Stop Mourning Heather Heyer

dead

I’m sure this is being said elsewhere on the Internet and in far more articulate fashion than will follow here. But it’s probably being said by brown people, which means that white people are automatically not listening. Or lumping it in with existing statistics. Or, worse, sending their white tears and endless “thoughts and prayers”. I hope because I am mostly white and, therefore, live on mostly the same plane of existence and with the same level of comfortable isolation as the rest of you white folks, maybe you’ll be more willing to listen.

While I have been encouraged at the level of resistance and outrage expressed across the nation – and, indeed, around the globe – at the recent happenings in Charlottesville, the main rallying point, the death of Heather Heyer, is causing me quite a lot of frustration. Not because she did anything wrong; not because she was doing anything other than what a person of privilege should be doing – using her position to raise others up – not because what happened to her was anything other than a tragedy. But because it took the death of a white woman to finally rile people up and rouse them to action.

Continue reading “Stop Mourning Heather Heyer”

The Sugarcoated Language Of White Fragility

 

sugar coated donut

This article points out the many ways in which the discussion around discrimination caters to white people’s fear of not being in control. The way racism is coded in white society is like the layers of an onion. That’s why it needs constant scrutiny and vigilance against complacency.

Terms like “inclusion” and “white privilege” are designed to sneak past the racial stress triggers of White Fragility. They center Whiteness in a way that makes White people comfortable, while deflecting from the stressful realities of the racist harm that Whiteness causes. Imagine how many racial stress trigger alarm bells would go off if we were using words like “discrimination awareness” and “white undeserved advantages” instead.

Read the article here: The Sugarcoated Language Of White Fragility | HuffPost

The New Nazi Captain America Is the Hero That Bigoted Comic-Book Fans Deserve – Tablet Magazine

Some great stuff here about diversity in geekdom, especially comics.

In one of his final interviews, the late, great Dwayne McDuffie, comic writer and producer of such quality superhero cartoons as Justice League, introduced us to the “Rule of Three”: In popular entertainment, if there are three or more Black people in it, it is then labeled a “Black” product. And so, when McDuffie added four Black characters to the Justice League of America comic, fandom flipped out and began foaming that it was “statistically impossible” to have so many Black heroes on a superhero team, and that this was only a stunt to “fill quotas.” To which McDuffie wryly replied, “The quota arguments on fictional teams crack me up. Is someone losing a job here? Which fictional character is losing a job?”

via The New Nazi Captain America Is the Hero That Bigoted Comic-Book Fans Deserve – Tablet Magazine

White People Have No Place In Black Liberation. – RaceBaitR

This is probably not what you think. It’s probably much better and more challenging. White people will likely have a hard time embracing this on the first round. It’s worth the shakeup. This is just an excerpt. Read the whole thing.

The dilemma of what white people should do to address racism has the same exhausting function of racism, because this dilemma is racism. Because for white people “to do” anything means that whiteness must be centered in a way that would perpetuate its oppressive essentiality.

There is nothing redeeming or redeemable about whiteness—by definition. Only the radical negation of it is helpful or freeing. And it is not enough for us as Black people to encourage or allow white people to try their hand at addressing racism. It is necessary instead to adopt a politic of exclusion. This is to build upon Malcolm X’s claim in The Autobiography of Malcolm X that “Where the really sincere white people have got to do their ‘proving’ of themselves is not among the black victims, but out on the battle lines of where America’s racism really is,” (X, Haley 1964: 383–384) with the vital understanding that Black victims exist everywhere whiteness does.

via White People Have No Place In Black Liberation. – RaceBaitR

Class-splaining is just a symptom.

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Not only are there problems with empathy in terms of race and gender, but it seems anything outside of one’s experience is an excuse to put on a superior tone and lecture others. I understand that sometimes being an objective outsider can provide a fresh perspective. Yet that tends to be a different dynamic – participatory, supportive – from positioning oneself as omniscient and higher-caliber than the unwashed masses. Continue reading “Class-splaining is just a symptom.”

Thoughts on Diversity Part 2. Why Diversity is Difficult. — Tech Diversity Files

I should not still be shocked at the stories of offensive ignorance and outright discrimination that come out of the land of tech, not after my MA work and the interviews I conducted for my dissertation, or all the hours of reading and research. And yet I am. When Leslie Miley, as a guest on the Reply All podcast, described some of the things he has encountered as an African American man in Silicon Valley my jaw dropped. No, he was not not describing violence or outright threats, just shocking behaviour from superiors and coworkers.

Of course, I immediately paused the podcast and looked him up online. He’s left Google, Twitter, Apple, and other tech giants behind and is now Director of Engineering at Entelo. The company provides software solutions for recruitment. Although I’ve just discovered the man and the company, I am hoping that, based on his past experiences, their product and company philospohy include a focus on connecting with and retaining diverse candidates.

Since finding solutions that *work* for addressing the difficulties of increasing diversity is what my research is all about, having someone as accomplished as Mr. Miley working on the problem has gotten me very excited. I’m doing a quick re-blog of one of his posts on Medium to share his work with you and to make a big, fat bookmark for myself to have available for quick reference. Click the link at the end to read the complete article.

More links for Leslie Miley:

Twitter: @shaft (can’t say he’s without humour)

Q&A With The Black Twitter Engineer Who Left Over Diversity Problems

Thoughts on Diversity Part 2. Why Diversity is Difficult.
I am passionate about Twitter the service, and I love Twitter, the company. The opportunity to work on a product that is positively changing how African Americans are perceived in this country is humbling. Every day for almost three years, I have looked forward to making contributions to the platform that enables #BlackLivesMatter, and that amplifies the voices of #BlackTwitter.

That is why is the public commitment by Twitter to a measurable diversity goal is so important. In 2014 27% of African American, 25% of Hispanic Americans and 21% of Women use Twitter according to Pew. Only 3% of Engineering and Product at Twitter are African American/Hispanic and less than 15% are Women. This is why the work many people have done, and continue to do in diversity at Twitter is so important. They are indomitable, have the will, strength and courage to change the story of diversity at Twitter…

via Thoughts on Diversity Part 2. Why Diversity is Difficult. — Tech Diversity Files — Medium.

White, Male Privilege Illustrated

Swedish artist, Emanu, published a cartoon that perfectly illustrates white, male privilege. You can probably throw straight and cisgendered into the mix, as well.

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This post isn’t really about white, male privilege. There’s plenty about it in other posts on this site, as well as the website for my MA project. Nope, this is about tracking down the artist. Continue reading “White, Male Privilege Illustrated”