White People Need to Stop Blaming the Victim

I often wonder how most people even receive their Journalism degrees or how they even got a job working with people that are different from them. How did they even get past Grade 10 English because in my honest opinion they have no clue how to write anything without coming off as either condescending, idiotic, illogical and just plain ignorant. I have come to this conclusion from a writer named Naomi Lakritz in her latest piece from The Province called “First Nations Need to Quit Blaming the Past.” The title is already inflammatory at first appearance. It comes off with a hint of victim-blaming and racism with the right amount of denial.

Lakritz begins her piece with such precious sarcasm that I want to puke rainbows all over the person who thought it was a great idea to post this garbage.

It was edifying to learn that colonialism was responsible for the death of five-year-old Phoenix Sinclair of Fisher River, Man. I always thought that her mother, Samantha Kematch, and Kematch’s common-law husband, Karl McKay, were responsible. After all, they’re the ones serving life sentences for her murder. They’re the ones who chose to torture her to death.

It’s so interesting that she doesn’t seem to understand the concept of colonialism and how it causes negative effects on society especially the victims of a century long genocide that still continues to this day through forcing Indigenous children to be white and to put up with racist harassment from white people. It is terrible that this child died a horrible death and no child deserves to die but we need to be serious on what is mainly the cause of these acts which is male-patterned violence that can come in all forms such as colonialism, rape, war, child abuse, murder, genocide and injustice. She doesn’t even seem to care that a child died, she is using this child’s death to attack Indigenous people and their righteous anger at our patriarchal, capitalist, and colonialist system. Where Indigenous children were kidnapped (Using correct terminology here because let’s face it, they were kidnapped) by government officials and forced to adopt the ideology of their oppressors, suffering horrifying forms of abuse and continuing the cycle of abuse after they left these schools. It is not surprising that the actions of these people and the continuing oppression of Indigenous peoples is that it results in horrifying events such as these. Lakritz has the nerve to say that Residential schools and the people that ran them are not responsible for the results of these practices against previous generations of Indigenous people. Does she not realize that that abuse continues through new generations if there is no break in the cycle? She continues her piece by placing more blame on Indigenous people for colonialism and racism in the following quote:

According to Jay Funke, a lawyer for the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs and the Southern Chiefs Organization, it was colonialism. Last week, he told an inquiry into the little girl’s death that “First Nation leaders believe that the tragedy suffered by Phoenix was, in large part, the result of centuries of colonial-based policies and practices which have been forced upon the First Nations people of Canada.”

That’s odd. All the colonials I know had the same reaction when they heard of the terrible abuse Kematch and McKay inflicted on this poor child, including beatings, shooting her with a BB gun, choking her until she was unconscious, forcing her to eat her own vomit and leaving her to die on a cold basement floor, eight years ago. That reaction was: “I wish I could have adopted her and loved her and saved her life.”

She doesn’t explain how giving an Indigenous child to white people would exactly solve the problem because we should know that white people are just fucking saints when it comes to Indigenous people! AM I RIGHT, LAKRITZ? No, there is no sexual abuse or murder with those white people who adopt Indigenous children. Nope. Never. Nor are these Indigenous children snatched out of their homes by government officials who think that an Indigenous woman is just prone to abusing drugs. I mean, it’s not like she can get help for her drug addiction while the child is in her care or in the care of her relatives, right?

Oh, these heartless colonials, eh? But First Nations leaders believe colonialism was responsible. Deflect, deflect, deflect. Excuses, excuses, excuses. Poor Kematch and McKay, they’re not to blame. They were just puppets of forces bigger than themselves. Apparently not endowed with the ability to make decisions, know right from wrong or take adult responsibility for their adult lives, they were victims of colonialism.

Can’t you just see it now? “Karl, our ancestors were misled and lied to by David Laird after he was made Indian commissioner responsible for Manitoba in 1898. So, shoot Phoenix some more with the BB gun. She isn’t crying hard enough.”

Odd, too, how colonialism could have such a huge effect on McKay, but leave his teenage son unaffected and perfectly able to distinguish right from wrong. The boy testified at his father’s trial that he noticed how “skinny” Phoenix had become in the spring of 2005, but that Kematch threatened him if he tried to give Phoenix food. He told the court he never saw the little girl eat and then, weeping, he testified that “I waited until those guys left and gave her food. They didn’t help her.”

Why yes, colonialism DOES have a huge effect on Indigenous people. McKay was not born to murder and torture an innocent child, much like any human being but for some reason Indigenous people get all the flack while society looks for any excuse in the book to take any blame away from a WHITE MAN that did the same crime. Notice a pattern here? An inconsistency, Lakritz? No? Does it ever occur to you that white men are highly favored above everyone else? Just a thought.

They didn’t help her – not because of the historic wrongs done to aboriginal people, but because “those guys” were scum. They alone are responsible for her torture and murder, not history. This is about individuals and their character, not their ethnicity.

Funke also told the inquiry that a lot of aboriginal people see the seizing of native children as being like the residential school system. Who cares how they see it? If they are not going to take proper care of their children, then they have nobody to blame but themselves when their kids are seized. If Phoenix had been placed with foster parents, white or aboriginal, and not returned to the piece of garbage who is her mother, she would be alive today.

Just a few questions, Lakritz. How do you sleep at night? Does it bother you that you are blaming Indigenous people for their oppression and the State-sanctioned kidnapping and abuse of children? Does it even bother you that you are speaking in the same way that any white supremacist would say in a White Power conference? Do you know that children in foster care are often abused either by officials or their foster parents? I do not see how putting a child in another possibly dangerous environment just because some self-righteous white people thought that they can raise an Indigenous child better then that child’s parents! You are not proving your case with your victim-blaming and in-your-face racism. Foster care won’t make the child any better nor put her in a better place then she was before this whole thing happened and it is despicable that you think the state would solve the problems of abuse when it IS the state and the men that run it that are responsible for the abuse and for why it still continues!

There are no circumstances which prevent anyone from deciding that they are going to be the best parents they can be. Nothing prevents them from seeking help to achieve that goal, if needs be. No situation, whether it took place in history or is being lived right now in the present moment, is so bad that it makes individuals decide to shoot, choke, beat and otherwise torture a five year-old child. At the trial, McKay’s lawyer said that his client was just performing “fun choke holds” he’d seen on TV wrestling shows and was surprised that he had hurt Phoenix. Performing “fun choke holds” from wrestling shows? Colonialism no more makes you perform fun choke holds on your child until she blacks out than it makes you a fan of TV wrestling.

Funke told the inquiry that “the First Nations leaders of (Manitoba) are committed to ensuring that Phoenix did not die in vain.” Sadly, Phoenix did die in vain and nothing can change that. But those leaders can see to it that more children do not die in vain by dropping the victimization mantle because it is not doing aboriginal people any favours.

Are you sure that what has been done in the past doesn’t still happen in this century? Still using the death of a child to give “reasons” for your racist vomit? This society actually did influence a person to murder an innocent child, just like how our violent culture influenced men like Robert Pickton to murder Indigenous women that were being prostituted. This culture influences men to be violent to the most vulnerable people in that culture and we are surprised when they murder those innocent people? We make excuses for them, illegitimate excuses but we can’t seem to do the same without tying it to their race or use racist tropes. White people try to make themselves superior to them. You are doing that, Lakritz. You are making yourself superior to Indigenous people with your-nose-in-the-air attitude about colonialism and white privilege. Your “logic” fits nicely with people who blame women for being raped by their husbands or boyfriends. Such a callous attitude towards a group of people who suffer from racism, a system that they are not to blame for. You must be a fun person to hang out with.

There is not an ethnic group in the world that has not suffered terrible injustices at one time or another in its history. No one has escaped this. To name just a few, the Armenians suffered genocide in 1915, the Tutsis of Rwanda in 1994, the Jews and Roma suffered unspeakable horrors during the Holocaust, the Ukrainians were victims of Josef Stalin’s forced famine, with more than seven million starved to death in Stalin’s diabolical plot to destroy them for the “crime” of wanting independence from his reign.

None of these ethnic groups blames their own histories when a member of the group abuses, neglects, or tortures to death their own children, as Kematch and McKay tortured Phoenix to death. If First Nations leaders want to start somewhere, a good place would be with the concept of individual responsibility.

Do not bring other sufferers of genocides into this! I am very sure that they do not want to be used BY YOU to excuse your racism. How strange that you would say that Indigenous leaders should “take individual responsibility” with the racist attitudes and centuries of white supremacist conquest in both a social and legal context. Most of these people have yet to have their oppression recognized by society and yet you use them to excuse your oppressive attitude. Would you throw a tantrum if Jewish people said that the effects of the Holocaust and anti-semitism still effect them today? How dare you be so selfish in your white entitlement. How dare you ask Indigenous people to “take responsibility” when no one asks the same from white people or even white MEN for that matter. I most certainly do not want my Ukrainian ancestors to be used by you. I am certain that Indigenous people don’t want your help nor your advice. Some accountability from white people such as yourself, would be a start.

http://www.theprovince.com/life/First+Nations+need+quit+blaming+past/8729774/story.html

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Dear Defensive White People

 Yes, I am talking to you. The white person who claims to not be racist and yet continues to say racist things about people of color and indigenous people. The one who complains about people of color and indigenous people being lazy, slutty and whatever insult you can come up with to perpetrate your white privilege. The one who gets defensive when a person of color or white ally calls you on your racism. The racism that you perpetrate is harmful to people of color. Silence on top of racism is even more harmful and it is quite obvious that unity needs to be encouraged among the oppressed classes.

Let’s take a look at our society. Our society is a capitalist, racist, patriarchal, classist and homophobic one. People of color become the hated class in this society. White people become brainwashed at birth to hate people of color and to view themselves as above people of color. It is true that most white people would never outwardly say that they are racist because being outwardly racist is morally reprehensible. Most white people are often not aware that to be racist is more than just committing violence against people of color, words and actions (or lack thereof) are often the greatest indicators on where white people stand on the rights of people of color. White people often are acting racist without realizing that they are. It is sad that every time a white person claims that we live in a post-racial society, the legitimate complaints from people of color and indigenous people get automatically shot down by the same white person making the claim. Let us take a look at some of the arguments that white people make in defense of their racist statements against people of color:

But Indigenous people get paid by the government when they turn 18! Why are they still complaining?

Oh, I don’t know. Maybe because the history of Indigenous people getting murdered, raped and basically discriminated against is often erased and never talked about? Maybe the fact that Indigenous people still live in poverty and often don’t have access to education and healthcare? Indigenous women are coerced into prostitution and either end up missing or found dead in a ditch somewhere. Receiving money from the people who basically stole their land is not going to erase what has been done nor does it compensate for the many lives that were lost, languages that are dying or already dead and the tribes that were killed into extinction by the white settlers.

*It is also never mentioned that the vast majority of bands do not give their members any money once they hit adulthood. Does this mean that Indigenous leaders are corrupt? No, it could be for a variety of reasons. One of the most pervasive reasons is that oftentimes the band suffers from lack of government funding. Most often the funding is not enough to cover some of the expenses that are oftentimes very expensive. Housing, repairs, plumbing, electricity, delivering fees (for ready-made houses that are delivered to the reserves), taxes, among other expenses especially if the funding is lower then what is needed to pay for it all. Oftentimes Indigenous students who go to school never see the money they are supposed to receive for their education (field trips, lockers, tutors) and the school will use this money for something else other then giving the student what he/she needs. The students are often thrown (for lack of a better term) into “special education” classrooms even though they are perfectly capable of succeeding in the classroom. This happens not only because of lack of funding but because of racist attitudes from students and teachers. (This would definitely be apparent and pervasive in Southern states and farming provinces in Canada). The students defend themselves from racist attacks and are accused of being the ones with the attitude problem. There are often cases in white-dominated towns where the taxes do not seem to be going to pay for very important expenses yet none of the angry townspeople never seem to make the race of the white mayor as the negative characteristic. There is definitely some hypocrisy and double standards in our society in terms of who is leading. The worst that a white corrupt leader can be judged on is their character and not how their race is the ultimate indicator of their behavior.

It is not “racist” for a person of color to question their society nor does it mean that they are “ungrateful.” They are just demanding a just world where people of color are treated fairly and like human beings, they want a world where racial stereotypes are a thing of the past and not part of media culture. Unfortunately, it seems that white people refuse to change or to stop racially stereotyping people of color, the cycle of racism, colonialism, white privilege and discrimination will still continue when white people refuse to take responsibility for the hatred they perpetuate either through silence or outward violence.

You are just as racist for saying that white people are bad!

That is a seriously ridiculous accusation to make! Not only that, it is also a derail. It is impossible for “reverse racism” to have the same effects as real racism (naming it real racism for the sake of distinguishing). To simply put it, white people cannot face racism. For a person of color to be “racist” is simply a reaction to white privilege. They have every right and good reason to be angry at white people, people of color have every right to call out racism when they see it. It is not YOUR RESPONSIBILITY as a white person to tell that person of color how to be an activist or how racism “doesn’t exist”, they know it exists and they don’t need white people to tell them that. In short: It is impossible for the privileged to be oppressed in regards to the system that they benefit from.

White people have  never been raped, enslaved, murdered or faced colonialism by people of color. White people have taken advantage of indigenous tribes whose weapons technology where weak compared to the guns that the white settlers possessed. The white settlers also took advantage of indigenous people by giving them gifts, not telling them that the gifts were infected with infectious diseases. Many indigenous tribes in North America have died from the small pox epidemic from white settlers giving them blankets that were infected with the virus. Yet, we expect them to forgive us for our sins against them? “The past is the past!”, I hear you say. If that is so than how come racism still exists? How come people of color get murdered? How come pornography depicting people of color as sexual deviants still exists? Why are there still people of color in poverty especially women of color? As long as oppression exists, the oppressed classes will remain the oppressed class and collective freedom cannot be achieved.

Stop being offended for them! They can do it themselves!

Yes, they can. This is where the white ally comes in. The responsibility of battling racism and confronting the powers that be in our society should not be solely on people of color. White people who want to advance the status of people of color are an important part of collective resistance against the system. That is why they are called allies. White people such as myself want to fight alongside people of color to advance their freedom because collective liberation and freedom is a number one priority for activists of many stripes. Calling out the racism of white people is not “being offended for them” it is calling out racism and dismantling the racist system. It is educating people about the effects of racism and why racism is still a big deal in our society.

So, what if a person of color called you out on your racist comment? Would you say the same thing? Call them ungrateful? Call them racial slurs or tell racist jokes? If yes, than by definition, you are a racist. No amount of crocodile tears or emotional pleas is going to change that person of color’s mind or the white ally’s. You are proving their point! That you want to keep your status as a privileged person in society, that you don’t want people of color to be equal. I know, it is painful to accept the truth but you will get over it once you learn to accept it, once you realize that this society needs to be changed!

But rap/hip-hop music is sexist!

Yes, that is true that the rap and hip-hop we hear on Top 40 radio is sexist. But, who creates the demand for this type of music? Who creates and perpetuates the ideas that are presented in rap music videos and songs? Answer: The white men in suits created those ideas out of racist tropes. Those white men in suits create the market that is Top 40 radio and who gobbles it up? White people. However, there is rap music that is very anti-sexist and breaks the stereotypes of black rappers being gangsters who beat women while calling them nasty names. They are not incredibly hard to find on the internet but they are inaccessible. Why? The white men in suits don’t want that music to sell. They want to keep perpetuating the same old racist and misogynistic bullcrap without taking any responsibility for it. White men in suits make the money, people of color get the blame for the “degradation in our society.”

But what about rock music? There is a huge amount of misogyny that goes unnoticed in rock music! These silly rock-loving white kids act all superior to hip-hop fans because their music is not like rap music or so they claim. When I look at the rock musicians of today, I see an equal amount of female-hate and the “money and bitches” trope in rock videos and songs! Buckcherry’s “Crazy Bitch” or any song by Korn or even Hinder are examples of misogyny in rock music! The claim that rock music is less sexist than rap is pure bullshit, plain and simple. This claim is just another example of  removing all their responsibility and piling it on someone else.

But they buy expensive phones and computers!

So? Everyone buys expensive things. That is called consumerism. Don’t run around acting like you are never affected by consumerism because guess what? Everyone consumes something! Even faux morally righteous white people like you consume stuff. It is an unfortunate reality that people buy things that they cannot afford. Commercials flashing across our television screens telling us to buy this and that item otherwise you are not happy. That argument is another derail because it delegitimizes the complaints from people of color who live in poverty and do not want to live in those conditions. It is insulting to lower class people and people of color who are fighting to get out of poverty. Food is also expensive, it is also a necessity. Working class people can only afford the horrible cheap food which is riddled with GMOs and other nasty chemicals that cause serious illnesses. No wonder obesity is high among working class people of color! The food that they can afford is basically shit and not good for them!

Conclusion

There are plenty more arguments that legitimizes racism and inequality for people of color and the indigenous. It is important that these arguments are debunked and that racism in our society is acknowledged and put to a halt. People of color and their arguments for equality need to be put in the forefront and acknowledged in society especially in the case for women of color. The battles for justice and freedom are often long and treacherous ones. Many will give up and lose faith in their goals and ambitions. The others who did not give up will keep fighting until the very end and no amount of silencing, attacks, slander and false accusations will keep a fighting spirit still.

*I posted this on Facebook and one of my friends corrected me on the first argument presented in the post.

Recommended Links:

http://www.mediacoop.ca/blog/dru/15493

http://www.wce.wwu.edu/resources/cep/ejournal/v004n001/a005.shtml

http://www.blackdemographics.com/housing_poverty.html/

http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/ehs/news/2012/pollution-poverty-and-people-of-color-richmond-day-1/

http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/2010/09/not_so_golden_years.html

Fat-phobia

Fat hatred is rampant in the pornified culture we live in. Sometimes fat hatred is more subtle than we think it is. Fat hatred could be a matter of commenting on the individual’s weight within the context of demanding that they lose weight, not for the individual’s benefit but for the benefit of the men that want to treat you like a fuck object. “But Bedelia, there is fat porn!” I hear you say, the point of fat porn is to objectify fat women, to lower them to the status of objects like their skinny counterparts. Pornography, no matter what genre, objectifies women. That is a basic fact. Adding more diversity to porn will not solve women’s issues or all of a sudden cause every man in the world to accept women as human beings. Men, who view porn will still see women as fuck objects and nothing more!

Fat women are either socialized by their patriarchal society to hate their bodies or that their only worth is to be a certain man’s fetish. However, in mainstream society fat women are seen as repulsive and mentally ill people if they EVEN DARED to love their bodies. Fat people in general are seen as a waste of space, as a tragedy, something to mourn over because they are not a certain weight. Fat persons are constantly assaulted with advertisements that promote the message of self-hatred about their bodies by demanding that they should lose weight if they look a certain way so the fat person is accepted and loved by insecure people who use their insecurity to attack another person’s self-esteem. Weight loss television shows are the worst offenders of fat hatred. The creators of this show portray fat people as people who need saving because they are fat. The personal trainers are never questioned for the “ability” on health or the benefits of conforming to a certain body shape. The personal trainers resemble the unquestionable authority because they use force to make people conform to their standards. Then there are the doctors that appear in commercials promoting  products that should help them lose weight. Instead, these products are harmful and these products contain harmful ingredients that could harm the person’s system or worse kill them.

People who are not associated with said fat woman can cause harm as well. They can quickly judge the woman on what they perceive without even socializing with the woman. This is also harmful due to said fat woman believing that everyone who is not associated with said fat woman will judge the person the same way.

Fat women can also be objectified and fetishized by men who feel that skinny women do not satisfy their sexual appetites enough. These entitled men do not see fat women as human beings any more than men who see skinny women as mere objects for heterosexual male pleasure. Fat women’s sexuality is also seen as repulsive or seen as comedic, demeaning material to dehumanize fat women and their sexuality to the point of said fat women feeling ashamed for it.

Fat-phobia also harms people of color because when people of color are fat, the white narrative views them as uneducated, unintelligible monsters that need to be tamed by white people or they get turned into a joke for white people to laugh and mock.

It is people who are so oblivious to their privilege that they do not see the damage they cause to others when they think they are “helping” these fat people when their advice is as helpful giving very vague directions to a destination.

These privileged people need to understand that if we wanted their advice we would most kindly ask for it. It seems that since most people who are happy with their lives seem to get unneeded advice from strangers, who like to impose their beliefs on rationally thinking people, they do not seem to understand the meaning of  “I am perfectly fine with how I choose to live my life. You have no right to impose on me.”

Women who live in their patriarchal society are taught to take this advice without questioning the stranger’s intention because women are in constant need of advice from judgmental strangers who have no knowledge of the person they are advising, according to patriarchy. Women can be as wise as men when deliberating on their decisions, however, the worshipers of patriarchy refuse to believe this. The worshipers refuse to see women as complex humans with thoughts of their own.

If the goals of equality are to be accomplished, men must take into account the privilege they receive the minute they are born. They must also understand that not every woman they encounter will comply to their sexual demands and that women are not slaves to their appetites but human beings with their own needs and desires. Not every woman will be of the heterosexual persuasion and will most certainly not take kindly to such grotesque demands from men to sexually perform for them.

Destroying Capitalism and the State (and many other issues which are caused by the State)

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MOAR immature frat boys on the attack

This is one of the reasons why I like living in Canada. If anyone publishes hateful material in any shape or form, you can bet that your ass will be grass when the authorities get a hold of you and your hateful attitudes. That doesn’t seem to exist in San Diego, United States, sadly, because the publishers, editors and writer of a university magazine called The Koala has got away with their horrible privileged behavior for almost 29 YEARS! Recently the magazine is being investigated by authorities after the writers and editors thought that it would be HILARIOUS if they photo shopped a female student’s head on to a body of a naked women removing another woman’s clothing! But its supposed to be funny right? LAUGH DAMN IT LAUGH! Jezebel reports:

This fall, CSUSM student Jennifer Meneray decided to run for Homecoming King. So The Koala photoshopped a picture of her face onto the body of a naked woman removing another woman’s pants, and wrote, “Thanks to the courageous and open-minded women who are running to be the Queen of King Jennifer Meneray, we can all look forward to a Royal Fisting. The question remains, which princess will become the lucky Queen?”

Well, I will admit at least they have the monarchical system right. Of course, this behavior will never be called out or be questioned by the privileged persons because of “freedom of speech” of which the editors, publishers and writers constantly abuse. Isn’t the point of black comedy to not be funny or extremely bad? If so, why are they using this “humor” to attack marginalized people? Why do they attack people and use -isms to shame them? I can think of only one answer and that is privilege. Privilege to express their hateful ideas and attacks without being questioned or called out; without being punished for their actions.

It is funny to me that these “humourous” persons will not publish their names to the public. What are they afraid of? In the end they still have white privilege (I am quite certain the staff of this paper are white because no dignified person of color would allow such a tragedy as this publication to see the light of day). What I find the most troubling is the comments in new stories related to this paper; they are defending it, saying it is humorous to them, calling the marginalized “uptight” for even reacting so negatively and not laughing along with the hateful language. Marginalized people are just expected to just lie down and accept defeat because their efforts are useless against people who enforce oppression under the patriarchal, white supremacist, capitalist society. Of course, there are cases were marginalized people who join ranks with their oppressors and take part in the oppressing of othered people to feel like they belong or have value in society. This is why social hierarchy when it comes to skin color, sex, race and sexual orientation is damaging to the individuals in the society. Patriarchy and hierarchical privilege dominate and separate the marginalized so they can not band together and fight their oppressors or at least have the courage to fight.

This horrible excuse of a newspaper needs to be shut down so we can send a message to the privileged that their bigotry and ignorance will not be tolerated by the marginalized and that the minority will not surrender to the likes of the system that oppresses all the people.

Sources Here: http://www.10news.com/news/26896380/detail.html