Pay Attention To Newspapers

If you’re not careful, newspapers will have you hating the people who are being oppressed, and loving the people who are doing the oppressing.
-Malcolm X
*Photographer: Kamyiis

De-Conditioning: Strength Of A Stereotype

Although the ethics and validity of the Stanford Prison Experiment (1973) has been called into question, it still remains a milestone in psychology. Led by Phillip Zimbardo, the experiment took place in a basement with volunteer’s taking on the role of guard, or prisoner. Originally it was to run for two weeks, ending in six days when things got out of hand and damaging. Prisoners were abused by guards, who took pleasure in degrading them.

“Within hours of beginning the experiment some guards began to harass prisoners. At 2:30 A.M. prisoners were awakened from sleep by blasting whistles for the first of many “counts.”

In response the prisoners fought back.

“Because the first day passed without incident, the guards were surprised and totally unprepared for the rebellion which broke out on the morning of the second day.”

The show went on, with guards ending the riots, becoming more aggressive as consequence.

“The guards retaliated by using a fire extinguisher which shot a stream of skin-chilling carbon dioxide, and they forced the prisoners away from the doors. Next, the guards broke into each cell, stripped the prisoners naked and took the beds out.”

Things continued to snowball. Confronted about why he allowed it, Zimbardo confessed his state of mind was that of a jail superintendent, not a psychologist. The study concluded:

According to Zimbardo and his colleagues, the Stanford Prison Experiment revealed how people will readily conform to the social roles they are expected to play, especially if the roles are as strongly stereotyped as those of the prison guards. Because the guards were placed in a position of authority, they began to act in ways they would not usually behave in their normal lives.

What does it say when one puts on that blue uniform? When the circumstance is a black individual, stereotyped to be a thug and a menace to society?

They forget to be civil servants meant to protect. Instead they end up seeing through the lens of authority, behaving as they’ve been taught, reflecting society unto itself:

Believing they are saving the world from a savage, who is really a captive. In reality they are the one’s to fear, their cruelty, their savagery, their white imagination’s spinning everything in their favor; by any means necessary. They created the caricature, then built a system that forces colored people to play their assigned roles. The strength of a stereotype is life, or death. When’s the last time you assumed something about someone based on race? How often do you stereotype others? Photo: Mental Knots


De-Conditioning: Paris Is Burning

I would like to be a spoiled, rich white girl, they get what they want.
Venus Extravaganza

A two for one special; in honor of The Black Lives Matter Movement and Pride Month, watch Paris Is Burning. A timeless, poignant documentary that chronicles ball culture, which birthed Voguing . The balls were created in reaction to systemic financial disparities between blacks and whites. As Venus from house Extravaganza stated, as implied throughout much of the film, as the world turned, being white is the best way to attain wealth. Screaming black is beautiful, the creation of the black panthers, are reactions of beating ‘white power’ into the world by force. To counter the hate you give, we have movements and mottos and more. White power has resulted in oppression and hate globally, that’s why it’s vile. Via: Cinephile IG

De-Conditioning: Facts & Figures

Checking in: If you’re feeling like a bad person, shame, white guilt…good! It means you have a moral compass, you’re human and not the thugs you project others to be. Don’t sweep things under the rug just because it’s uncomfortable, modify your actions, behavior and attitude. We can’t fix what we ignore. Artist: Cheskatanglao

De-Conditioning: Thirteenth Amendment

Section 1: Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.

Section 2: Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

I watched this documentary a few years back, director Ava DuVernay does an immaculate job explaining the transferal from plantation to prison. A structure so deeply ingrained in this country, it goes beyond the justice system. Corporations using inmates for cheap labor and making legal decisions, the dangers of the white imagination, all uncovered in this riveting masterpiece. For those who have watched, what three pieces of information struck you the hardest? Via: Story and Space

Ashley Pena: Boys Don’t Cry

Watch us walk.
Watch us move.
Watch us overcome.
Listen to our voices, the sway.

The resilience.
The innovation.
The raw, unfiltered and untouched
Soul we have
can not be touched.

*Solange: Why are you proud to be black?

De-Conditioning: Read Books Of Different Cultures

Harping once more that reading from other perspectives is critical. This is what makes you educated, worldly and cultured. Our ancestors risked their lives to learn for a reason, knowledge is power. All these people travel the world and couldn’t perspective shift to save their life, because they roam through self-absorption. They learn more about their hotel accommodations and tourist itineraries, completely missing the sociological value. Other people matter, their voices are important, they aren’t just your instagram photo backdrop. Why are you so self-involved?

Notable mentions to: Kindred by Octavia Butler, The Darkest Child by Dolores Phillips (needs a movie adaptation it’s so good) and The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead. Reading is to the mind, what exercise is to the body; learn about cultural experiences beyond yours.

Korean Read: Pachinko, Min Jin Lee

Native American Read: There, There, Tommy Orange

Filipino Read: Dear America Notes Of An Undocumented Citizen, Jose Vargas

Jewish Read: Tattooist Of Auschwitz, Heather Morris

What other book’s should be added to this list? When’s the last time you read a book from a different ethnic group? Photos: Jobis89, Nicole Richie and Teen Vogue

De-Conditioning: Replying To All Lives Matter

Just another way to disenfranchise black people. First of all, Black Lives Matter and All Lives Matter aren’t mutually exclusive. How dumb you sound saying this can be explained in the following example:

Polar bears are going extinct, poacher’s are shooting them for sport. Polar bear advocates see this and campaign for poachers to stop, before the majority of the species disappears.

Polar bear lives matter!

Simple minded Karen see’s this, then starts “pontificating.” Well there are other animals on the planet: cats, dogs, zebras, lions, tigers…Why are they only talking about polar bears!

All animals matter!

Despite the fact that poachers aren’t shooting ANY of the animals Karen named for sport. Those animals aren’t on the extinction list; their population is thriving, unharmed and unbothered about dying when out and about. Polar bears on the other hand, can be sleeping, or playing with their children, at home, or going to get food…Still they’re killed for fun, or hate.

Saying polar bears lives matter when they are dying, doesn’t mean all animals don’t matter. Not only are you advocating nothing, because the animals you’re including are fine, but you’re an accomplice to murder. Diverting attention from the polar bear, that actually needs help, for animals that aren’t being mistreated, does nothing to stop the polar from being terrorized. It only interrupts the changes that can be made to prevent the polar bear from going extinct, aiding the poachers, making you complicit.

Funny, every time someone say’s all lives matter I reply with:
-So why did you take this land from the Native Americans?
-Why did you call all hispanics Mexican and put them in cages?
-Why did you use the Chinese to build railroads, then kick them out amongst other things, with the Chinese Exclusion Act?
-Why did you put the Japanese in internment camps?
-Why did you make black people slaves?
-Why did you label middle eastern people terrorist?

And not a single person responds, because people who say ALM are racist. Knowingly or unknowingly, “all lives matter” until it threatens white supremacy and domination, obtained through violence. Can you think of other cruel behavior to add to the list? Artist: Simone Agoussoye

De-Conditioning: Appropriation Vs. Appreciation

To the people coming here to learn, forgive me for a moment while I address the bullies who jumped out of their clown car. Now you guys want to rep BLM, after trying to bully a black woman minding her business? Coming to my facebook page, seeing what I wrote about complaining of boredom as a first world problem, attached with an article on Indian slums and thought it was funny to do the opposite. All you proved is you’re heartless. Pulling up on my social media to see this woman these men are into (mind you I don’t fight over men, it goes against nature and my self-respect) with your insecurities and empty brains, then you tried to bend or break me? Spend the same time doing something productive; no wonder you’re bored in the house, in the house bored, no brain, no heart, no spine. Yuck. Use your position to elevate humanity, not just to prevent you from being called out and dragged. I’m not fooled, you aren’t good people.

Doing damage control when you’re caught between a rock and a hard place is very…telling. I’m going to go easy on you since it was beneficial, but the fact remains that I was a fan of all parties and still you tried to gang gang. Why? For a celebrisite (someone who feeds off their relationship with celebrities, rather than a talent) who was what, loyal? Didn’t your NDA call for that, when you hired them to do their job for a powerful family? You don’t get a gold star for that, you tried to troll a person whose aesthetic profits you. Maybe if you were less involved in appropriating my culture, you could have told your friend using Kimono was offensive to Asians, specifically Japanese people. Instead you trolled me with poorly written captions and ill formulated thoughts, that prove the lack of talent portion of my statement. Instead of being held accountable, because again I was minding my business allowing you to monetize off my follows, likes and views, your providers all tried to bully. I could go in on how they’ve accessorized and commodified black people, as well as black culture so well blacks don’t even notice, but I’ll save that dissertation for if you try it again. Count yourself lucky, due to the impact the man one of you married had on my upbringing.

Moving forward. Today’s topic is appreciation versus appropriation.

If you’re ever confused by the two here’s the difference. Appropriation is taking of one’s culture, exploiting it for your own personal gain and giving them no credit. To do this is extremely disrespectful. For instance wearing traditional garb, or hairstyles without acknowledging the culture that inspired you. The Kardashian’s have rocked the black aesthetic from head to toe, with people all around the world who have never met a black person, nor respect black people taking our shit too.

They have no idea they are replicating us, but fix their filler lips to demean us to stereotypes as seen on tv. Kim has never sat in a Polish airport on layover with people gawking, because they’d never seen a black person in the flesh. Kylie has never had a loan application denied, because of braided hair. You didn’t suffer for this divinity, but you take it to market? Now people think it belongs to you. Abhorrent.

Appreciation is what Gwen Stefani does. When she is dressed as a Chola in her Luxurious video, she is surrounded by Mexicans, crediting the people she mimics. She does this in her What You’re Waiting For video, surrounded by Harajuku girls, the same with her reggae work. In all instances she involves the community of people whose culture she’s showcasing. There is NO confusion on who created what. Thank you Queen. She also brings attention to the mainstream, making everyone more culturally aware and worldly.

People of color are not costumes. That kimono, that sari, that Indian featherhead, that afro, those “boxer” braids aka cornrows, that hanbok means something. You can’t tell people white is right, discriminate against them (denying loans, racial slurs, not getting hired for jobs, not being allowed to buy a home…), then take the same things you held against them for you. That’s the issue. How many of you take time to research and learn about other cultures? When people complain of appropriation did you educate yourself on why they were upset, or the significance on what was taken?