A career on the color of my skin

November 26, 2013 § 4 Comments

IMG_4374[1]First, a late submission to Hope Jahren’s #ManicureMonday subversion of the ridiculous social media meme of Seventeen Magazine. I am not fond of bimbofication culture in the least and I am even less fond of it as a parent of female offspring.

So yeah, here’s what my manicure less nails do at work, most days.

On to today’s topic spurred by an epic troll from the DM

Jesus christ on a popsicle stick.

Look, I know this person has a long history of unstable pronouncements on the Internet. And I know this person has been placed in a really, really shitty public position lately.

But that situation is only tangentially (and temporally) related to the issue involving Danielle Lee.

The entire sentence is as follows:

If Danielle wants to leave science and make a career out of the color of her skin, I think it would be a shame for science to lose her, but again, go for it!

This is so ridiculously offensive I hardly know where to start.

As you can tell from the figure above, the color of my skin is categorized, in these here United States at present, along with Danielle’s much more frequently than with that of the author of that ridiculous comment. I point this out so that in the event the intemperate author happens by here she will understand that her comments are not a theoretical issue to me. I am not defending Dr. Lee so much as I am defending my own reactions.

There is no reasonable way to interpret that ridiculous comment of hers in any other way than as a recitation of a pervasive right wing meme that people who are minorities have some fabulous advantage due to the color of their skin. And that they can “make a career” out of this fantastic birthright.

This is false.

Don’t get me wrong, the phenomenon of “Rev Inc” is not entirely a right wing fantasy. There are indeed people who make careers out of defending and promoting the status and rights of underrepresented groups in this country. Including those who happen to share the skin tone that is one of several defining characteristics of the class under discussion.

Does this mean that they are making a career out of their skin color? Of course not. They are making a career out of addressing substantive issues of public policy and civil rights that are specifically relevant to people who share their skin color.

The suggestion that it is about profiting from one’s skin tone is a direct attack on the very substantive issues of equality and opportunity available to different subpopulations in the US. It is a direct attack on the legitimacy of the situation with Dr. Lee and the piss poor response of Scientific American to her blog post calling out some yahoo for expecting her to blog elsewhere for free. It is a direct attack on the notion that the experiences and reactions of someone who is not of majority culture are legitimate and in need of hearing. It is basically telling Dr. Lee, and those like her, to never mention a perspective that is informed by the color of her skin and the way that society treats her because of that feature.

Lest one be accused of making a career on the basis of skin tone.

I don’t ask for an apology from the original author of these comments. I don’t really care one bit if the comment was a result of striking out in anger and pain or whether it betrays a fairly confirmed mindset. I don’t even particularly think anyone should front her all mad-like.

What I do want is for you to forward me any job opportunities that involve easy money on the basis of my skin tone1.

That would be sweet.

__
1See Figure 1.

Michael Steele is an idiot. The analogy with the Loving decision is clearly applicable.

February 7, 2012 § Leave a comment

from RawStory:

“Michael, I’m curious to whether you think it would be OK in modern America for there to be some states where black men could not marry white women?” author John Heilemann asked the former RNC chairman.

“First off, let’s just be very clear,” Steele said sternly. “There are a significant number of African Americans, myself included, who do no appreciate that particular equation. OK? Because when you walk into a room, I don’t know if you are gay or not, but when I walk into a room, you know I’m black. And whatever racial feelings you have about African Americans, about black people, that is something that is visceral, it comes out. I don’t know [you are gay] until later on, maybe you tell me or some other way. So, don’t sit there and make that comparison. Don’t make that analogy.”

It is a perfectly apt analogy. Go back and read the newspapers and diatribes and reporting on the miscegenation issue as it was fought through to the bitter end during the fifties and sixties in the US. The language is the same. Sure there are the occasional differences but see the appeals to tradition, the “natural order”. To religion. and to basic squeemy-ness on the part of the poor, poor lily white majority that might have to….see people of different appearances married to each other.

PropH8 has been busted down to its bigoted knees by an Appeals Court ruling.

“Proposition 8 serves no purpose, and has no effect, other than to lessen the status and human dignity of gays and lesbians in California, and to officially reclassify their relationships and families as inferior to those of opposite-sex couples,” Judge Stephen Reinhardt wrote, joined by Judge Michael Daly Hawkins.

Let’s get back to moron Michael Steele, however. His logic is that because you know someone is black when you look at them, it is totes different from being gay. Oh yes? So you never see someone in a public context behaving in a way that makes it clear they are gay? Why is it different if you infer (strongly) that the person is gay and get a “visceral” response? Like that didn’t ever happen? And what if your only evidence for someone being black is indirect- name, background details….vocal patterns and speech? Like that didn’t contribute to miscegenation laws? It was only about when you see someone in person?

This logic doesn’t even remotely make sense.

And it disingenuously ignores the fact that just as the anti-Black bigot has a “visceral” reaction, so does the homophobe. Like Michael Steele, apparently.

Rosie the Riveter was Black

August 6, 2010 § 1 Comment

From Abel Pharmboy a link to some old pictures on the Denver Post photoblog. Pictures are from the Library of Congress and depict

the effects of the Depression on America’s rural and small town populations. The photographs are the property of the Library of Congress and were included in a 2006 exhibit Bound for Glory: America in Color.

As Abel noted, Rosie the Riveter was black.

What a fantastic image.

After 75 years…

December 11, 2009 § Leave a comment

…black girls have their own Disney princess. No, Jasmine and Pocahontas were not sufficient, thank you very much. Nice.

But what’s all this? The Prince is white? The Villain is, of course, black?

Who green lighted this storyline anyway? Was it changed from the original vision with a black prince?

Trending Topics

October 27, 2009 § Leave a comment

Can someone please explain to me why in the hell Twitter Trending Topics are dominated by tanfolk?

WTF happened to the digital divide?

Pushy Broad

October 6, 2009 § 1 Comment

This is awesome. Just what I like to see.

Sotomayor peppered the lawyers with questions in a pair of cases, joining with Justices Antonin Scalia and Ruth Bader Ginsburg during the oral arguments. Together, they left the other justices sitting in silence for much of the time.

In the first hour alone, Sotomayor asked 36 questions, and Scalia followed with 30. Ginsburg is particularly interested in legal procedures, and she and Sotomayor dominated the questioning for much of the second hour.

otherwise, what? You might think she just doesn’t care. Or her mind is already made up and she doesn’t need to be bothered engaging with the actual case. Like, oh, I dunno this guy?


Justice Clarence Thomas has not asked a question for more than three years.

Heckuva job Clarence.


Americans yearn for aristocracy

September 3, 2009 § Leave a comment

From Anonymoustache, this article.

They should convene a panel for the next Meet the Press with Jenna Bush Hager, Luke Russert, Liz Cheney, Megan McCain and Jonah Goldberg, and they should have Chris Wallace moderate it. They can all bash affirmative action and talk about how vitally important it is that the U.S. remain a Great Meritocracy because it’s really unfair for anything other than merit to determine position and employment.

snip…..

all of the above-listed people are examples of America’s Great Meritocracy, having achieved what they have solely on the basis of their talent, skill and hard work… By contrast, Sonia Sotomayor — who grew up in a Puerto Rican family in Bronx housing projects; whose father had a third-grade education, did not speak English and died when she was 9; whose mother worked as a telephone operator and a nurse; and who then became valedictorian of her high school, summa cum laude at Princeton, a graduate of Yale Law School, and ultimately a Supreme Court Justice — is someone who had a whole litany of unfair advantages handed to her and is the poster child for un-American, merit-less advancement.

I just want to make sure that’s clear.

Oh, like crystal, dude, like crystal.

Turn this motherfucker up!

updated with interesting link with graph on Senate nepotism.

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