Saturday, April 3, 2010

claim that the new tax on tanning salons is racist

Here's a clip from a radio show hosted by someone I usually ignore, Glenn Beck. The speaker is a fill-in host, Doc Thompson. Listen (or read the transcript below) and see if you can catch any common white tendencies:




Transcript:

DOC THOMPSON: I now know the pain of racism, and I'm curious if you do too, if you are now feeling the pain of racism. For years I've suggested that racism was in decline and yeah, there are some, you know, incidents that still happen with regards to racism, but most of the claims, [as] I've said for years, well, they're not really real.

But I realize now that I was wrong. For I now too feel the pain of racism. Racism has been dropped at my front door and the front door of all lighter-skinned Americans. The health care bill the president just singed into law includes a 10 percent tax on all indoor tanning sessions starting July 1st, and I say, who uses tanning? Is it dark-skinned people? I don't think so. I would guess that most tanning sessions are from light-skinned Americans. Why would the President of the United States of America -- a man who says he understands racism, a man who has been confronted with racism -- why would he sign such a racist law? Why would he agree to do that? Well now I feel the pain of racism.


Is Thompson being satirical here? Whether he is or not, a problem with that approach in this context is that a lot of people -- millions, perhaps -- take Glenn Beck's show seriously. They take it, that is, literally.

On his own station's web site (WRVA), Thompson's bio includes this bit:

Laughing and making people laugh are important. His medium of choice is of course radio. He dabbles in many styles with sarcasm and satire always present. Although he is candid and forthright he loves good spirited practical jokes which prompted a former co-worker to say “If only Doc would use his powers for good instead of evil.”

Thompson apparently updates that page himself, and he wrote the following there about his comment on Beck's show (the ellipses are his, not mine):

The media world and internet was abuzz with my comments on Glenn Beck and it illustrates Liberal hypocrisy beautifully! -- There are two main reasons my commentary on the tanning tax was so effective at stirring up the Liberals...

First the way I positioned it... “I know the pain of racism!” Liberals like to segregate for political gain and have promoted the idea that minorities have an exclusive on being the victim of discrimination.

It was also affective [
sic] because...there is an element of truth to it. There is a double standard and I pointed it out with the very law they, at least partially, claimed was about leveling the racial playing field.

During all this they, of course, missed the bigger point. The satire on CLAIMS of racism...


So Thompson is claiming that his comment was satire, and that its object was "liberals" who, what was it? Oh yeah, liberals who "like to segregate for political gain and have promoted the idea that minorities have an exclusive on being the victim of discrimination."

I don't actually self-identify as a "liberal," but still, there's so much wrong there. For one thing, what "liberal" ever said that minorities are the only victims of discrimination? What liberal would disagree, for instance, that working class whites are victimized by classist discrimination?

But that's a bit off the topic of Thompson's comment, isn't it? He's making a point about racial discrimination against whites in general, and part of what he's saying is that although his cries of reverse discrimination in the "tanning tax" remarks were satiric, the "truth" is that whites really do suffer from racial discrimination.

Whether or not any of Glenn Beck's (no-doubt very white) listening audience understood Thompson's satire, he was fanning the flames of white racial resentment. Which is, of course, a longstanding common white tendency, at least among right-wing pundits and politicians. Aside from diverting attention from the real dangers of tanning salons, Thompson threw some red meat to misguided white people, the kind of white people who think that dark people are more of a problem for them than rich people.


H/T: Andy Kroll @ Mother Jones

41 comments:

  1. Aside from diverting attention from the real dangers of tanning salons, Thompson threw some red meat to misguided white people, the kind of white people who think that dark people are more of a problem for them than rich people.

    Indeed...a classic strategy.

    And if dark people are such a problem...why try so hard to get dark?

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  2. >> "...why try so hard to get dark?"

    Because it means you have the time and money to lie around and tan. Or, alternately, the money to go on vacation to a warm locale and lie on the beach. Similarly, ghostly pale used to be the beauty standard (hopefully the racism of beauty norms is obvious) because it meant you could be shut up in the house all day and not have to work in the fields.

    I think there are also connotations of a tan representing "health" in that it purportedly means one is outside exercising, but this is again closely connected with racist beauty standards (a tan seems to be what "allows" a white/lighter-skinned woman to be widely seen as beautiful despite having developed muscles; darker-skinned women do not have access to this).

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  3. This is a fantastic example of the way WP often misunderstand racism. Racism is here seen as a neutral thing; it goes both ways. It's a individual problem; anyone can be discriminated against. It's about fairness, absolute equal treatment (e.g., the N word argument- how come we can't use the word?). It's depoliticized. This version of racism does not discriminate based on race. It doesn't see color. It ignores structural condition. It reduces systemic racism to mere individual level. Of course, the fact that this claim often comes from WP or those who can't see the systemic condition, clearly suggests that the systemic racism itself is self-justifying.

    Needless to say, tanning salon itself is a very white thing. It represents white colonial and racial fantasy about dark body being a cool, commodity.

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  4. I've been saying that for years, Moi. All the comments about "shit-skin" or by contrast "pure as the driven snow" and yet...tanning.

    The scariest part is as you point out, Macon, that the listeners take this stuff literally. I was in a cab the other day and the driver was listening to the Glenn Beck program.

    The host in that case - not Doc - said something about how an African-American woman swore she'd never be on welfare because her mother was, and worked hard her entire life to pay her way through school. And now Obama's healthcare legislation has taken that away from her.

    I was waiting for him to draw the connection between those two things, but he never did! And the driver didn't even flinch, so either he wasn't listening or he thought that was a perfectly normal thing to say.

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  5. Because it means you have the time and money to lie around and tan. Or, alternately, the money to go on vacation to a warm locale and lie on the beach. Similarly, ghostly pale used to be the beauty standard (hopefully the racism of beauty norms is obvious) because it meant you could be shut up in the house all day and not have to work in the fields.....

    So basically a way to fake higher social class? Interesting.

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  6. Tanning also dries out blemishes and shrinks pores. Even though salon tans are pretty easily distinguishable from natural tans and even though they've been so tarred with "Jersey Shore" associations that many people consider them declasse, I have one friend who says she tries to tan in moderation to achieve these benefits. I do notice that my skin looks objectively much better (i.e., smoother, clearer) when I'm tan, though I steer clear of salons and rarely indulge even when on vacation due to fears of premature aging.

    I completely support this tax.

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  7. Racism Review touched on this topic several days ago.

    It really is a classic strategy to make average whites think that black and brown folks are more of a problem than rich folks. Most whites fall for it everytime.

    As far as the "knowing the pain of racism" is concerned that's a laugh. Whites NEVER know the full pain of racism especially the kind of racism they caused which still exist today.

    I always say try having been stripped of your culture, language, heritages, names and overall identity through brutal and savage means. Get forced to work for nothing, having your families seperated, beaten and murdered. Get discriminated and told that you're not as good as they. Have your people potrayed in negative ways because society thinks that's who you are. Being told over and over that your people are worthless. Go to schools which doesn't value your history or accomplishments. See many of your people as more than half of the prison population. Become the last hired and the first fired. Get paid less than those who are part of the "privileged" population. Forced to live in the scraps of the economy that favors the privileged. Seperate ourselves through deception, and above all else, among other things not mentioned, told that you should just get over it or that it's not as big a problem the way you see it.

    When you (Thompson) and whites experience those things, then you will feel the pain of racism.

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  8. Good points everyone. I never understood the importance of tanning salons when there's a sun hovering overhead.

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  9. Similarly, ghostly pale used to be the beauty standard (hopefully the racism of beauty norms is obvious) because it meant you could be shut up in the house all day and not have to work in the fields.
    I'm not sure how this particular standard is racist, given that the preference for light skin seems to have existed pretty much across all races and for a very long time.

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  10. Yeah, Will Capers and scrubadub! The idea that racism is experienced as isolated incidents, which is truly preposterous given the history and scope of racism, is probably the most common (mis)understanding of racism among all people, but it's especially common among white people. I know to some it's just semantics, but I think that changing our understanding of what racism is--as a society--would go a long way toward ending racism as an institution.

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  11. @ Arthropleura,

    My comment refers to the racism of beauty standards in general, not that one in particular. However, to address your specific criticism (admittedly I'm unfamiliar with the deep historical background): something doesn't have to start out as racist to become racist in a racist society.

    I'm wildly speculating here, but I wouldn't be surprised if the former good connotations of translucent whiteness contributed to the norm-alization of whiteness as the route to beauty even while tans came into fashion as a sign of higher class. White people are terrific at finding ways to have our cake and eat it too if it reinforces white supremacy.

    @ osla

    OT, but...Objectively better? You're kidding, right? "Small pores" are "better" because it's in the financial interest of fashion magazines and pharma companies to sell skin creams that promise to shrink pores. (And who decides what's a 'small pore'? Seriously, when is the last time you looked at someone and were like, "Get a load of those pores!")

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  12. I live in Los Angeles and I tan to balance out my tan lines.In the hot months I wear shorts and a tee shirt and I'm out side all the time so I tan once a week to balance my tan out so when I take off my shirt I don't look like a dork.My left arm is always darker then my right arm from driving around.I put sun block on my face everyday and I don't tan my face.The tax is suppose to add 1.50 per tan so I will be paying an extra 6.00 dollars a month.If health care is going to cover skin cancer that's a pretty cheap price to pay.
    I don't know if it's a class thing I've never thought about that before.
    The salon I go to is family run and African American owned.They had three salons and had to close one down when the economy slowed.
    I think Will Caspers hit it on the head when he said "It really is a classic strategy to make average whites think that black and brown folks are more of a problem than rich folks."
    I'm a contractor and the people I distrust and have screwed me over the most are the rich.
    Tea party people are going to fall for this Doc Thomson B.S. and eat this shit up.The sort of racism the Tea Party has brought to the surface makes me doubt the U.S. is any less racist then it was 20 or 30 years ago..

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  13. It's sad that thousands of (white) people will listen to Glenn Beck saying this and believe every word of it. There's so much wrong with this, I don't even know where to begin.

    I feel like racism has become such a hot word in our media, yet most people don't REALLY understand what it means. It's gotten to the point that any crazy Tea-Partier can cry "racism" against white people for some thinly-veiled, bunked-up political reason, and the story still gets broadcast all over CNN, Fox, etc, without any real criticism or logical discussion of the alleged racism.

    White people are tired of hearing about the racism suffered by PoC--most would rather think it doesn't exist. But "racism" against themselves? They LOVE to hear about that. It makes the guilt sting a little less.

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  14. You know sometimes I am not sure people like Glenn Beck or Anne Coulter are serious- but even then, that doesn't matter. Most of their audience members cannot distinguish satire from legitimate critique, and therefore they take such words very seriously.

    About the tanning thing, as a South Asian with caramel colored skin, I am often looked at with surprise when I say I hate to get tan. I hate to get tan because I burn easily and if I get darker, I don't look healthy, I look mucky and gross. I spend summers with tons of sunblock and floppy hats. I never have to worry about looking deathly pale, either, but no one seems to notice this advantage in light of the fact that I am not very light or fair. I never understood why darker skin is so stigmatized but yet, white people spend billions a year to get that 'healthy glow'.

    I also don't understand why people think that the health risks are outweighed by aesthetics. There are bronzers and self-tanners, but people insist on tanning beds and baking in polluted beach sides. Tanning is pretty dangerous, makes your skin wrinkle and age faster, and is even harmful to fetuses. Studies show that women who used sunbeds while pregnant had children with extreme birth defects. Tanning is, health wise, fairly akin to smoking.

    I think this tax is great because it will distract people from a stupid risky habit that results in premature aging, ugliness, cancer, and birth defects, and cultural appropriation.

    Also, to whomever said that fair skin is the standard before racism arose, I am not sure of the history of this beauty standard but from my experience it has a lot to do with colonialism, imperialism and racism. In South Asia, people are obsessed with looking fair, but this arose primarily after independence from colonial white powers.

    I know that 'fairness' is somewhat linked to fertility, like other physical traits (shiny healthy hair, plump lips and bust, etc) so maybe that is why as well.

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  15. I saw this as part of a larger SWPD that's really popular lately. SWPD: pull restyled "race cards" in furtherance of their own selfish (and often inherently racist) ends.

    Okay. There's the whole Fox/Glenn Beck schtick where they try to whip WP into a frenzy by "calling out" (nonexistent) anti-white racism. Basically, they're exploiting/fomenting that "one day, the tables will be turned" fear. But in exploiting that, at bottom, they're really exploiting the continued existence of anti-POC racism— as it's understood that that that's what we'd be retaliating against. Thing is, whipping up WP this way leads to more of it. Which means more WP fear, which is good for Fox et al, but not so bueno for POC.

    As for Thompson specifically, what's extra ironic is that the tan tax is arguably an example of institutional bias in favor of WP. To pick just one thing, there's been a major public-ed effort going on in the US for at least 25 years telling people not to grill themselves and to wear sunscreen. But many dark-skinned people think this doesn't apply to them— why would they, when the brochures and PSAs and billboards only feature WP? The higher medical community is aware of the misunderstanding, yet there has been no campaign to tell darker people, "seriously: you need sunscreen too." Also, this campaign has told us all exactly what melanoma looks like— I know it's been drilled into my head— "ABCD" moles in sun-exposed places, amirite? Keep in mind that this is what doctors are taught to look for too. Oops, except, melanoma tends to present totally differently in dark-skinned people. And so we die. DT doesn't give a shit about anybody's health. All he wants is to attract eyeballs, and he decided to do it by "calling out" how racist it is that while POC die, the gov't feels they need to do even more to protect WP from self-inflicted skin cancer. Ha fucking ha.

    [continued...]

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  16. [...continued]

    Another, slightly different example.
    It seems some anti-abortion groups have lately decided to target black communities with a new message: pro-choice is a racist conspiracy to exterminate BP. They've papered Atlanta with billboards picturing a black baby and the slogan "black children are an endangered species." They've recruited locally-prominent BP to run around spouting dog-whistle terminology, like "womb lynchings." (More on this here.)

    I find the callousness and sheer deviousness of this gambit sickening, and deeply, deeply painful. For real, I want to cry. They're mercilessly exploiting a very real fear in the black community (that WP are conspiring to kill off BP). You can see the seriousness of this fear in a whole host of black urban legends that have been circulating for decades (if not centuries). To name a few: gov't-clinic "vaccinations"... aren't. Malt liquor makes BM sterile and/or impotent. As does Church's Fried Chicken. And Tropical Fantasy. (And— well, a bunch of other things; that's a popular one.) Kool cigarettes are made by the KKK, and are packed with fiberglass to give BP cancer. Gov't cheese was poisoned. Oh, and WP invented AIDS to kill off BP.

    [I don't know if the average-white-person-on-the-(nonurban)-street is even aware of these memes? Perhaps you're even laughing. Or maybe shaking your head wondering how anyone could entertain such nonsense? Well, off the top of my head: remember the Tuskeegee Experiment? Black America does. Remember when the notion that the CIA had purposely injected crack cocaine into black communities was laughed off as a paranoid delusion? But then it turned out to be 100% true? Ha fucking ha! And obviously, I could go on.]

    Point is, there's a certain level of mortal insecurity in black America, and not for no reason. So for these white-oriented groups to use that to fuck with BP's already-besieged minds like this is just... inhuman. Meanwhile, what are the biggest causes of poverty? #1, institutional racism and #2, CHILDREN YOU CAN'T AFFORD. And they're trying to terrify BP into supporting both. Seriously, this is one of the most fucked up racist things I've seen in years. They're even getting trusted BP to do the dirty work. And all while claiming benevolent anti-racist motives! Times like this, I hope there really is a hell.

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  18. I don't care about the tax. What I don't like is the attitude that comes with wanting to be tan. I can't tell you how many times I've had white girls tell me they were jealous of my "year round tan" (my complexion is caramel/medium brown). I always think, "Are you kidding me? This is my SKIN, something I was born with and had to deal with crap BECAUSE of it. I can't make it go away like after your 'tan' fades".

    Aside from "othering" me and other PoC, white people have no idea what it means to always have the skin color they so admire. Being tan is on their list of fun things to do, and they give absolutely no thought to what it means to always truly be a PoC. What I don't understand is in the summertime it's cool to look like me and other PoC, but the rest of the year pale skin=right/normal and suddenly I'm not cool because I'm tan, I'm just "that Latina girl".

    *sigh* Sorry for the rant. I just needed to get if off my chest.

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  19. @ Sadface

    White people are tired of hearing about the racism suffered by PoC--most would rather think it doesn't exist. But "racism" against themselves? They LOVE to hear about that. It makes the guilt sting a little less.

    A very sick mentality which only confirms the notion that whites really don't experience the full effect of racism.

    *sigh*

    I smell another over-hyped white guilty fantasy flick coming out this summer.

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  20. Anishinaabekwe,

    The only empirically supported treatments for SAD are light therapy and antidepressants (though the side effects can be a killer). Tell your friends to save their money (and their health) and go sit in front of a bright lamp for 30 minutes.

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  21. This post almost had me bursting out in laughter at the ridiculousness until I considered all the hate-mongering that's behind it. Wow. How stupid and ugly.

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  22. @ karinova

    >> "But in exploiting that, at bottom, they're really exploiting the continued existence of anti-POC racism— as it's understood that that that's what we'd be retaliating against."

    I have the impression that that is an underlying motive of WIWL racism more so than that of Glenn Beck's audience. They seem to believe that Racism (against POC) Is Over, and I think Beck & Co's strategy taps more into--and thus reinforces--the 'POC are irrational/WP are rational/rationality is good' meme. You're totally right about this being part of a broader SWPD, of course.

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  23. @ ch555x

    Same here! I live in the "Sunshine State" in a touristy area, and within walking distance of the beach is... a tanning salon. Even during our rainy season it rains for about 2 hours max per day. It's really ridiculous and a clear indication of the importance WP as the societal norm makers place on tanning.

    What makes me really uncomfortable is how people are really sheeple and they follow the herd down into skin cancer and then further into this "OMG it's racism!" mentality.

    What's REALLY fucked up is, and I mentioned this on Moi's blog just the other day, is that WP seriously have it ingrained in their heads that racism is meant for POC. When they say "reverse racism" or "reverse discrimination" do they not realize what they are implying? Think about it. And when they are on the receiving end of it - or as in this case PERCEIVE that they are, it's so shocking and horrific that they can't take it. What's everyday life for a POC is an outrage in the life of WP.

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  24. This post made me roll my eyes but I'll still give my unsolicited two cents. Why do white people (or whoever else tans) care about taxes on indoor tanning, when they can go outside and get it for free? You know what else is free? Melanoma. That's why the tax is there. To slowly prevent them from getting melanoma.

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  25. Tanning is one of the white institutions (regardless of who owns it) that grant invisible privilege to WP (and other lighter skinned P). Color discrimination among blacks is often used as an example that whites are not the only one who discriminate. But tanning shows an interesting contradiction in skin color politics. What makes white hegemony is not a sheer preference for lighter color at all; it is that white society provides certain freedom of choice only to WP to remain light or become dark. When chosen by WP, the dark skin becomes an exotic consumer product-- it changes the meaning just as many 'black culture' products change meaning when co-opted and appropriated by WP. It is a causal expression (like clothes or make-up) for WP whereas it can still be a serious disadvantage for many PoC. In essence, WP can 'play' with someone's racial characteristics.

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  26. sallymaybutfreddymacsApril 4, 2010 at 8:12 AM

    You guys should watch this. It's called, "Dying For A Tan".

    Veeeedy intuhresting...


    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dQSJNbiH480

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  28. @ Willow,

    Actually, I said clearer and smoother were objectively better. Have you ever met or heard of anyone, from any civilization, time, place or race who didn't prefer clear, smooth skin? If not, then even if my desire for smooth skin lacking blemishes is influenced by my own biases or opinions, those are biases/opinions universal to humankind. Probably we associate clear, smooth skin with health and youth...not b/c Cosmo instructs us to, but because evolution, etc.

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  29. HATE! HATE!!! HATE!!!!!

    WAR IS PEACE!
    SLAVERY IS FREEDOM!!!
    DIVERSITY IS STRENGTH!!!!!

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  30. Ok, so I could *almost* conceive that he might have the beginnings of a point to argue that a tanning tax could be motivated by racial issues, if this was actually a serious attempt to raise government income. But it's not. Ten percent on a service only a minority use is spitting in the ocean. Tanning hould be taxed because frickin bad for you! It gives you cancer and, like alcohol and tobacco and other things which are just really bad for you, the government likes to tax them to dissuade you from having so much of them. Is that really hard to grasp?

    You're right though, this will help that 'white victim' mentality. I had a big argument with a 'friend' yesterday who calimed that being white made him the bottom of the pile now, and it was this sort of crap (and it's UK equivalent from such delights as Nick Griffen) he kept quoting at me.

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  31. I know it seems I've gone off on my own crazy tangent, but I just have to add this last bit on the mercenary spreading of race-related rumors. My brother just reminded me (can't believe I forgot) how the Tropical Fantasy rumor controversy ended.

    [For those not familiar with it, TF was one of the first beverages sold in tall 20oz cans, and it sold for just 50 cents so it was immediately hella popular. In addition to TF, Brooklyn Bottling produces foreign brands, like D&G (Jamaican), Frambuesa (Dominican) and Postoban (Colombian), which are popular in immigrant communities and are often cheaper than American soft drinks. Their drinks are primarily sold through bodegas, not chain supermarkets. The company was founded, and is still run, by a Jewish family, and the majority of its employees are nonwhite and/or immigrants.]

    Anyway. TF was introduced, and then this "makes BM sterile" rumor came along. It's now understood that the rumor (which nearly destroyed the company and put all those workers out on the street) was largely fomented by... other, larger beverage companies who resented the competition. As in: Coca-Cola and PepsiCo. Which are white-owned companies.

    So to recap: huge white companies secretly invent and spread a rumor that (locally-made, community-supporting, POC-popular) TF is actually a racist plot to exterminate POC. Not because they gave two shits about racism or calling it out, but to crush TF and thereby protect their position— at the expense of POC. (And it almost worked.)

    Ain't nothing new under the sun!

    _____
    As for tanning, I love a nice tan. Evens out my blotches. But I switched to self-tanner years ago. (Wish they worked better.) I admit I enjoy the look of confusion when I take my self-tanner thru the checkout. Heh. Oh, and I get wicked SAD. Which sux, because I live in the Pacific NW, which is practically underwater for 8 months of the year. We go weeks without any sun at all, and it REALLY bums me out. I'm only fully alive during the (all-too-short) summer.

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  32. sallymaybutfreddymacs,

    Thank you for the link to that very instructive video. Wow. So few people know about the danger!

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  33. Anishinaabekwe,

    Without knowing where I'm from, you wouldn't know what kind of winters I've experienced.

    They can do what they want to do and its up to them.

    Duh. But I don't think anyone would feel the need to look for a "valid" reason to tan if they didn't see it as something "bad" in the first place.

    The idea that tanning can help a depressive disorder is just stupid, honestly, and the only reason I even responded to your post is because I think it opens the door for WP to "claim that the new tax on tanning salons is racist" because tanning can help with psychological disorders, which is quite frankly bullshit. So I'm going to nicely ask you to stop derailing, because I can't see any other point in claiming psychological benefits of tanning with no evidence.

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  34. @cusp

    so would I also be exercising my white privilege by standing out in the sun and allowing my melanin to be activated as nature intended? since it produces the same fucking result? (rhetorical) swpd= also have melanin.

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  35. to "not a real doctor, just plays one on TV" Doc Johnson:

    The tanning salon tax helps finance all that melanoma chemotherapy and squamous cell cancer Mohs surgery.

    Sheesh - it's no different from a cigarette tax. Make the pro-free-market anti-universal-health-care slobs pay their own health care expenses rather than saddle the rest of us, pale-skinned or not, with the cost of their stupidity. No health care subsidies for vain tanning white people!

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  36. What Jasmin said:
    "Anishinaabekwe,

    The only empirically supported treatments for SAD are light therapy and antidepressants (though the side effects can be a killer)."

    A little sunlight is good for manufacturing and activating your own vitamin D, but if you can't get sunlight, get vitamin D capsules. FWIW, some studies have claimed some benefit to adequate vitamin D uptake for people with depression.

    Anishinaabekwe, psoriasis is still treated by UV therapy, either UV-B therapy, or UV-A therapy accompanied by the use of the drug psoralen.

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  37. @jas0nburns

    Wow, are you for real? Nice trivializing technique here! I don't see anywhere in cusp's post that relates to what you're saying. I think the post is rather about the 'choice' that is granted to WP with the culture of tanning that relies on both light skin privilege and exoticization of tanned light color skin (not tanned dark color body). It's sort of cultural capital for people who have skin that is tan-able in cultural sense. Sure, we all get tanned, but think about who benefit from this? Who get to claim the coolness of tanned skin?

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  38. I like to think there are some benign activities a white person might engage in without taking advantage of privilege. but now I'm thinking that's irrelevant because privelige just exists and it's going to manifest in all kinds of different ways no matter what I do. It's hard to detach when reading this blog because so often when people point out privilege it seems like they are attacking the person or people exhibiting it. so I have a defensive reaction like " oh I can't stand outside now?" but I suppose it's useless to try to avoid activities that include aspects of privilege, the list would be to long. rather I should keep in mind that it's not personal, no one is calling me a racist for getting a tan.

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  39. Wow. Way to center yourself there, jas0nburns. Get off the All About Me Bus and consider that the shit the PoC go through and the hate that is being whipped up against them is way more important than you feeling hurt because you're being called out on your privilege.

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  40. @attack_laurel

    my last post was a bit convoluted, I was trying to say I shouldn't have taken it personally. so my bad. but moreover we get to play around with our skin color like it's a fashion accessory and I was trivializing that. I have thought about it and it's not trivial. So I apologize. as a white person skin tone IS trivial to me so I was thinking "every little thing WP do is racist somehow," but that was wrong headed because it's only a "little thing" to white people and that's the point. I'm glad you pointed out my error because it gave me an opportunity to think about that. and it crosses over into many other things WP do that seem innocuous to us but in fact are not.

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