jennifergearing: photo of jen looking at the camera (Default)
[personal profile] jennifergearing
Chally recently posted at Feministe about her experience of a racist comment in the classroom when she was in highschool. She didn't recount the comment in question, but she did go through some details of the aftermath.

This brought back to me a news report I heard on the radio recently about the recent furor in the Rugby League NSW State of Origin team camp when player Timana Tahu walked out and quit the side for the second game of the series after assistant coach Andrew Johns made a racist remark about Qld player Glen Inglis. It was reported without specifying what Johns said in the report I heard on TripleJ.

I recall being quite impressed with JJJ for not giving details of the remark, though I am unsurprised other news outlets have reported the specifics.

The reason I was impressed with the JJJ reporting, seems connected, to me, to the comment thread in response to Chally's post. There are a number of comments, from folks who afaik identify as white, who seem quite insistent on knowing what the comment that Chally's teacher made was. I can't help but wonder, if Chally did specify the comment, how many people would be commenting about whether the comment was racist, or 'racist enough' to warrant Chally's reaction to it.

And suddenly, I'm reminded of a comment thread some time ago, where, to be honest I can't even remember the post topic, but the thread ended up being about whether PoC was a valid term to use to describe PoC/non-white/racial minorities in Australia. The thread resulted in me staying the hell away from blog comments for a good 3-6 months. The best way I could describe it was a bunch of whitefolks having an abstract discussion about what racial minorities should call themselves. I remember commenting about feeling like a unicorn amongst all the white people talking about how their non-white friends never described themselves as PoC; and I remember talking about the reasons I use it and the reasons some of the people I know use it as a sign of alliances. I remember one white woman in the thread leaping on the comments of another non-white woman who talked about not liking it much, and pretty much ignoring my comments. I do recall one of the blog owners called her out on that, but I don't think it was responded to.

That comment thread made me feel like some kind of science project under a microscope; being poked and proded and talked about. It was dehumanising and hurtful. The fact that this same white woman, some months later, came back to the blog in question and participated in a round of discussion about feeling 'unsafe' at that particular blog caused my blood pressure, and my desire to set things on fire, to spike to an all time high.

That's why I completely understand that Chally didn't specify her teacher's comment, though there are a number of reasons why she may have chosen not to do so, and I don't presume to know what they are. Because I have no doubt in my mind that the comments would've included multiple discussions of how, 'objectively', the comment wasn't racist, or okay, it was racist, but it wasn't 'racist enough' to warrant Chally leaving the class. And why I wouldn't be surprised if there are discussions going on right now about whether Andrew Johns' comments were 'racist enough' to justify Tamina Tahu walking out on the NSW team; whether he should put his career before his 'sensitivity' when what we're talking about is him seemingly put a position between his career and having to sit through comments that disparage his humanity as some kind of motivation to do his job competitively.

This is why racial minorities have closed communities. This is why one of the unspoken rules is that intra-POC discussions are locked, to avoid white folks playing 'gotcha' and 'lookit the racist PoC' as much as possible. I am tired of being a science project. I am tired of whitefolks having 'objective', abstract discussions about the realities of my life and the lives of people I care about.

on 2010-06-14 04:55 am (UTC)
minna: a triceratops head in bright blue and black (Default)
Posted by [personal profile] minna
I remember that whole blog drama, and it was SO SURREAL. Like her screen had a magical bug that made everything you said disappear or something.

I understand and often share that curiosity in those situations (which is mostly about my own epic obliviousness to subtlety and wanting to make sure I'm doing the same shitty thing but nobody fucking owes me an education, especially not when they're already recounting something that was personally painful and especially not when sharing the particulars leads to such massive mountains of bullshit. Talk about epic fucking entitlement.

WHY THEY GOTTA FAIL AT 101 SHIT :( WHY :( :(

(yay you're writing again yaaay \o/)

on 2010-06-14 05:07 am (UTC)
lauredhel: two cats sleeping nose to tail, making a perfect circle. (Default)
Posted by [personal profile] lauredhel
Sometimes I wonder if I'm doing something in the blog backend that makes some people's comments magically invisible only to certain other people.

Then I realise, no.

on 2010-06-14 05:15 am (UTC)
lauredhel: two cats sleeping nose to tail, making a perfect circle. (Default)
Posted by [personal profile] lauredhel
Why no! *imagines making all my comments invisible to certain folks...*

on 2010-06-15 08:20 am (UTC)
trouble: Sketch of Hermoine from Harry Potter with "Bookworms will rule the world (after we finish the background reading)" on it (Default)
Posted by [personal profile] trouble
Depending on what your web browser is, there are things that will do that. I never see Certain People's comments. And I'm happier because of that.

on 2010-06-15 10:18 am (UTC)
trouble: Sketch of Hermoine from Harry Potter with "Bookworms will rule the world (after we finish the background reading)" on it (Default)
Posted by [personal profile] trouble
Yes! The ...whatchamacallit things for FF - extensions? There's one called KillFile.

on 2010-06-14 05:23 am (UTC)
minna: a triceratops head in bright blue and black (Default)
Posted by [personal profile] minna
Yay for noobs remembering that self educating noobs are the best noobs \o/

Did I tell you I came across a quote a while back, "the squirrel killed in jest dies in earnest"? I LOVE IT A LOT.

But yeah. Even with the loud rants I will go on about how much I hate the term 'concern troll', I'll happily admit that this is one of those times it 100% fits :(

on 2010-06-14 05:32 am (UTC)
minna: a triceratops head in bright blue and black (Default)
Posted by [personal profile] minna
ALSO WOULD YOU LIKE TO BORROW A KITTEN

I UNDERSTAND KITTEN SNUGGLES ARE AN EXCELLENT REMEDY FOR JERKWAD EXPOSURE

on 2010-06-14 06:24 am (UTC)
minna: a triceratops head in bright blue and black (Default)
Posted by [personal profile] minna
I DO NOT FORSEE ANY ISSUES WITH THIS PLAN \o/

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jennifergearing

May 2011

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About Jen

A 20-something fat, queer woman of colour living in Australia.

Reading: Fond of speculative and YA fiction, social justice theory in various forms. Would love to see more rounded fat/queer/female/of colour (and multiples of the above) characters in fiction.

Writing: Sometimes blogs at Hoyden About Town, dabbles in fiction now and then, hoping to find her creativity again.

Watching: Fond of sci-fi/fantasy television, with a strange weakness for cop shows. Would love to see more rounded fat/queer/female/of colour (and multiples of the above) characters on television.