So what is it with bookers in this city booking bands by color rather than musical style? That’s really never happened to me before but since my return, that’s all that’s happened and I really want to know why the rock bookers in this city actually think that is even remotely acceptable. If you listened to my music and saw a picture of a white woman on my websites and in my videos you wouldn’t put me on a hip hop night or an r&b night or a night with all Black or Asian bands playing some form of hip hop, r&b or electronic music. But that’s all I get. There is this one booker who was like “I’ll get you a show and I have the perfect band for you to play with.” I listened to their music and it was really nothing like mine but, oh, they were Black women. I guess in her eyes that made us “perfect” to play together. Because I know every band with White guys in it is perfect to play together regardless of the actual style of music that they make.
What is your problem, White bookers? Are you really that myopic that as soon as you see someone isn’t White, you scour your backlog of bands to find the brownest people for them to play with? Are you dumbasses? Why is that a thing? The rock scene in this city really is the absolute worst. I don’t think I will even be playing here anymore. I make more money in the subways and I don’t have to put up with the disrespect of these lame bookers who expect you to kiss their ass just to get a gig. No, I am not going to explain to you how many people I can draw on a Sunday night at 2am go fuck yourself. I’m not playing that game. Not with my music at this point in my career. Anyway it’s not like the rock venues in this city will even book me. Cameo, Trash, Cake Shop…they only want “connected” bands that won’t upset their White hipster sensibilities. Can’t get drunk on PBR and give BJs in the bathroom when some Black chick is on stage talking about her minority issues.
I think White bookers don’t know what to do. There are more and more rock bands with people of color in them and more and more of us don’t feel the need to censor ourselves and keep things “safe and non threatening” for White audiences. I feel like the inane phenomenon of booking bands by race is a bit like insurance, so if any acts start, Idunno, burning White people in effigy like all of us crazed PoC militants tend to do at our shows, they can be sure the audience won’t mind, but they can also keep the White band’s audiences lily white. Because most White bands and acts don’t have diverse audiences. Certain do but most don’t. Booking PoC bands with White bands would change that. It would also expose PoC bands to press and a wider audience and god knows that can never happen. What would the community think?!
I’m tired of being marginalized in every fucking arena. When I have put together a night of Black bands, it is with the expressed interest of giving Black bands a stage and an audience to do what we like on our own terms and to be in the center of things; not in the periphery. These bookers are doing the opposite. It’s lazy and offensive. Me defining myself as a Black artist is different than you doing it for me and deciding what that should entail, including who I should play with, when and where. The latter is limiting. The former is not.
I’d really like for there to be a Black run or at least PoC run arts venue, by PoC that are not crazy from being ravaged by internalized racism and just want to showcase art by PoC who really couldn’t give a flying shit about White people liking them or “crossing over”. Who gives a fuck about “crossing over”? What, am I making art or visiting the afterlife? It should have an emphasis on booking PoC bands that make music outside of R&B and hip hop. It’s like you have to have some element of those genres in your music for people to even look at you. Like if there is something, anything about you that is unfamiliar to them, you are not worth touching. That is bullshit. I’m tired of the disrespect and the marginalization and the having to behave like a panting housepet to get a fucking gig. It’s absurd. Especially when all these venues are smack dab in the middle of Black and Latino neighborhoods. Ironic, isn’t it? There was one venue where the website was all about “creating” with the “community” and there were all these smiling, happy Negroes and Latinos. I wrote and it was bullshit. Turns out I could play a gig there. If I shelled out about 500 bucks for the space. One other Black run venue in Clinton Hill actually asked me of upwards of 1000 to play. And wanted me to provide security. Why would I need to pay for security? I’ll let you simmer on that one for a bit.
In short, everyone is an idiot. Good day.
Angry. Angry. That word. Am I supposed to fear it? That word is always thrown at me at opportune moments. I have detected, over the years, a pattern. When I behave in a way that you don’t expect. When I stand up for myself. When you are threatened by the fact that when you look at me, you don’t feel dominant or superior, you call me “angry”. But you don’t say it with fear. Not fear for your safety, at least. It leaves your lips with a “hisssss”. Then you sit back, satisfied. As though you have accomplished something. You are contented. Why?
When you are at the bottom of the sexual, racial and ethnic Western social hierarchy, as I am, you learn very quickly that EVERYONE depends on your staying at the bottom. It’s like a sick cheerleaders pyramid. When the ones kneeling on the bottom, with everyone’s weight on their backs, decide to stand up, what happens to the ones above them? Exactly.
It’s quite depressing to know that 90% of the people in the society in which you live depend on you feeling ashamed, inadequate, ugly, stupid and inept in order for them to feel confident and strong. To know that strangers have a vested interest in your failure … It just makes them feel good to think that at the end of the day, you’ve still amounted to nothing. That is my life. Fielding attacks for not being worthless. Being in a near constant state of defensiveness because I am not stupid or ugly or inept and refuse to pretend to be for others who aim to elevate themselves by standing upon my back.
I am Black. I am a woman. I am an African. AND YOU ARE NOT SUPERIOR TO ME. Why does that make you mad? Why does that make you want to attack? Why are you so fucked up and insane?
I started a new job and there is a young Black guy I work with. Black American men almost invariably react towards me in the same way. They are ALL suspicious of me and about 80% outright hostile on sight, making inane assumptions about my class and personality before I even open my mouth. I’m sure he did all of these things but fortunately was one of the 20% that was not hostile but friendly and conversational. That is until I was speaking to him and used the word “recalcitrant”. He made a joking comment about it being a “big word”, then let it go. Or so I thought, because within literally 45 SECONDS out of NOWHERE he made some flippant comment about something I said being “White people shit”. Now, I am used to this, but I am not in middle school or high school anymore and I have literally not had a Black person accuse me of “acting white” in over 10 years. I am a grown ass woman. I just refuse to deal with that garbage at this point in my life. So I just shut it down by saying “Well I am a Black person so I don’t even know what that means.” and left it at that.
This country is a fucking bitch. Being talented and intelligent works against you if you are a Black woman. If you don’t have to deal with ignorant, inferiority complex having Black people who are on this “Blackpeepo d’on’ reed! Blackpeepo dondoodis! Lookatchu, uthinkuhighclass!” , etc. – Btw, why do so many Black people in this country believe that to be “authentically Black” means to be illiterate and lack the ability to speak your native language correctly? Because last time I checked, Black people were the only people in history who were threatened with torture and death if they learned how to read and write AND RISKED DEATH AND TAUGHT THEMSELVES HOW TO DO IT ANYWAY AND OPENED UP THEIR OWN SCHOOLS SO THEY COULD BE EDUCATED AND GRADUATED COLLEGE AND BECAME POETS AND DOCTORS AND LAWYERS BEFORE SLAVERY WAS EVEN OFFICIALLY ABOLISHED IN 1865 BUT MAYBE THAT NEVER HAPPENED OH OK MY BAD PLEASE PROCEED IN MISPRONOUNCING YOUR ENTIRE LIFE.
What a sista gotta to to operate with some standards in this country? CAN I EVEN FUCKING HAVE STANDARDS? IS THAT OK, FUCKWADS?
So as if dealing with crazy internalized white supremacist Black people isn’t enough, I have to deal with White supremacist white people as well. My generation has a new kind of White person to contend with, in addition to the old. They won’t openly hate you like their parents and grandparents. They smile at you and voted for Obama. They are the new breed of “OH BLACK PEOPLE I LIKE THOSE THEY HAVE COOL HAIR THEY ARE FINE AS LONG AS THEY ARE CLEAN AND USE FUNNY CATCHPHRASES AND DON’T KNOW THINGS THAT I DON’T KNOW AND CAN’T DO THINGS THAT I CAN’T DO AND BEHAVE AND DRESS EXACTLY THE WAY I SAY THEY SHOULD AND HAVE NO BOUNDARIES AND ALLOW ME TO TREAT THEM HOWEVER I CHOOSE AND OH YEAH I SHOULD ALSO HAVE FREE REIGN TO FUCK THEM AT WILL YEAH THOSE BLACKS ARE FINE WITH ME!”
So I am stuck in this No Woman’s Land between “Real Black people cain’t do shit” Black people who believe the White Supremacist hype and actually think their Blackness is a hindrance and White people who are so racist yet try to pretend that they are not and have this unspoken “Stay in your place and we’re fine with you” reaction and both options are so gross to me and I decided in 2000 that I would not hang out with self hating indie negroes anymore because even though we have similar artistic tastes, lbr, that shit is just depressing and I refuse to be stuck in a room full of insecure Black people talking about how other Black people suck and White people are so much better while passing around photographs of their disrespectful and unattractive White bfs/gfs as though that’s “a step up” or something- Btw, if you are going to be a self hating poc and say “I only date White guys/gals, I hate [insert your own people here].” , can you please rescue a tenth of a degree of decency and at least date White people that are hot and awesome? PoC like that usually date seemingly just the worst, most bargain basement White people you can find. I would love for once to meet some Black person who is like “I only date White people, oh, btw, here comes my White s.o. now!” and out walks- no floats– this, like Goddess/Adonis with wit, intelligence, class and style and treats you like royalty and has, like, super bitchin’ hair, or something. Then I could be like, “Oh ok, point taken, good luck, enjoy smashing that, etc.” But it’s never like that. It’s always some gross ugly coked-up moronic douche/douchess. I’m like, “Oh ok thanks for that c u.”
I am ANGRY. I am angry that I am capable of so much but in one of the largest cities in the world, I feel like I have no options. No people. I have no people. Most people are cowards and the ones who have the fire and the passion are usually consumed and destroyed by it so they are not even of use to themselves let alone me. What use could I have for someone? Hm. It would be nice to exchange ideas with someone who is as unafraid as I am. Who makes up their own mind. Who doesn’t sit back and watch when they see someone unique and valuable; someone who is the first one there with an outstreched hand. Hello. Who are you? What do you think about all this shit and how quick can we take a couple sticks of dynamite to it?
Hello. What do you think?
What do you hate?
What do you love?
Can you love? More than you can hate? Do you?
Are you a coward or are you brave? Do you know the difference between being brave and being fearless? Which one are you?
Are you the same person at all times? Are you different people? Do you take responsibility for all of them? Do you know that if you don’t, you’re a coward?
What’s the point if you won’t come up with one?
I would love to meet someone as angry and passionate as I am. Someone who knows it’s their place to be so.
I have to get the fuck out of this town. Maybe you are afraid because you know I could rip you apart from the inside. I probably could. I know this. But who’s to say I will? Unless you expect to treat me in such a way that would earn such retribution. If that’s the case, then, yes, it would be in your best interest to stay away.
I’ve got an atom bomb in my head and in my chest. I have power. I am Black. I am a woman. I am an African. And I have power.
Why does that scare you? Oh yeah. The whole “bottom of the pyramid” thing. Gotcha.
The most surefire way to find yourself surrounded by weak people is to deny your own strength. That’s my line. You can have it. I’ve got plenty.
Hello, all. The White Noise Supremacists has been yappin’ her gums again…this time to the lovely Krawalla over at Megapeng Records where I was chosen as *booming voice* DECEMBER ACT OF THE MONTH. Check out the brief (& colorful) interview I did with her here: megapeng.net Interview.
Just for the interview, I recorded a down and dirty cover of Cat Power’s “Free”. And it’s aptly titled, cuz the track is available for FREE DOWNLOAD on the website (HOLY CRAP CAN YOU EVEN BELIEVE THIS NO YOU CAN’T BUT TRY ANYWAY.) Click download in the player at the end of the interview and voilà! But you better hurry up and grab your copy. There are only 100 downloads available. And you know you wanna be one of the cool kids, dontcha?
I am too African to be dealing with this dark and cold ass weather right now. Someone hold me.
Maybe I’ve been living under a rock, but I’ve never heard of this before today. It’s a pretty incredible thing to view and I urge you to watch the whole thing.
Children’s Exercise: http://youtu.be/8bWlTZZN3DY
Adult’s Exercise: http://youtu.be/f21RGIAtW0g
Entire film (starts at about 2:50): http://youtu.be/xZKNZ3GKWIo
Dealing with this racism thing, you get mindfucked into thinking it’s normal. To the point where you let yourself feel like you’re the one with the problem just for being angry and fed up and wanting to speak out. I fell into that in the first few years of this band because others reactions were so over the top and hostile. But then I read over my blogs and think they’re awesome. So I decided to keep going. Because I know that I’m right, even though most others try to pretend there’s something wrong with the things I say and do. It’s just another mindfuck. Everyone knows this stuff still happens. People know how they feel about Black people. But for some reason they feel like you shouldn’t have a right to speak up about it. Like as a Black person, you have no right to pride or self respect or use of the phrase “Fuck you.”
I don’t think of racism as normal. And I don’t care how you feel about me, no matter your color. Because at the end of the day, it DOES make it easier to know that in your mind, YOU are the one in control. People can do or say whatever they want. But if they don’t get in your head, it doesn’t mean SHIT. It really doesn’t. That’s where Jane Elliott is wrong. It does provide me with strength and comfort. You know how you can put a frog in a pot of water and bring it to a boil and they won’t jump out (PLEASE NO ONE DO THIS. I JUST READ IT SOMEWHERE.) they’ll just sit there and boil to death, because the heat is raised gradually. We’re just sitting here, boiling. This generation of Black people, so fucking happy with their iPads and fro-hawks…like things are different? Like they actually see YOU differently? They don’t. They just put away their hoses and dogs because we don’t fight back anymore. We laugh along. We join in. I see it so much from Black people, especially in this scene but in general as well. Such self hate but just happy to be at the party. Not like you were even invited, you just show up in uniform and stay in your place. “Don’t cause a fuss and remember who’s in charge, THEN you can stay.” “Yes, OK!” Pathetic as fuck. Is this what previous generations of Black people fought for? So you could sit around with some hipster White douchebag who makes Black jokes just so you can feel like you belong?
I guess it’s not en vogue nowadays to actually like being Black or actually like other Black people so I guess I’m out of fashion. But I guess I’m just not that desperate for inclusion anymore. And I’m not that afraid to be out there alone. I will not be intimidated. And I just don’t give a fuck. But most of all, I refuse to let myself be trained to accept the unacceptable. I refuse to just sit here and boil. So even if I sell 10 records or the audience to my films consists of only my mom (just like some of my early shows), I am content with that. I am NOT going to “go along just to get along”. Never been my style.
The next single and music video release from The White Noise Supremacists will be “Meant to Be”. Check out a live version here:
Good things are a-brewin’. Stay tuned!
Please spread this around as much as you can. He needs all the support he can get.
Reposted from http://afroeurope.blogspot.de:
According to African Outlook, Olaolu Sunkanmi Femi (aka) Olasunkanmi, a Nigerian student living in Ukraine, got arrested for allegedly defending himself against six teenagers who attacked him. He is facing life imprisonment.
African Outlook states that he defended himself against his assailants with a broken bottle in front of his apartment block on November 5, 2011 in Luhanski, Ukraine.
Witnesses told African Outlook that one of his friends was physically attacked in front of his apartment by four Ukrainian young men and two women while hurling racist slurs on them.
Olasunkanmi would have managed to get up and defend himself with a glass from a broken bottle. “It was while he was defending himself that police arrived at the scene and the Nigerian was subsequently arrested and charged with attempted murder of five people” a Nigerian embassy staff who has knowledge of the case told African Outlook. The victim thus became an accused in a case which has become famous in Ukraine.
Olasunkanmi has since been remanded in detention by the Ukrainian police. They refuse to take the case to court citing unavailability of the police to get an interpreter for him.
Protest have been organized since. For more info please read African Outlook and other sources.
To raise support for Olasukanmi, a Facebook Page: Let’s Support Olaolu Femi has been opened.