As people who are committed to the collective liberation of the oppressed, here are some explicit ways that we can try to disrupt the flows of social capital within our QT/BIPOC activist spaces."Social capital" is a term that's been getting thrown around a lot these days within QT/BIPOC activist spaces. What is this term, and where exactly does it come from? Simply put, the term "social capital" refers to the fact that social networks have value (monetary and otherwise). Social networks – i.e. who you know, and who those people know, and who those people know, and on and on – often determines everything from your ability to find a job, your likelihood of finding an apartment, to your ability to influence public opinion. Everyone possesses some degree of social capital, by virtue of living in society. However, the degree to which social capital affects the outcomes of their life in a positive or negative way is often determined by factors like race, class, gender, ability, size, etc. So how does this show up in queer communities and/or in activist spaces? As people who are supposedly working toward the collective liberation of Black and Indigenous people, queer, trans, disabled, incarcerated, and undocumented people, are we knowingly or unknowingly complicit in allowing social capital to accrue to body-minds that are already valued by mainstream society? (i.e. light-skinned, thin, cisgender, able bodied, extroverted, educated, class-privileged, etc.) The answer is a resounding yes. Because QT/BIPOC activist communities still function within the parameters and value systems of modern-day racial capitalism, we cannot entirely extricate ourselves from the insidious ways in which people whose traits and appearances are already valued by capitalism tend to gravitate toward each other in social spaces. Once this happens, the value that these people already possess by virtue of their position in capitalist society magnifies many times over, simply because people tend to share their time and resources with those they already know and share community with.
Hopefully Lana Del Rey’s perspective continues to broaden, and her desire for peace spurs her and her listeners into decisive action.By Roslyn Talusan Lana Del Rey’s 4th major label album, Lust for Life was released last week. The record has been deemed a departure from Del Rey’s hallmark darkness and depression, in direct response to the catastrophe that is the current American political landscape. Her team has been marketing Lust as a brighter, more upbeat entry in her discography, and is a commentary on where we are as a society, and where she hopes we’re headed. Specifically, Del Rey has said that while she made her first albums for herself, this album is for her fans. The goal of Lust is to soothe, comfort, and empower her listeners affected by the 2016 American election. I was skeptical about this at first. Del Rey has often been gratuitous with her creativity at the expense of marginalized groups. One of her most iconic images as an artist is her appropriating an Indigenous headdress in the "Ride" video, and her portrayed herself as a Latina sex worker in "Tropico". The hallmark of her music, along with a leaked clip filmed by Eli Roth where Del Rey stars in a horrifying visceral rape scene, is how she glamorizes and romanticizes domestic violence. Moreover, she's made comments about how feminism just isn't that interesting to her, and that she’d rather discuss our galactic possibilities.
The “ride or die” script is not a positive role to play and we should be wary of this trope. It hurts us in the long run.By BRITTNEY MADDOX “All I need in this life of sin is me and my girlfriend,” raps a young Jay-z in the 2003 hit “03 Bonnie and Clyde.” Beyonce sings the hook and goes on to talk about the things she would do to prove her unwavering loyalty. This was played a lot during my childhood along with countless other songs that I remember with this recurring theme of “the ride or die.” The woman who always had your back. She was fly, loyal, and would never snitch. She was an ideal that many sought out or would strive to become. While at first, it may seem charming to be a woman who fits this archetype, this character often seen in hip hop has its consequences. It fosters a culture that normalizes mistreatment of black women in romantic relationships, where their bodies are in the crossfire of an anti-femme and anti-black climate. Where harming us seems like a punchline. The older I get, I become more concerned about the ways black women are mistreated and how it’s normalized. There are countless media sources that use misogynoir as a vehicle to justify violence against black femmes. It's so commonplace that we have internalized these messages. The “ride or die” female archetype commonly seen in hip-hop is constantly sought out due to her loyalty and a high tolerance for abuse. We are unsure who coined the term, but the origins can be traced back through songs. In the “You're all I Need” by Method Man and Mary J Blige, the two talk about their fatal attraction. The chorus laments this “loyalty ‘til death” mentality. “You're all, I need to lie together/cry together/I swear to God I hope we fucking die together.” Method Man says his woman is down to carry his weapons and engage in criminal activities. Charlie Baltimore sings "Cause I'm your bitch, the Bonnie to your Clyde/It's mental, mash your enemies," so the woman in question often has to exhibit a level of trust to put her life on the line.
When it comes to who Rachel Lindsay will choose in the end, it shouldn’t be about race. It should be about who she loves and has built a solid foundation with. By TIFFANIE WOODS Dating as a black woman is hard. Dating