I just read an article about a Black woman named Yolanda Spivey who simply changed her race to “White” (and changed her name to “Bianca White”) on Monster.com and had an interesting (albeit predictable, at least to other Black women and Black men) result:
At the end of my little experiment, (which lasted a week), Bianca White had received nine phone calls—I received none. Bianca had received a total of seven emails, while I’d only received two, which again happen to have been the same emails Bianca received. Let me also point out that one of the emails that contacted Bianca for a job wanted her to relocate to a different state, all expenses paid, should she be willing to make that commitment. In the end, a total of twenty-four employers looked at Bianca’s resume while only ten looked at mines.
Keep in mind that all of the important information (except name and race) on both resumes were the same. I know her experience is truth. How? Because I did a similar experiment before. More than once, actually. It’s rather comical in how grotesque the result is. Apparently, being White and extroverted makes me damn near orgasmic to employers. Being Black and introverted makes me a social albatross for their company.
Human resources (and honestly, “casting director” in Hollywood…think of the correlations and implications therein) is predominantly staffed by White women. This is statistical fact. They are the gatekeepers. They choose who they want and who they like. As Spivey mentioned:Other than being chronically out of work, I embarked on this little experiment because of a young woman I met while I was in school. She was a twenty-two-year-old Caucasian woman who, like myself, was about to graduate. She was so excited about a job she had just gotten with a well-known sporting franchise. She had no prior work experience and had applied for a clerical position, but was offered a higher post as an executive manager making close to six figures. I was curious to know how she’d been able to land such a position. She was candid in telling me that the human resource person who’d hired her just “liked” her and told her that she deserved to be in a higher position. The HR person was also Caucasian.
Been there. I have over a decade of watching and experiencing this. I’ve mentioned similar tales before about how I was perceived in a corporate office because I am a Black introvert, how my wages faired when compared to White men and similar experiences.
I don’t know why this is a shock to any Black person in America.
White folks? Well, they’re shocked that we can speak clearly, so…
it isn’t surprising but it is disgusting and disheartening. i’ve actually done the same before on myspace lol. when myspace was a thing. it’s a lot different in its implications (love life vs. financial life, one having more physical consequences when lacking then the other, tho not always) but i choose a white girl i knew was considered attractive to all races and i received so many friend requests and messages. whereas i made my own profile with all the similar things as this girl and just had different race and pic and got next to nothing. which is just fucked as all hell. but when it comes to jobs niggas need to realize how this keeps us without resources and the opportunities we worked for and then WE get blamed for it.
Somebody tell Beauty Salon Becky that THIS is racism, not a Black woman not wanting her unqualified ass doing her hair.
Rather than wrongly lump all nomadic peoples under the umbrella term, “gypsy”, here is a guide of appropriate terms to use.
Terms to not use when referring to nomadic people or nomadic sub-ethnic populations:
gypsy [jip-see] noun
Usage note: The term gypsy is a degrading pejorative for persons who belong to the Romani ethnic population.
A member of a nomadic Indo-Aryan people of generally dark complexion who migrated originally from India & Pakistan, settling in various parts of Asia, Europe, and, most recently, North America.
vagabond [vag-uh-bond] adjective
1. Wandering from place to place without any settled home.
2. Leading an unsettled carefree life.
3. Disreputable, worthless, shiftless.
vagrant [vey-gruhnt] noun
1. A person who wanders about idly and has no permanent home or employment.
2. An idle person without visible means of support, as a tramp or beggar.
drifter [drif-ter] noun
1. A person who goes from place to place, job to job, etc.
2. A boat used in fishing with a drift net.
hobo [hoh-boh] noun
A tramp or vagrant.
tramp [trӕmp] noun
1. A person who travels about on foot, usually with no permanent home, living by begging, doing casual work.
2. A long hard walk.
3. An iron plate on the sole of a boot.
4. (slang) A prostitute or promiscuous girl or woman.
pikey [paiki] noun
Usage note: A slang pejorative used in the United Kingdom to describe members of the Pavee sub-Irish ethnic population; commonly known as Irish Travellers.
1. A vagrant.
2. A member of the underclass (possibly derived from the term turnpike).
Words you should use when referring to nomadic people or nomadic sub-ethnic populations:
nomad [noh-mad] noun
A member of a people or tribe that has no permanent abode but moves about from place to place, usually seasonally and often following a traditional route or circuit according to the state of the pasturage or food supply.
An Indo-Aryan people who migrated from the Rajasthan & Punjab regions of India & what is today part of the nation-state of Pakistan following the invasion of the Persian Muslims and now live primarily in Europe and the Americas.
An Indo-Aryan people who migrated from the Rajasthan & Punjab regions of India & parts of what is now the nation-state of Pakistan shortly after the invasion of the Persian Muslims who now live throughout the Middle East, Central Asia, and across North Africa. Very closely related to the Romani.
An ethnic group living in north-central Tanzania in the Great Rift Valley. The language of the Hazda is most closely related to the Khoisan language family, though they are genetically isolated from neighboring ethnic populations.
An ethnic people from the Rajasthan region of India. They live primarily in north-west Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, and the Eastern Sindh province. They are divided into two tribes; the Maturia & the Labana.
A sub group of the ethnic Turkic people who live primarily in Turkmenistan & Afghanistan, northeastern Syria, Iran and Iraq. The language is Turkmen, of the Oghuz dialectal branch of Turkic. It is closely related to Turkish, Azerbaijani, Qashqui, Gagauz, and Salar.
An ethnic people who live between the Guaviare & Inirida rivers within the Amazon basin in the nation-state of Columbia. The Nukak are seasonally nomadic. Their language is a dialect of the Nadahup language.
Commonly known as Irish Travellers, the Pavee are a sub-ethnic group of Irish who live mostly in the Republic of Ireland & the United Kingdom. The Pavee speak a dialect of the Shelta language, as well as Irish Traveller Cant; which derives from Gaelic.
An Arabian sub-ethnic population who live mostly throughout the Arabian Peninsula, as well as in Egypt. The Bedouin are divided into various tribes, each of which generally speaks one of three Arabic dialects; Najdi, Hassaniya, or Bedawi.
The Yupik are a people indigenous to regions of Alaska and the Russian far east. They include the following tribes; Alutiiq, Central Alaskan Yu’pik, Siberian Yupik, and the Nuakan, Chaplino, and Sirenik. The Yupik language is still widely spoken in both Alaska & Russia. There are five Yupik dialects.
The Hmong are an ethnic population living in regions of China, Vietnam, Laos, & Thailand. The Hmong have many ethnic sub-divisions & speak their own language; Hmong.
A sub-ethnic group of the Nilotic people living in Kenya & Tanzania. The language they speak is Maa, which is a member of the Nilo-Saharan language family. Many Maasai also speak Swahili & English fluently.
The Lori are an ethnic population who live in Pakistan & Iran. They are divided into two sub groups; the Sarmas-Lori & the Zabgisgahi. The Lori are speculated to have migrated from India. They speak the Balochi language.
This in no way accounts for all peoples who were ever once or are still nomadic by culture, tradition, oppression, or necessity. Each nomadic population belongs to a certain ethnicity. Certainly, not all nomadic peoples are related, and thus, we cannot be placed under umbrella terms & misappropriated words.
It is most respectful to always ask what a particular individual prefers to be called. Self identification is important to all human beings no matter to which race or ethnicity we belong. Ascribing English adjectives, derogatory terms, or pejoratives from the English language to various nomadic peoples is insulting & ignorant.
We are more than nomads. We are people; human beings with emotions who identify with & embrace a particular heritage & culture. Please respect us as such.
“In most other cultures, if you hurt, if you have a symptom that’s causing you to suffer, they view this as basically healthy and natural, a sign that your nervous system knows something’s wrong. For these cultures, getting rid of the pain without addressing the deeper cause would be like shutting off a fire alarm while the fire’s still going. But if you just look at the number of ways that we try like hell to alleviate mere symptoms in this country—from fast-fast-fast-relief antacids to the popularity of lighthearted musicals during the Depression—you can see an almost compulsive tendency to regard pain itself as the problem. And so pleasure becomes a value, a teleological end in itself. It’s probably more Western than U.S. per se. Look at utilitarianism—that most English of contributions to ethics—and you see a whole teleology predicated on the idea that the best human life is one that maximizes the pleasure-to-pain ratio. God, I know this sounds priggish of me. All I’m saying is that it’s shortsighted to blame TV. It’s simply another symptom. TV didn’t invent our aesthetic childishness here any more than the Manhattan Project invented aggression. Nuclear weapons and TV have simply intensified the consequences of our tendencies, upped the stakes.”
Terence McKenna (via nathanielswhite)
Paulo Freire, Pedagogy of the Oppressed
When radicals practice appropriation of Native American and indigenous cultures, they are participating in the systems of slavery and genocide— Genocide of the Mind.
Like strip mining or oil drilling, cultural appropriation extracts cultural artifacts from the soil of their community-based traditions, so that they can be sold and commodified in a capitalist way.
Cultural appropriation is a process of colonization and extractive industry. “Discovering” the culture, “taking” it from its native people, and finally “owning” it like a trophy of war. Where real cultural identity is based on an idea of inheritance from a personal community, cultural appropriation is based on a capitalist idea of objective ownership.
This is the same thing that happens when a logging company cuts down the forest. A Native American community in that forest doesn’t view the forest in terms of monetary ownership— they view it in terms of inheritance from their ancestors, as part of a cultural identity. To the foreign logging company, those trees aren’t part of a cultural identity. They are merely dollar signs, objects to be extracted, owned, and sold.
If, as the philosophies of Environmental Justice and Deep Ecology hold, people and planet are one in the same, indivisible, then cultural appropriation is an extractive industry, like mountaintop removal or logging of an old-growth forest. It is part of a system of colonization, genocide, and environmental destruction.
As Freire says, “Apart from direct, concrete, material possession of the world, and of people, the oppressor consciousness could not understand itself— could not even exist.”