The Great Game (Jim’s POV)
Actual events on that pool encounter.
Dammit wrong door.
that post you saw is a follow up to this one where someone randomly states that ”greek/roman statues pretty much always have intact noses whereas egyptian ones are always conveniently missing theirs.” the op was trying to sarcastically prove that wrong by posting the pictures of greek/roman statues that had missing noses as well (there are a ton, bc the nose is one of the first parts on a sculpure that get ruined with time).
the argument of the post actually quickly turns into one of our many rants - in the form of a series of inside jokes which i would find hard to explain tbh - about how a lot of social justice bloggers (especially ones from the states) think italians as poc when we italians don’t identify as such, which is an issue the italian community on tumblr had to deal a lot with lately (there are apparently several american-italians blogs on here spreading wrong informations which brought many italians to start speaking against them. but i haven’t really payed attention and i don’t really follow that many italian bloggers to know about all that happened in details tbh).
This is actually an interesting point (sorry to join in), but, I`m in the Netherlands and here I think opinions are somewhat split but most people would agree that Italians/Spaniards/Greek people are coloured darker than us up here in the north, which is obvious (to us), though I think opinions might be split on whether or not Italians count as PoC. Terms I hear often are “olive-skinned” (whatever that means), “mediterranean” and I`m not sure if we have other words as well or if any of these are considered insulting or not in the actual countries.
But it`s interesting to see that Italians themselves don`t identify as poc.
Asking out of curiosity, as the whole PoC thing seems to be VERY dependent on where you`re from. (I`m from a small Dutch town so we consider anyone that`s not pasty white to be poc)
So like, how does this work from an Italian point of view.
oh my god I feel so rude. I am sorry if I come across as rude, I don`t mean to be, but feel free to let me know if I am being rude.
you’re not rude at all, it’s more than okay to be curious and to ask questions about it so don’t worry, really.
i would say that thinking all italians as dark (or darker that your usual european) skinned is a stereotype. speaking strictly skin colour wise, we are mixed: some are olive skinned, some are as white as snow, some have a tan, some get all red after standing for 5 minutes in the sun (and while we’re here: some have brown eyes, some have green/blue eyes, some even have red hair bc why not).
"olive skinned" and "mediterranean" are not insulting whatsoever, btw. we actually have a term for olive skin - "pelle olivastra" - which refers to the kind of very light brown skin that tan easily (and yeah, you’re right if you say most italians have this skin colour. I have it myself).
as for the white/poc debate… well. it’s not easy to explain our point of view, because in italy we never had such a thing to debate in the first place: we identify as italians, period. if asked, we’d call ourselves “white”, but we barely use terms like that.
personally, i think that white vs poc is a very US-centric debate. tumblr always tries to generalise it to the whole wide world, but to us europeans, that only generates confusion. “poc” is a word people use primarily in the US to describe people who are non white or of non europen heritage, who form a social minority group, people who experience racism (we can experience xenophobia, yes, other kinds of discrimination, but not racism). it’s so bloody american that there’s literally no traslation for it in italian (to be precise: “person of colour” - persona di colore - in italian refers to only black people, so it doesn’t have the same meaning it has in the english language). not because people of color or racism don’t exist here, but because we have a different view on these kind of issues and a different terminology history regarding it.dear tumblr answer this for me: how can italians call themselves poc if there’s no word for it in the italian language?
[you said you use the term poc for italians. i wonder if you actually mean poc or an equivalent in dutch? i’m curious to know if other european countries have our same linguistic issues.]
to get to the point, italians identify as italians and that’s all that matters, as skin colour doesn’t necessarely define race and race is not only about skin colour, but about heritage, culture, and sometimes even language (just think of actors like lana parrilla and pedro pascal, who identify as latino while having a pretty light skin tone).
i don’t have a cool sentence to end this so im gonna be anticlimatic. end.
Most importantly, the term “poc” is highly dependent on context (that is, the US context). Using it in another country, with a completely different sense of belonging and different social constructs, is just useless and misleading. Especially in Italy, where the words “race” and “white” are not used at all, because social acceptance and discrimination depend more on nationality and language proficiency (the whole xenophobia thing) than skin colour. The thing that bothers me the most is that no matter how much we keep explaining the difference, we’re still not listened to. So there’s one post where Italians are white oppressors and another where we’re all poc.
We’re neither white nor pocs, we’re just Italians, with all the inner differences that implies. Both terms are inaccuate, in my opinion.
Yeah all of that discrimination against black Italiani is because they’re just not Italian enough.
Which doesn’t have to do with skin color.
If you’re referring to the situation inside of Italy itself, I already wrote about how discrimination against black people, both Italians and migrants, stems from xenophobia and not matters of race, though it is manifested trough racist slurs. Romanians are more discriminated than black people here, and they have white skin, just to make an example.
It is a matter of not being Italian enough, for the Italians who discriminate. A migrant (or an Italian son of migrants) who’s fluent in Italian or in one of the many dialects is less likely to face discrimination than one who doesn’t speak the language. And I thought we all knew by now that Italians from the South are discriminated too, despite being white. No one is trying to erase racism, it sadly still exists, but in Italy discrimination works very differently than in the USA.
To make people understand what we mean when we say that the US-centric racism-related debate is something alien to us: when I was maybe nine we studied the US in school, and my teacher had a very hard time making us innocent little fuckers understand the concept, because at one point somebody asked: “So do black people move there all the time?” and the teacher said: “Oh, no, they’re born there.”, “So they’re Americans?”, “Yes.”, “Then what’s the problem? They’re all Americans.”. We literally couldn’t understand why somebody would discriminate against somebody of their own nationality, because that’s the way racism works here. Romenians, Albanians, Russians, they’re all white, and they’re still seen as ‘other’.
To get back on topic: Italians are white. We don’t really discuss much about it, because ‘race’ per se is not, as I said, that big a topic here. But yeah, don’t fancast us as ‘poc’, don’t take our struggles as examples of ethnic fights against the ‘white Italian oppressor’, if you’re a writer just know that people in Italy come in every possible skin-tone (‘olive skin’? That’s my mom. Skin even darker than that? That’s my aunt. Skin so pale Germans keep mistaking them for fellow Germans? That’s me.).
I can literally say that the only people of Italian origins I’ve ever seen identify as ‘poc’ are from the US, except for the actual non-white people who recently immigrated here or have been born here by immigrant parents. There is no ‘inner ethnic divide’ between Italians, most of us literally care more about which football team others root for than who the fuck your ancestors were :P
i agree with everything said up here, and overall it’s a very good view of the way discrimination works in italy, but i honestly can’t say racism only stems from xenophobia. i feel it’s more a matter of racism AND xenophobia (which, admittely, is much more prominent). saying that racism steems exclusively from xenophobia feels a bit simplistic to me.
I’m sorry if that’s how it was perceived, I didn’t intend exclusively at all. It would mean generalizing and that’s exactly what this bog is against. I feel they’re related and that discrimination, whether it’s born from xenophobia or racism, usually appears in the form of racism (racist attitude, racist language and so on). Which also means that when we see racism, there’s a good deal of xenophobia in it as well. I guess the moral of the story is that we can’t reduce the issue to only one of them, which is why we started discussing the fact that it’s not all about skin colour.
Happy Birthday, Subaru~!
Greedy, Shibutani Subaru
Favorite Anime Openings/Endings - Kuragehime
“There’s a face I want to see
And a voice I want to hear once I wake up.
Let the joy ring out.
Let’s get along today, as well.”
Koko Dake no Hanashi - Chatmonchy