another halloween, another year of white folks being racist. while local party stores sell goblin, super hero, and witch costumes galore, there are white folks among us who bypassed these non-offensive options and landed square in the body paint isle.
first, the thing about black people is we’re people. this little known fact means face paint isn’t necessary to portray us. even as a white person, people would still know you were a rapper or football player if your face wasn’t painted brown.
instead of my typical lesson on the racist history of blackface, including minstrel shows, i’ll keep it simple. if your halloween costume involved pretending to be a person of color and you accentuated it with brown face paint, then you’re racist. no qualifiers are necessary or applicable.
more disturbing than the typical racist foolery that occurs on halloween are the people who dressed as ray rice, the nfl player who knocked his wife unconscious in a las vegas elevator. of course, this costume was incomplete without women or baby dolls as props to represent his battered wife, janay. this is so obviously offensive until i’m annoyed by the need to address it, but i will: if your halloween costume involved depicting one of the most violent domestic violence scenarios people have witnessed another couple experience, then you’re a misogynist (and racist if it involved face paint). no qualifiers are necessary or applicable.
if black folks and women ever questioned how the majority views us in this society, just wait until october 31st for the truth to be revealed. halloween is a celebration of this country’s racist and misogynistic underpinnings.
popular model and blogger danii phae bravely shared images of her alleged abuse by ex-boyfriend j$tash. in a tumblr post, she described him as someone who abused her “verbally, mentally and emotionally.” according to danii he became physically violent on september 15th after she confronted him regarding his infidelity.
my heart goes out to this young sister who is facing such a difficult struggle. her courage is beyond commendable, especially because her popularity gives her every reason to hide her abuse. instead, she’s using the very platform that helped make her famous, the internet, to empower others and “speak up against domestic violence for those who can’t due to the manipulative acts [their] abusers inflict.”
the blogosphere is full of pretentious posturing that makes people feel inadequate. fashion, interior style, and lifestyle blogs create an insatiable urge for things we need, want, or will soon be tricked into believing we can’t live without. bloggers play the role of cultivating markets for goods and paradigms by posting “it” items or providing influential social commentary; however, in the mist of such influence, we’re fallible humans whose diaries just happen to have received audiences. as such, much of what you read on politics and fashion is simply a creative expression–don’t assume the bright colors and images coincide with a life free from pain and fear. i’m just like you, and here are 5 things i was afraid to tell you:
1. i spent much of my adult life in emotionally abusive and physically violent relationships. as someone who self-identifies as a feminist, my past may seem oxymoronic, but in fact, vulnerability and insecurity have no ideological persuasion. as a caretaker, i often make excuses for partners, instead of running when situations become unhealthy. i’m finally starting to trust my judgment enough to embrace my value and simultaneously disassemble the destructive norms i’ve created for intimate relationships.
2. i’m a smoker. i started smoking in college and it’s been an on and off again dance with nicotine. i’m so embarassed until i hide from my co-workers when i smoke at work.
3. i don’t like my height. i wish i was just a few inches shorter. i’m almost six-feet tall and although i’ve resigned myself to the fact that i’ll never shrink, it’s still annoying to reach down and hug my friends. i’m sensitive to the question “how tall are you?” because it feels like a nice way of calling me a freak.
4. i’m an introvert, masquerading as an extrovert. the only reason i’m the loudest person in the room with the biggest smile is because i’m too shy to be shy. being outgoing is a coping mechanism for my natural inclination to retreat.
5. i wish i was a dancer. actually, any type of visual or performing artist would do, but being a dancer is a dream. however, the toughest part about this desire is that i can’t dance. besides a simple two-step, my dancing ability is pretty limited. do you know how long i practiced the dougie to no avail? not my shining moment.
things i’m afraid to tell you was started by creature comforts and is a network of bloggers who’ve decided to dedicate some time to transparency and self-assessment. the following are participating bloggers: