Gentrification, Hipsters and “Ghetto Chic.”

This post by Wendy Muse on Racialicious just about sums up (really well) what I have been feeling about the hipsters all up in “our hoodz stealin all our fashionz.” I also feel old as I wore door knockers the first time around (NY in the 80′s) eeek.
Muse is discussing all her personal negotiations and some of the political stakes involved with “ghetto chic.” She says,

For one, it’s a matter of nomenclature. The term “ghetto� is evocative of “negative� images (poverty, housing projects, crime, drug use, lack of education), and remains racialized by the media. Ghettoes and poverty are typically associated with blacks and Latinos, even though as a result of the racial demographics of the United States, there are technically more poor whites. According to a U.S. Census Bureau Press Release from 2003, though “non-Hispanic whites had a lower poverty rate than other racial groups, [they] accounted for 44 percent of the people in poverty,� which makes me wonder why whites are virtually ignored in discussions of class and blacks and Latinos are always assumed to make up the majority of the poor population in this country. . . but that’s another article.

A few months ago I was sitting in a coffee shop in my neighborhood, a coffee shop I can no longer go to as I may fight somebody, and this white “hipster” boy sat down across from me wearing a red bandana tied on the front of his head, Tupac style. That’s right, he was “GANGSTA.” I am not laughing. I shot him the nastiest look and freaked him out so he didn’t want to share the table with me, but I was raging inside.
I worked in the schools in and around San Francisco’s Mission District for about 5 years and am very familiar with the problems that are tearing our schools apart and our communities. Our kids didn’t wear red. And I thought about how this kid, moved into the Mission and was just walking around wearing a flag, like he is on some shit. I thought that god forbid if he got shot (which is highly unlikely, I don’t want to further sensationalize gang violence the way the media does) how the media would cover it. They wouldn’t say anything about his ignorance of any of the local politics or any of the racist ways that these people just move on in and visually violate these communities. To move into a community, uninformed, taking from it, not giving back and flaunting your expensive Ipod and “ghetto chic” accessories, is a form of violence.
I may be sounding like a hater, and maybe I am just too old to get it, but I AM FED UP WITH THESE KIDS. I hate Vice Magazine and I hate this attitude that pretty much says, “I am so passed racist, I can act like this.” Wake up asshole, look around you, you are part of the problem.
This is much less articulate than Wendy’s post, lol. I wrote about this a few years ago, when I had heard about the “Kill Whitey,” parties in Brooklyn. I had hoped that the trend was dying out, but I was oh so wrong. I am so moving back to Oakland (although I hear they are invading there as well).

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152 Comments

  1. Jane Minty
    Posted May 30, 2007 at 7:38 pm | Permalink

    but one addendum on a serious note: the people who support this kind of forum are (as mentioned before) more enlightened than most folks. applying the term “racist” to the average feminist is going to affect us more than someone like Ann Coulter, and we will take it personally. it goes against who we are and strive to be. please keep this in mind, moving forward; we’re not as evil as you think.

  2. Posted May 30, 2007 at 7:42 pm | Permalink

    Stench of white privilege? Can you cite examples?
    A better question would be where aren’t the examples of white privilege? But I’ll start off with that very quote.
    White privilege is the ability to not even recognize your own white privilege. Enlighten yourself with that.

  3. Mina
    Posted May 30, 2007 at 7:43 pm | Permalink

    “Unfortunately, I don’t see any solution to gentrification, except to ignore poor communities as ever and let them languish in crime and poverty.”
    Either that or maybe some sort of rent control?
    http://www.planetizen.com/node/24451
    —————————
    “…In the U.S., housing security is most often achieved through home ownership. But while two-thirds of U.S. households own their home, the government incentives and subsidies for home ownership don’t work as well in high-cost and landlord-heavy New York — so two-thirds of households there rent. Rent regulation simply provides renters two of the same types of stability that home owners enjoy and that everyone deserves and needs. First, rent control makes housing costs predictable, which is vital for any long-term financial plans a family may have. Second, it makes the location of one’s home more stable as well, which is vital since displacement when the rent goes up can disrupt one’s job, children’s schools, child care arrangements, health care access, family networks, and more.
    “The importance of housing stability gives the lie to another common idea, that rent control is something only the poor need. The last revision of New York’s rent regulations stripped its protections from apartments renting for more than $2,000 and tenants making more than $175,000. But everyone needs housing stability — and policies that have a broad constituency, like Social Security, are politically more secure than ones that target only the poor. Landlords push to reduce eligibility for rent regulation because making it a program for the poor alone will make it a program vulnerable to elimination. While eliminating protections for upper-income brackets today may sound satisfying to class warriors, remember that the first time New York luxury apartments were exempted from rent control (in 1958) “luxury” meant rents above $416 a month. In the same way, time and inflation mean the $2,000 cap in place today will slowly strangle rent control if it’s not repealed…”
    —————————
    “How the hell am I supposed to know what color bandanna is appropriate or not? Is there someplace where I can find out?”
    Years ago I heard that American gangs tend to prefer bright primary colors instead of more subtle tones, so one may not wish to wear them where one suspects a gang claims turf.
    OTOH, for all I know these days some newer gangs did choose lavender or forest green because the bolder colors were already taken.
    “I also believe bandannas were originally made popular by Western cowboys, but nobody wrote an angry blog when rappers started wearing them. Just saying.”
    Then there’s that Rosie the Riveter poster.
    “I for one am looking forward to Shelby Lee Adams Chic, featuring the fashions of the Appalachian holler.”
    Would that have anything to do with rockabilly?
    “well, if I see anyone wearing a pair punk pins and they are not punk, I guess I should get offended when they come into my punk neighborhood. I guess they are taking a form of violence against my culture… oh wait, i’m white, apparently I dont have a culture.”
    Did you see Latoya Peterson’s comment at Racialicious?
    —————————
    “…On one hand, the rise of ghetto chic is interesting to me because…and how do I say this politely…the ghetto is so over it.
    “I was shocked to see one of my hood relations come to the house looking like me in my high school days – shocking day glo hair, ripped bell bottom jeans with lacy overlay, tiny baby tee, belt with a skull and crossbones. Checking out the fashion of young teens in the more impoverished areas, it looks like hip-hop style is so yesterday.
    “The new thing is kind of a modified rock-punk look. (Interestingly, musical taste hasn’t really changed, just aesthetic). So, right when fashion decided to play ghetto-dress up, the ghetto dropped the style.
    “I find this endlessly amusing…”
    —————————
    “There was a time in my life that I was accused of being a part of gentrification (by a few people who knew nothing about me other than the apparent color of my skin). I was just living there because I was genuinely poor.”
    Sounds like someone didn’t get what the “gentri-” part of “gentrification” means.
    “You hate us in the suburbs, and you hate us in the city, so, uh…where should we go?”
    Maybe they want you to be rural? There’s more to human habitat than suburban areas and urban areas.
    “Thus, it was vastly annoying to run into people who clearly spent a lot of time shopping at Hot Topic, but had never bothered to learn the names of (let alone actually listen to) even the most well-known goth bands.”
    That just reminded me of a definition I saw once on Usenet:
    —————————
    “An Ancient Goth is a barbarian who destroyed the Roman Empire. A Modern Goth is a vegetarian who yearns to be a vampire.”
    —————————
    “No matter how much I learn about Japanese culture, I will never be Japanese.”
    At least, not unless you go through the apparently-years-long process of gaining citizenship there.
    “The city governments should be held accountable, too. The zoning and rezoning in some areas is insane.”
    Right on! Zoning can be used for good or for evil, and unfortunately it’s used badly too often.
    “This may be totally out there, but I have the feeling that a person of color, no matter how much money they do or don’t have, can walk in way more places in NYC and not feel like they’re going to get robbed.”
    Way more places? Are you sure about that…?
    “I’ve actually had black people tell me ‘don’t go to ____ unless you have a n***** (their words, not mine) with you.’”
    Wouldn’t this also keep ____ off the list of places in NYC an Asian can walk into and not feel like she or he is going to get robbed?

  4. TheSoyMilkConspiracy
    Posted May 30, 2007 at 7:43 pm | Permalink

    Samhita, I’ll start off by saying that what you just said totally makes sense and it’s a good point, but I’m also, at this point, feeling totally helpless and frustrated and a little bit nauseous because of the blinding, eye-rolling sarcasm you choose to emphasize an otherwise productive comment with. I really, honestly, 100% don’t know what to do next. I feel like I’m beating my head against a brick wall. I’m sorry if you don’t find this thread interesting and educational – I do. I think it’s impossible NOT to learn something, whatever it is, from a conversation like this.
    I feel obliged to note that I have had several people here mercilessly criticize me for being ignorant and tell me to go fucking learn something about someone else’s culture, and as I’m trying to do that or even just participate in a conversation, I’m getting accosted by the same people who apparently think that by trying to learn how I can change the very thing we ALL agree is fucked up, I’m patronizing them and their experience by having a discussion.
    Really, what is it you want us to do or say? I asked this a few comments ago, and nobody answered. What could I the individual do to lessen the sting of white privilege for the people oppressed by it? I am really, truly, seriously asking. I get that you and others are pissed at us, think we don’t understand, think we’re willfully racist and ignorant – WHAT CAN WE DO TO CHANGE THIS?
    Lucy Stone, I got you. The trailer fashion thing was just something I thought of last minute and popped in there, but I see what you were getting at.

  5. Posted May 30, 2007 at 7:49 pm | Permalink

    but one addendum on a serious note: the people who support this kind of forum are (as mentioned before) more enlightened than most folks. applying the term “racist” to the average feminist is going to affect us more than someone like Ann Coulter, and we will take it personally. it goes against who we are and strive to be. please keep this in mind, moving forward; we’re not as evil as you think.

    I don’t think that being a feminist makes you automatically sensitive to race issues. Just like liberal men can easily be just as misogynist as anyone else, feminists can and do ignore the points of view of people of color.

  6. mooserider
    Posted May 30, 2007 at 7:55 pm | Permalink

    sorry if i’m being repetitive…i only ready through about half the comments.
    anyway, i don’t have a problem with cultures borrowing from each other, like in different fusion cuisines, or when a designer takes inspiration from other cultures.
    i do, however, have a problem with hipsters who wear ‘ghetto’ clothing as a way to be oh so witty and ironic. this is what makes me mad – people who are wearing do-rags or bandanas or whatever because it is such a joke that they would be associated with black culture or poverty or violence or whatever they associate with ghettos. and i’m not talking based on assumptions – i went to a school where most students were the wealthy, private school types. shopping at goodwill was another good way to be ironic. does that make sense?

  7. Posted May 30, 2007 at 7:56 pm | Permalink

    Cara,
    The problem shouldn’t come from making the comparison. The “privilege problem” or whatever you want to call it comes from what you DO with the comparison.
    Oh, and to address your false accusation (where’d you get the basis for that one?) I am not working from the assumption that “white people and people of color are starting out at the same level in this country.” That is clearly not true, and nothing in my post suggests otherwise.
    I AM, however, asking the question of what level of action, statement, and invective is justified in lieu of that disparity. What type of imbalance is necessary. Hopefully the answer isn’t “anything i say.” I think this post was over the line.
    It is in fact privilege to compare oppressed communities who seek solace in each other through shared culture and experience and feel rightfully defensive toward outsiders to the segregation that whites used to legally impose and still informally practice to this day.
    No, it’s not.
    POC are not the only ones who have “shared culture and experience.” Whites have it, too. You don’t get to call it “racist privilege” when whites want to protect their communities, and ALSO call it “wonderful shared culture” when the reverse happens.
    What you’re doing is making an a priori assumption that any defensive behavior by whites is “bad”, while defensive behavior by POC is “rightful.” Worse yet, you’re trying to prevent me from even questioning that assumption, by accusing me of being “privileged” in the hopes I’ll drop it.
    They’re both protectionist; they’re both similar motivations. People generally like things to stay the same, whichever race they are.
    Is one, perhaps, justified? Sure, maybe. I don’t pretend that the effects of gentrification are evenly distributed across races. Race-specific issues exist, and always will, in this country.
    But talking about it is not privileged.

  8. Posted May 30, 2007 at 7:58 pm | Permalink

    About this:
    “Samhita, great post. But these comments reek of bullshit, and the stench of white privilege is burning my eyes. I’m gone. And people wonder why WOCs blast on Feministing?”
    Let’s remember that there is a difference between the writers of a blog (like Samhita, Celina, Jen, Jessica, et. al) who do their best to analyze, critique, inform and spark debate — and commenters, who are unaffiliated with the blog and who have their own agendas, politics and tone (this holds true for all blogs, not just Feministing). It’s basically akin to newspaper and magazine content vs. letters to the editor — the content of a publication is the responsibility of the journalists they employ as well as of the institution that publishes that outlet. Content of letters to the editor are not produced by the outlet and do not reflect the opinions of the outlet. (It’s actually not a perfect one-to-one comparison, because newspapers and magazines have some responsibility for choosing which few letters they print each edition, which helps to skew debate for or against certain sides of issues, voices, etc. With comments on most blogs, there’s far less of a selection process – usually, most posts are allowed to remain unless they’re outright violent, use hate speech/slurs, etc.)
    Which is to say, just because there are racist comments in the Feministing comments section — just like there are sexist and racist comments in the AlterNet and TAP comments — that doesn’t mean these blogs themselves are racist (or sexist). Don’t stop reading Feministing if you don’t like the comments – just don’t read the comments, then!

  9. Raging Moderate
    Posted May 30, 2007 at 8:04 pm | Permalink

    “Ghetto chic” is huge, it is everywhere. The popularization of hip-hop has affected style, music, art, food, everything. That in and of itself is not inherently bad. But have the “ghettos” become a better place to be. Have the same problems that affect poor, urban youth, disappeared. No.

    Are you suggesting that if hip hop style was not so popular, more progress would be made regarding those problems? What does one have to do with the other?

    I know it is hard to understand why white people aren’t allowed to do whatever they want, since our culture assumes that white people are entitled to whatever they want without consequences.

    Why shouldn’t any person, regardless of their skin color, be able to do whatever they want without consequences? Isn’t that a goal of the anti-racism movement?
    And what consequences do you think are appropriate for the boy in the coffee shop dressed as a gangsta?

    I don’t deny I am being a hater

    Well, we finally agree on something
    As for the hipster scarf: here in Montreal, you’ll see several kaffiyehs if you walk down the street on a cold day. It’s fashionable and it keeps your neck warm. Why shouldn’t we wear them?

  10. Mina
    Posted May 30, 2007 at 8:17 pm | Permalink

    “i do, however, have a problem with hipsters who wear ‘ghetto’ clothing as a way to be oh so witty and ironic. this is what makes me mad – people who are wearing do-rags or bandanas or whatever because it is such a joke”
    As opposed to people who wear do-rags, bandannas, etc. just because they think those look good? OK, got it. :)
    “As for the hipster scarf: here in Montreal, you’ll see several kaffiyehs if you walk down the street on a cold day. It’s fashionable and it keeps your neck warm. Why shouldn’t we wear them?”
    http://iamfashion.blogspot.com/2007/04/scarves-for-now.html
    http://swedenburg.blogspot.com/2007/02/kufiyaspotting-14-new-york-times-citing.html
    Now I’m wondering what people would say about pink and purple kaffiyehs, and reminded a little of this article I saw once on baseball fashion which included a photo of a Sikh fan wearing his Red Sox turban.

  11. Jane Minty
    Posted May 30, 2007 at 8:25 pm | Permalink

    I don’t think that being a feminist makes you automatically sensitive to race issues. Just like liberal men can easily be just as misogynist as anyone else, feminists can and do ignore the points of view of people of color.
    Anything is possible (and I know men like this), but often I feel if I try to understand the issues surrounding WOC I get easily dismissed. If I don’t try to understand, I get reprimanded. Which is it? What do you want me to say or believe? I can’t help how I was born, so deal with it. Damned if you do, and damned if you don’t.
    Stench of white privilege? Can you cite examples?
    A better question would be where aren’t the examples of white privilege? But I’ll start off with that very quote.
    White privilege is the ability to not even recognize your own white privilege. Enlighten yourself with that.
    I haven’t seen anyone here express any negative sentiments towards POC, and wanted an example. How is this tone necessary or relevant? Again, what do you want me to say? Are you willing to have a conversation, or would you just prefer to berate me for my skin color? Are you applying this to every race and economic situation, or just people with light skin, no matter what their backgrounds?
    The ball is in your court.

  12. Posted May 30, 2007 at 8:28 pm | Permalink

    What could I the individual do to lessen the sting of white privilege for the people oppressed by it?
    First, acknowledge that it exists.
    Second, acknowledge that, as a white person, you are the beneficiary of it. No matter what your ancestors’ background, what happened in your past, whats happening in your present, and what may happen in your future, you do benefit from it.
    Third, learn about white privilege yourself instead of asking the most convenient POC. It is not our job to teach you (you=general) about racism and privilege.
    Fourth, and I can’t stress this enough: It’s not all about you.

  13. Mina
    Posted May 30, 2007 at 8:34 pm | Permalink

    “Third, learn about white privilege yourself instead of asking the most convenient POC.”
    Instead, ask the most convenient librarian.
    “It is not our job to teach you (you=general) about racism and privilege.”
    Yeah, this is like lurking on a newsgroup for a while before chiming in, right?

  14. Jane Minty
    Posted May 30, 2007 at 8:41 pm | Permalink

    Second, acknowledge that, as a white person, you are the beneficiary of it. No matter what your ancestors’ background, what happened in your past, whats happening in your present, and what may happen in your future, you do benefit from it.
    So, you’re saying my opinion doesn’t matter to you, nor will it ever by trying to entrap me into acknowledging something I may or may not personally believe. Any valuable cultural contributions or traits from my background are null and void.
    The saddest part of your sentiments is the last part:what may happen in your future, you do benefit from it. If you want to make any perceived differences irrelevant for future generations, you have to believe in change. Doesn’t sound like you have much faith in anything.
    Leave my ancestors out of this: they did nothing to you.

  15. Posted May 30, 2007 at 8:44 pm | Permalink

    Damn, Jane Minty, pass me some of what you’re smoking so I, too, can be so high up in the clouds that the world doesn’t move me.
    I haven’t seen anyone here express any negative sentiments towards POC, and wanted an example. How is this tone necessary or relevant? Again, what do you want me to say? Are you willing to have a conversation, or would you just prefer to berate me for my skin color? Are you applying this to every race and economic situation, or just people with light skin, no matter what their backgrounds?
    You asked for an example, and I threw your own quote right back at you. Now, read this slowly, and read it carefully. I’ll even type this in nice big letters for you:
    WHITE PRIVILEGE IS NOT KNOWING WHAT WHITE PRIVILEGE IS.
    And it has nothing to do with your ancestry or your past, or your parents, or even your present. White privilege is the result of centuries of instutionalized, government-applauded racism. White privilege means that if a person of color were in your exact same situation, her life would suck 10x more.
    White privilege is asking a person of color to show you examples of white privilege that are so blatant they’re practically making my eyes bleed, yet your own privilege is blinding you to them.
    White privilege is bothering a person of color with such a dumbass question with the expectation of being taught about race relations in relation to privilege instead of looking it up your damn self!

  16. Jane Minty
    Posted May 30, 2007 at 8:44 pm | Permalink

    Third, learn about white privilege yourself instead of asking the most convenient POC. It is not our job to teach you (you=general) about racism and privilege.
    Malaika924, for argument’s sake, are you actually interested in who I am as a human being, or in anything I have to say? I just wanted to make sure this wasn’t one-sided.

  17. Posted May 30, 2007 at 8:49 pm | Permalink

    Malaika924, for argument’s sake, are you actually interested in who I am as a human being, or in anything I have to say?
    Truthfully, no.
    Leave my ancestors out of this: they did nothing to you.
    Are you sure?

  18. Jane Minty
    Posted May 30, 2007 at 8:54 pm | Permalink

    Are you sure?
    Yeah, unless you were hanging out in Northern France or the Czech Republic hundreds of years ago.
    Truthfully, no.
    So, what’s my incentive for caring about you again? Is the trolling necessary?

  19. Trevelynne
    Posted May 30, 2007 at 8:55 pm | Permalink

    TheSoyMilkConspiracy-
    -One way to educate yourself is to look up various articles and books and blogs that address the ideas being discussed here. Read them. Think about them. Try not to get too defensive and dismiss them when they make you upset. Think about them some more.
    - Ditch the defeatist attitude expressed in this comment “but I, and every other white person I know (because I am not friends with assholes) would destroy white privilege in a heartbeat if we had that power, because we know it’s wrong.” You have the power. We all have the power. You, as a (presumably) white american, have more power than many. Use it. Figure out how you as an individual can affect change in society. Join/support groups that already do this.
    - Don’t demand a community to teach you. If you take a moment, you’ll notice that people have been indirectly teaching you. People have been speaking. Now you should listen (actually, you don’t have to do anything, but if you want to learn, listening is going to be the best way to go about it).
    - Go outside and interact with your community, but don’t use POC as your test subjects (meaning, they are not obligated to be anything to you – neither teacher nor pet to be brought out when you want to have your “ethnic” experience). This can be a very difficult thing for people to manage. Try.
    - Accept that people have different experiences, reactions to situations, and feelings about situations. If they feel attacked or trivialized or marginalized, it is an authentic feeling – even when you don’t agree. Accept it. Think about it. Figure out ways to be both respectful to those feelings and how to help make society better.
    ***These are just my opinions.

  20. Posted May 30, 2007 at 8:59 pm | Permalink

    So, what’s my incentive for caring about you again? Is the trolling necessary?
    Oh because I’m right, I must be trolling?
    And what makes you think that my ancestors weren’t in France or the Czech Republic?

  21. bettieclem
    Posted May 30, 2007 at 9:00 pm | Permalink

    SoyMilk–three concrete things you can do to better understand your white privilege:
    1) Read the essay I posted THREE TIMES ALREADY on this thread;
    2) Check out the People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond (www.pisab.org);
    3) Stop asking POC to do your own reflective race work for you. It is not their job, it is ours–we white folk have the power in this situation (and hint: that is a big part of the problem!)

  22. bettieclem
    Posted May 30, 2007 at 9:02 pm | Permalink

    (Hey Trevelynne, jinx! Kudos for being more diplomatic than I…)

  23. TheSoyMilkConspiracy
    Posted May 30, 2007 at 9:02 pm | Permalink

    Malaika924:
    For points one and two: go back and reread my comments. I acknowledge SEVERAL times that white privilege exists – I acknowledged that it exists in the very comment of mine that you JUST quoted! Isn’t asking “what could I the individual do to lessen the sting of white privilege for the people oppressed by it?” acknowlidging that it exists?! Jesus. I also state SEVERAL times that I understand that because I am white, I have and always will be a part of and benefit from white privilege. For you to attack me on these two points is completely unjustified – they were already acknowledged by me much earlier. It’s pretty clear that you’re choosing to ignore certain things that I say because you just might actually agree with them, and they’re not helpful in painting me as a total racist asshole.
    Your third point is totally valid, but I don’t think that completely shutting down and scoffing “go ask a librarian” when engaged in a discussion such as this one is necessarily the right response, and it can be reasonably interpreted in a really offputting way. I do, however, understand that it must be frustrating to be expected to be a spokesperson for “your people” as Samhita noted, and feel pressure from other people to explain things that they should already understand themselves. I’m with you on this one.
    And you’re right – it isn’t all about me, just like it’s not all about you or all about anybody on this thread. However, if people attack me or question me personally (which you and others have done), I’m going to answer you or them personally. Simple as that.
    On a completely different note, I would like to acknowledge that I have respect for every person on this board, you included. Disagreeing on things doesn’t mean you can’t be respectful or kind to people, but I’m not seeing this same reciprocation from certain people for various posters, and it’s really upsetting. Personal attacks when our general goal is the same is really hurtful. I’m hoping people can understand this, but I have an inkling that these feelings are just going to be totally dismissed.

  24. Posted May 30, 2007 at 9:03 pm | Permalink

    3) Stop asking POC to do your own reflective race work for you. It is not their job, it is ours–we white folk have the power in this situation (and hint: that is a big part of the problem!)
    THANK YOU!

  25. RacyT
    Posted May 30, 2007 at 9:03 pm | Permalink

    OK – I’m going to suggest a couple of things that have come to mind while watching this unfold.
    1) As a person who lives in a mid-size, very multicultural Canadian city, I can understand why some people don’t see the significance of a piece of clothing. Culturally, race is different here. Not that we don’t have racism, we’ve got it aplenty, but a bandanna is not *loaded* in some cultural environments as it clearly is in yours. I don’t think these people are trying to be insensitive; I think maybe it is just something they don’t instantly relate to.
    2) I’m going to exaggerate this to the point of caricature… imagine if a white guy in your neighbourhood started walking around dressed like an “Indian chief.” You’d think he was a huge asshole, right? If the same intention, the “irony” is behind people who co-opt gang clothing, that’s a good reason to be against it, I’m thinking?
    3) People here on both sides are making a lot of (sometimes very unfair) assumptions. Perhaps we could try to listen to each other. It might be more productive.
    4) You shouldn’t assume, because it makes an ass out of Uma Thurman. (Thanks, Stewart Smally!)
    I know this is a sensitive topic, but we should really be trying to have an authentic dialogue instead of ripping each other new ones.
    (Man, this US spell-check is confusing. But it’s right! It’s… oh.)

  26. Jane Minty
    Posted May 30, 2007 at 9:08 pm | Permalink

    Trevelynne, I do appreciate your non-insulting comments. Just know that probably a majority of us here already do these things, at least to some extent. In addition, I’m happy to consider your points; I just want to know that efforts made by non-WOC are also acknowledged, and not outright dismissed.
    Also, consider this for a moment: many of us in the Sesame Street generation don’t think about race because we were raised not to. Back then, not thinking about the racial background of your friends – just thinking of them as friends – was a good thing.
    Finally, just because I don’t devote a certain percentage of energy to whatever cause doesn’t mean I’m against it. I have many causes dear to me, and the amount of energy it takes to function with work and life in general is overwhelming at times.
    I’ve always been eager to learn about other cultures; I just don’t want mine dismissed in the process.

  27. bettieclem
    Posted May 30, 2007 at 9:08 pm | Permalink

    (Hey Trevelynne, jinx! Kudos for being more diplomatic than I…)

  28. Trevelynne
    Posted May 30, 2007 at 9:15 pm | Permalink

    bettieclem- Haha! But kudos to you for being more to the point! Good resources, too.

  29. bettieclem
    Posted May 30, 2007 at 9:17 pm | Permalink

    Jane, I SWEAR I am not trying to be an asshole, but this:
    “Finally, just because I don’t devote a certain percentage of energy to whatever cause doesn’t mean I’m against it. I have many causes dear to me, and the amount of energy it takes to function with work and life in general is overwhelming at times.”
    …that right there–the notion that undoing racism is a “cause” that you can be “for” or “against” depending on the time you have to spare it–that is the definition of white privilege.
    (Sorry for the double post earlier, signing off now–shoddy wireless at home).

  30. Jane Minty
    Posted May 30, 2007 at 9:19 pm | Permalink

    So, what’s my incentive for caring about you again? Is the trolling necessary?
    Oh because I’m right, I must be trolling?
    And what makes you think that my ancestors weren’t in France or the Czech Republic?
    Hm, you seem to imply it here, “Third, learn about white privilege yourself instead of asking the most convenient POC. It is not our job to teach you (you=general) about racism and privilege.” But you know at this point, I don’t even care either, since you obviously don’t give a rat’s ass about others’ opinions except for your own. Regardless, you’ve contributed only accusations and insults in this thread. How does this help anyone?

  31. Mina
    Posted May 30, 2007 at 9:21 pm | Permalink

    “Your third point is totally valid, but I don’t think that completely shutting down and scoffing ‘go ask a librarian’”
    Hey, don’t blame Malaika924 for the librarian comment, that was mine! Personally, I go ask librarians about stuff all the time. ;)

  32. Posted May 30, 2007 at 9:23 pm | Permalink

    For points one and two: go back and reread my comments. I acknowledge SEVERAL times that white privilege exists – I acknowledged that it exists in the very comment of mine that you JUST quoted! Isn’t asking “what could I the individual do to lessen the sting of white privilege for the people oppressed by it?” acknowlidging that it exists?! Jesus. I also state SEVERAL times that I understand that because I am white, I have and always will be a part of and benefit from white privilege. For you to attack me on these two points is completely unjustified – they were already acknowledged by me much earlier. It’s pretty clear that you’re choosing to ignore certain things that I say because you just might actually agree with them, and they’re not helpful in painting me as a total racist asshole.
    You say to-may-to, I say to-mah-to.
    I did see where you “acknowledged” that it exists. I also saw how in many of your comments, it’s pretty apparent that you don’t fully understand what white privilege is. Example:
    So Snappy Mac, along with educating myself about gentrification, institutionalized racism, the prison industrial complex, and about a billion other issues that we ignorant whities are supposed to educate ourselves on to be tolerable at best, I have to research every piece of clothing I wear so my big, bad, 120 pound ass isn’t trying to overtake the vulnerable streets of Brooklyn? Please. Some of us aren’t privileged enough to have the luxury of THAT much free time, and I’m doing the best I can.
    WTF was that??
    So, yes, you definitely need to go back and really learn about white privilege.
    Your third point is totally valid, but I don’t think that completely shutting down and scoffing “go ask a librarian” when engaged in a discussion such as this one is necessarily the right response, and it can be reasonably interpreted in a really offputting way.
    Everytime an issue of race is thrown in, POCs are always told that we’re being too sensitive, we don’t know what we’re talking about, or we’re playing the “race card”. And then, when we call someone on it, they want us to prove to them the validity of our argument. They want us to prove to them why our sense of discrimination and oppression is so valid.
    Fuck. That. Shit.
    It’s tiring, it’s frustrating, and, most of all, it’s painful.
    So, I’m sorry if you or anyone else don’t appreciate the fact that I don’t like to hold anybody’s hand and teach them about slavery and Mother Africa, and Dr. King, and affirmative action. Read a book. I’m sick of it.

  33. Posted May 30, 2007 at 9:28 pm | Permalink

    Jane:
    Just because I’m a Person of Color, doesn’t mean I don’t have white ancestors.
    Haven’t you ever realized that we all come in different shades of brown?
    Regardless of what the cute little Black girl with the funny sense of humor told you in elementary school, it wasn’t because she drank a lot of chocolate milk.

  34. Jane Minty
    Posted May 30, 2007 at 9:28 pm | Permalink

    Hey, I don’t think you’re an asshole at all. In fact, I take kindly to not being insulted. ;)
    …that right there–the notion that undoing racism is a “cause” that you can be “for” or “against” depending on the time you have to spare it–that is the definition of white privilege.
    Um, smaller projects that contribute to a greater cause – donating, volunteering, being aware of political issues, educating myself, listening, learning, interacting, making myself better…all the same things we ask people of feminism, yes?

  35. Posted May 30, 2007 at 9:33 pm | Permalink

    Jane:
    I could care if you don’t give a damn about me personally. I really don’t. But you lack of tolerance is really disturbing.
    You called me a troll earlier, so I suspect that you’re a regular to this site. Would I be wrong if I called you a feminist?
    If you are indeed a feminist, then you believe in male privilege. If male privilege exists, why is it so hard for you to believe in white privilege?
    Just a note to all: Someone else mentioned the same thing earlier, but I can’t find the quote. Shout-out if it was you!

  36. Jane Minty
    Posted May 30, 2007 at 9:36 pm | Permalink

    Jane:
    Just because I’m a Person of Color, doesn’t mean I don’t have white ancestors.
    Haven’t you ever realized that we all come in different shades of brown?

    Regardless of what the cute little Black girl with the funny sense of humor told you in elementary school, it wasn’t because she drank a lot of chocolate milk.
    Huh, none of my elementary school friends ever told me this one.
    Of course we come in all shades of brown and olive, myself included. By this logic, you yourself may need to examine your own contribution to “white privilege.” ;)

  37. Posted May 30, 2007 at 9:43 pm | Permalink

    Jane: Just answer my question.

  38. Jane Minty
    Posted May 30, 2007 at 9:47 pm | Permalink

    I could care if you don’t give a damn about me personally. I really don’t. But you lack of tolerance is really disturbing.
    Whoa lady – I’m not the one hurling insults and categorically dismissing a group of people based on their skin color. Citing me as intolerant is certainly the pot calling the kettle…oh nevermind.
    You called me a troll earlier, so I suspect that you’re a regular to this site. Would I be wrong if I called you a feminist?
    If you are indeed a feminist, then you believe in male privilege. If male privilege exists, why is it so hard for you to believe in white privilege?
    I believe there are inequalities, but I don’t write off men because they were born with penises. I believe that change, while always moving 3 steps forward and 2 back, is still generally producing results. I would NEVER, EVER tell a man that, by virtue of being a man, that he will always be subjected to a “privilege.” I also recognize feminist contributions of men when credit is due, and acknowledge those who recognize feminist views as opposed to scolding them for simply being men. I don’t hold their male ancestors responsible for current injustices.
    What question are you referring to?

  39. TheSoyMilkConspiracy
    Posted May 30, 2007 at 9:52 pm | Permalink

    Trevelynne:
    There are no words. I have “dismissed” NONE of these points – I have considered, answered, discussed, disagreed with or agreed with all of them – this is not “dismissing” anything. You know absolutely nothing about me. You know nothing about my educational background, what books I’ve read and research I’ve done on the subject of race (a lot), how many friends I have that are POC or economically disenfranchised or both (a lot) or how many groups I have been a part of that aim at social and racial justice (a lot). I work mostly with POC in my fucking job – I am CONSTANTLY telling my manager that certain materials that we publish reek of “white privilege” and don’t include people of color enough. In other words, I’m trying. I’m not telling you this to try to earn your respect, admiration, pat on the back, but just so you realize that I’m already with you.
    However, when I read this:
    “Accept that people have different experiences, reactions to situations, and feelings about situations. If they feel attacked or trivialized or marginalized, it is an authentic feeling – even when you don’t agree. Accept it. Think about it. Figure out ways to be both respectful to those feelings and how to help make society better.”
    I actually laughed. This is the exact same point that I have made in several comments on this board. I even said the same thing to a person who agreed with me but then went on to dismiss Samhita’s feelings, which I criticized her for. I’m a BIG advocate of not trivializing someone’s feelings. I’M WITH YOU, NOT AGAINST YOU.
    Bettieclam: I printed out the essay earlier at work and I read it – I LOVE how you assume that I didn’t though.
    Finally: I GET IT. Stop giving yourselves high fives over the “go do your own research and stop asking POC to explain privilege to you” comment. That was something I acknowledged was a correct and valid point, like, 3 hours ago and have personally understood for years. I was literally frustrated to the point of tears, and I simply wanted to know what I could do to make people happy and stop being attacked. It was a mistake to ask. I WAS WRONG AND I’M SORRY. Let’s move on.
    *sigh*
    Malaika924:
    I’d like to note that I never claimed you were playing the race card or that you’re being too sensitive. In fact, I mentioned that your feelings were completely justified. Stop making up reasons to hate me or trivializing what I have to say. I am not asking you to teach me about slavery and Mother Africa, and Dr. King, and affirmative action. We’re all just having a discussion, albeit an important one.
    And yeah, I can see how the second comment you quoted can be interpreted shittily. I regret it, and I’d take it back if I could. However, I absolutely do not deserve the amount of hatred and disrespect you’ve exhibited towards me. Your comments are borderline mean, and I’m sure you’re just going to dismiss whatever I’m feeling, but you’ve really been unnecessarily hostile when I’ve tried to be the opposite.
    I’m really, really, really disappointed in people’s comments on what’s supposed to be a safe space to have discussions like this. I’ve never felt so accosted in this kind of community. I apologize profusely if anything I have said made somebody feel the way I’m feeling right now, because it is hella shitty. I don’t think I’m the only person that feels that way.
    This will be my last post, so feel free to continue deliberately misinterpreting and twisting what I say. I’ve had a long, hard day at work, now I have a headache, and all I want to do is go cry, smoke a joint, go to bed, and forget this ever happened. I was hoping there was going to be some kind of positive outcome from this conversation, but I have a feeling most of us just feel like total shit.

  40. Posted May 30, 2007 at 9:58 pm | Permalink

    I believe there are inequalities, but I don’t write off men because they were born with penises.
    What I said was that white people have privilege, have had privilege, and will have privileges that POCs do not have. I never said anything about “writing off” white people because of that privilege, as evidenced in the response I gave to SoyMilkConspiracy.
    I would NEVER, EVER tell a man that, by virtue of being a man, that he will always be subjected to a “privilege.”
    But it’s true. That’s what male privilege is about. Men do have privilege, just as whites as privilege. And they, like you, will always be subjected to that privilege.

  41. Posted May 30, 2007 at 10:09 pm | Permalink

    SoyMilkConspiracy: I know you’re probably in bad by now, but in case you see this when you wake up:
    Rember what we said about not making this all about you?
    I’d like to note that I never claimed you were playing the race card or that you’re being too sensitive. In fact, I mentioned that your feelings were completely justified. Stop making up reasons to hate me or trivializing what I have to say. I am not asking you to teach me about slavery and Mother Africa, and Dr. King, and affirmative action. We’re all just having a discussion, albeit an important one.
    I never attributed this to you personally. I was just trying to make you understand why I and some other POCs might not like it when people ask us (over and over and over again) “What can we do about racism? Or white privilege? etc” It was not meant to be a personal attack and I’m sorry if you felt that way.
    However, I absolutely do not deserve the amount of hatred and disrespect you’ve exhibited towards me. Your comments are borderline mean, and I’m sure you’re just going to dismiss whatever I’m feeling, but you’ve really been unnecessarily hostile when I’ve tried to be the opposite.
    Not hostile. Just tired. Tired of having this same conversation over and over again with grown people when I think they should know better.

  42. jessilikewhoa
    Posted May 30, 2007 at 10:17 pm | Permalink

    i want to thank some of the commenters for making me realize that even tho rising rent costs becos of gentrification displaced me and kicked my white ass out of chicago and into the corn fields adding an hour commute doesnt at all mean i have it as bad as a poc might in the same situation. i dont recall who said it, but the poster who said white privelege means that in any given situation its 10x worse for a person of color really put things into a whole new perspective. so thank you.
    onto fashion, i am a white girl, and i probably spend most of my time running around looking like the hipster poster child, AND i have a folded up bandana tied around my head like a headband right now (not like rocky, more like a 1950s schoolgirl)so i feel like maybe im the problem. except im wearing my bandana with a flowered sundress and checkered vans slip-ons. i truly dont see my wearing a bandana as appropriating anyones culture but my own punk rock culture that ive been a part of for 15 years. bandanas have been worn by the greaser/rockabilly community in back pockets or as head coverings, in the hardcore community in the pit tied over ones face like a cowboy, and all over the faces of political activists trying not to be identified.
    my bringing all of this up, is this: does context matter? does the fact that im wearing what i am with my yellow bandana make a difference, that when i wear my bandana i am honoring my own cultural history (someone mentioned above that punk is not equal to race, but when you are a euro-mutt raised in a standard american home and in american public schools you lack a historic culture, making whatever subsect of society you belong to an important cultural signifier. obviously tho, i realize i can cover my tattoos, take out my nosering, grow my hair and “pass” for susie whitegirl in a way no poc can, so i realize punk does not equal race)
    i feel like the punk/indie hipster fashion is about creativity, about taking bits and pieces of all different styles and combining them in a hodgepodge that is unique to itself. yes, one of my fashion influences is retro hip hop, another is motocross, another poor rural white culture (my own background, as it were), another being 70s punk, another being kids fashion, another being bike messengers, another being skate culture, another being old ladies, another being 1950s greaser style, and mod, and glam rock, and punky brewster and so on and so on.
    im really not trying to be an ass. i just really feel personally that context matters. if i were wearing my bandana tied differently with clothing more tied to hip hop i could see it as appropriating, but as it stands, i feel like im carving out my own identity in the absence of having a historical one that means anything. i hated the white boy wanna be thugs in my highschool in the same way i hated the girls who got tattoos of japanese or chinese characters. i realize that those people are appropriating others cultures, but i dont feel i am. am i an asshole? i didnt see the guy at your coffee shop tho, so maybe what he was doing has nothing to do with me. well, i kno it has nothing to do with me, i saw that above, so i guess im making it about me, but im really curious about context as basis for reaction.
    and if i were soymilkconspiracy, id be more concerned with the reaction of the fetish community to a back pocket bandana, you may be signifying something else you dont mean to also.

  43. Mina
    Posted May 30, 2007 at 10:44 pm | Permalink

    “i hated the white boy wanna be thugs in my highschool in the same way i hated the girls who got tattoos of japanese or chinese characters.”
    BTW, have you seen http://www.hanzismatter.com/ ? Tian’s comments sometimes remind me of writing teachers handing back essays:
    http://www.hanzismatter.com/2007/05/serbians-chinese-tattoo.html

  44. TheSoyMilkConspiracy
    Posted May 30, 2007 at 10:51 pm | Permalink

    No Malaika, they were, and continue to be, personally insulting and hostile – no matter how “tired” or frustrated you are. I’m bummed at how a clearly intelligent woman like yourself is refusing to acknowledge that this is even a possibility. I did, however, predict that you were going to dismiss my feelings, and I was right.
    And you DID attribute the MLK/slavery comment to me personally:
    “So, I’m sorry if you or anyone else don’t appreciate the fact that I don’t like to hold anybody’s hand and teach them about slavery and Mother Africa, and Dr. King, and affirmative action. Read a book. I’m sick of it.”
    Did you see the word “you” in there? You were speaking to me directly, not to mention, trying to fight me on a point that I ALREADY AGREED WITH YOU ON. It’s a really cheap shot (but brilliant tactic) to personally attack or address me, and then try to make me appear narcissistic and selfish when I respond from a personal point of view. Come on.
    —talking to the general board now—
    I also feel it necessary to point out that the original “punk analogy” that people keep referring to wasn’t meant to compare punk to race (as people seem to think), it was meant to compare punk fashion to hip hop fashion – and there’s a difference. I’m not defending or arguing with the analogy, just trying to clear some things up.
    Ok, I lied, but now I really am getting off the computer.

  45. snappy mackerel
    Posted May 30, 2007 at 11:05 pm | Permalink

    I don’t know who’s still up, but I just wanted to add that I feel for the people who are feeling personally attacked. That sucks, and I hope that people can step back and see these posts as not personally motivated, even if they are personally directed. If anyone read the Beth Ditto interview from NME, she says something like, “You can’t blame the person, you have to blame the machine that feeds them.” I want to stress that this is what is happening here. The machine sucks, and I’m criticizing that, not posters. Law Fairy had a great post about it upthread.
    That said, you have to recognize the machine. I’m only starting to get there myself. I know it’s hard and it makes you feel like a vulnerable, defensive loser. I kept telling a ridiculously patient POC that there couldn’t be such a thing as privilege because I was a working-class white girl and dude, I had struggled! Classism and sexism were real; I could write you a book on either. But race privilege? How could I have that if I didn’t see it in my life? How could it exist when I knew wealthy black men?
    And the day came when I shut up and listened. It turns out that my experience is not the end-all be-all of life’s realities.

  46. jessilikewhoa
    Posted May 30, 2007 at 11:05 pm | Permalink

    mina you said:
    BTW, have you seen http://www.hanzismatter.com/ ? Tian’s comments sometimes remind me of writing teachers handing back essays:
    http://www.hanzismatter.com/2007/05/serbians-chinese-tattoo.html
    and i just looked. the whole thing is just absurd. its like white neo-hippies running around calling themselves rastafarians and forcing their stick straight hair into dreadlocks. i cant understand why someone would go “i lack my own culture, lets steal someone elses” when they could go “well, i lack my own culture, so i guess i need to create one that resonates with me that i will be proud to share with future generations of my family”.
    what it really reminds me of is my friend’s story about his korean american friend rob and a girl they were both friends with. it was during that time period in the 90s when asian culture was being appropriated like crazy, and chinese and japanese characters were printed all over shirts and baggy jeans. they were all in a store and the girl kept bringing various items of clothing to rob to ask what they said. he kept saying “i dont kno, i cant read that” until finally he got fed up and snapped “it says white people are stupid!”
    which really, if the world is just at all, should be what it really said.

  47. jessilikewhoa
    Posted May 30, 2007 at 11:19 pm | Permalink

    oof. i should mention that when i insult white people wearing, or getting tattooed with chinese or japanese characters, that i mean the white people who do not read those languages or who have no historical relation to those cultures. i am all for people educating themselves and expanding their worldview.

  48. JonesingforaDem
    Posted May 30, 2007 at 11:19 pm | Permalink

    I’m clearly coming into this conversation late, but I can’t help but comment…
    jessilikewhoa:
    What strikes me about your comment (as well as those of many others here) about your adoption of various “hipster” styles (and similarly of other commenters about where they choose to rent an apartment) is that ultimately you possess a certain mobility in making these choices of “style” and “creativity.” For you it is a *choice*. For others it’s literally everything they’ve ever known and grown up in. People in the neighborhood Samhita writes about may not have the choice of wearing a bandana, for creative purposes or otherwise, because of the potentially violent ramifications that are very real for their racial/cultural/socio-economic position in society.
    Similarly, a lot of people aren’t able to pick up and move to a new neighborhood, just for a “change of scenery,” or to “diversify their lives. As hard as it is for hip young urbanites to imagine, a lot of people have familial obligations that tie them to the neighborhoods inhabited by their families for generations. And maybe they don’t want to leave. Just because a bunch of insecure white kids who feel uncool about growing up in the midwest feel the need to flee to the city, doesn’t mean the people in the cities feel a similar need to flee abandon the places where they grow up.
    Jessica – thank you so much for the link to the artical on kaffiyehs. I immediately thought of this trend, which I’ve seen a lot of kids wearing at anti-war rallies lately, when I first started reading this post. My own gut reaction to it is that it’s weird – that these kids (and fashionable artists, apparently) have no connection to the blood that has been shed in connection to it’s origin. The article’s subject, Rashid says “We feel the need…to look like warriors.” And what battle are you fighting, precisely, with your Louis Vuitton bag while the kid from down the street, or the Iraqi mother, was just blown up in a car bomb?

  49. EG
    Posted May 30, 2007 at 11:24 pm | Permalink

    EG, I’m rather disappointed at your personal attacks. I’ve lived here 14 years, longer than any other place. Like it or not, I’m here to stay. I’ve poured plenty of energy into local activism…but again, since I’m not a “native” I’ll just never understand.
    Don’t put words in my mouth. I never told you that because you’re not a native you’ll “just never understand.” I disagree with you about gentrification. You identified the value of your comments as they are coming from someone who moved to NYC from the midwest. You said this several times, and used it as an example of why your perspective was important. Why does it become a personal attack when I bring up the problems with that perspective?
    Just so you’re clear, the lady in my building made the Puerto Rican comments, not me. In an above post you defended people like her, saying they were “less ignorant about what certain symbols mean.”
    Yes, I’m aware of that. She’s racist. That doesn’t mean she can’t read the significance of symbols common to her neighborhood. The two things aren’t mutually exclusive.
    People of all backgrounds are constantly moving to NYC (as you have indeed confirmed). Who is anyone to determine what kind of immigrant is good vs. bad?
    I haven’t been judging immigrants. I’ve been arguing against gentrification. Again, gentrification does not refer to all forms of population change. If you’re interested in how gentrification works in NYC, I already provided once source earlier in thread.
    Is the Brazilian trust-funder more of a valuable contribution to our landscape than the dirt poor professor from North Carolina?
    I always prefer to professors to trust-funders. What does that have to do with gentrification?
    You can go ahead and dislike people for moving into the neighborhood….They personally have nothing to do with my rent…
    Actually, they do. As we’ve discussed at length.

  50. jessilikewhoa
    Posted May 30, 2007 at 11:43 pm | Permalink

    jonesingforadem, while i can see where youre coming from when you mention people who lack the ability to choose to wear bandanas, my clothing choices as a “hipster” have all been informed by my own poverty. growing up poor, and still living in poverty, i lacked the choice to wear the latest “stylish” preppy white clothing, and still do. when i hodgepodge these styles together it is becos this is what i can afford from an economic standpoint to wear to present myself. i save my money up to buy shoes and jeans new, but otherwise my choices are the ones available to me at the local second hand store. with what i have access to i create a look i find visually pleasing. i could probably mimic the latest preppy white styles by shopping at discount stores and buying fall apart polyester clothing, but i feel as tho id be more a part of systematic oppression if i bought clothing that i knew was made by women and children in sweatshops from petroleum based fabrics that harm the planet which disproportionately harms poor people.
    i HATE that people get forced out of their neighborhoods. i hated being forced out of chicago, despite spending half my life there. i acknowledge that being forced out of the city was easier for me than for a poc who might not have access to a mother with a fiance with a good job or to a car making living outside of the city possible at all. i spend alot of my time trying to figure out where i fit in this system of privelege and oppression and i feel dismissed when you lump me in with the “please explain white privelege” crowd (tho i kno you specifically stated you did not just mean me)
    my interest isnt whether wearing a bandana is ok, but whether context matters. so does context matter, or is it irrelevent? im trying so hard not to be an asshole, but there are things i will never be able to experience and one of those things is the inability to experience a poc’s perception of the world and of a person like me.
    i kno im one of the only white people at the local clinic. when i am at the clinic i wait without complaining in a way i wouldnt at a predominantly white medical practice becos i understand that getting upset at having to wait could be misconstrued as an expression of privelege. i realize that while, yes, i do live in poverty, i am blessed becos i am living in poverty as a white person which means i have a head start in the race out of poverty, and i am doubly blessed becos i am not trying to navigate the system as a mother, i only have to worry about my own well being and my own mouth to feed.
    really, i wasnt trying to whine or debate, i was just curious as to context and if it means anything to the woc commenting here who are hurt by white appropriation.

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