The Shot Glass Heard Around The World
In 1969, the Stonewall riots — precipitated when the NYPD burst into the famed gay bar and started being their usually abusive selves — defined the modern gay movement.
Among the first to physically resist the police was Marsha P. Johnson, the now infamous transgender rights activist who co-founded S.T.A.R. (Street Transgender Action Revolutionaries) with Sylvia Rivera in the ’70s.
At 1:20 in the morning on Saturday, June 28, 1969, four plainclothes police officers entered Stonewall Inn and announced “Police! We’re taking the place!"
Officers forced the customers to form into two lines divided by perceived gender and show them their genitals to confirm if it matched the gender on their identification card.
At some point during the raid, Marsha Johnson proclaimed, ‘I got my civil rights!' and then threw a shot glass into a mirror, adding on to the tension and creating an atmosphere of resistance. Some witnesses and historians believe her action is what instigated the riot.
Patrons began to refuse to produce their I.D. and police decided to arrest everyone still at the bar. Those who were not arrested gathered outside the bar and quickly drew a crowd of over 1,000 queers. As rumors spread through the crowd that those inside were being beaten by cops, they began throwing pennies, beer bottles and other items at police.
A drag queen who was shoved by an officer in front of the crowd responded by hitting him on the head with her purse as the crowd began to boo.
Soon after, an unidentified lesbian was hit on the head with a billy club after complaining that her handcuffs were too tight. She faced the bystanders and shouted, “Why don’t you guys do something?”
Police threw her into the back of a patrol wagons, at that point the crowd became a mob and collectively resisted the police.
Along with Sylvia Rivera, the two transgender revolutionaries created S.T.A.R. and STAR House in which they housed, fed and clothed homeless drag queens and trans* youth by hustling in the streets of NYC so that their children didn’t have to.
Marsha P. Johnson is often credited for inciting the Stonewall Riots, yet she receives close to no recognition by mainstream Gay Organizations and the queer community. I have no doubt that the erasure of Marsha’s participation in the riots and the Gay Liberation Movement is due to her being a black, transgender radical. Had she’d been a white gay cis-male, her name would be permanently embedded in every queer’s mind.
I know Marsha as a courageous queer revolutionary, a queen of Queens, a Stonewall Veteran, a dedicated activist, a mother of S.T.A.R. and a personal idol. She deserves more than anyone I know, to be recognized by the queer community.
In July 6, 1992, Johnson’s body was found floating in the Hudson River off the West Village Piers shortly after the 1992 Pride March. Friends of Johnson claims she was harassed near the spot where her body was found. The police disregarded this and ruled her death a suicide without any evidence. However, in November 2012, the NYPD re-opened the case.
Click here to watch “Pay It No Mind”, a documentary on Marsha P. Johnson.
white liberal queers shit themselves over Stonewall yet continue to ignore, attack, exclude, belittle, and engage in violence against trans* and queer POC, without which there would be no fucking Stonewall. Know your roots, queer is community.
Why I’m 110% done with identity politics and the policing of my identity as a black African immigrant
I’ve read and heard this at so many points on-and-off-line over the course of my life and I’m honestly just sick of it. “You’re not really American,” “you’re not really black,” “you’re not really Nigerian,” “you’re such an oreo" and the list goes on and on.
A few questions:
Why do we continue to fall over ourselves to make blackness into a set of fixed commodities while whiteness remains universal? Why are certain qualities which our society codes as “good” also coded as “white” thus making any black person who has those qualities an “oreo,” since blackness is fixed and cannot inhabit most spaces our society deems socially respectable? Why do we continue to use white supremacist tropes as our bases to parametrize and conceptualize our definitions of “blackness,” “Americanness,” etc.? Why is it so hard for people to understand that you can be black, American and African? Why?
It’s honestly baffling to me hearing again and again how I’m not really “black” (white supremacist identity politics which erase the diversity and multifacetedness of black people, while concurrently fixing and commodifying blackness into a single amalgamated entity that can be controlled and consumed, and elevating whiteness as unfixed and universal in turn) or really “American” (blatant xenophobia which polices the identities of all immigrants). I keep seeing this over and over again, and it’s shocking that people don’t realize that what they’re doing and saying is inherently white supremacist at the end of the day, along with all of their identity politics and identity policing along these lines.
In all honestly, I just feel so tired. And it’s pretty ridiculous to me that as an African I’m somehow “not black enough” for many people. Do people realize how absurd they sound when they say that? How has white supremacy taken us to this point where modern-day Africans are somehow not black while precolonial Africans [specifically those who fit Western capitalist conceptions of success and were “kings” and “queens,” etc. despite the fact that many of our societies didn’t adhere to Western political and capitalistic structures], and the descendants of slaves in the U.S. are the only ones who are “real” black people?
Is the cognitive dissonance not mind-boggling?
On Blackness in the US context
African-Americans make up about 92% of black people in America. Their struggles and achievements have made the presence of us 8% black immigrants possible in the first place. Far too many black immigrants are openly anti-black (specifically anti-African American) and spit in the face of this history, rather than giving African-Americans the respect they deserve. African-American culture lies at the heart of the black identity in the U.S., but with almost 10% of black people in America coming from different backgrounds and ethnic heritages and African immigrants now representing one of the fastest growing immigrant groups in the country, it’s also important that we realize that African-American culture is the heart but not the totality of all black cultures and identities in the U.S. Even African-American culture is not a singular identitiy, and this is a phenomenon which scholars have discussed in depth in works like “Disintegration: The Splintering of Black America”
So, at the end of the day, when we fall into identity politics and continue to reduce blackness into a singular entity in the U.S., not only is that inherently white supremacist and perpetuate the fixing and commodifying of black bodies, since white supremacy teaches us that black people can only be one thing while whiteness is universal, but there are also tremendous loses there as well. As I’ve discussed before:
[W]hen we fall back on identity policing and saying that people “act” and “sound” white, are “OREOs,” and are not “truly black” for whatever other bullshit reasons, not only do we reinforce and reinscribe the white supremacy that hurts us as all, but we deny the full richness and diversity of who we are as a people as well. And there is just such a tremendous loss when we deny that richness to ourselves.
We are a beautiful, dynamic, diverse and multifaceted people, and when we fall into this game of identity politics toward black immigrants, people who “sound white” etc., we deny that richness and make ourselves smaller as a people as well. The boxes white people have made for us do not define us, and we should embrace that richness, rather than trying to shirk away from it.
Follow me on Twitter @Black_in_Asia
In the wake of Trayvon Martin’s death [and Renisha McBride and Jonathan Ferrell], we’ve seen a lot of discussion of the larger societal issues that play into how and when people are perceived as criminals. There were hoodies, there were marches, and there were frank talks from parent to child about how to minimize the danger of being a young person of color. On the other side, there were justifications of George Zimmerman’s actions: a smear campaign against Martin’s character, and plenty of writers explaining that statistically, blacks are simply more dangerous to be around.
That framing ignores the realities behind the numbers. Here are five myths about crime and people of color.
via jane jeong trenka’s FB:
People, please stop making assumptions about how things are done or have been done in Korea. It is Korea — not the U.S., not a European country, not Australia — it is KOREA. Please ask for information, read it with an open mind, and then make…
preference isnt real ur racist
it’s that simple
not really that’s like saying that because someone might prefer pizza to a hamburger that they are disrespectful no it’s perfectly fine to have preferences but if you undermine people because your views contradict theirs, that’s when it’s not okay
human beings aren’t flavors of food you stupid fuck
So this post of mine went viral quickly which means of course my name, blog, and caption are long removed as if I never existed. However, I noticed that Tumblr (the company themselves) has ADDED the tag “food” to my post. That was not on my original post. “Fashion” was. And my tag “ruffled feathers" is something I use to allude to Twitter being involved in one of my posts that got heated or someone got their edges snatched. Long time tag on my blog. Not about food.
Sometimes popular posts get the blue hashtag added making it accessible to people who wouldn’t see it otherwise. They did the same for my recent essay on Janelle Monae’s “Ghetto Woman” with the tag “music” and a few other posts of mine.
There is no food presented in the image or the tweet above. Ultimately, this is them being disrespectful smartasses and trying to degrade this post and make insinuations about her body by relating it to food. Where is the word food used above? How is this about food and not fashion, The Golden Globes, body positivity, Black women, and/or social media?
what the FUCKWoooooooow
like they killed 50% of us and stole almost all of our sacred homelands and they stole the corpses of our loved ones to display in museums far away from their homes and they made it illegal to pass on our traditions and our language and they continue to steal our land as soon as…
I’m not here to educate some pale faced demons who don’t WANT to unlearn the fucked up shit they have been taught. It works for them so they not trying to do any better. I’m here for black folks and POC who aren’t anti black.
Mirai Nagasu (L) finished third at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships this weekend. She will not be participating in this year’s Winter Olympic Games. Former two-time champion Ashley Wagner (R) finished fourth. She will be going on to the Games. Traditionally, the top three finishers in an Olympic year comprise the U.S. squad. So what happened? Well:In a sport governed by the subjectivity of judging, reputation matters. Wagner’s experience could also prove pivotal to American medal hopes in a new team skating event in Sochi. “If you look at Ashley Wagner’s record and performance, she’s got the top credentials of any of our female athletes,”said Pat St. Peter, the president of U.S. Figure Skating. Wagner has also been heavily promoted by the skating association and NBC, which will broadcast the Sochi Games. With Lindsey Vonn out of the skiing competition with an injury, an absent Wagner would have left the United States — and the network — without another visible star and medal hopeful. Wagner, who lives in Aliso Viejo, Calif., also was one of the few athletes who had spoken publicly against antigay legislation passed in Russia ahead of the Olympics.
It’s also important to note that Nagasu was in Boston without a coach, meaning she had no advocate to fight on her behalf after this supremely unfair decision and she’s going through the appeals process mostly by herself.
Nagasu deserves to be on the team as much as Jason Brown (who also skated a flawless program for the men, but ALSO lacks intl. experience plus, doesn’t have a quad) deserves it.
"what happened?" lol as if we don’t fucking know what happened
there was a blonde white girl, that’s what happened
why is this even in question
figure skating is the most racist goddamn sport in America and the governing bodies will go out of their way for anybody they can push as the Great White Hope
whites will use their flat asses as a zamboni and they’ll still give them 50-11 chances and bend themselves into pretzels making excuses for them
POC can be flawless and they will find excuses to bench them, they sure dont want another Kristi Yamaguchi situation where the face of US excellence in the sport aint white
the establishment of this sport is garbage, always was and always will be
^ BOOM. there it is.
USFSA is also trying to claim that “oh god she has no coach she was so inconsistent”
but like fucking bullshit inconsistent how? She fucking beasted that shit. SHE DIDN’T FALL. OTHER THAN GOLD, THE REST OF THE TEAM FUCKING FELL.
this shit has never been pulled unless there’s been a fucking injury and the PERSON CHOSEN DIDN’T GET A CHANCE TO COMPETE.
What’s hilarious is people acting surprised. THIS IS SO COMMON IN EVERY PRETENTIOUS SPORT AND ART FIELD THERE IS.
Sports that are heavy with racism include but are not limited to: gymnastics—see how they tried Gabby Douglas? In the 90s for the US gymnastics team they were giving Dominique Dawes hell just for daring to be young, gifted, and Black but brought home gold every single time; figure skating (Yamaguchi was the face of U.S. figure skating for YEARS and they could not stand it at all as well as another East Asian girl in the same class—I think her name was Michelle Kwon I’m not sure), and ballroom dance and ballet.
Figure skating and dancesport/ballet have the same racist structure in that they want a white, blonde figurehead to represent their brand and team. Misty Copeland even spoke about the racism she faced coming into ballet at what was considered a “late” age to start becoming a pro-ballerina and turning into one of the most beautiful and highly sought solo artists in the field.
If you look deeper into other fields, the performing arts community is the same way, especially when it comes to professional orchestra. That community caters to a very specific clientele (old, white money) and you can imagine the type of hell Yo-Yo Ma gets for being one of the greatest cellists of our generation, when they really want the face of classical string music to be aged and white.
POC have always had to work three times as hard to get even a little recognition in these fields.
The reason white folks lose their minds is because unlike taking creative license in dramatizations and white-washing characters, they can’t hide their whitewashing as well because the evidence is clear that they’re being racist fucks.
"if you just:
• work hard;
• don’t make problems;
• get along with others;
• stay positive…
you’ll succeed, and excel, it’s not about race…”
yes, the fuck it is..
YES LET’S TALK ABOUT MICHELLE KWAN
MICHELLE KWAN IS FUCKING FLAWLESS.
SHE LITERALLY HOLDS THE RECORD FOR AMOUNT OF GOLD MEDALS WON IN ICE SKATING.
She SHOULD have gone to the Olympics in 1994 (she placed 2nd overall, after completely fucked up Tonya Harding took out Nancy Kerrigan with a rabid exboyfriend and a crowbar). But the USFSA was like “nope, Nancy Kerrigan should go even if she didnt’ compete at nationals because michelle kwan is only 14 and she’s never really handled international pressure and nancy probs would have won anyways.”
BUT DO THEY USE THAT SAME LOGIC HERE? FUCKING HELL NO. THEY SEND A 15 YEAR OLD WHITE GIRL IN HER FIRST YEAR OF SENIOR COMPETITION (she’s never actually competed internationally on the senior level) WHO FUCKING FELL ON HER ASS over an Asian woman. WHAT HAPPENED TO THE LOGIC?
And then they’re like “well this other white woman competed but we think she’s more consistent”
Consistent my ass. You can’t say that when Ashley Wagner fell on her ass and Mirai didn’t. There has never been any time in history where injury has NOT precluded competition to make a decision like this.
And Michelle Kwan like everbody always WANTED her to fail! She never really got a gold medal at the Olympics and all the commentators were like “OMFG HAHA MICHELLE KWAN CAN’T OLYMPICS GUESS SHE CHOKED” and it’s like no, she just got 1998 taken away by the fucking jumping bean Tara Lipinski (skinny white girl WITH NO ARTISTRY SORRY GO AWAY) and then in 2002 she had a huge thing with her coach (he got fired) and got third place because of it.
in 2006, she ALMOST pulled the strings to get on the team despite injury but even then was like “I don’t want to disgrace you guys” because mICHELLE DIDN’T FEEL COMFORTABLE WITH COMPETING INJURED AND TAKING AWAY US GLORY BECAUSE SHE’S A FUCKING QUEEN AND KNEW THAT SHE WOULD GET SHAT ON BY THE US MEDIA.
So…fuck you, everybody for saying that Michelle Kwan didn’t face shit either.
And fuck this business of saying “oh it was super in line with everything.”
Fucking hell no this shit is not ok.
Again, this makes me wanna give the fuck up and die.