I love my skin!
What is happening in Mexico?
- How it began
On September 26, students our age (~19-22) were attacked by the local police and gangs in Iguala, Guerrero in Mexico. They were studying to become teachers at Escuela Normal Rural de Ayotzinapa. I have read many articles about how the students were in the town to ask for money to help pay tuition, to protest discrimination of rural school teachers, to travel to commemorate another student massacre of 1986, etc., so I am unsure of what is what here. But the students were on the buses and police blocked their way to get the students out. When they did, they opened fire on the students at once. Some students threw rocks back in self-defense, but the students were unarmed. Six people died and 17 were injured. Three students died, a taxi driver, a woman in a taxi, and a football player that was just 15 years old (x). The injured were taken away by an ambulance, local journalists came, etc but it was not over as more men came in plain clothes and rifles (x). These men are apart of Guerreros Unidos and work for the Beltran Leyva cartel. The students were forced into police vans and have since disappeared. 43 students are missing.
Some of the students escaped by hiding in nearby houses. One terrified student tried running away, but he was found later yet with his eyes gouged out and his face completely sliced away to the bone. A YOUNG MAN only 19 years old suffered through this. (As a warning, be aware that there are photos online and that while searching deep through articles and tags, they are present.) A survivor of the attack says this is “symbol of the cartel assassins” (x).
- The Mass Graves
~ More than a week later, on Saturday, authorities found mass graves nearby that has 28 burned remains with the tips (x). We fear that this may be some of the students. We won’t have DNA analysis to confirm anything for another two weeks, if not longer.
MORE mass graves were found yesterday, but it is still unknown about how many remains these graves have (x).
Keep in mind that the CITY MAYOR AND HIS WIFE are on the RUN. No one knows where they are.
We still don’t understand the reason behind this violence. Why kidnap and kill these young men? There are several explanations online, but how do you explain something like this? One story is that the mayer’s wife was giving a speech that day and did not want to be disrupted by the students. Keep in mind that the wife is the head of the city’s family welfare department and also has family connections to cartels (x). There are other alternatives online, but I don’t know. I just don’t.
- You cannot be silent about what is happening in Mexico
You can’t. You just can’t. Social media has a big impact and this story has to spread. In the last 24 hours I have seen an incredible boost in coverage about Ayotzinapa.
On Wednesday, thousands protested the disappearance of the students in Mexico.
Amounting pressure is being put on the Mexican government to find the missing students. There is also added outrage and demand ‘to punish politicians linked to organized crime’. It is no shock when considering the police corruption and brutality in Mexico. As Mexico bleeds, we all bleed.
Americans cannot ignore the violence of drug cartels and place it as just a problem in Mexico. There is too much innocent bloodshed. And because BILLIONS AND BILLIONS of dollars are collected in the United States by Mexican drug cartels, it is a shared responsibility (x). CHILDREN ARE DYING. Do not skim over these articles, do not just read them and do nothing, you have to act and spread the information. Do not be silent. Please, please, please help and pay attention.
- Mexico missing students: Nationwide protests held | BBC
- Mexico relatives search for students in Guerrero | BBC
- Mexico missing students: New mass graves found in Iguala | BBC
- There’s little mystery to this mass grave: Mexico’s drug war is killing children | The Guardian
- Are missing students in mass graves found near Iguala, Mexico? | CNN
- Mexico Drug War Fast Facts | CNN
- Iguala, Guerrero, tiene un viernes violento con ataques y muertes | CNN (Español)
- Survivor of Mexico Student Massacre: ‘It Was Terrifying’ | NBC
- Anatomy of a Mexican Student Massacre | The Daily Beast
- The Apparent Massacre of Dozens of Students Exposes the Corruption at the Heart of Mexico | TIME
- 43 Missing Students, 1 Missing Mayor: Of Crime And Collusion In Mexico | NPR
TUMBLR TEXT POSTS (these have better information than I can explain)
- free-clementine | Nobody even cares what’s happening in Mexico.
- thinkmexican | Mexico Takes to the Streets for Students of Ayotzinapa
- animalsandtrees | In Mexico
- riseandshinecourage | Please, stop to read this.
- there are more and more if you just search
If there any corrections that need to be included, please just add them in.
John Cho in the Selfie pilot
Rain eating ice cream 10 years ago and 10 years later.
Bringing these back because it’s that time of year again.
… “You must have shown me real loyalty down in the Chamber. Nothing but that could’ve called Fawkes to you.” That’s the very first thing Dumbledore thanks and praises Harry for. Not for rescuing Ginny, or saving the school from the basilisk, or for keeping Voldemort from coming back, but for loyalty.
Dumbledore judges the people he works with based first and foremost on how loyal they are to him. Not because he thinks he’s all that, but because, as I said, he views people as game pieces, and you can’t have your game pieces acting up, can you? He values his pieces. He wants to advance and protect them. But he doesn’t want them running off beyond his sphere of influence and doing their own thing. I think there’s something very ambiguous about Dumbledore’s habit of seeking out desperate, socially outcast people and doing them one or two huge favors that leave them bound to him for life. Remus, Hagrid and Snape all fit that pattern, and Trelawney and Firenze appear to join the ranks in OOP. It kind of makes me wonder what Dumbledore has done for Fletcher, Moody and Shacklebolt.
…The problem with Sirius is, he’s not loyal to Dumbledore at all; he’s loyal to Harry. From Dumbledore’s point of view, it’s as if he’s playing wizard chess, and one of the knights suddenly decides that he doesn’t care what happens to the king, he’s just going to take care of that little pawn on the left. So Dumbledore does the only thing he thinks he can do — he sticks his recalcitrant knight into a safe, isolated corner of the board and keeps him from making any moves. Perfectly sensible and strategically sound, as long as you don’t expect your game pieces to have any pesky emotions or psychological issue that need to be taken into account.
…Dumbledore’s actions at Hogwarts are another symptom of his general approach. He doesn’t treat it just as a school, but also as an instrument in his strategy. People like Snape, Hagrid and Trelawny — all lousy teachers, in very different ways — are given their jobs as perks, because of their past of future usefulness to the Order, and because it strengthens their bonds of loyalty to Dumbledore.
OTOH, look at Lupin, who is a talented teacher. Why wasn’t he hired before Harry’s third year, especially given the difficulty of finding qualified DADA professors? My theory is that Dumbledore didn’t consider it necessary. As far as he knew, Lupin was already totally loyal simply because Dumbledore had allowed him to attend Hogwarts. There was no need to bribe him with a job. He was hired only when his familiarity with Sirius became an important factor. Once Sirius proved not to be a threat, Lupin was allowed to resign…
THIS IS SO GREAT AND SO INTERESTING AND EVEN MORE SO WHEN YOU LOOK AT SNAPE’S STORYLINE AND HERE’S WHY
Just look at Dumbledore’s behavior in The Prince’s Tale - especially at the contrast between before and after Snape agreed to help him defeat Voldemort. There’s so much emotional manipulation, so much that Dumbledore is doing to keep Snape on his side.
“That is why – it is for that reason – he thinks it means Lily Evans!”
“The prophecy did not refer to a woman,” said Dumbledore. “It spoke of a boy born at the end of July – ”
“You know what I mean! He thinks it means her son, he is going to hunt her down – kill them all – ”
“If she means so much to you,” said Dumbledore, “surely Lord Voldemort will spare her? Could you not ask for mercy for the mother, in exchange for the son?”
“I have – I have asked him – ”
“You disgust me,” said Dumbledore, and Harry had never heard so much contempt in his voice. Snape seemed to shrink a little, “You do not care, then, about the deaths of her husband and child? They can die, as long as you have what you want?”
That line, the “you disgust me” line is SO IMPORTANT. Contrary to popular belief, Dumbledore doesn’t find Snape’s
obsession love for Lily beautiful; he finds it disgusting - and understandably so. Because she “means so much” to Snape that he’s willing to sacrifice her family, and therefore happiness, in order to keep her alive. And, frankly, that’s gross. Dumbledore agrees.
“Hide them all, then,” he croaked. “Keep her – them – safe. Please.”
“And what will you give me in return, Severus?”
“In – in return?” Snape gaped at Dumbledore, and Harry expected him to protest, but after a long moment he said, “Anything.”
Aaaaaand Dumbledore gets himself the perfect soldier - someone who is willing to do anything.
“I thought…you were going…to keep her…safe…”
“She and James put their faith in the wrong person,” said Dumbledore. “Rather like you, Severus. Weren’t you hoping that Lord Voldemort would spare her?”
Also really important. Dumbledore was supposed to protect her, keep her alive, and it didn’t work out and that greatly puts Snape’s loyalty at risk. So what does Dumbledore do? Deflect. He places the blame on Snape and Voldemort here - which, I’m pretty much with him here because Snape did tell Voldemort the prophecy and Voldemort did personally kill the Potters. But this isn’t about that. This is strategy. Keep Snape guilty and keep the blame off Dumbledore by having this whole “well there was nothing I could do” stance and thereby keep Snape both vulnerable and loyal. Make Voldemort the real enemy, someone that Snape would be willing to do anything to fight against at all cost.
“Her boy survives,” said Dumbledore.
With a tiny jerk of the head, Snape seemed to flick off an irksome fly.
“Her son lives. He has her eyes, precisely her eyes. You remember the shape and color of Lily Evans’s eyes, I am sure?”
“DON’T!” bellowed Snape. “Gone…dead…”
“Is this remorse, Severus?”
“I wish…I wish I were dead…”
“And what use would that be to anyone?” said Dumbledore coldly. “If you loved Lily Evans, if you truly loved her, then your way forward is clear.”
Okay so Dumbledore is definitely using Snape’s love for Lily against him - I think we can all agree with that. I mean look at how he’s referring to her as “Lily Evans” rather than as her married name, “Lily Potter.” Dumbledore has a very tough sell here; he wants Snape to help him protect the child of someone Snape loves and someone he hates. So he takes James out of the equation and it’s all about Harry’s eyes and how much they look like Lily’s and Evans. And then he takes Snape’s love and gives it a purpose.
“You know how and why she died. Make sure it was not in vain. Help me protect Lily’s son.”
“He does not need protection. The Dark Lord has gone – ”
“The Dark Lord will return, and Harry Potter will be in terrible danger when he does.”
There was a long pause, and slowly Snape regained control of himself, mastered his own breathing. At last he said, “Very well. Very well. But never – never tell, Dumbledore! This must be between us! Swear it! I cannot bear…especially Potter’s son…I want your word!”
“My word, Severus, that I shall never reveal the best of you?” Dumbledore sighed, looking down into Snape’s ferocious, anguished face.
Before it was disgusting, but now that Snape’s agreed to help him, has pledged his loyalty, Snape’s love is now ~the best part of him~
“ – mediocre, arrogant as his father, a determined rule-breaker, delighted to find himself famous, attention-seeking and impertinent – ”
“You see what you expect to see, Severus,” said Dumbledore, without raising his eyes from a copy of Transfiguration Today . “Other teachers report that the boy is modest, likable, and reasonably talented. Personally, I find him an engaging child.”
Dumbledore turned a page, and said, without looking up, “Keep an eye on Quirrell, won’t you?”
Snape is only seeing James’ worst qualities in Harry (which tbh first year Harry definitely did not have) so Dumbledore brings up qualities that were, actually, found in and associated with Lily to placate him. Because Dumbledore’s biggest challenge is to make Snape forget that James is Harry’s father. He then follows this up with a request.
“Karkaroff’s Mark is becoming darker too. He is panicking, he fears retribution; you know how much help he gave the Ministry after the Dark Lord fell.” Snape looked sideways at Dumbledore’s crooked-nosed profile. “Karkaroff intends to flee if the Mark burns.”
“Does he?” said Dumbledore softly, as Fleur Delacour and Roger Davies came giggling in from the grounds. “And are you tempted to join him?”
“No,” said Snape, his black eyes on Fleur’s and Roger’s retreating figures. “I am not such a coward.”
“No,” agreed Dumbledore. “You are a braver man by far than Igor Karkaroff. You know, I sometimes think we Sort too soon…”
He walked away, leaving Snape looking stricken…
Whether you believe it or not, both Sirius and Remus have said that Snape was jealous of James - of his popularity, his talents, all the glory he received, etc. And a lot of those things are perks from being a brave Gryffindor rather than an “evil” Slytherin. Dumbledore is capitalizing on that, on Snape’s secret desires. He’s manipulating Snape because wow he thinks he’s brave, he thinks he’s brave enough to even be a mighty Gryffindor - something I’m sure no one has even told him before. Something he’d never admit to secretly reveling in because he grew up unloved and unwanted. But it keeps him loyal, keeps him close to Dumbledore.
“I am fortunate, extremely fortunate, that I have you, Severus.”
The power of being complimentary, my friends, is not focused on enough. (And I’m not trying to take away from the fact that Snape is a talented wizard, because I do think that, but Dumbledore is so totally manipulating him come on. What makes me say that? Because not long afterwards does he segue into asking Snape to kill him)
“In short, the boy has had a death sentence pronounced upon him as surely as I have,” said Dumbledore. “Now, I should have thought the natural successor to the job, once Draco fails, is yourself?”
There was a short pause.
“That, I think, is the Dark Lord’s plan.”
“Lord Voldemort foresees a moment in the near future when he will not need a spy at Hogwarts?”
“He believes the school will soon be in his grasp, yes.”
“And if it does fall into his grasp,” said Dumbledore, almost, it seemed, as an aside, “I have your word that you will do all in your power to protect the students at Hogwarts?”
Snape gave a stiff nod.
Great, Dumbledore has not only a spy, but an heir.
“He is his father over again – ”
“In looks, perhaps, but his deepest nature is much more like his mother’s. I spend time with Harry because I have things to discuss with him, information I must give him before it is too late.”
Harry actually shares plenty of traits with James - and based on how he’s spoken of James in the past, Dumbledore liked him. (And why wouldn’t he? Not only is James amazing
jkalsdsalkdjasldaskdh but he was very loyal to Dumbledore) So this is for Snape’s benefit. Again, he’s keeping him under control by bringing Lily into the equation and make Harry worthy enough, in Snape’s eyes, to protect.
“Information,” repeated Snape. “You trust him…you do not trust me.”
“It is not a question of trust. I have, as we both know, limited time. It is essential that I give the boy enough information for him to do what he needs to do.”
“And why may I not have the same information?”
“I prefer not to put all of my secrets in one basket, particularly not a basket that spends so much time dangling on the arm of Lord Voldemort.”
“Which I do on your orders!”
“And you do it extremely well. Do not think that I underestimate the constant danger in which you place yourself, Severus. To give Voldemort what appears to be valuable information while withholding the essentials is a job I would entrust to nobody but you.”
“Yet you confide much more in a boy who is incapable of Occlumency, whose magic is mediocre, and who has a direct connection into the Dark Lord’s mind!”
Dumbledore is clearly making Snape angry and I don’t think it’s necessarily intentional. But I do think he’s trying to make sure that Snape desires and values his trust over Voldemort’s. I mean, I’m sure he’s double checked that he has Snape’s loyalty before, but it’s safe to keep checking every now and then. But then this happens:
Snape looked angry, mutinous. Dumbledore sighed.
“Come to my office tonight, Severus, at eleven, and you shall not complain that I have no confidence in you…”
MUTINOUS IS SUCH AN IMPORTANT WORD. DUMBLEDORE IS AT RISK OF LOSING THE BEST AND MOST ESSENTIAL PIECE TO HIS GAME, HIS MVP, SO HE HAS TO REEL HIM BACK IN.
“So the boy…the boy must die?” asked Snape quite calmly.
“And Voldemort himself must do it, Severus. That is essential.”
Another long silence. Then Snape said, “I thought…all those years…that we were protecting him for her. For Lily.”
Snape is currently reevaluating his life and all of his choices. Because he thinks, if not for Lily, then what is the point of protecting Harry Potter? Why is he fighting this war? Why is he on Dumbledore’s side?
“We have protected him because it has been essential to teach him, to raise him, to let him try his strength,” said Dumbledore, his eyes still tight shut. “Meanwhile, the connection between them grows ever stronger, a parasitic growth. Sometimes I have thought he suspects it himself. If I know him, he will have arranged matters so that when he does set out to meet his death, it will truly mean the end of Voldemort.”
Dumbledore opened his eyes. Snape looked horrified.
“You have kept him alive so that he can die at the right moment?”
“Don’t be shocked, Severus. How many men and women have you watched die?”
“Lately, only those whom I could not save,” said Snape. He stood up. “You have used me.”
Indeed he has! And after all this time, you’ve finally caught on!
“I have spied for you and lied for you, put myself in mortal danger for you. Everything was supposed to be to keep Lily Potter’s son safe. Now you tell me you have been raising him like a pig for slaughter – ”
Uh-oh no longer Lily Evans - now she is Potter, now she and everything that’s a part of her (i.e. her son) is tainted by James. Still worth protecting? Still worth sacrificing and risking so much for? Apparently yes because this happens:
“But this is touching, Severus,” said Dumbledore seriously. “Have you grown to care for the boy, after all?”
“For him?” shouted Snape. “ Expecto Patronum!”
From the tip of his wand burst the silver doe. She landed on the office floor, bounded once across the office, and soared out of the window. Dumbledore watched her fly away, and as her silvery glow faded he turned back to Snape, and his eyes were full of tears.
“After all this time?”
“Always,” said Snape.
Okay so obviously, if you hadn’t already caught on, Snape isn’t doing all of this for the cause or because he’s repenting for being a Death Eater. It’s all for Lily. The woman he helped kill. I beg you to not find that romantic. Remember Dumbledore’s "you disgust me"? That’s pretty much how I feel about Snape, and I suspect that Dumbledore still feels that way. Because, as valuable as he is, Snape has not changed. And I guess it doesn’t bother him at all if he’s risked and sacrificed so much for a child who will die anyway if it was all for her.
After all this time, you still do not see the value of protecting an innocent child? Always. After all this time you still cannot let go of a woman who never loved you romantically? Always. After all this time, you’re still fighting against Voldemort because he killed Lily and not because you believe in muggle-born rights? Always. Dumbledore had to have known this - I mean he’d been using Snape’s love for Lily against him for how long? But I’m sure it still saddened him.
Anyway, “The Prince’s Tale” is a brilliant example of Dumbledore’s manipulation and how he used it to win a war. This is where we see him really in action - and it’s fascinating. Because this is the power of loyalty - how Dumbledore could get a Death Eater so firmly on his side that he continues to do Dumbledore’s work for him after his own death. That’s powerful.
And that’s why Voldemort’s fucking scared of him. I’m kind of scared of him.
1. All those people screaming cultural appropriation at her are ignoramuses who are basically saying, “Wow, you don’t look like my ill-informed, narrow-minded stereotype of what people from this region actually look like!” and “I actually subscribe to horrible, reductionist stereotypes that Indian people can only have dark hair, skin and eyes. Light hair? Green eyes? European (origin) only!”
This is gonna be a tad long, because it’s gonna delve into biology and history- and it’s because I hope people realise how artificial the US paradigm of race is. It’s woefully incompetent at understanding the biological diversity of our species because it is a social construct. Modern scientists and historians generally refuse to categorise people on the amount of melanin they have because it’s just reductionist and oversimplistic- what they do is classify people by their geographic origin, linguistic and cultural ties.
2. India is an EXTREMELY diverse continent. It’s so genetically diverse that the only place more genetically diverse is the African continent, aka, the birthplace of humanity. And this is a big deal. I’ll explain why.
Surprise! People inhabiting an extremely large country that has more than 2000 ethnic groups, members of all the world’s religions, been the site of multiple ancient civilisations, been on the major crossroads of human migration and trade for thousands of years come in multiple colours!
- Presently, the most widely-accepted theory of our origins is the Recent African Origin, or Out of Africa Theory. This holds that originally, humans first appeared in Africa, thus all of us have African ancestors. All modern non-Africans are descended from much smaller groups of people who migrated out of Africa, anytime from 65,000 to 125,000 years ago. How do scientists know this? By looking at our DNA, in addition to fossil and archaeological records. They discovered that the differences in the DNA of non-African peoples like say, a German a Japanese and a New Zealand Maori was far less than the genetic differences between people from different African ethnic groups. (Somali, Dinka, Yoruba, San, Kikuyu, Luo etc- I’m BARELY scratching the surface)
- What this meant was that Africa had to be the original, diverse genetic pool where modern humans first appeared. Everybody else outside of Africa today is descended from much smaller groups of people who left Africa at various times- and that ancestral genetic “bottleneck” is why people who appear to have very different heritage (e.g European vs East Asian) actually have far less genetic variation than the various African peoples.
So, India being the second most genetically diverse place on this planet is a big deal- it’s basically second only to THE CRADLE OF HUMANITY. That’s why I’m pretty convinced your friend can have blonde hair and green eyes and still be 100% Made in India.
3. Now, the genetics of India itself.
Genetic studies have shown that if you take a modern Indian from any part of India, no matter how dark or fair they are, his or her lineage will consist of mixing from two main ancestral groups. One is the Ancestral Northern Indians (ANI), and the other the Ancestral Southern Indians (ASI). You may have heard of the ancient Indian caste system which put a lot of social pressure that prohibited marrying outside your caste. Caste discrimination is banned today, but old attitudes do persist. However, even this caste rigidity wasn’t so 4000- 2000 years ago. ANI people married ASI pretty freely, so that’s why every modern Indian has heredity from both groups. So, already to start off, you got quite a fair bit of diversity hidden in people’s genes.
- And the next interesting part to explain why it IS possible for Indians to have features stereotyped as “European” is because while the ASI seemed to be genetically unique to the Indian subcontinent, the ANI people are genetically related to Middle-Easterns, Europeans and Caucasians (and I mean this not in the sense of “white” as often used in the US, but the actual region of Caucasus, which borders Europe and Asia).
- You mentioned she looks “white”- and the American-understanding of “white” being hurled at her by those people screaming cultural appropriation are actually ignorantly treating “white” as synonymous with “European-origin”. In reality, it’s completely useless in the realm of biology. Biologically, there is actually no real dichotomy where “European” suddenly ends and “Asia” begins.
- As I earlier pointed out, well, we’re all kinda related. And it’s not at all earth-shattering that some people from India look like they’re of “European-origin”. Because modern Europeans, Central Asians and the Ancestral Northern Indians are all believed to be descendants of a group of people called the Proto-Indo-Europeans. It’s believed they lived around 6000-7000 years ago. Some modern people that are descended from the Proto-Indo-Europeans are French, Germans, Iranians and Pashtuns (a major ethnic group in Afghanistan). It’s even been found that Europeans and Indians shared a gene for fair skin from a common ancestor- which is why there ARE people who look like your friend. Naturally, fair skin is just relatively rarer in India vs Europe because more parts of India are located in hotter regions. Therefore, there’s more selection pressure for darker skin which has more melanin to protect from the sun- making fair skin rarer, but still possible.
(This is a map of the Kurgan Hypothesis, which is currently the most popular theory for how the Proto-Indo-Europeans migrated from their homeland to settle Europe, Central Asia, Iran, India and Turkey etc)
- Saying Indians are descendants of the Proto-Indo-Europeans is NOT the same as saying they’re of “European origin”. For example, think of the Proto-Indo-Europeans as like the “mother” of Europeans, Central Asians and the Ancestral Northern Indians- they’re like “sibling” groups, not descendants. The original Indo-Europeans were not “European” in the modern sense. I am clarifying this because plenty of colonial-era scientific racism tried to attribute ancient India’s achievements to “European who left Europe for India”- you might have heard the phrase “Aryan” thrown around in Nazi Germany, which was used to mean “blonde hair, blue eyes”. Nazi scientists and historians also abused it to explain away the sophistication of non-European civilisations in Ancient Egypt and India. In reality, ”Aryan” is derived from the ancient Sanskrit word “Arya" which means "noble". Sanskrit is an ancient language still used in classical Indian texts, and is of Proto-Indo-European origin. For example, the name of the country “Iran” actually means “land of the Aryans”- it was the names ancient Iranians (another people descended from the Proto-Indo-Europeans) gave to what others called the Persian Empire for more than a thousand years before the Third Reich.
- Furthermore, many languages we often separate as “European” and “Asian” like German, English, French, Italian vs. Hindi, Farsi (Persian), Gujarati, Punjabi, Pashto, Sanskrit etc are ALL classified by linguists as belonging to the same Indo-European language family- which all evolved from the original language the Proto-Indo-Europeans spoke. See how artificial the Europe/Asia dichotomy really is, in terms of human genetics and origin of cultures?
4. Finally- there’s plenty of modern proof that the region we call Europe today does NOT have a monopoly on producing people with blonde hair, fair skin and green eyes.
This is Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, a popular Indian Bollywood actress who is also known for her striking blue-green eyes. She’s 100% Indian- she was born in Mangalore, India to Indian parents.
This is a girl from Darfur, Sudan- an area that has more than 30 ethnic groups.
5. And in the first place, what makes up a person’s identity IS NOT JUST HOW MUCH or HOW LITTLE MELANIN THEY HAVE.
- Tell your friend she is 100% Indian, because what makes up her identity is not just how she looks. Identity is what feels most natural to her, and if that identity is indeed very intertwined with major aspects of Indian culture- then well, she IS Indian and noone can say otherwise.
- Those people had no right to make her feel awful and “not-Indian enough” because it’s clear she identifies as such due to actually being born there and also practising major aspects of Indian culture. The best example I can think of to explain this is how in the US, people sometimes use the term “Latino” as a race category, with the stereotype that all latinos must have tanned skin and dark hair. In reality, it’s more of a cultural identity. The are fair haired-latinos and darker-skinned latinos whose ancestors included the African slaves brought to the Americas four hundred years ago. But what really makes them “Latino” or “Hispanic” is their upbringing- growing up in the environment of Latin America, which is culturally a syncretic fusion of Amerindian, African, Spanish, Portuguese and other European influences.
(This is the Brazilian football team that won the 1970 World Cup- you can see Pelé- second from the bottom right. He is an Afro-Brazilian. If you look at his teammates, you can see how latinos come in ALL COLOURS.)
6. Your friend should not be questioning her identity, but those people attacking her should be questioning their utterly myopic worldview. The history of human genetics and migrations makes it abundantly clear how DIVERSE India is- so it’s perfectly possible for her to be Indian but have blonde hair and green eyes, even if it may be less common.
7. On a more general note, I cannot stress this enough to everyone- DO NOT GO AROUND ATTACKING PEOPLE for “cultural appropriation” when you are NOT even from that culture in question and/or don’t actually know in detail the history and genetics of that region.
- If you suspect cultural appropriation: DO YOUR RESEARCH FIRST or ASK SOMEBODY you know who actually belongs to that group. You may be attacking mixed-race people or people like the anon’s friend, who simply has features that are less genetically dominant- blonde hair shows up less easily in countries with a bigger pool of people with dark hair because dark hair is dominant. Even if her parents had dark hair, it’s possible they both carried a recessive gene for blonde hair that was suppressed by their dark-hair gene. Their child would be blonde if she happened to get both copies of the blonde gene instead of the dark hair gene.
- Also, even if you think the person isn’t of that group, please bear in mind they might have been invited to dress in that clothing by a friend, or because they’re at an event. (I.e let’s say, at an Indian wedding)
- I can’t stress how infuriating this “white knight” complex is. Speaking as someone pretty familiar with colonialism, I’ve had people who didn’t grow up in my culture condescendingly insist that if I’m okay with somebody doing something from my culture, it’s “self-internalised oppression”. I’ve studied African colonial literature, and the way people insist on defining what people should be alright with is very reminiscent of 19th century imperialists high-handedly saying, “oh, we have to bring the light of civilisation to save those backwards colonial subjects from themselves!”
This is Reese Witherspoon, wearing a kimono in Japan, where she is being taught by JAPANESE people how to perform the traditional tea ceremony. This is not reducing a culture to a caricature because she’s actually learning stuff respectfully and wearing a bona fide kimono.
- Fighting against cultural appropriation is to prevent cultures from being cheapened, made into jokes, sexual fetishes or ugly caricatures. Part of returning power to people to define themselves is ALSO by allowing them to set the parameters of what they want to share with others- and many cultures are perfectly willing to share aspects that are non-sacred or do not have to be earned. So, for example, do not go around insisting a Japanese person should not be allowed to teach non-Japanese people to wear a kimono- because a kimono, unlike a Navajo war bonnet (akin to veteran’s medals), is something anybody can wear. Recognise this difference.
Know the difference.
"You guys all knew it was me, didn’t you? There’s literally no drama left in this reveal.
Captain America (2012-) #25
It’s time for villains to get their happy endings.
The Walking Dead: 4.01 30 Days Without An Accident
Karen & Tyreese