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Leave us out of your oppression narratives.

Andrew Yang just said anti-Asian racism is more acceptable than anti-Blackness, and that the consequences of being anti-Black are more immediate and clear…and in the same thread says “I forgive Shane” in a way that no Black person would forgive someone for saying the n-word

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Shane Gillis, SNL’s newest castmember, thinks Asian jokes and stereotypes are funny. I assume he thinks they’re funny, because he’s a comedian and he says they’re jokes, but I kept looking for a punchline and couldn’t find any.

Here’s a video from his podcast with another unremarkable, unfunny white guy.

Here’s another video from the same podcast with the unremarkable, unfunny white guy.

Here’s a video from some podcast with a larger group of unremarkable, unfunny white guys.

Here’s audio from…a podcast with an unremarkable, unfunny white guy.

Shane Gillis has a problem with Asians, but if you’re sincerely offended, then you’re probably a crybaby who gets triggered at everything. Those aren’t his exact words, but that’s the subtext of his “apology” in attempt to keep his new job on SNL that he never should’ve gotten in the first place because he’s — wait for it — just another unremarkable, unfunny white guy.

You would be right to assume that a story this close to the top of mainstream pop culture consciousness would draw attention from one of the most high profile Asian public figures in the country right now, the only Asian man running for President. You may also assume that Andrew Yang would give a balanced, nuanced, heartfelt critique of the situation, and if you’re one of the dudebros being courted by Andrew Yang’s never-ending performance of The Cool Asian, you probably love everything he had to say about Shane Gillis.

Shane – I prefer comedy that makes people think and doesn’t take cheap shots. But I’m happy to sit down and talk with you if you’d like.

For the record, I do not think he should lose his job. We would benefit from being more forgiving rather than punitive. We are all human.

I’ve been called chink and gook any number of times in my life. It can be extraordinarily hurtful to feel like you are somehow not part of the only country you have ever known. I have certainly felt that – the churning sense of alienation, anger and marginalization.

It’s also the case that anti-Asian racism is particularly virulent because it’s somehow considered more acceptable. If Shane had used the n word the treatment would likely be immediate and clear.

But I took the time to watch and listen to Shane’s work. He does not strike me as malignant or evil. He strikes me as a still-forming comedian from central Pennsylvania who made some terrible and insensitive jokes and comments.

I think we have, as a society, become excessively punitive and vindictive concerning people’s statements and expressions we disagree with or find offensive. I don’t think people should be losing jobs unless it’s truly beyond the pale and egregious.

I understand those who have another point of view on this. Obviously the folks at NBC are the real decision-makers. But if I can forgive Shane, as the guy he called a slur, I hope others can as well. I also hope Shane is open to learning. We are all human, we’re all fallible. 👍

(Twitter: Andrew Yang)

Read that again closely. Andrew Yang just said anti-Asian racism is more acceptable than anti-Blackness, and that the consequences of being anti-Black are more immediate and clear…and in the same thread says “I forgive Shane” in a way that no Black person would forgive someone for saying the n-word.

Pick. A lane, sir.

You can either be mad that the outrage over an Asian slur isn’t as widespread OR you can forgive people for using Asian slurs. You don’t get to point out that people aren’t outraged enough while you yourself aren’t upset enough to want the guy fired. “Why don’t y’all care about this issue more than I do?” is such a non-argument and it feels like a gratuitous shot at Black people for no reason. I’m not saying Andrew Yang is anti-Black, because I don’t pay enough attention to him to know that, but what I am saying is other marginalized communities love to compare their struggles to the struggles of Black people because we’re the loudest.

Every community has the right to highlight their narrative, but bringing Black people into your conversations about how YOUR community has been treated in contrast to US neither furthers YOUR cause nor builds allies with US. Black people have the most experience pushing against oppression in the United States. Instead of saying “well, if it was offensive to Black people instead, everybody would be more upset…” why not try “how would Black people respond to this situation?”

It probably ain’t “I forgive him.”

I’m so tired of Andrew Yang y’all. He wants so badly to walk on both sides of the fence, appealing to dudebros by being the Cool Asian and appealing to POC by highlighting his background. His courting of the Dudebro Voting Bloc keeps winning tho, right down this irrelevant aside about Black people.

Leave us alone. We want the guy fired more than you do. Maybe try genuinely tapping into your own feelings as opposed to tapdancing for white bros.

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History

Take this Jim Crow era literacy test for Black people.

I have a master’s degree, and I failed on the first question.

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I know what a literacy test is, but sadly, I’d never looked one up to see what the questions were like. During Jim Crow, they were used to keep Black people from voting. Some poor and illiterate whites got caught in the net as well, and that makes sense for a country who, when founded, only gave voting rights to landowning whites, but the purpose was to keep Black people from being heard. Former congressional candidate Gary Chambers Jr. posted a literacy test today, and you can’t pass it. I can’t pass it. No one can pass it.

This particular test from Louisiana in 1964 was to be administered to anyone who could not prove they had finished 5th grade or higher, which would overwhelmingly apply to more Black people. We had less access to education and were more likely to quit school in order to work the land and help our parents keep a meager roof over the family’s head back when so many Black people were sharecroppers.

And there’s no uniform key for this test. The white registrar reads the answers and decides whether you answered correctly or not. I’m sure this test, on the rare occasion it was given to white people at all, was graded more leniently when the hand turning it in wasn’t colored.

So. Take it and see if you would be able to vote in Louisiana in 1964, less than 60 years ago.

Ten minutes to complete 30 questions is about twenty seconds per question, and you have to get every single one correct. If this was an actual literacy test, I would pass with flying colors, because I can read well enough to know that some of these questions are unanswerable, but it’s not about literacy. It’s about creating a standard that no one can meet and then applying it unfairly to Black people. It’s giving Black people additional burdens to be perfect that white people don’t have. It’s disparaging Michelle Obama for showing her arms in her White House portrait even though Melania has nude photoshoots online. It’s arresting Black people for marijuana at 3 times the rate of white people, even though the same percentage of Black people smoke weed as white people. (x) It’s Black college students being just as likely to find employment as white people who didn’t even finish high school. (x) It’s cops shooting unarmed Black people and taking a white mass shooter to Burger King. (x)

A lot of Black kids heard this refrain from our parents growing up: You have to be twice as good as the white folks to get half as far. However. When the judge and jury of your achievement is White America, you can still fail the test they never even have to take.

 

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Race

A moment for Gwen Berry

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It’s so funny to me that Conservatives think we care what they have to say about Gwen Berry being unpatriotic when those same people don’t care that the Capitol was stormed and vandalized.

One of these is a protest.

The other is a crime.

**Black lady turns away from the flag.**

WHAT A DISGRACE TO AMERICA!

**White people break into the Capitol and erect a gallows to hang elected officials.**

awwww economic anxiety 🥺🥺🥺🥺

 

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Race

France is giving the United States another Statue of Liberty.

Another symbol of liberty to a country that’s still oppressing its people.

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NYC has another Statue of Liberty on the way. France is sending us a smaller version to be placed on Ellis Island just across the water from Liberty Island where the original stands as a beacon to freedom…or something.

This new bronze statue, nicknamed the “little sister,” is one-sixteenth the size of the world-famous one that stands on Liberty Island.

“The statue symbolizes freedom and the light around all the world,” said Olivier Faron, general administrator of the CNAM [National Museum of Arts and Crafts]. “We want to send a very simple message: Our friendship with the United States is very important, particularly at this moment. We have to conserve and defend our friendship.”

(cont. CNN)

If you want to put a symbol of “freedom and light” anywhere, it shouldn’t be in the United States.

If you want to give the Statue of Liberty to the United States all over again anyway, give it in the spirit with which it was originally intended in the first place — as a gift to celebrate Black Americans.

I grew up with the Statue of Liberty as a symbol of hope and freedom for immigrants. “Give us your tired, your poor…” and all that, but Lady Liberty had been there for twenty years before those lines by Emma Lazarus were inscribed onto a plaque and installed at the pedestal. The Statue of Liberty is a symbol of immigration (the voluntary kind, not the shackled and chained way most Black people got here) for two reasons. One, immigrants latched onto the massive sculpture, which is understandable because she was the first image of New York for most European immigrants arriving by boat on the way to be processed at nearby Ellis Island. Two, the creator, Frederic-Auguste Bartholdi, pitched the idea to raise funding from Americans in the most general terms of “liberty” without specifically referencing Black Americans. His plan worked since the United States did indeed agree to pay for the pedestal if France paid for the actual statue, but it was a pivot away from the original idea.

Édouard de Laboulaye was a French abolitionist and it was he, along with his social circle of abolitionists, who conceived of a massive gift to present to the United States after the Civil War — once slavery was outlawed. The proposal of Lady Liberty initially held broken and shackles to signify the broken chains of slavery instead of the tablet she holds today. The chains eventually made their way into the final version down around her feet, the original significance lost to most people and barely noticed.

The years immediately following the Civil War were filled with promise for Black Americans and de Laboulaye wanted to recognize that. We made great strides in education, civic engagement, and politics, but the South regained its footing and struck a compromise in the 1876 Presidential Election that saw federal troops removed from the Old Confederacy. Black people were back in chains, invisible shackles placed on our communities through coalitions built between lawmakers and law enforcement, private businesses and private citizens. When Bartholdi finished Lady Liberty, there was no way to “sell” the idea to the United States as a celebration of slavery’s end. Black America hated the idea, because we were being oppressed, terrorized, and murdered, and White America would’ve scoffed, because they were doing the terrorizing. She was pitched as a symbol of liberty, immigrants saw her as the first welcoming image of the United States, and then the government solidified that feeling by using words from Emma Lazarus.

Today, it’s more important than ever to remember why the Statue of Liberty was conceived in the first place, not a symbol of general liberty and freedom, but as a symbol of Black liberty and freedom. We are still fighting to have our history accurately taught in schools. We are still fighting to be the country de Laboulaye thought we were becoming when slavery ended. And we are still fighting to live up to the promise Lady Liberty has symbolized to millions of immigrants. This little sister will probably be all over the news as we get closer to July 4th, so whenever you see her, make sure you remind somebody that the Statue of Liberty was supposed to be a gift to celebrate the end of slavery, but the US put Black people back in chains too quickly for her to actually symbolize liberty and freedom for us.

 

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