Migration is beautiful mostly for the colonizer, who gets to dabble in “exotic” foods, be enriched by our “exotic” tongues, obtain a cheap labor force, and benefit from the innovation that new migrants bring. But migration can also devastating and disruptive for the vast majority of us—who are uprooted from our homelands, live without seeing close family members for years, continuously traumatized by assimilation efforts, and virtually imprisoned within the walls of the U.S.
“You know what’s really, powerfully sexy? A sense of humor. A taste for adventure. A healthy glow. Hips to grab on to. Openness. Confidence. Humility. Appetite. Intuition. Smart-ass comebacks. Presence. A quick wit. Dirty jokes told by an innocent-looking lady. A storyteller. A genius. A doctor. A new mother. A woman who realizes how beautiful she is.”—Courtney E. Martin. (via youremyconsolation)
“A woman of color’s self-love is political and radical, and it is unsettling for the status quo because she is choosing bravely to dismantle the narratives of racist aesthetics against her. So when people bully a girl of color for being content and satisfied with her appearance - a reality that is subjected to racist, sexist slurs in cosmetic industries - and when they tell her to be “humble” which is normative code for “Nah, you’re not special, you’re not light and delicate in a Eurocentric way” then she has every right to chew their hearts and spit them out. A non-white girl’s self-love is revolutionary and anyone trying to water it down needs to back right off.”—
The revolution will not be cited. It will not have a bibliography, or a title page. The revolution will never happen in the seclusion of the ivory tower built by racist, sexist, and classist institutions. Professional academic researchers in the social sciences of many colleges and universities exploit the struggles of oppressed peoples. Oppressed peoples are left stranded with little to no resources after researchers leave their communities high and dry.
Researchers steal value from oppressed peoples by making them the subjects of theoretical research without lending them access to information that could better help their communities. Articles, books, and dissertations written about marginalized populations are written for academics, not working people, and as such have little impact on the people whose lives are the subject of this research. Liberal academics and social scientists are more concerned about developing the wealth of academic literature than addressing the immediate material concerns of the communities they research.
So, there’s a post by Michelle Goldberg being shared and re-tweeted that talks about the Toxic Twitter Wars of Online Feminism. This post a classic example of how white supremacy functions as an online phenomenon.
“I spent much of those first few years in the States watching Nightline* with my parents,” Roben says, “and witnessing Dad freak out women at the supermarket. You see, he liked holding hands of complete strangers to get his heavily accented point across: ‘Hi. Would you geeve to me a date?’ He was trying to buy pitted dates.”—Roben Farzad in this NPR story on Iranian-American Jews. (via fesenjoon)
The internet, always on top of it, responded with #DeportBieber, which put young undocuyouth in an interesting position — basically they were asking, “Should we support this douche?”
I think Prerna Lal had a pretty spot on commentary over at Racefiles — bringing to light the racial disparities when it comes to white vs people of color interaction with immigration enforcement. After all, undocumented people of color have been deported for much less.
Hence, with the magic of selfies, microsoft paint, and understanding of white privilege #undeportable was born.
#Shouts to Yessica Gonzalez for sending the spawning Snapchat!
“We are feeling like homosexuality is a crime everywhere … there is not any protection here,” said one of the men.Their yearlong journey across more than 10 countries to seek asylum in the United States.
“Because we were not in our country, we could not use our own language, and so when we spoke our voices came out bruised. When we talked, our tongues trashed madly in our mouths, staggered like drunken men. Because we were not using our languages we said things we did not mean; what we really wanted to say remained folded inside , trapped. In America we did not always have the words. It was only when we were by ourselves that we spoke in our real voices. When we were alone we summoned the horses of our languages and mounted their backs and galloped past skyscrapers.”—From We Need New Names, a novel by Noviolet Bulawayo
“What counts as activism? Why didn’t the kind of emotional self-care me and my girls were doing—talking to each other about all the fucked-up shit we were going through as brown girls—count? Why didn’t my best friend driving her elderly East African mother to the doctor and renegotiating her way through the layers of the racist, sexist, condescending bullshit medical system count as activism? Did staying alive count as activism? Did re-learning Tamil, one of my Sri Lankan family’s languages, count? Did cooking good Sri Lankan food and learning how to cook those recipes I didn’t have female family members around to teach me count? As a South Asian femme immigrant who was having a shitty week, did shopping at the MAC counter and finding the perfect shade of fuchsia lip gloss for my milk-tea skin count?”—Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha, “A Time to Hole Up And a Time to Kick Ass” in We Don’t Need Another Wave (via irresistible-revolution)
"At 36 years of age I suspect I am part of the last generation raised to hate ourselves for this particular aspect of being, for this part of ourselves we had no part in making. The last raised to know, before we even knew what we were, that what we were was unspeakable. The last raised not knowing equality was an option — and therefore not to miss it. To miss something is to know it might exist, and thus to have a kind of hope. The last, instead, only to be harmed by absence. By the absence of this thing we could not quite name. Love.”
I was made fun of for being Mexican until 9/11. Then it was Arab or Terrorist. I’m not Persian, that country no longer exists. Iranian American is an oxymoron, Muslim American a paradox.
A girl asks me “Where are you from then, Amir?” I answer “Well I was born in Iowa” She then says “Oh, really? Is that in the middle east?”
A boy approached me in a high school hallway and says “If you were from Afghanistan I’d beat your ass” The three words I should have said were “I love you”, instead I said “Wish you would!”
It was then I understood how your patriots act. If the French gave you the statue of liberty in 2003 we would have given it back because they didn’t go to war with us in Iraq.
When the French did give us the statue of liberty we wanted to give her back, because at first she was Black. Save diversity for a skittles package. But even then we all pick our favourites. We like our boarders like our picket fences; Whitewashed.
A red boy is given a white name. Black slaves paint a white house. Public schools teach that is is important to assimilate, so a yellow girl’s parents do the same. But how will they ever learn how to pronounce our names if we keep changing them? Do you think people naturally know how to pronounce Krystal? Or Kristop-
English is neither phrenetic, nor forgiving.
That’s why I find comfort when a boy named Kash moulds his last name into Ali in an attempt to salvage his identity. The ring is the only time he faced a fair fight.
If black is the culmination of all colours, then why do we keep trying to stir this melting pot white?
I met Dr. David Leonard, Associate Professor in the Department of Critical Culture, Gender and Race Studies at Washington State University, on Twitter shortly after my initial critique of Tim Wise. I was pleased to discover that there existed another white man who was not marketing himself as an anti-racist, but instead doing the work with people of color, while learning from them and taking after their direction.
Dr. Leonard was gracious enough to collaborate with me on this piece when I was just starting to freelance and has been generous in his teaching. I was most moved by Leonard’s work to spread awareness on Marissa Alexander’s case, which was ignored by both white feminism and so-called anti-racists.
SP: As you know, the concept of the white anti-racist or white ally has been put into question. Why do you think this is? Are these words oxymorons? What is a better word?
DL: I don’t like either of these terms for a variety of reasons.
“The lady selling the pupusas, tamales, tacos in the corner WITHOUT fucking permits, maybe without fucking papers are THE REAL FUCKING REVOLUTIONARIES, FUCKING RADICAL ASS BEEZHIES. We are hella DIY, some of our people don’t even need dishes cause they wrap their food with leaves. Some of our people don’t even need to buy diapers cause they use those 100% cotton pañales to re-use and re-use. Some of our mamas used reusable fucking pads before being an eco-feminist was “in”. Some of our people had almost ZERO negative effects on mother earth cause they lived up in las montañas y en el rancho. Some of our people eat meat in minimal quantities, and guess WHAT some of our people still kill their own food. Some of our people have never had cars pero have hella tight nice walking/running legs. GUESS WHAT ELSE! The colonial food system, that McShit, Wendy BS, Burger Caca ALL that white trash food that is killing our people and creating an epidemia of diabetes WAS NOT CREATED BY OUR PEOPLE. My people drink fucking REAL fruit juice with honey, bitch.”—