Racism in action

I want you to go to this link, look at the illustrations from this book, and not flinch:

http://www.feministe.us/blog/archives/2008/04/25/i-guess-its-a-jungle-in-here-too-huh/

It’s hard, isn’t it? It’s appalling that somebody thought “hey, I know! It’s the 21st century! Let’s have a white character beating up a bunch of insanely stereotypical dark-skinned characters! We can portray the non-whites as savage, half naked, sexualized, violent, animalistic charicatures. It’ll be great!”

There’s been a lot of talk in the feminist blogging community for a long while (years) now about how white feminists just can’t seem to unpack their privilege and, essentially, stop being dicks. Moreover, this is a debate that’s been going on for decades, largely unheard. http://dearwhitefeminists.wordpress.com/update/ has some impassioned, frustrated stuff to say about the ongoing struggle, as does the comments section.

Images, and attitudes, like this are damaging to women as we struggle for equality and are damaging to all of us as human beings. I am sickened and disgusted by the idea that someone thought that images like those were appropriate. I am more sickened and disgusted by the fact that it didn’t occur to anybody involved with the book that those images might, just might, be hateful and wrong. The backpedaling and excuses involved with this book are also really really gross. “Well, they’re IRONIC. That makes it OK.” It’s not ironic, it’s hateful, and it’s diminishing, and it’s wrong and bad.

And this kind of stuff goes on all the time, and that’s hateful and wrong and bad and it should stop. And when people stand up and say “Hey, knock it off, this stuff is wrong and bad and hateful and stop. Just stop.” people need to actively listen to that and knock it off.

Basically, anyone who claims that racism isn’t an issue in the USA needs to look at those images and rethink that claim.

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Blog post copyright Brigid Keely Barjaktarevic. Originally posted at Words Words Words Art. If you enjoy this blog, check out my parenting blog at Now Showing!.

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