January 06, 2012

"Shit White Girls Say"

A Navajo Response to Racism Against Mexicans YouTube VideoEarlier this week, a YouTube video showcasing two Caucasian females using racist terminology and vulgar language in reference to Mexicans began to go viral. Since then many responses have been uploaded, some just as ignorant and not as thought provoking as they should be.

However, a few video responses have stood out. All three of these videos hit on key points and reactions to the video, but could have just as easily and more importantly made the points without the use of vulgarity in their own right.

The first one here was uploaded by kaylajoytom1, titled “Native American Response to Racist White Girls in Arizona.” The young intelligent female addresses many of the issues that came out of the initial video, but the biggest one was the idea that whites were here first. The young female establishes that she is 100 percent Navajo born and raised in Arizona, while making some key arguments.

Minorities suffer microaggression

Another video is also making the rounds of the Internet. This one shows a black girl pretending to be a white girl saying thoughtless things:

A writer discusses the reactions to his video. She talks about something we've noted before: the harm of seemingly "minor" insults.

Not Everyone’s Laughing At “Shit White Girls Say To Black Girls”

By Tami Winfrey HarrisI’ve been “the only” in so many situations from childhood until today that when I spotted comedian Franchesca Ramsey’s new video, “Shit White Girls Say to Black Girls,” I almost squealed. Man, could I relate! In college for four years in Iowa, I heard half these things four times between the shower and my morning class. For me, Ramsey’s entry into the “Shit ________ Say” meme was not only funny, it also contained important social commentary. But not everyone is laughing.

As the video exploded across the Internet, some folks, particularly white women, including ones who deem themselves liberal, anti-racist allies, pushed back. A cruise through comments over on Huffington Post, Jezebel and Facebook reveals some unhappy responses, including 1) This is reverse-racism/stereotyping! 2) Everybody says dumb racial stuff equally. Guess what this black girl said to me once? 3) Nobody really says this stuff. I mean, maybe in the South/Flyover States… 4) How come this is okay, but “Shit black girls say to white girls” wouldn’t be?


You think talking about “big” racial issues like loan discrimination and redlining and police brutality against black men is hard? It’s often a lot easier than discussing race-based “microaggressions.” Microaggressions is a word coined by psychiatrist Chester M. Pierce, meaning “brief and commonplace daily verbal, behavioral, or environmental indignities, whether intentional or unintentional, that communicate hostile, derogatory, or negative racial slights and insults toward people of other races.”

The discussion is hard because it requires good, well-meaning people to admit to and examine their own racial privilege. It requires those who may think of themselves as anti-racist allies to do more than tsk tsk along with black friends about some madness, say, Rick Santorum said, and recall the things they personally (and perhaps innocently) may have done to make friends, family and co-workers of color feel othered. That’s tough. And it’s not just tough for the “white girls” mentioned in Ramsey’s work. It’s hard for everyone who has any kind of privilege, be it educational privilege, sexual privilege, gender privilege, etc. (All microaggressions aren’t tied to race. Just check out the Microaggressions Tumblr to see the many non-race-related ways this can play out.) But “Shit white girls say…” is centered on racial privilege and that is what much of the push back seems to ignore.
Comment:  For more on the subject, see Natives Experience Racism Every Day and Subtle Racism = Psychological Torture.

No comments: