The year was 1930. About a week earlier, the 10-year-old girl from what is now called St. Petersburg, Russia, had embarked on a transatlantic journey with her Ukrainian parents from the French port city of Cherbourg, escaping what she described as Jewish persecution at the start of Joseph Stalin’s Soviet Union. On an island near Manhattan stood the copper colossus that would etch her first memories of the new world. “It was a wonderful sight,” she said of the Statue of Liberty, which marked its 125th anniversary Friday. The idea for the monument is thought to have been conceived at a 19th-century dinner party among French aristocrats, historians say, who sought to pay tribute to American liberty. And while the French gift is also widely believed to have at least in part catered to domestic politics, for many, it quickly became a symbol of hope and promise in America’s post- Civil War period. “The arrival on Ellis Island is the fulfillment that you know something good is going to happen to you,” said Belarksy, now a 91-year-old widow living in a Russian enclave of Brooklyn, New York. Her family became part of the more than 12 million immigrants processed through Ellis Island between 1892 and 1954, according to the U.S. National Park Service. (CNN.com)
In Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, students of magic battle a boggart, a creature that manifests itself as your worst nightmare. With a flick of their wand and the word ‘Riddikulus,’ students disarm the boggart by turning it into a joke, thus rendering it powerless and nonthreatening. This is exactly what Steven Greenstreet, creator of the Hot Chicks of Occupy Wall Street tumblr is doing: By turning activist women into non-threatening ‘hot chicks,’ he not only makes a mockery of their political struggle but also attempts to strip them of power.
In the same way that ‘ethnic’ women are exoticized and fetishized, politically active ‘alternative’ women are apparently the new hot thing. On Hot Chicks of Occupy Wall Street, you will find high-quality images of women with tattoos, nose studs, headscarves, asymmetrical haircuts and racial diversity. I asked Greenstreet if these women gave their consent to be photographed or for their images to be put online via Twitter, but received no response.
The simplest way to turn a powerful, activist woman into a nonthreatening woman is to sexualize her. When Greenstreet ventured to #OccupyWallStreet and found hundreds of assertive women demanding for economic equality, he ignored their message and neutralized their threat by essentially responding, ‘Oh yeah, talk protest to me baby.’ This has the same effect as infantilization, another common way to diminish a woman: ‘Oh look, she’s protesting. Isn’t that cute?’
The word meant I was a ghost floating along Vancouver, Surrey, Langley, White Rock… by the Quay scaring pigeons. A clanking of chains if you listen closely, or an umbilical siphon that feeds me guilt from a mother wound. A pulsing, beating, pus of sadness, sepia kaleidoscope of faces, and things unbidden from the insula. Welcome to the ether interview, ghost seat no. 22.
Are you Married? Have you ever been convicted of any crime? Have you ever been asked to leave the country? *stamp stamp* Welcome, you can walk on your two feet now and be visible to the rest of the citizenry you’ve just landed
Outside walking to catch a train, a pigeon lands to peck a crumb this bird that is countryless, treeless, homeless, but claims all countries, claims all trees, and claims all homes.
Hey y’all- if you don’t get our newsletter, you might have missed out on the exciting event going on today. Secretary Napolitano will be speaking at Duke University. We will be there with Javier’s sister, some Duke students and other supporters hoping that Secretary Napolitano will listen to…
Steve Myers of Journalisms wrote an article about the Society of Professional Jornalist’s resolution to no longer use the term “Illegal Alien”. The resolution also called upon journalists and style guide editors to reconsider the term “illegal immigrant”. The resolution was made at the…
If you click the link, you’ll see the emigration and immigration changes that have happened in the last 4 years. The United States of America as well as Mexico, play the biggest role in changes. With -797,000 people leaving México and 1.2 million people coming into America.
So to further tokenize myself (half-joking), I chose to do a “women and immigration” presentation for my Feminist Legal Theory class. That’s a rather generic topic and we left it that way while I mulled over the precise paper topic and presentation topic (they should at least complement each…
I know a very sweet boy who is currently a senior in high school. He also happens to be a student whose immigration status is vague and generally not up for discussion. I know this much: despite consistently high marks in all of his classes, he will not be attending college (or, I guess if he’s…
“When we say we need to move beyond Black and white, this is what a whole lot of people say or feel or think: “Thank goodness we can get off that paradigm, because those Black people make me feel so uncomfortable. I know all about Blacks, but I really don’t know anything about Asians, and while we’re deconstructing that Black-white paradigm, we also need to reconsider the category of race altogether, since race, as you know, is a constructed category, and thank God I don’t have to take those angry black people seriously anymore.”—
Mari Matsuda (2002) ‘Beyond and Not Beyond Black & White: Deconstruction Has a Politics,’ in Culp et al., Critical Race Theory: Histories, Crossroads, Directions. p. 395 (via james-bliss)
See, I don’t know if I agree with this. Because the problem with having a black/white paradigm about race and leaving it only as black/white completely erases the possibility for everything that comes between black/white — and also leaves entire races out of conversations on race. Because we cannot say that the same exact way in which blacks were racialized could be applied to Native American, Hispanic, or Asian. Racialization is an incredibly complex process — and while I understand Matsuda is critiquing racist (white) people who are interested only in black and Asian (in this example) as objects of academic inquiry (after all, these assholes “don’t know anything about Asians” so we are supposed to help educate, rite?) she doesn’t properly represent the entire call from within the Asian American community that has been historically denied any legitimacy, value, or voice within cultural and critical race studies in the academy.
The problem with this example, in particular, is the fact that for a very long time Asian American Studies was actually called East Asian Studies, and the object of inquiry was not Asian Americans, but what happened in the “far east” — essentially, the idea is that Asians as a whole are foreign and exotic and thus should be studied as such and separate from conversations and scholarships on race happening in America.
In this sense, then, Asian Americans could not and were not considered true people of color in America insomuch as we were also subjected by processes of racialization that created historical racial injury. Rather, Asian Americans were thought of only in terms of diaspora and transnationality — what was to be studied was “over there in Asia.” And that is a huge problem when we are trying to theorize or talk about the category of race and the many different kind of paradigms that arise within those discussions!
I take the b/w paradigm to mean a few things but I agree with your words. I think that the positionality of black and white are the most critical in understanding the relational way other races are situated and in which racialization occurs. So the conversations about Asians *must* mention ‘blackness’ and ‘whiteness’. It’s like how Prashad starts off the Karma of Brown Folk, ‘Dubois begins by asking black people how they feel about being a problem- this is a book about how should it feel for Asians to be the solution’ [of white supremacy]. I might have the usage wrong but in the sense that Asianness must be measured through a triangulation of blackness and whiteness, I agree that the black/white paradigm is essential.
I’ve read this full piece but I cant really remember it -_-
I think there might be some resistance to the notion of Asian identity being measured in a triangulation between black and white, because of the simple fact that historically, “the Orient” was “discovered” by Europe prior to Europe’s nascent explorations of Africa (Winthrop Jordan pinpoints the first documented moments of European presence in Africa sometime in the 1500s, when blackness first began to be equated with evil/darkness — this means that the “Orient” was “discovered” 300 years prior). In this sense, Orientalism began before the black/white paradigm solidified into a discourse and mechanism of racialization. So that would be one potential resistance in academia to triangulating Asian within the discourse of black/white. Especially for scholars who are doing work on diaspora and transnationalism, whose main object of focus tends to be more on colonialism and Orientalism transported back to America.
For me, I do think that we must talk about black and white in relation to Asian, because I am interested in projects that think about Asian American identity and racialization as not merely being constructed through encounters with whites, but also with other races and even ethnic groups. But I do think there are many things about Asian American identity that cannot be discussed in relation to anything other than either other Asian Americans or white folks in particular. After all, Asian Americans have a very specific historical experience that is different from and particular to Asian Americans. And those experiences — such as Yellow Peril, the Chinese Exclusion Laws, Japanese Internment, the transcontinental railroad, the coolie system, model minority myth — should not be diluted or discussed through a black/white paradigm. And to do so would be extremely problematic.
Today I was wondering about being an immigrant and almost losing my culture in America even though I absolutely claim to be Nigerian. It pretty much started with listening to MI’s album MI2 (which by the way is awesome), and listening to this amazing guy using pidgin, yoruba, igbo, Delta…