Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Awesome "I, Anonymous" column from "The Stranger", about race in Seattle

"I'm dark-skinned, wearing a baseball cap—that does not mean I'm a thug. You were obviously enjoying a drunken night out with friends, crossed my path, got in my face and decided to yell, "YO! YO! YO!" waving your hands around like they were guns.

...

I've seen a very ugly side of you, Seattle. Sometimes, White women literally run across the street in order to avoid walking down the same sidewalk as me. I'm a queer, Latino university student and human-rights student activist—and you're afraid of me? "

Reminds me of the essay by Brent Staples entitled Black Men and Public Space, where he talks about white women being irrationally scared of him just because he's walking around at night while black.

That's one thing that, unfortunately, the feminist movement hasn't really reckoned with publicly--the fact that racialized stereotypes about who is a potential rapist still percolate throughout the culture, although they're not as explicitly framed as they once were. Early advocates for women, and women/feminists themselves, in the early 20th century talked about the necessity of protecting white womanhood from sex crazed dark skinned men. I mean, that was what "Birth of a Nation" was in part about, the necessity of protecting white woman southerners.

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