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August 2011
Defender of the City
 

The Willow @ iJay
Date: 5:52:00 pm, August 30th, 2011
Headline: WitchWillow's Race & Fandom Posts
Clearance: Public
Tags:fandom_and_race, meta
Four years ago I made all the posts on this journal private. I had, however, intended these particular posts to be transferred to Dreamwidth, comments and all. But that never worked out. And now I feel like I've not only erased a piece of the history of online conversations about race and speculative fiction and fandom; I feel as if I unintentionally erased my own voice.

So, I'll deal with there being ads on here, and I'll deal with my dislike of things about livejournal; because these conversations, small as they may be, should not have been lost.

If you remember any other conversations that happened on my journal, or that you had linked or memories that went private and aren't linked here, drop a line please.

Thank you.

________ *________


Of Death Eaters, Fans and Racism

When Overprivileged White Women Attack

People of Color: Stargate Universe

On Dreads, Myself, & Ronon

Story Of A Little Black Child Who Liked To Read SF

Wherein I Pimp My Roommate's Coming Essay Like A Hard Hard Thing

This is a rant

Racism on a Spectrum

Exotic Alien Other

Poc Marvelverse

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The Willow @ iJay
Date: 2:29:00 pm, August 9th, 2007
Headline: My Content & I Moved to iJay [Permanently]
Clearance: Public
Tags:fuckwittery07, leaving lj
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
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The Willow @ iJay
Date: 6:39:00 pm, August 2nd, 2007
Headline: Racism on a Spectrum
Clearance: Public
Mood:geek w/ a word swordgeek w/ a word sword
Tags:fandom_and_race, race
For people who think that the HP / Word Use Discussion (I refuse to call it a wank) is minor and people should be discussing real racism, I'd like to point your attention to the Jena 6.

There were nooses on a tree in a schoolyard. Nooses. A black kid sat down under the tree at lunchtime, a place where white students usually sat and the next day there were NOOSES.

And then when complaints happened from black parents, the white students were given an in-school suspension for a 'prank'.

The threat of lynching was called a PRANK by the white school administrators.

There are lines, continums - ladders if you will. And some actions are near the bottom of the ladder and some actions are near the top.

The treatment of zvi_likes_tv by the d_d mods in their open letter, and the name calling and reviling concerning her by some of the d_d members are near the bottom of the ladder.

The Jena 6 are near the top.

But the reactions are all about black people 'who got uppity and insisted something was racist, hurtful, dangerous and wrong'.

No one has threatened WQ's life (as far as I know) but they have tried to bully her and belittle her and make her, and me, and other people feel that we're not welcome because we're harshing their squee by not keeping our oversized lips shut.

The students at Jena were beaten, given harsher administrative discipline by those in power, and were charged with bigger crimes than white students also involved in the outburst of fighting and hair-trigger feelings.

Why?

Because they were harshing the concept of the town as being a happy, pleasant place by not keeping their oversized lips shut.

Top of the ladder. Bottom of the ladder. Same Ladder. Same willful ignorance. Same privilege. Same expectations that black folk will just shut up if they get called bad names enough, or pushed down enough.

I've a friend who lost a friend today because she called a statement racist and her now former friend got huffy because hearing the term racist applied was too horrible to be imagined. And anyway...

"If this was real racism, then I would be more concerned"


And suddenly she was being picked on by someone (my friend) who thinks she's too good for everyone and racism works both ways and she was being oppressed.

My friend? Suddenly she's now 'another uppity person of darker skin tone'

If no one challenges the status quo, it doesn't get changed.

I don't like the status quo.

ETA: More on the Jena 6: Video

Strange FruitCollapse )
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The Willow @ iJay
Date: 9:00:00 pm, July 30th, 2007
Headline: When Overprivileged White Women Attack
Clearance: Public
Mood:enragedenraged
Tags:essays, fandom_and_race, hp_fuckedupfandom, miscegenation, rant, vent
Holy Copper Pedal FUCK daily_deviant

This response???? If your community members don't know about the word in a racist context you're not going to tell them? There is no racism in Harry Potterverse against Black people, thus making use of the word ok?

W.

T

Cotton Picking

F?!

Then again, I've seen comments recently from people who apparently know the mods and knew their take was going to be to puff up and say 'We're not racists and you're a slanderous meanie for saying we are!'

The point was the word. The word is offensive. The word implies black men lynched for looking at white women because their very eyes tainted those white women. That word implies slave masters raping their own children by slave women, because the child wasn't nothing but an animal anyway, it wasn't immoral or illegal. And that kind of mentality leading to little black girls being messed with way past slavery.

Just...

Will you get the fuck off your high horse about 'We're pushing the envelopes of sexuality' and stop sounding like Laurell Freaking K Hamilton and thus full of nothing but hot air and excuses for ignorance and general badness??




daily_deviant mods:

Second, your interpretation of the word 'miscegenation' as "implicitly calling people of color niggers" is simply not the prevalent interpretation around the world. See:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miscegenation. (applying the term, among other ways, to denote a mixing of classes, and setting out the various historical contexts in which the word has been used)
http://www.answers.com/topic/miscegenation. (applying the term generally, to connote mixing of races)
http://miscegenation.com/ (an interracial dating site)




You want links? I got links.

http://www.eugenics-watch.com/roots/chap07.html

http://www.oah.org/pubs/magazine/family/cruz-berson.html

http://www.zmag.org/Sustainers/Content/2003-08/13beal.cfm < -- ok that one's old and 2003. But Israel. How's that for a global stage?

PLEASE STOP POINTING TO SEXUAL PREFERENCES to hide the fact that you didn't think, you haven't thought and somehow you think being painted as persistently stupid and now passively racist somehow makes you martyrs.

This is who you have defending you.

k8nkane

You know, there are some black people who seem to enjoy using the color of their skin to stir up trouble and/or spin things to their advantage and sympathy.

My mom works down at the court and she tells stories of a couple black employees on the floor above her (where she used to work), who will scream injustice and wave the race card at the slightest hint of "racism". The administration doesn't want any trouble, of course, because what if the public should think the city court is racist, and so either placate them by giving in to the employees wishes or settling things privately between them.

I can't help but think this might be one of those instances.


ETA: Aug 1/07. k8nkane has since had discussion into how her words came across and has apologised.
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The Willow @ iJay
Date: 12:42:00 pm, July 30th, 2007
Headline: Of Death Eaters, Fans and Racism
Clearance: Public
Tags:essays, fandom_and_race, hp
The Daily Deviant

This post is going to be about a Harry Potter community here on livejournal. There will be no spoilers for Book 7, but I will be using analogies from the book's universe. Please use your own discretion.

This post will be about racism.

Racist Behavior - Not Just House ElvesCollapse )
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The Willow @ iJay
Date: 11:16:00 am, July 14th, 2007
Headline: PoC Marvelverse
Clearance: Public
Tags:comics, fandom_and_race
I should be sleeping, or making breakfast but - sometime on Thursday someone dragged an old rp character (female!Logan) out of my head for random chat meta. And the concept grew and grew and now I'm finding myself over at GJ trying to remember how to set up a game and doing a lot of head scratching.

But that's not the point of this post. Remember PoCkyGATE? And how I thought it'd have been interesting to start a fanfic universe or rpg of a People of Color version of the Stargate (SG1 & SGA) Universe?

Well, shifting from the concept of a gender-shifted Marvelverse, I pondered a racially shifted Marvelverse.

What if, Isaiah Bradley was the Captain America who was frozen? What if Wolverine, as Weapon X (ten) wherein the Captain Americas were Weapon I was another black guy experimented on by the government but who happened to have healing abilities?

What if Peter Parker was a Puerto Rican boy from Brooklyn?

I can't foresee circumstances where the Fantastic Four could end up as People of Color being allowed into space with their history. But they aren't the only team up in Marvelverse.

What if Namor was brown?

What if Jean Grey was Oneida?

What if Scott were Inuit or Black?

What if Alison Blaire came from an affluent African American family based in NYC? How much more weight would it bring of her father's determination that she have a law career instead of one in the entertainment industry?

What if Jean Paul and Jeanne Marie were instead born Chinese-Canadian and then adopted when their parents died?

What if instead of Thor there was Huitzilopochtli or Shango?

What if She-Hulk were Hispanic?

What if Charles Xavier was a non-white man talking about evolution, trying to spread a message of peace, while saying words like homo superior and seemingly building a private army? Would parents from Indiana etc, willingly give their child over into the guardianship of a non-white man from NY?

Marvelverse would be a very, very, different place, wouldn't it? And the various themes of Sentinels, mutant camps and things like Civil War would have been very different too.

I'd almost want to organize a game to try and re-enact pivotal moments in Marvel history under those circumstances. Logan and Captain America during WW2. The responses of those created to be super-soldiers towards a majority white government trying to control their lives. If Charles Xavier were black and Jean Grey were white, would she have so easily gotten the help she needed to control her power - up to living at the school? Heck if Charles and Jean were white but Scott was a minority, how would that change all those interactions; the attitude of Jean's parents, if Scott could be seen to reliably believe or believe in Xavier....

It's odd how the Marvelverse seems so strangely simple, in a moment's pause, without including those cues and motivations in the lives of the major characters.

xPosted Comic Blog
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The Willow @ iJay
Date: 10:34:00 pm, April 21st, 2007
Headline: People of Color: Stargate Universe
Clearance: Public
Tags:fandom_and_race, project!, sg1, sga, social experiement, tv
Before you click past the cut-tag, I'm putting these up in the easiest way for me. Tables make my brain explode and if I wait for pictures I may never get it up. And the whole point of it was for it to be a fun little project, not to feel like something I have to get presented just perfectly or never put up. I may repost to update it, or prettify it or when I get around to adding pictures, or I may just fix it here and link to it. Or I may not prettify it at all. I have far too many actors still to place not to at least update it. But Google can help people find pictures as well as anything. And I don't know, I feel a bit as if I put pictures up, I may be inclined to write fiction for it. And that'd set off a whole host of things; do I do the PoC version of the original script? Is it a complete AU with certain points similar but original events, blah blah blah, yadda yadda, head go boom.

In related news: In hunting out faces to play parts in this PoC Universe, I found myself passing over a couple of actors whose work or personality I really like, respect, or could grow to like. And it while it felt a little saddening to lose out on them - fact is, they did get the roles in real life. I have no way of knowing if those roles were offered to PoC who couldn't make it or didn't want it or didn't want to fly up to Vancouver. But it's been something warming inside to think of how many wonderfully talented and skilled Actors of Color are out there. It's made me imagine not just a full PoC (or as near full as time and energy will let it be) but one where maybe there were just three or four more main or regular recurring roles. It put things in perspective for me to realize/remember that there is not a dearth of Actors of Color out there that somehow limits them to just one, maybe two per show.

The roommate had fun suggesting various AoC, do feel free to suggest some yourself as I get around to putting someone up for various tertiary roles and guest star possibilities. Suggestions denoted by "*"

ETA: Yes, Ford has been recast. Originally as Robert Fan. But now, more aptly I think, as Sean Patrick Thomas. Why did I recast Ford at all when I didn't recast other characters of color? I did it because Ford never popped on screen for me until he got hooked on Wraith serum. I liked him, a lot. I wished there was Ford/Sheppard slash. But I honestly don't believe that Rainbow Francks had enough presence or skill to play such a laid back role. Franks himself has been quoted discussing his diffulty with Ford. And then there's the fact that Ford disappeared/faded on screen until he had a completely different personality.

This a fantasy casting. Getting a more experienced actor with that kind of role, or someone with more presence isn't any sort of pointed action, other than my wanting to give the character every possibility for likability.


ETA: April 24th - Someone's just informed me that my post has been linked in sga_newsletter. I've turned comment screening back on, now that I realize that my personal project isn't being viewed by people who know people on my flist but is drawing in sga-fandom at large, who may have no idea at the personal context of my project. Now you know. This is my personal journal and I just spent the past 3 weeks in the middle of the sga talks about racism as a fan of color. I'm done talking. I don't suffer fools gladly. I don't take shit in my journal. Passive-aggressive tones will get you called on your bullshit. And the best way to ask why someone's been recast is not "I thought so and so counted as a person of color / Doesn't so and so count as a person of color ?".



An Introductory Start To A People of Color Stargate UniverseCollapse )
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The Willow @ iJay
Date: 3:03:00 pm, April 13th, 2007
Headline: On Dreads, Myself, & Ronon
Clearance: Public
Mood:indescribableindescribable
Tags:fandom_and_race, fannish, growth, introspection, me, my country/my culture
Note: I'm not going to talk too historically here, because the best person to do so would be someone who's had dreads for going on twenty or twenty five years and who was part of the community in the Caribbean.

Half Personal, Half RantyCollapse )
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The Willow @ iJay
Date: 12:48:00 pm, April 13th, 2007
Headline: Story Of A Little Black Child Who Liked To Read SF
Clearance: Public
Mood:exotic otherexotic other
Tags:fandom_and_race, me
pandorasblog Responded to me here about my new icon in a GIP post. But my comment was too long and I don't want to break it up into two or more parts.

Her:

I just finished Octavia Butler's "Kindred" last night, oddly enough. Enjoyed it a lot, and also the biographical info my edition of the book had was interesting.

It talked about how (at the time of that edition's publication, which was late eighties) there weren't many fans of colour, and how this could be traced to certain assumptions inherent in how mainstream (esp. American) sci-fi was being written, eg. a lot of it was a sort of colonial nostalgia. Self-congratulatory stories about spacemen bringing their hi-tech message to planets filled with limited people of darker races... kind of obvious.

Or when you did get something where characters of colour appeared in a non-colonised-nation role, it'd be in a tokenistic way, as if by having one character they were paying sufficient lip-service to the ideal of having a mixed society, while in fact they imagined in their heart of hearts that each office would have one token person whose skin colour would be politely ignored, rather than their whole identity being truly accepted.

It gave me a lot of food for thought, particularly in relation to your and your roomnie's recent blog topics... do fans of colour feel that things have fundamentally moved on since then, or is it just the same problems with slightly improved ratios of CoC involved?




Me:

Growing up in the Caribbean with such a mix of skin tones, ethnicities and religions I gave SF a lot of slack. I assumed that PoC were just around the corner the way they were in my childhood. And that just because the composition of this ship, or this crew or this whatever was one way didn't mean anything. And that was just the main characters, who knew about the rest of the people on the planet, station, etc.

I was amazingly colorblind in my initial readings of SF. And then I read more and read more and I started taking it for granted that black people didn't read it, so that's why there weren't that many black chars cause they weren't even black writers. I had elaborate fantasies of becoming a famous writer and proving that blacks had been reading all along and interested all along and that people would pull out these stories they hadn't thought would get published for lack of an audience.

Then I discovered Octavia Butler. And I realized I wouldn't be the first female, black, SF writer. And so I wouldn't have to break ground. And yet, I felt incredibly frustrated at the thought of her being the person burning the path ahead of me - being my pioneer - because her path seemed so limiting. She seemed to only ever write from the pov of a character of color.

Read more...Collapse )
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The Willow @ iJay
Date: 5:05:00 pm, April 3rd, 2007
Headline: Exotic Alien Other
Clearance: Public
Mood:peeved. want sleeppeeved. want sleep
Tags:fandom_and_race, meta, sleep patterns, spoon day, this point later
When I am clueless, I am really clueless. It was pointed out to me last night, and I've since seen some comments/posts today that Ronon and Try are EXOTIC ALIEN OTHER; most likely due to the dreads.

It is not as I thought, white female fans fetishizing the tall, strikingly muscular and hansome men of color as object to drool over as if they were White Female Slave Owners with one hand down their panties. It's a creative obsession because dreads are oh so not white/not normal/not status quo.

Being from the caribbean, where my mother, father and various relatives have had dreads at one point or other - I totally missed that. My roommate has dreads. And I, because of pain and other factors, currently have some rather messy curly locks going on.

I grew up with braids and I grew up with dreads and I always kind of thought the reason tourists got their hair braided when they came to visit the islands was so they could spend more time having fun and less time fussing over their appearance.

But apparently it's an exotic hairstyle, braided by an exotic person in an exotic locale. And I've just been blind as a mole or something, because I think 'home' when I think Caribbean. And I think 'like home' when I think of Hawaii or Thailand islands.

Exotic for me is Javanese temples deep in the heart of some seemingly familiar jungles. It's the architecture and sculpture of another civilization I find fascinating.

Though I suppose as a child, I did find the pasty white legs of German tourists pretty fascinating too.

Huh. I never realized 'oh, I grew up on a farm on the side of a mountain in the tropics' was interesting because it was exotic. I just thought. "Oh, in America the farms are in the middle."

One of the reasons I don't completely enjoy Heroes is 'The Hatian'. I've never said anything about it before, not even to my roommate. But my ex is Hatian. And I spent enough time with her to know how fed up she got about people's pre-conceptions.

I know that a large part of the reason I roll my eyes about 'Murderous Vodoo Rites In Exotic Haiti' in various tv shows etc, is because of my relationship and history with her.

And so for quite some time I've been quietly seething and not saying a word about 'The Hatian Who Doesn't Speak' and who can go into someone's mind and scoop out their memories like some kind of voudoun priest; a character of some fear in Heroes universe because of how he can steal bits of your life.

I caught that and it irritated me so much I thought I was over-reacting and just shut up and swallowed. But Tyr and Ronon passed me by.

I'm tired now and I'm going to lay down and take a nap or who knows, sleep through till morning. When there's less going on with me, I'm going to come back to these thoughts and flesh them out more. Hopefully I won't be more angry; cause I'm aware now and I'll be watching.

It's weird to think this pisses me off more than comic book women with S shaped spines and too large breasts. But boy does it. It slashes something across some tiny, child like, home-sick part of me. It's like realizing a mob of women are wanking over a cousin or uncle and not because they're handsome or smart and clever, but because they're exotic.

Just gahh. Too tired. No words.

Though, is this why they make Teyla wear a wig?
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