Wednesday, February 27, 2013

[Sigh] How many times do we have to go over this?


No, no, NO. 

It is NEVER acceptable to refer to a child in this manner.  That goes double when it's a child of color, and especially when it's a Black girl.

No, I don't want to hear it.  No false equivalencies about how it's the same for anyone of any color.  The fact of the matter is that this country has a very long and very ugly and very violent history with regard to Black people, and with specific reference to this situation, with regard to Black girls.  Proprietary attitudes.  Overt [and covert] sexualization.  And those two combined into a toxic cesspool that regards Black girls' genitals as something simultaneously to be owned and feared, dominated and decimated. 

Yeah, I've heard all the excuses that Quvenzané Wallis was not the "target" to the tweet; that the actual "target" was the sexism of the Oscars, and more broadly, of Hollywood generally.  Right.  Tell that to the nine-year-old girl who has done less than nothing to deserve to be labeled thusly.  Perhaps the subtext was supposed to be a sarcastic attempt at criticizing the film industry, but the surface text did indeed target an innocent nine-year-old child.  Besides, if it takes that much explanation justification, it's an utter failure as sarcasm.  And don't even bring up "satire"; it's nothing of the sort.

Good for The Onion for recognizing that this was nothing but full-bore racism and misogyny, however tarted up by its defenders - and for apologizing unequivocally.  But there needs to be a come-to-Jesus meeting at HQ, discussing what is and is not acceptable behavior by those who tweet under its byline.  Now, maybe the industry and the Oscars - and swinish "comedians" like Seth McFarlane, who thought it was appropriate to link Miss Wallis to George Clooney as a future, albeit very young, sexual partner - could also follow suit.

Something else that needs to happen?  The men and especially the white men) who are so vigorously defending this piece of filth need to sit down and shut up for a while.  There's nothing to defend here.  time to close your mouths and your keyboards and open your eyes and ears for a while - who knows?  you might actually learn something that breaks through that ridiculously thick bubble of privilege that's been protecting you your whole life.  People like David Freedlander, who are sufficiently unaware (or sufficiently bigoted) to wonder aloud, ad nauseum, why The Onion would apologize - and sufficiently cowardly to couch their real objections behind weasel words.  Freedlander cites several uses by The Onion of the word in question, trying to draw yet another false equivalence, then asks:  

Was it that the insult was directed at child [sic], including one who was among the feel-good stories of otherwise dismal season [sic]?
Here's a tip, Freedlander:  You're not fooling anybody.  So why not just come right out and say what you so clearly wanted to say - i.e., "Was it because she's Black?"  Does that bother you?  If so, maybe you should think about why.  Because I would hope that anyone would be outraged at such a tweet directed at any young girl - but, yes, it does matter that this was directed at a Black girl, because the history is so much more weighted with murderous baggage.

Oh, and while we're on the subject of your piece:  A lot of us don't find that movie, made by well-off white New Yorkers who give every impression of engaging in both cultural appropriation and "slumming," to be a "feel-good stor[y]."  Perhaps you need to expand your pool of sources before reaching for blanket characterizations that offer your opinion as fact. 

I think, though, that the greatest criticism here has to be reserved for the women who defended this bit of racist misogyny.  There's a good or perhaps more accurately, especially bad) example of that here.  And then to wallow in whiny faux-victimhood when called on it?  Talk about whitesplaining.  


Ad yet another example why, Black History Month or no, Black President or no, there's no such thing as post-racial in this country.  Or post-sexist, either - even from women who should know better.

I'm disgusted.
Was it that the insult was directed at child, including one who was among the feel-good stories of otherwise dismal season? - See more at:
Was it that the insult was directed at child, including one who was among the feel-good stories of otherwise dismal season? - See more at:

Friday, February 22, 2013

A Passing Storm

Image copyright Wings, 2013; all rights reserved.

At least I hope it's a passing storm.

It's been a rough couple of weeks.  I finally have connectivity again (well, at the moment, anyway).  I also have several hundred (or more?) e-mails backed up.  If you've sent me something in the interim, I'll try to get to it.  Or not.  Nothing personal, but in my current state of mind, I make no promises about any of it.

I've had to have a lot of history dredged up lately.  No reason to go into detail now, although I may try to write some of it out of my system later.  Suffice to say that, among much else, family shit sucks, and it keeps coming back.  And back.  And back.

I've had to be reminded what it felt like to be the childhood me.  A piece of property.  Something to be struck at whim and will.  To be set up to fail, set up to be punished, set up to be abused.  Over.  And over.  And over.

And I've had to be reminded that, no matter what my life experience has been, well, no.  It didn't happen.  Because white people, men, academics say so.  They haven't lived in my skin - or any other like mine.  But because they prefer to think certain things that don't make them uncomfortable, they negate my experience.  Which means they negate my very existence.

Well, fuck your discomfort.  And fuck you, if you can't open your mind enough to admit of lives lived (survived) in ways outside your own.

Read this.  Then substitute "squaw" for "nigger" (although I've been called "nigger," too, among too many other ethnic slurs to list here), and see how it looks.  Then read this.  And imagine how it feels to be bullied not only at school every day, but by your own family. 

Internalize that for a while.

And then come back and tell me again why I should give a flying fuck about anyone else's "misconceptions" about what my daily lived experience has been.

Yeah.  That's what I thought.

I do what I've committed to doing.  Beyond that, I'll get to shit when I get to it.  If I get to it.

Sunday, February 17, 2013


Image copyright Wings; all rights reserved.

Gone four years this afternoon.  Immune-mediated thrombocytopenia and immune-mediated hemolytic anemia - a result of damage from the prescription medication Metacam, caught too late to save her.

We love you, baby girl.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Monday, February 4, 2013

As Promised: "New Day"

Image copyright Wings; all rights reserved.

As promised a couple of days ago, there's a new subseries at DK.  As part of navajo's New Day series, I'm writing a short Monday round-up of NDN news items that strike me as important somehow.  The first is here.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Stealing Indian Children for Fun and Profit. Well, Profit. And Racism.

Image copyright Wings, 2013; all rights reserved.

So today's post at the Great Orange Satan recounts the latest outrage in Indian Country:  The state of South Dakota is conspiring with white institutions and individuals to steal Indian children from their homes, families, cultures, and traditions, and placing them in white homes in willful violation of the Indian Child Welfare Act.
Racism, of course.  And profit.  
Read all about it here.  Then, on Monday, watch for news from the Lakota People's Law Project, and support their upcoming efforts.

Also on Monday morning, watch for something new from me on the NDN front at the GOS.