From One Survivor to Another

February 24, 2013

The sad part about white people making fun of Quvenzhane Wallis’ name isn’t that they do it with malice. It’s that they think they are somehow original, clever, or “edgy” for doing so— as if she hasn’t heard the same “alphabet” joke (or variations of it) hundreds of times already in her short life. As if this kind of thing doesn’t happen every day to People of Color who do not have anglo, judeo-christian names.

This is what white supremacy does. It builds a convenient little bubble around you, propping up your lack of insight as if it’s fresh and new. In fact, comedians and journalists get paid to be predictably racist like this. When something clashes with your limited worldview, when you are made aware that people and cultures besides yours exist, you tear it down and then praise yourself for it. You can even earn a salary for doing it.

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    I am terrible at names I can’t sound out. But I think it comes from reading more than listening to people talk growing...
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