horrible dream i had: he texts me something like “i had a really great time tonight” when we haven’t even been out, and i look and see that it’s addressed to somebody else by name… wake up feeling bad/sad.
see? i’m not trying. it’s my subconscious panicking and the rest of me just catches on. i told E (bestie) this, and she just laughed at me. so good.#personal
Elizabeth Martínez, a legendary civil rights and Chicano movement activist, has pointed out, along with her collaborator Arnoldo García of the National Network of Immigrant and Refugee Rights, that the new conditions that constitute neoliberalism and characterize economic development since the 1980s involve an almost total freedom of movement for capital, goods, and services—in other words, the absolute rule of the market. Public expenditures for social services have been drastically cut. There has been constant pressure for the elimination of government intervention and regulation of the market. Thus the privatization of gas and electricity, of health care, education and many other human services has emerged as the mode of increased profits for global corporations. Finally, Martínez and García point out, the concept of the public good and the very concept of “community” are being eliminated to make way for the notion of “individual responsibility.” This results in “pressuring the poorest people in a society to find solutions to their lack of health care, education, and social security all by themselves—then blaming them if they fail, as ‘lazy.’”
I would add yet another point to this definition of neo-liberalism: the flawed assumption that history does not matter. This idea, formulated by Francis Fukuyama as “The End of History,” also involves, as Dinesh D’Souza put it, “The End of Racism.” Both race and racism are profoundly historical. Thus if we discard biological and thus essentialist notions of “race” as fallacious, it would be erroneous to assume that we can also willfully extricate ourselves from histories of race and racism. Whether we acknowledge it or not, we continue to inhabit these histories, which help to constitute our social and psychic worlds.
Neoliberalism sees the market as the very paradigm of freedom, and democracy emerges as a synonym for capitalism, which has reemerged as the telos of history. In the official narratives of U.S. history, the historical victories of civil rights are dealt with as the final consolidation of democracy in the United States, having relegated racism to the dustbin of history. The path toward the complete elimination of racism is represented in the neoliberalist discourse of “color-blindness” and the assertion that equality can only be achieved when the law, as well as individual subjects, become blind to race. This approach, however, fails to apprehend the material and ideological work that race continues to do.
When obvious examples of racism appear to the public, they are considered to be isolated aberrations, to be addressed as anachronistic attributes of individual behavior. There have been a number of such cases in recent months in the United States. I mention the noose that was hung on a tree branch by white students at a school in Jena, Louisiana, as a sign that black students were prohibited from gathering under that tree. I can also allude to the public use of racist expletives by a well-known white comedian, the racist and misogynist language employed by a well-known radio host in referring to black women on a college basketball team, and finally, recent comments regarding the golfer Tiger Woods…
These comments were, of course, readily identified as familiar—exceedingly familiar—expressions of attitudinal racism that are now treated as anachronistic expressions that were once articulated with state-sponsored racisms. Such occurrences are now relegated to the private sphere and only become public when they are literally publicized. Whereas, during an earlier period in our history, such comments would have been clearly understood as linked to state policy and to the material practices of social institutions, they are now treated as individual and private irregularities, to be solved by punishing and reeducating the individual by teaching them color-blindness, by teaching them not to notice the phenomenon of race.
But if we see these individual eruptions of racism as connected to the persistence and further entrenchment of institutional and structural racism that hides behind the curtain of neoliberalism, their meanings cannot be understood as individual aberrations. In the cases we have discussed, the racism is explicit and blatant. There is no denying that these are racist utterances. What happens, however, when racism is expressed not through the words of individuals, but rather through institutional practices that are “mute,” to borrow the term Dana-Ain Davis uses, with respect to racism?
catching up with bestie was really, really great. i’m planning on eventually meeting up with some old high school acquaintances (i can’t really call them friends now). apparently, these people i haven’t seen in at least four years still think about me, think i’m “intimidating” and seek out my approval. i guess that’s my Presence, that gift of personality that i have. :/ not really, i mean. it’s all very weird to me. i’m very glad i had a chance to get away, grow outside of this area and see a bit of the world out there. some people just continue with the same people from high school, and the gossip’s all the same, the drama. i can’t fucking imagine…#personal
Globalization is not a natural, evolutionary, or inevitable phenomenon, as is often argued. Globalization is a political process that has been forced on the weak by the powerful. Globalization in not the cross-cultural interaction of diverse societies. It is the imposition of a particular culture on all others. Nor is globalization the search for ecological balance on a planetary scale. It is the predation of one class, one race, and often one gender of a single specie on all others. ‘Global’ in the dominant discourse is the political space in which the dominant local seeks control, freeing itself from local, regional, and global sources of accountability arising from the imperatives of ecological sustainability and social justice. ‘Global’ in this sense does not represent the universal human interest; it represents a particular local and parochial interest and culture that has been globalized through its reach and control, irresponsibility, and lack of reciprocity.
Globalization has come in three waves. The first wave was the colonization of the Americas, Africa, Asia and Australia by European powers over the course of 1, 500 years. The second wave was the imposition of the West’s idea of ‘development’ on non-Western cultures in the postcolonial era of the past five decades. The third wave of globalization was unleashed approximately five years ago as the era of ‘free trade,’ which for some commentators implies an end to history, but for us in the Third World is a repeat of history through recolonization. Each wave of globalization has served Western interests, and each wave has created deeper colonization of other cultures and of the planet’s life.
When I was a kid, you know I immigrated to the States in 1978, and I’m six years old and watching TV and I didn’t see any Asians on television. And you turn on Star Trek and there’s this Asian guy not chopping anybody up. He’s honorable, a helmsman of a spaceship, and it was a big, big deal for me to see that and have a role model.
John Cho (x)
The only Asians I remember seeing on mainstream TV when I was a kid were Sulu on Star Trek, nameless Asians loading trucks in the background or dying on MASH (which was all about funny lovable white US Americans waging war on Asians), and the “ancient Chinese secret” Calgon laundry detergent commercial.
Was the same when I was a kid. That moment of seeing George Takei not being overly-stereotyped when I was a kid was a powerful one. I think the only place I had really seen other Asians on the screen was finding the rare (because I was a kid in mountains, far from the rest of the community) movie that had Asians in it. Unfortunately, a lot of those were the “white guy learns martial arts, beats up Asians because ‘Merika” type movies. Which, of course was not TV. They were still the “Asian other” just as in MASH backdrops. Anyway, what I’m trying to say is that Sulu always has a special place in my heart. Star Trek helped me get through some bad emotional spaces as a kid, and I think part of what made it welcoming was having POC, especially George Takei ( since I’m JA too, and the other Asian American actors who came later), represented on screen in positive and whole characters, with names instead of “Solider #1, Henchman #4, Ninja #18”.
feminism #abortion #imperialism #birth control #racism
Today solidified why despite being unabashededly pro-choice, I will never bring myself to join hands with western feminism’s version of “abortion freedom”.
I went to a feminist meeting with a friend on her campus (she invited me) and the issue of “overpopulation” comes up and displays women from various nations (particularly Somalia, Ethiopia and India) in which they seem to be struggling to take care of their children and the slideshow insinuated, “if these women had an opportunity to get an abortion, they would”. That message is not only patently false, but it’s also incredibly offense and disingenuous.
Misogyny is a huge issue in many of these nations, no doubt and reproductive rights are deeply stifled and neglected, as well as prenatal care. It’d be foolish to deny such a reality. But, to showcase women with five, six, up to ten children, as somehow being oppressed by their circumstances and painting huge families as leeches and parasites to the well-being and livelihood of women in the third world is dishonest, hyperbolized and frankly, bullshit propaganda. It suggests that women of the third world have absolutely no agency and are somehow forced to have these children (which thereby means that every large family is the cause of rape, essentially), which is demeaning to every woman’s advocacy movement that have taken place in the aforementioned regions. In addition, it portrays brown and black children as a nuisance, something that the world needs less of, which is disgusting, racist and directly aligns with neoimperialist initiatives.
Also, as someone who comes from an African country where the average family bears 4-5 children, I know firsthand that children are assets to their family, above anything. From my experience, women tend to have more children as sort of a safety net; arguably husbands are more likely to die first, so the more children a woman has, the chances of her being taken care of and accounted for are higher. In face the of heightened risks of early death, disease, poverty, war, etc. this is a premeditated move, an action of resistance to ensure one’s survival. In Eritrea, there are children (up to eight years old) who sell gum, tissues and other small merchandise after school to help provide for their families and continue to do so into their teenage years. This, as unpleasant as it may seem, is the reality. Children serve a purpose. They’re an ecomonic resource to their families.
To assert with pictures which provide no nuance, that mothers with their children are helpless, needy and their families repress them is a gross misconstruction of the realities that these women face and it does nothing but assert that western feminism, in all of its narcissism, will ignore and distort context to appeal to its own agenda.
^ so fucking important
this “ABORTIONS FOR ALL” rhetoric is reckless, ethnocentric nonsense
let’s talk about EUGENICS
let’s talk about the United States’ legacy of EUGENICS
let’s talk about the exploitation of working-class communities of color
let’s talk about Madrigal v. Quilligan, the policing of fertile bodies of color by fascist white professionals, and the naturalization of non-consensual, coercive sterilization practices
let’s talk about the acute colonization of Puerto Rico and the ways in which Puerto Rican women have been corporeally subjugated, not only becoming receptacles for American contraceptive experiments yet also being rendered completely infertile via tubal ligation (reproductive justice activist and professor Elena R. Gutiérrez notes that “By 1965 about 35 percent of the women in Puerto Rico had been sterilized, two-thirds of them in their 20s.”)
let’s talk about the year 1973
let’s talk about how, while affluent, white, second-wave feminists were still celebrating Roe v. Wade, Relf v. Weinberger was happening
we can no longer afford to ignore these histories
we can no longer afford to let people, however unwittingly, promote the co-optation of “choice”
feminisms cannot survive and evolve and grow richer and stronger without a deep recognition of the myriad fictions of liberation
“The progressive potential of birth control remains indisputable. But in actuality, the historical record of this movement leaves much to be desired in the realm of challenges to racism and class exploitation.” -Angela Davis
reblogging to add that an acquaintance of mine is working on a dissertation for her Ph.D in Hawaiian Studies that details early eugenics programs forced on Hawaiian women when white missionaries showed up
also the Hyde Amendment, how “the movement” didn’t give a shit enough about poor women and women of color to fight that shit. which is one of the most damaging things in contemporary abortion/women’s health access and a big reason women can’t afford terminations and clinics have a hard time staying open.
Government assistance in America is invisible until black people receive it. Then it becomes racialized, demonized and stigmatized.
Melissa Harris-Perry and Karen Finney (paraphrased), commenting on a recent New York Times editorial wherein black farmers were all but vilified as ‘lazy takers’ who gamed the system —for winning an historic discrimination lawsuit against the USDA: Pigford v. Glickman (via odinsblog)
So true. In fact, the entire capitalist system — all banking, all corporate operations, all military industry — is built on and based upon government assistance; or rather, much more than “assistance”, more like extreme government largesse by granting public funds from taxes and public resources to private interests.
Private banking relies entirely on credit, loans, underwriting, insurance, and political-military protection from the government. All corporate merchandise in the USA is moved and distributed on highways and roads built and maintained using public money. The telecom companies sell you mobile phone service using radio spectrum which belongs to the public and is granted to them by the government. Agribusiness is well-known to be subsidized. Big pharma relies on publicly funded research to isolate its private profit makers. There are no major areas of corporate America which are not entirely reliant on government assistance. And that’s not even getting into corporate tax breaks.
Yet god forbid Black people get any benefit from the government whatsoever, amounting in total to the tiniest trickle in relation to the government largesse extended to corporate America. Suddenly that is seen, within the prevailing racist US political discourse, as a burden upon society and sign of an imaginary racial pathology of laziness and dependency. Good one, white America.