REVIEW: Movie-Shuffering and Shimiling: Race,Degradation,Apathy in Netherlands [racism/sexism triggers]

REVIEW: Movie—Shuffering and Shimiling: Race, Degradation and Apathy in the Netherlands « SHANTOLOGY – NEO•GRIOT.

Reading this review reminds me of the recent Spanish magazine cover featuring a depiction of Michelle Obama as a topless, head-wrapped slave.  I am also reminded of the ways in which Black women living in the so-called Western world have been and continue to be exploited, objectified, humiliated, and dehumanized in the name of “free speech,” “artistic license/freedom,” “being hip.”

I am also reminded of conversations I’ve had with some European men and women who proclaim the United States as less sophisticated than continental European countries with regard to race relations and acceptance of cultural differences.  Given my own experiences traveling through parts of Western Europe, I propose that what some people label as “sophisticated” may be in fact just more spin on a very visible and ugly legacy of hatred/fear of the Other.  Think of it as a reheating of a long brewing stew of racism with its base being the bones and marrow of European colonialism and enslavement of Africans and Asians.  In other words, to borrow from bell hooks, our bodies and our cultures continue to be (mis)categorized, commodified and consumed by those motivated by hegemonic forces who wish and need to see a perpetuation of Eurocentric, phallocentric ideologies that dehumanize, silence, and ultimately disappear those excluded through racist and misogynist discourse.

Is it any wonder I don’t go to movies anymore?  But we know that the movie industry is but a small part of a much larger problem when it comes to media, race, and gender.  I am not surprised at the persistence of racism and sexism/misogyny in 2012 in Europe or the United States.  Simply put, I am tired of it.  I am tired of being subjected to the lasting impact of isms on the quality of my life.  I am tired of explaining to folk why having a Black president does not make the Western world free of its own racist poison, why having a Ph.D and a career as a professor does not give me immunity to the sexism and racism casually thrown at women of color–daily.

This is but one more example of how far the West has not traveled away from its legacy of slavery and colonialism, and in fact, seems unable to wrest itself from a dependency on othering and exclusion in order to define and distinguish itself.  It is a shallow and useless relationship based on lies and delusion, one that has no basis on reality, but continues to seek ways of feeding the addiction through the perpetuation of racist myths and stereotypes.  As the population of the planet continues to grow in Latin America, Asia, and Africa, and as the West continues to “brown” and “blacken” such practices continue to reveal the stupidity using racist scripts and images in mass media and entertainment.  We do have power, after all: our wallets and our voices make a wonderful pair to reinforce how we feel about racism and sexism in pop culture.  It is time to start using our power.

Advertisements

At the Edge: Dr. Randall Horton, Poet and Scholar 09/20 by At the Edge An Afrofuturist Salon | Blog Talk Radio

At the Edge: Dr. Randall Horton, Poet and Scholar 09/20 by At the Edge An Afrofuturist Salon | Blog Talk Radio.

Dr. Randall Horton, Assistant Professor of English at University of New Haven, hails from Birmingham, AL, and is a former recipient of the Gwendolyn Brooks Poetry Prize. His first book The Definition of Place was a finalist for the Main Street Rag Book Award and was published in their Editor’s Select Series in 2006. Dr. Horton is the current poetry editor of Reverie: Midwest African American Literature and co-editor of Fingernails Across the Chalkboard Poetry and Prose on HIV/AIDs from the Black Diaspora (Third World Press, 2007). He is also the editor of four children anthologies.  He received his undergraduate education at both Howard University and  University of DC (B.A. English). He has a MFA in Creative Writing with an emphasis in Poetry from Chicago State University and a PhD in Creative Writing from SUNY Albany. He is a Cave Canem fellow and his poems, fiction and nonfiction appear in Motif: Writing by Ear, Mosaic, Black Renaissance, Crab Orchard Review. He is currently working on critical essays that explore the impact of cultural memory and trauma-poetry and poetics. He is on a Poetry Panel at the CBC Conference-WEWCC, Sept 21.

Remembering and Celebrating the Life and Legacy of Aaronette M. White

Remembering and Celebrating the Life and Legacy of Aaronette M. White.

This essay does more than eulogize Dr. White–it provides readers with a clear understanding and context with regard to the significance of her work.  It also serves as a sad reminder to all of us of the reality of our existence as being temporary, despite the importance of the work we produce for the collective, however compelling.  May she rest in peace and join the Ancestors in Paradise as they watch over us the living.