oyceter: (still ibarw)
[personal profile] oyceter
I realized that my 2006 in review post didn't really mention the Great Cultural Appropriation Debate of DOOM or International Blog Against Racism Week even as I was writing it. I wasn't sure how to put them into the meme -- how can I claim finally reading up on racism and race as an accomplishment?

I mean, really. I am glad I did it, and I changed a lot because of it. But I don't feel it is an accomplishment because it feels like something I should have known, something I should have figured out a long time ago. And how can I claim IBARW as an achievement or as something I'm proud of when I feel like I am co-opting the voices of those talking about it for so long, except I just never noticed?

I'd like to clarify that I am not ashamed of doing what I did this year in terms of race or of what I said, that I am not saying IBARW wasn't worth it or didn't help. What I'm ashamed of is not that I did these things or posted on these things, but that I was not posting or thinking about these things a long time ago.

I am ashamed that it took so long, and I am ashamed that for a long time, I was a part of the chorus telling people: "It's not that bad" or "You're overreacting" or "Why must you keep talking about being a person of color?"

On a more practical note, a lot of what I wanted to keep doing in terms of blogging on and thinking about and reading up on race and racism ended up in smoke, thanks to real life exploding in my face around the same time IBARW was going on.

I've been rereading some of the old Great Cultural Appropriation Debate and IBARW posts, and -- I was about to say that I am amazed at how angry they still make me. But I am not amazed by that; I am not surprised anymore by how angry this topic continues to make me. And saying that I am amazed by it implies to me that I think I shouldn't be angry, which is still my knee-jerk reaction and has been for years and years, thanks to a general attempt on my end to not be angry (usually good), compounded by years of being told that being angry about race was being oversensitive (sucky beyond measure).

SO I wanted to say: I am still angry. Rereading these posts makes me furious that so much still has to be explained, that so much is still being handwaved away. It makes me want to scream and yell and cry in frustration, only I don't (at least, not in public) because that means I will be dismissed, and I cannot stand that any longer.

Furthermore, rereading these posts still hurts. Not just the normal sting that I feel when I'm argued with (hey, my ego is very large): when I read some of those comments, especially when they are people I know and respect, it still feels like a punch to the gut, half a year after. It is so visceral, this feeling. Every single one of those comments -- and I haven't even reread the comments because I can't, not even now, so it's just a six-month-old memory of the comments -- makes me want to give up and cry, makes me feel so betrayed and alone, makes me wonder if I should only ever broach the issue with people I trust.

I would like for this to be a "I will continue to post more and read more and think more" resolution, except I am not sure if I'll be able to follow up, since I didn't last year. But I wanted to put this in as an addendum to my year, because even though it was only a few weeks worth of drama on LJ, even though I still feel ashamed of having to say that 2006 was when I really started thinking about race and racism, even though I haven't been keeping up with posting and readings for much of the year, these events -- the cultural appropriation panel at Wiscon and the subsequent LJ debate, the Pirates debate, IBARW -- they changed me more than anything else that happened in the last year.
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Oyceter

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