Artwork by John Gerken
I'm a fat brown cis male queer, humorless feminist, tender queer, late 20's college student. This is a blog about people of color solidarity, queer separatism, body positivity, dismantling the white supremacist capitalist cisheteropatriarchy and general insurrection. This blog is a manifestation of my fat, brown, queer rage.
I also run the body positive blogs fuckyeahchubbyguysofcolor and fatnudes, if you're into that sort of thing.
"We exist as women who are Black who are feminists, each stranded for the moment, working independently because there is not yet an environment in this society remotely congenial to our struggle — because, being on the bottom, we would have to do what no one else has done: we would have to fight the world."
Michele Wallace, “A Black Feminist’s Search for Sisterhood” (via voodoopussies)
"As Black women, we do not have the privilege or the space to call ourselves “slut” without validating the already historically entrenched ideology and recurring messages about what and who the Black woman is. We don’t have the privilege to play on destructive representations burned in our collective minds, on our bodies and souls for generations. Although we understand the valid impetus behind the use of the word “slut” as language to frame and brand an anti-rape movement, we are gravely concerned. For us the trivialization of rape and the absence of justice are viciously intertwined with narratives of sexual surveillance, legal access and availability to our personhood. It is tied to institutionalized ideology about our bodies as sexualized objects of property, as spectacles of sexuality and deviant sexual desire. It is tied to notions about our clothed or unclothed bodies as unable to be raped whether on the auction block, in the fields or on living room television screens. The perception and wholesale acceptance of speculations about what the Black woman wants, what she needs and what she deserves has truly, long crossed the boundaries of her mode of dress."
In the end, it came down to the accused killer’s word against that of his former co-defendant.
Alrashim Chambers was charged with fatally shooting a transgender woman in Maplewood after discovering her sexual identity. His one-time accomplice, who has since taken a plea deal, pointed the finger at Chambers. But Chambers pointed it right back.
An Essex County jury made its decision today when it acquitted Chambers on all counts in the Sept. 12, 2010, slaying of 28-year-old Victoria Carmen White.
The jury found Chambers, of Newark, not guilty of murder, bias intimidation and two weapons offenses. Chambers, 25, who maintained his innocence from the beginning and took the stand in his own defense, had faced up to life in prison if convicted of murder.
Chambers was charged with shooting White three times in her cousin’s studio apartment in the early morning hours, infuriated after suspecting she had been a man, prosecutors said. White, whom Chambers had met at an Irvington nightclub earlier that evening, was a lingerie model who had sex reassignment surgery a decade earlier in Thailand and had legally changed her name from James White.
The jury in Superior Court in Newark announced its verdict at 11 a.m., after more than five hours of deliberations over two days.
“It’s a huge load off his shoulders,” Chambers’ attorney, Bukie Adetula, said after the verdict. “All he said to me was: ‘Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.’”
About two-dozen of Chambers’ relatives, including his mother and father, were in court to hear the verdict, as they had been for most of the two-week trial.
“There were a lot of hugs and kisses and tears of joy,” Adetula said.
The case was a difficult one for the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office, because the only witness was Chambers’ co-defendant, Marquise Foster, who testified at trial. Foster, who was also charged with murder, pleaded guilty to a reduced charge in exchange for his testimony against Chambers.
Foster, 26, said Chambers had been hugging and kissing White that evening, but became enraged when he suspected she was a man.
“You a dude?” Foster claimed Chambers shouted at White. Three gunshots followed seconds later, he said. The .22-caliber handgun allegedly used in the killing was never recovered. The bias intimidation count did not play a major role in the trial, though Essex County Assistant Prosecutor Eileen O’Connor, who handled the case, told the jury White’s sexual identity was the sole reason she was killed.
Chambers, who took the stand Wednesday as the only witness for the defense, denied having anything to do with the killing, and essentially painted Foster as the gunman. Chambers claimed he had stepped out of the Maplewood apartment to retrieve marijuana from his car when he heard the gunshots.
At that point, he testified, he was caught in the building vestibule, unable to re-enter because the heavy entrance door was locked. He said Foster came running out a short time later, but never told him what had happened.
Two women who were in the bathroom at the time of the killing — including White’s cousin — also testified that they heard someone yell, “You a dude?” then heard three gunshots. Because the bathroom door was closed, neither woman saw who fired the shots, or who made the statement.
On the witness stand, Chambers said he didn’t even know White had been killed — or that she [was trans]
had been a man— until nearly two months later, when a news report about the shooting described him and Foster as suspects. Both men surrendered a short time later.
Several of the victim’s family members were also in the courtroom today for the verdict, including both of White’s grandmothers.
“Obviously, we and the victim’s family are very disappointed in the verdict,” said O’Connor, who spoke with White’s relatives after the verdict. “But we put forth all the evidence in the case and did the best we could under the circumstances.”
(By Alexi Friedman, The Star-Ledger)
It was just announced that CeCe McDonald, who was being charged with two counts of second-degree murder in an incident of self-defense, has just taken a plea-deal—second degree manslaughter with a recommended 41 month sentence. CeCe McDonald’s sentencing hearing will be in a month.
But Ms. McDonald isn’t the first young Black trans woman to be thrown in jail and aggressively prosecuted for surviving a violent attack on her life. Unfortunately, without real systematic change, she isn’t likely to be the last either.
It should be no secret that young trans women of color (TWOC) are being murdered at alarming rates. This is a social problem largely ignored by most people, including the media, the service/nonprofit sector and government. But this is something people in the affected communities can’t afford to ignore.
But attacks on the lives of TWOC don’t go without resistance, and when TWOC resist sometimes their attackers end up dead. This was the case with Ms. McDonald, but it was also the case last year with Akira Jackson, a Black trans woman currently serving a four-year sentence for “manslaughter” for stabbing her boyfriend in self-defense when he beat her with a baseball bat.
Jackson, a Detroit native, moved to the California Bay Area where she became an advocate for young TWOC. She was a Program Specialist from TLISH (Transgender Ladies Initiating Sisterhood), a transgender youth program where she spent her time counseling young women about housing, government assistance, and employment.
If Ms. McDonald and Ms. Jackson weren’t Black trans women it is likely that their cases might not have ended up differently. By being criminalized for their survival, these two women share something in common with many other women of color, including the New Jersey 4, a group of Black lesbian women who were attacked in the New York City’s West Village and later aggressively prosecuted for defending themselves. The attacker fully recovered, but the women were forced to serve time.
It’s a sad irony that we promote self-defense classes as a way of combating violence against women, yet many of the women of color, trans and cis alike, are currently imprisoned precisely because they fought back against violence in their homes and in the streets.
Too often trans and queer women of color survive violence in their homes and on the streets only to have the police, courts and prison-industrial complex come after them for having the audacity to survive in a world where, as Audre Lorde said in her poem “A Litany For Survival,” they “were never meant to survive.”
A look at street harassment through the stories of Women of Color and their strategies for self defense and self determination. Made by Ines Ixierda in the Queer Women of Color Media Arts Project.
Let’s take back our tags! Meaning post yourself being yourself, without any exotifying pretense. (I originally said Wednesday, Feb 22nd but fuck it, let’s start now!)
I got really upset/annoyed/raging when I opened the Latina tag for the 10th time only to find exotified/fetishizing images of naked Latinas posted by white men.
Now nudity is great, so is sexuality, but when nudity and sexuality as appear as the main representation in these tags and in life and this is not in the control of those represented, then it’s all fuckery. This is an issue of racism, colonialism, sexism, patriarchy, class, stereotypes, and generally fuckheadery!
I’m sure most if not all ethnic groups/cultures, that we as women of color represent, are inundated with images that do not reflect who we really are, or at least play into stereotypes, myths, sexist, and colonial imagery.
We saw effective tag take overs with the Native American and Indian tags in the past few months.
So reblog this with your thoughts and if you’re in!
At the very least there is never enough visibility of WOC and maybe for a day this will be different.
In my experience, on tumblr, and in brief instances in real life…
Has only gone far enough to get the fat white body to be seen as desirable, acceptable and worthy. I see the same perpetuation of white privilege play out in the following ways:
-Even though I follow tons of fats and many of these are of color (its probably half) white fat people only reblog fat white people. Almost exclusively.
-White women get tons of love from other white women and lots of support. If we’re going to be superficial (for the sake of comparison) a shit quality photo of a fat white girl will get more weblogs then a fierce fat woc. You want proof? Compare any of the post on fatpeopleofcolor to any on one like chubby bunnies. There are few fat woc who get lots of love from everyone. Like people are only capable of loving one of color body at once.
-in real life, fat spaces have been white as fucking hell and while white folx enbrased each other and complimented each other the few I felt uneasy as fuck, excluded and not until another woc an I started talking did another person acknowledge our presence in the space.
So this is kinda a call out to white folks in the following ways:
-how are you perpetuating systems of oppression even with tumblr and through your blog
-if you run a blog that’s community based, why are you excluding people of color?
Fat folx of color: Are you perpetuating fucked up ideals of beauty by constantly focusing on white folx!
-we build community different than white folx, how can we do that within the context of being fat?
I kinda feel like for poc being fat is problem low on the list of ways we feel oppressed. So I’m trying to figure out how my fat body intersects with the my other identities and how I can use my fatness as a way to address white supremacy in other spaces.
So ultimately what I’m saying is I’m sick of seeing fat acceptance have the face of a “pretty” white women and I don’t plan on participating in it but instead dismantling it if it continues.
PS: Allow this post to serve as an example…
"This tribe called “Women of Color” is not an ethnicity. It is one of the inventions of solidarity, an alliance, a political necessity that is not the given name of every female with dark skin and a colonized tongue, but rather a choice about how to resist and with whom."
Aurora Levins Morales, My Name is This Story from Telling to Live: Latina Feminist Testimonios. (via muxersita)
[image: a page that reads “To White Feminists:you racism is showing when our anger makes you panic. even when we are not angry at you or your racism, but some simple, ordinary thing. when our expressed anger translates to you as a threat of violence, this is your unacknowledged fear of retribution or exposure and it is revealing your guilt. -Carol Camper”]
All of this.
Within the black community especially, this is unfortunately a reality WoC face. The more eurocentric beauty features you have (fair skin, long hair, tiny nose etc.) the “more desirable” you are to society. It all stems from racism,white superiority, and the extent in which both are embedded in our own *preferences* as well as societal acceptance today. Which is why we should all find offense in the notion that something as simple as the color of your skin dictate your worth.
If you’re a person of color and you objectify women of color on the “blackness” of their skintone (Yes,objectification lies within racism as well) with their correlation to their beauty or worth, with your ideal “preference” being a partner with eurocentric features, do not turn around and cry of racism done against you, when you yourself have committed the same acts of bigotry against your people. Especially when they are the adopted hate filled ideology of our people created by the very ones that you claim to fight against.
Do not cry of the injustices done against you when you have taken on the face of the tyrant. Criticizes your preferences, because I can assure you they are not truly your own, but a learned affection of what us people of color have never been able to have, the white mans world. We have never fit in there, and in order to come to true radical change within and outside our society, we must question our integrity as people of color and our submissiveness to the white mans world.
Great post. I thought I should definitely re-blog. Also, some related posts: