vendredi 27 avril 2012

Why does it bother you when people call you...

black / white / yellow / red ?

You were never asked that question ?

I was.


So, I reply with an other question: "Why doesn't it bother you ?"

Why doesn't it bother you to be defined racially ?
Why doesn't it bother you, to be applied a color that isn't even a skin color, to be reduced to "that", to that racial object ?

Why doesn't it bother you to be taken away from your own self and reified ?

Why doesn't it bother you to be "proud of your race" ?

Because, it doesn't bother me at all, not at all, not to belong to a race.

Not at all.

Who said I must be racially defined ?
Who said it is an obligation ?

Is it not racists ?
First those that created races. Then those that inserted them in the laws. Then those that exploited them. Then those that expressed their race pride. Then those that continue to use those terms without even knowing what they are referring to.

jeudi 26 avril 2012

Denying your race. Renier votre race.

An amazing, extraordinay (really) and powerful speech by Walter Mosley. An appeal to "white people" to deny their "race" as a start to the deconstruction of racism.

Un discours extraordinaire (vraiment pas ordinaire) et puissant de Walter Mosley, auteur américain. Un appel aux "blancs" à renier leur "race" comme début de la fin du racisme...

Walter Mosley, Brooklyn Academy of Music, January 2011.

Blanc Noir Jaune Rouge

Pourquoi se faire des noeux au cerveau avec les mots que les racistes ont inventés?

Noir, blanc, jaune, rouge. 

Vous pouvez les retourner dans autant de sens que vous le souhaitez. Ils sont les boîtes dans lesquelles ils se sont mis et ont enfermés les autres.
Pour que nous oubliions notre commune humanité.

Ils les ont choisis, ces mots-ci, parce qu'ils avaient un sens (qui remontait à l'Europe du Moyen-Age).

Ils n'ont jamais été sensés définir QUI nous sommes mais CE QUE nous sommes supposés être dans LEURS esprits.

"CE QUE" parce que ce furent d'abord des mensonges, puis des définitions LEGALES. Dans les lois de la Virginie de la fin des années 1660 qui DECIDERENT que les Africains étaient "noirs" et *donc* esclaves pour toujours, et dans le Code Noir français qui établit exactement les mêmes choses.

ça fonctionne toujours, 300 ans plus tard, dans nos esprits.

Je comprends que les Afro-Américains (je considère qu'une référence géographique est plus juste qu'une référence raciale, elle s'applique à tous les Africains de la diaspora américaine) continuent à s'appeler "noirs" comme tentative de "posséder" la définition que ceux qui se sont appelés "blancs" leur avaient imposé.

Mais... cela ne change rien au fait que ces mots désignent des races et que les races sont les pierres de touche du racisme...

Posts to come - A venir, en préparation

"Qu'est-ce qu'ils sont beaux ces métis"

Les mystères de l'Egypte (et de l'Afrique !)

The Mysteries of Egypt (and Africa !)

The un-naturalness of race/ La race, ce n'est pas naturel

Whether you're black, white, yellow, green or purple...

La Haine due au racisme

Bandes dessinées, dessins animés ou comment apprendre la "race" aux enfants... et la rendre "normale"

Cartoons, comic strips or how to teach "race" to children... and make it seem "normal".

Le racisme, c'est quoi ?

What is racism ?

Usual/frequent reactions to pointing to racist elements / Réactions habituelles fréquentes à la dénonciation/désignation d'éléments racists.

Pourquoi ça te gêne qu'on dise que t'es ...

noir / noire / blanc /blanche / jaune / rouge ?

On ne vous a jamais dit ça ?

Moi, si.



Alors, ma question, c'est "Pourquoi ça ne vous gêne pas, vous ?"

Pourquoi ça ne vous gêne pas, qu'on vous définisse par la race ?
Pourquoi ça ne vous gêne pas, qu'on vous applique une couleur qui n'en est pas une, qu'on vous réduise à "ça", à cet objet racial ?

Pourquoi ça ne vous gêne pas qu'on vous prenne à vous-même, et qu'on vous réifie ?

Pourquoi ça ne vous gêne pas d'être "fier de votre race" ?

Parce que, moi, ça ne me gêne pas, mais alors, pas du tout, de ne pas appartenir à une race.

Pas du tout.

Qui a dit que je devais adhérer à la pensée raciale ?
Qui a dit que c'est une obligation ?

A part les racistes ?
D'abord ceux qui ont inventé les races. Puis ceux qui les ont mises dans les lois. Puis ceux qui les ont exploitées. Puis ceux qui s'en sont dits fiers. Puis ceux qui continuent à utiliser ces termes sans même savoir de quoi ils parlent.

mercredi 25 avril 2012

Le "noir et blanc" ou le paradoxe anti-raciste

Vous avez souvent vu ces images, par exemple, de chat noir et chat blanc lovés sur un coussin,

ou ces représentations en noir et blanc d'être humains stylisés, bien délimités par les "couleurs" noire et blanche.

Ces peintures en noir et blanc, faites de taches, ronds et points. De mains et de pieds. De têtes.

Ces photographies en noir et blanc, qui nient la couleur, la nature, pour représenter les deux extrêmes chromatiques, ces couleurs qui n'en sont pas:
le noir (absence de couleur)
et le blanc (toutes les couleurs du prisme ensemble).

N'est-il pas paradoxal que les couleurs de base de la théorie des races, soient aussi celles de l'anti-racisme "marketing", celui de l'image, de l'apparence lissée, moderne, artistique, de la simplicité explicative,

ou

de l'explication simpliste ?

Combattre le racisme par le racisme... 
Se rassurer dans la limite de nos possibilités ? de notre volonté ?
Rester prostrés aux confins de la simplicité ?

Comment le noir et le blanc, le blanc et le noir, pourraient-ils nous libérer de la pensée raciale, alors qu'ils en sont les paradigmes même ?

Comment espérer sortir des races en les assénant et les assumant encore plus clairement ?
Ou obscurément ?

Comment dire ensuite, qu'il n'y a ni noir, ni blanc, que des êtres de chair, de peau, d'yeux, de cheveux, de couleurs aussi variées qu'il y a de gènes ?

Comment dire ensuite, "non, tu te trompes, ils te trompent, je ne suis pas noir, je ne suis pas blanc, je suis pas noire, je ne suis pas blanche" ?

Face à la puissance de l'image manipulatrice.
Face à la manipulation de l'image toute puissante.
Face à l'imagination puissante de l'image.

Mélanine. 
Du beige claire au brun foncé.
                                                   Du bleu clair au brun foncé.
                                                                                                   Du blond clair au noir.

Ni noir, ni blanc. Ni blanc, ni noir. Ni blanche, ni noire. Ni noire, ni blanche.

trouvée ici http://collegeeugenedubois.wordpress.com/2011/03/23/le-racisme/
image trouvée sur une page web d'un collège

Pourquoi pas le rouge et le jaune ? Parce qu'ils ont compris.
Parce que le racisme n'a qu'un but, maintenir le blanc. Le noir.

Il faut réaffirmer notre être. Etre nous. Humanité.
Pas raffermir leur pensée.




mardi 24 avril 2012

More reflections on Makode Linde's cake


"Makode made the Culture Minister Liljeroth and her spectators laugh while cutting the cake, instead of showing empathy to the theme of FGM."

Did he ? Or did THEY laugh ? That is the problem. I asked him on his FB if there had been people leaving the room or not even entering it at all as a gesture of refusal to participate in the "performance". He replied that there had been all kinds of reactions, including one he said he "couldn't" describe (?). Now I can't see my post on his wall anymore.

"the black race that he also genetically belongs to".
He would if "race" had a genetic basis. It is dangerous to criticize pieces that have a racist aspect and at the same time not be careful about one's own representations...

But.... somehow I *think* (that's where my analysis of this has led me so far) that Makode's goal was not FGM, but rather to show "us" (and them ?) that racists are racists, ie that their racism makes them totally insensitive to its effects.

The "performance" appears like a "mise en abîme" (damn I don't know how to translate that) of the effects of racism, with a kind of cascading layering of reactions that reflect the multiplicity of possibilities, depending on one's background and knowledge. This is why the author of this article makes a difference between the African and the African-American reactions and also finds reasons to evoke Linde's own background.
The problem being, if Linde's goal was indeed to provoke that snapshot exposing the Whites' continuing racism, that he indeed did nothing "against" FGM.

But at the same time, it may have been a way of saying, "this is none of your business, let the Africans take care of it, you have put your nose in their business (their private parts) long enough, to the point of literally eating them up, and this has made things worse for them, not better, last time I noticed."

If that's what he has done, then it is interesting, but do they understand it ? That's the problem. But it is the problem with racism as a whole.
How do you make a racist aware of his/her racism ? Observers can see it, but the actor doesn't. That's exactly what that performance did, right ? A picture of that scene. So will the actors manage to step back to the observers' stance and see themselves being racist ?

Ce que le racisme fait. Fait faire. L'exemple du Congo.

L'histoire de l'arrivée des Européens au Congo, avec dans la tête l'idée qu'ils sont des êtres supérieurs, permettant de justifier l'exploitation de "l'autre". 


L'histoire du Congo a été particulièrement horrible du point de vue de l'exploitation justifiée par le racisme. Le roman de Joseph Conrad, "Heart of Darkness" dépeint l'horreur de ce que les Africains de cette région très riche (en ressources) ont subi.

vendredi 20 avril 2012

The Imposture of the Caucasian

How many people from the USA and the UK have ever traveled to the Caucasus ?

Oh, so few ? How come ? They're supposed to be Caucasians, right ? Why not go visit their ancestors' place ?

Oh, well, then maybe they know. They know that their ancestors actually have nothing to do with the Caucasus.

They know that the "Caucasian" is just another racist imposture, a lie and a voluntary confusion of facts.

The Caucasians were a people of warriors and horsemen, they have a recent history of fighting the northern invader, Russia. That's another "white" people, isn't it ? With plenty of racists there who despise the people of the Caucasus (the real Caucasians) and treat them like n...s... Yes !

The Caucasian women used to be the slaves that are pictured in the wonderful Harem paintings of the 18th century of the Ottoman Empire and the prostitutes that pleased the European man in the brothels of the Mediterranean in the same century.

In one the ideological twists that is the secret of racism, they were "admired" (as whores are) for the "brightness" of their skin and the "blush" on their cheeks. That's maybe why the racists thought "Caucasian" would be a good reference for "whiteness" (I still have to dig into that). Out of pure fantasy.

Most Caucasians are also Muslims (like the Chechens) or worship other deities, like the Sun. But that, Americans don't know. They allow the law to call them Caucasians. Without even knowing what it refers to.

That is a very strange way to build one's identity.

A racist cake by Makode Linde

This "thing", if not disgust, might bring discussion among people who know what they are talking about. 

That is the problem. What about those, (like the people in the room) who don't know a thing ?

Here is my take on this... 
It seems to me that Africans have been objectified enough so that one doesn't have to add another layer of it (in the form of cake and distasteful charcoal chocolate glazing). 

This is obviously not offensive to the "whites" in the room, they are obviously not laughing out of "embarrassment".

If only they could leave Sarah Baartman alone... Even after 150 years, they won't let her soul rest.

Also, it is yet another misconception from the west (even though the artist is "black") to think that excision is practiced only in Africa (as if it was something "reserved" for the black woman's body). It is also practiced in other countries. The art piece and artist may have as a goal to denounce excision, but in the end the accused will be the “black” man/ African / Muslim man (as always).

His performance deliberately concentrates racist representations... To "provoke", they say.

Sarah Baartman is the archetype of the African women being used, exploited, dissected, "eaten" up by white society at "tea time", for entertainment.

It is quite obvious, and if it is not, then it is part of the analysis of that art object... there obviously are references to other objects, and in that very case, the "Afromantics" the artist refers to cannot be without the very "character" of Sarah Baartman... the "invented" African woman at the period during which race-ism became racism and romanticism was at its peak. She was not representative of the average African woman and yet she became “her” in the eyes of Europeans.

Cuvier (a French naturalist) and others had her put in different jars, in particular her genitalia. As you preserve vegetables. Or herbs. Or medicine. As if they hoped that somehow they could later on get some kind of aphrodisiac out of it. It was already gravitating around the "private" (how private, right ?!) parts of the African woman.
It is still. To "preserve" it -they say-, again (African female genitals are very precious to the white man it seems). But now they are invited to eat it and they do...

The confusion and disturbance around this piece of "art" comes from the confusion it contains in itself.

It certainly hasn't achieve anything as far as female genital mutilation or racism. As yet.

Let's just hope discussions around it will bring up real arguments, discussions and elements of history that will not be dismissed with a "no repentance" 
instead of will to learn and take responsibility in the present.


I am not sure that most light-skinned people "can" (that is have enough knowledge and will, because "white" societies haven't taught them how to) really grasp what behind this. It is not going to be "a piece of cake", for sure, to turn around centuries of racist ideology with a such a piece of cake.

mercredi 4 avril 2012

Racial equality ?

Another oxymoron.

Race IS the tool of separation, alienation, classification, layering.

How can it be the epithet of equality ?

This is an un-achievable goal because it was never meant to be.

Race was meant to be a paradigm of in-equality.

Either there is race and inequality,

or

there is no race and equality.

Humanity. In all its diversity.

White, black, yellow, red


Why bother with the words the racists used ? 

White, black, yellow, red. 

You can turn them around as much as you want. They were boxes in which they put themselves and others. 

So that we forgot our common humanity. 

They chose them because they had a meaning that dated back to the European Middle Ages.

They were never meant to define "WHO" we are but "WHAT" we are supposed to be in THEIR minds. 

"WHAT" because these were first LIES and then LEGAL DEFINITIONS. In the Virginia laws of the late 1660s that DECIDED Africans were "blacks" and *therefore* slaves for generations and in the French "Le Code Noir" which stated the exact same thing. 
And it still works 300 years later, in our minds.


Now, I can understand that African-Americans (which I think is a more accurate political description) would continue to call themselves "black" as a way to "possess" the definition that those who called themselves "whites" imposed on them. 

But it doesn't change the fact that these words designate races and that races are the fundamentals of racism...

lundi 2 avril 2012

Racial justice ?

race

just

Can race be just ?

Can justice be racial ?

Race was invented to support injustice.

The injustice of the exploitation of "others" by Europeans was justified by race.

How can justice be racial ?

How can race be just ?

just

race ?


dimanche 1 avril 2012

Trayvon Martin, race and bullying in the USA

The fact that George Zimmermann hasn't been tried, not even arrested, 
that millions of people have protested it, 
that some portions of the American population are after Trayvon Martin's memory 
instead of after Zimmermann's wrongdoings and calling for the law to be applied says a lot about the state of things in the USA.


It is what we call "un dialogue de sourds" in French and looks very much like what happens in "bullying": the victim becomes the accused. 


Most African-Americans find it increasingly difficult to exchange with most European Americans because the latter never listen to the former.


They never listen because their thinking has been formatted so that they can't hear what "Blacks" say and have to say. 
They have been formatted to despise anything coming from their dark-skinned fellow-citizens. They are so sure of themselves that they accept even the most hideous lies from the most hideously racist portions of American society.


Zimmermann's defense has started as lies, continues in the form of lies, and will hopefully not end up as lies, because it would mean that the country and its laws have completely failed the victim. It would mean that they have helped the murderer look like a victim. That they have been manipulated into crushing the victim.


Is America really fighting against bullying ? Because this is bullying:
I beat you, I killed you, but you were looking for it, you were the one guilty of something, you were not trustworthy, and I will move the spotlight from me to you. 
You will be accused and you will have to defend yourself, even if you're already dead. 
You will even be accused of defending yourself. 
People will start losing trust in you. They won't be as confident anymore in the belief they had that you were an innocent child. 
They will start thinking maybe there was a reason ? Maybe HE did something. 



That is how Narcissistic Personality Disorder works. 

That is how individuals with a narcissistic personality disorder CRUSH their victims even after they are dead (often they have pushed them to suicide, and they kill them another time by destroying their personality in other people's eyes). 

What is a racist if not an extremely deranged person with an extremely high narcissistic image of him/herself ? 
Spreading destruction, self-hatred and lack of confidence around him/herself.