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Bell Hooks Video

I'm not going to make this too formal but I just have some brief disagreements with Hooks's claims in the video. First and foremost, her phrase "white supremacist capitalist patriarchy� – while I completely agree with the idea behind the phrase I do not consent the wording of it, specifically “supremacist.� For me, this term evokes sentiments of the Ku Klux Klan and other such organizations that are overtly radical and oftentimes considered dangerous. But again, I understand the concept and I completely agree with it. The other issue I feel I need to address is a more personal one, concerning the featuring of Star Wars in her commentary. I thought her remarks on the usage of African-American/black actor James Earl Jones’s voice as Darth Vader were a little off-base—firstly because Darth Vader is actually a white-skinned character, and secondly because Jones (especially in his later years) has most commonly been used as a voice actor rather than a screen actor. I am a huge Star Wars fan and even though I would call the film ignorantly racist in the manner that most of the cast is white as well as how certain species suggest certain ethnic groups, I feel the voice of Darth Vader bears no racist connation, explicit or implicit. That is all.

Comments

Thanks for writing a blog about bell hooks! I definitely get where you're coming from in regards to bell hooks use of "white supremacist capitalist patriarchy". I'm just going to throw my two cents in about it. I apologize if you already know all of this, but it might help clear some stuff up for others.

Many cultural studies theorists, whether they are dealing with race, ethnicity, gender, or sexuality, tend to make use of words that seem shocking at first but lend to more powerful meanings of words. It is called the re-appropriation of words. Take the term "queer" many view this as a negative term, I certainly don't use it to describe anyone, but it has become the "word" to represent gay, lesbian, other sexualities and gender studies. bell hooks is reappropriating the term "white supremacy" from images of Neo Nazis and the KKK to a new way of expressing racism.

Although I am a fan of bell hooks, I find a lot of her statements to be a little too one sided, adding to an already polarized discourse: black vs white, what about the various gradients in between? Minorities shouldn't be categorized in one group, all opposing whites. What about people, like me, who stand in between the two?

I think what she's trying to get at is the fact that many do not read these images (pop culture images) like they should or as much as they should. She gives her theory, usually quite "in your face", which allows space for critique and other theories to sprout from. Which is occurring on this blog!

I've been doing a lot of research lately on the connection between capitalism and patriarchy, and I think Bell Hooks is right on. The term "white supremacist capitalist patriarchy" is (as noted by Ultimate leader) supposed to be radical. If it were tame and moderate, no one would pay attention. It also evokes the idea of the essential connection between between the capitalist mode of production and the systematic oppression of 'others' (ie: women, non-whites, proletariat, etc.)-- also known as patriarchy.

I've been doing a lot of research lately on the connection between capitalism and patriarchy, and I think Bell Hooks is right on. The term "white supremacist capitalist patriarchy" is (as noted by Ultimate leader) supposed to be radical. If it were tame and moderate, no one would pay attention. It also evokes the idea of the essential connection between between the capitalist mode of production and the systematic oppression of 'others' (ie: women, non-whites, proletariat, etc.)-- also known as patriarchy.