Have You Heard of Blackfishing? Let's Talk About It

If you aren’t hip to this weird racist beauty trend that has been happening lately, there seems to be many beauty influencers on Youtube and Instagram that are using darker color makeup, traditionally black hairstyles and creating other “black” feature, in order to make themselves seem or appear “black”.

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Even Ariana Grande has been accused of participating in this trend. Many people have notice her skin is drastically darker than its original color. It doesn’t help that she seems to be quickly speeding down that lane of “white girl using hip hop for profit” with her new song “7 Rings” in which she stole imagery from rapper 2 Chainz and a sample from Soulja Boi, whom only got credited on the song, when She was publicly called out on twitter.

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I have had many messages from people asking me my thoughts on this trend and I really only have three things to say about it.

We Know Why This Is Happening.

Blackness has always been popular, black people have not. And this is why we, people of color, make such a fuss about cultural appropriation. It’s not just was wanting to hoard our cultures for ourselves, It is the fact that white people want to take the parts of black they like while simultaneously getting rid of black people. Same applies to every other ethnic group y’all love to appropriate. It’s cultural genocide. I’ve never seen Ariana or these other beauty influencers out on the front lines fighting or advocating for black people’s rights. Have you? Of course you haven’t. They never do.

Call It What It Is—It’s Blackface

I really REALLY hate this new term “blackfishing”. This trend was actually originally coined as "“niggerfishing” (which I hate even more) by someone on twitter. I’m really tired of people coming up with cute hashtag terms to describe blatantly racist behavior. This is blackface, call it blackface. Do you know why there is a such an uproar, worldwide when someone is called out for blackface? Because we have over 400 years of racial history and context to back it up. People know what means and why it’s disgustingly racist. When y’all create these cute, hastagable terms for racist acts that have been happening for centuries— a) no one knows what the hell you’re talking about, b) no one takes it seriously because there is no context or history attached to “blackfishing” to prove why it’s a problem. No need to call a duck a sophisticated chicken, it’s a duck. Call it what it is.

When Tanning Becomes Problematic

The most common response I see to this blackfishing conversation is people stating that it’s just tanning? Tanning in itself is rooted in being problematic. Tanning was originally based in classism. Only the rich who had money and time to travel to places with warm climate to tan on the beach. Today, with tanning machines, pretty much anyone can get in on the tanning trend and some folks take it too far. One really could ask why there is an obsession at all with needing to change your skin color. I also think there is a vast difference between a natural tan you get from the sun and that from a tanning bed. The sun isn’t going to give white people a “black” tan, fake tans do. Look if y’all for whatever reason, want to go out and get your little tans on the beach, fine, but when you’re going to the point of drastically changing your skin color, that is a problem. It’s racism and blackface.

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Just be a white girl. Damn y’all.

Let’s Talk About DNA Testing For Adoptees

Thanks to technology and capitalism, we now have the ability to pay $100+ to send out spit to strangers and have them tell us everything about our past and sometimes, future. It’s an invention that can be very helpful to a lot of people like my fellow adoptees. For other it may just be for fun or maybe horrifying like these racists who keep doing them and being shocked to find out they got some black in them (wonder how that happened).

All jokes aside though, it actually has proved to be something very useful for adoptees. As anyone involved with adoption know, getting complete and/or accurate records of pretty much anything in adoption, is laughable. Most of us don’t have proper records of of our family history. Some of us don’t get the luxury of reconnecting with birth families or having a family history lesson from them. A lot of adoptees are out here trying to piece together our family heritage and stories on our own and DNA testing has helped to provide some answers. That being said, there is a concern around the morality of DNA testing adoptees, particularly those who are young. This debate has been happening for some time in the adoption community. The concern lies around if parents should get testing for their adoptees or should they wait until their adoptee is an adult and can choose on their own. I see some pros and cons to both sides of this discussion and wanted to share some thoughts.

Protecting The Adoptee’s Story

As an adoptee myself, I am an advocate of letting adoptees tell their own story. In order to do that, they need to be in control of how they discover themselves as well. I always tell parents to not go behind their adoptee’s back and try to connect with birth families, or establish relationships with birth families without adoptee’s consent. It's not their place, at the end of the day, they aren’t the ones who are going to be hurt if that relationship fails or doesn’t provide the closure needed. I kind of feel the same way about DNA testing. It does feel like an invasion of privacy of an adoptee or really anyone, to just take their DNA and start looking into their past. If the adoptee is not old enough to fully understand the results or what they can dig up, then it could be more hurtful that positive.

Waiting Too Long Could Affect The Results

On the other side of the argument, I can also see how if you wait 18+ years to do the testing, or any other form of searching for information—the results may be harder to find. The one thing positive thing is that the DNA isn’t going anywhere, it’ll always be there to test. However, if you wait too long relatives could have passed or have moved, or whatever else may happen.

What Is The Intent?

There are many reasons you might want a DNA test. I did mine with 23 & Me last year and I didn’t do it to find family. I am already reconnected with my birth family. I was actually more interested in the health profile and a bit curious what the ethnic results would look like. I feel a little more okay with it if you are doing it for health reasons. I think a lot of us would benefit from knowing more about our family health history. I’m 27 and never had a single bit of information about what kind of health issues run in my family. Who knows what may pop up. However at the same time, morally, I just still have a weird feeling about taking someone else’s DNA without true consent.

Privacy Issues

There as been a lot of concern about these DNA testing companies sharing your profiles and information. Recently it was made known that the police are able to access DNA profiles from these sites, and that has spooked some people. They actually caught the Golden State Killer by doing this. There is a concern about children’s (and everyone else’s) DNA information being able to be accessed. I personally, don’t really care. Yes, it can be an invasion of privacy, but also, I’m not planning on murdering anyone and if you want to clone me you’ll be severely disappointed. However, I understand the concern that many have and that is something to think about.

So What Should You Do?

I don’t really have a exact answer for you. I see both sides of the argument, I think there can be some advantages if you can get the information early on but I also think there’s something a bit wrong with taking people’s DNA before they can consent to it and fully understand what comes along with that. So I would tell you to think about what you’re real end goal is here. Are you just curious? Is it for a serious health concern? Are you trying to track down family members? Think about it for a minute before making an impulse decision and at the very least, I would wait until adoptees are old enough to have a coherent conversation about it.


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Do You Know What Kwanzaa Is All About?

Kwanzaa is one of those holidays that we all have heard about, but most of us don’t actually know what it celebrates. Well, while I was deciding what to do for my last youtube video before the holidays, I decided to do some research.

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Why I Refused To Watch 'The Hate U Give'

About a year after I moved out to Los Angeles from Boston, I got a text from my cousin. She asked me for my mailing address because she found a book she thought I might like. My cousin, (who is also a TRA but from Taiwan) and I share a mutual love of film and reading. When we both lived in Boston, we frequently swapped book ideas and went to see films together. Naturally when she told me she was going to send me a book, I was all for it. New book to read, I’m there.

A couple weeks later, her package arrives. I open it and it’s a brand new copy of the book by Angie Thomas, “The Hate U Give”. I had heard nothing but praise about the book from pretty much every black person and activist I follow and look up to. I should have been excited to read the shit out of it. However, when I opened it up, instead of the normal feeling of excitement, black power and joy I usually get from supporting my fellow black women, I felt immediately exhausted. I don’t know if you remember, but this book came out just last year, in February. This was also the time that we had an influx of police shooting, and brutality videos hitting us what felt like every hour, on the hour. Every time I opened up anything that was connected to the internet, there was a new video or story about a black person being murdered by police. We were also right off the heels of movements like Ferguson, and Flint, not too long afterwards, the rally in Charlottesville riot happened, and so many other instances of black people being brutally abused by white people and the law. It was and still is an overwhelming non-stop wave of violence against my people. Despite how much I really do want to read the book and support this young black woman, I mentally cannot take anymore stories about the abuse of my people. Especially fictional stories.

This is exactly why I did not watch the film adaptation either. In fact, I made a deliberate pact with myself that I wasn’t going to watch any movie about the violence against black people. Especially ones that are fictional. I have always been very outspoken about my disgust with Hollywood’s black representation. Furthermore the fact that the only big ‘black films’ that seem to get greenlit are ones where we are victims and suffer at the hands of white people or in which white people get to be saviors. That is why we made such a big deal out of Black Panther. An almost 100% black cast and crew, majority dark skin cast and we have our own narrative that has nothing to do with white people? It’s literally unheard of for a movie of that scale. Jordan Peele had to fight tooth and nail to get a shit budget so he could make Get Out and they still pushed back against that movie. Had he made another slave movie or a movie about a white person killing black folks, every movie studio would have signed on to fund it in 30 seconds.

So just like I skipped 12 Years A Slave, Blindspotting, and whatever other black film hollywood has tried to give us, I refused to watch The Hate U Give too. They could be great films, I don’t know or really care. Shout out to the people involved, get your money and your IMDB credits, good luck. I wish them no ill will at all. I however, shall not be there. I simply cannot sit through another movie about the killing of my people when we already are dealing with that in real life. Why would I want to go watch my people face racism and death on screen for entertainment when I can literally just walk outside and have it happen to me 15 times a day?

Just last week as I was walking down Sunset blvd to my car after work, some white man driving past yelled “fucking nigger” out the window at me, minding my own business. He sped past cackling, and I caught a glimpse of the multiple Trump/MAGA bumper stickers on his car. Yes, even in fake progressive Los Angeles, people are still calling us niggers. My point is, we as black people—me personally, am living this reality, I don’t want to pay $18 for a movie ticket to watch a fictional story about it on screen too. I just don’t and I don’t have to. This is why I will always support shows like Atlanta and Blackish, shows that allow black people to simply just be regular damn people living their everyday lives. I’m tired of every piece of black media needing to be a political movement or statement in order to be validated. Our daily lives are not political movements, we’re just regular people out here trying to work and pay bills on time like everyone else. Where are our movies and shows that allow us to be human beings? Those are the pieces of media I will go out to support.

One day I will get around to reading “The Hate U Give” but I have a feeling it’s going to be awhile. Until we get out of this hell hole we’re living in which black people can’t even walk into their own apartments or have a BBQ in the park without being harrassed by racists, I won’t be consuming these pieces of literature or film. For my own mental wellbeing, I simply can’t.


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Support Me Maybe?

Hey folks, I want my work to be accessible to all those who need it, thus why I do not create paywalls for my blog. That being said, creating content costs a lot of time and money. If you can make a contribution to help support my work, know it is very much appreciated, and I'm sending you a virtual high-five.

Contributions can also be sent via VenmoCash App or Paypal

It Costs $0.00 To Not Be Racist On Halloween

Halloween is around the corner, don’t be racist.

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Serena Williams & The Demonizing of Black Emotions

It’s nothing new that Serena Williams has been pissing off racists for as long as she’s been great. Serena has always been recognized as a tennis legend but seems to me in the past few years her visibility and image as grown a lot and along with that, the racism and misogyny she’s had to endure. Every time I turn around, there is a new story about how white people are mad because Serena Williams is just better than their white favs. There is always some white man or woman, tennis player or not, media outlet, someone, talking shit about Serena. They downplay her accomplishments, they make fun of her body and skin color, they pretend like she’s coasting on luck, bash her for having a white husband, and just find any possible reason to make up a story to dismiss her.

Recently, reports came out that Serena, who has no history of drug use, was being “randomly” drug tested more than twice the amount of times all the other tennis players in the league have been.

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At the French Open, she was banned from wearing a uniform that was designed to help prevent blood clots, and they made up a rule to ban that too. A rule that did not exist prior and barred her from where a medically necessary piece of clothing.

This week, the big news story takes place at the U.S. Open where she tried to defend herself to the umpire who accused her of cheating.

This incident has sparked a very long week of think pieces and conversations about the treatment of women, specifically black women, in sports. People of pointed out how male tennis players have done far worse and did not receive the same punishment or scrutiny.

Even this lovely Jim Crow era cartoon was published in Australia’s The Herald Sun.

Yes, this was published in 2018…

Listen—I am exhausted. I am tired on behalf of Serena, but also just has a black woman in general. This is a problem that goes deeper than just Serena Williams. There’s a saying that says “black people have to work twice as hard to get half as much recognition”. While that’s true, black women have a extra layer because we’re women AND black. We have to work 10 times as hard to be dismissed anyways.

I am so tired of black people being demonized for displaying regular human emotions, for doing things that normal people do, for thing that would be ignored, dismissed or accepted if we were white. The thing that really grinds me gears about this “angry” narrative” surrounding Serena, is that she wasn’t even displaying hostile anger, at all. I was actually surprised at how cool and collected she was when she addressed the umpire. Serena was screaming or threatening him, she didn’t chuck a knife at his face, she addressed him to let him know he was wrong and when he didn’t listen he asked for the referees to step in. Black women are always gaslighted into being angry whenever we stand up for ourselves. I even get this from other black people, black men in particular. Nobody wants to see women actually live and think for themselves.

I mean I know tennis expert but how else are you supposed you handle that situation? So if you’re accused of cheating, but you didn’t, are you just supposed to shut up and accept it?

Furthermore people such as this racist cartoonist, Mark Knight, are trying to change the story to her being angry and “throwing a tantrum” about not winning. This was never about not winning. Serena has lost many times before, and she does so gracefully. All of this took place before she even lost. They are using Serena to try and villainize black people and our emotions. They have even tried to blame her for the overshadowing of her opponent, Naomi Osaka’s win. It was interesting to me how so many people tried to pretend that Naomi who is Japanese and Haitian, isn’t also black like Serena. Like in this cartoon, she’s drawn as a white woman with blonde hair. I fully believe this and these similar narratives are being done to try and paint Serena as a big black brute who just loves to destroy young girls’ dreams and throw fits when she loses. Like Naomi is a white woman in distress who needs protection from the big scary black lady.

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The way this narrative surronding black women like Serena Williams and Maxine Waters has been covered, just really reminds me of how minstrel shows and black caricatures were used to push these images and stereotypes about black people to the public so they would believe that black people really did need to be slaves or locked up.

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Like honestly, spot the difference and let me know where they’re at, because I don’t see a difference.

Black people have to deal with so much shit. We’re being stabbed on trains and police are “accidently” breaking into our own houses and killing us, yet if we show any form of a emotion that isn’t blatantly happy and jovial, all the sudden were thugs, criminals, brutes, sassy, angry and every other negative adjective y’all has reserved for black people. Meanwhile Tad and Susie-Q can scream at everyone, break things, throw things, hit people, hell even kill people, and everyone just shrugs it off and goes about their day.

I’m tired, and I am angry and we have every right to be. I’m tired of being policed, I’m tired of being dismissed, tired of every move I make being under a white microscope of This is why I don’t have the time or energy to “be nice” to white people. I don’t have the energy to coddle white people and make sure they receive the realities of racism nicely. No, I’m not doing that. Find someone else to do it for you, but I shall not be the one.


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Support Me Maybe?

Hey folks, I want my work to be accessible to all those who need it, thus why I do not create paywalls for my blog. That being said, creating content costs a lot of time and money. If you can make a contribution to help support my work, know it is very much appreciated, and I'm sending you a virtual high-five.

Contributions can also be sent via VenmoCash App or Paypal.