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  • #31
    Originally posted by TimeTravellingBunny View Post
    Charisma Carpenter is not a POC and is not "white passing" (which is an outdated term that makes no sense in today's world, and is often used maliciously to dismiss the struggles of actual mixed race people). She is WHITE.
    She is an American woman of SPANISH (as in, from SPAIN), German, English and French origin (and apparently Italian and Scottish as well).

    The only reason this even comes up is because people in USA have his bizarre idea that there is such a thing as a "Hispanic" race. Hispanic is a cultural designation that refers to native speakers of the Spanish language. USA made"Hispanic" became a term in the racial census because they didn't like the fact that many immigrants from Latin American countries identify themselves as white. Because - surprise, surprise - South American and Mezoamerican soil does not have the magic ability to turn people into POCs the moment they step on it.
    In some countries, like Urugway and Argentina, the majority of population is white - both descendants of Spanish colonizers and later Italians, Germans, people from ex Yugoslavia... Many German and Croatian Nazis fled to Argentina after WW2, and I don't think South American soil made them people of color!
    However, in most Latin American countries, the majority of the population is mixed race, and Mexico has mostly mestizo and indigenous population, and USA is far more familiar with Mexicans than Argentinians. The US administration came up with "Hispanic" to lump them together. Maybe because mixed race people confused them, maybe because they wanted to separate "Hispanic (white)" (which is apparently an option in the US census, alongside "Hispanic (other)") from the "proper" whites, which would be because Latin American countries never had the "one drop rule" , so people who are, say, 75% or 80% white can identity as white), which makes their self-identification suspect in the eyes of the USA census, because American white people like to think they are 100% white (even though a lot of DNA tests have shown otherwise).

    But none of that has anything to do with the actual SPANISH people from SPAIN. Charisma's grandmother was apparently from Spain. That makes it even theoretically unlikely that she was of mixed race (i.e. the probability is as high/low as with most Europeans).

    I'm still puzzled how and at which point people decided that the US designation of "Hispanic" means that SPANISH people are not white (while the Portuguese, italians - even Sicilians apparently, who actually have high MENA admixture), Greeks, everyone else in Europe is? How does that make any sense?

    If Spanish are now considered POC just because of Latin America - that would mean that they're POC because their country was a colonial empire and conquered a continent full of non-white people?
    So, by that logic, Belgians are POC because they colonized Kongo, the Dutch are POC because they were colonial rulers of Indonesia?
    Or is it because the Spanish imposed their language and names on the indigenous people of South and Mezoamerica and the slaves they brought from Africa,and left them some of their DNA? That's totally backwards. By the same logic, English people, from England, are POC because the American settlers did the same with their own black slaves.
    I'm not arguing for or against. The comment was what I've seen in discussions on the matter. The actress's ancestry never entered into it because no one knows. The argument was she's white-passing, which even if she had latin ancestry, negates any claim on being a POC.

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    • #32
      Originally posted by HardlyThere View Post
      I'm not arguing for or against. The comment was what I've seen in discussions on the matter. The actress's ancestry never entered into it because no one knows. The argument was she's white-passing, which even if she had latin ancestry, negates any claim on being a POC.
      "White passing" is the exact opposite of being white. An actual white person would never be called white-passing. It's a term used for those POC - usually mixed race people - who were able to "pass" as white (usually in USA) by hiding their ancestry and letting people believe they are (fully) white, which allowed them to have better career and other opportunities.
      An actual white person would never be called white-passing.
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Passing_(racial_identity)

      Tragic fictional stories about African Americans passing as white include the movie Imitation of Life, novel and movie Devil in a Blue Dress, Philip Roth's novel The Human Stain and its film adaptation - and "Are You Now or Have You Ever Been" (Judy was passing as white).

      But when people use it today, it's usually to try to dismiss the POC status of various mixed race people, usually celebrities, by claiming that they are getting a 'white treatment", even though those people are openly talking about themselves as POC. Which, to me, makes no sense, when you can go to their Wiki profile and find out exactly what they are, and many of them talk about their racial identity in interviews or on social media - so they are definitely not "passing" for anything. When people use it nowadays, it usually mean "I couldn't tell they weren't white just by looking at them, so I assume that no one else in the world could tell they aren't white, either". Sometimes some POC use that against others to point out that they face more discrimination because they are darker skinned etc. and claim the others have it better. Other times, it's just white people who don't know what people of certain ethnicities look like.
      Many times, I've seen people claim that certain POC actors are "white passing", when I immediately knew they weren't white just by looking at them. It's pretty random and I have no idea who is supposed to decide these things. If 5 people out of 10 can't tell you aren't white, but the other 5 can easily tell you're not, then you aren't actually passing for anything.

      It's also confusing because casting directors sometimes cast POC actors in white roles because they think they look white, Now, there are some cases where I really couldn't tell, but, for instance, the first time I saw Rami Malek (in the film The Master), I had no idea who he was, but was incredibly confused because I could see he wasn't white, but his character was supposed to be dating the daughter of a leader in a conservative white 1950s US community. That didn't fit with the story. It's only much later that I realized that he was actually supposed to be playing a white guy.

      Sometimes it's really malicious and with an agenda - like the shipper wars in The 100 fandom, with people calling an actor (Bob Morley) who is Filipino on his mother's side "white passing" even denying an actor's experiences of racism during his childhood that he's talked about, just so they could claim his character was white and more easily hate on his character (even after he called them out on it on Twitter and told them to stop). I personally think he looks very Filipino and really obviously non-white, and I know a lot of people who also immediately can tell, and others who assume he's Polynesian or Aboriginal Australian or whatever because they don't know what Filipinos look like, but there are also others who assumed he was white. So it's not really exact science and can't be solved by "I swear he looks like a white guy to my mom, so he's white passing and we shouldn't consider him a POC", but there are people who actually use that argument.

      I'm personally only kind of OK with using it if the person in question uses the term for themselves. Like Darren Criss (also half-Filipino, half-white), who said he was "white passing" and that it helped him get better roles.
      Last edited by TimeTravellingBunny; 13-01-20, 01:31 AM.
      You keep waiting for the dust to settle and then you realize it; the dust is your life going on. If happy comes along - that weird unbearable delight that's actual happy - I think you have to grab it while you can. You take what you can get, 'cause it's here, and then...gone.

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      • #33

        It's like these two twins. One is white passing. One is not.

        But white is a very unstable category and there are many places where there are levels of whiteness. Racism becomes very complicated in places with much diversity.

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        • #34
          Originally posted by Willow from Buffy View Post

          It's like these two twins. One is white passing. One is not.

          But white is a very unstable category and there are many places where there are levels of whiteness. Racism becomes very complicated in places with much diversity.
          Yeah, well, these people have been described as "white passing" or assumed to be white by some people. So I've stopped taking that term seriously when used for present day.

          You keep waiting for the dust to settle and then you realize it; the dust is your life going on. If happy comes along - that weird unbearable delight that's actual happy - I think you have to grab it while you can. You take what you can get, 'cause it's here, and then...gone.

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          • #35
            Originally posted by TimeTravellingBunny View Post
            Yeah, well, these people have been described as "white passing" or assumed to be white by some people. So I've stopped taking that term seriously when used for present day.
            It's not like in the past, when the one-drop rule meant that passing as white was a matter of life and death for people, because they had jobs or were married to people who would turn on them if they were found out.

            But I am sure it is still true that the way people look determine how other people react to them. Of those two twins above, who is most likely to be racially profiled?

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            • #36
              Originally posted by Willow from Buffy View Post
              It's not like in the past, when the one-drop rule meant that passing as white was a matter of life and death for people, because they had jobs or were married to people who would turn on them if they were found out.

              But I am sure it is still true that the way people look determine how other people react to them. Of those two twins above, who is most likely to be racially profiled?
              Doe any of the people whose photos I posted look white to you?
              They sure don't to me.
              "White passing" has become a term people will throw at any relatively light skinned mixed race person if it serves their agenda (for instance, to dismiss that person's POC status and any racial issues involved - even when some are calling that person a "monkey" and "ape" and mocking his hair and nose on Twitter).
              So I wouldn't be surprised if the curly haired twin from your picture gets called "white passing" by someone, who tries to argue it by saying she's lightskinned compared to [imsert a darker skinned black person) and "but a lot Mediterranean people have dark curly hair!" These are actually the kimd of arguments people actually use.
              Maybe someone who profiles her uses that excuse to argue they weren't being racist because they just had no odea she wasn't white.
              Maybe they say "She's not a proper black like from the Cosby Show" (!), which is how someone on Tumblr tried to argue there was no racism involved in how Meghan Markle was treated.

              And who can definitely prrove that they would or wouldn't know the person's racial iidemtity and origin - if that's an already well known info?

              I have a close friend who's half-Indonesian and it's really obvious. Brown complexion and festures that I immediately recognized as Southeast Asian. She's faced racism. But there are actually some people who can't tell - especially during the time when she was dyeing her hair blonde, in addition to straightening it - there were actually people who thought she had "gone overboard with the fake tan", because fake tanning was all the rage back at that time.
              So, does that make her white-passing?
              Last edited by TimeTravellingBunny; 14-01-20, 12:52 PM.
              You keep waiting for the dust to settle and then you realize it; the dust is your life going on. If happy comes along - that weird unbearable delight that's actual happy - I think you have to grab it while you can. You take what you can get, 'cause it's here, and then...gone.

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              • #37
                As an actual light skinned black person, I am really tired of these discussions. I have never desired to be, or to pretend to be white, in spite of being accused of wanting to be (or occasionally being 'gifted' with honorary whiteness by racists who discovered they liked me! "But you're not 'really' black are you, hun?" (Please say you aren't).

                That is when I proudly share the fact that both my grandfathers were "pure" black, very dark men and that I am fairer than both my parents... (Both grandmothers were very light skinned, though not "white", whatever that is! )

                It is all frakking genetics. I did not have anything to do with it, don't really care, but I know that i get a pass when my hair is chemically straightened, but get repeatedly pulled over when my hair is "natural". Never charged or even accused. (One cop even apologized effusively after pulling me over in my own neighborhood, when he realized I was wearing my fire department uniform (also a pass as far as cops are concerned)

                Oh and me and my white husband when driving together?? Have NEVER been pulled over. I drive alone a fraction of the time btw!

                I am not passing, and my half sister is not passing (her mom is white) nor are her kids (her husband is white) so they are even "whiter". We are all fair complected, curly dirty blond hair, though some is kinky and some is more ringlets.

                It is all just a construct. There is no such thing as a pureblood anything. Voldermort and Hitler can f=%e themselves. Race is a destructive FAKE way to divide people into tribes that hate each other, while the klepto-politicians use racism to rob all of us.

                Keep us all separated and we cannot join together and bring them down. So, they suck the money from the economy, then blame the Jews, blacks, Latinos, Muslims, foreigners and women.

                We *ALL* ORIGINATED in Africa a very long time ago. We are all individuals, but no one group is lily white ;-) or pitch black!

                Race: human. The rest is bullshit.

                Btw, Charisma Carpenter is darker than many of my relatives. Race is bs. She isnt white. NO ONE really is white. Or black. We are all shades of brown or cream.
                Last edited by DeepBlueJoy; 14-01-20, 01:56 PM. Reason: Correcting the auto incorrect!

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                • #38
                  Originally posted by TimeTravellingBunny View Post
                  Doe any of the people whose photos I posted look white to you?
                  They sure don't to me.
                  I have no opinion on that. As I've said, white means whatever people believe it to mean, and that changes with time and place. Personally, I look like someone from a Hitler Jugend propaganda poster. As do most of the people in my country. If Charisma Carpenter moved her, she would stand out as foreign.

                  America is different from most other countries in that there is no dominant American ethnicity. An American is just someone who lives in America. I think that is why the idea of whiteness is so important. Where I live, nationality matters more.

                  Originally posted by TimeTravellingBunny View Post
                  "White passing" has become a term people will throw at any relatively light skinned mixed race person if it serves their agenda (for instance, to dismiss that person's POC status and any racial issues involved - even when some are calling that person a "monkey" and "ape" and mocking his hair and nose on Twitter).
                  Well, I know very little about what it is like to be a "relatively light skinned mixed race person", but I have heard Latinos say that Latinos who can pass as white have a certain level of privilege, and that sounds reasonable to me.

                  The white passing people of the mid 20th century had a level of privilege. They could take jobs that their more dark complexioned relatives would be barred from taking.

                  But it is of course only the person themself who knows what they go through and what experiences they have.

                  Originally posted by TimeTravellingBunny View Post
                  So, does that make her white-passing?
                  Yes. Someone who wouldn't normally be considered white but can pass themselves off as white is white passing. That is what the term has always meant. If you look white to people, then I guess you don't even have to actively pass yourself off. People will just treat you as though you were white.

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                  • #39
                    Yes, of course race is a social construct. People love to categorize people and decide who's "us" and who's "them". But it's a construct that unfortunately often determines how people are treated by the society.

                    Originally posted by Willow from Buffy View Post
                    I have no opinion on that. As I've said, white means whatever people believe it to mean, and that changes with time and place. Personally, I look like someone from a Hitler Jugend propaganda poster. As do most of the people in my country. If Charisma Carpenter moved her, she would stand out as foreign.
                    I didn't ask about Charisma. I asked about the people whose pictures are posted. Who are, respectively, of half Filipino, half-Irish Australian origin; of half-Mexican, half-Irish Canadian origin; and mixed black and white.
                    Does having one white parent make you white? I don't think that's ever been the definition of "whiteness".

                    Yes, there are different definition of whiteness, but I've never heard of any definitions that include people of Subsaharan African origin, Filipinos (except for the 0.5% or less of the population that's of Spanish origin) or mestizo Mexicans.

                    As for Charisma, she looks about the same as 80% of people in my country. There are blonde people, too, but less than there are dark haired people. And the very pale, fair haired Nordic people are extremely rare - I've only ever seen them in real life when I met some Swedes and when I met a Finnish girl.
                    We don't even think of ourselves in terms of "whiteness" because the overwhelming majority of people in the Balkans are white (but do not look Nordic at all). Yet everyone is really racist towards the Roma people, who are recognizably racially different from the white majority.

                    America is different from most other countries in that there is no dominant American ethnicity. An American is just someone who lives in America. I think that is why the idea of whiteness is so important. Where I live, nationality matters more.
                    There is. It's English. That's why the term "WASP" (White Anglo Saxon Protestant). Although apparently Americans who identify as German are the most numerous, but that's because Americans tend to see Englishness as the default.


                    Well, I know very little about what it is like to be a "relatively light skinned mixed race person", but I have heard Latinos say that Latinos who can pass as white have a certain level of privilege, and that sounds reasonable to me.

                    The white passing people of the mid 20th century had a level of privilege. They could take jobs that their more dark complexioned relatives would be barred from taking.

                    But it is of course only the person themself who knows what they go through and what experiences they have.



                    Yes. Someone who wouldn't normally be considered white but can pass themselves off as white is white passing. That is what the term has always meant. If you look white to people, then I guess you don't even have to actively pass yourself off. People will just treat you as though you were white.
                    Which people? She only looks "white" to some people. Most of them have absolutely no idea what people from Southeast Asia look like - but others who also have no idea what Southeast Asians look like can still see that she doesn't look like most people around them (even if they can't guess what her exact origin is, they can see that she's brown and doesn't have European features). She's faced racism.
                    Does the fact that some people don't see it the moment she dyes her hair - because they had seen a lot of women with fake tans and can't tell the difference in a country that's 99% white - mean that we should dismiss all her experience of racism?

                    Should we believe that the media attacking Meghan Markle aren't doing it out of racism at all, because "she's not a proper black, like from Cosby Show" as that girl said?

                    Should we accept the argument from people who bullied Bob Morley just because he plays a character that they see as a threat to their favorite ship, that he's "white passing" so we should just dismiss his racial identity (so it would be easier to hate him and his character and claim he gets a "white male treatment") and mock his own experience of racism in a small, mostly white Australian town where he stood out? Is it OK to claim that he was just a drama queen when he talked about that? Was it OK for people to dismiss all that by claiming he's white passing? When some of these same people said he looked like a "monkey" and "ape" and mocked his "unwashed hair" and "flaring nostrils" (aka - some of his most obviously non-white features, like his hair texture and nose shape), was that OK if we believe them that they were just mocking him for looking different than the white European standard, while not being aware of the fact that he looks like that because he is not white by any definition that exists?

                    Who exactly decides that a person is "white passing"? Who's the authority on that? Do we take someone's word that they had no idea that a person they are viciously attacking or whose appearance they are mocking, is not white? If 5 out of 10 people don't realize you're not white but the other 5 immediately see you're not, how exactly are you "passing"? How do we know that people who call you "white passing" are even telling the truth that they didn't know you weren't white, if that's info that can be found on Wikipedia or that you mention on your Twitter all the time?

                    It seems like a very arbitrary way to decide that people don't suffer from racism just because someone who knows their racial identity claims that they don't look like it. (Which often happens just because the people in question don't even know what various ethnicities look like. My two favorite arguments are "If she's from Algeria, doesn't mean she's black, they have white people there, too, right?" and "Well he may be half-Filipino, but he looks white because he doesn't have a monolid" and "he' doesn't look Asian, like [his Korean co-star]".
                    Last edited by TimeTravellingBunny; 14-01-20, 08:27 PM.
                    You keep waiting for the dust to settle and then you realize it; the dust is your life going on. If happy comes along - that weird unbearable delight that's actual happy - I think you have to grab it while you can. You take what you can get, 'cause it's here, and then...gone.

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                    • #40
                      Originally posted by TimeTravellingBunny View Post
                      Anyway, has Charisma Carpenter ever called herself a person of color? If she has, OK, I concede. I wouldn't question self-identification, it's creepy when people do that. But has she?
                      Yes, she has and it seems like a sore point for her. (Charisma Carpenter: "You Need To Get It Out That I'm A Proud Latina!")


                      I'm uncomfortable with the direction this discussion has veered toward defining white-passing and racial features. It's beginning to sound like trying to pinpoint some sort of exact physical demarcation.

                      Which is ironic considering the main question for this discussion. I don't think this discussion thread is "aging well".
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                      • #41
                        Originally posted by Emmie View Post
                        Yes, she has and it seems like a sore point for her. (Charisma Carpenter: "You Need To Get It Out That I'm A Proud Latina!")
                        All right, then that settles it.

                        Different countries have different views of whether some ethnicities are considered 'white' or not.
                        Basically, "white" seems to be an all-encompassing term for the majority population.


                        I'm uncomfortable with the direction this discussion has veered toward defining white-passing and racial features. It's beginning to sound like trying to pinpoint some sort of exact physical demarcation.

                        Which is ironic considering the main question for this discussion. I don't think this discussion thread is "aging well".
                        Racial discussions won't age well in general - at least I hope so.
                        The very idea of "race" and classification into different 'races' originated in the 18th century - and those classifications have shifted and changed a lot, and are still different depending on the country. Of course, in the biological sense, it's nonsense. But, unfortunately, it still matters in the social sense. And it's a mess..
                        You keep waiting for the dust to settle and then you realize it; the dust is your life going on. If happy comes along - that weird unbearable delight that's actual happy - I think you have to grab it while you can. You take what you can get, 'cause it's here, and then...gone.

                        Comment


                        • #42
                          Originally posted by TimeTravellingBunny View Post
                          I didn't ask about Charisma. I asked about the people whose pictures are posted. Who are, respectively, of half Filipino, half-Irish Australian origin; of half-Mexican, half-Irish Canadian origin; and mixed black and white.
                          Celebrities who aren't in the BtVS or Angel cast are at best tangentially relevant to the discussion at hand. I don't think it's wrong to talk about what race means, but, once you get past the cast, it doesn't have much to do with the thread's original question.

                          - - - Updated - - -

                          Originally posted by Emmie View Post
                          Yes, she has and it seems like a sore point for her. (Charisma Carpenter: "You Need To Get It Out That I'm A Proud Latina!")


                          I'm uncomfortable with the direction this discussion has veered toward defining white-passing and racial features. It's beginning to sound like trying to pinpoint some sort of exact physical demarcation.

                          Which is ironic considering the main question for this discussion. I don't think this discussion thread is "aging well".
                          Interesting. Given how many complaints I've seen about the treatment of race in the Buffyverse fandom, I'm surprised I haven't seen her perspective before.

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                          • #43
                            @TimeTravellingBunny

                            I don't know the answer to any of your questions. I am not a gatekeeper for whiteness. As I've said many times, there is no working definitions for whiteness. I had no idea Romani people were considered people of colour, nor have given much thought to Meghan Markle, her ethnicity or the scandal around her. We have our own very current problem with the royal family and racism, and I can only deal with so much drama.

                            It is of course awful if people's experiences with racism aren't taken seriously, because people claim that they pass as white. And it is only in a very messed up society that the idea of passing as white holds any meaning. But I still think it is true that people will often treat people who look like they're white different from people who don't look like they are white.

                            Originally posted by TimeTravellingBunny View Post
                            The very idea of "race" and classification into different 'races' originated in the 18th century - and those classifications have shifted and changed a lot, and are still different depending on the country. Of course, in the biological sense, it's nonsense. But, unfortunately, it still matters in the social sense. And it's a mess..
                            Couldn't have said it better myself.

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                            • #44
                              TimeTravellingBunny

                              The very idea of "race" and classification into different 'races' originated in the 18th century
                              For me, it's this - the idea of classification and "types/taxonomy" - that sets alarm bells ringing in Lessons when Giles says the Passionflower ("a native of Peru") doesn't belong in England (they're not native but they survive quite well). Botany "serves him" - I presume it's a reference to Carl Linnaeus, the 18th century botanist. It impacts on the way I read Giles (not least, his relationship with Chao-ahn but also in other ways) throughout.
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                              • #45
                                I see the shows getting attacked more since it was revealed that Joss cheated on his wife.

                                There's a very clear anti-Joss agenda nowadays.
                                My deviantart: http://vampfox.deviantart.com/

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