Anti-Racism Policy

Replacing sexism with racism is not a proper holla back.
Due in part to prevalent stereotypes of men of color as sexual predators or predisposed to violence, Holla Back DC! asks that contributors do not discuss the race of harassers or include other racialized commentary.

If you feel that race is important to your story, please make sure its relevance is explained clearly and constructively in your post.
Initiatives combating various forms of sexual harassment and assault have continually struggled against the perpetuation of racist stereotypes, in particular the construction of men of color as sexual predators. There exist widespread fictions regarding who perpetrators are: the myth of racial minorities, particularly Latino and Black men, as prototypical rapists as well as more prone to violence is quite common.  This stems in part from a tragic and violent history, where black men in the U.S. were commonly and unjustly accused of assaulting white women as well as lynched by mobs and “tried” in biased courts.

Because of the complexity of institutional and socially ingrained prejudices, Holla Back DC! prioritizes resisting direct as well as unconscious and unintentional reinforcement of social hierarchies.  Simultaneously, Holla Back DC! aims to highlight the interrelations between sexism, racism and other forms of bias and violence.

Further Reading:
“White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack”
“I was taught to see racism only in individual acts of meanness, not in invisible systems conferring dominance on my group.”   This is a short, accessible piece on white privilege and male privilege.
“A Black Feminist Critique of Same-Race Street Harassment”
This article focuses on the experiences of black lesbians and the need for black women to hold black men accountable for upholding black patriarchy.
“Mapping the Margins: Intersectionality, Identity Politics, and Violence Against Women of Color”
The author considers the intersections of racism and patriarchy, and how the experiences of women of color remain unrepresented within the discourses of both feminism and anti-racism.

11 responses to “Anti-Racism Policy

  1. Pingback: Our Anti-Racism Stance « Holla Back DC!

  2. Call it what it is–CENSORSHIP POLICY, that replaces constitutionally protected rights with trite political correctness. And, as reasoning for this are links to 3 pithy pop-sociology articles, and no opposing views. I’m sure it’s comforting to a rape victim to ponder the “invisible systems” of racism while being assaulted.

  3. Golden Silence

    Hal, could you please stop flooding this forum with your censorship rants and let this forum be a place for us to share harassment stories and give support on how to deal with street harassment? Take your rants elsewhere, please.

  4. Anonymous male

    While I appreciate your efforts to eliminate racism, I am not sure I completely understand the reasoning behind your policy. If indeed the stereotype of black males as sexual predators is a “myth,” then shouldn’t we encourage harassment posters to identify the race of their attackers in the hopes of dispelling this fallacy?
    Anonymous male

  5. When we talk about gender issues, often the result turns into talking about racism. Although we believe that racism is a topic that needs to be discussed, we don’t believe that it should occur in a vacuum. If we do talk about race, it should be in the context of the incident of gender based public sexual harassment. The question here is about patriarchy and that all races believe in this notion that men need to be head of society, with women constantly being put in check.

    So, there is no myth that we will be dispelling by discussing race. The one truth that we hold on at this blog is that patriarchy is everywhere, in every strata of society, and without disabling patriarchy we can’t stop gender based violence, including gender based public sexual harassment.

  6. Way to go Holla Back DC! Your PC policy inhibits police investigations and also prevents readers on your site from being able to identify a perpetrator who may have committed similar crimes. Is your PC policy going to extend to overweight people? If a three hundred pound man gropes me on the metro, should I not mention that he was overweight for fear of being accused of “lookism”? Or if the guy was 90 years old, should I not mention his age for fear of “ageism”? Come on, start acting like adults!

    • this policy doesn’t inhibit police from doing investigations (assuming MPD, transit police, MD/VA police) are even reading this blog). in cases where there was a crime of assault/battery/stalking and the victim shares pertinent information about the perp, we do include it in the experience as we have noted in this policy.

  7. This is a fantastic policy – way to go, Hollaback DC!

  8. I’m sorry to see people giving you guys flak for this policy, and thank you for sticking to your guns! I really appreciate this blog.

  9. Pingback: Holla. « PostBourgie

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