Thomas Jefferson is the Founding Father of White Supremacy

When you hear the name Thomas Jefferson, it is likely followed by "founding father", "hero", "patriot", and other such reverent terms. But he should also be considered one of the Founding Fathers of white supremacy. Nearly every white supremacist idea, claim, or rationale, can be found in Jefferson's Notes on the State of Virginia…

12 Years A Slave: Black Suffering for White Consumption

What does any black person stand to gain from sitting in a dark movie theater—more than likely surrounded by white people—and being psychologically assaulted for two hours? Will we then turn to those white audience members and discuss how horrible it all was, how many tears they shed, and eventually breathe a collective sigh of relief that all that was in the past, and thank God that we've come so far?

Flexuality: Elastic Sexual Norms in the Work of Octavia Butler

An examination of how Butler challenges sexual norms, from the incest taboo in the Patternist series, to interspecies sex in the Lilith’s Brood trilogy, to pedophilia and rape in Fledgling, and arguably all three of these in her short story Bloodchild. These stories show us how norms, particularly sexual ones, are flexible between worlds, cultures, and especially individuals.

Mexican Superman: Forged in the Crucible of White Supremacy

The obvious reason for more diversity and inclusion in comics is to allow marginalized people to better identify with the characters. Superheroes are more interesting for being more human, for having trauma, hardship, and conflict. To the great extent that white folks - particularly cisgendered heterosexual men - have privilege and power, it further insulates them against the kinds of scenarios that give birth to heroes.

The Shortcomings of The Legend of Korra (Book 1: Air)

Taken as a whole, the first season of The Legend of Korra failed, because of what the creators seemed to be setting in motion – call it a promise of great things to come, even – and how they did not deliver on that promise by the season finale…

Those who cannot remember the past…

...are condemned to repeat it: The following passage is from The Principle of the Mercantile System, written in 1776 by Adam Smith, who ironically, has become a sort of symbol of the same type of "free market" capitalists who Smith seems to be criticizing here. More striking than any of that, though, is how much this passage so precisely reflects our current situation.

Hollow Representation: A Critique of Holly Black’s Tithe

I take issue with the very idea that it need be some sort of marketing or political strategy, some sort of acquiescence to irrational demands that someone represent or treat people of color with sensitivity and respect. Yet in the case of Tithe, I am left wondering if that was not exactly the point.

Who Fears Death and the High Concept of Fate

Who Fears Death, for its fatalistic structure, could have easily fallen into the trap of giving the overall plot precedence over the characters. Yet, on the contrary, the vast majority of the book was spent developing the characters as they traveled – no, were pulled along – towards their fate…

One Note of Discord Amongst the Waves

Follow the Waves, written by Amal El-Mohtar, is a story filled with gorgeous, rhythmic language, of the sort to be expected from someone who is a poet first. It seems that nearly every paragraph is layered with multiple meanings, and contain phrases that we could even call verses…

Insanity or Alternate Reality?: A Trip to the Other Desert

We take it for granted that our perception of reality is grounded in some objective truth. We do not even consider the possibility that there is no such thing, that instead “reality” is composed of a multitude of overlapping spheres of perception, the shared spaces together making up those aspects of reality that we agree upon – the collective consciousness, to give it another name…