arvan's picture

open letter from a progressive white dude to other progressive white dudes defending stephen colbert

since most of us progressive white dudes do not really don't feel safe being talked to about race by anyone else, I felt compelled to say my piece on this issue as a card carrying white progressive dude.

(note: if you feel compelled to tell me that "not all white progressive dudes are like this and that you are one of the good guys...please don't. like, ever.) 

if you are white, male ID'd and progressive - this letter is addressed to you.

stephen colbert was wrong. he said some racist ass shit and no, it does not matter if "it was just a joke". colbert's response should or could have been

"I am sorry. That was racist. I was wrong to say that. It's not funny."

and then moved on.

instead, he blurted out in bravado, vanity, pomp and circumstance a bit about michelle malkin (the GOP asian girl) in what amounted to him saying "but I'm only joking and republicans are actually bad people"

it was a fauxpology of sarcasm that people would understand if they had a sense of humor. and for this, stephen colbert continues to be wrong.

arvan's picture

brown voices, white spaces

I got into a conversation the other day with my friend, about this post:


I said that a good strategy would be to give up on whitespace ever coming around, tell the bastards to fuck off smartly and carve out some posts in languages other than english because the thieves are too lazy to translate or learn another language.

she replied:

I read all of it and I disagree at the same spot I usually do

"If Brown bodies create social streams in their own cultures…"

The onus is on us (again) to escape such colonial forms of knowledge production

this really set me off emotionally.  I tried to restate my ideas, and that didn’t assuage me.  I didn’t want to prove her wrong, I didn’t think she was wrong, I just wanted to not have to agree with her.  then I realized that I wanted to deny that she was right.  and I thought, “oh my…” and I knew that I had to question my motives. 

why was I so attached to fleeing from whitespace?  I wanted to believe that I was cynical, resigned and willing to leave whitespace.  I wanted to avoid confronting my own active participation in sustaining whitespace and benefitting from it.  I wanted to leave whitespace and I did not want to admit that there is no way to leave, no place to run.  

whitespace can only be maintained or dismantled.  that’s it.  there are no other choices.  and no one can do your work or my work for us.

arvan's picture

Caribbean Review of Gender Studies, Vol. 3 now available

ISSUE 3 November 2009

A publication of:


The University of the West Indies
St Augustine, Trinidad and Tobago
Tel: (868) 662-2002 | Fax: (868) 663-9684

Sexual desires, rights and regulation Andil Gosine [view editorial]


Bajan Queens, Nebulous Scenes  David Murray [view abstract]

Creating Immoral Citizens  Yasmin Tambiah [view abstract

Gender, Sexuality, Identity, and exclusion: Sketching the outlines of the Jamaican popular nationalist project Anthony Lewis and Robert Carr [view abstract

Women of the World Unite! Krudas CUBENSI and Contemporary Sexual Politics in Cuba Tanya Saunders [view abstract]

Le Jeu de Qui? Sexual Politics at Play in the French Caribbean Vanessa Agard-Jones [view abstract]

Putting the 'Cool' in Coolie: dissident Sexuality, Indo-Caribbean identity and the oppositonal aesthetics of Michelle Mohabeer's Film Tara Atluri [view abstract]   

Queerness in the Caribbean Diaspora Dwaine Plaza and Amar Wahab [view abstract]

Queer Returns: Human Rights, the Anglo-Caribbean and Diaspora Politics Rinaldo Walcott [view abstract]  



Politics and Passion: A Conversation With Gloria Wekker  Andil Gosine and Gloria Wekker [view abstract]

Global Circuits  Jasbir Puar [view abstract]

Fighting Murder Music: Activist Reflections - Akim Ade Larcher and Colin Robinson [view abstract]


BLU in You Michelle Mohabeer [View Synopsis]




Caribbean Sexuality – Mapping  the Field   Kamala Kempadoo [view abstract]


Sex, Power and Taboo: Gender and HIV in the Caribbean and Beyond   Patricia Mohammed

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