more on white privilege and challenging racism with humor

A few weeks ago, I posted some resources for thinking critically about privilege. Here are a few more that came to my attention in the last 72 hours or so:

1. Yo, is this racist? I first saw this tumblr blog several weeks ago when a facebook friend posted it. I was reminded of it after reading this Colorlines interview with the creator/writer of the blog. Here’s how Andrew Ti  describes his overall goal:

“What I would like to have, the resource that seems most needed based on the questions in general and the hatemail from indignant white people,” says Ti, “is just an examination of white privilege, and of all privilege in America. That’s what I try to bring to the table, without being too serious about it: an examination of privilege. Because at the end of the day, I’m making jokes and making fun of people, and if that sting of embarrassment can make one in a hundred people think, ‘why is that? Why do I feel this way?’ That’s what I can bring.

2. Another resource that uses humor to expose, examine and challenge white privilege is Franchesca Ramsey’s YouTube video, “Shit White Girls Say…to Black Girls.” Posted on January 4th, it has “blown up the Internet“:

This video is all over the place. I even found it on the VH-1 blog (via my Flipboard)! I found an interesting comment on the Racialicious article about the video. Yonnie writes:

I hope to see Racialicious do a more analytical article on this video and more importantly, the comments/reactions to it on the internet.

I do think that a critical analysis of the comments/reactions to this video might be good…if you have a strong stomach. I can only imagine the racist, privilege-denying rants that this video could spark. I do have hope that humor can reach and positively challenge people, like here.


Oh bother! or, don’t bother? Mansplaining and whitesplaining, the Gene Marks edition

Last week in my feminist debates class, I brought up a term that I had recently encountered (it’s been around for awhile): mansplaining. Here’s the definition that Fannie’s Room offers:

Around the feminist blogosphere, the phenomenon of mansplaining has been duly noted as of late. This is also known as the Men Who Know Things phenomenon, whereby some men mistakenly believe that they automatically know more about any given topic than does a woman and will, consequently, proceed to explain to her- correctly or not- things that she already knows.

The mansplainer’s problem isn’t so much that he’s trying to teach a woman something, but rather that he takes it as a given that she doesn’t already know whatever it is he is going to tell her.

She also briefly mentions whitesplaining:

a white person whitesplains how a person of color is “wrong” about something being racist against people of color. It’s the same basic idea as mansplaining- as both are grounded in the privilege of one’s identity being considered society’s default and, therefore, more objective than the experiences of Other identities.

As I was looking over my twitter feed this morning, I found a tweet to an article over at Colorlines:

The article at Colorlines is a critique of Gene Marks original essay for Forbes: If I Were a Poor Black Kid. Marks’ article is getting tons of traffic and tons of attention and has generated lots of important critiques. Here’s one take on how this traffic and attention might have been deliberately crafted by Marks because it’s good for (his) business. I don’t really think I’m interested in bothering with a critique of this very problematic article (or am I? not sure; hence, the title of this post: oh boher! or, don’t bother?) because it just contributes to more attention (and money?) for Marks. I am interested, however, in documenting it as a great example of whitesplaining. Gene Marks is great at this ‘splaining stuff. Just a few months ago, he wrote an article that stands as a great example of mansplaining: Why Most Women Will Never Become CEOs. Sigh… So, next time I want to teach about whitesplaining or mansplaining, I can look to Gene Marks as my (im)moral exemplar! Gee thanks, Gene!

I was partly inspired to write this post after noticing a few responses to Marks’ “if were a black kid” approach. Here are just a couple:

Here are 2 examples from the If I was a poor black kid tumblr: