Founded in 1974, the Women’s Center was established to:
Dismantle, from a feminist perspective, all forms of oppression, including but not limited to those based on ability, age, class, ethnicity, gender, race, and sexual orientation.
Advocate for an equitable environment free from violence and harassment based on gender, race, and sexual orientation.
Create an anti-racist, non-sexist, queer-affirmative space where all people can feel valued and safe.
Facilitate and strengthen connections among people across lines of difference through programming and educational campaigns.
Integrate an appreciation of Women's Gender and Multicultural Studies across the disciplines.


Tuesday, April 29, 2014

The Offensive "Successful Black Man" Meme

I love surfing the web. I probably surf the web more than necessary. Anyway, earlier this week I came across two article about "respectability politics." Initially, I had no understanding of what it meant until I delved deeper into the subject. Respectability politics are  “rules” for racially marginalized groups to follow in the effort to be viewed socially acceptable by Supremacist groups. I am in no way a fan of politics, but reading about this really got me thinking. Why does any person of color have to speak properly at all times, dress formally, and work to be the "exception" of their particular racial group. The article I read mentioned how Don Lemon had a segment entitled " No Talking Points" in 2013 addressing what he considered to be the problems in the black community. Below, you will find his proposed "Solutions" to the problems:
  • Pull up our pants
  • Stop using the N-word
  • Respect where we live
  •  Finish school
  • No more out of wedlock children
While these seem like harmless suggestions, they are also implying that there is something wrong with black culture. I do not sag my pants, nor have I live through any of the stereotypical ideas of what an inner-city black male lives. However, being called the "exception"  and being told " you're so different" or "you don't act like you're from Paterson" is NOT a compliment.  There's a "successful black man" meme that has circulated the internet that might be initially funny(as it is a joke) but if you really think about what it is implying, it's extremely offensive because its depicting a "successful black man" in contrast from an average black man.


Here's a GREAT quote from the second article that articulates exactly how I feel:
Some black people go to college, speak “proper” English, listen to things other than gangster rap, and wear pants that fasten securely at waist height. But that 16-year-old black girl talking too loud on her cell phone on the bus with her baby on her lap doesn’t deserve your racist crap either. Neither does the black guy who is sitting on his (your?) stoop at 11pm drinking a 40 with his boxers partly exposed.

Here are the links to both articles for those interested in reading them:

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