sisters of resistance

anti-imperialist pro-vegan radical queer feminist hip-hop & grime revolutionaries.

Spock as Interplanetary Mixed-Race Muse — February 27, 2015

Spock as Interplanetary Mixed-Race Muse

RIP Leonard Nimoy. Thanks for inspiring us even us mixed kids to live long and prosper.

thenerdsofcolor

It seems that Spock and his mixed-species brethren and sistren haven’t served as multiracial muses only to me and fellow NOCClaire.  Even during the last year of its original television run, just a year after the landmark Loving v. Virginia Supreme Court case legalized all interracial marriage across the United States, Vulcan/human hybrid Spock spoke so much to a biracial black/white teenager in Los Angeles that she wrote to him, via a teen magazine, for advice, so moving that actor Leonard Nimoy wrote her back with a message of self-acceptance.

With Star Trek Week on The Nerds of Color coming to an end after an amazing week of posts both celebratory, critical, and somewhere in between, I wanted to introduce you to two artists of multiracial heritage who use Spock as a way to explore mixed-race identity in their work.

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“We must be concerned not merely about who murdered them…” — July 14, 2013
Why We Stand with Rachel Jeantel — June 28, 2013

Why We Stand with Rachel Jeantel

racheljeantel

Christina Coleman at the Global Grind has written an excellent article on the racism/classism that is skewing the portrayal of Rachel Jeantel and her testimony in the Trayvon Martin murder trial. Coleman writes:

“What white people see in Rachel has little to do about her own issues, and more to say about the America that white people are blind to.”

 

And Khadijah Costley White has written a moving open letter, published at Role / Reboot, that both recognizes and celebrates Rachel’s resistance while linking her treatment by the prosecution and the court to the legacy of intersecting racism and sexism experienced by black women in the US. She writes:

“You exemplify, in your girth, skin tone, language, and manner, a refusal to concede. You are a thousand Nat Turners, a quiet spring of rebellion, and some folks don’t know how to handle that.

In truth, you’re part of a long legacy of black women so often portrayed as the archetypal Bitch, piles of Sassafrasses, Mammies, and Jezebels easily dismissed, caricatured, and underestimated. For black women, in particular, being the bitch represents our historical exclusion from the cult of true womanhood, a theme traditionally bounded and defined by its contrast to white femininity. For some folks, being black and being a woman makes us less of both.

Don’t forget that in just the last few years, Fox News called the First Lady of the United States “Obama’s Baby Mama,” that a popular radio host referred to a group of college athletes as “nappy-headed hoes,” and that even a gold-medal Olympian wasn’t able to escape physical scrutiny and bodily criticism on the world stage. This rhetoric is bigger than you, older than you, deeper than you—it is not you.

(But you know that, already, don’t you?)”

Reblog: An Open Letter to Charles Ramsey — May 12, 2013

Reblog: An Open Letter to Charles Ramsey

Eris Zion Venia Dyson has written an open letter to Charles Ramsey, the man who helped to rescue Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus, and Michelle Knight from their imprisonment and sexual slavery in an Ohio house. The vitriolic racism and classism to which he was subjected after speaking out about his experience is well-documented, and we particularly appreciated Ms. Dyson’s response. An excerpt is below, and the link to the whole letter on her blog is at the bottom of the post.

“In plain speak, you said something so prolific. And I want to unpack the statement that you made:  “When a little, pretty white woman runs into the arms of a Black man you know something wrong.”

What does this statement mean in 2013? For me, it spoke volumes. It says: In America, we are taught to fear Black Men. They are assumed to be violent, angry, and  completely & utterly untrustworthy. This statement also says what we have always known to be true for this country: White women, specifically pretty white women have no business in the same space as Black men. For as long as we can remember American society has been the sustainer of white women and the slayer of Black men.”

Originally posted at her blog. Read the whole thing here.

Handy Reference Guide to Identifying Oppressive Silencing — March 18, 2012

Handy Reference Guide to Identifying Oppressive Silencing

To assist you in identifying and resisting dominant and unequal power relationships in your life, we’ve compiled a list of common phrases people in historically dominant roles have been conditioned to and may use to try to silence oppressed others, particularly when they perceive their dominance to be challenged.

The quotations below were used by men against women and are thus patriarchal; however, one could expect to find similar strategic dismissals and silencing of the accounts and concerns of people of color, working class and poor people, queer and LGBTQI people, young people, fat people, disabled people, and other marginalized folks in the discourses of those who discriminate against them. The simultaneous and intersecting nature of oppression is also considered here.

These strategies, and others we may have missed, can be found in any order, but from our experiences attempts to silence us commonly go something like this:

Assert authority
Question your knowledge/judgment
Delegitimize your response
Delegitimize you
Enforce dominant point of view
Shut down debate or conversation

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