In the last few days in social media I have seen conversations about the experiences of multiracial/mixed people of colour and these conversations have often been framed by anti-Blackness including notions of “monoracial privilege” and the “White/Black binary.” At times, these conversations have been so incredibly cruel that perhaps I should have done more to avoid them (somewhat hard to on Twitter as these conversations have occurred even among “anti-racism activists” and “feminists”) because it does not really help for someone like me who deals with anxiety and deals with anti-Blackness daily where I live. On the one hand, many non-Black people of colour demand solidarity with Black people—often to the point where Black people’s deaths become rhetorical devices about “generic” “people of colour” being extrajudicially killed (when this is overwhelmingly a Black experience) and Black women are expected to just be mules to drag their signs written with concepts that Black women created—but on the other hand, they use anti-Black framing to articulate their identities and experiences, while also not holding White supremacy accountable for why these differences even matter in a way that creates hierarchical and intersecting oppressions.
I bit my tongue on this for a few days; several people even emailed me and asked me did I see all of this occur on Twitter. I did see. In fact, I’ve had this conversation at least annually since I’ve been on Twitter. I had a conversation about this with @dstrugg last year after they discussed some of these issues in their writing. I’ve had personal conversations with @Witchsistah about how painful this is. I have dealt with reprehensible anti-Blackness from multiracial/mixed people of colour (with light skinned privilege; I will come back to this point) and non-Black people of colour as a resident of South Florida. Whew. I’m acutely aware of and experienced in dealing with this hideousness. I usually avoid discussing this because it is very difficult and very painful for me. After I saw conversations like these—ones where anti-Blackness is used to construct myths about Black people “oppressing” multiracial/mixed people of colour—continue in the last few days and I had a brief conversation yesterday with @bad_dominicana and @tgirlinterruptd about them dealing with anti-Black non-Black people of colour who degrade Black people while using Black liberation ideologies, language and praxes for their own experiences (or basically separating the work from the people; I deal with this in my own life, people worshipping my work but degrading me the person, a Black woman), I had enough. Yesterday I tweeted:
Non-Black multiracial/mixed people of colour who speak of “monoracial” as a source of power and equate “White” and “Black” in terms of power are engaging in anti-Blackness. I see this a lot; multiracial/mixed people of colour will equate Black solidarity in response to White supremacy with White supremacy. It is Anti-Blackness on their part. Ultimately those multiracial/mixed people of colour are rejecting how anti-Blackness makes “monoracial” (as if it really exists) Black people the bottom. A Black girl in 4th grade with two Black parents is mean to you for being multiracial/mixed and you equate that with a non-mixed White person’s privilege? Nevermind that this same girl is dealing with colourism and stereotypes beyond perhaps the exoticism ones you get and is protecting herself.
What some multiracial/mixed people of colour like non-Black people of colour need to accept is that they’re occupying space with both experiencing oppression and are projecting anti-Blackness. To suggest two Black parents in a White supremacist society is “monoracial privilege” is anti-Blackness, ahistorical, and straight up VIOLENCE. To ascribe any racial privilege on a Black body, especially a dark one, juxtaposed to a light skinned multiracial/mixed person of colour is to lie. It is violence.
Now yep there’s experiences unique to being multiracial/mixed. But any “rejection” multiracial/mixed people feel from Black people is not “monoracial privilege.” Oppression multiracial/mixed people of colour face for being people of colour is not made by Black people. Black people reacting to multiracial/mixed people of colour being placed “higher” than Black people is not “oppressing” multiracial/mixed people of colour. If multiracial/mixed people of colour understand that oppressed people reacting to hierarchies made by White supremacy is not them “oppressing,” then they must apply this to Black people.
The reason multiracial/mixed people of colour—especially with one Black parent—are forced to “choose” connects to White supremacy, even if Black people ask them to choose. To deny the role of White supremacy in multiracial/mixed people of colour being expected to “choose” and just pretend “mean ol’ Black people” are making them choose is ahistorical.
Multiracial/mixed people of colour need space to discuss their experiences. But if that space is about anti-Blackness and not holding White supremacy accountable, that’s a NO. When they post anti-Black lies of “monoracial privilege” and ignore structural power in regards to the myth of the “White/Black binary,” I don’t go into their space. But you best believe in my space, we don’t fuck with any lies that suggest that the darkest poorest people on the planet “oppress” multiracial/mixed people of colour. Now, if the conversation is about mean interpersonal actions, fine. But you will NOT discuss power, privilege and oppression as “dark Black women were mean to me!”
The utterly reprehensible myth of the “White/Black binary” obscures structural power and penalizes Black people for the hypervisibility that White supremacy fosters. It suggests that by Whites choosing to make Black bodies ground zero for dehumanization and exist in direct opposition to Whiteness that it is then Black people who make such a focus on our bodies and lives happen, to the detriment of multiracial/mixed people of colour and non-Black people of colour. If racism discussions seem “focused” on Blackness, think about why that is. It is because Whiteness cannot exist without Blackness, period. If the “attention”—of extrajudicial killings, being deemed “unrapable,” several controlling images with centuries of legislative, social, and cultural penalties, cultural appropriation to a level of complete degradation, complete and utter dehumanization beyond oppression based on racism, xenophobia and ethnocentrism and a legacy of brutal slavery with repercussions that still impact Black lives today, which includes not even being able to be mentioned in the same breath with other genocides, if allowed mention at all—focused on the degradation of Black bodies is considered “power,” this consideration is active violence. Dehumanization through hypervisible degradation as punishment for Blackness is not “monoracial privilege” for Black people. It is active violence and anyone who suggests it is “privilege” is an accomplice in this violence.
Where was Rachel Jeantel’s “monoracial privilege” when Lolo Jones publicly degraded her during the most difficult time of her life, testifying in defense of Trayvon Martin’s life? How did “monoracial privilege” help Jordan Davis when Michael Dunn saw a “Black” child and did not care about his mother’s possibly racially mixed lineage? How does “monoracial privilege” work for people who are racially mixed but visually appear phenotypically less Eurocentric (i.e broad nose, full lips, coarse hair, brown eyes, dark skin) in a way that they will be degraded for because of the same colourism and anti-Blackness that privileges multiracial/mixed people of colour and non-Black people of colour with features viewed as more Eurocentric? How any person of colour could fix their mouth to say something so cruel, so ahistorical, so thoughtless and so incredibly violent as the suggestion of “monoracial privilege” for any people of colour, Black or otherwise—but most especially Black—is a violence and cruelty that is not just a product of White supremacy but IS White supremacy through and through. The only people who are privileged solely for their race are White. This is true even as Whiteness itself has transience to where once accepted into Whiteness (i.e. Irish people) privilege is ascribed, but even prior to that acceptance, those people still do not face dehumanization through anti-Blackness nor the racism that Black people experience. Further, proximity to Whiteness (i.e. for some non-Black people of colour) is privileged above Blackness. Rejection from Whiteness (as a source of power and social position) for a multiracial/mixed person of colour is not the work of Black people. It is the work of White supremacy.
I absolutely think that multiracial/mixed people of colour deserve the space to articulate unique experiences, identities and personal reflections just as any other marginalized people should have. This is really important because a sense of identity, belonging, social location and community matters, especially in the face of White supremacy. However, when this space becomes a place to deny the role that colourism, White passing or light skinned privilege and anti-Blackness has in terms of how they are received versus how Black people are received (and the latter can be multiracial/mixed without being light skinned or having one White parent, H/T @Blackamazon; then they get viewed as “Black” and told that they have “monoracial privilege,” which shows how ludicrous this construction is) that space reflects oppression against Black people. Black people protecting our psyches from White supremacist assaults via White supremacy, anti-Blackness, racism, White privilege, White passing privilege, light skinned privilege, Eurocentric beauty standards and colourism are not then “oppressing” multiracial/mixed people of colour when they reject them because of the privilege the latter posses over Black people, especially over Black people with dark skin and non-Eurocentric features. Can such a rejection hurt multiracial/mixed people of colour? Yes, of course. We individually have feelings and pains and experiences that hurt us. But even the way such rejection is spoken of is shaped by anti-Blackness. The “scary dark Sapphire” was so mean to the “delicate” “multiracial/mixed woman of colour” right? And the latter had no reply and did not flaunt her privilege in any way? Right. Notice when a White woman is not in the equation, the “delicate” narrative transports to whomever is closest to Whiteness. Now this doesn’t mean that both women in this scenario do not experience oppression. Both do.
But let’s be very clear about how anti-Blackness and colourism effects someone who looks like Viola Davis versus Michelle Obama versus Melissa Harris-Perry versus Mariah Carey. (Awareness of this difference is not “oppression olympics;” it is critical truth that is required in understanding intersecting oppressions.) If someone who looked like Viola did not want to interact with someone who looks like Mariah because of years of colourist abuse, she would not be then “oppressing” Mariah. Her prejudice (which is NOT racism) would be rooted in self-preservation, not notions of her own superiority and dominance because of how colourism functions. She would be protecting her psyche, even if she was individually mean about it. And if someone who looked like Mariah denied her own White passing privilege (and claimed someone who looks like Viola “oppresses” her) versus interrogating how White supremacy privileges her appearance, she would be engaging in anti-Blackness and facilitating existing oppression. This is how actual privilege works.
The myths of “monoracial privilege” and the “White/Black binary” are cruel ones that simultaneously oppress Black people while calling Black people oppressors. They are dangerous and are antithetical to any type of solidarity that could exist among people of colour in the face of White supremacy. These myths are White supremacy. They should be filed with other mythical forms of false privilege and oppression such as “dark skin privilege,” “fat privilege” for Black women versus White ones, “reverse racism,” “misandry,” “heterophobia,” and “cisphobia.” Anti-Blackness is why multiracial/mixed people of colour, especially with light skinned privilege, and non-Black people of colour could suggest that Black people are “oppressing” them through “monoracial privilege” and a “White/Black binary” when what they really mean is "how dare lowly Black people reject me? Can’t they see I am more attractive and closer to Whiteness than they are? ‘Even’ Black people don’t deal with the rejection that I am dealing with because they have each other, and that is ‘privilege’ because how dare people so low have something that I do not?" Nowhere in such a perspective is there accountability for their own anti-Blackness nor is there a serious deconstruction of White supremacy. It reveals a cruelty that makes the notion of solidarity distant and even laughable, let alone impossible. It’s a hypocrisy with too high a price. It is unfortunate, painful and oppressive, but a reality that cannot be silenced while chants for “PoC solidarity” remain loud.
Related Posts: How Non-Black People Use George Zimmerman’s Ethnicity As Absolution From Their Anti-Blackness, erasure of Black womanhood through generalizations from non-Black women [X]
this is a long and really great read. i’ve written about lying ass mixed white/Black folks and their antiblackness before, but i think this just puts so much stuff together in one place and is also written from a perspective that i cannot provide (of being Black, not mixed and accused of mono-racial privilege). i was gonna say something else but lol, it’s probably all there anyways and i just wanna admire Trudy.
Can we talk about the fact that a “gender neutral pronoun” can still misgender a trans woman since trans women receive multiple types of degendering, including a neutralizing, subtle, passive degendering and that neutral, subtle passive degendering still results in loss of resources, trauma, pain and discrimination?
That neutralizing subtle passive degendering is the most common form of liberal degendering trans women receive from so called progressives? Things like “woman identified”, “male bodied”, etc.
They is no different. Trans women are degendered so intensely, so commonly, as such a characteristic aspect of transmisogynistic societies and their very functions that you cannot ever assume “oh this is ok because it is neutral”
Third wave feminists tried to do that with “oh we accept all women we don’t need to specify trans women” and WE STILL GOT PUSHED OUT.
P.S. it’s super common for someone to find out that a trans woman is a trans woman and see others refer to her as she and see herself refer to herself as a girl and STILL CALL HER THEY. Three guesses what the fuck that is.
this is def true.
i wanted to add another wrinkle to this though.
which is that as a woman who’s pronouns are they/them/their — first of all they aren’t neutral ones, to me anyway, not inherently so.
the other thing is that i get the converse of this—in ~queer community~ circles when i tell people what my pronouns are they will either completely disregard my being a woman (a typical reaction to trans women) OR they will continue using she/her just to spite me, after being told and corrected multiple times.
I am a nurse. For 30 years of my career, I was a labor and delivery nurse. I took care of women through all stages of labor and through their delivery. Due to the many times that I have worked 16 hour shifts, I bonded with many women and helped them through long hours. Finally, through much work on the mom’s part with my guidance, she would be ready to deliver. In would sail the doctor, spend five minutes catching the baby, and then pose for all the pictures. I would hear from the families how wonderful he/she was.
Then why is my back killing me because I stood for two to three hours with a woman in a variety of positions including resting her foot on my shoulder while she pushed? Oh, and did I mention that she is also paralyzed from the waist down from the epidural, so I was also helping to hold her up while she squatted to push?
Why have I had to change my scrub clothes twice in a shift because someone either puked on me or amniotic fluid soaked everything?
Who is it that actually got that IV started while reassuring the poor mom?
Who is it that took the camera out of the daddy’s trembling hand and started taking family pictures because she knew that otherwise there would be no proof that he had even been in the room? And capturing the look of wonder on both parent’s faces at the same time.
Who is it that cleaned up every body fluid that can spew from a human, with a smile on her face and encouraging words for the mortified patient who has never been sick in front of a stranger in her life?
Who is it that tracked down the anesthesia people, chased them out of the lounge, and threatened them with their lives if they didn’t take care of her patient, NOW?
And when things didn’t go well, who was it that took that poor baby that didn’t make it, cleaned it up, dressed it, wrapped it in a soft blanket, and brought it to the broken-hearted parents to hold for the first and last time?
Oh, yeah, Dr. Marvelous is just great.
I’m just a nurse.
Nurses are so underappreciated, like, seriously guys. All of my best memories from hospitals as a child were because of nurses.
..I’ll never forget the first baby I caught as a student nurse because the doctor was out buying a magazine or something because the mom was “only 50 cents’ worth of dilated” and couldn’t possibly be ready to deliver for another three or four hours. Oh yeah.
Most doctors are wonderful. No question. But 90% of the people who take care of you in the hospital are the nurses.
Never badmouth nurses in my presence. I have the utmost respect for the nursing staff. The horrors you have to deal with are unspeakable and I am so in awe of your strength.
Okay, so, I was reading this lovely bit of meta, and it said something that left me thinking:
I desperately want to know more about Kate’s mom. She is an unknown variable, and as an Argent woman (who probably ‘married in,’ like Victoria)…
This, to me, seems somewhat illogical.
So now I’m thinking over these two fantastic pieces of meta on the TW Argent code and possible matrilineal marriage practices and how pre-werewolf Scott might actually have fit the bill for potential Argent sons-in-law, at least as so beautifully explained by Shadowknight1224.
Reblogging this again in light of the last episode, where Chris spoke with that huntress about Victoria. I’d need confirmation, but was it stated that Victoria belonged to the huntress’s family? It would certainly explain a lot of things.
SCIENCE HAS BEEN WRONG BEFORE AND IT WILL BE WRONG AGAIN. IF YOU FAIL TO ACKNOWLEDGE THAT SCIENCE IS AN ONGOING PURSUIT OF UNDERSTANDING THE WORLD AROUND US BASED ON THE INFORMATION AVAILABLE AND NOT AN IMMUTABLE OBJECTIVE TRUTH, YOU MAY HAVE MISSED THE PURPOSE OF SCIENCE COMPLETELY.
SCIENCE DOES NOT SUPPORT YOUR ESSENTIALISM BECAUSE IT’S NOT OBJECTIVE TRUTH, IT IS THE INTERSUBJECTIVE PURSUIT OF THE TRUTH.
ANY EPISTEMOLOGY PROFESSOR THAT HEARS YOU SPEAKING ABOUT OBJECTIVITY IN SCIENCE IS LEGALLY ALLOWED TO HURL A BOOK AT YOUR FACE AND REMIND YOU THAT OBJECTIVITY IS EMPIRICALLY IMPOSSIBLE.