Ableist and Racist Tropes in Sia’s 2021 Film “Music” and the Eugenics That Spawned Them

Sia | Photo: Atlantic Records / Twitter

Every marginalized group has what I like to call a “root narrative” their oppressors create about them. It’s a very base caricature from which all others branch off that sums up who they are and why they should be marginalized. The symbols — often animals — used to caricature these groups can be very illuminating as to what that root narrative is.

In the 2009 film Inglourious Basterds, while interrogating Perrier LaPadite, a French farmer hiding Jews in his house, the character…


A Popular White Supremacist Talking Point

White guy playing pool at an Irish Pub. / 29 Mar 2014 / Photo Credit: Johnny Silvercloud

If you’re a savvy user of the Internet and social media, you’ve probably come across some plastic paddy griping about “cancel culture” and derailing discussions about Indigenous American football mascots, African slavery, and civil rights with some variation on the following memes.


How America’s Changing Demographics Will Force Change

Black women engaged in the streets, Summer of 2020, Washington D.C., George Floyd/Breonna Taylor Protests. | 9 Jun 2020 | Photo Credit: Johnny Silvercloud

Now that the clickbait title probably has the attention of some pissed off white liberals and moderates, hear me out on this first.

In 1964, Lyndon Johnson won the U.S. presidential election over his Republican opponent Barry Goldwater in what would today be characterized as a landslide. With 61.1% of the popular vote backing Johnson, it was one of the most one-sided elections in American history.


An Analysis of Sojourner Truth’s Most Famous Speech

If you’re like me and you grew up in the K-12 public education system that pays lip service to Black American history on the shortest month of the year and then forgets all about it the other eleven months, you’ve probably come across the name Sojourner Truth a handful of times.

Page from a public school textbook. | Image Credit: StudyLib

Perhaps it was in a brief section talking about the women’s rights movement. That’s where I always found it in my school textbook. Perhaps it was in a class on public speaking that required you…


How the Passage of Time Becomes a Racist Weapon

A Philco brand portable television set, 1952. | Image Credit: Everett Collection, Shutterstock

Content Warning: For posterity, the following article contains uncensored mention of a racist slur.

Of the multitude of excuses given in America’s compulsive need to deny and deflect from the realities of chattel slavery from centuries before the United States was founded in 1776 until its complicated abolition in 1865, one copy-paste retort that drives me up a wall is this:

“That was a hundred-blah-blah-blah years ago! No one alive today was a slave. No one alive today owned slaves. Move on and get over it.”

In the interest of examining just how close this time period was to this…


Reconciling the White Supremacism of a Man Descended from Jewish Refugees

Stephen Miller attending a UN global call for protecting religious freedom in September, 2019. | Image Credit: Shutterstock

Content Warning: For posterity, the following article contains uncensored mention of racist slurs and description of atrocities against children.

At precisely 11:49 a.m. today, Joe Biden finished taking the oath of office. Eleven minutes later, Donald Trump was legally no longer President of the United States. Am I ecstatic? Not as ecstatic as I am that the single worst man on his staff is no longer in a position of power.

If there were any justice in the world, Stephen Miller would be prosecuted for crimes against humanity solely for the Trump administration’s infamous immigration policy of family separation.

For…


Graffiti on a wall with a barred window depicting Donald Trump menacingly pointing in the direction of Dora the Explorer, fleeing from Trump with tears in her eyes | Image Credit: Alejandro Cartagena 🇲🇽🏳‍🌈 on Unsplash

Content Warning: For posterity, the following article contains uncensored mention of an ableist slur.

Before the torches-and-pitchforks crowd gathers to skewer me, I should let them know upfront: I don’t believe in “great” presidents. Hell, I don’t even believe in “great” leaders. History is chock-full of them.

Was Julius Caesar a great leader? Why? Because we remember his goddamn name? Because we were taught to remember his goddamn name? Because he did “great” things that are ultimately subjective in their greatness? Like conquering the Gauls and subjecting them to Roman rule, oppression, and enslavement?

Further muddying the subjectivity of a…


Why Right-Wing America Was Always Capable of a Coup D’état

Trump Supporters in an act of a failed riot-coup to re-install Donald Trump, scale the walls of the Capitol in Washington, D.C. | 6 Jan 2021 | Photography Credit: Jenna.RF

Hindsight and History

On March 1st, 1954, a group of four Puerto Rican nationalists entered the House of Representatives chamber of the United States Capitol, unfurled a Puerto Rican flag, and began firing guns at Representatives while the House was debating an immigration bill. While there had been instances of violence between congressmen before, the most infamous being the brutal 1856 beating of abolitionist Senator Charles Sumner by pro-slavery Representative Preston Brooks, this was the first time an armed group of American citizens had attacked the Capitol building. Five Representatives were wounded, but no one was killed.


The Confederate Battle Flag’s Origins

A soldier in an OCP uniform with a Confederate battle flag patch on their shoulder. Image Credit: Shutterstock

When the U.S. Marine Corps announced on June 5th this year that displays of the Confederate flag were no longer permissible on installations, they wrote, “The Confederate battle flag has all too often been co-opted by violent extremist and racist groups whose divisive beliefs have no place in our Corps.”

This has been the same sentiment echoed for years by defenders of that blood-red rectangle emblazoned by a blue cross with thirteen white stars most commonly referred to as “the Confederate flag.”


The Letitia Wright Anti-Vaxxer Controversy Explained

Needles. | Photo Credit: Rubén Díaz

Content Warning: For posterity, the following article contains uncensored mention of an ableist slur and graphic description of the effects of syphilis.

Before I could submit this article for publication, it appears Black Panther star Letitia Wright has deleted her Twitter and Instagram accounts following online backlash for a video she shared. I suppose that’s a frustratingly apt metaphor for what I’m about to discuss.

Howland Crowe

An autistic perspective on prejudice, art, and society. Writer. Activist. Pun-lover. Twitter: @CroweHowland Facebook: Howland Crowe

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