oyceter: teruterubouzu default icon (Default)
At Wiscon this year, Victor Raymond passed around copies of a letter the nascent Carl Brandon Society wrote to the Wiscon ConCom... on May 27, 1999.

http://carlbrandon.org/wiki/index.php/Founding_Letter

I meant to type this up for the letter's ten-year anniversary, but haven't until now. I'll also upload a PDF version of the letter sometime during the week.

Ten years, people. TEN YEARS.

And POC are still being ogled at and made to feel unwelcome.

Yes, there's been progress, but there still needs to be much more.
oyceter: teruterubouzu default icon (Default)
I have spent most of the past year thinking about knowledge, about who gets to know what, about who gets to disseminate that knowledge, about whom people think the knowledge is being disseminated to. It is a mixture of my experiences of year one of grad school, along with a constant debate with myself on the who, what and why of my own blog.

Much of it is prompted by the extremely common fallacy that non-white people/POC do not exist outside of the white eye, that our countries are "discovered" even though we have been living there for centuries, that our cultures are there to be explained by white people to white people. I've seen this play out in person over various iterations of Racefail online, but the important point is that this is not new. This is a tool that has been used over centuries by colonizers to justify their own narratives, to make themselves the heroes of their own stories, and to erase non-white/POC contributions to history. I cannot count how many times I have picked up a book titled "The History of [Subject]" only to have it cover the Western history of [subject]. Occasionally, if the writers are "generous," we get a brief mention of Egypt or China or the Ottoman Empire, but always with the assumption that these civilizations are static ones that existed only in the past, that their contributions are blips on the radar, unconnected to anything coming before or after. Joanna Russ talks about how taking away the context and the narrative disempowers female writers in How to Suppress, and the same tactic is at work here.

My Academic Crisis )

The right to know and not know )

Presumed audience and defaults )
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Yay IBARW for making me post, despite it being months late?

Although I had a very positive Wiscon experience this year, it was amidst a lot of fail. I heard and saw Black and South Asian women being mistaken for other Black and South Asian women, fish bowl ogling, and a lot of reports of people asking POC to be their special POC friends ("I have had no prior interaction with you before, but let me waylay you for half an hour to pepper you with questions about proper ally behavior or ask for your permission to do X!"). I personally managed to avoid a lot of fail, I think because a) I limit my panel appearances, b) I only go to panels in which I know and like the panelists, and c) I am antisocial, do not really go to parties, and only talk to people I know and like. Given the shenanigans, I do not think I will be changing my interaction habits in the future.

This works fine for me since I am, as mentioned, antisocial, but seriously. POC should not have to limit all their social interactions at a con just so they can be treated like a normal human being.

With all those caveats in mind, I was so happy to see so many brown faces this year, to make connections with people I've only seen online, to get the chance to talk in person instead of via comments.

One of the highlights of the con for me was being on a panel about Andrea Smith's Conquest with Andrea Hairston and Diantha Day Sprouse and talking with them afterward. First, I'm thankful I got the chance to apologize to Diantha for calling her too angry years ago; I read that now and think "She is so right! Make people with their horrible grabby hands GO AWAY!" But mostly, I cannot emphasize how good it was to talk to women of color from different generations than me about their journeys and their experiences.

The women I grew up with—my mother, my grandmothers, my aunties—gave me many things, but they did not give me the tools to deal with issues of social justice. And although I love them dearly, the models they have to offer aren't very radical. I think it's pretty sad that it took me going to Wiscon, which is mostly white, to find other women of color whom I looked up to as role models, but that's what happened. And I'm grateful that even though the initial connections I made with people were online or at Wiscon, they have been moving offline and outside the con. I'm glad I've been able to talk with more people locally, to have discussions in email and on the phone and in person so I can work through things without having random white passerbys ogling at my mental processes.

I can't even say how much it means for me to finally find these communities of women of color who are committed to social justice, especially in SF/F, which is what I grew up on. So thank you to the women I've gotten to know, the women I sometimes disagree with, the women I don't know, the women who have passed on, to all of you out there creating and critiquing and blogging and talking and being fannish and just being yourselves.

Having your multitude of voices means so much to me, especially as I continue to work on who I want to be and what I want to do.
oyceter: Stack of books with text "mmm... books!" (mmm books)
For the IBARW review books by POC challenge! Also, Color Online is running a Color Me Brown book challenge for August.

Kara Martinez died for 11 minutes in the same accident that killed her father, and ever since then, she's seen signs on people that Mean Something. Unfortunately, she has to puzzle out the meaning of the signs herself before she can avert whatever disaster they signify. Even more unfortunate is that she has to hide everything that makes her herself from her mother to stave off the threat of hospitalization for mental illness. Meanwhile, she finds herself falling for Anthony, a guy from the wrong side of the tracks who may or may not be connected to all the signs she's been seeing.

I really enjoyed this! First, I love having an entire book populated by POC when the plot is not about being POC. Yes, part of Kara's angst is that her half-Irish half-Mexican mother tries to deny all her Mexican heritage because she hurts to much from the death of Kara's very Mexican father, but the majority of the book is about Kara piecing together the puzzle of the gun signs and trying to figure out what to do about it. I was a little more hesitant about the inclusion of gang violence because I am tired of POC books being all about "the street," but overall, I liked how Parra treated it and her emphasis on Anthony showing Kara that his neighborhood isn't just gang violence. It's where he grew up and has playgrounds he played at and schools and hangouts and etc.

I do have a quibble with the book's portrayal of the treatment of mental illness, which seemed a bit unreal from what I know. The therapist and Kara's mother team up to try to put her in a hospital because she's still having nightmares, she's given drugs without her consent, and her therapist shows strong tendencies to listen to her mother instead of to Kara. I mean, I have no doubt that this happens with sucky therapists, but I kind of wish it weren't perpetuating the whole "people who are basically fine get stuck in hospitals and have drugs shoved down their mouths OMG we are so overmedicated!" thing. (eta: more here on "consent" forced onto people and abuses in the mental health system)

I also thought the ending was not as strong as it could have been; there were a few too many plot points crammed into too small of a space. One in particular seemed to come out of nowhere and could have used much more set up.

Still, I enjoyed reading about Kara, especially because her issues with her mother resonated with me on a personal level. I also liked the romance between her and Anthony, which is quiet and sweet and has the two of them actually talking to each other. And overall, it's a book about psychic kids with angst, starring POC, yay!

ETA: Oh, Kelly Parra also blogs with other people about Latina YA here.

IBARW 4!

Mon, Jul. 27th, 2009 10:51 am
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For 2009, IBARW will take place between July 27 to August 2.

IBARW collects links to participating posts during the week; we try to get posts from people who blog about racism all year round and from people who habitually blog about other topics. As with [personal profile] rydra_wong's link spam, all posts regardless of content are linked to, so there may be fail appearing. If you discuss IBARW in your post and do not want it to be linked to, please mention it in the post and we will respect your wishes.

How to participate:

  1. Announce the week in your blog.


  2. Post about race and/or racism: in media, in life, in the news, personal experiences, writing characters of color, portrayals of race in fiction, review a book on the subject, etc. (Linking back here is highly appreciated!) The optional theme this year is "global."


  3. Let us know by bookmarking your post on Delicious with "for:ibarw," or comment with a link to your post in one of the link collecting posts.


For inspiration, here are the previous years' IBARW posts and last year's POC in SF Carnival IBARW edition. You can also check out this post or delicioused recommended reading for further resources.

Hopefully I will have the time to get IBARW posts out, but if not, all books reviewed this week will be by POC.

Also, the Asian Pacific Islander American Spoken Word and Poetry Summit is happening this week! Information on how to register (through Tuesday). There will also be two free shows:
* Volume Control 3: Bay09 Fundraiser - Friday July 31 @ Wheeler Hall, UC Berkeley. Please help promote! You can cop the flyer here.
* Community Showcase – Saturday August 1 @ Dwinelle Hall, UC Berkeley. 7pm doors, $7-10 sliding scale
Tags:

Link spam!

Wed, Jul. 15th, 2009 01:40 pm
oyceter: teruterubouzu default icon (Default)
  • Help send Verb Noire to WorldCon:
    Verb Noire needs to raise some cash to defray the expenses of WorldCon. We thought we could bridge the gap out of pocket, but money is tight and my kid's face is expensive. So, we're hoping book sales, merch sales, and anything else you guys want to suggest can make up the difference. We're already putting together the second book (an anthology of short stories) and I was vaguely contemplating some sort of naming contest, but if that's not what gets you excited then please suggest something. We really want to be there, but finding the money for attendance and such is putting a hurt on ye olde pocketbook.



  • The volunteer theater program [livejournal.com profile] rachelmanija works at is in need of help:
    The organization I have volunteered with for fourteen years, The Virginia Avenue Project, is holding an auction. It's a mentoring group for kids in Los Angeles. They do amazing work, which I have personally witnessed.

    100% of the Project kids graduate from high school. 90% of them continue to college. 85% of them are the first in their family to do so.


  • IBARW 4 is from July 27 through August 2 and we are looking for people to spread the word! Especially if you are or know a non-English blogger and/or a non-Western blogger.

Links and sundry

Tue, May. 5th, 2009 09:13 pm
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  • I'm thinking of scheduling IBARW 4 during July 27 - August 2. I checked a few calendars and do not think I am landing on any major holidays, but please let me know if I am wrong, and I will reschedule. I'll announce on the comm, which is now also on DW ([community profile] ibarw), once I get things sorted out.

  • THIS by us is a student protest going on at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities Dance Program. It began with a few students a few students posting anti-racist words and images over the department hall, and it is currently being stonewalled by professors and other people in charge, who keep protesting that the students are too angry, don't have concrete goals, aren't being constructive, are being counter productive, and all those wonderful things we have all heard before. They are asking for people to comment on their blog (linked above) for support, to email the university, and to spread the word.

  • The Avatar movie protest continues, with Viacom pulling down Avatar shirts on Zazzle. Unfortunately for their publicity people, this includes t-shirts from Racebending that protest "Aang Isn't White." (more info)
oyceter: (still ibarw)
This is a post for Intl. Blog Against Racism Week.

My terms, definitions, and disclaimers.

I've been struggling with this issue for a while, and I wanted to see how other POC were dealing with it.

I grouse a lot about the power of common knowledge and how often POC are written out of it. And while I know I probably know a fair amount about Chinese culture and history given my education and background, I always feel like I could know more, particularly when I visit Taiwan and realize once again how many gaps I have in my knowledge. I want to know more about minorities in China, more about clothes, more about Taiwan, more about Chinese feminism, more about the Chinese diaspora.

Yet, I'm constantly confronted by how little I know about other cultures as well. I know nearly nothing about Korea, which embarrasses me, given that I have a degree in East Asian Studies. But even more, I worry about how little I know about South and Southeast Asia, about the Middle East, about Africa, about Latin and South America. I'm still trying to get a more complete history of POC in the US to better understand what standard US history obscures and overwrites, even as I struggle to be less US-centric, to get a better grasp on issues for non-white people/POC in other countries, both when they're the majority and when they aren't.

And all this goes with the desire to know more about the history of white colonialism and imperialism, albeit in a manner that's not focused on the white people, but rather on the effects that it's had on communities of color and nations of color, and how those effects are still shaping our world today.

This isn't even going into issues of intersectionality, as race of course works differently when it comes to classism, ablism, homophobia, transphobia, misogyny, and etc.

It's easier for me to start out with issues that affect me directly (i.e. Chinese women and feminism), but I feel the need to balance that with being too self-focused. How do you all work this out with yourselves?
oyceter: teruterubouzu default icon (Default)
This is a post for Intl. Blog Against Racism Week.

My terms, definitions, and disclaimers.

[livejournal.com profile] 50books_poc is a community for people trying to read 50 books by POC in a year, be it from IBARW to IBARW or a calendar year. I had half-heartedly committed to it when it was announced during IBARW last year, but upon doing my 2007 book write up, clearly I needed to make a more active effort (13 books by POC and 33 with POC protagonists out of 131 books read in 2007, only 6 by POC between August and December).

Why count? )

How I counted )

Finding books )

Changing my defaults )

Link )

Books read, 8/8/07-8/4/08 )
oyceter: (racism)
[livejournal.com profile] keilexandra's post reminded me of a rant I've had brewing. (On a side note, this post isn't meant to argue with hers, as I completely agree with her post. Like [livejournal.com profile] yeloson says, "Where you stand with intersectionality is really about what you're looking for—are you looking for social justice for all of us? Or are you just looking for someone to pull their foot off your neck, without worrying about whose necks you may be standing on yourself?")

I was in Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Shanghai for the past two months this summer, and I cannot even count the number of times I heard anti-black comments, from "Oh, that place is so unsafe, so many black people!" to "OMG she's dating a black person and it will RUIN HER LIFE!" Before ranting about how racist Chinese society is (and oh, it is) and having people once more use that as an example of how bad Chinese people are, I would like to note: where do people think this prejudice is coming from?

Obviously, there are not cities and cities in China and Taiwan filled with black people for the media to make histrionic reports about. Most TV shows in Taiwan don't have sassy black sidekicks or Magical Negroes. But turn on the TV, and what do you see but bad HBO action flicks with the black guy getting killed, or all-white TV shows from the US (and sometimes the UK, but mostly the US), or news on the New Yorker cover of Obama. I'm also guessing that when the West began to trade with China, the ideas of the skience of race were probably brought over as well, complete with the placement of Asians above black people and Native Americans in the hierarchy (but all below white people, of course).

Six hundred years of white colonialism leaves its mark, even on areas that have suffered relatively little when compared to others.

... which is not to excuse anti-black sentiment, because choosing to side with the oppressors, no matter what the incentives? Still made of lose.

oyceter: teruterubouzu default icon (Default)
Sorry to all the people who are seeing this a billion times!

This year's IBARW will take place between August 4 through August 10 (although please let me know if the dates conflict with important holidays). The theme (completely optional) is "Intersectionality," as in, the intersections of various oppressions (ex. racism + sexism, racism + ablism). Suggestions and critique welcome here.

How Can You Help?
  1. Help compile links!

  2. Volunteer to make icons!

  3. If you're not American by self-definition, I would really, really, really appreciate a post or posts from you, as the "international" part of IBARW is very important. Extra love and appreciation if you aren't from an English-speaking country/nationality. Posts in non-English languages are also very welcome!

  4. Spread the word! Reposting this notice in other languages is particularly welcome, with my apologies that it's limited to English right now.

  5. Post!


More details on volunteering.
Tags:
oyceter: (not the magical minority fairy)
This is a post for Intl. Blog Against Racism Week.

My terms, definitions, and disclaimers

This is sparked by these comments made during the HP Daily Deviant Debate, but I am not specifically commenting on said debate.

Definition: The "But Japan is racist too!" fallacy is used in discussions of racism as a means to deflect attention from white privilege in the oppression of POC. It is a special corollary of the "But POC are racist too!" fallacy.

Example: Person A: "I'm still mad that the Haitian on Heroes has no name and little agency! It is in a long tradition in which black men on TV and in movies play sidekicks to the white heroes and get no agency."

Person B: "But look at Hiro and Japanese society! Japan is racist too!"

The Nanking Corollary: Person A: "First, you are redirecting the conversation, as we are not talking about racism in Japanese society. Second, even though non-Japanese people are discriminated against in Japan, being white in Japan still carries privilege that being Ainu, Korean, Filipino, black, Ryukyuan, and etc. does not. Furthermore, if you look at the global hierarchy of race, you will find that white privilege exists on nearly every level."

Person B: "You think non-white people can't be racist? What about the Rape of Nanking?"

Further exploration: Usage of the "But Japan is racist too!" fallacy is an automatic bonus square on White Liberal Bingo. Usage of the Nanking Corollary means you FAIL AT LIFE. Usage of either when your only contributions to discussions on racism are limited to "You are racist toward white people!" and "Why are you so angry? We should all live in peace" and when the only time you discuss racism of your own accord on your blog or in RL is when you personally feel offended by someone suggesting something is racist is also a FAIL AT LIFE.

Please note that talking about racism in Japan in discussions that originally focus on comfort women, WWII, immigration policy, the Tokugawa caste system, the occupation of Taiwan, the relocation of Korean people, or other such relevant topics does not count as a fallacy.

"But... Japan is racist... I don't get it...," someone says.

This is true. Japan is racist. On the other hand, using this argument during a discussion of white privilege is the equivalent of someone saying "She steals too!" when accused of theft themselves. That is to say, it is not the topic at hand, and furthermore, people are using it as a means to not talk about an uncomfortable topic like white privilege. Also, no one is stopping anyone from talking about how Japan is racist anywhere else, but somehow it just keeps popping up in discussions of white privilege.

Even more, I would add that focusing on racism directed toward white people in Japan while completely ignoring the existence of white privilege and not putting it into context is misrepresentation and turns the conversation back to whiteness. Racism in Japan is by and large directed at other POC, particularly those of Korean, Chinese, Filipino, Ainu and Ryukyuan descent, not to mention the burakumin, who are arguably not an ethnic minority.

Also, since someone decided to bring in the Rape of Nanking, Japanese colonialism happened in a very specific context. I am by no means saying that Japanese colonialism was ok; they forced a generation of people to learn a different language in Taiwan, and that is next to nothing compared to what they were doing in Korea. Nor am I saying that all discussions of Japanese colonialism must be placed within a Western context. But what I'm seeing is not the desire to discuss Japanese colonialism at great length, but the desire to discuss non-Western colonialism at great length. And if the latter is the case, then I do think context is necessary, because Japanese colonialism is an anomaly in the history of modern colonialism.

A century of history in a few short paragraphs )

IBARW 2: On anger

Wed, Aug. 8th, 2007 05:20 pm
oyceter: (not the magical minority fairy)
This is a post for Intl. Blog Against Racism Week.

My terms, definitions, and disclaimers

It's odd to be posting this right now; I've finally gotten more than five hours of sleep and so am obnoxiously peppy and optimistic.

I've read the following posts/articles lately, which have all tangled together in my head in a giant mess: Zee on tone, zvi on tone and educating, workplace anger and gender, the "gotcha" game, and [livejournal.com profile] jlh's question: "But sometimes I wonder, does that lead to added responsibility for me? I'm so used to 'educating' people about race, but is that my job, because so many of my friends are white?" I've also been going through old emails when [livejournal.com profile] rachelmanija, [livejournal.com profile] coffeeandink, [livejournal.com profile] minnow1212, [livejournal.com profile] liviapenn, [livejournal.com profile] rilina and I decided to do IBARW last year in an attempt to write up another IBARW post, and what gets to me (and I think the others as well, though of course I don't speak for them) is how conciliatory we sound.

The tangly mess in my brain goes something like: Anger makes people not listen to me. I want to be listened to, particularly when I speak about things that are important to me. Therefore I should not sound angry. But. I am a woman, and when I get angry, people listen to me even less. I am Chinese, and when I get angry, people listen to me even less. I look young, so people listen to me even less (I get mistaken for a student a lot). Talking about racism makes people uncomfortable, and people get angry easier, and listen to me even less.

And I think about it more (or I don't), and I think: That makes me really fucking angry!

Mitsuye Yamada puts it better than me: "Their anger made me angry [...] I didn't expect their anger." (link to [livejournal.com profile] rilina's reaction to the quote, though I highly recommend both Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Togther? (where the excerpt is from) and This Bridge Called My Back (where the essay was originally published).

More on anger and educating )
oyceter: (not the magical minority fairy)
This is a post for Intl. Blog Against Racism Week.

My terms, definitions, and disclaimers

I am sure some of you are reading the post title to see if you read it correctly. Yes, I am going to write about racism in POC: that is to say, I am going to write about the racism that POC display toward other POC.

But before I do that, I wanted to add an additional disclaimer: Don't use this post to argue about how POC are racist when the discussion is on white privilege and institutional racism. Don't use it to attempt to drive groups of POC apart by claiming that Asians oppress black people, and therefore the bulk of the attention should be on Asian racists, not white privilege. That is not why I am making this post, and that is not what I believe. Also, even though it's noted in my general disclaimer, I wanted to re-emphasize that I do not speak for all POC! These are my opinions about racism in POC, and I could be miles off target or not even on the right playing field.

The general Racism 101 quote is "racism = prejudice + power," and because POC as a group do not have the power and privilege that white people do, the usual argument is that POC can't be racist. In general, I agree with this. It's a good way to frame the concept of institutional racism, and it's a good way to begin acknowledging that while racial prejudice works against people universally, racism as an institution does not.

Internalized racism )

Outwardly-directed racism )

And now my post is entirely too long, and I haven't even touched on intra-POC racism on an international scale. So I will simply say that I do think it is there and that it will probably increase as Asia pulls ahead of other countries in terms of finances and political power (and really, a lot of that is East Asia and India, and the Southeast Asians get marginalized again). But I also think a lot of this occurs against a backdrop of Euro-American power, including fear of that power, envy, resentment, and even a feeling of moral superiority.

So. I don't know. All I do know is that it is far more complicated than simply saying that POC are also racist.
oyceter: (racism)
Welcome to Intl. Blog Against Racism 2! Check the link for how to participate.

This is going to be my general terms, defininitions and disclaimers post, so I don't have to write a massive disclaimer in front of every post I make. In fact, the statements in this post probably hold for most or all of my others on race as well.

Terms and Definitions )

Disclaimers )

Miscellany

Thu, Jul. 19th, 2007 01:50 pm
oyceter: teruterubouzu default icon (Default)
Aka, I do not want to study for midterms. Entertain me!

  1. Someone mentioned in the comments of IBARW 2 that it may be a good idea to promote it outside of LJ. To which I went, "Oh yeah. Duh." Except I singularly hate promoting stuff and I have no idea where to start. So I would be forever grateful if people pimped IBARW (on LJ and off)! I am not sure if I will have time to set up a site or something for it (see above re: midterms), but hopefully there will be a del.icio.us link collection going up. Someday. Really.


  2. I blame this all on [livejournal.com profile] yhlee, who came up with the idea of lolrats! Unfortunately, I should not be fiddling around on Photoshop now, but I have an entire gallery of rat photos and I bet Google Images has a ton too. Clearly the lack of lolrats in the world must be remedied! I leave the idea in everyone's capable hands (esp. since I suck at thinking up good slogan things).

IBARW 2!

Mon, Jul. 2nd, 2007 09:55 am
oyceter: (still ibarw)
Guess what? It's almost time for Intl. Blog Against Racism Week again!

Yes, I am making this a yearly thing.

Since it started around mid-July last year, I want to keep it around the same time. But since my birthday is in late July, and I am entirely selfish and really don't want to be dealing with potential race-related stupidity around my birthday, I am making the first full week of August officially the week of IBARW.

So that's August 6 to August 12!

This year, I want to a) read through all of last year's entries and pick my favs, b) blog more about POC reactions to racism (internalized, denial, acknowledgment, anger, etc.) without having it turn into "But POC are racist too OMG WOE!", c) actually do something about the "international" part, and d) continue to post about it the rest of the year too.

What Can I Do?

Well! I'm glad you asked! (or, uh, didn't, but whatever, I'll pretend that people did.)

  1. First, I'd love volunteers to be Icon-Makers of the Revolution!

    I made some icons last year, which are still up for grabs, and I will make more this year. But I am singularly uncreative and am running out of icon ideas, and my icon skills are passable but really not the best. Also, for people who want customized personal icons or whatnot, it'd be nice to have more icon-makers to go to.


  2. Second, I need a Record-Keeper of the Revolution!

    You'll be compiling all IBARW posts during the week, like [livejournal.com profile] rilina did last year in the handy link compilation. I think mostly people comment with a link to theirs, so you don't have to search all over the internet to find things. The link compilation will include all posts for IBARW, including sporktastic ones, though I encourage people to create their own recommended posts lists too!

    • Alternately... since IBARW generated over 200 posts last year, I think it'd also be cool if there were a Programmer of the Revolution who wrote up a link-compiling program that would have people input the link, title, poster, time posted, and summary of their posts and spit out a handy-dandy list. I think I do have webspace for something like this, although I'd need to re-investigate, as I have completely forgotten what I can do with it.


  3. Thirdly, post!! If you're a white person and don't want to take attention away from POC bloggers, I respect that a lot. But if you still want to contribute without taking attention away, you can also post links to posts POC have made as well, or drive traffic, or search for IBARW links that people may have missed.


And while I'm asking for things, I so want an Anti-Racism 101 blog a la Finally, a Feminism 101 Blog. I would very much contribute and possibly even be able to create the blog, but I don't think I have the time to post to it often. Maybe I will think about just compiling links and whatnot for the FAQs section or something. Hrm...

Thoughts? Questions? Bueller?
oyceter: (still ibarw)
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.
oyceter: (not the magical minority fairy)
(subtitle: Writings by Radical Women of Color)

I read this way back during IBARW, and am only blogging about it now. I wanted to actually spend time and write good and deep and intelligent things, but mostly that just meant that I put it off for forever.

So... instead, the short and random edition!

I am sure it surprises no one that I adored this book. [livejournal.com profile] rilina had posted some Mitsuye Yamada quotes while she was reading this, and I loved them so much that I ILLed the book.

The book is a mix of essays, poems, and stories, some of which I enjoyed, some of which I didn't. The editors tried to include Asian, Latina, Native American, black, mixed race and homosexual women in the interests of coming up with an anthology that would try to cover all women of color.

The main thing for me was finally being able to read a book on myself. The anthology tackles issues of racism and sexism and how women of color are often caught in the middle, explaining one side to the other, having to constantly defend feminism from accusations of racism, or anti-racism from accusations of sexism. The opening poem from which the title comes was particularly moving.

I don't know how critical I can be about this book. It gave me tools and vocabulary during a time I really needed it (and still do); it included me and a lot of my issues, which isn't something that I tend to find that often (something including all my particular issues would have to address race, nationality AND gender). I've always felt like I had to defend Asian culture from accusations of sexism, or at least find ways to critique it without rejecting it all together. But because I didn't think about racism that much before, I never really concentrated on critiquing feminism from an anti-racism standpoint. It's an odd space to live in.

While I liked most of the pieces in the book, the ones that affected me the most were the ones on the Asian-American experience. A lot of this is because I haven't read that much on the Asian-American experience, and because a lot of the anti-racism books I was reading at the time focused largely on the black experience.

I'm not really putting this very well, but this is a book that is very important to me, and I found it at a time I really needed it.

Links:
- [livejournal.com profile] minnow1212's review
- [livejournal.com profile] sanguinity's review

IBARW conclusion

Mon, Jul. 24th, 2006 03:29 pm
oyceter: (not the magical minority fairy)
Wow, that was a hectic week!

However.....

You can still blog about racism! Truly, no one will descend upon you from high and say, "Nay! It is not International Blog Against Racism Week, and verily, you shall be smitten with flaming objects of DOOM for your heretical post!"

Or anything like that.

Obviously, no one needs permission from anyone, much less me, to blog about anything.

But I figured I'd put this out there as a bit of a reminder to people.

Me, I've still got to write up all the books on race and racism that I've read over the week, along with books by POC, along with posts on terminology, Taiwan, "But POC are racist too!" and assorted other things I think about along the way.

And I haven't even read all the posts written this week, much less commented.

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