I'm Pam Newman.
I am awesome every day & you are too.
Follow my butt on Twitter!
I'm a writer of aricles, poems & songs. Here's some cool stuff I wrote.
Last night, I attended a fundraiser for a local organization that promotes Fairness for LGBTQ people, people of color and other marginalized groups in Kentucky. I love their work and they’re very good at actually winning campaigns.
I was dressed fancy enough and looked pretty damn cute last night. I had a wonderful time, and plan on attending again next year.
There was self-service coat-check at this event. So I put my coat up along with my purse and walked away after I figured it out. Then I realized I’d left my phone in my purse! I walked back to the coat check with my glass of blended white wine, and put it on the edge of the counter while I dug through my purse.
So I and about 4-5 white folks were in the coat check area, rummaging around, taking off coats and hanging up coats. I retrieved my phone from my purse, and put it on the counter. One white lady approached the coat check counter and was making eye contact with me.
At first I was like, “Oh shit do I know this lady, and don’t remember her?” When she didn’t say “Hi Pam!” I figured not. But she was holding her coat. And I realized… This haughty minx thinks I’m the coat check girl.
Now, this organization is all about equal rights and standing up for each other. It’s about defending LGBTQ rights and equal legal justice for every person.
But even in that environment, even while at least 3 other people (all of whom were white) were hanging up their own damn coats, this white woman thought I was the coat check girl.
I just grabbed my phone off the counter, grabbed my glass of wine and walked away. I may or may not have given her side eye as I did so.
A white guy behind me said to the haughty lady as I sipped my wine and checked twitter, “It’s self-service coat check.”
Oh my god, this is so sweet!
If you’re not an advid tumblr user, I’ll clue you into the fact that tumblr recently made a pretty big change to how users post on the site. I honestly like the new change. I have to open less tabs, and can look at stuff on my dashboard as I write a post, which is actually very useful for the post you’re reading right now. It’s also way easier to reblog without having to pause my entire life.
Tumblr makes big changes to how the service is used and attempts to use the staff blog (which not everyone follows and/or is around when the post shows up in the dash) There’s a lack of consideration for users in foreign time zones because changes are posted during business hours in eastern standard time.
I think, sure. There’s a lack of outreach on how to use the new service. That kind of sucks, and is sorta rude. I think Google does an excellent job of preparing the masses for change, and tumblr could take some advice from that process.
However, what I’m thinking of today is the utter outrage some people express because the interface changed.
This, my esteemed friends and followers, is how you as a human being react to change. Maybe it’s pissed you off. Maybe you are hurt. Perhas you wanna burn it all down and tear it all to shreds. This is a prime example of how humans, as a whole react to change.
Most human beings are naturally resistant to, and afraid of, change they didn’t specifically request. It removes our desire for control, even if it is a minimal desire, and places us in the position of the powerless.
But the people who are most pissed off when tumblr makes a change (I actually like this change a lot, tbh) no matter how signifigant seem to have no common bond. It’s not like I can say, “It is mostly the able-bodied straight, affluent CIS White Males living in Manhattan on my dashboard.” They get pissed off too, but it’s really a wide-reaching sea of pissed off, which reaches the shores of every type of person.
So I bring up how I noticed that human beings are resistant to change because this is a good reflection of how difficult huge systems changes are. Americans don’t have a health care system that appropriately helps all people, regardless of income because that would be an enormous change.
The majority of us are resistant to progress because we are afraid. Many others are resistant to change because they’re financially invested in things staying the same, but that’s a slightly different conversation.
Encouraging a culture of acceptance for people no matter which people they love, how they pee, how their bodies are shaped or how they interpret what they see (or don’t see) in the mirror… that’s an enormous change. Furthermore, that specific type of change requires us all to change how we think internally. There’s no change to a layout or even a structural change, we have to challenge the way we see the world and how we react to others in order for that to work.
If we can’t get down with a fucking website changing the way we interact with posts, it is quite clear that it’s gonna take a damn long time to dismantle all the various phobias and -isims of ourselves and fellow humans.
I’m a little conflicted. I really want to complain about news reporting in this day and age. I also want to rant about how people of color are disrespected by the news system as a whole.
All of this is inspired by the sudden death of a professional black woman from my neighborhood.
Today, Louisville’s major print news outlet, the Courier-Journal reported that the former Metro Councilwoman of my neighborhood, Dr Judy Green, passed away. She was a professional Black woman (A dentist!), and was involved in some controversy involving her time as a metro council member.
It was really sad news. She was only 57 years old.
I have a mother with health problems in her 60’s so this was especially troubling to me. I’ve also had many conversations with Dr Green, and this news was shocking.
Then, Louisville’s Fox Affiliate, WDRB, said:
Although several other media outlets have reported that Green is dead, her daughter, Joy, tells WDRB’s Stephan Johnson that family members are gathering at the hospital while Green remains on life support.
Not only are you conflicting the city’s only major newspaper, and another television outlet, you’re talking smack on them, in regards to the death of a professional black woman? That’s not only ballsy, but it’s disrespectful to Dr Green and her family, who’ve already been through a media shitstorm.
Then, I got a tweet from a reporter for WAVE!
So… here’s the problem.
On one hand, I’m thinking that a part of the conflict here is that news happens instantaneously I started getting confused (And complained about it publicly) with the conflicting reports on twitter. All of the articles had been posted and/or updated around 10:30.
About 10 years ago, all the news stations probably would have published the same news, because by Noon, everyone would have everything all cleared up… possibly?
A 24 hour news cycle helps keep us informed, but it also allows for terrible mistakes like this regarding sad, devastating news.
What I think is the bigger story here is, was this mishandled because of the 24 hour news cycle mentality of getting the story out quickly, or was it mishandled because Dr Green was a professional woman of color who had already suffered from ongoing public scrutiny in a city known for publicly racist behavior?
“In conclusion, The People’s Republic of China demands that America stop using their cry of human rights violations against other sovereign nations in order to declare war on them to steal their resources when America flagrantly violates the human rights of Afro-descendants and other minorities within its own country.”
this article just drops stat. after stat. on the racial inequalities in the U.S. good read.
When China calls out your shit about human rights. And has the numbers to back it up. Then you know you’ve fucked up.
This report and the article about it are nearly 2 years old, and I’m just now hearing about it. I wonder why.
Why I’m SO Hype about Rhonda Lee (the Black Meteorologist) getting axed for defending her hair to that Racist
A few years ago I worked for a company called Software Management LLC. They’re owned by a conservative family based out of Lexington, Kentucky.
While working there, I was experimenting with ways to wear my hair naturally. I’d stopped using perms, and was coming into my own with how to style & wear it. Mostly I still wore it flat-ironed, but every now and again I dabbled with wearing it naturally.
My job involved going to county clerk’s offices and training the folks there on how to use the company’s software. Often I also had to train people on how to use the internet, or even how to use a mouse. It was easy work for me, but not a job for everyone, as it required being tender with people old enough to be my parents, and who lived in towns where they could go an entire week without seeing someone who looked like me.
Nonetheless, I was amazing at my job, and all of my clients were very pleased with my work, and ability to train and support them.
One day, our HR manager brought me into our office to talk to me about my appearance. I mean, maybe she did need to talk to me about how I wore my beat up black chucks to work everyday, but my outfits were on point aside from my shoes. She offered to get me a makeover.
At first I legitimately believed that she wanted to do this for me as a reward, and to help me step further into being a young professional.
Then she mentioned my hair.
She mentioned that my hair was not professional. She mentioned that it might look nicer straight. She did not directly say that there would be disciplinary actions taken if I DID NOT straighten my hair, but it was implied.
So, I was hurt, and I didn’t exactly know how to express that I felt like she was degrading me with her racist assumptions about my hair lowering my ability to be professional
I ended up being passive aggressive about how I felt, because I lacked the ability to say, “That’s insensitive and racist, here are the reasons why.” I also had a sociopath for a co-worker and a total of 1 co-worker I enjoyed hanging out with. So I quit without notice and never spoke to any of those people again.
But anyway, the point of this story is that Rhonda Lee is struggling with the same issue. She’s dealing with leadership that is so racist that they punish her for being attacked publicly. She’s being graceful in the face of adversity and an industry that actively works to erase the face of black women, and absolutely our luscious locks.
She is at a point where she knows how to accurately articulate what’s going on — and I can honestly say I would be able to do so now as well — but I worry.
I worry about all the other young black women who are dealing with this shit in silence. I worry about the ladies fresh out of college who are sporting fly natural styles and may encounter a boss who tells them, “That’s not professional,” and they may not have the courage to stand up for themselves, or a support structure to tell them that it’s okay to do so.
Be someone’s support. Tell Rhonda Lee’s story to people.
Let the black women in your life know that we are BEAUTIFUL. Compliment her hair. Tell her that our hair is lovely, and goddamnit, it’s fucking professional.
black and latina women earning 61 and 52 cents respectively on the white man’s dollar are pretty devastating numbers but the only number you’re gonna be hearing about is the 72 cents
This Louisville-based shop is spouting some nonsense about how they are sensitive to indigenous culture… aaaand here’s a photo of a white girl with facepaint and feathers.
I’m not buying your shit, Tribe owners.
Literally and figuratively.
I was having communication with the folks who run Fuck Yeah Louisville, who’ve been very supportive and happily reblogging TRIBE without any sort of commentary.
The person who contacted me said, “I’m on your side!” When I said that if TRIBE had no affiliation with indigenous people that the entire concept of the shop is racist.
Well pal, if you’re on my side, you can elect not to encourage people to purchase shit from a place that is overtly racist in their characterizing and blend-smudging of many cultures of people of color in order to make profit.
People like to claim we’re just too sensitive and get offended easily by stereotypes. Being offended isn’t really the problem. The problem is that it provides the foundation of systemic and institutionalized racism.
What is institutionalized racism? It’s policies that create racial disparities in our prisons, our schools, our incomes, our health.
Racism isn’t created in a vacuum. It starts with dehumanizing people, make them a thing instead of people. Mockery to ridicule persons that serve to make them targets that places them directly in danger.
It angers me when people say there are bigger things to worry about. What could be bigger than lives being at stake such as Trayvon Martin or my father. My father was killed when he defended his little brother from racial insults that were being hurled at him from white men.
If you deny the problem of racism as harmless when it is in the form of costumes and mockery, then tell me how do you think racism is created.