they’re coming home for the hoilday
if you see this on your dash and don’t reblog judging you
“Tiana’s Bane: Or how the White Sidekick, whose name I shall not utter here, somehow matters more than the African-American Protagonist in fandom”
2009’s “The Princess and the Frog” heralded a lot of good things for the fictional Black Characters (the Black Female in particular) as it did a lot of laundry problematic things*. The story centralized on Tiana, the fledgling entrepreneur who wished to own and work at her own business (“Tiana’s Palace” or “Tiana’s Place”, Disney seems undecided). Her goal gets sidetracked when she agrees to try and free a cursed and froggish Prince Naveen from a spell placed upon him by the “Shadow Man” (Dr. Facilier) with a kiss, which turns her into a frog as well. Long story short, she spends the rest of the film as a frog on top of dealing with the uncouth Prince’s hijinks and the repeated criticism of working too hard to get want she wants in the name of financial security and personal freedom; somewhere along that line she snags herself a boyfriend turned husband (Naveen), but she gets what she wants in the end, both financially and personally speaking.
Got it? Good.
“Princess and the Frog” doesn’t break any barriers in regards to Disney tropes. It maintains the safe road that worked for them in the 90s, and combined with treading softly (as they should) around the portrayal of African-Americans (50/60 in that issue, methinks), they did an decent job. Shit, I came out loving the move despite its problems. Like Mulan, Tiana —- as far as Disney is concerned —- is extremely progressive character, both as a woman trapped within the framework of Disney’s outdated storytelling themes and a Person of Color. She achieves and controls a level of agency that is not dependent on anyone but herself and never resorts to foolish deals or sacrifices physical or mental aspects of her person to get what she wants. Basically, she (and Mulan) challenges some of the problematic blueprint the other Disney Princesses embody. Tiana is the Disney Princess the fandom wanted and got. The problem?
- She’s African-American, so that’s no good for the majority of the “Ariel, Rapunzel, Snow White, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty etc., etc.” fans. (Jasmine fans, like Ariel fans, grievances with her is that she removes the central focus from her “spotlight” — especially since she’s no longer the only “brown” character in the Princess line up, yet they have no problems with Mulan and don’t beef with Esmeralda (most likely because of the “not princess” thing).
- She’s too independent – which somehow translates into “You’re shoving feminism down my throat, Disney!” – fancy that.
- Her Best Friend – Charlotte LaBeouf —- embodies all the things the Disney Fandom professed to be tired of, and on top of being white, she’s the one the fandom will eventually gravitate to (including the POC fanbase, who typically spurn Tiana for reminding them too damn much of how hard they’ve worked all their lives just to get by).
On top of a highly critically-minded fanbase, “The Princess and the Frog” has had to deal with the opposite end of the Disney Princess fanbase that has internalized and digested racist imagery, overt and subvert rhetoric that has effectively made sure that POC characters —- most especially Black female characters —- as something lesser than their white counterparts. In the three years it’s been available to the public, PATF’s fandom has never been above to rise above writing essays/rants like the one before you and idolizing Charlotte, who works in the same way as Emma Stone’s Eugenia “Skeeter” Phelan in 2011’s “The Help”. She exists for one purpose and one purpose only: to make white people feel better about being a part of a group that perpetuates racism by doing the exact opposite: not being a racist and being rewarded for with her “niceness”.
In the same way People of Color are tired of having to watch a film or read book, dealing with stories written by white people who render them ultimately powerless to save themselves from a problem (like they did and usually do), white people are just absolutely tired of portrayed in the framework that was the majority of the said community during any time predating the 80s, 90s and 2000s. They’re tired of being portrayed as the “Hilly Holbrook” of the story because, hey, they’re not all like that! Thus desire has given rise to the continuation of the popular “Mighty Whitey” and “White Savior” tropes in media. They want to be the Skeeter of the story, they want to be that ally that doesn’t blink twice at discrimination as experienced by POC and be patted on the back for not being “one of them”. What does this have to do with Charlotte? Like, I said, she embodies both tropes mentioned above in a subvert manner.
In a film that unequivocally focuses on Tiana’s journey, it also feels the need to focus on Charlotte’s hijinks with Naveen’s manservant, Lawrence, assuming that the audience somehow gives a hoot about what she’s been up to since being jumped on by frogs. Other Disney films were pretty content to leave “best friend” hanging somewhere in the back until the end that required des ex machina interference. “Princess and the Frog”, however, feels the need to add insult injury. In order for Tiana (and Naveen) to achieve their humanity, the storyline misleads (or so it thinks) the audience with the assumption that Naveen needs to sacrifice his and Tiana’s newfound happiness by giving up his interpersonal freedom for Charlotte after he kisses her (said kiss will turn them into human beings again).
This goal once again places an importance on Charlotte that not even Nakoma or Flounder experience in their respective films as best friends at the same time it elevates her to “Princess” status before Tiana (not that she gets to keep it). Had I been as aware of things like I’m trying to express in this ‘essay’, I’m pretty sure I would’ve heard the simultaneous Orgasm white fandom had when Charlotte decided to “give up her dream” of being a Princess and marrying Naveen for Tiana. I never realized it, but Charlotte became Jesus in that single moment; she sacrificed herself so Naveen and Tiana could be absolved of his sins for mucking about with black magic.
At every turn Charlotte’s presence is constantly reinforced as “sweet, kind and important” refuses go away when you want to turn your attention to Tiana. She jumps around the screen, talking at the top of her voice like she doesn’t have home training, talks over folks and tosses money around like old clothing. The movie wants you to focus on how “great and nice” Charlotte is being to Tiana because she’s a white woman in a position of power with the greatest privilege of all (being rich) and doesn’t behave like Hilly Holbrook.
I’ve seen it constantly reiterated that Charlotte’s uncouth behavior is necessary for the juxtaposition of Tiana’s behavior —- which is constantly reinforced as some type of negative or character flaw in the film and, like wtf —— but honestly, for me, it all leads back to assuaging that good old halo of “white guilt”.
If you visit any of the corresponding tags for “Princess and the Frog” on Tumblr, visit any general forum for a Disney community, the volume of “stans” for Charlotte comes in droves at the same time they dismiss or accuse Tiana for being “too critical”, “boring”, and every other stigmatic label that has followed Black Characters since somebody dared to expand them beyond the occupation of “black best friend” or “sassy background that purses their lips at weave snatches”. As a result any criticisms of Black characters by white people are treated with initial suspicion until proven otherwise or if it’s coming from a POC that hasn’t sipped the bleach.
To them Tiana’s only important because she allowed them to default on Charlotte’s presence —- a presence which I highly doubt would be the teacher’s pet of the white PATF fandom if she were Black as well. To them Tiana’s only important in the aspect that they can talk about how much Charlotte contributes to the film because she’s a Skeeter and wasn’t raised to treat Black people like shit on her heel like the majority did in the 1920s and onward and backward. You search the tumblr tags for PATF and the search engine is just hemorrhaging Charlotte graphics, Charlotte ask blogs, reaction .gifs and reasons upon reasons about why Charlotte is so great, why she should have a face character, a movie, an action figure, Naveen, etc. You’ll get these long ass rants or paragraphs about how “Lottie and Tia’s Friendship is so great because feminism, progression and colorblindness!” However, I’ve seen these goddamn arguments enough to know now that t’s not the friendship their interested in, not really, it’s how Charlotte is portrayed in the “friendship” that tickles their jimmies. Tiana’s contribution the “friendship” means all but jack spit, Lottie, however, Lottie’s the fucking Moon Princess with the way folk go on and on about her and that precious “friendship”. Tiana’s only greatness in that aspect is that she reciprocates and doesn’t mistrust Lottie for plethora of justified reasons and that it’s a Disney movie (they’re not gonna portray white characters as being in the wrong unless they can make an argument that the POC is somehow in the wrong as well. Basically, just watch “Pocahontas” and listen to “Savages”, which implies the Native American characters are somehow wrong for wanting kick the English settler’s asses for wrecking shit and killing Kocoum).
I’ll be frank, I dislike Charlotte with the fire of a thousand suns (and that’s a direct quote) because of what she represents. The character, not unlike Rapunzel and her film (Tangled), is a white privilege enabler if I ever saw one. But, do I think Tiana or this film would be treated or fared better had Charlotte being a fellow Black Woman*, not existed or avoided the crappy pitfalls it rests in? No, but I do think it would be harder for a white-centric fanbase to justify their shallow dislike for Tiana by hiding behind Charlotte, who acts as the perfect alibi to a murder. Lottie is just there for the disarmament of the white audience, and thus she effectively derails the entire reason for Tiana’s existence or purpose within her own story, fandom wise anyway. Tiana might as well not exist and the funny thing is, no one would bat a lash if she didn’t, not even the POC. They’d be all too entertained by Lottie’s “cute and bubbly personality” at the same time requesting equality and diversity from a company that has shown time and time again that it just doesn’t given a shit about POC representation. They just don’t care and I can live with that (angry as it makes me), primarily because there are others who do and want to do right by POC. Will they succeed? God willing, I hope so.
The Tiana tag in general has its fair share of graphics and fans, but almost zero the amount of adoration or appreciation you see painted all over Charlotte (and thanks to petitetiaras’ Princess Challenge, the tag also gets visited by “Princess you Like Least” in droves). POC blogs I’m monitoring are more interested in the flaws of PATF than boosting Tiana up. From her hair, to her dress, to her boyfriend, to her songs (which are somehow “bland” or “bad” because “lolz Randy Newman!” and not Alan Menken, because, yeah, because that saved “Tangled”’s blanch musical numbers), it’s a debate-fest for Tiana. And worst of all, most arguments made against PATF I agree with, but quite frankly, I’m tired of seeing them pop up and watching bloggers (especially the PATF-supportive blogs) remain silent as the grave about Charlotte unless someone else steps up and says “Charlotte was Problematic because legit reasons”. Even then it’s just a “lolz, so right, but I like Lottie so…” This has constantly given me the feeling that Lottie is somehow off-limits from [POC] criticisms that don’t extend beyond a sentence because they like her, but Tiana’s easier to deconstruct because she as a character didn’t meet the multitude of expectations of the Black Community wanted her to reach and she’s compounded by the skewered perspective of the white gaze in her film.
Why does it take the person next to you to point this out, why do I feel like the only special POC snowflake that notices the absolutely intrusion of a character Charlotte LaBeouf is in the narrative to “Princess and the Frog” (a narrative that partakes in the “not all white/rich people are bad. They dream for things like POC too, guyz!”)? Why is it easier to find a deconstruction of PATF/Tiana than it is for Lottie, who’s treated like a queen by the fandom in comparison because all they can focus on is the “WE COULD’VE HAD IT ALLLLL” aspect of PATF? Yeah, you could say “people already know”, yet essays about PATF itself and Tiana will continue to be grounded out because “this is brand new information” and somehow Lottie doesn’t need to be addressed Sure, fine.
In the end, should anyone publish this, it wouldn’t surprise me that the usual droves of Lottie defenders will swoop in and say the usual “calling me racist because I dislike Tiana, sjws are stoopid” and etc., etc. and etc. and truth be told, I’ve nothing to say to them because there’s no changing their minds and they’re missing the point, but that’s expected (just visit waltdisneyconfession’s “charlotte” and “lottie” tags and this if you don’t believe me about the worship and the friendship thing). Their reactions, however, will be amusing to watch nonetheless. If this doesn’t get published. Well, there are other avenues.
- *Google for semi-complete tally of the dissertations concerning the problematic elements of PATF as a result of being written from the white male gaze. Long story short, you’ll be able find a lot of breakdowns about what’s wrong with the movie more than you’ll find about what’s right with it. While that’s not wrong by any means… fuck, that’s hard for a fangirl.
- *[…]A friendship like something out Living Single, Girlfriends, Moesha or the Proud Family?
“Ugh, well he only dates Asian girls. You’re so lucky you’re Asian.”
- a friend with a crush on a guy who apparently is afflicted with a social disease called “The Yellow Fever.”
Oh, I’m lucky? I’m lucky. Okay, so you’re saying that I’m lucky that there are guys out there with a “thing for Asians” who will only set their sights on women with small eyes and brown skin like me? I’m lucky that people will proudly proclaim their “Yellow Fever” and make me feel like the only thing that attracted them to me was my race- objectifying me as some kind of exotic treat and not treating me like an individual with value? I’m lucky that when I was internet dating last year, a guy told me that he had found me by searching for ONLY Asian women? I’m lucky that “What kind of Asian are you” is deemed a suitable ice breaker and pickup line for guys who hit on me at parties, clubs, and bars? I’m lucky that I’ve gotten told once under the guise of a compliment that I could make a lot of money in porn because I’m an Asian woman with large breasts? I’m lucky that a couple months into a relationship with my ex, I opened up his computer to check my email and I saw that he had searched “ASIAN” on a porn site and was halfway through a video with a whole bunch of white guys ejaculating on an Asian woman’s face? I’m lucky that ever since that experience I have constantly questioned if any of the other people I’ve been involved with or who have found me attractive only felt that way because I’m Asian? Right. I’m not lucky, sweetie. I’m being objectified, exotified, and hypersexualized. These are not things I will ever aspire to be or be flattered by, regardless of what society may want me to think.
For a while, I admit that I tried to use this “yellow fever” thing to my advantage. It’s incredibly easy to seal the deal with a dude that exclusively has a thing for Asian women. You literally tell them what kind of Asian you are, tell them the words you know in that language, and giggle. Giggle a lot. That’s it! But you know why it’s so easy? It’s because these guys do not give a fuck who I am. I could just as easily be another person entirely. The only thing that matters to these guys is that I’m Asian and everything else is unimportant. And, once I figured that out, it made me sick to my stomach. Settling for being treated like nothing more than an exotic souvenir gets really old really fast. I am a real person. I am an individual with depth and emotion and interests and flaws. My skin and my eyes and where my ancestors came from do NOT make me your tantric Asian sex goddess. And, if you think for one second that I will entertain your exotification of me and my people any longer, you can kiss my brown ass.
…I have absolutely nothing to add to this.
Perfect Post is Perfect.
My friend’s father put it simply: “These white people see us as toys. When they are bored, they will throw you away.”
If the children are of African or Native American descent, they learn that their ancestors lost badly and ingloriously, but that was all for the best anyway. The historical record often does not agree with these kinds of conclusions. The English newcomers sent to Roanoke Island in 1584 by Sir Walter Raleigh are a case in point. What these pioneers did was self-destruct over their own love of possession. When a silver cup allegedly disappeared, the Roanoke men roared out of their tiny enclave, muskets, and torches in hand, to destroy their Indian neighbors’ village and crops. This blazing display of European possession-mania cut the colony off from the one local source of help.
When the Spanish Armada severed the settlement’s connection to British ports, it withered and died. Roanoke Island became famous as”the lost colony”.
In light of this unacceptable object lesson for children, school texts prefer to begin US history with another colony, Captain John Smith’s Jamestown, Virginia, founded in 1607. Captain Smith was sent out by a London joint-stock company seeking profits from colonization. Smith sailed with an overload of failed aristocrats and settled on land owned by the Algonquin Confederacy.
Trouble began when the newcomers refused to plant, build, or exert themselves. Iron pistol in hand, Captain Smith ordered his lazy gentlemen to “work or starve.” Time and again the English were rescued from starvation through the generosity of the Algonquin Confederacy, which provided corn and bread. The foreigners responded by refusing to share their advanced agricultural tools with the Indians and violence soon broke out.
At Roanoke Island colonization proved a total failure. At Jamestown, what collapsed was the European “work ethic.” No wonder some scholars decided that US history did not begin until the arrival of the hard-working Pilgrims aboard the Mayflower in 1620. Leaping over events can avoid some unpleasant conclusions about early European motives, character, and success.
Motherfuckers will read a book that’s 1/3rd elvish, but put two sentences in spanish and they (white people) think we’re taking over
Junot diaz on “do you think you alienate readers when you use spanish in your books?” (via iamincoherent)
White people are always more cool with fictional races/ethnicities because fictional people don’t ever demand rights or equality. Just ask all those purple, green and orange people the white people talk about when they talk about how colorblind they are.
It’s not the fault of the colonists that the Native Americans were not immune to smallpox.
It’s not the fault of the colonists that the Native Americans did not have a system of property rights.
It’s not the fault of the colonists that the Native Americans depleted their resources.
It’s not the fault of the colonists that the Native Americans were involved in skirmishes over land.
It’s not the fault of the colonists that Andrew Jackson was a dick.
Are you fucking serious?
Very fucking serious.
Hmm… Just checking… Yep, definitely still a racist.
You are a raging piece of shit and I hope you choke on a wishbone tomorrow.
“You use facts contrary to my delusions about the world?”
“I HOPE YOU DIE.”
You didn’t use any facts. At all. And all of your points are totally twisted and don’t even make sense.
It wasn’t the colonizers’ fault that the indigenous population wasn’t immune to smallpox, but once the colonizers found that out, they purposely infected the Native community.
It’s not the colonizers’ fault that Native Americans didn’t have a system of property rights, but they made damn sure to exploit that fact.
It wasn’t the colonizers’ fault that Andrew Jackson was a dick, but they put him in office. (ALSO ANDREW JACKSON WAS A COLONIZER SO IT ACTUALLY KIND OF WAS THE COLONIZERS’ FAULT HE WAS A DICK)
Like, it’s not your fault someone can die from a bullet to the brain but that doesn’t mean you’re not accountable if you shoot them in the head.
Indians did have property rights. In fact, initially, what would happen is that the colonizers would show up, settle down for a month or two, and when the local nations realized these folks weren’t stopping to trade, but seriously trying to settle down, THEY SENT A FEW HUNDRED WARRIORS to stand there and let them know it was time to leave.
(This happened numerous times, and even with this, and even with Europeans dying of starvation, freezing to death, unwillingness to farm their own food, and malaria, they KEPT sending people into the grinder, so determined where they to TAKE the land. Look up the history on Jamestown and how many times it was decimated and yet, more colonizers were sent.)
This myth that Indians didn’t have property was this - they didn’t build massive fences and walls to mark their property. They had constant alliances, conflicts, and wars between each other OVER property and space, and such, but yeah, they had property.
White people were the ones who were unable to understand the concept of property or property rights.
Perpetuating this myth is a way white people lie to themselves and everyone else and make it seem like it’s not theft. Under this logic, I should be able to move to France, and since property deeds are written in French, which I can’t read, claim the fucking land for myself since “there’s no indication they have anything of a notion of property”.
Second, if I had a history of breaking into people’s houses and shooting half the people and enslaving the other half, and I show up to your house and half the people die of heart attack while I’m waving my gun around and I shoot only 1 person and enslave only one other person and keep the house for myself, do I get to say, “Well, it’s not MY FAULT y’all had a heart condition… (BTW, this is my house now)” and act like it was an accident of fate?
Let’s also not forget they also kidnapped several thousand Indians to take as slaves to Europe and simply gave up BECAUSE of the same profiteering motive and
But white people want to act like this absolves them of their role in genocide. Nope! You brought several plagues, used it as a weapon, slaughtered survivors and took the land.
White people will in the same breath proclaim how they didn’tpersonallydo all these things, yet they will PERSONALLY defend the people who did, either through denial, attempting to normalize the rationales, or simply lying about the history they themselves documented.
As long as white people cannot take responsibility by at the very minimum acknowledging history, they will remain the people least qualified to talk about history, justice, or any culture they’ve come into contact with.
There’s this kid you probably haven’t heard of: Noah Steadman. There’s no reason you should have heard of him until now, but now I am asking you to remember his name and to spread it to everyone you can. Noah Steadman is a self-proclaimed White Supremacist who moderates 4chon (basically 4chan for people who were kicked off 4chan for being too racist). Over the course of a couple of months he has been threatening the wellbeing of the students of Bard College at Simon’s Rock; now he has put the college’s staff, faculty and students in concrete danger, having been threatened with, among others, corrective rape, shooting, and bombing. Read the statement below, written by a friend of mine, for a detailed description of what has happened, and remember: Noah Steadman is a White Supremacist and a danger to our community.
To Whom It May Concern:
I am writing this letter to draw attention to a situation at my college, Bard College at Simon’s Rock in Massachusetts, that is and has been threatening the physical and emotional security of myself and my fellow classmates. It takes some time to tell this story; please bear with me. This is a desperate call for coverage, assistance, and dialogue.
We begin on the eve of Rosh Hashanah, when an unknown person or group drew multiple swastikas on the wall of a common area in a dormitory. This elicited an email from the administration condemning the graffiti and requesting information as to the perpetrator. To the best of my knowledge, this is all we know—any action taken by the administration after this point would be confidential information.
Shortly thereafter, a student (Noah Steadman) circulated a flier on campus questioning the relevance of Diversity Day, a yearly Teach-In initiated several years ago by students during which students and faculty hold workshops on issues of diversity, oppression, and identity. The “Diversity Day Challenge” was to name five benefits of Diversity “besides ethnic food and music.”
Admittedly, this might initially seem, to an external observer (and it did to many people on campus), a fairly benign piece of agitation. For many of us, however, this flier generated immediate outrage. If you are not acquainted with our school, Simon’s Rock is an early college (with both an A.A. and B.A. program, accredited through Bard College) that accepts students who have not yet earned their high school diplomas. We are an extremely small liberal arts institution, largely isolated from the surrounding area. I remember that when I applied, the Princeton Review had ranked us as the #1 gay-friendly college in America. We are a small and intimate community of people who, by and large, were discontented with the educational opportunities offered to us, namely the often terrifying and prison-like environments of American public and private secondary education. Both Bard and Simon’s Rock pride themselves on combating inequality and oppression through educational methods; Bard’s prison education initiative is one notable example. Simon’s Rock provides extensive scholarship to students of color, international students, and Diversity Day is but one example of the institutional and pedagogical commitment to fighting inequality that made many students, until recently, proud to anticipate calling this school our alma mater.
A substantial portion of the student body, and I proudly count myself among them, experienced indignation and outrage at the distribution of this flier. The demeaning and marginalizing wording of the flier had apparent connections to the language and ideology of the reactionary right-wing. To us, the denial of minority students’ identities, cultures, histories, sufferings and struggles was clearly explicit, not implicit, in the document. It represented the perpetuation of hundreds of years of racial, gender, and sexual oppression. We saw the violence of that question, especially considering it’s author, a cisgendered, able-bodied white male. We understood that it was a very real threat to the integrity and security of the school community.
Determined to rise above the taunting tone of Noah’s challenge (“you could win a Macbook Air!”), the existing coalition of identity-based student groups on campus made photocopies of the document and cut them into strings of snowflakes, human figures holding hands, and the like, putting them up in a collective student space. Within hours, a document was posted next to them declaring Noah’s first-amendment right to free speech, decrying student outrage against him as hate speech, and asking people in support of Noah’s right to express himself to sign their names. The threat we initially (and correctly) sensed being leveled against our community continued unabated.
I fully appreciate that, at this point, many a reader would be experiencing the same reaction that the anonymous poster of this statement did: if Simon’s Rock is committed to diversity, how is it just to criticize one student’s opinion, which surely he is entitled to? weren’t people overreacting? how is any of this a threat to student safety? granting the offensiveness of Noah’s challenge, doesn’t it still legitimate him to call further attention to it? These are the sort of misconceptions, understandable but by no means acceptable, which have brought us to the point we are at today.
Today, violence is being explicitly threatened by white supremacists targeted at our school property, administration, and the student body. Maps of campus, images of students, and personal information has been circulated accompanying frenzied battle cries for the sake of the “white race.” Let me ask you, who is in danger here? I have extremely good reason to believe that Noah Steadman is currently contacting white supremacist activist organizations to bring further attention to this situation. As I write this, students on campus and at home for Thanksgiving break are wondering if their lives are in danger, or if we are going to get a call or an email informing us that acts of violence have been committed towards our classmates or teachers. And in reality, we have been living in this state of fear with little respite for more than two months.
In light of our concerns, students were told to suppress their worry; someone else was taking care of campus safety, namely the college’s Anti-Harassment and Anti-Discrimination Committee which adjudicates claims between members of the college which breach the college’s policies on discrimination, harassment, and diversity. For a while, then, Noah was nowhere to be found on campus and we were able to breath a sigh of at least partial relief. Rather abruptly, however, Noah appeared back on campus, and many students were left confused. The feelings of threat and fear returned with a vengeance. In response, a group of students wrote up a document addressing the school’s attitudes and actions around identity based oppression and held a demonstration expressing their disapproval with an institution that colludes with the bloodstained legacy of patriarchal violence.
A student made video documenting the protest was posted on youtube. Shortly after being posted, a barrage of explicitly hostile and violent comments were posted in response to the video. (“Gas these socialists. Hitler was right. WHITE POWER” is just one representative example of the flavor of comments). In addition to the youtube comments, an online forum was discovered where the details of Noah’s actions and our community’s responses to them were being discussed by Noah and others. These comments expressed White Nationalist sentiments of praise and admiration for Noah and vehement hatred for the “Marxists, faggots, and dykes.” Violent threats (bombs, shooting, rape) were made, specific students’ images and information shared.
We refuse to passively accept the continuation of a violent history of systemic inequality which attempts to control our interpretations of freedom, inequality, and being. Moreover, we assert our agency to create a society that allows us to participate in speech that is genuinely free.The attitude I described above, the attitude of conciliatory apologetics, free speech, tolerance, and civility, is precisely what myself and my classmates are fighting against. It assumes that words and feelings are expressed in a historical void of objective universalism, that all speakers enter conversations on equal footing, and that words have no substance other than the ideas and concrete objects they signify. What students like myself have been arguing for the last two months is that when a person coming from a place of innumerable privileges publicly questions diversity on our campus, they are bringing the full weight of systemic oppression and violence hundreds of years old to bear on each and every other student. We have been arguing that Noah’s ability and “right” to express his opinions is in direct confrontation with the very existence of every Black, Asian, Hispanic, Native American, Indigenous, Gay, Lesbian, Female, Transgendered, Disabled, Queer, Jewish, Muslim, non-White, non-Christian, non-Male, non-Heterosexual, non-Cisgendered, person in our community. And for some reason, utterly incomprehensible to myself, people still don’t get why we have been saying this. Perhaps the literal threat of harm, written out, will prove galvanizing enough.
We feel it is urgent that stories such as this one reach the general public especially in light of pervasive sentiments that trivialize identity based oppression, and ideas that attempt to demonstrate that we live in a colorblind, post-race society. These are not issues of the past; they characterize the immediate present, and without necessary attention will intensify into our future. As is clearly exhibited by our story, race hatred and identity based violence thrives both on the internet and in our material lives. We have a duty to uncover it and deny it the legitimacy it attempts to claim. Please spread this story. It is crucial that people be made aware of the threats made against us and the severity of this situation before groups such as FIRE and American Renaissance (who we know Noah has personally contacted) get involved.
Here is a link to a dropbox containing screenshots of several threads Noah started on an image forum, in which you will find numerous threats of violence and countless affirmations of white supremacy, including Noah’s own account of his meeting with the school and the map of campus he posted with bulls-eyes indicating the locations of the 1992 shooting at Simon’s Rock, as well as the International Center. One further thread, which I do not believe is contained in the screenshots, can be found here.
SPREAD THIS SHIT LIKE WILDFIRE.
Oh my god..
I will give you an example of how race affects my life. I live in a place called Alpine, New Jersey. Live in Alpine, New Jersey, right? My house costs millions of dollars. In my neighborhood, there are four black people. Hundreds of houses, four black people. Who are these black people? Well, there’s me, Mary J. Blige, Jay-Z and Eddie Murphy. Only black people in the whole neighborhood. So let’s break it down, let’s break it down: me, I’m a decent comedian. I’m a’ight. Mary J. Blige, one of the greatest R&B singers to ever walk the Earth. Jay-Z, one of the greatest rappers to ever live. Eddie Murphy, one of the funniest actors to ever, ever do it. Do you know what the white man who lives next door to me does for a living? He’s a fucking dentist! He ain’t the best dentist in the world…he ain’t going to the dental hall of fame…he don’t get plaques for getting rid of plaque. He’s just a yank-your-tooth-out dentist. See, the black man gotta fly to get to somethin’ the white man can walk to.
see, this is something that aforementioned idiot should listen to. if you think racial equality exists because we have the same purported opportunity to pull ourselves up by our bootstraps, ask if we even started at the same point, when people of color didn’t even have the same opportunities to set up a foundation for the life of this generation. you think your white grandparents got the same jobs as a person of color’s grandparents, so that they could retire and you would know they’d have access to healthcare? you think your white family was offered the same rates (or even chances) for home loans as a family of color’s so that you didn’t have to work a job through high school to meet rent? you think that your mother worrying if you’re going to get into a good college is hard enough? what if on top of that, your mother also had to worry that you might get gunned down in the street because of the color of your skin?
i’m sorry buddy, but you are wrong, and chris rock is so, so right.