Tag Archives: culture

The issue isn’t with Europeans.

The issue is within The Mindset.

I’ve been discriminated against on job interviews from what we call, People of Color.

One incident was even after I was hired! The Persian woman I worked for at Silver Textiles in LA, said they had to “let me go” because she thought that I would not grasp how to do things there. This was something that clearly existed only in her mind and her perception of me. Whether her perception was based on me being a Black Woman or an Introvert or the very likely combination of the two which somehow rendered me inferior to keep the position. I knew that her statement was coming from a biased place and I challenged her by repeating what she had just told me so that she could hear herself and how stupid she sounded. I repeated, “You are letting me go because you think that I will not be able to grasp the computer programs you use.” Like you are not even going to train me. Like this isn’t even a fact because I was not even given the chance to complete the job because I never started on the work that she thought I couldn’t handle! What preconceived notions existed in her mind to make her believe such a thing?! I’ve never received a complaint from her while I was there but suddenly her thoughts are now an issue. You got that last part? HER THOUGHTS ABOUT ME WAS THE ISSUE!!! I did nothing to her, I had not damaged her company! I did no wrong!

Another incident was from an Asian woman that I interviewed with at Claire’s Corporate Headquarters. She told me that I need to be fast-paced. She looked at my portfolio and told me that I would have to work faster. THIS WAS AN INTERVIEW! I was not even working there, all I did was sit down in the chair and explain my experience! How could she just look at my work an determine that I worked to slow?!!! She had never seen me work or my work pace. She only just met me for about 3 minutes! See? There it is again. Something that existed in her mind about me before I even walked through the door. Now who is me? I was just a category in her eyes. Something to be judged, not perceived or learned. She didn’t take the time to get to know me. To interview me. She sat there and judged me, from previous dialogue within herself about people who look like me. She even implied that I would be slow at working because I am from the Mid-West. She said, “this company runs like New York, we aren’t a slow pace Midwestern company.” I told her that I worked in a fast pace environment before when I interned at White House Black Market in Florida. She then actually let these words come out of her mouth, “You don’t know how fast-paced, it is you don’t know!” Mind you her tone was off when she was saying all of this to me. Nearly shouting and talking AT me and not to me. [At this point I just think she had a slight mental illness, although discrimination is a mental illness.]

So as you can see,

it is a mindset.

A dis>ease of the mind.

The mind is not at ease.

It is filled with uneasiness about people they don’t know.

I kind of fear. A distrust.

A damaging interaction.

A distraction,

from all things that really matter.

Now does All lives matter?

Not if you treat me this way, by ignoring my pleas, my cries for help.

What about my well-being? Does my life TRULY matter to you?

You don’t care whether I live or die?

Have a home or homeless.

Sick or healthy.

Rich or unwealthy.

What about my well-being?

This is more than just a job.

in this society.

The people I would pay rent to have no compassion.

That’s why homelessness exist.

How am I suppose to live?

L I V E my L I F E.

Not just be alive, hope not to get shot by police.

But actually L I V E my day-to-day life?

M y   D a y   t o   D a y    L i f e .

 

 

Apparel Industry and Cultural “Inspiration”

From a Tumblr Post: dynamicafrica

Found whilst going through my bookmarked links, I don’t recall how I came about Pikolinos and Olivia Palermo collaboration egregiously and lazily titled ‘Maasai Project’, but after reading through the website’s description and looking at the horribly styled safari and animal print lookbook featuring Palermo and Kikanae Ole Pere (or “William as he is known in the western world” – their words not mine), a Maasai community leader, I am sorry I ever stumbled upon this sight.

Pikolinos, a global shoe brand based in Spain, has employed Palermo as their ambassador for their Maasai Project – a sustainable fashion initiative that has tasked itself with improving the lives of Maasai people. A project that they claim has ‘sowed the seed of hope in the heart of Africa’.

Yes, because before there were white Europeans, hopelessness and despair was the order of the day in deep dark Africa and we were incapable of living fruitful and rewarding lives. Oh and, here’s some news: Kenya is the ‘heart of Africa’ (who the hell comes up with these ridiculous labels?!).

Aside from white saviourism, Pikolinos doesn’t give much reason for their particular interest in Maasai people and culture. However, foreigners and fashion brands seem to have a particular obsession with Maasai and Samburu aesthetics – from J. Crew and Louis Vuitton, to Emilio Pucci and Thakoon, so this is really nothing new. Then there are campaigns such as these that just don’t make sense on any level.

False claims of empowerment are instead rebranded with neo-colonialist imagery and statements that completely strip away any agency from the Maasai people.

This is not a stab at sustainable fashion but rather at the type of rhetoric and imagery that mars efforts that might otherwise be a step in a more positive direction.

It’s clear that not everyone’s read or heard of Binyavanga Wainaina’s ‘How Not to Write About Africa’.

chocohawlic:

The Maasai culture itself is so damn rich and iconic. One look at the first picture and I knew these disgusting white people were using the Maasai. The Maasai don’t even need this damn “help”. They’re one of the strongest and most resilient group of people and have been consistently praised for their farming techniques that allow them to have bountiful harvests in extremely dry and desert land.

In fact, the only major threat to the Maasai was colonialism. In fact the Maasai were known for being such fierce warriors and having such a strong stance against slavery (they NEVER enslaved people), that it was common belief that all Maasai land shouldn’t be even walked on by enslavers.

Fuck this campaign and fuck white people treating all African cultures as a trend.

tamzlavender:

This is precisely my concern with the apparel industry! Constantly we see tribal | ethnic styles, prints, patterns “trending” and they are, for the most part, always owned\operated\designed by these large corporations\industries where the only ethnic people involved are waaaay in the background and only used for inspirational purposes. I really am tired of seeing this imagery. It really shows you how tied-up\rigged-up this “system” is. Because this is the stuff that gets promoted. There are so many African designers in Africa and we never see their designs promoted like this. We are constantly being shown -this is the standard, the only way ethnic people can be seen (used). So many things have been taken and relabeled as inspiration for the profit of this greedy gold-digging humans that distort and misuse cultural exchange. We NEED to be talking about this.. Seeing this perspective. Because this is a reality. This is reality…

Dialect⋅Sociolect⋅Ethnolect

Why all the negativity

when one speaks the same language

but with a different…

expression

or shall I say…

dialect?

– – – – – – –

Dialect 1. a variety of a language that is distinguished from other varieties of the same language by features of phonology, grammar, and vocabulary, and by its use by a group of speakers who are set off from others geographically or socially. 2. a provincial, rural, or socially distinct variety of a language that differs from the standard language, especially when considered as substandard. 3. a language considered as one of a group that have a common ancestor

One dictionary definition even states: a form of a language that is considered inferior [World English Dictionary] <(seriously?!!!)

– – – – – – –

I never thought of the word dialect within this negative context

why is this considered:

ghetto” “low-class” “ignorant” “bad-grammar” “slang

when using words like,

fin’to | ain’t | a’ight | fo’ sho’

ebonics . black english

sociolect . ethnolect

– – – – – – –

Sometimes, I never really hear of the Black-American language being referred to in a positive light.

Maybe things are changing… “Ain’t nobody got time fah’ dat” I’ve heard this quoted by everyone, and I mean everyone. There still may be a bit of…ignorance lingering in the air about these matters though…