Hailed as the must-see satire of the year, Dear White People, writer-director Justin Simien’s feature length directorial debut has experienced a cacophonous reception since it took home the Sundance Film Festival’s prestigious U.S. Dramatic Special Jury Award for Breakthrough Talent. Even more buzz worthy are the indie film’s laugh-out-loud hilarious PSA shorts—themed after the Emmy…
I'M SO FRUSTRATED this person keeps debating the shooting with me and keeps bringing up Mike Brown's "history." This person believes that he charged at Wilson, and I don't know how to refute that specific claim... btw-thank you so much for this blog♡
1. All eyewitnesses agree that Mike Brown did not charge at Darren Wilson:
Attorney for Brown family blasts STL Post-Dispatch for their pursuit of Brown’s juvenile records. Editor responds, defends the push for records on Mike Brown because it’s “news”. Records on Darren Wilson however, apparently are not news.
So you understand that little white girls seeing only thin white girl’s being showcased, praised and adored, can fuck them up. But you don’t get why Black and Brown kids seeing white faces constantly is a problem. Okay.
“American culture is obsessed with transgression and to the degree that blackness remains a primary sign of transgression. One could talk about American mainstream culture as being obsessed with blackness, but it is blackness primarily in a commodified form that can then be possessed, owned, controlled, and shaped by the consumer… and not with engagement in Black culture that might require one to be a participant, therefore to be in some way transformed by what you are consuming as opposed to being merely a buyer. Anecdotally, that to me is the difference between a young white male from the suburbs who’s consuming Black music in the form of rap and who’s wearing the same kind of clothes as the hip-hop musicians, but then in fact when he encounters a young black male on the streets, feels the same racialized fear and demonizes that person as any white person who’s had no contact with that music. So, there’s no correlation often between the consumption of the commodity that is blackness and the culture from which that commodity comes, or provides the resource base.
And again, that’s no different from third-world countries. There’s a way in which white culture is perceived as too “wonder bread” right now—not edgy enough, not dangerous enough—let’s get some of those endangered species people to be exotic for us. It’s really simply a more up-scale version of primitivism resurging. When blackness is the sign of transgression that is most desired, it allows whiteness to remain static, to remain conservative, and it’s conservative thrust to go unnoticed. So, as we’re having a mounting fascism in the United States, that is perpetuated increasingly by young, moneyed, liberal white people, if they’re wearing Black clothes or listening to Black music, they can be perceived as transgressive, as radical, when in fact we see a separation between material aspirations and cultural and social interest. So, at any point in time, they can drop their interest in blackness and do whatever they need to do to reinforce their class interest—the interest of white supremacy, the interest of capitalism and imperialism.”—bell hooks, Cultural Criticism (via marginaliaetalia)
Not terribly long ago in a country that many people misremember, if they knew it at all, a black person was killed in public every four days for often the most mundane of infractions, or rather accusation of infractions – for taking a hog, making boastful remarks, for stealing 75 cents. For the most banal of missteps, the penalty could be an hours-long spectacle of torture and lynching. No trial, no jury, no judge, no appeal. Now, well into a new century, as a family in Ferguson, Missouri, buries yet another American teenager killed at the hands of authorities, the rate of police killings of black Americans is nearly the same as the rate of lynchings in the early decades of the 20th century.
Even fair weather fans of Robin Thicke have long known that Alan Thicke’s boy had a huge crush on Marvin Gaye’s music. Before “Blurred Lines” took over radio and various cookouts across the country last year, he was releasing albums like 2008’s Something Else, which could’ve also been titled Vanilla Latte Marvin Gaye. Thicke has been doing this, only never to the success he secured with his now lawsuit-spawning massive hit.
However, thanks to the newly exposed depositions as part of the lawsuit filed by Gaye’s children against the “Blurred Lines” architects – Thicke, Pharrell Williams, and T.I. – we now know that Thicke lied about the songs conception. Claiming the stories he told the press last year were sponsored by Vicodin and alcohol, Thicke clarified by explaining,
I was jealous and I wanted some of the credit … I tried to take credit for it later because [Williams] wrote the whole thing pretty much by himself and I was envious of that.
Robin did what many contemporary singers do these days: add their name to the songwriting credits for the sake of appearances and publishing checks. When asked about this, Pharrell noted,
This is what happens every day in our industry. You know, people are made to look like they have much more authorship in the situation than they actually do. So that’s where the embellishment comes in.
And if Pharrell is comfortable with that and allowing Thicke to collect 18 to 22 percent of publishing royalties, so be it. As for as the Gaye family’s lawsuit, that is for the courts and possibly Gaye’s ghost to decide. What frustrates me most about this new twist to the story though, is that Pharrell once again spewed that post-racial, Yoda-like nonsense about race – only now under oath.
When trying to break down what exactly makes Marvin Gaye’s “Got To Give It Up” different from “Blurred Lines,” Pharrell said:
Because it’s the white man singing soulfully and we, unfortunately, in this country don’t get enough — we don’t get to hear that as often, so we get excited by it when the mainstream gives that a shot. But there’s a lot of incredibly talented white folk with really soulful vocals, so when we’re able to give them a shot — and when I say ‘we,’ I mean like as in the public gives them a shot to be heard, then you hear the Justin Timberlakes and you hear the Christina Aguileras and you hear, you know, all of these masterful voices that have just been given, you know, an opportunity to be heard because they’re doing something different.
So, Robin Thicke used his clout as an artist to collect 18 to 22 percent of royalties for a song he played no role in actually creating, but when met with a legal challenge, now suddenly wants to deflect and be honest in the name of self-interest. And even when met with a backhand shot of disloyalty, Pharrell acts as if Robin Thicke is a victim because he’s just a white man in America trying to ride the wave of Black creativity to net wealth.
This is like Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake redux, but at least Damita Jo knew what the damn deal was.
I don’t know what planet Pharrell Williams lives on, but I wish he would jump on his big ass hat and ride himself back there and spare us all from another densely worded statement about race…
I was saying this yesterday. He’s saying everything in this article to try to get out of the law suits and it’s just not going to happen.
One of the troubling ideas that I see among photographers is that somehow when they are engaged in street photography, they have a “neutral gaze” where they simply “observe” and do not impact the surroundings. This myth is borrowed from colonialist mentality where the White Gaze is deemed a “neutral” one that can “observe” cultures through consumption, appropriation and exploitation, but that Gaze has no impact since they are not a part of the culture in question and thereby are “objective.” Such an “objectivity” rests on the illogical notion that one is “rational” if one is less informed and less experienced with the culture one gazes at. (It also rests upon a false notion that emotions and logic are completely divergent and raced/gendered.) It blatantly ignores the structural power that Whiteness affords. (In fact, see this great thread of people speaking on the colonialist gaze and Steve McCurry’s photograph of “Afghan Girl.”)
There is no neutral gaze. Our identities, privileges/oppressions, appearances and behaviors as photographers affect our experiences as photographers and as subjects. It affects how we interact with subjects and how subjects interact with us, period.
I’ve been out doing street photography and caught the eye of a White male photographer doing the same. We of course exchange the knowing photographer slight grin and keep moving. But let him walk by a group of men and ask to photograph them. The level of respect given to him and enthusiasm those men have is much different from those same men street harassing me if I don’t ask to photograph them or them assuming I have some sort of sexual interest in them if I do ask to photograph them.
There is no neutral gaze because there are no neutral identities. The idea that there is a neutral one rests upon White supremacy and how that creates the idea that White is “normal,” because of racism non-White is “not normal” and because of anti-Blackness Black is “not human.” And these particular politics cannot be ignored no matter how much complacency and ignorance some photographers have about people…yet they want to photograph people.
The fact that primarily cishet White male photographers give street photography “advice” to photographers yet never address how Black male photographers could experience police harassment or how women photographers, especially Black women, could experience street harassment, remains a problem. But let a cop harass a White male photographer, a man who would NEVER be harassed otherwise, and that’s the central focus of photography and harassment while doing street photography. Right.
There is no neutral gaze. There are no neutral experiences. There is no neutral identity.
When a white teenager named Steve Lohner was stopped by the police last month and refused to show his ID after carrying a loaded shotgun on the streets of Aurora, Colorado (the same city where a mass murderer killed 12 people and injured 70 others in a packed movie theater in July 2012), the teen walked away with nothing but a citation.
But when a 22-year-old black kid named John Crawford picked up a mere BB gun in a Walmart store in Dayton, Ohio last week, customers called the police, who then shot and killed him.
Here lies a racial disparity that’s difficult for honest people to ignore. How can black people openly carry a real gun when we can’t even pick up a BB gun in a store without arousing suspicion? The answer in America is that the Second Amendment doesn’t really apply to black people.