On May 8th, California congresswoman Rep Maxine Waters and Rep Mike Kelly of Pennsylvania had a rather uncomfortable exchange at a meeting of the House Committee on Financial Services.
Sparks flew, when Kelly addressed Waters in a way that devalued and diminished the importance of legislation put into place during Obamas administration, to protect consumers from racial discrimination by car loan providers.
Rep Kelly stated, “We are trying to make sure that we’re making America great every day and every way, the best way to do that is to stop talking about discrimination and start talking about the nation.” After his remarks he then yielded to the floor.
Visibly appalled and offended, Rep Waters immediately addressed Kelly asking him to not leave, stating: “Don’t tell me that we don’t understand,” she said. “That’s the attitude that’s been given towards women time and time again. Don’t you dare talk to me like that and think that somehow women don’t understand what goes on on the floors of automobile dealers.”
Chairman Tom McClintock attempted to redirect Waters remarks to him, however she asserted ,”I don’t appreciate that you did not interrupt him while he was making those outrageous remarks about him knowing more about discrimination than I know about discrimination. I resent that,” she said. “Having said that, I reserve the balance of my time and, no, I do not yield not one second to you.”
“I do not yield not one second to you!“
DROP THE MIC ON THEM REP WATERS!
My mother always told me, “if you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything.”
Watch Full Exchange Below:
It takes great resolve and resiliency to be one of the only African Americans on Capitol Hill, fighting for the rights and equitable treatment of minorities and women.
How inappropriate is it, for a man that has the benefit of white privilege, to suggest a conversation about an issue that he has NEVER and will never be affected by, be halted? Discrimination or prejudicial treatment is not his problem or his concern. Hence the reason why legislation that protects marginalized and disenfranchised groups of people are needed.
However, if anyone is able to go toe to toe with the good ol’ boys, it’s Rep Maxine Waters. She is the voice for the voiceless. A modern day Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King and Malcolm X.
Thanks for not yielding Mrs. Waters, not even 1 sec.
Something Doesn’t Sound White: The NMAAHC Hip Hop Curator Isn’t Black?!
There was a conversation on Twitter over whether Timothy Anne Burnside, who is an exhibit curator at the NMAAHC in the Hip Hop Section, should be allowed to work there to begin with. It’s no secret when it comes to certain white individuals who have infiltrated or stolen African American musical styles and have used them to make a profit.
From Elvis to Macklemore plenty of whites have appropriated our styles and record labels have controlled the narrative to make them more palatable than Black artist who are doing the exact same type of art.
Black Twitter was torn between this topic because Timothy seems to be a Black ally who supports the cause and is knowledgeable in the art which is the reason why she obtained the job.
However, the conversation becomes divided when it comes to people saying she should be allowed to be a curator because she’s a fly vs. a Black or Latinx person who’s knowledgeable in the subject matter should be the curator since that’s where the culture originated from.
Below are some tweets from the hellfire of this conversation.
THERE IS A WHITE WOMAN CURATING THE HIP HOP PART OF THE NMAAHC SMITHSONIAN?!?!?!?!?!?!? WHO LET THIS SHIT HAPPEN!?!?!
— Dj Possibly The Plug (@DjChubbESwagg) September 20, 2018
Whew chile, THE SUNKEN PLACE 😩 pic.twitter.com/4u0p0pZ96a
— Clarkisha Kent: Bisexual Woman of Diversity (@IWriteAllDay_) September 22, 2018
.@timothyanne Burnside HAS put maximum effort and time into preserving Black culture in the NMAAHC. Her work has been diligent AND with class and necessary resPEct. Support your local library it’ll make you understand the meaning of a true learning museum in this 21st Century
— Chuck D (@MrChuckD) April 11, 2018
The Hip Hop curator/specialist of @NMAAHC should be Black. Even the whole idea that a non-Black person can be qualified to speak on hip hop when the history is rooted in Black culture is laughable and disappointing. Alas, we don’t care that white people are always granted access.
— PrestonMitchum (@PrestonMitchum) September 22, 2018
The NMAAHC hip hop curator conversation reminds me that multiculturalism is a weird project. I think it’s important to note which groups are expected to be diverse and which groups aren’t.
— Janan (@jananamirah) September 21, 2018
A white ally shouldn’t be curating Black culture, especially when they can only reap benefits and none of the demonization we face from living in it.
I didn’t like it when the Brooklyn Museum hired a white curator for their Black exhibit. I don’t like it when the NMAAHC does it
— George M Johnson (@IamGMJohnson) September 21, 2018
The bigger issue with this is that many people are wondering was Timothy the best-qualified candidate for this position? Although she does have the “credentials” what makes her more qualified than a Black person with the same amount of knowledge?
Also, It’s funny how we’re able to find excuses to give to make it more “credible” for a white person to hold a position that should be held by a group of people who have been marginalized by their actions. This type of thinking is dangerous due to the fact that it gives white people access to spaces and positions that should be held by Black people or other person’s of color in their respective fields.
I’m not sure of everything Timothy does in her position but as an alleged ally to Black folks, I hope she uses her privilege to at least hire someone who’s background isn’t as privileged as hers to come in and have a chance at becoming a curator. Use your privilege to uplift the community instead of taking up space and holding it back.
This tweet by Twitter user FredTJoseph perfectly sums up what should be done for all the people who think about taking positions which should be held by the people who created the culture itself.
I don’t know the white woman curating the hip hop section in the NMAAHC, but I hear she is knowledgeable, respected, and an ally.
But question is, wouldn’t a true ally feel it’s not their place to take a role such as that?
As a straight male, I wouldn’t curate an LGBTQ exhibit.
— Frederick Joseph (@FredTJoseph) September 21, 2018
Let’s continue the conversation in the comments. Do you think people who are qualified should take positions away from those who are involved in the culture or do you think people within the culture should be the only ones allowed to maintain such positions of influence?
The Conflict Between Thick and Fat
In the last year or so, there has been a (re)emergence of the term “thicc.” On social media, it has been almost impossible to scroll through your timeline without someone being referred to as “thicc,” “thick,” or some other variation of the word. As celebrities like Rihanna, Nicki Minaj, and others began to gain weight, headlines began to circulate where writers were celebrating the celebrities’ “thickness” and not their fatness. It is for this reason that I have grown a strong disdain for the term “thicc/k” and am adamant about being clear in the fact that using the term “thicc/k” as a compliment while still actively denying fat people our humanity, our right to love, and proper medical care, housing, and jobs is anti-fat.
Mainstream—whereby I mean hegemonic—powers have created a dichotomy between “thicc/k” and “fat.” Anti-fat domination determines who gets to be the former and who is always understood as the latter. This is how desirability/beauty politics show up in our language. The reality is that these two terms are the same; thicc/k is fat, fat is thicc/k. How one defines and understands beauty is what informs their language around other people’s weight and appearance. Said again, how someone’s fatness sits on their body determines whether they are read as “thicc/k” or “fat,” and I posit that this plays a major role in anti-fat discrimination/oppression.
thicc/k is fat, fat is thicc/k
When discussing anti-fatness, people oftentimes reduce this form of oppression to discriminatory, brutal language—most notably referred to as “fat shaming.” Language does, in fact, play a role in anti-fat oppression. It is why, for the most part, fat people prefer terms like “thicc/k,” “big,” “big-boned” because “fat” has always been weaponized against us. Many fat people have anecdotal tales about the times we’ve experienced anti-fatness in the workplace, in school, in the medical field. However, anti-fatness does not begin and end with anecdote. In fact, anti-fatness’s reach extends far beyond the language that reinforces its existence. It is systemic. According to North American Association for the Study of Obesity (NAASO), in 1999, a 14-year-old girl by the name of Gina Score died due to anti-fat biases and prejudices. It is said that Gina, who had been part of a camp run and operated by military veterans, had been tasked with a 2.7-mile run. She fell on the ground, gasping for air. After four hours of her instructors laughing, drinking soda, and accusing Gina of faking, a doctor came and called for an ambulance immediately. Gina’s organs had failed. She had died. Just a few years prior, Canadian doctor and columnist, Kenneth Walker, wrote in a popular and well-cited newspaper column that “For their own good and for the good of the country, fat people should be locked up in prison camps.”
In a study performed by Steven L. Gortmaker and other scientists, it was proven that fat men were eleven percent (11%) less likely to marry and fat women were twenty percent (20%) less likely to marry. In 49 out of the 50 US states, it is legal to fire someone for no other reason than their fatness. In other words, unless a fat person is fired for being fat in Michigan—the only state with a law which protects people who are overweight—they can be fired and nothing can be done about it. Fat people—women and queer folks, specifically—are so often not given the space to discuss their histories with sexual abuse away from desire. We are met with “why would anyone want to rape you?” People read our bodies, be it consciously or not, as undesirable and, thus, do not understand what would compel someone to violate us sexually—even though rape is generally about engaging sex as an avenue through which one can maintain power over a person/place/thing. Herein is why we do not hear fat people’s #MeToo stories.
When Black Panther was released earlier this year, many people celebrated the casting of a “thicc/k” Winston Duke, who played leader of the Jabari Tribe, M’Baku. Folks wrote on the barriers someone of his stature would break in a film of Black Panther’s magnitude; many lusted after Duke on social media, noting his height and “massive thighs” as something they looked forward to seeing in the film. At one point, Winston Duke even went on record to thank Black women for helping him “heal” from the scars associated with his size. While I recognize that a Black man who towers at 6’4” with 250 pounds resting on his body likely does have a lot to heal from, I am more thoughtful of the many people whose weight does not rest so easily on their bodies. I am forced to think about the darkskin Black man who also towers at over 6’, but weighs 600 pounds, and how that leads to him being antagonized, and not celebrated, on social media. I am forced to think about Black women like Roxane Gay, who stands at 6’3” with over 400 pounds on her body. I am mindful of my own nonbinary body; a body that is 6’ and well over 250 pounds.
With our bodies in mind, I am unable to give as much thought to bodies like Winston Duke’s; the rest of the world will already do that. I am all-too-aware of the fact that this room which Winston Duke is given to discuss his insecurities with his size happens at the expense of fat people without his money, fame, or frame. It is this reality—a reality that dehumanizes and otherizes poor, darkskin, fat people—that would play a role in the murders of Michael Brown and Eric Garner. For darkskin Black people with fat bodies that are undesirable, we live knowing that we are at a higher risk of experiencing violence at the hands of the state.To assign language like “thicc/k” to what can otherwise be understood as fat is to manipulate the pleasure-economy under capitalism—by which I mean the actualizing of new structures in which we find pleasure. Click To Tweet
There is a particular currency in thickness that is not found in fatness. To assign language like “thicc/k” to what can otherwise be understood as fat is to manipulate the pleasure-economy under capitalism—by which I mean the actualizing of new structures in which we find pleasure. This is, as it stands, a way to specifically remove any ability to locate desire in a body that is outright fat and place it solely in bodies with weight that is “proportionate.” For those of us who will never be seen as anything other than fat, we are being told through this use of “thicc/k” that our cages, as Roxane Gay calls the body, are not desirable; that only a particular type of fatness is capable of being beautiful/desired/whole. Not just desirable in the sense of beauty, love, and sex, but desirable as it affects and pertains to our health, our education, our livelihoods.
So, Rihanna, Nicki Minaj and others assigned “thicc/k” as a label get to have others celebrate their weight gain—albeit, not void of misogynoir—while women and femmes like Roxane Gay, Jamal Lewis, and Ashleigh Shackelford continue to fight for bodies like theirs to be seen as valid. Winston Duke gets access to money and healing while boys and men like Mike Brown and Eric Garner meet death. This dichotomy is anti-fat. This is anti-fat violence, and it is this that makes the use of “thicc/k” anti-fat.
I am aware that, even after reading this, many people will not stop using the word “thicc/k.” Nevertheless, it is my hope that through this it is made clear that whatever desire someone locates in a body they deem “thicc/k,” what they find attractive really is fatness. We need to be honest about that to destigmatize fatness and fat people’s bodies. This is truly the difference between life and death.
To continue dissecting anti-fatness, both on a personal and structural basis, I suggest following these beautiful fat people with beautiful fat politics on Twitter:
Dear Black People: Don’t Be White People about the Current Immigration Policy
Let me start with a ‘NOT ALL WHITE PEOPLE,’ so you ignant n*ggas hear me…
A few days ago, I’m scrolling through Twitter, and I notice that someone has posted a screenshot of a Facebook post from some fool named Ivory Robinson, in which this fool implores black people to stay out of the current shit show that is the Trump administration’s policy to forcibly separate children from their parents who are seeking asylum (which means they are trying to leave some super terrible shit and end up here facing some more terrible shit) by crossing the border “illegally.” So, the parents go jail and then, presumably, back to the terrible shit they were attempting to escape from, and the children go to whatever baby prison is available, which could be as far away as New York or even my hometown, Baltimore.
When I saw this message, I thought, surely this must be one of those Russian bot accounts because I know black people, who were ruthlessly stripped from our African tribes and history and shipped all over these United States (and honestly still to this day, racial disparity exists in child welfare systems which makes black and Native American children more likely to be removed from their home, some of which is explained by high rates of poverty in these communities, you can read more information here); surely, black people are not on Beyoncé’s internet advocating for standing idly by while Trump’s bloodthirsty administration spearheads one of the most heinous and sociopathic endeavors since they killed Jesus. Black people, if no one else, have to feel some level of empathy because we, deep down in our DNA and collective memory, understand this type of pain.
And then, it happened. This young man in my real life, who prior to this conversation I thought was of reasonable intelligence, repeated, damn near verbatim what this other young man (presumably, because I don’t know how Ivory Robinson identifies) said in his Facebook post. I had to take a step back because the sheer stupidity of what he said literally took my breath away.
This young man, father to a 5-year old, said, “Man, Mexicans wasn’t jumping out to help when police were murdering us.”
I said, “Oh, well what did you do? Did you protest? Did you even vote?”
You can imagine what happened next – stumbling over words, something about Latinos appropriating the n-word, voting doesn’t matter anyway. Wooo chile, the stupidity.I need Black people to care, my spirit needs it, and not because we could be next, not because of other black immigrants in the diaspora that you can racially relate to. You need to care because they are got damn people. Click To Tweet
If you are one of these Black people who feel like this isn’t your fight, I don’t know what it will take to change your mind but let me offer this. First, several very smart people have put together quite a few examples of how our Latino brethren throughout history have stood as allies in the struggle. Use the search function on Twitter and educate yourself. Second, I would like to remind you that even though media are hyper-focused on placing brown faces on this tragedy, these policies have the potential to affect our Haitian, Jamaican, Guyanese, Bermudian, Nigerian, etc. brothers and sisters too. Check out Angela Rye’s podcast “On the One with Angela Rye,” episode title – DACA for Dummies released September 6, 2017 and educate yourself. Third, don’t let these mofos manipulate you. On that episode, Angela Rye plays snippets from an advertisement dating back to October 2012 meant to shape how black people view immigration. Ugh, I hate to even mention the Young Turks who are indeed trash dressed up as allies, however, this clip should be watched. I mean, it’s like what they did when they hired Bruce Carter, former Bernie staffer, to persuade black voters to support Trump or not vote at all.
And finally, n*gga, these are kids. On one hand, we, as marginalized people, have been daily traumatized by the Trump administration and their continuous assault on our freedoms. Believe me, I understand how it feels to be so righteously angry that you just want to see everything burned down to the ground. They make it so easy to forget your humanity, son. But we cannot turn into white people about this. We cannot wear our IDGAF jackets every day.
Side note: Black men, y’all, for real are going to get enough of caping for this white woman. Toure’ and Van Jones and all the rest of you looking for an angle to absolve Melania for her complicity in everything happening right now, up to and including, sliding her Slovenian arms into that jacket with that deplorable message spread across the back. Let us not forget Melania who can hardly speak English because she too is an immigrant was riding hard next to Trump when he started his “I need to see Obama’s birth certificate” campaign. She’s a terrible racist too, and she surely does not care anything about your black ass, which means, you have decided to trade in whatever credibility you have left with your core group of supporters for Melania “IDGAF about babies separated from their moms and dads” Trump. The shame.
Anyway, I need Black people to care, my spirit needs it, and not because we could be next, not because of other black immigrants in the diaspora that you can racially relate to, not because they want you to not care. You need to care because they are got damn people.
The day we turn into a white people about this shit, is the day they’ve won.
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