Tag Archives: racism

New post ideas

I wanted to write a clever post on why I don’t update so often. It’s not like I don’t have time for my site, and it’s not like I’m not interested in jefflion.net anymore. And it’s not like I don’t have ideas: I have tons of ideas.

I just… Can’t. It happens to me when I’m depressed, or anxious, or when I worry. I become so fucking unproductive in those situations. I also suffer from insomnia. I can’t sleep at night. I just can’t.

But to make this post somewhat positive, here are some post ideas:

Race & yours truly (race blogs, racism, and what’s in it for me, because I’m white and I’m non-Westerner, so it’s not an issue that usually affects people in my part of the world. Unlike, you know, almost all the other issues you can think of).
Movie reviews (I love doing movie reviews, and I don’t even care if a movie is new or not. I’ve been planning on doing a review for In Bruges for so long, and there are also some new films I’m interested in: new Sherlock Holmes or Tin Tin, or just some little independent movie I watched and loved).
Stereotypes about Eastern Europeans (that are actually true).
Novel writing (How to and How Not To)
Vampires and the Balkans (and the way popular representations of vampires, based on stories about Dracula, were actually formed as cautionary tales about the wild Balkans, a dangerous region that can corrupt the West – yes, that’s right kids, there’s an ugly story behind this).

Anyway, this song always makes me feel better for some reason:

Hate emails I get

My blog is not a popular one, and not many people know about this website. So I don’t have much of a reason to complain about hate emails and comments, or even spam.

But I do get some hate emails from time to time, and I notice they are either about song or a movie I “trashed” or about race/interracial relationships.

This is a bit confusing, because I don’t remember trashing many songs, films or novels apart from “Twilight”- and nobody complained about that. Even people who like “Twilight” like Twilight spittings, or at least don’t complain about them.

But I got one angry email concerning my not-so-favorable review of Avatar, and some people complained about my reviews of other movies, albums and novels- even if I stated I liked them. That’s right. An angry Pearl Jam fan, for example, advised me to “get back to Britney Spears” if I “can’t stand Eddie Vedder and his band”, despite the fact a) Pearl Jam is one of my favourite bands b) I like Eddie’s voice, lyrics and songs, c) it’s not really “his” band- it’s disrespectful to call it like that.

Also, some people thought I had problem with Toni Morrison (even though I said she’s one of my favourite authors), or “House M.D.” series (because I “dislike British actors (wtf?!?) or white women/black men interracial relationships”).

Which brings us to another issue: race. Race is often an issue, but the thing is, I don’t write about it. I simply don’t know much about race dynamics or have any experience with it to write about it. I did state my opinions here and there, but I never wrote about it. Yet, there are people who think I’m “siding with the enemy” (whatever that means), who think I should mind my own business, those who dislike my support for interracial relationships (or those who are angry because they think I’m against interracial relationships), and, most often, those who believe nobody should write about racism because it’s a no-issue anymore.

What is interesting about hate mail of this sort is that these people often get my gender and race wrong (which makes any of their arguments pointless), but they also often remind me I should STFU because I have no experience with race relations (well guess what- I don’t blog about it!) So I guess it has a lot to do with my involvement on other blogs that deal with race relations and racism.

What is interesting to note here is that these trolls are different than people you regularly meet online, so I guess they make a small percentage of Internet users. Still, I don’t understand why they bother, or how they (like those who think I’m trashing movies I actually like) always manage to miss the point. Completely.

Another interesting thing about authors of angry mails is that they often use contact form or find my email address without a problem, while my other visitors ignore them and post comments instead. Haters rarely comment (not that I complain), and general visitors don’t use contact form or emails. So I do find that interesting.

So, I force IR relationships…

As you probably know, I am planning on writing my novel.

This is nothing new- I’ve been planning (and planning) for quite some time now. I don’t usually reveal much about it to people in casual conversations, but some people know about bits and pieces of it.

And while many say they like the idea (maybe they’re just being nice?) those who know about the relationships in the story are often not so crazy about them.

The thing is- almost all of them are interracial.

Some people don’t pay any attention to this fact, but others- especially Americans- do. All the time. They say it’s unrealistic and forced. Almost “too politically correct to be true”.

And I despise political correctness. So naturally, I take this as an insult.

But the thing is- my story is not set on Earth. Characters in my story are humans, but “race” as a category doesn’t exist in their world. That’s right. Race (as we know it) is a social construct and not biological fact. There were cultures who never had race as a category. People in my story belong to such a culture.

Of course, you might say, if there aren’t races, there aren’t interracial romances. Fair enough. But my (potential) readers are humans from Earth, and if I say, for example, that one character has dark skin and kinky hair and another white (light) skin and yellow hair- that’s going to be perceived as an interracial romance.

Most of the relationships in my story are between people who don’t share the same skin colour, hair texture, or eye colour. It’s not so much of an issue for them- it’s like brown haired guy dating a blonde girl in our world. So why do people tell me relationships in the story are “forced”?

Like I said, I don’t reveal much of the plot, so there are all various and logical questions people could ask about my story, even if it’s only about relationships. For example:
– If interracial marriage is the norm in their world, how come not everyone is mixed race?

Which is a good question. To which I have a logical answer. But no, people don’t ask this. All they read is blue eyed guy kissing dark skinned girl, and another example of a couple whose skin shade doesn’t match, and they say it’s “forced”. (Also, people often assume that because I am white, so are my characters, if not mentioned otherwise. Who said, btw, that blue eyed guy must be white?) But even if we forget about this- am I right to feel angry because people perceive relationships in my story as “forced”? (And no, it’s not a romance novel, and it’s not really about who’s dating who, and race is not an issue). And it is “forced”? In a world that is not our own?!?

And just a note- no, I don’t have any personal experience with race issues. But this just makes my position as a writer better in a way: it is much easier for me to write. Without many stereotypes, without learned idea of what’s good and what’s bad when it comes to interracial dating, without shame and guilt (why is always, to some degree, about shame and guilt?)- it is much, much easier for me to write about interracial relationships. Maybe that’s because it’s easier for me to see them as something “normal”, not controversial or unusual.

Don’t write about race

… It will get weird quickly.

Remember my race related entry? Along with “New Moon” review, that’s the one that got all the attention. Unwanted attention, sure, but I am not complaining.

Or maybe I do? “I am racist” entry got many visitors; some of them were first (and only) time visitors. And many of them came from… strange places, to say the least. I don’t think any white supremacist could have fun here (there’s nothing- I repeat: nothing) that can lead them here (or at least I hope so), but the entry was obviously intriguing and misleading.

To make two things clear

One: When I said I was racist, I didn’t mean I was racist towards black people. On the contrary. Read the whole entry before making a judgment.

Second: Even though my test results show I have prejudice towards white people, that doesn’t mean I hate white people. After all, I am white. My friends and family are white. Heck, all the people I know are white.

Which is precisely why the test result don’t show my racism- rather my social anxiety. I am very (and I mean: very) shy, and I lack profound social skills. To be honest, I don’t fully understand people, nor they understand me. I don’t hate humans, I really don’t- but there’s obviously something in me that have at least a bit of fear when it comes to social contacts. On the other hand, I am friendly and I like meeting new people; but my lack of social skills sometimes make those interactions awkward.

And since white people are the only people I know, the test show my social anxiety rather than racism.

So, you don’t want to comment? Fine.

Back to my blog post. That entry was really popular, but people refused to comment (same goes for “New Moon” entry, but more about it some other time). There’s only one (ok, two) reasons for this:

1. People don’t give a fuck about commenting. (Could be true).
2. People feel embarrassed about their test results.

While I believe majority of my visitors don’t care about commenting on a random blog, I fear some of them could feel awkward after taking the test. Say you got the most popular result (you prefer white people to black). So what? It’s not like you failed to make a point or something. That result is the most popular because there are reasons for it to be. It’s the world around us that make that result so popular. Think about it.

The result could- and should- make you think, but it doesn’t make you a monster. Now, being proud of your racist result is another thing. But that’s yet another story.

I am a racist and here’s the proof

Ah! Racism. The thing I know absolutely nothing about, if we’re talking about first-hand experience.

… But also the subject I am really interested in, both from the anthropological and personal point of view. When I say personal, I don’t mean on having to deal with the issue myself. I admit I don’t. But the way humans think amazes (and scares) me, and I do not wish to pretend that something so obvious like racism (or any separation between “us” and “them”) doesn’t exist. It does, it is bad, and there isn’t much we can do about it. Is there?

Here’s the infamous Implicit Association Test that can basically say if you prefer one race over the other (only black and white are in question here, though there are more tests to explore different issues).

Apparently, test statistics say many people prefer white people. Yes, even some black people feel the same.

So when I found the link, I thought: why not? I’ll take the test and it will, of course, show I do not have any preferences when it comes to race. After all, I believe in equality! This test will prove I don’t have prejudices!

Um… It didn’t go that way.

The result shows I am a racist. They don’t really say it like that, it is masked as: “strong automatic preference”, but we all know what that really means.

It looks like I have a strong automatic preference for black people. That’s right. “Strong preference” means you do have some seeeerious issues, while “black people” means (besides hating white people, I guess) you’re really “speshul” in your racism, since only 2% of people have the same views.

I never thought of myself as racist. Never. To tell you the truth, I still don’t. There must be something wrong with that test; perhaps it’s because I am not a native English speaker.

And then… Maybe it’s deeper. After all, I’ve never met a black person in my life. I hardly ever saw a black human being apart from TV, images and movies. Wait… I did sit next to a black man on a bus once. And that would be about all. So I bet the lack of experience is making my result wrong. And not in a way that I like black people because I’ve never met them; but in a way I dislike white people because I live among them and I know them very well.

I think this test doesn’t prove I’m a racist, but a misanthrope.

PS-But to be 100% honest, I wasn’t really disappointed with the test, just surprised. I think I’d feel worse with “strong preference for white people” result, so deeply inside, I don’t hate myself for this.

Take the test and discover something nasty about yourself!