Racism! Not Talking About It Won’t Make It Go Away

I am the only person of color in my office.

It’s weird to think about it, but it’s true. Despite my light-skinned privilege, I still stick out like a dark-featured, curly-haired, big-bootied, afro-latina sore thumb in a sea of alabaster faces, hip-less thighs, light hair and high-SES Jewish and aryan-looking goodness.

Let me be clear here: I like my co-workers. I even enjoy having lunch with them. Talking with them. Sharing the space with them. They aren’t my Bee Eff Eff Jill or anything, but we get along okay.

Now, as you all know, Beyoncé recently had a concert on Sunday and interspersed before and after her performance were some commercials and some dudes in tight pants throwing around a giant disconcertingly rotten lemon. Among the excess of advertisements was this feel-good, get-out-your-blue-jeans-and-hot-dogs-and-freedom-fries-and-bibles Dodge ram commercial. You can see it in all its ‘Merican glory here.

Interestingly enough, among the tanned and weathered faces shown in each image, I counted one person of color (0:47), and three ethnically ambiguous (0:17, 1:24) looking-folks. Now, I am basing this on purely anecdotal observations here, but, I gotta ask…where are all the Mexicans, yo?

I mean…okay, let me back up here. I am not saying that there are no white farmers by any means. I’m just saying that, shit, there’s gotta be a hell of a lot more brown folks harvesting your dinner (assuming you are not living off of ramen and oreo cookies), right?

Thanks, Jesus!

Also, my mandarins have been tasting off the CHAIN lately, so thanks for that, too.

Anyway, we were discussing the ad over lunch (thanks, Jesus!) and I had brought up the same observation I made here–that it was a super whitewashed ad. Now, normally, I wouldn’t even bother mentioning it because HI, HAVE YOU WATCHED TELEVISION. I’d go blue in the fucking face if I stressed how the media is whitewashed every time someone brought up anything surrounding it.

But because much of the commentary revolving around the discussion was the “raw”, “realness”, and “authenticity” exhibited throughout the commercial, I felt the need to highlight it (no pun intended).

Bizaaaaarely enough, the all-white table shifted uncomfortably, and then changed the subject after a few seconds of some truly awkward silence. Soooo, I did anything a normal person would do and consulted the land of social media and Facebook-status-updated the ever-loving shit out of it.

I talked about how it was good to feel uncomfortable about these topics because it reveals how shitty racism is. People still feel ashamed. And that’s okay. And even within the safe-haven of my own little cyberspace surrounded by a multitude of social justice-loving activist friends, people still have a hard time talking about it. And again, that is okay.

The responses were plentiful, and many were well-thought-out. A lot of folks brought up that it was important to continue the discussion of race and ethnicity, because it exists  and we shouldn’t forget about an ongoing occurrence revolving around systematic social oppression. And of those that had already contributed to the dialogue (or had already made their thoughts on the matter heard time and time again) posted hysterically funny gifs and memes about white guilt, regardless of ethnicity, race, religious background, orientation, or gender.

Like this.

Like this.

It was like an Internet kumbaya. And it was beautiful.

And then something poignant happen.

My status got deleted.

Seriously.

It got reported as offensive, and then deleted.

I wanted to be mad, but somehow, I felt validated.

Because it further proves that this is an ongoing conversation that needs to be had. Racism doesn’t go away simply because we stop talking about it. Incidentally, that exacerbates the problem. I’m hoping that whoever found the topic “offensive” either takes the time to engage me in dialogue about why they found it offensive, or kindly de-friends me.

Life’s too short to deal with it with your head in the sand.

lol racism, wut?

lol racism, wut?

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Ceci N’est Pas Une Introduction

How do I start out introducing something that’s really about nothing? What the hell do I even say?

That I’m bored?

That my life lacks challenge?

That I need a project?

That this is essentially the Seinfeld of blogs? Although I guess the implication that this is a blog about nothing wouldn’t be entirely correct. It’s a story. It’s a story about a woman enamored with academia and scientific pursuit who gave it all up to get a “real job”, and how she’s once again trying to find meaning in her work. You know, the story of Bourgie Von Quityourbitching.

So again, this isn’t necessarily a blog about nothing, it’s a blog about nothing important.

Because really, at the very root of all of this, it’s the ultimate problem of the bourgeois–what do I do with my life to give it meaning?? It’s so fucking Disney Princess. I, despite the privilege of employment (at a livable wage at that), want MOARRRR.

Oh, shut up.

Oh, shut up.

I want something beyond playing on the Internet after work to take up my time. I want to keep myself accountable of my educational pursuits. I want to reach a wide range of rational people (on the Interwebz?? Surely you JEST!) unaware of the kyriarchy and present it in an accessible way (i.e., with crass language and dick jokes). I want to inspire thought, and critical thought at that. I want to put my most fucked up thoughts in the ether so that I can go to sleep at night knowing that someone else now bears the responsibility of thinking the same.

And honestly? Because I need something to do. And that’s not only according to me. Oh no. That’s third-party confirmation, baby. I’m like a less attractive, shorter, sicker, uninteresting version of BBC’s titular Sherlock (Sher-not?)–I need to keep busy or I will surely set something on fire.

Among the third parties that would confirm my need to keep busy is my husband and life partner. He’s absolute perfection despite his penchant for leaving half-empty glasses of water all over the house. Seriously. Motherfucker will literally take a cup, fill it with water, sip on it for an hour, and then forget about it until it’s time to do dishes and we have NO GLASSES. And then we’ll find them under the sink, and on the nightstand, and in the oven (no fucking joke), and in the dog kennel.

So he’s pretty damn close to perfection. He’s got the whole good-looking Bruce-Wayne-slash-sexy-martial-artist-slash-badass thing down pat, although thankfully, does not possess the enormous amount of broodiness Batman does. If anything, his badassery is more on par with the Jedi; super zen, and possessing a quiet sort of intellect that I think is better suited to Obi-Wan Kenobi.

Oh my God, I am married to Obi-Wayne.

Seriously though, those fucking cups…

But Obi-Wayne isn’t the only one I live with. Every (anti-) hero has to have a trusty animal sidekick, and we, of course, have our trusty pup. As in, we can always trust this fool to pee everywhere at all times based on his ability to emote.

I am not kidding.

Happy to see you? Pees.

Sad that you’re leaving? Pees.

Shamed for peeing everywhere? Pees some more.

Grateful that you forgave him from the shaming he received as a result of the previous accident? Peeeeeees. EVERYWHERE.

But God help him, he is the cutest little shit in existence (had to break up the piss-continuity with a little shit).

Lastly and central to this world is me. I am queer. I am a woman. I am a person of color. I have a disability. And I have a loud, crass, fucking mouth. You have my full permission to hate me (the rest of society has already made itself clear on what it thinks of queer disabled women of color who speak their minds). I am emphatically academically-minded and spent a great deal of time entrenched in both libraries and laboratories alike. I can’t call myself a fully-fledged scientist though, as I’ve demonstrated pretty explicitly that I’m incapable of pursuing one subject fully. I’m like polyamorous, academic slut.

That said, I’m very comfortable asserting that I am, at the very least, a foaming-at-the-mouth science enthusiast, so you will occasionally catch me licking the glass at a physics or neuro convention because Fuck You, it’s Science, that’s why.

Because I am who I am, a good portion of this blog will be dedicated to things that piss people off: the many “‘isms” still rampant in that little thing we call society, queer culture, gender, power and privilege, feminism, politics, economics, that sinking feeling you get when you realize that someone has indeed, eaten your corn pops, and other horrors.

…But then again, there will be a number of posts featured here that will explore things that may or may not produce a visceral reaction: Motherfucking Science, random observation while riding public transit, food, saving the 64-bit world for no other reason than nostalgia’s sake, and all other things geeky.

Ultimately though, this is, regardless of all the externalities, my world. Bourgieness and bitching will henceforth ensue. Now don’t say I didn’t warn you.