I’m wearing my hair big today! Bold! Beautiful??? When the students caught sight of my wild do, some of them laughed and called me "Ajjuma perma"—kids can be so mean :0) I just roll with the punches. Most of the students said that my hair was pretty; a few students said it was ugly-one in particular, rather brazenly! Here is where things get…umm…I’ll just tell the story.
The student that called my hair ugly was told to shut up by a few other girls. They said, “Kelly teacher don’t listen to her. She has Africa skin.” I said, what does Africa skin mean? They said, “B-l-a-c-k!” and another student chimed in “B-R-O-W-N-!” And they all laughed.
Now mind you, Koreans come in a variety of shades. Some are white as milk, while others, are as brown as a crayola crayon in an eight box. And I’ve seen a lot more BROWN SKIN Koreans than I have white ones. This particular student (the one that was being chastised for chastising me) is darker than I am, so I said to the students, but I am brown too. And so are you. I pointed to the lighter students who weren’t exactly white but still managed to have more than a hint of color in their skin. I said, but you are brown and so are you. A few of the students recoiled at the thought of being brown. “No teacher I am white!” “My skin is white.” I said-No, your skin is brown. I pulled up an image a few white women on the computer and I said, their skin is white. Your skin is brown and it it beautiful.
They all just laughed. Either because they didn’t understand me or because the thought of brown skin being beautiful was the funniest thing they could imagine.
I always try to take these moments and turn them into a lesson but sometimes I think what’s the point? This light skin dark skin thing has been ingrained into their society for ages! And it is inculcated on their young minds at an early age.
It is not just with girls but with the boys as well. In the text book, it is always the black kid that has his face scribbled on, eyes punched out, or horns attached to his head. Earlier today I was watching a children’s video with one of my students. In the middle of the stage there was a black man singing. My student pointed at the screen and said, “Teacher! Ugly!” BUT I COULDN’T even SEE the GUY’S FACE to make a ruling! Either that kid had the sharpest hawk eye vision or I am just getting old because all I could see was that the man was black. He was to small on the screen to actually make out his features. So I asked the student, why is he ugly? The student just walked away shaking his head and repeating ugly. But I knew the answer, the student didn’t have to see the man’s facial features to be convinced, his brown skin was enough.
Does anyone else encounter this while teaching? What do you do? How do you approach it? Do you ignore it, or turn it into a lesson to fight against,—what is this called— racism, prejudice, or ignorance?
Anyhow I’d love to hear from you.
Anonymous asked: I respect other perspectives but I really think lots of discussions of antiblack racism with Asian communities focuses on a black american/asian american context. Black Americans are still fucking American and benefit from the imperialistic structure that places them at the top of the hierarchy. There are institutions (IMF?) that enforce free market capitalism on nations, which predominantly benefits America. Why should we forgive that? I don't doubt they've problems, but the West has hurt
As a black American who taught abroad, I will have to call the entire AAGU team on this complete and utter bullshit.
Like have we not been over this before? I deservedly got called on this exact same shit months ago because YES, WESTERN PRIVILEGE ABROAD IS A REAL THING EVEN IF YOU ARE A POC!
Why else would I have met Africans (from Africa) in China who I know try to “pass” as African-American so that they can have access to better treatment there? Oh, I don’t know maybe it’s because of our Western privilege?!?!?
African-Americans (and African immigrants to the West) get treated better than Africans (from Africa) abroad, why? WESTERN PRIVILEGE.
African-Americans and other POC from the West have access to many privileges when abroad that local peoples do not have, why? WESTERN PRIVILEGE.
African-Americans and other POC from the West even with the horrible antiblackness and other forms of oppression we may face abroad STILL get treated MUCH better than local minority groups, why? WESTERN PRIVILEGE.
How is it that the African-Americans and other POC from the West who make it abroad (and this includes those part of our imperialist military industrial complex) can even visit these countries period while the vast majority of the local people do not have a reciprocal opportunity to do the same? WESTERN PRIVILEGE
How is it that African-Americans and other POC from the West in the military can, like their white counterparts, rape local women, help bulldoze communities, etc. and in many cases get away with it? WESTERN PRIVILEGE
Jesus FUCKING Christ.
Bullshit like Jannat’s response are exactly why this is the FIRST tip on my “Guide on how to (try and ) not be a horrible Westerner abroad”:
- Acknowledge and be cognizant of your privilege from the start. If you are a Westerner, you have privileges and power accordingly due to Western hegemony,and this is also the case even if you are a POC from said countries that may be experiencing other forms of discrimination (e.g. antiblackness) there.
Does the AAGU team have no understanding of history, global power structures and (non US centric) context? This entire post is utterly shameful and a travesty. Just because you are oppressed in your local geography doesn’t mean that you can’t benefit from the imperialistic power structures which have elevated the status of your home country all across the globe when you go abroad (which is a privilege in and of itself). Imperialism does not have a “blind spot” for Western POC and implying as much spits in the face of history and tramples on the lived experiences of oppression of non-Western POC.
You all owe your readers an apology.
^^^ this. i think this also illustrates the problem of when ppl have limited praxis and don’t understand that context matters.
american imperialism, in america, does not recognize black bodies as part of its empire. that does not, however, mean that black people still don’t benefit from it. and abroad, the fact that black bodies are excluded from the decision-making processes of american imperialism doesn’t necessarily get translated/conveyed.
like i keep saying, one of the most difficult conversations to have is how we benefit from not only the oppression of others, but our oppression. white supremacy and imperialism wouldn’t keep going without us poc buying into it. it’s like what junot díaz said:
If men had to run the patriarchy, they wouldn’t fucking do it. They’d have to take a pay cut. Men foist most of the energy of running patriarchy on women. […] And it’s the same thing with race, white supremacy would not fucking operate without people of color to run it. It’s not that white people don’t contribute to it. They do. But it couldn’t continue to exist without people of color. White supremacy is inside all of us. And that’s why it’s so malign and difficult to confront.
I was looking at the baseball, the football players and their girlfriends and wives. And it’s like a white supremacist’s fucking dream. Because all of those players are with whiter, lighter women. And if you don’t think this has to do with the sexual economy of race and the racial economy of desire, you’re kidding yourself.
i completely disagree with this. due to the way antiblackness works just in the united states, actually for the most part black americans DON’T benefit from the imperialistic structure. what do you even consider someone benefiting from the structure? due to the voting rights act hoopla with the supreme court earlier this year, many black americans can’t even vote for the people who make the imperialist decisions. furthermore, you have ridiculously high incarceration rates, continuing felony disenfranchisement, racial profiling, and the violence that’s still perpetrated on black american bodies every single day not only by police but also everyday people (see: trayvon martin, renisha mcbride).
on top of that, you have antiblackness in virtually all communities, including asian communities, latin@ communities, etc. this is something that isn’t just limited to the united states. so really in any meaningful sense, no, black americans don’t benefit from the imperialist structure, and to blame them for such a structure in the context of anti-imperialist efforts is misguided at best but really quite antiblack at worst.
The reality is even if we took every white person on Earth and put them on a space ship and sent them to outer space white supremacy wouldn’t miss a beat.
the anon’s question is still problematic. it doesn’t help anyone to see things in a hierarchy where one group is screwed over more than the next. how each of us gets screwed over is a little different from the next, and how one gets screwed over is connected to how the next gets screwed over. when we rank things, we reproduce the very capitalistic and imperialistic ideas that screwed us over to begin with.
if we don’t decenter from whiteness, we end up catering to it. not everything is about white ppl.
^^^^^ THIS COMMENTARY RIGHT HERE
"Rape culture is not just the act of rape. It is the culture that normalizes rape.
You don’t have to be a rapist to be a participant in rape culture. You don’t have to be a rape victim to understand or accept that rape culture exists. And being a participant in rape culture doesn’t automatically mean you’re a terrible person. It means you were raised in this culture. And that is not your fault.
But staying ignorant and getting defensive when rape culture is pointed out, that is all you."
j-ai--des--griffes asked: Ok. I'll address just one thing because it's obvious that you're unwilling to participate in an intelligent discussion. Korea is a very homogeneous culture. Black people are extremely rare in that country. Saying that they "learned" racism from American culture is simply ignorant.
Lmao ok because im bored i’ll take you through this quick
Korea being a homogeneous culture doesn’t mean shyt when american media which is rife with anti-blackness and other isms goes all around the world including Korea.
You really believe they didn’t learn any type of anti blackness from american culture really?
you really think not?
are you sure
really really sure
or maybe your unwilling to participate in an intelligent discussion on the effects of american globalization paired with negative stereotypes in american media of african americans (among other cultures) and how that effects the global image of black culture.
But please tell me more oh wise whyte lady me to stoopid 2 comprehend
Will Tumblr finally let me reblog this?
- Ancient Egypt was not a mixed society.
- Ancient Egypt was PITCHED BLACK until the 7th century AD, when Indo Aryans called Arabs invaded from Central Asia.
- For 99 percent of Egyptian history, Egypt was as BLACK as Nigeria, as BLACK as Congo, and as BLACK as Senegal.
- King Tut was a dark skinned black man,
- Queen Tiye was a beautiful and EXTREMELY dark skinned woman.
- Hatshepsut was also very very very dark skinned.
- Even during the Ptolemaic period of Kemet, the Egyptians were primarily African.
- The fact that the most advanced civilization of human history was composed primarily of Black People is the most annoying and frustrating thing to white supremacist historians today.