Like all mythology, that of the criminally bad Black mother spread through storytelling—lurid tales told with bitter resentment. Haven’t you heard the one about the jaywalking mother whose son was hit by a drunk driver? Surely you know all about the homeless mother who left her two children in the car during a job interview. And now there’s the McDonald’s mother who abandoned her daughter at the playground.
But what do these stories leave out? Our welfare system is designed to put everyone to work regardless of circumstance. Unfortunately, the low-wage jobs attainable for most mothers lead to a parental quagmire. Between low paychecks and inflexible work schedules, how is one to arrange for adequate child care? With no apparent options, the answer is often that they simply cannot.
Such women, it’s been repeated to you, are bad mothers who deserve to be punished, and increasingly we’re doing just that. Indeed, the mythology of bad Black mothers was never just a part of our cultural folklore—it’s entrenched in our legal system.
Over the last three decades, the population of incarcerated women has grown by over 800%, and women of color have been locked up at disproportionately high rates. African American women are three times more likely than White women to be thrown in jail or prison.
The justice system doles out particularly harsh punishments for infractions that relate to motherhood. Although pregnant Black and White women take drugs at similar rates, expecting Black mothers are 10 times more likely to be reported to child welfare for drug use, according to the Drug Policy Alliance.
Mandatory minimum sentencing has slowly eliminated judicial discretion and exacerbated the racial disparities. In addition, most child maltreatment laws and definitions of neglect are very vague, leaving room for prejudice based on race, class and gender to creep in. One in nine Black children have an incarcerated parent. Who stands to gain from this?
Quote is from Debra Harrell and The Mythology of Bad Black Mothers in The Los Angeles Times. Though she is out of jail now, she was subsequently fired from her job and her daughter remains in state custody. @prisonculture shared a link for a fundraiser for her at You Caring.
I am fascinated (as in repulsed) by the people pretending to care about the well-being of her daughter—by ignoring all of the structural inequalities and lack of options for Debra—suggesting that she could’ve been kidnapped playing at the busy child park. If they care then they must care about the structural problems that lead to lack of options. And if they care, then they have a funny way of showing it since when Black girls and even adult Black women go missing, there is less concern, less media coverage and often they are marked off as “runaways.” So now Black girls are capable of being taken? I know Harrell was in a bind that poverty creates and even those all about bootstraps magically have no answer for the fact that McDonald’s fired her because they don’t pay her enough to afford childcare. And she worked.
Take a look at Black Feminist Thought: Knowledge, Consciousness, and the Politics of Empowerment by Patricia Hill Collins; she goes further than this article did as to how the mythology of the “inherently” bad Black mother came about and how it unironically co-exists with the “thoughtful mammy” who raises any children (especially White ones) “well,” except her own. Critical read.
A radical bi movement… would also acknowledge the way that patriarchy simultaneously privileges and hurts men. It would hold men accountable to their privilege while helping them dismantle it. Such a movement would remember that bisexuality gives men a “way out” of dominant masculinity, and would use this as an opportunity for creating subversive, antipatriarchal masculinities.
sickwithlackofbasis asked: Australia gets a reputation in the anti-racist movement that it is heavily, heavily loaded with colonial & everyday racism - seeing as you live there, what is your take on it?
This is gonna be unpopular opinion central. But I think that’s a load of shit (for the most part). Rural Australia, where I grew up, can be incredibly racist/homophobic/rough in general. But that’s a small and for some reason, magnified part of the population that people pay attention to. Most Australians that I’ve come across are not inherently racist. There’s just a quite small, very loud minority that are shitcunts. As with most things.
I often hear people bring up the idea that Australians are racist because we forcibly took Australia from the aboriginals. Which shits me to tears because isn’t that exactly how any other country was colonised? What the hell did America do to their natives? Wouldn’t that mean they’re equally as ‘racist’? It’s a bunch of balls, basically.
Essentially, yes there is racism, no it isn’t any better or worse than anywhere else from what I’ve seen from living here for 18 years.
It’s not just an idea that Australians are racist towards Indigenous peoples? It’s the truth. We are discriminated against on a social and institutional level. We have the highest incarceration rates and with the recent budget, $500 million has been cut from Indigenous services. A shocking $160 million being cut from health services. How is all of that okay, when in a town just a short flight from Sydney, the life expectancy for Aboriginal peoples is just 37? How are these funding cuts okay when we having Indigenous peoples living in poverty, literal poverty?
And I’m sorry, but what? Australia was declared “terra nullius”, which means “no man’s land”. That is completely false as there were PEOPLE living here, there were CULTURES and there were many LANGUAGES. Indigenous Australia has always had organized societies and communities. But by declaring this land terra nullius, that put us to the same status and flora and fauna. We weren’t considered human, we were animals… sub-human. Let me say this; illegitimately seized and stolen land does not become legitimate property over time.
This land is First Nations land. It has always been that way. It was stolen and its people slaughtered; all in the name of the British Empire and “foreign investment” as Tony Abbott would say.
Native American peoples suffered horribly, too. Like Indigenous Australian peoples their populations were decimated by diseases that their invaders carried with them, their children were stolen, they were moved off from their homelands and forced onto reservations & missions and of course there were the massacres. The list could go on. You have no right to compare colonization and invasion in different nations. Oppression isn’t a game, it isn’t fun.
Australia is just known for being a racist country. Not just for the past wrong-doings, but for the ones that happen today. If you cannot think of current example of racism and discrimination towards Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, does the “stop the boats” policy ring any bells? Does labeling people who have a right by International Law to seek asylum sound racist?
Racism (in its many forms) is alive and well in Australia.
"I was on the cover of Time magazine in June, and that same month, four trans women of color were murdered in the United States. So just because I got an Emmy nomination doesn’t mean the lives of trans people aren’t in peril every day.” - Laverne Cox
"I was traveling before the days of electronic surveillance, before the hijackers and terrorists arrived. For the arrival of these people, the people in the seats of power have only themselves to blame. Who, indeed, has hijacked more than England has, for example, or who is more skilled in the uses of terror than my own unhappy country? Yes, I know: nevertheless, children, what goes around comes around, what you send out comes back to you. A terrorist is called that only because he does not have the power of the State behind him – indeed, he has no State, which is why he is a terrorist. The State, at bottom, and when the chips are down, rules by means of a terror made legal – that is how Franco ruled so long, and is the undeniable truth concerning South Africa. No one called the late J. Edgar Hoover a terrorist, though that is precisely what he was: and if anyone wishes, now, in this context, to speak of “civilized” values or “democracy” or “morality,” you will pardon this poor nigger if he puts his hand before his mouth, and snickers – if he laughs at you. I have endured your morality for a very long time, am still crawling up out of that dungheap: all that the slave can learn from his master is how to be a slave, and that is not morality."
Des images dans les rues de Tagherdayt (Ghardaia) où des magasins de mozabites sont pillés, saccagés et brûlés par des bandes d’arabes châambas. (mars 2014)
Video of the streets of Tagherdayt (Ghardaia) where the mozabites’ stores have been looted, ransacked and burned by arabs châambas mobs. (march 2014)
SEE WHAT THE PRO-ARABS ARE DOING TO AMAZIGH PEOPLE IN ALGERIA … AND YET NO ONE TALKS ABOUT IT !!! THESE PEOPLE MATTER TOO !
Anonymous asked: honestly curious, why does it offend you?
i see lucy as a racist film that plays on negative stereotypes while hiding behind the cover of (white) feminism.
all this film has done is switch out the white man for a white woman. it’s still a film about a white person getting violated by the evil poc, then gaining power and wiping them out.
here’s 2 of my favourite scenes from the trailer:
from top to left to right:
KEEP CLEAN 保持清潔，APPLE 蘋果，ONION 洋蔥，GRAPE 葡萄，
CHAIR 椅子EDIT: sorry it says ORANGE 橘子，TOMATO 番茄
traditional chinese is an actual written language used by millions of people, not symbols to be thrown around at the whim of set designers because they look cool and idk, serves to create a menacing asian atmosphere. this is so disrespectful, and made even worse by the fact that this film in set it taipei, taiwan where the official written language is traditional chinese.
it doesn’t matter that this film caters to a primarily “white” audience who won’t be able to read it, the language and culture of taiwan isn’t something for you to twist and use as you deem fit because it’s “exotic.”
lucy shoots a guy for not being able to speak english.
she l i t e r a l l y shoots this taiwanese taxi driver, in taiwan for not being able to speak english. she’s in taipei and she’s shooting people as they are of no use to her because they don’t speak english.
just think about the sort of message that’s sending out. she’s not being “bad-ass strong female character who takes no shit,” she’s saying that english is useful and better. this is the type of harmful ideology that stretches all the way back from when western countries were colonising and forcing their language and customs on other countries.
let me explain with a real life example. i was born in new zealand to two taiwanese parents. i am fluent in english, but mandarin is conversational at best. my friends in taiwan say that i am “so lucky” to speak fluent english, when they are fluent in mandarin and their english level is no worse than my mandarin. they tell me that they want to perfect their english but in the same breath tell me that mandarin isn’t worth perfecting because i have english and that’s “enough”. they also tell me how pretty my white friends are when they see pictures.
this is the type of neo imperialism ideology that they’ve grown up buying into. it honestly hurts and frustrates me that they belittle their own culture like this, honestly believing that the western world is superior. this is the type of neo imperialism ideology that this film (hopefully unintentionally) promotes: white people are better and will save the day.
if they wanted to film a movie about a white women getting back at those who had violated her, why not film it in a western country? if they wanted to film it in taiwan, why not find an asian lead actress?
i do agree that we need more women protagonists in action/superhero movies, but not like this. its not okay that the female lead needs to be kidnapped and have her body cut open without her consent in order to gain her powers, and those said those powers do not make any of this racist bullshit okay.
i am just so tired and angry of poc always being brushed off to the side as either props or villains in mainstream media.
as a poc, it’s so frustrating to see that the of the standard of beauty still white women when we live in multi-cultural societies and a diverse world.
feminism is about equality. a film in which poc are presented as evil and inferior before being killed off by a superior white woman does not promote equality.
As I mentioned in an announcement post for #YouOkSis and a recent anti-street harassment post #NotJustHello, #YouOkSis (started by Black feminist thinker, writer and social worker @FeministaJones) is a dialogue for Black women to speak openly and freely about the reality of violence in…
June 24 2014
Alecia Phonesavanh is the mother of Bounkham Phonesavanh, nicknamed “Baby Bou Bou.” She and her family live in Atlanta. For more information about Bou Bou, go to www.justiceforbabyboubou.com.
Signal boost this. Signal boost the crap out of this.
Put that team in front of a firing squad
In May 2010, sleeping 7 year old Aiyana Jones was shot and killed by police officer Jeffrey Weekley. He has not been convicted, but will go to trial again in September.
In January 2008, 14 month old Sincere Wilson was shot in his home and his mother Tarika Wilson was murdered by police officer Joe Chavalia. Chavalia was only charged with misdemeanors, but he was acquitted of even that.