Stuff White Fanfic Writers Do: Whiten Uhura

White people, answer me this: why is it so important to whiten Uhura of Star Trek, or any black character at all (skip to the bottom section)?  What prompted this horrendously atrocious trend in fandom?

And please, don't feed me the usual bullshit, knee-jerk responses.  I've seen them all.  Believe me...I've seen them all.

It's the 23rd Century.  Most people will be mixed anyway.

Really?  You got some sociological data to back that up?  Because 200 years isn't that far away, and though the number of mixed-race people is on the rise, they're still a global minority...and globally speaking, most of them don't have white ancestry.

Hollywood, this is what happens when you feed white folks false info.  Instead of parading bullshit visions of the future, you should've just told them the honest truth: white people only make up about 12-15% of the human species, and that percentage is steadily declining.  Continue that trend for 200 years, and a two-year-old could tell you it's highly unlikely your average woman from East Africa will have any white ancestors.

This is Star Trek.  Her race shouldn't matter.

Uh-huh.  Nice try.

What you meant to say was, Kirk's race doesn't matter.  McCoy's race doesn't matter.  Scotty's race doesn't matter.  Chekov's race doesn't matter.  Spock's race doesn't matter (so long as his skin stays white, mind you), and Sulu might as well not even exist.  'Cause you see, in keeping with Hollywood tradition, the Asian guy is summarily ignored.

Ah...but that one token Negress?  Her race most assuredly matters.  Hers is the only ancestry which gets picked apart, and you should read the way white people cling to the imaginary possibility - any possibility - of her ancestral whiteness, as though their very lives depended upon it.

If her race didn't matter, then why take the time out to change it?

We live in a post-racial society.  It shouldn't matter.  I/We don't get why this is such a big deal anyway.

According to whom?  White liberal propagandists?  Their sniveling house Negroes?  And if this were so, once more: why is it that only Uhura's ancestry gets tampered with?

And as for why this is such a big deal, whitening black people goes back to the slavery era.  It was used as a justification for the rape of black women; it was considered part of the "civilizing niggers" package, along with the free whippings and complimentary diagnoses of drapetomania.

Whenever a black woman is considered beautiful, 9 out of 10 times white people will say the black woman is beautiful because she is "mixed with something", most likely in resistance to the cold hard fact that black women are beautiful.  If you don't believe me, seriously, pick a black actress - any black actress - head over to IMDB, and read the discussion posts under her name.  White people resist tooth and nail when told a black actress they find attractive...is simply black.

And let's not forget...Obama's being mixed is what made white people more comfortable voting for him.  And Colin Powell's light-skinned ass nearly became President for very obvious reasons.

Moving on....

It's my story. I can write what I want.

With original characters?  Sure.  Established ones?  Not so much.  And by the way, I'd like to point out that when Spock kissed Uhura in the new movie, white fans had a massive nervous breakdown.  Imagine the size of the nervous breakdown if fans of color "darkened" the white characters.  Kirk and McCoy are American; in 30 years, whites will be a minority in America and Latinos the majority.  Tack on another 170 years to that...isn't it more likely those two will be of Hispanic descent?  And how about Chekov?  Russia and China share a border.  The Chinese are the most populous group on the planet, making up nearly a third of our entire species.  Give 'em another 200 years.  Wouldn't it be likely he'd have a decent amount of Chinese ancestry?

Need I even go on?

Uhura is perfectly fabulous, no matter what color or species she is!  I/We just love her so much!

Yeah...you love her so much you had to stop and dilute all that "Negress blood" she has going on.  She's sooooooo perfect you had to change her.

*rolls eyes*

Whatever.

Gene Roddenberry never said she was ALL black.

Um...yes he did: that was the sorta, kinda the whole point of creating her character in the first place, and specifically choosing to give her a Swahili name and heritage, including the ability to fluently speak the damn language.  Nichelle Nichols - who originated the role, in every sense of the word (she was the whole reason for the character's creation) - has established that Uhura's black.  Uhura is a black icon, and Nichols' Star Trek legacy revolves arounds the fact she's a black woman who played a non-servile black character on TV before the Civil Rights Act was passed.  Since then, Zoe Saldana, who also proudly and repeatedly states she's black, wanted to and got to play Uhura because she's a black icon.

White fans, by the way, love to dissect Saldana's ancestry, no matter what she herself says.  They then try to somehow tie it into her role as Uhura.  Um...no.  One, white people don't get to decide POC's identities for them.  Two, actors and their roles are not interchangeable.  When Halle Berry - whose mother is white - plays a black character, her character doesn't automatically have a white mother as well.

Uhura is a black woman, children.  Deal with her blackness.  Yes, she is fabulous, and like it or not, the primary source of that fabulousness is the fact that she's a black woman.

Deal.

In the new movie, Uhura has long, pretty hair.  Black girls don't have pretty hair.

1) Fuck you.
2) That ponytail was fake.
3) Learn something about genetics before you talk about it, will you?

Uhura's so pretty.  There's no way she's ALL black.

Again...fuck you.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

And now, kids...it's my turn....

MOI: Why is giving Uhura a non-black ancestor so important to you?

SHITHEAD: "It's not.  I/We meant no offense.  We just figured that's it'll be 200 years in the future and so it's likely she could have a white ancestor."

As I said earlier, white people only make up about 12-15% of the human species, and that percentage is steadily declining.  Continue that trend for 200 years, how likely do you think it is the average woman from East Africa will have any white ancestors?

*crickets*

Moving on, then.  Why is changing her race so important to you?

"It's not.  I/We didn't think it would matter."

But if it didn't matter, why take the time out to tamper with it?

*crickets*

That's what the hell I thought.  How come you don't tamper with the other characters' races, just hers?

"I/We hadn't thought about that.  It never occurred to us."

Why not?

*crickets*

Mm-hm.  Do you realize that in 200 years - if we were to follow real social and genetic data - it's more likely the white characters will be mixed and have ancestors of color, not the other way around?

*crickets*

Yeaaaah...that's what I thought.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Now, I understand that to most white folks, black folks are distasteful.  They've made up their mind that that's the story, and they're stickin' to it, by gum - truth and evidence and knowledge be damned.  What's throwing some of them, I think, is all this "black pride" that's been going on.  I mean, why on earth would black people be proud of all that healthy dark skin, and a heritage spanning thousands and thousands of years?

I mean, we're sooooooo inferior that our continent and its myriad cultures are heavily coveted by everyone.  Africa is sooooooo backward that everyone keeps moving there...but not leaving, not even Dutch white supremacists.  Our history is sooooooo unimportant that consistent efforts are made to rewrite it.  Our people are sooooooo unthreatening that ultimately futile efforts are consistently made to financially and politically derail our progress.

And black women are soooooooo hideous, that non-black men keep trying to date us, while non-black women try to walk, talk, and roast in a tanning bed just to look like us.

*rolls eyes*

Nigga, please.

Comments

  1. usually it's a white women that have the issue with a black women being desired, not the men.

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  2. Ohhhhhh...don't even get me started on that....

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  3. Having read the fanfic in question, the first thing that popped into my mind is why it was necessary to alter Uhura's racial identity in the first place? Spock, who identifies with his Vulcan ancestry, wouldn't focus on Uhura's race at all. He's Vulcan. To him, we're all human. He wouldn't even contemplate such a thing.

    The American author does not address either of these statements, even when they were directly asked of her. She fell back on comments such as, "I'm not a racist...my mother dated Black boyfriends..." As if that justifies what she wrote and/or rectifies the situation.

    She also used the old standby, "I/we didn't think it would matter..." *It* matters.

    This author basically ignored the rules of the particular community to which this fanfic was posted because she didn't agree with them. That smacks of entitlement, selfishness and thus, ignorance.

    The community moderator started out strong in dealing with this author, but backed off for no reason I could see. That will lead to other ignorant S/U fanfic writers thinking that it's okay to dilute Uhura's heritage when it's not.

    If an author can't respect the posting rules of a fanfic community with a particular audience, then don't bother posting. Otherwise, this is what results. And a marvelous post it is.

    Carry on, Moi!

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  4. The author you referenced isn't the only one I've had to deal with. She's just the latest in a long line.

    The mod in question did rejoin the dialogue and provided mandatory reading, though I think it was a bit late at that juncture. Cinnamon and I had already handled it.

    And Caridad, I find it ironic white women have such a volatile reaction to white men finding black women attractive, when they themselves can't keep their hands off black men.

    Fiction is a form of ventriloquism, and naturally...these white writers (all female, Caridad, which supports your observation) are showing how they see and don't understand race.

    They think it's all about their opinions, which is an arrogant, entitled way of simply avoiding facts.

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  5. Not knowing the whole reason
    Roddenberry came up with Star Trek is beyond me. I'm sorry it doesn't wash. Add to that the myriad number of discussions on the limited number of characters who are POC in fanfic and you have again ask why go there with this specific character? She's black and if you take the time to engage more people of color in RL day to day that is beyond superficial encounters, then this would have never even crossed your mind to go there. My two cents....

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  6. @ learning2

    Part of this is nuTrekkism's fault. People who aren't familiar with the franchise pass the new movie are fucking the vibe up for everyone.

    They don't know who Nichelle Nichols is or what she means to sci-fi and to women who grew up watching her. They don't bother to even watch the old show or the movies. They don't read anything. And yet they want to write about Uhura anyway....

    What's worse is, some DO watch the old show and don't "get it". Not thinking is such a dangerous luxury, but people are too blissfully ignorant to care.

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  7. You know, this would be a good discussion on 'stuff white people do'
    because it's not just Uhura they've done that with. Storm from X-Men is another one.

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  8. I was afraid you'd say that...but I'm not surprised.

    And let's just go ahead and tack Mika Coretti from Ninja Assassin on this list.

    *shudder*

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  9. And Caridad, I find it ironic white women have such a volatile reaction to white men finding black women attractive, when they themselves can't keep their hands off black men.


    It's about them having swallowed the hype that they are indeed the "fairest," in the figurative sense, in the land. BW are viewed as their polar opposites. If they are the prettiest, we must be the ugliest. If they are the most delicate, our asses must be made of Teflon. If they are the most feminine, then we are pseudo-men, super-masculine menials.

    If the alphas of society, White men, start paying BW real court (I mean marryin, puttin' a rang on it, making it all legal-like and proclaiming their love and devotion before the State, their family and friends and whatever deity they worship, not finding, fucking and forgetting us), then WW cannot hold onto their pedestal position.

    And simply enough, it majorly fucks with a lot of WW's egos to see WM finding undeniably-Black women attractive. WM may start getting idearz (see the wifing issue in the above paragraph), and not only will WW's safety net be gone (they may start being judged by their ACTIONS and on par with all other women without the halo of their Whiteness to shield them), but if they can't be better than a lowly Negress then what's the point of living?!

    Don't think so? Be a BW that WM find attractive and see the reactions from WW around you. Even worse, be a BW with a White husband! That proves you can 1) actually attract a WM, 2) make him commit to you and 3) get him to make you legal. And most of this goes AGAINST most WM's upbringing. They wonder how you, darkie YOU, broke through all of that? You will have WW following you into the ladies room (I know cuz it's happened to me) to see what secret you have that has Svengalied that po', unsuspecting White boy! I swear it was like they were looking for me to pull out a bottle of "Catch a Cracka" and douse myself with it!

    You will be the BW they will not allow around any WM they want or in their family. After all, you've proven you can snag one of theirs. You'll get introduced to a lot of elderly Black janitors, bus drivers, garbagemen and even the waiters and busboys at their parties so Chad does not become too enamored with you.

    Most WW may PLAY with BM, but they don't want to KEEP them.

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  10. Oooh, I'd really love to post an insightful answer here, but I know virtually nothing about Star Trek. Although I did read that excellent LiveJournal test about Uhura.

    So, if I understand, white female fanfiction writers like to alter Uhura's ancestry to make her less black. I have no idea why they do that, I guess your list is good. I don't know, maybe they liked Uhura so much they wanted to make her more similar to themselves, but that is a silly reason too, and none of the fanfiction writers stated that as a reason and plus, why would making her whiter (less black) make her more similar to them?

    As for mixing in the future, I honestly thought there would be more and more mixed people of all kinds... Which would make whites become darker, but blacks lighter. Isn't that how it works?

    Also:

    usually it's a white women that have the issue with a black women being desired, not the men.

    I guess it all comes from jealousy; all women want men to like women who look like them, so to speak. Thatćs not the problem on itself; the problem is, white women rarely think about them being seen as the most desirable (by media) and not black women... Do they even think about how black women feel? What is so wrong to have black female characters admired (and not just characters, black women in real life)?

    So, I am white, and female, and a writer, but I don't write fanfiction and I don't know much about Star Trek to answer your main question.

    But I always thought whites in general like the idea of mixing, that they see it as a way of stopping racism... ?

    Now, what is wrong with black characters? Nothing. But I believe white people don't know how to write non-white characters.

    Speaking of writing, I'm currently planning a (fantasy) novel in which only a few people are white, most of them a re mixed (but never explicitly said that way). I am doing my best not to make it a typical white person fantasy about mixed-racism free world. I hope I'll manage to do it, but I am just not sure how, at the moment.

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  11. I find it ironic white women have such a volatile reaction to white men finding black women attractive, when they themselves can't keep their hands off black men.

    I find it confusing, too. Black men are great, don't get me wrong. but if they are, so are black women. I could totally understand why men of any race would be attracted to black women. It was never a mystery to me. Their racism stops them from truly respect those women, but it's another matter.

    Maybe they (white women) feel in their hearts that black women are more feminine or something? But to think like that is silly, because no race is more superior to another; white women can be very feminine too.

    Fiction is a form of ventriloquism, and naturally...these white writers (all female, Caridad, which supports your observation) are showing how they see and don't understand race.

    This is true, I'm afraid. I really don't want to be that kind of writer. But I am not interested in creating only white characters, so what can I do?

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  12. @Caridad

    I know I read one fic that said how storm was mixed with white arab and asian and such and such.

    Oh I remeber reading a review of a book called Ebony eyes (or something like that) and the protagonist was a japanese american man and a african american woman author of the book was a white woman. Anyway in the reviews I read on Amazon people were pissed that the author kept mentioning the black woman's long lush hair and there was a line that she was thanking her recent white ancestry for her long hair. When the reviewer said how black woman who are not mixed have long hair too and showed Utube vids like this
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oma1FnsDPOA

    a whole bunch of commenters argued with her saying how most of them were probably mixed including the one called RusticBeauty (@ 6:42) who is Nigerian (like myself)

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  13. And they all come out swingin'!!!

    Okay, ladies...let me go down the line.

    Witchsistah,

    I hear you. Indeed we are considered a threat, and I think this "whitening" of black female characters in fandom is simply an age-old tactic to lessen that threat. They probably feel that they are accepting BW...just on their terms.

    Mira,

    You don't have to be a Trek fan to give an insightful response here. This is less about Trek and more about white people - women specifically - toying with the black female identity at whim.

    Also, if you want to write fiction with characters of color, simply consult with POC and take their concerns and suggestions very seriously. What's getting white writers into so much trouble is that, once again, they think that this is one of those situation where their opinions hold weight - it's not.

    If a writer is not a POC, then he/she automatically lacks that particular insight. They need to accept this deficiency and then properly work to supplement it. Their opinion as to who POC "really are" or could be or should be is ultimately irrelevant - and they have to accept that.

    @ Aiyo,

    Exactly. White American ignorance of black people is as glaringly obvious as ever, and in the 21st century, no less. But instead of simply admitting and owning up to that ignorance, they cling in vain to the notion that they are perfect and all-knowing. This naturally irks POC and widens the divide.

    What's ironic is that in 1959 - 1959 - John Howard Griffin darkened his white skin, passed as black, traveled through the South as black, and gained some of that insight (for which white Americans threatened to kill him).

    So how come in 2010, more white people aren't conducting the same experiment? What's stopping them?

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  14. BECAUSE THEY KNOW!
    for them to actually see, hear and feel what we go through would make them SICK to their stomachs.

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  15. I think it's the love-child of the "BP are simply WP dipped in chocolate" and "The closer a POC is to being white, the better" mindsets. It comes from the WIWL desire to include BP and get points for being progressive and prove to them/ourselves that they're/we're not racist, but it also reeks of the obvious-to-everyone-who-isn't-white fear of losing the privilege of being, as Witchsistah said, the alpha. Can't have POC going around thinking they actually belong in and contribute to mainstream American society. Also, having a BW any darker would make her stand out more and, thus, possibly put her closer to center stage. If you think of the way Hollywood does things, it's quite obviously still operating under "separate but (un)equal" rules. Darker Black women are for Black films (which most WP can't be bothered to view) - unless, of course, the character represents someone clearly not stereotypically white, broken, or unattractive - then she can appear in films WP are willing to watch (The Color Purple anyone?). Lighter Black women or even darker women WP "must have" (like Nichelle Nichols) are for representing blackness and "differentness" but not letting it taint the success of whiteness. So Halle Berry can appear in white films - as long as she's a supporting star, drowning in a sea of white faces.

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  16. Damn, Victoria...wonderfully said!

    *shrugs* Can't do anything but co-sign. I particularly liked this though:

    Also, having a BW any darker would make her stand out more and, thus, possibly put her closer to center stage.

    Precisely. There's a risk she'd draw to many admiring eyes.

    And Caridad, you raised a simple but excellent point. Most white people know enough to know they don't want to know. Once again, it's a classic case of not wanting to "think too much" about something, lest it upset their tender, fragile little egos.

    Great discussion, ladies!

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  17. Witchsista,

    Preach! My boyfriend (who's a WM) cracked up at "Catch a Cracka", since he's recently become aware of the looks we get from "curious" White girls.

    Moi,

    Like Mira, I know nothing about Star Trek, but I read the comments on the fan fic and thought you and Cinnamon handled it very well. I showed it to my boyfriend, since he's a super Sci-fi fan, and he cosigned everything you all said, both regarding the illogical nature of Spock contemplating a human's race in the first place and the stupid arguments the American writer used to whine about not being racist.

    I'm not married, but I've noticed an interesting negative correlation between the number of White men I date and the number of White girlfriends I have. I admit to not being very surprised that the number of the latter has dwindled down to zero. Maybe it's a good thing my boyfriend doesn't have any sisters (though one of his housemates, a WW, is a whole 'nother story).

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  18. Maybe it's a good thing my boyfriend doesn't have any sisters (though one of his housemates, a WW, is a whole 'nother story).

    Now, now...if you bring it up, you have to share.

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  19. If the alphas of society, White men, start paying BW real court ..., then WW cannot hold onto their pedestal position.

    I think it's true. Now, we can argue whether white men should be "alphas of society", but yes, I do think white women take some things (like, being considered attractive) for granted. Oh, many white women consider themselves to be ugly and have issues, but even if they know what is like to be seen as personally ugly, they don't know what is like to be seen as ugly/unattractive/not a relationship material/etc simply for being white.

    Now, I don't know why some of them are attracted to black men (well, I do know, black men are fine), but it's unfair to be attracted to them, but not "letting" white men to be attracted to black women. Maybe they believe everybody should be attracted to them because they are white?

    I think they should stop seeing black women as the polar opposites to them.

    And yet, they dare to talk about "girl power" and call themselves feminists and "fighting for female rights", etc etc... while being completely unable to see a female of another colour as "one of their own".

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  20. I think it's the love-child of the "BP are simply WP dipped in chocolate" and "The closer a POC is to being white, the better" mindsets.

    You're right! "WP dipped in chocolate" is a common mistake, and I don't know whether that one is worse, or the exoticizing mistake.

    Maybe somebody could write about this, about the common mistakes white writers make. I won't lie, I am interested as a white writer, but more than that, I am interested in the issues behind that sort of attitude.

    Moi,

    Also, if you want to write fiction with characters of color, simply consult with POC and take their concerns and suggestions very seriously. What's getting white writers into so much trouble is that, once again, they think that this is one of those situation where their opinions hold weight - it's not.

    Oh, I know we (whites) should listen; it's not really that difficult to understand you (white person) must listen and you must accept the fact that a POC knows better what is like to be POC than you do. I don't know why that's so difficult to understand.

    I'd love to talk about POC about this (my novel), but I don't know any- except for my Internet acquaintances. To be honest, I didn't know whether it was ok to ask questions or not.

    I am still learning about race relations in the US so I don't feel competent to write about it; my story is fantasy (more or less), and their culture is not our culture- their races are different (so there aren't whites or blacks per se). The way I imagined characters, however, almost none of them is white by our standards. Still, even with fantasy I don't want to make "WP dipped in chocolate" or exoticizing mistake or some stupid and ignorant stereotype.

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  21. @ Mira,

    But I always thought whites in general like the idea of mixing, that they see it as a way of stopping racism... ?

    No, no, no: they like the idea of their descendants mixing...a long, long time from now in a galaxy far, far away from them so they won't actually have to deal with it.

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  22. And yet, they [white women] dare to talk about "girl power" and call themselves feminists and "fighting for female rights", etc etc... while being completely unable to see a female of another colour as "one of their own".

    Damn, Mira! Comin' out swingin'!!!

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  23. @ Jasmin,

    I'm not married, but I've noticed an interesting negative correlation between the number of White men I date and the number of White girlfriends I have. I admit to not being very surprised that the number of the latter has dwindled down to zero.

    One of the main reasons I don't work outside the home was due to how I was always edged out ("laid off" or fired) never due to my performance or work product (I usually got raves for that) but because of the jealousy of other WW in the office.

    As soon as 1) WM in the office started noticing me/complimenting me on my work/complimentiing me on my appearance and/or 2) it comes out that my then boyfriend/fiance-now husband is White I can practically count how many days I have left at that job.

    The last straw was a temp position I had gotten. It was great cuz it was part time and fairly close to home. All I wanted out of the gig was pin money. And a drunk monkey could do it.

    I was in an office with one WW as my supervisor. First thing that should have tipped me off was that she thought I was much younger than I looked. She then told me her age and all I said was "Oh," and went back to the task at hand. See, in WhiteGirlSpeak I was supposed to compliment her on how young she looked except the heffa looked a good five years older than her chrono age. So strike one against me. I'm INTJ, and we totes FAIL at the whole small talk, social grease thing. I'm not gonna say you look good when you do NOT to me.

    Strike two against me, I picked up the job fairly quickly, like in a week. I started doing what I do best, better organizing my space and how I do things. INTJs are great at that, making procedures more efficient. When it comes to work product, we're awesome. The social stuff? Not so much.

    Strike three came when the male boss of the joint came into the office. He had been out sick (he had cancer and was going through chemo and radiation) but still came in from time to time when he was up to it. I was introduced to him and he asked me a few questions about my experience and qualifications and background (where did you go to school? Where are you from? How'd you end up in this town? blah blah) and seemed very pleased with the answers I gave. Now, that was IT. All that was strictly work-related talk, the kind of stuff you ask new employees. But I guess he seemed to pleased with me for ol' girl because I got fired from that job the very next day. Heffa even totally LIED as in made up a whole scenario between us that did NOT take place in THIS universe as a reason to fire me. I was so pissed, I walked (the place was within walking distance to the temp agency) to the agency and told them to place someone a little brighter than said drunken monkey but not too much brighter lessen she feel threatened.

    I've not had another job since. My husband is fine with that since all the office politics literally makes me crazy. I don't miss working. I miss having the CHOICE to work in a non-batshit-making situation. And I'd definitely go back to work as long as there were no WW in the office, but seeing how they won the Affirmative Action sweepstakes (something most racists will NEVER admit), I don't see that happeneing.

    What in hell does all that have to do with WW fic writers blanchin' up Uhura? Basically it's the same insecurity, jealousy and fear of losing their favored position not just to WoC but to what they consider to be the lowest of the low. They may be able to deal losing out to Asian or Latino women, but to us nigger bitches?!

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  24. @Mira...

    "I'd love to talk about POC about this (my novel), but I don't know any- except for my Internet acquaintances. To be honest, I didn't know whether it was ok to ask questions or not."

    Mira, it is ALWAYS OKAY TO ASK QUESTIONS. Better to ask and learn rather than go with what you know--or don't know, in this case. What you don't want is to look like a fool. Ankhesen will put you in touch with me.

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  25. all I said was "Oh," and went back to the task at hand. See, in WhiteGirlSpeak I was supposed to compliment her on how young she looked except the heffa looked a good five years older than her chrono age.

    Witch...baby...you're going to be the death of me.

    I'm a little confused on this:

    Heffa even totally LIED as in made up a whole scenario between us that did NOT take place in THIS universe as a reason to fire me.

    Was the scenario between you and her or between you and that man?

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  26. @ Moi,

    It was between her and me. She lied and said I agreed to something when she hadn't even asked me the question.

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  27. Moi,

    Just remember--you asked. ;-)

    His roommate is one of those New-Agey, drama types--she's Armenian and actually moved here from Iran, but she definitely doesn't identify as a person of color (at least out loud). Turns out she's had like a million plastic surgeries to get bigger lips and a different nose (I can't figure out what she's doing to it, but it hasn't worked out so well). She recently contracted HPV and called it a "urinary tract infection" to her boyfriend, a 40-year-old yoga instructor who she always complains about to my boyfriend, who she views as her security blanket. Seriously, she goes to him for everything from clothing advice to judging whether her swollen lip is sufficiently beestung. She's one of those people who sees everything as an "issue" or "journey" that needs to be discussed and approved--the other day she told me she'd be "totally comfortable" if I wanted to move in with them (we're long distance while I finish school) or if we get our own place together--as if she gets a say in the matter. She's nice, but kind of a hot mess, and I told my boyfriend I won't be surprised if she gets real crazy once he moves out and I'm here for good. She's definitely the stereotypical needy WW who clamors for male attention all.the.time.

    Whew! :-)

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  28. Witchsistah,

    That's completely ridiculous--and unsurprising. Why is it always the leathery women who are fishing for compliments on their appearance?

    How about this old one--WW finds out you are dating/married/pursued often by White men and goes on about how Black men love her. I was studying abroad (in Spain, where they came after me a lot, to the dismay of many of the White girls there) and this girl told me that in a bar. I was like WTH? She said something about having a "big butt", and I asked her why she didn't have a man (and was so desperate) then. End of that conversation.

    ReplyDelete
  29. @ Jasmine,

    I get that too the "I LOVE Black men" speech like I really fuckin' care. They're trying to bond. Or you get that speech about how they don't care who dates whom or are all for IR dating. But eventually the claws come out when they realize YOUR relationship is solid and you got a QUALITY WM and not some K-Fed reject.

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  30. Jasmin,

    That girl sounds... well, typical, I'm afraid. I don't know if she does that because you're black, or because she's just spoiled (the two are not mutually exclusive). I think there are many women like that, who make everything, even friendship, about them.

    Witchsistah,

    You're right, small talk is very important to those people, and if you don't play by the rules (giving compliments, asking questions, etc) you are seen as weird.

    The fact you're black obviously make those people uncomfortable, but it's their problem.

    And I don't get what "black men like me" has anything to do with it; why would they mention that at all? Is that some way to say, if you can get "my" men, I can get "yours"? But I am not sure how many of them truly and seriously see black men as relationship marriage material (nor how black men see them).

    ReplyDelete
  31. Witchsistah,

    Very true. I think many think that BW can only attract "wiggers", which I find odd, given that most of the BW I know with WM are with preppy (often nerdy) types.

    Mira,

    I really just don't know about her. She's nice, but really needy, like I said, and her personal issues with men, relationships, and attractiveness may go beyond just race. She definitely desires a "Hollywood White" aesthetic, what with all of her plastic surgeries and such. She's about to be 28, but acts much younger. And she threw a temper tantrum yesterday (after I wrote my comment), btw.

    The "Black men like me" thing seems like an attempt to one-up Black women, but it doesn't work because...Black men like us too. The White girls who say that tend to buy into the hype that no Black men want Black women, which is definitely not true. It's just that oftentimes the Black men they date talk out of both sides of their mouths, praising White women to their faces but disrespecting them any kind of way in front of other Black folk.

    ReplyDelete
  32. Personally, I think a lot of it is jealousy with a capital J. There's a supervisor here at work whose ass is so flat that her pants literally sag where her ass is supposed to be (I've never seen anything like it). She told one of her techs (a black woman) that her dress was too short. When the tech informed the supervisor that the dress came to her knees, the supervisor whispers "I'm talking about in the back." Well, we all know what that means, right? The black woman's ass is too big to be wearing a dress because it makes the dress ride up higher in the back. But let's forget that there's a white girl who also works here whose skirt/dresses ride up in the back because she's a bit overweight? I can't recall anyone ever telling her that her dresses are too short. Neither the black woman nor the overweight woman can help that their modest length dresses are riding up in the back, but the black woman is the one that gets called out for it. But like another black woman at my job informed me, the WW's thighs aren't brown.

    WW want to look like us (butt implants, lip injections, tanning booths, and yes, they wear weaves too), but we're not supposed to be considered beautiful? I really don't understand the circular logic on that one.

    The double standards have gotten absolutely overwhelming.

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  33. Jasmin,

    Well, I'm not saying she's a bad or evil human being. But I do believe she might be one of those needy women, and they tend to be difficult.


    The "Black men like me" thing seems like an attempt to one-up Black women, but it doesn't work because...Black men like us too.


    But doesn't that work both ways? White men who like black women like white women... I don't see any problem with that. And for some reason I can't picture a black woman saying to a white woman married to a black man: "it's ok, white men like me".

    The White girls who say that tend to buy into the hype that no Black men want Black women, which is definitely not true. It's just that oftentimes the Black men they date talk out of both sides of their mouths, praising White women to their faces but disrespecting them any kind of way in front of other Black folk.

    Well, a women needs to know how to tell if a man is really interested in her or all he wants is sex (which is ok, if they both agree). It's not black women's fault if white women assume black men automatically respect them and treat them seriously. Or if white women assume black men should and do see them as superior to black women. (Now, I don't know how black men approach white women. If some of them approach with "I only date white girls, they're the best, black women are bad", then shame on them, but shame on white women who'd date a man who could say something like that).

    In any case, "black men like me" speech is interesting for discussion.

    cinnamon,

    I know what you're talking about.

    I do believe white women might be jealous of what is considered to be "typical black women features" (whatever that means, or whatever that means in their head). So, many of them would like to have a darker skin, fuller lips, curvier bodies, bigger butts, etc- but not to actually be black. Keeping the privilege, but getting some "exotic" features.

    Now, I don't think white women are ugly per se. But there's nothing really more beautiful about "typical white features" than any other features.

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  34. Now, I don't think white women are ugly per se. But there's nothing really more beautiful about "typical white features" than any other features.

    I couldn't agree more. Recently, I saw a show about a really beautiful black model's struggle to get into the shows at Fashion Week and how hard it is for black models to get these kinds of gigs (sorry, I can't remember what the show was was called or the model's name). Her agent was saying that she was "lucky" (his word, not mine) that she had European features because it makes it easier for her to find work, but the industry still has an obvious bias against black models. Black women with more typical "black" features have a harder time making it because the people with the money (read: the magazine owners and the rich women buying the expensive ass clothes) are white and they don't want to see an overabundance of someone who doesn't look like them in the magazines and on the runways.

    But why not? If you're looking at the damn clothes, who cares what race the model is? What are they so afraid of? That their white husbands will see a black model in one of their fashion mags and lust after her? It's sickening. We're expected to stare at images of white beauty all day every day and like it, but it's a problem if we want to see someone who looks like us in a mag on a regular basis.

    Needless to say, the model mentioned above didn't get into Fashion Week. In 2010, only 8% of the models were black, 6% were Latina and 1% were Asian. A whopping 85% were white. In 2010.

    From the article:

    Three designers--A Detacher, Alice + Olivia and Preen used all-white casts, 19 designers used only one non-white model and 18 designers used two models of color. Among the most popular models of color were Liu Wen, Rose Cordero and Tao Okamoto.


    That's just damn sad.

    @Moi

    On a lighter note, I'd just like to give you a virtual high-five for putting me onto Rain. That is one hot man. *fans self* I just watched one of his videos and good god, can that man move! I anxiously await Ninja Assassin via Netflix which I should be receiving tomorrow. And good lookin out on the Mika/Raizo fanfic suggestions via The Blasian Narrative on LJ.

    I don't even know what the hell happened in the movie and I'm fangirling all over some of the fic I've read (Scars and Summer via ff.net...hot, hot, hot!). Squee!

    ReplyDelete
  35. What. The. Hell. Has anyone else seen this shit? They done gone and put Claudia Shiffer in blackface and and afro, y'all (top row, third pic on the right). She's also Asian too. (first pic in the top row).

    Karl Lagerfeld put together 20 years worth of photos of Claudia Schiffer for the 60th issue of Stern Fotografie, a German style quarterly, SassyBella reports. The "portfolio" is available with six different covers featuring different Claudias from sexy secretary to biker chic, but also included is an image of Schiffer in darker makeup and wearing an afro.

    Wow...white people can get away with anything. Have I mentioned before that it's 2010? 2010!!! Why are we still having the conversation that blackface is racist and highly offensive? WHY?!

    And oh good god, only 23.96% of the people who took the poll think its offensive or racist. 47.99% think its a clever tribute and 28.05% aren't sure. They're worse than the ones who think it's clever. I mean, how can you not be sure? I can't stand passive aggressive people. Pick a side and stand on it!

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  36. And now they're killing Uhura in fics. Clever dig at people who hate the Spock/Uhura pairing for no rational reason or projection by the author?

    I think they're starting to a bit too far even if it supposed to be crack or a dig.

    ReplyDelete
  37. Now, a black fanfic writer (*looks at Amaya*) killed off everyone but S/U in one her highly lauded fics (they were in the Mirrorverse). So...I can't really say too much about that except this:

    If a writer dislikes the S/U pairing so much...why not simply write another pairing? Killing Uhura is not canon, the author clearly has no problem writing outside the box, so to speak.

    Unless...feeling bound by canon's not the real issue here....

    ReplyDelete
  38. @ cinnamon,

    About the models, I'm familiar.

    ReplyDelete
  39. Damn, I'm missed so many enlightening things when I was offline. Sundays through Thursday nights don't belong to me. :(

    @Cinnamon - And now they're killing Uhura in fics. Clever dig at people who hate the Spock/Uhura pairing for no rational reason or projection by the author?

    I'd rather her be dead than constantly sucking Spock's dick. I'm not waging an anti-fellatio rant. Instead, I'm sick to death of Nyota Uhura being Spock's convenient vagina/mouth/ass -- a salve to put on his fucking wounds. I'd probably be more accepting if there was any indication that Spock gave a damn about Uhura and her existence beyond what she can do for him.

    There is one thing that makes me absolutely livid. Why in the hell would Nyota Uhura, born and bred in Africa (seemingly Kenya) teach her damned kids Federation Standard first?! In most tales the kids are being raised on a damn starship where universal translators are the norm. I can't abide by this on any level.

    It's also curious that Vulcans are the ultimate racists in the universe. Does.not.compute.

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  40. @ Moi

    It's not even killng her that bothered me necessarily. It's the reason she was killed that got under my skin. But then again, maybe I'm just being sensitive. I just don't see this kind of blatant, hateful stuff toward the other characters, and it's getting old.

    (sorry for spamming, but I was finding stuff back to back last night when I should have had my tail in bed. I'm suffering for it today though.)

    @Hateya

    I'd rather her be dead than constantly sucking Spock's dick. I'm not waging an anti-fellatio rant. Instead, I'm sick to death of Nyota Uhura being Spock's convenient vagina/mouth/ass -- a salve to put on his fucking wounds. I'd probably be more accepting if there was any indication that Spock gave a damn about Uhura and her existence beyond what she can do for him.

    Does this happen a lot? The fics I've read have them in a relationship where their love for each other is absolute (unless the plot calls for otherwise, but it always has a happy ending). The lovemaking between them is intense, but loving, on both their parts. That's probably more me than anything, though. I guess I just choose fics that fall in line more with what kind of relationship we saw in the movie. You can tell that Spock adored Nyota and that she loved him to pieces in return.

    Now you have me curiuos. Do you have any examples?

    ReplyDelete
  41. Mira,

    That's what I assume, but lots of WW I know see it as a zero-sum game: A WM dating a BW must only like BW (and vice versa.

    ReplyDelete
  42. @Cinnamon -That's probably more me than anything, though. I guess I just choose fics that fall in line more with what kind of relationship we saw in the movie.

    I understand what you're saying here and I know I should take more care when reading. Perhaps in recent months I've just become rather frustrated by the lack of Uhura's overall development.

    Even if the relationship is loving and ends happily, it all seems to be about Spock, his comfort, his status, his family and his people. It's just too easy to change her name to Cindy/Sherry/Donna/Mara/Rose and have it play out exactly the same way.

    Admittedly, this is my problem because you and I could read the same piece and arrive at a completely different conclusion. Not every single piece of fiction plays out this way. Still... with the ridiculous amount of regurgitation, I can't seem to ignore what I perceive to be infractions.

    That is virtually irrelevant today because I've learned a very important lesson. I can't do anything about them and what they write. Instead, I'll follow Walter Mosley's lead. He challenged me because he said something close to (I can't quote him), "If you want a place for black people in the future, then you need to write them there yourself."

    Therefore, I can't allow myself to think about about other writers anymore. I need to move my own ass although fiction writing is not something that comes naturally to me. My muse is tied up until early August. Do expect her to submit to the StarTrekBigBang again. It'll be the piece where there is way too much Nyota and Sulu although Spock is still her man. :D

    My last piece only focused on her intellect and her ability to handle real world problems. It also didn't have a definitely ending because I didn't have the resources to write her as a fully realized African woman then. Well, I spent the money and I've learned quite a few things since then.

    According to my Zambian friends, whether I make her a child of Nigeria, a child of Kenya, a child or Zambia or a combination various societies, that was fine with them. In fact, they encourage me to utilize all that I've learned. Either they trust me or they just love me because they are my friends. :D

    ReplyDelete
  43. @Hateya

    Thank you. And I really mean that, because I didn't even think of it like that and that's definitely true. In most fics--even if the relationship is two-sided and loving--it usually is more about Spock (even if the plot is about their relationship or whatever else). Man, even I'm guilty of that. (smh) I wrote a fic that was pure sexy fluff, but it revolved around how Vulcan's don't like to touch food with their hands and they're experimenting with finger foods. (I think I might post it this weekend. My first time!) Even something so simplistic seeming as that is really about Spock and his culture. Damn, I feel...foolish...ignorant...fill in the adjective. But I also feel enlightened and grateful that you opened my eyes to this trend.

    Maybe it's the whole half-Vulcan alien thing that intrigues writers so much...that they like writing about that alien culture (for me, it's because I have the hots for Spock, but that's another story). Or it could be because for a lot of the white writers (or even blacks or anyone else), it's easier to write "Spock's story" because he is half of a made up species and it's "easier." They have websites dedicated to Trek lore, language, culture, etc. that will help them get it all right. And there's no one to offend if they get it wrong (except maybe rabid fanboys/fangirls). With Uhura, they're probably afraid that they'll step on toes if they get African culture wrong or say something that is/could be perceived as racist, even if they research the subject so that they can try to get it right (such as the issue on LJ last weekend...btw, that particular author is German, not American). I think that's where the dilemma comes in, so people often take the path of least resistance.


    I've recently become very intrigued by the Mika/Raizo pairing, and I would love to write a fic about them, but I fully admit my ignorance of Asian culture. I know that Asians (esp. the men) are horribly stereotyped, so if I decided to write one, it would have to be on point. There's no room for anything less. I wouldn't write anything without doing my research, but I'd still be anxious about getting it right. Now that just may be the perfectionist in me, but I can't just throw words on a page and call it a story.

    I would love to write an Uhura-centric fic, but I'd want to do it justice. Same with Mika/Raizo. I do know a wonderful Asian woman whom I can ask anything of, and my co-blogger's husband is African and that's another resource for me, so really, I should be utilizing what's right in front of me. Do you (or anyone else) have any other suggestions? Any websites, books, etc? Thanks.

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  44. @ cinnamon...

    Indeed...these two are quite an addictive pairing. Honestly, I find them a hotter pair than S/U, especially when you consider the changes surrounding the making of the film (No...Rain and Naomie are NOT a couple...at least not to my knowledge...you know...shit might come out a little later...*sigh*...a pygmy can dream...).

    Anyhoo, you do have great resources in front of you. I recommend reading the stereotypes to avoid just to get a good idea of what NOT to do:

    http://www.squidoo.com/asianstereotypes

    Insight into names always helps:

    http://www.20000-names.com/

    And I sometimes help:

    http://www.ankhesen-mie.net/2010/02/side-effects-of-being-invisible-in.html (just skip to the second half).

    Hope to see your work on the Blasian Narrative! It would be an honor!

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  45. @Cinnamon,

    Thank you for being so gracious and please make sure to give us a link to your story if you post.

    I agree that it's easier to write about Spock because he's half of a made-up species. Unfortunately, very little about Vulcan culture is made-up. It's a bastardization of existing earth cultures. I'm always sensitive when I see Japanese culture and traits applied to Vulcans, Romulans and Klingons. I'm biased because my husband is Japanese.

    As for Uhura, I agree that it's significantly more difficult to make a genuine African-nation background for her for all the reasons you stated above.

    Nonetheless, I'm willing to give it a try because I think after 40 years, the character deserves more. There is information available. All I did was surf the net to find lists of African authors. Afterwards, I signed on to Amazon.com and I ordered about 12 books, I think. I believe that the best way to learn anything about a society is by reading literature written by people from that society.

    From this experience, I learned why so many East and South Africans adjust quite well to Japanese culture. They share many of the same cultural concepts. Logically, this means Uhura is perfectly suited for Spock.

    Furthermore, Zoe Saldana did not mis-play Uhura. Nothing irks me more than those ol' TOS fans claiming she isn't mysterious or exotic like Nichelle's Uhura. Well, hell, Nichelle had three lines per every six episodes. Of course, her Uhura was mysterious.

    Every time I mentioned a concept to my friends from Lusaka, they constantly said, "We do that, too" or "it means the same as our..." However, I'm going to play it safe. I'll only use cultural traits from two societies to represent Uhura. She can be a mixed AFRICAN child.

    I applaud you for not writing anything without research. This is the way it should be. I intend to write things exactly as presented in the published books I've read. While some of the concepts might be a little out of date for today, I will argue that Uhura's families refused to assimilate and things were kept in name even if not in actual practice.

    As for Asian men, the best way to write them is to write them as MEN. After visiting a majority of countries here in North East Asia and South East Asia, I've reached a startling conclusion. Men around here are pretty much the same - MALE. They aren't all that different from the men at in the USA.

    Asian women can be tricky. For example, here in Japan many women enjoy acting cutesy and use high pitch voices in the presence of men because this is a seriously sexist society. However, the goal is not to submit to a man. The opposite is true. From what I can see, the women are in charge. Advertisers, whether it's TV, radio or the internet seldom ever attempt to cater to men. Everything is created to get the attention of women. Don't let that housewife label fool you.

    In undergraduate school, I had two Chinese language classmates from Malaysia. One day they invited me home for lunch. It seems they hadn't warned their husbands, who had stopped by for a booty call, that I was coming over. If only you knew what they were wearing underneath the abaya. One complained that her husband was losing too much weight. Apparently, he wasn't eating... at least, not food. :D

    Oddly enough, I don't know Mika/Raizo or Rain and Naomie.

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  46. As for Asian men, the best way to write them is to write them as MEN. After visiting a majority of countries here in North East Asia and South East Asia, I've reached a startling conclusion. Men around here are pretty much the same - MALE. They aren't all that different from the men at in the USA.

    Nicely said. I think many women in the US tend to forget that.


    Oddly enough, I don't know Mika/Raizo or Rain and Naomie


    *gasp* Blasphemy!!! A movie with a black female character and male Japanese character (actor's Korean) and you don't know about it????

    Ninja Assassin Trailer

    Film Clip #1
    Film Clip #2
    Film Clip #3 (my fav)
    Film Clip #4

    And how the hell can you not know about Rain????

    Like, OMG...seriously???? (best clip in the universe right there, btw)

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  47. Nicely said. I think many women in the US tend to forget that.

    It's always best to begin with the basics. Understanding how to define a "male" is probably the toughest thing to do. After that, we can add the culture-oriented material.

    Rain
    Thanks to the links, I can't wait to get scratched off the heathen link. As you might expect, I can certain develop a healthy obsession for these two as well.

    *gasp* Blasphemy!!! A movie with a black female character and male Japanese character (actor's Korean) and you don't know about it????

    Pretty and Hot Asian guys are bountiful here. I can't keep up. Some of them just walk around on the street. And don't forget that extremely ripped firemen and fishermen. ;)

    ReplyDelete
  48. I know I'm late to the party, but I just wanted to point out a fic where Uhura's father was made White.

    http://www.fanfiction.net/s/5107941/1/Illogically_Primal

    The author mentions that there had been a lot of mixing of races. However, in his/her story only Uhura and Spock are mixed.

    I've been trying to find this story since your first post on Spock/Uhura in Livejournal. Seeing as it hasn't stopped, I dug all through FanFiction and finally found it.

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  49. @ Sheryl

    But the title I can tell the author is one of those who throws around the word "illogically" and probably doesn't really understand the meaning.

    *shudder*

    Welcome to the party!!! Join the Addicts' Circle while you're here!!!

    To me...waaaaaaay better than S/U.

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  50. Given the population of the world and where Uhura is from wouldn't it be more likely for her to be mixed with Asian? Not that Roddenberry ever meant for her to be biracial but the FAIL is so much greater for them to assume there is more mixing with White people in the future than with Asians.

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  51. I cringed a bit at the black girls don't have long pretty hair and the that ponytail was fake response because it seems like you're saying long straight hair is somehow prettier than short nappy hair and that full black girls can't naturally have straight hair either.

    Neither is true.

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  52. @heyheyhey

    I find it absolutely astonishing that you read the original post and/or the comments and reached this incredibly backwards conclusion.

    ReplyDelete
  53. I didn't read the comments. The article says in the new movie, Uhura has long, pretty hair. Black girls don't have pretty hair. The response is fuck you, the ponytail was fake.

    Saying it was fake supports anyone coming at this issue thinking a black girl can't grow long hair, like that. They'll huff and say of course it's fake and laugh. Full black girls can't grow long hair, which can in turn support the idea that Uhura is actually mixed to the ignorant.

    I know she added the genetics line to offset that, but that is how comes off.

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  54. @heyheyhey

    The ponytail was fake, fake and fake!!! Now that we've gotten that out of the way, ask yourself WHY the powers that be deemed it necessary to give NuUhura that bouncing, non-behavin' and ridiculously non-professional hairstyle in the first place? After you've reached the only logical conclusion, then you should be able to relate that to why it's so damned easy for Uhura's Blackness to be hijacked in fan fiction.

    I'd so hate for you to think that it actually matters if they believe we can't grow long hair or naturally long straight hair... you've taken two different hair stances.

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  55. ***comment moderation***

    @ Anonymous

    1) Don't post as Anonymous
    2) If that's your big fear...why are you here?

    ReplyDelete