Friday, February 17, 2017

#CABQ: James Charles, Racism & Mediocrity of the White LGBT Community

The Chronicles Of An Angry Black Queer

It should be noted that I am writing from my perspective, which is that of a Black, masculine presenting gay man who happens to be an Atheist. I will be writing about my thoughts and experiences as an activist, human and life in general. These posts will not be academic or even properly written in some of your opinions.

"Whites like to believe “I do not see race” and “we are all the same”. In a colour-blind world there is no white gaze. They believe, want to believe, in a colour-blind world, which means the white gaze should not be, therefore must not be."

Entry #8: James Charles, Racism & Mediocrity of the White LGBT Community

"You like to think that you are more intelligent than us, but your mediocrity always shines through when you use terms and phrases coined from your white gaze." APW

When I found out that James Charles was the new cover boy for Covergirl, I was less than excited because he represented the white, mediocre, mainstream ideals that are so prevalent in our society. I have been out since I was fifteen years old and one of my most consistent experiences is racism from my white counterparts in the LGBT community. I learned early that in the Black community I would be seen as other and that in the LGBT community that I'm still a nigger. James Charles perfectly illustrated this point when he announced via Twitter that he would be working in South Africa on an upcoming project:

Often gay white men and (their lesbian, bisexual and trans) counterparts culturally appropriate Black women, Black men, and Blackness while perpetuating racism. Yes, Ebola is a deadly disease that has been controlled for sometime now, but James' disease of white gaze and privilege is out of control. His statement via Twitter illustrates how racism is used to make Blackness appear as savage, diseased, and ready for colonization. This is white gaze, looking at the world through a white person’s lens and in his case a cisgender, white, male lens. Most people like James do not see it, but this is how white privilege and mediocrity works, it is just the world as it is to HIM and white people in general.

So why would he apologize? I ask.

It is the world according to white people, which is why I do not expect Covergirl to get rid of James, let alone hire Black Queer models to serve face instead of having them beautify white faces backstage.

He lives a world constructed to his benefit where he only has to exert little to no effort to get maximum benefit, a white world. A world where their white gaze and privilege are rarely challenged, which is why they do not even notice that it exists. Only certain black voices make it through into that world, mostly those of rented Negroes, new Negroes and coons.

Exhibit A: He does what is typical of white people when they fuck up and are checked by Black people...

Exhibit B: And when he finally apologized:

Now let me backtrack a little bit to the part where he is going to be working in South Africa:

South Africa is one of the Whitest countries on the continent of Africa and has a history of extreme racism. Did James, like most white people skip history class? Has James heard of apartheid? Has he heard of Nelson Mandela and the other activists that fought for racial equity in South Africa?

Apparently NOT!

I expect white LGBT folks to be just like their straight counterparts, racist as fuck. Aside from much needed world history and geography lessons for James, the fact is that we deal with racism from a group that we are supposedly part of and are “welcome” to. This group is the mainstream LGBT community in which we are shut out of by being excluded from the process in politics and other matters. They want nothing to do with us unless we bring something to the table that they just cannot function without, DIVERSITY.

We are only needed when it’s beneficial and they erase us when we are not. When legal battles in the LGBT community take place they are very whitewash and cisgender in nature. We don't see very many Trans persons, let alone Trans People of Color in the forefront of our movement and an overall lack of  Black and nonBlack People of Color being represented in this community. There was a time when I witnessed a Houston City Council member say that the LGBT community is not involved in issues pertaining to the Black community.

Now why would the council member say that?

It was a statement of erasure, erasure that goes on in the Black community because being LGBT is attributed to whiteness. This is a huge issue for Black LGBT folks who do great work, only to be told by both sides that we "did great work," only to erased in the same breath. Erased while people like James Charles says heinous things that I nor any of my Black counterparts would be excused for. This is what white privilege, mediocrity, and racism looks like...

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