“Every miserable fool who has nothing at all of which he can be proud, adopts as a last resource pride in the nation to which he belongs; he is ready and happy to defend all its faults and follies tooth and nail, thus reimbursing himself for his [or her] own inferiority.”
― Arthur Schopenhauer, Essays and Aphorisms
BEHIND ART & POLITICS: WHERE DA BLK GRRLS AT?
A couple of days ago, I found myself moved by some political art featuring a series of images signifyin on the cruxificion. It featured an image on pedophila in the Vatican and child sex abuse in Thailand’s tourism industry. It featured tiny helpless looking children hung like Jesus on the backs of various male figures like a rogue gunman and Ronald McDonald signifying abuse at the hands of liberal gun laws and childhood obesity. After reveling in the brilliance of the arts, I noticed today there are no children of color, no girls of color apparent in the art work.
According to the National Council on Crime and Delinquency, Black girls in low-income communities often lack a sense of safety and attachment in their own homes and neighborhoods (Wordes and Nunez 2002). This lack of safe spaces is at the root of their need for self-protection. A study of girls enrolled in an alternative school for “delinquent” youths found that due to the level of hostility found in their social environment, personal aggression was ultimately seen as a necessary survival tool (Pugh-Lilly et al. 2001). Despite the tendency to protect themselves through verbal or physical aggression, Black females are ultimately more likely than others to have had experiences that meet the legal definition of rape; yet, they are significantly less likely than others to disclose such instances to the authorities. Particularly in comparison to whites, Black victims of sexual assault are much more likely to delay reporting such an offense (64 percent versus 36 percent; Wyatt 1992). Some believe this delay is due to the anticipation of an unsupportive response (Wyatt 1992). [Quoted from Black Girls in New York City Report; Jones-DeWeever, Institute for Women’s Policy Research].
IS THE COLOR OF YOUR POLITICS “THRIVING”?
On April 24th, I recorded a talk by Duke Professor Eduardo Bonilla-Silva on colorblind racism. It was led by his reaction to the Trayvon Martin case. I love his work. I love what this brown Puerto Rican brother is doing with his reputation and commitment to ending white superiority. His rich beautiful Puerto Rican inflected languaging of the playing field we are on helped me more deeply analyze how my own reflection and positions are bargains with white superiority and patriarchy. The problem of race is “structural” Bonilla-Silva always reminds us. “All whites participate in the game whether they like it or not. You always benefit from white supremacy.” I am exploring in my work how even those of us who ascend the ladders of these systems of practices cannot escape it. We are living in a racial democracy. A capitalist democracy where black girls have not been taught the kinds of economic or reproductive fitness to, in my words, “create a surplus of those things material and immaterial they can exchange in the way of ideas, goods, services, intangibles, and capital (human, social and monetary) that they need or will need to thrive as black women in a colorblind racist society. But I begin where I am. Here on my blog.
I am an endangered species
But I sing no victim’s song
I am a woman I am an artist
And I know where my voice belongs. — Dianne Reeves “Endangered Species”
THE ASK: TODAY’S KYRAOCITY
Please listen to the 48-minute lecture and the great Q&A which is less clearly audible. https://soundcloud.com/kyraocity/eduardo-bonilla-silva-at-baruch-college-0-48-00-qa
PLEASE TAKE A MOMENT TO REPLY. I PUT REAL EFFORT THESE DAYS INTO MAKING THIS OF VALUE. YOUR RESPONSE IS THE ONLY WAY I KNOW. YOUR ENGAGEMENT IS REQUESTED.