Race vs.Fat=Nope

A lot of things have been happening with this post, as it goes in many directions. This is my attempt to keep it in the direction it belongs: positive. Below, you will also find great comments by readers of this article. I have posted this in the comments on BFB but I also felt it appropriate to place it here.

“Sad, Sad, Sad”.

Hello Everyone, I’m still reading comments on here about what I wrote and responding as best as I can (although no one seems to be paying me much mind, hehe) and I must say I’m a little saddened.

Please stop pointing fingers at one another with the whole “I’m not a racist! YOU’RE a racist!” and “Well, I CAN’T POSSIBLY be a part of White privilege! Only {adjective} White people are!” or “Well, I DESERVE a pat on the back because I’ve been good enough to {verb} for Coloured People!!”

My post was never about you. Nor was it about me.

It’s not about congratulating anyone. A common rule-of-thumb posted or mentioned on many POC sites is that the good people won’t ask for/think they deserve for pats on the back for their actions because their goodness is glory enough. The good people won’t feel offended or take things personally because they know they are good people and have done nothing wrong. The good people only listen and ask questions. The good people try to understand and admit what they cannot. The good people write constructive criticism. The good people get together and try to make positive change.

My post was about an issue important to people of Colour:

Ignorant people hijacking our suffering and history.

People who will never fully know, experience or understand it. Incidences such as the one I spoke of are, thus far, minimal in the FA community but I felt the need to speak about it anyway in my multiracial space of PDDP because as someone who believes in the FA movement, as someone who was improved by it; knowing I didn’t have to diet myself to death and fat people weren’t monsters, I wanted to give back and expose those people who serve to jeaprodize it’s future and its expansion.

I told Paul in my open letter that I thought BFB was a positive space. I still stand by my words. Please, instead of arguing and pointing fingers, listen to one another. I’ve read through the comments and very few POC responded; and those who did, were in congruence with all of my article’s points.

But…almost no one said anything to them or even asked them any questions. Instead, some of you chose to argue with one another, puffing out your chests in a “holier than thou” match to see who was more “tolerant” of people of Colour. Tell me, where are those few Coloured commentators now?

They have long since fled.

That, my dear friends, is a great loss. Some of you have, through your words, disapproved the very things you were trying so hard to validate.

I still believe in you, dear reader. Fat, slim, average, Black, White, Latino, Indian, Mixed, gay, straight, bi–whatever you may be. Even if you do not change or choose to disagree with me, I am glad you took the time to read what I had to say.

I believe in you, dear reader, who took the time to ask me questions or even took the time to enter POC circles on the web and engage in constructive dialogue, buy a book on our topics or even talked to a Coloured person you know about racial issues. I thank again those of you who sought clarification; rather than labelling me or writing passive-aggressive comments designed to make me shut up or rebuke my statement.

I hope you all continue to read, question and learn.

Thank you.

Also, I would like to direct all of you to some SPECTACULAR comments by fellow readers, on and off of PDDP. Hope is a wonderful thing!!!

From Holli:

“This is probably the best rebuttal to the whole fat bigotry is just like racism argument that I’ve read. You don’t come off as trying to play the victim Olympics – you just don’t want people to usurp your experience for their cause. Which makes perfect sense to me.

I think the reason that the whole “Fat is the last acceptable prejudice” gets used at all is because many people believe that, while there are racists still in the world, the “good”, “educated” folks aren’t and that these same folks, who would never dream of calling someone a racial slur, seem to be the first ones to indulge in fat hatred.

It’s an interesting idea and may be true in some cases but, thinking everything over, no. There are enough things to consider about FA and fat hatred and the dangers that fat people can face without comparing it to racism. We can model our efforts on the efforts made by the leaders in the Civil Rights movement but to do more than that seems dishonest.”

From Anonymous:

“While thinking about this whole thing today, something occurred to me. It’s something that’s pretty damn obvious, and really shouldn’t be all that much of a lightbulb over my head, but it is: I am a fat white woman in a mostly-black part of town, and when I see the reactions I get from the men and women in my area, they are responding to me as a fat white woman. I cannot interpret that as how they would treat a fat black woman, or a fat Asian woman, or a fat woman of any other color than white. My own experiences with being a fat white woman in a predominantly black neighborhood cannot be translated across color lines.

I’m not saying this because I think I should get a pat on the back for (finally?) realizing the obvious. I’m saying it because I wanted to thank you for making me think in such a way that I learned something that I think is important.”

From jayinchicago:

“I’m not exactly sure what is meant by the comment added to this link, but I know that I have said stupid shit like “fatphobia is the last socially acceptable prejudice!” which just goes to show my own white privilege. There is no shortage of systemic oppression based on other characteristics as well.

I’m not sure if that comment was made in jest, but pointing out the oblivious racism of a bunch of white people is hardly a pissing match.”

From tarashui:

“I think it was pretty clear that she was directing her anger at the white FA bloggers who engage in that behavior. And I feel like it was dismissive of you to call this very real problem a “nasty rumor.”

Given that it is not a small minority of white FA bloggers and blog readers/commenters who engage in this behavior, it is a very real problem that results in anger, frustration, and further marginalization of fat POC voices.”

By onceupon:

“Defensiveness makes sense to me – denying the reality of other people’s lived experience because of that defensiveness really doesn’t.

I didn’t comment in blogs written by people of color for a long time because, when they would write about “white people”, my initial response was always “but I am not like that” – which is all well and good on a personal level but on a cultural level? What I am or am not like is not important. I don’t stand for the rest of white people any more than one FA blogger stands for the whole of FA or one black person stands for the whole of black people or any other thing, you know? I had to train myself to think in terms of cultural references – “white people” as a culture throughout history have done some heinous shit to people of color, whatever that color happens to be. That has added up to our culture right now.

And, you know, this isn’t about “white man’s burden” – which is a dismissive bullshit argument if ever I have heard one – but it IS about taking the time to realize that YES we do benefit from white privilege. Suck it up and accept it, people. It isn’t about your individual hardship – your shitty life does not negate the cultural trend.

Uppity ethnics? THE HELL? I’m not sure where you are reading that acknowledging the specifics of this problem – race and fat intersect and people are pissed off because it is not being addressed or is actively being dismissed – equals denying other problems that are just as much about privilege.”

A lot of the comments were great, others not so much. ‘Tis the World! I thank all the positive commentators and scuffmcgruff needs to come get crunktastical and fanatical with GD and I over a cup of coffee one of these days.

From scuffmcgruff:

“Let’s see.

Well, when I turn on the TV and newspapers, the first thing I see about Black people? No Black people. Actually, wait. If there’s someone committing a crime, then like magic, here they are! Black people are stereotypes, usually negative ones, over and over, without cease. Do you not notice?

I see the idea that to be a beautiful Black woman, you have to look White, that being and actually looking how you’re supposed to look is ugly and unacceptable.

I see the idea that we are less valuable as humans and that our contributions to society are worthless.

I see the idea that “acting Black” means acting like an ignorant fool and “acting White” means being educated and cultured.

I see White corporations sponsoring hateful rap which are painted as representations of hip hop and African American culture.

I see no role models. You could argue the same for fat people, but at least fat white people can turn on the TV and easily see other White people in prominent, respectable positions. Black people, fat or thin, have no such luck. This lack of representation has a disastrous effect on our community.

I see a certain White owned and operated channel spewing nothing but the idea that Black people are violent, misogynistic, and greedy. For many people across America, this is the *only* representation they see, and the repercussions of this are staggering.

Advertisements for skin whitening products are getting more popular. If you’d like to have an idea of the kind of self loathing that engenders, I’d be happy to tell you, but use your imagination.

I saw the editor of Glamour magazine talking about how natural Black hair is “unprofessional” and unacceptable.

But, hey, you know, these things are buried *so deep* that no reasonable person could see any of this racism.

I almost wish that instead of just the media just showing that Black people are stupid criminals, they’d just say it. At least that way I wouldn’t have to point it out to White people and list how and why there are still examples of blatant racism in the media. *Sigh*.

It’s almost as if no one would be convinced that racism is still acceptable and promoted in the media until someone makes it explicit and obvious. Actually, it *is* pretty obvious to me, and it makes me so sad that it’s seen as “subtle” to other people? Are. You. Serious. […}”



(*conspiring=running around with comics, drinking heavily, eating lots and being young girls having fun)


~ by davitacuttita on August 15, 2008.

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