a (white) friend asked this in our friend server: "I'm writing poetry, this particular poem is very violent and loud, I'm writing in to shake the reader, make them feel yelled at. How okay is it to use the n word in an artistic setting such as this? Its my belief that its okay to use in this context but I want to get a more general consensus." i find thatd be disrespectful and dehumanizing, like its just using the oppression of black people as a prop and i dont think its okay but im not sure how to convey that well?? the only other people who have responded so far are white and one person even said that people are too hypersensitive now and ?? ugh.a bit of help would be appreciated. ;; also i am one of the few POC in the friend group (im nonblack though) and this feels gross and i want to make sure i can speak up where i can :<
It seems like this friend is just asking for controversy and thrives on negative attention. Either that of they’re very ignorant, insensitive, gross, racist...all of the adjectives. This is extremely disrespectful of them. They have no connection to these slurs and are just using them for shock value. You can add depth and send a message without littering the writing with slurs that have nothing to do with you as a white person / someone outside of the marginalized group.
If anyone even bothers to read the poem, they will earn all of the backlash for this willfully ignorant idea.
Commentary (see the replies for more)
It reminds me of using real child actors for the Cuties documentary or whatever it was called, just in the way of like..... There are many ways to communicate how bad something is without hurting the people involved. Casually involving these vulnerable (irt the subject matter) groups and putting them in the firing line to make a point is just carelessly neglectful at best and actively malicious at worst
You don't need to make a point about stranger danger by pulling out a knife and threatening someone with it, even if you're acting and stop before it "goes too far". You've already gone too far. Likewise, you don't need to make a point about pain by pulling out something that hurts people, even if you "don't mean it in a racist way, just to make a point" type thing...... Its too far
Not to reply three times lmfao but I'm thinking. Pains probably not the right word here to focus on, but you know. The intersection of slurs and being shaken and upset tends to be pain so that's why I say it
You can shake first-time readers without being a hateful shitheel.
It's not their place to use that word to shock people
what would even be the point in using an anti black slur in a poem that, as near as i can tell, has nothing to do with anti black racism?
there is literally no artistry in using a slur for shock value if you aren't a person targeted by it and making a statement about it?!? especially if the goal of the writing is to make the reader feel yelled at and targeted, literally all that would accomplish is making the piece specifically targeted at people who are *actually targeted by that slur* and why the hell would you want to do that
*orange is the new black intensifies*
"...and one person even said that people are too hypersensitive now." You can add gaslighting onto this blatant ignorance of wanting to use the "n" word to add flavor or whatever it is they are trying to do with this distasteful poem. What OP said is right and conveys exactly what needs to be said to that wannabe poet and whomever agrees with them.
Op, please show this post to your friend and make sure they read the commentary as well!
Yahoo! Voices: Willow Smith says she had to do her own hair at a 'high fashion photo shoot' because the stylist didn't know how
Yahoo! Voices: Willow Smith says she had to do her own hair at a 'high fashion photo shoot' because the stylist didn't know how.
Willow Smith said that she had to do her own hair at a "high fashion photoshoot."
Smith said that the person who was supposed to style her hair didn't know how to work with Black hair.
"I could tell they were extremely perturbed," she said.
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Willow Smith said that she did her own hair at a "high fashion photo shoot" because the hairstylist didn't know how to work with Black hair.
"All of the white models were getting their hair done and they all had somebody," Smith recalled during the latest episode of "Red Table Talk" on Facebook Watch, released on Wednesday.
She continued: "The person that was supposed to do my hair came, looked at it, and tried to do something to it, tried to touch it. I could tell they were extremely perturbed. I could tell that they were just like, 'I don't know what I'm doing.'"
The 20-year-old star said that the hairstylist's reaction motivated her to take matters into her own hands.
"That anxiety, looking at them in the mirror not knowing what to do with my head, made me feel like, 'I'm gonna take the reins on this,'" Smith said. "I basically did my own hair for that really high fashion shoot. That should never be happening."
Willow Smith on an episode of "Red Table Talk" released in September 2021. Red Table Talk/Facebook Watch
The "Transparent Soul" singer said that this wasn't the only time she encountered a person who was inexperienced regarding how to style Black hair.
"Even at another high fashion shoot for a completely different thing, I was in the room and they straight-up said, 'Is her hair just a little too difficult to do that specific thing?'" Smith said.
You ever avoid continuing a long stupid argument w someone bc you check their blog and realize they’re a troll? anyways
I keep trying to point out that there is no front-and-center mainstream representation for asian JEDI bc its JEDI that have ripped the most directly from asian culture. And you might bring up NON-JEDI or blink-and-you’ll-miss-it characters... but guess what, its basically non-existent representation.
Asians don’t get to be the star Jedi unless they’re in the background for two seconds or in an extended lore book hidden away. Which is frustrating.
The whole point was that it’s dumb that asians are allowed to play every other role in star wars EXCEPT the one that stole the most from their culture.
That’s why its great that Star Wars Visions is telling all-Jedi stories. because finally asians get to tell these stories from the perspectives of their own cultures, not from an outsider’s interpretation of it. AND bringing asian characters to the forefront of each episode.
Brits do not like deliberate misgendering of trans people in British media
Ofcom research has found that most Brits feel that “deliberate misgendering” of a trans person on TV would be considered highly offensive.
The research by Ofcom is used to calibrate what kind of content can be broadcast on British media outlets.
Deadnaming – using a person’s pre-transition identity – is considered to be particularly unjustifiable, because it is likely to have been done deliberately.
Participants found the hypothetical scenario of a presenter repeatedly misgendering a transgender guest less acceptable than if it had only happened once.
The use of slurs like “tr*anny”, “he-she”, “”sh*male” and “gender bender” was considered highly offensive by the respondents. Such use would require a clear and strong contextual justification when used in British media.
The study also shows that Britons are also becoming less tolerant of racism on TV.
The findings on attitudes towards trans people are important, as transphobia is driven more by feelings than facts or rational arguments. The fact that so many respondents sympathize with trans people who are misgendered tells us that it should be possible to get many of those who express transphobic opinions to change their meaning.
I will no longer be supporting the contents produced by the Penumbra Podcast.
Yes, I am a fan of color; Han Chinese, to be accurate. No, I do not feel reassured, comforted, nor placated by Kevin Vibert’s statement.
The podcast’s official Twitter has released an official statement on the creators’ response to the criticism they’ve received recently. In the statement, Kevin Vibert announced that the creative team intend to keep Ellison Estephan onboard as the official artist.
I’m going to repost my thread on Twitter under a read more because I’m too emotionally exhausted by the slew of disappointment, anger, disbelief, and tired acceptance of what has transpired in the past week. If you’re a white fan looking for a fan of color’s response to the statement so you can gage how appreciative or vitriolic you should react towards it, here it is. I hope you have a blast adding this post to you white-knighting speech.
It’s true that fans of color are not a monolith. But when the exodus of TPP supporters consist mostly of fans of color, it suggests that the issue is beyond INDIVIDUAL fans finding faults with Estephan’s designs.
While Vibert’s statement is no doubt carefully worded and makes valid points about online harassment and the difficulty of transparency for content creators, the choice to center the narrative around the creators’ mental well-being takes the focus away from the root of the issue, which is that a large amount of fans of color are hurt by the decision made MONTHS ago to hire Estephan as the official artist.
I am dismayed to know that the creators suffered disproportionate attacks for the decision. No one should have gone through what Vibert describes in the statement. But to highlight the mental ordeal and the financial losses of the creators and to portray the fans’ response as overwhelmingly toxic dismisses the legitimate critique of the hiring decision.
The reason why a sizable number of fans of color, myself included, chose to discontinue their support of the podcast was because they felt that their opinions, born from their own lived experiences, were dismissed in favor of an artist who made harmful artistic decisions. An artist who dismissed their harmful and offensive designs as “goofy,” who gave Alessandra a smile instead of a frown in lieu of improving their design, while artists of color are lambasted for depicting characters with features similar to their own.
I’ve seen fans of color painstakingly explain why Estephan’s designs are harmful, why Harley’s thread hurts fans rather than helps them, without once resorting to harmful, toxic language. It hurts to know that the statement will soon be used to discredit these voices. It’s disheartening to see the phrase “fans of color are not a monolith” used as an excuse to dismiss the feelings of people genuinely and legitimately offended by how their identities were portrayed by Estephan’s designs.
It’s very disappointing for me that an 12-page long statement ultimately tells fans of color two things: first, their beloved podcast team would prioritize the growth of one white artist who has done the barest minimum to improve their artistic choice; second, their civil attempts to communicate real, urgent issues in the fandom will be lumped together with senseless, disproportionate violence against the creators.
I intend to continue to support the fanworks put forth by fans of color, but I don’t think I can in good conscience continue to interact with the works put forth by this team.
Kin Coedel, Sky, 2016 from “Strange Flowers” in Earth Issue
“flowers are symbolic, cut flowers even more so.
Beauty felled in its prime. Taken without consent, their stems ripped from the earth, their connection to life severed, petals pulled and crushed underfoot. Just like George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and countless other innocent victims of racial injustice and police violence. “Strange flowers, blood on the streets” makes reference to Billie Holiday’s “Strange Fruit”, one of history’s most memorable protest songs written in 1939.”
so off the top of my head wrt anti-indigenous sentiments in later seasons we have specific examples in
8x03 heartache—right after the anti-asian racism of 8x02—where maya civilization as a whole is characterized as “bloodthirsty”;
9x13 the purge, which appropriated a peruvian legend and ended with an actual deportation of a peruvian woman (somebody wrote about more in depth but i can’t find the post rn. pls lmk if you know where it is);
in addition to the racism inherent in kaia’s character and her treatment (x) her introduction in s13 was also accompanied by the brutal murder of at least one other indigenous person;
14x16 is almost exactly the same as 1x02. from what i can find, the motw was created for the show, and takes elements from native american legends. generally anti-indigenous racism in spn looks like appropriation for the purpose of demonization of natives.
and of course the show itself is pushing a colonialist and white nationalistic narrative; genocide justified mainly by a good/evil dichotomy regarding the civilized/uncivilized; arcs about characters succumbing to their biological predisposition for violence; arcs about assimilation of the “monstrous”; this is a narrative searching for resolution of otherness where assimilation and death are the only options. this does not end after s1.
Image description: Supervillains clockwise from top left, Iron Man 1 (2008), The Boys TV (2020), Batman vs. Superman Dawn of Justice (2016), and Wonder Woman 1984 (2020). Please note the frequent use of Yellow Filter.
I decided to list all the times Muslim and Muslim background actors and/or characters (also referred to as SWANA and/or MENA, which stands for South West Asia and North Africa, and Middle East and North Africa) have been given the role of 'supervillain' in live action superhero movies.
Spoiler: it's a lot.
It's also more times than any Muslim actors have appeared as 'good guys' in a superhero movie which, obviously, is really bad typecasting and overt racism.
In chronological order:
Iron Man (2008)
The Ten Rings, a terrorist group made up of multiple MENA and Muslim groups, led by pantomime-level villain Raza (actor Faran Tahir), and also including actor Sayed Badreya among the supporting villains without names.
Sayed Badreya commented on being typecast and always killed in Hollywood movies in this GQ article: "I die in Iron Man," says Sayed Badreya. "I die in executive decision. I get shot by everyone." (x)
Batman vs Superman (2016)
From the theatrical cut of the movie we have an unnamed African 'General' and some rando mercenaries/terrorists that Lois Lane interviews in Nairomi, Africa, referred to only as "the desert" throughout.
All reference to the General's actual name are only available in an extended/deleted scene. So, all in all, a very shallow depiction of these characters and merely used as a prop for the Lex Luthor angle.
There is one baddie for the entire movie and he's played by Riz Ahmed, a British actor (just like the lead actor, Tom Hardy, is also British).
Riz Ahmed plays Carlton Drake, a somewhat stereotypical supervillain doctor who has basic and forgettable world domination goals for reasons.
Despite the fact Ahmed gives a great performance, and the fact that at least here is a MENA supervillain that isn't dressed or presented in any of the stereotypical ways these movies usually present MENA and Muslim supervillains, he is still a Muslim actor playing a one and done bad guy, and it's pretty two dimensional.
Technically he plays two supervillains in this movie, being the voice actor for his symbiote, Riot. He still dies, though.
The Boys (2019 - 2020)
Alright so The Boys is a TV show, but I have to give it an honorable mention for such a spectacularly racist depiction of a Muslim supervillain character, who is not only badly written but barely appears onscreen for more than a couple of minutes in total at the end of season 1 (2019) and the first couple of minutes of season 2 (2020).
See my post on Naqib here.
Wonder Woman 1984 (2020)
Arguably the most cartoonish and racist depiction of Arabs and Muslims as generic villains and baddies (since The Boys TV) with no motive other than to 'bomb stuff' for 'reasons', set against a generic White Savior narrative. (Yikes.)
I honestly don't think there is anything redeemable about this movie either, and I'm pleased it got fair drags from critics upon its release for multiple issues, not just the overt racism and Islamophobia. (x) (x)
But the fact that Warner Bros thought this racist depiction of Arabs and Muslims was okay to release in 2020 really says a lot about the racist state of Hollywood generally (but that's another post).
There we have it!
That is a full list of Muslim supervillains (and in the case of Venom, a supervillain played by a Muslim actor).
And sadly that's also it for Muslim character representation in live action superhero movies. They are all bad guys!
(Wow, who saw that coming /sarcasm.)
Read on for side notes, and how upcoming Disney Plus show Ms Marvel isn’t going to automatically fix this industry wide problem when it has its own casting problems:
Side note: there has been a fleeting glimpse of a nameless background character here and there, but only once in a movie and twice in TV shows.
A couple of fleeting glimpses from nameless extras hardly makes up for all the Muslim supervillains we've had to see over the years.
For example, it took Marvel/MCU/Disney 13 years to show any Muslim characters onscreen at all, from Iron Man in 2008 all the way up to Disney Plus show Falcon and Winter Soldier (2021). Please see my post about how badly Disney failed at good rep for these nameless extras.
Now, before anyone pipes up with 'but Disney Plus is bringing in Ms Marvel soon!', let me inform you that many of us are wary of and upset with Disney for their casting decisions, and many other problems to do with the Ms Marvel show (x) debuting in 2022.
One stand out problem is the casting choices which further perpetuates colorism.
Colorism means favoring white, light skinned, and western features in actors, therefore affecting the casting and depiction of SWANA, MENA, and Muslim characters, lending a distorted, white-washed, western, and Orientalist lens to SWANA and Muslim representation.
What we've seen so far with the Ms Marvel supporting cast (not the lead herself) is a cast made up of way too many non-Muslim and non-Pakistani actors to play Muslim and Pakistani characters.
Brown people are not interchangeable, yet studios (especially Disney) rely on the ignorance of western audiences to get away with this blatant colorism.
The Ms Marvel show also has light skinned, biracial, and even Christian actors cast to play monoracial, brown skinned, Muslim characters. That is not okay!
Yet of course, when it comes to the one character who will likely be the villain on the show (as he is in the comics, Kamran) the actor cast to play him, Rish Shah, is quite clearly darker skinned than say, Aramis Knight, also cast in the show to play another love interest to the lead, Kamala, and general good guy. This is colorism; brown skin = baddies, light skin = goodies.
Casting white and more western actors for the good guys, but brown and Muslim actors for the bad guys, is typical colorism and Islamophobia at play within the industry.
So, no: the Ms Marvel Disney Plus show won't 'fix' Islamophobia in superhero movies.
We still have a long way to go.
Have you spotted any Muslim, MENA, and SWANA characters in superhero media lately? Tell me!
why must women always be made to compete? even when we’re being murdered. all this fighting about ‘white victims versus black/indigenous victims’, while no attention is being paid to the common perpetrator in both scenarios: the men killing these women. why aren’t we paying attention to that instead?
and yes, gabby had white privilege. all white women do. the fact we experience misogyny doesn’t erase that. but you know what? it doesn’t protect us from sexist men killing and abusing us either.
we’re all still dying, left and right, and still we are focused on fighting each other, instead of our oppressors.
Remembering how vile and fucked up it was that my senior year of high school we had to take a government class and every student had to do a presentation on a “controversial” topic and show both sides to the argument and debate each other. Beyond fucked up that me, a closeted non-binary lesbian, and one of my best friends, a closeted pan trans man, had to sit there and listen to our peers - our friends even - say the nastiest homophobic and transphobic shit and if we showed any passion in our comebacks we would risk outting ourselves to people who were violently prejudiced. I had to listen to one of my best friends at the time say that she thought same sex adoption was immoral. I had to hear slurs left and right and the teacher didn’t even reprimand them beyond “don’t use that word in the classroom.” We had to listen to the most insane right wing rhetoric for an entire month, not to mention a metric shit ton of racist bullshit since all but one kid in my class wasn’t white.
We even took a political alignment test and lined up in the hallway according to our scores. He would read them off and our names and tell us where to stand! Do you know how fucking nerve-wracking it was to be one of only 3 kids out of a class of 25 on the leftist spectrum at all, watching people you are forced to interact with every day glare at you from where they were standing with scores that firmly put them in the Nazi range?? That class was living hell.
The Gabby Petito case makes in glaringly clear that supposed “intersectional” feminists truly don’t grasp the meaning of intersectionality. In the recent days I've seen a massive influx of people dismissing her case as a white, privlaged influencer who doesn’t deserve the amount of media coverage she’s been getting on account of the fact that black and indigenous women go missing every day without nearly the amount of outrage Gabby has been receiving. This is a case where I agree: the disparity between reactions of a white woman going missing versus the reaction of hundreds of thousands of WOC going missing is abysmal. However, Gabby’s privlage as a white person granted her national news coverage; it did NOT grant her immunity from male violence. In SPITE of all her privlage (wealthy, white) she still suffered under the injustices that women are forced to endure. Apologies if this isn't a comprehensible post. It’s just been surprising to see the amount of people attacking Gabby and failing to see the issue lies in racist media coverage AND male violence. Like there’s multiple actors at work here and I assure you Gabby isn’t the problem. Rest in peace sweet girl.
so many white people are alive
because we know how to control ourselves.
how many times have we died on a whim
wielded like gallows in their sun-shy hands?
here, standing in my own body, I say: next time
they murder us for the crime of their imaginations
i don't know what i'll do.
Danez Smith, “say it with your whole black mouth,” from Homie