Part II - My #MeToo "Hipster Racism" - Yasmin Choudhury
"#Hipster Racism" is not new.
It is as old as time. It is just that in the ancient days - they were presented as intellectuals, fashionable doyennes of the day.
Take BlackAdder (who I love watching) is a classic brilliant loveable scary but thankfully spoof examples of how intelligent people do love to stereotype and hold positions of utter power and be in contempt of others who do not fit their agenda and narrative. We can all laugh but we stop laughing when we realise some modern day Blackadders do exist and are not even intelligent but hold positions of power - because the fall out of such conduct in real life does have impact.
"Hipster racists" or Liberal Racists as I have been calling them, ("10 Ways White Liberals Perpetuate Racism" Huffpost article is very good) are EVERYWHERE. In different guises.
There is a reason the film Get Out written by Jordan Peel, who talks in the video below, so stunningly showcases this very subtle yet endemic problem. His writing makes all colours squirm because we have seen it or heard of such dialogues. Part Horror. Comedy and Social Documentary. Please watch this film?
Such folk can be found in sectors as diverse as politics, academia, sports, arts, publishing but rarely..... music. It is why I champion enjoy seeing white artistes with huge platforms and following collaborating with emerging ethnic and R&B starts, which then also helps them onwards towards their career. They do have spats but they can get quickly called out because it is splashed all over social media and often - it is elite POC music artistes who because they have the luxury of a platform get to say something without any fall out.
But the blame is not to be on white people's alone. In the past few years, I have seen a few of my own WOC and MOC (men of colour) behave disgracefully or attempt to cloy their own way up and build their media profiles - while also upholding white narrative and even misogyny and racism - without wanting to call it out. It is always such a disappointment. Some though do it because there is no choice or truly lack resources and means to stand up. Really - because it will bite the hand that feeds and at the end of the day - like all who are marginalised in society, you learn to jump the vehicle that will carry your message.
"Hipster Racists" hurts society more because they are harder to fight. And these people do not realise they are so deeply embedded in racism sadden me. As we need them to wake up and help us fight likes of Trump and Far Right. They get embedded and myopic I guess because often they are all things to all people.
Also they will have many black, Hispanic, Asian friends.
While the "Hipster Racism" displayed by Lena Dunham that Zinzi talks about has some of the more overt tactics, such as free use of the N word within Ms Dunham's liberal, creative circle, am perplexed how some who are white like Lena's unnamed friend think it is 'ok' to use it. It seems to be a self-governing free license (oh the sheer arrogance) as after all, perhaps such white people themselves cannot understand why they would be so aghast and deemed 'racist' because after all, in their eyes, they belong to artsy or creative world.
To be fair there are also other more sinister subtext versions of such white circles that abound.
These include silencing us WOC; not giving us platform unless it fits their agenda and narrative they wish to control for us (especially us as Muslim WOC) and the White Saviour Complex - where we have ideas and are thought leaders in our own field of expertise but along comes the "White Hipster Cuckoo" who builds his/her nest by using our creative content and ideas and thought leadership.
There is also another form of silencing that means WOC are made more disadvantaged and lack platform and have to think twice about being seen to be 'assertive', 'crazy' or "bitter" and "whiny". The idea that we just want to own and control our own voices as basic default is frightening.
Moreover - we are reliant often on an income stream paid by many who are not WOC, who get to behave in a way they should not with us. Examples include scrutinising our merit for existing, 'tokenism' and choosing who, within our WOC gets to speak. Behave well - the rewards are huge. Misbehave - then often "white women" it is argued will not even come be your safety net - as happened to Sport broadcaster ESPNs Jemele Hill. I was so sad to see lack of global support for her.
As Ava DuVerney wrote in her Twitter in October 2017, "Calling white women allies to recognize conflict of #WomenBoycottTwitter for women of color who haven't received support on similar issues."
Next. While Kardashians are not racist in any shape or form, why is it I am having to read about allegations of gross appropriation from WOC by members of some of the Kardashians, who should know better and have a huge ethnic and black following?
Kardashians even have minority heritage (Armenian) and appear to be such a diverse family, so why do they fail when it comes to championing some WOC that rightfully deserve credit on their own merit? What message does this send to young kids who are WOC.
Recent examples included the design battle that some members of the Kardashians have been embroiled in.
My heart goes out to the designers
Tizita Balemlay & Kardashians
Destiney Bleu & Khloe Kardashian although the latter is contesting this hence why for accuracy I have ensured this angle provides right of reply
I was also reminded of an article by Alexandra Shulman's and her mystified wonder as to why not enough WOC ever featured on Vogue. Please read? (Thanks to Twitter Friend Sam for bringing this to my attention).
Part III - To be continued......
November 20, 2017
(If you enjoyed this post - pls support Zinzi's request to support Doug Jones for Senate)