hard not to work. I work even when it's really not in my best interest health wise to do so and being that I depend on my paycheck so goddamn much it's really hard not to do.

I am working on that though. I know that if I had rested more instead of going back to work with the quickness I probably would have felt much better much sooner.

I'm learning.

So with that I'm off like a slightly limping super hero.

Tomorrow I'm coming with some fatshions. I have been wearing some cute stuff and I wanna talk about it.

And I want to talk about some of my thrifty methods of getting ready for the cold weather and see what you folks have to say.

Also, I don't recall who it was but whomever linked me to the tartan Sugar Brand (I think) boots, I want to grab you, smoosh you and then proceed to smooch all over your face in joy I am fairly certain I am buying those and it is mother fucking win.

Okay, enough.

Homo Out.


Piffle said...

Well, just to be annoying, I'm white and people call me articulate too; it doesn't have to have an implication of *and we're so surprised!* to it. I live in a ruralish area, and I think I've accidently intimidated some of my neighbors. :( And I don't even think I'm particularly articulate, certainly not so much as Obama! He's unusually articulate even for a college grad. It's refreshing after Bush Jr.

Anyway, I like your posts on being femme, being kinky, and the whole being human thing. The first two because I'm not either of those things and am curious about them and the last because we're all human and it resonates.

witchyvixen said...

My jaw hit the floor while reading act one and it's still there. It's this kind of crap that makes me ashamed to be white.

These poor silly little people. It's like they are trying so hard to be not ignorant, and that's the same thing as trying to be cool. If you have to try, you ain't.

Wait... That would make them ain't not ignorant and is that a double negative? Oy. I've been awake too long.

Anyway, I love your blog and I love you and I love that dress!

Trabbs said...

Wow, so many things. First, Obama is not "articulate". The word is an insult. It implies a bare ability to speak clearly and understandably. Obama is a brilliant speaker -- cogent, inspiring, educational, funny, lucid, mesmerizing. Leave "articulate" at the door.

Second, I am so grateful to Marie, an 18-year-old in my college dormroom who gave me the "why yes, you are racist, you ignorant white lefty" talk so early in my adult life. I'm miles from perfect twenty five years later, but I do put actual work into it, and I'm pleased to think that I would never do any of the things in that article.

As for recommendations of posts to include in your essays, holy shit, what a task to choose. I will do some reviewing when I'm not at work and try to narrow it down.

JennyRose said...

I am sure much of the anger comes from never being given the benefit of the doubt. It seems like you are given the opposite (presumption of the stupid?) or is there a better term for that.

It seems to me that white people are almost always given the benefit of the doubt.

Good intentions are hard to wrap my head around. In the disabled community with which I am more familiar, there is strong debate over whether a "helpful person" is someone to value because they see the struggle and try to help in a way that is unhelpful and condescending based on erroneous beliefs about certain limitations. Some say to thank the well meaning person because we really may need help someday. Others say it is rude and offensive and just tell Helpy McHelper where to stick it. I am in no way comparing race and disability but both seem to bring out dufossy comments and behaviors in "well meaning" people.

I was on a group trip and a "well meaning white lady" complimented my friend who is of Chinese descent by telling her that she spoke English very well. My friend replied that she should, after all she is 3d generation. I loved her comment. Then same lady told my SO who has a disability that he was a "gutsy guy" for taking such a trip. He was angry too but only later did I understand that his compliment was that he was a "disabled hero" in her eyes. This is close to calling him an "inspiration." Come to think of it, I wonder why she didn't compliment me. I guess being fat is neither inspiring nor a quality to be praised.

I realize saying someone is articulate can push some buttons. I don't recall exactly but early in the primaries Joe Biden said something like that about Obama. It was amazingly dumb, even by Biden's own standards.

(from CNN "I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy," Biden said. "I mean, that's a storybook, man." (Watch Biden's comments and Obama's reaction )

Race is very hard to discuss without creating some upset. I can say things to my friends of other races, religions etc that I would never say on a chat board because it is so nuanced and so hard to get the meaning across. They can say things to me that I would normally find objectionable but that make sense after further probing.

I wonder if there are degrees of racism or if whities in Seattle are just the same as someone who harasses others and actively discriminates based on race etc. I really don't know.

The only people who said I must have been happy Obama won are Republican family members and colleagues. More like - are you happy that you have now helped ruin the country. Apparently in their eyes I will now be accountable for everything done by the entire Obama administration for the next 4 to 8 years. I will likely be called to account whenever a democrat does something they do not like.

Sorry to hijack your blog.

I say you should write more about the kinky stuff. Put me down as requesting kink.

Anonymous said...

It is hella hard not to work.

I never understand these people who think that if I got disability I'd sit around and, I don't know, watch soap operas and eat bonbons or something.

Um, actually, I'd get on with the project of having a largely handsewn wardrobe, make new curtains for my office, write a couple books, and become a mentor and teach people how to cook. And possibly go back to school and get my degree so I can do counseling for money. And get off disability. But I wouldn't be lazy.

Working poor people are the busiest people I know. They by and large aren't still unless they're exhausted.

geogrrl said...

People really are funny that way.

I live in Louisiana for four years. Most people would say to me "So-and-so is a Canadian... do you know/have you met him/her?"

It was well-meaning, but really, why or how should or would I know this person unless they were part of my daily life? In addition, it was unlikely I had anything in common with that person except the (very large) country we both come from.

And yes I did end that last sentence with a preposition.

The kind of comments you're describing are even stranger. It wouldn't occur to me that you'd share the same interests as someone else just because you're both black.

And if I commented you were good with words (which you are) it's because I think YOU are. I run across too many people who are semi-literate at best.

Anyway, I've really enjoyed reading your blog. And I always look forward to your comments/thoughts/pictures on clothing and fashion. Your taste is totally different from mine, but you've caused me to shake up how I look at individual pieces and consider using them in different ways. Thanks!

Kristie said...

May I just say that I love that you refer to yourself as the "Educating Negress" And while I'm sure it gets damn tiring to be her all the time, I'm glad you take on the job as much as you do.

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