The Crocodile Chronicles

Exploring diversity

5 notes

Anybody Home?

I’m back! Sort of. I’ve spent the last months doing various life altering things such as graduating, moving, moving again, being unemployed and “deciding” to become a writer (‘deciding’ because I’ve been doing this all my life and just figured it be easier to say when someone asks me where I work than I’m-a-recent-college-graduate-in-the-worst-recession-in-half-a-century-I’m-sitting-at-home-eating-Milkyways-and-watching-paint-dry, what-do-you-think-I’m-doing??).

So in celebration of my Tumblr homecoming I’m reposting my most popular post. If there is anyone still paying remote attention to this tiny corner of the Tumblerverse please let me know if there’s anything you’d like to say, show me, tell me about ie please talk to me I’m tired of watching paint. 

<3croclove

*

*

*

*

*

*

She’s Pretty for a Black Girl

Since I’ve turned 21, I’ve come to the swift conclusion that veritaserum is just a shot of really good tequila. My late night shenanigans have forced me to consider things other than the normal night out conundrums, like last night when I encountered, “She’s Pretty for a Black Girl”.                                                                                                                                                                      “She’s pretty for a black girl.” He slurs across the table.                                                                                                                                                                 “So you don’t date black girls?” My fingers trace the droplets on the edge of my glass.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Wait for it…  “I mean some of them are pretty but I wouldn’t date one”.

Lift off.

“You don’t date black girls, and yet you’re talking to me.”                                                                                                                                                                 I look back at my drink. What excuse will it be this time? I thought you were Hispanic? I really like your hair? I’ve once had a group of guys tell me, after admitting they didn’t want to dance with any girls at the party because they were all black, that I was Indian so I was suitable. I’m not sure if I’ve ever seen an Indian with an afro or if girls generally think the word “suitable” is a compliment, but I probably furthered their dislike by flipping the bird and flouncing away.

“Well you’re mixed and you talk like a white girl.”

Again. Where do these men learn their wooing skills. I still can’t figure out who he didn’t offend with that statement.

There’s a point in this conversation where the gentlemen realizes I’m unimpressed. That there’s something wrong with the phrase, “She’s pretty for a black girl.” It amazes me how many people think this is okay, when I say, “Bruno’s cute for a bulldog,” or “Sarah Palin’s well-dressed for an imbecile” it’s implying that the subject mentioned generally doesn’t go with the adjective that follows.

If you exclude someone based solely on his or her race, you’re being racist. If Donald trumps said, “I don’t hire Asians”, the weasel on his scalp would cower in terror at the media backlash. If it’s racist for a mogul to exclude employees based on race, then it’s racist for prowling bachelors to snub the darker beauties in the room because of theirs.

But how do I explain this to Drunky McGee? I can see his rum soaked brain beginning to realize my displeasure and his failure at “the game”. Soon the inevitable backtracking will start and I’ll be left with one of four options:

                         Number One: The Drink Toss (and Flounce) -                                                     Dramatic but a waste of a free alcohol.

                                  Number Two: The Stereotype-                                                     Call him a racist asshole complete with fingersnapping until he                        storms away adding ‘mixed’ girls to his list of undesirables

                                 Number Three: The Sic ‘Em –                                                     Run to the nearest bouncer and weep over the racist asshole who’s    been offending you all night until he kicks him out of the bar (WARNING:                this could get you either a free drink or another racist asshole)

                                   Number Four: The Ghandi -                                                                             Be the change you want to see.

What change do I want to see? I sometimes wonder what other people talk about. What happens when you’re both the same race? Sports? TV? Why is ethnicity the first thing that comes up when someone meets a crocodile?Sometimes I feel like they’re testing me, like I’m a show pony who has a name like Stumble Quits-a-lot and a questionable pedigree.

“Is this how you charm all the girls?” I ask, “Telling me you’d consider dating me because I’m only half black is like me saying I don’t date men but you have one X chromosome so we’ll see.”

 He laughs. Science major.

“ Biology or chemistry?” I quip, smiling as I play with my glass.

“Neuroscience.” He says with a touch of pride.

“So I’m guessing you weren’t a fan of Pinky but the Brain”

 “Narf!”

I’m going to walk away in 30 seconds.

In 30 seconds I’m going to walk away and lean on a friend’s shoulder to gripe about assholes in bars. I may even reconsider option number one if I ever meet him again. But now, all I can do is be the change I want to see. If these experiences have taught me anything, it’s that furthering negative impressions doesn’t help anyone gain acceptance. And it starts with the crocodiles: the men and women who cross boundaries and combine cultures. Our duality forces people to face racial and cultural questions they wouldn’t normally consider. It’s not always easy to go with Ghandi, but laughter helps, as does a shot of really good tequila.

<3 crocchronicles.tumblr.com

Filed under POC People of Color Crocodile mixed race race biracial black girls pretty girls tequila neuroscience Pinky and the Brain Ghandi Tumblr Sarah Palin Donald Trump weasels homecoming welcome back unemployed college graduate writer Milkyway candy natural hair afro Indian Hispanic guys girl

298 notes

"I accepted having the best of both worlds, and sometimes having the worst of both worlds too" she says. As the video fades from person to person, they explain their feelings about trying to find a way to identify that made them happy despite what people told them they should be. One man describes being biracial "makes you different, unique, but also vulnerable." And many others talked about the prejudice that someone from many races experiences from each group, the reality of being a constant outsider. This emotion can be seen in each of the interviewees, but the young boy at the end had the best advice for people who identify as more than one race and struggle with people’s prejudice, "If people don’t like who you are, just find somebody who does." <3croclove

(Source: fuckyeahfamousblackgirls)

Filed under bi-racial crocodile diversity mixed multi-racial multicultural prejudice racism biracial multiethnic

5 notes

Today’s Lesson:

The importance of research and why I’m smacking myself upside the head 

I am guilty of getting caught up in the fervor of Kony 2012 and I am sentencing myself to increasing public awareness and encouraging a research mentality in others (and also 10 lashings with a wet noodle  … and I may watch a Rick Santorum interview but I’m not sure even I deserve that level of cruel and unusual punishment).

The word ‘white saviour’ has been used in conjunction with the Kony video, I’d like to redefine this term as ‘Western saviour’. I’ve seen many comments online, and contributed by posting the video, which assumes to know what is best for other human beings after knowing (a condensed version of ) their pain for a short period of time.

I’ve been feeling uneasy about my involvement (because posting and producing media IS involvement even if there’s no money involved). So I researched/analyzed tumblr and other social media sites. Here are two sources I found and I will add to as I find more voices on the issue. After watching and reading it’s apparent Invisible Children watered down the issues for commercial gains and silenced the Northern Ugandan people. We cannot assume to understand an issue after a few days when these people have lived it their whole lives and I have learned a lesson I will not forget. It’s easy to forget privilege, and speaking as a WOC, it’s easy to forget we actually have some. Activism and outreach should come from a place of respect and if an individual doesn’t want the involvement in their lives, then we should respect and defer to them as the authority on that issue aka their lived experience. This is the same respect we are given as members of a Western society and assume for ourselves (if we don’t research!) in incidents such as the Kony 2012 video.

As a diverse person with diverse experiences actively involved in furthering the discussion of open-minded awareness, I’ve forgotten to remember that I am blessed and privileged compared to many people on this earth. So while as a WOC I experience disadvantage within this country I must remember to put things into perspective based on others cultures and not my own. This is a lesson I’ve been taught and have now fully learned. Now where’s that Rick Santorum video.

Pieces of Mee: http://pomee.tumblr.com/post/18899601760/kony-2012-causing-more-harm-than-good

Filed under KONY 2012 apology diversity WOC POC white saviour Western saviour Uganda LRA Joseph Kony research chastisement

4 notes

I know this already went viral, but I’ve been thinking about children and social training today. Kids are much smarter than we give them credit for, they’re much smarter than we may ever be. They have yet to be molded and stuffed and pinched and squeezed and wriggled into the 3-sizes-too-small-but-I-want-to-stay-in-single-digits-jeans-so-I’ll-suffer-anyway social mentality adults have. Children notice inequalities and just take Riley’s advice on marketing, “The companies try to trick us!” Yes Riley, the companies and sometimes parents too. We saw those very inequalities at that age, but we were talked out of it by adults. If we want to bring more freedom to America, the most influential way is not to change the nation, but a generation. 

Example:

"Where do babies come from?"

"Well, when a Mommy and a Daddy love each other very much…"

You blew it. Congratulations your kid is Rush Limbaugh. Toss out the training wheels and graduate them to full on bigotry.

I’m kidding. A little. If children are reinforced every day that boy+girl=theonlyanswer, or boy>girl>trans*>Muslims> atheists> etc, then eventually they’re going to believe it. Just as we learned times tables, the planets (there will always be 9, damn it!) and the alphabet by repetition so do we learn social expectations. Judith Butler defines this as gender performativity and has written extensively on the topic (google her and read, read, read).

So, how about a re-do?

"How are babies made?"

"Well, when two people love each other very much…"

See? Simple. It’s even quicker to say. It’s conservative (get it?). At least one thing we learned when we were little still works: Think before you speak. Take it one conversation at a time, try to eliminate gender assumptions, just try, so Riley can play with her superheros, princesses and budding feminism in peace.

Filed under Riley on marketing gender LGBTQ gender neutral progress diversity toys children Judith Butler feminism princesses superheros YouTube sex babies math

6 notes

Progress

What defines progress?

What makes something positive or negative?

Kony 2012 is positive. It’s creating awareness. Raising issues about an issue is not solving it. If you don’t agree, offer solutions, offer alternatives. Arguing about the issues with Invisible Children and not the issues with the LRA does nothing to help the children being raped and murdered.

Do you know why people are paying attention now? To this commercialized, criticized video? Because that is what it takes to get attention in the USA. And until everyone changes, and cares, and learns about the world around us, until that day it will take sappy, artistic films and CNN and shady organizations and tumblr bloggers who are so much better then marketing ploys to get our attention.

And yet, you heard about it. The day you watched that infamous video or saw a red poster pinned on a building, you learned about someone else’s suffering, about children abused, parents murdered and towns torn apart and I can only hope you cared.

If everyone stopped criticizing the movement and began criticizing the crime something could be done. Just because we stop hearing about something doesn’t mean it no longer exists. If we shut down Invisible Children with rage and annoyance and critiques, the LRA will continue to hurt vulnerable, innocent people. And that is without a doubt a negative.

So you know what we can do? Go with positivity.

We cannot learn until we do. We can not perfect until we try. Criticizing is not trying and caring is not hard and volunteering is needed all over the world. 

If you have an issue with an organization: don’t be a part of it. If you have an issue with an issue: do everything you can to help resolve it. Helping can be donating, volunteering, teaching children compassion, or simply respecting another persons choice so long as that choice doesn’t harm another person. Criticizing is easy, but apparently helping is hard as it seems one sappy, commercialized, commodified video can’t even get us to stop and care about others pain instead of paying more attention to ourselves and our opinions.

Whether it’s Joseph Kony or bullying or spousal abuse or AIDS or homelessness or racism or anything else on the list of negative things that reach every corner of this earth. Whatever the negativity is, your issues should not be with how they are approached, but whether or not YOU are approaching them.

Be active. Be influential. Be positive. Be helpful. 

Filed under Kony 2012 Invisible Children activism progress positivity LRA AIDs AIDS bullying CNN tumblr compassion art videos media volunteering homelessness non-profit

0 notes

illylussiano asked: I'd like to take a moment and applaud you... I see your vision and I think is wonderful. I find this is an area I connect with many of my clients on and its a great feeling knowing others experience similar things being multiracial even if they are not spoken of often. Bless, illy

Thank you! I’ve been feeling guilty lately for paying less attention to Croc Chronicles, but I’m working on a project that has the same goal as my site. I’m glad you are having discussions with people about these things, exploring and enjoying differences in others and yourself. It makes me so happy to hear! Bravo <3

PS I see that you’re a hair stylist (ARTIST!) so if you ever come across any products for people with hair types that aren’t represented well in stores feel free to share <3croclove

9 notes

"I don’t do anything. I don’t comb, I don’t do anything," she says and moments later we hear another woman state:"It’s so much work to look this way. It is SO much work to look this way." Why is there such a divide over hair in African-American communities? One woman raises the issue, "If something is bad for a sewage system then you kind of have to wonder what it’s doing to your body." Watch the video and think about what message the media sends to African-American women and what African-American women think of themselves. There are no antagonistic views expressed by women here, only messages of love and commitment to the hairstyle of their choice, and yet the male commentators highlight a more diversive factor, their comments indicate there is a right and wrong way to do black hair. Thoughts?

Filed under natural hair diversity multicultural biracial good hair hair bad hair nappy hair african-american culture america