Monday, December 31, 2012

Stereotypes: The Good POC vs. the Bad POC

ster·e·o·type [ster-ee-uh-tahyp, steer-] noun,verb, ster·e·o·typed, ster·e·o·typ·ing.
Sociology a simplified and standardized conception or image invested with special meaning and held in common by members of a group (taken from dictionary.com).

Stereotypes often put people of color into an awkward position of needing to overcome these stereotypes and a feeling of self-consciousness that white people have the privilege of not having to worry about.  A black person may feel self conscious just by having to make a choice between chicken and beef, and may simply choose the beef just because he may think he is perpetuating the stereotype mentioned in the horrible meme above.

In reality, stereotypes do appear in people of color and many are ashamed of it but really stereotypes are just a tool used by whiteness to split POC groups.  It pits the non-stereotypical POC against those who exhibit the stereotype of unwanted qualities.  It's all leading to the idea of assimilation and the need for POC to become more white in behavior and culture.

An example of the "Good POC vs. the BAD POC" is if you've ever heard the microaggression, "You're not like a typical ___ person" or "It's like you're not even ____" or some variation of it.  It means that you exhibited qualities that they deem fit to be in their presence when they would not enjoy spending time with anyone who looks like you because they exhibit unwanted characteristics.  Essentially, they're a racist.

It's a fight for assimilation and to assimilate means to be elevated and accepted by our oppressors but in reality we shouldn't be fighting against certain stereotypes but for people to embrace them as to not create this rift between groups of people.  And then stand up against the oppressors together.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Why you can't be racist toward White People

Source
Whenever this topic comes up, white people and people of color alike get all up in arms about equality and being respectful, but racism is exactly as the infographic above states.  Most people see racism as someone simply calling someone names but racism lies within the power structure that backs up those words.

For example, if I call a white guy a "cracker".  Other than maybe getting his feelings hurt, there's nothing else that harms him.  I called him a name but what other effects does it have?  None.

But, if someone calls an undocumented immigrant an "illegal", there is a lot of power behind that word.  It upholds a system where this person is a criminal, doesn't belong and is all around a bad person.  And the use of this word can and has influenced people to hate them, discriminating against undocumented immigrants and creating laws and legislation to get rid of them and doing anything they can to prevent these people from succeeding.

The word holds so much power and influence, there is no way one can compare it to cracker.  I have no power to take away from this white person, but this white person has all the power in the world to make my life as difficult as it can be.  This is what racism is.  It's power combined with prejudice.

This is why reverse racism is a myth.  My words and actions cannot touch the power system that you have in place.  This is why affirmative action is so frowned upon.  It disrupts the system that allows whites to succeed over groups of color, threatening the power structure that they hold.