Intersectionality is not primarily about identity, it’s about how structures make certain identities the consequence of and the vehicle for vulnerability. So if you want to know how many intersections marry, you gotta look at the context: what’s happening ? What kind of discrimination is going on ? What are the policies ? What are the institutional structures that play in a role in contributing to the exclusion of some people and not others ?
We saw the first Avengers movie together and had wondered if we’d ever get to a be in a movie like that — such a big budget, crazy vehicle with special effects and tons of funny, cool people that you admire,” Duke recalls. “And we were just like ‘Yeah, I don’t know if that’s ever going to happen.’ And then for this to be my first movie, her first Marvel film, we were like ‘Can you believe that happened? Do you remember Avengers in New Haven, Connecticut?
I guess I’m the wolf of this story. There isn’t room for anything in the middle, and these days I’m feeling less and less like a girl.
I’ve always been hungry. I guess the role suits me.
The real punch to the gut is how the narrative uses to that to reduce her from hero to sounding board for the men around her. Rey spends the entirety of The Last Jedi as a surrogate mother to men: first Luke, then Ben. She is there to be an emotional sherpa, a plot device with a lightsaber and good listening skills[…]
You could wipe Rey from Episode IX with little fallout to the narrative. Another Force user could step in to take her place; either another lost Jedi such as Mace Windu or Ahsoka Tano or another “nobody” with Force powers. Had Luke died during the original trilogy, the story would’ve hit a wall from which it could not recover. The same with Anakin in the prequel trilogy. So who is the main character of The Last Jedi? Whose removal would cause the wheels to come off and the narrative to grind to a halt? Kylo. Fucking. Ren.
When Ben says Rey has no place in this story; he’s kind of right. The Last Jedi made Rey superfluous in her own hero’s journey. She deserved better than that.
This isn’t a new phenomenon among Asian youth. There are Korean pop stars sporting Black protective styles as a way to follow trends and fit an image with their music, Japanese youth transforming into their own versions of Black people with a sub-culture of “B-Style,” Indonesian rapper Rich Chigga using the n-word both as a combination with his stage name and in the song that skyrocketed him to American fame, and a “Vine” star turned “Love and Hip Hop” cast member using Black culture to her advantage (and taking on a racist stereotypical Asian caricature for comedy) and then attacking Black people for calling out her use of AAVE and protective styles.
Trust me, Black people want for all POC to get along and fight White supremacy as a collective, but y’all don’t know how to act! Black culture shouldn’t be an outlet for anyone to express their rebellion, as if blackness is inherently deviant.
This use of Black culture is a disrespect not only for the Black and Latin creators of hip-hop, but to your fellow Black POC, who only have hip-hop as the last standing thing that is recognized as unequivocally Black in nature and creation.
As I’ve worked to dismantle my own internalized racism and the ways that I privilege whiteness, I’ve learned to resist being ‘othered’ through the use of language. So when someone says, ‘Oh, they did that to you because you’re black,’ I quickly correct them with, ‘No, they did that because they are bigots.’ This often shocks people. I can see the panic in their eyes. Sometimes, their eyes dart about. If there are lot of people, they may get quiet.Sometimes, someone will try to lessen the blow of my words with some clever deflection. I then come back with, ‘No. They are bigots.’ I name the problem. Trayvon and Michael’s blackness wasn’t the problem. The problem was the negative perceptions of that blackness and what spaces that blackness was ‘allowed’ to occupy. These perceptions are supported, funded, and reinforced by institutionalized racism. Matthew Shepard wasn’t murdered because he was gay. Sakia Gunn wasn’t murdered because she was a lesbian. Matthew and Sakia were murdered by people who made a choice to exercise their bigotry within a culture that deemed Matthew and Sakia ‘others.’