There’s a Twitter account named White Feminist that uses satire to expose racism according to the Editorial staff. I heard about it because Cosmopolitan magazine wrote a positive review about it (humph) and it showed up on the blog’s Twitter feed last week.
Here’s a gem of a sample of what awaits you:
Hmm…where have we seen satire/parody unveiled with regards to racism that has successfully combated it?
I can’t think of one example. Can you?
You can’t because there isn’t one.
HIPSTER RACISM = REGULAR RACISM.
We’ve discussed the impact of Hipster Racism and how it’s executed. Ironic or not….shiny paint on a cracked wall…is a shiny painted cracked wall.
Per Lindy West in The Complete Guide To Hipster Racism.
There’s been a lot of talk these last couple of weeks about “hipster racism” or “ironic racism”—or, as I like to call it, racism. It’s, you know, introducing your black friend as “my black friend”—as a joke!!!—to show everybody how totally not preoccupied you are with your black friend’s blackness. It’s the gentler, more clueless, and more insidious cousin of a hick in a hood; the domain of educated, middle-class white people (like me—to be clear, I am one of those) who believe that not wanting to be racist makes it okay for them to be totally racist. “But I went to college — I can’t be racist!” Turns out, you can.
People benefit from racism—hell, I benefit from it every day—and things that benefit powerful people don’t just suddenly get “fixed” and disappear because Halle Berry won an Oscar or whatever. Modern racism lives in entrenched de facto inequalities, in coded language about “work ethic” and “states’ rights,” in silent negative spaces like absence and invisibility, and in Newt Gingrich’s hair. And in irony.
The irony is that I heard about this White Feminist account two days before the world found out how Paula Deen loves butter so much better than Negroes.
Except, if black people were covered in it. Maybe. What I find interesting is how shocked people are at Deen’s more incendiary Plantation Fantasies. As if! Just how many reminders do people need to know we’re not in a post-racial society. In fact, no such society exists!
In the case of Deen, the only thing we need to be discussing are consequences and sanctions. The types that would be imposed had she made such brazen and unapologetic anti-Semetic remarks. ‘White Liberal Guilt’ is limited to the Boomer generation and all but over, “people of color” fake solidarity claims without reciprocity is just a means for black racists (mostly male) to distance themselves from other blacks (women in particular) and for non-blacks to use Civil Rights benefits to leap over blacks, and we don’t need to be so reactionary about external displays of racism (i.e. when white people do it) if we ignore what internal issues are still holding us back. Like the gendered-racism negatively impacting black women and girls.
The problem with the White Feminist Twitter account is someone can read the posts and not get the “irony” in its racist messaging. I don’t see an educational component that makes the distinction between what’s unacceptable, explain why a statement like what was posted is racist or generate remorse/shame because it only perpetuates the same stereotypes the Editors claim they want to combat.
Who thinks up such racist messaging in order to “fight’ it anyway? The Editors are touted as being “women of color”, but how do we know this? While the account does cover non-black related racism, you can bet the disempowering crux focuses on black women. It would be best to leave us out of the mix entirely. It lends the impression someone is trying to use black women as punching bags and stepping stones to get ahead – at our expense! That’s not an ally!
You can’t forcibly generate remorse from others for their racism anyway – as you can see by the exposure of Paula Deen! You can’t focus on changing hearts and minds that may never budge. If you want to operate from a position of power you can only set boundaries and hold folks accountable.
Some of the long-term readers here may remember the now-defunct White Women Suck blog circa 2009. It was a place where one peeved white guy thought he’d expose the ‘selfish and caustic behavior of white women’ to show why they were not all that (debunking claims by black males everything became easier when they got away from black women) because he was now dating a black-identified biracial woman and wanted to set the record straight.
Boy, did that blog piss off white women. It was a bit of a slug-fest in the comment section. And black women were happy somebody else got to bear the brunt of unchecked male ire. And heck – the guy was even funny at times. Yet, it wasn’t beneficial for us to indulge in reading his drive-by posts even if they were true because his outrage was used inappropriately. Besides, he could’ve turned on any woman at any time. Then one day, he closed the blog and I’d hoped it was because he’d seen the error of his ways.
Women who think it’s okay to be with a guy who mistreats other women in any way soon find out how damaged he is when he fails them in some fashion. Much like how lighter-skinned black women said nothing about skin shade racism when it worked for them or how non-black women thought they were getting over in snagging black males….the aftermath isn’t rosy.
Now, we don’t shy away from calling into question racio-misogyny, hypocrisy and where others fail at being allies at this forum but remember, this is about behavior and principles. Not cheap shots and 5th grade juvenile antics. As tempting as it may be we’re better than that. At the end of the day, what some jealous, non-ally, racist, misogynistic, hypocritical person be they white male/female, black, Asian or whomever thinks, says, or does only matters as far as the countermeasures of reciprocity and non-support balances it.
The flip side to this type of racio-misogyny (as I only saw posts by women targeting other women), aside from the attempts at damaging them socially and economically are the black women who are black male against black women crime deniers/supporters like the Zerlina Maxwell’s of the world (and their fake-progressive allies), being touted as anti-rape activists when their support is highly biased and conditional.
I’m not posting this to debate the potential merits of Oppression Olympics. I’m going to remind those who want better to continually move toward healthier people and environments. Keep acting globally, thinking strategically and put your long-term interests at the forefront.
Don’t discriminate against higher-caliber individuals and groups eager to uplift you. In particular this means pulling out the Charm Offensive to only extensively socialize with the world’s most dominant men for alliances and/or marriage.
‘Begging’ for respect only reinforces the imbalance in the power dynamic.
Thanks, but no thanks to this White Feminist distraction. It’s a short-term, short-sighted non-solution. I don’t see how borrowing other people’s definitions, battles and critiques without understanding their situation helps without creating bigger problems. Perhaps that’s the hidden agenda, intentionally spreading misinformation mixed with a poisonous message whose stated purpose ultimately fails.
Let’s be smart and take a very PUBLIC pass.