- I will never buy anyone a pair of shoes as a gift . I will take you to the store , hand you the money and BOUNCE. In really superstitious cases I will make you give me back a dollar to ” buy” them from me. I drove my Wifey nutty for buying sneaks because it’s that serious . It…
This is what we have living under white supremacy. Shattered bits of the past we hold on to but never whole pieces.
I’m pretty sure I was maybe 7 when I asked my Dad to teach me Chinese. “You’ll never need it, I’m not teaching you that shit!” he said. Later I’d find out he was beaten at school, by the teachers, anytime he spoke Chinese. Later I’d find out Toisanese is not a main dialect, you can’t find a course on it or pick up learning CDs to listen to. Later I’d find out my Yin Yin (grandmother) would forget how to speak English, and we’d be there desperately trying to communicate with no means of bridging it.
I remember we used to have a Buddha statue that she told me was “good luck, keep you safe” and it disappeared after a point, sometime after she became a Chinese Baptist. I never learned what kind of Buddhism she practiced. I never learned what you do for the dead. We’d visit the graves every Easter, and I thought it was an Easter thing, not a Chinese thing. (I mean, it makes sense, if Jesus is resurrected on Easter, visit the dead and say hi for their resurrection too, right?)
Chinese people just “expected me to know” how to be Chinese, but no one would explain anything to me. I wasn’t “Chinese enough” and this was how I would never be.
I spent a lot of my youth chasing shit I thought would connect me. Things didn’t turn around until I got to peace with the idea of being this mish-mash, this remix, this collage of half forgotten things and that if this was all I got to be, it was enough.
And this is where I fell in with all the other 3rd generation or later folks. This is where I became comfortable with all of us who live as “diasporados” - hungry for connections, stranded, wanderers of what should be our histories.
I won’t forget though, that this break happened in one generation. The suppression is ongoing, and while it’s a lot easier these days to simply turn on the internet and find people who are in the same place, or have navigated these waters, the fact we even have to piece together our pasts at all is all the sign of the problem to begin with.
We deal in ghosts, and broken practices.
He has no answer. His dad jumps in: “She’s right. You’re half Chinese.”
Him: “… Fine, but I’m mostly German.”
I can’t describe how much it hurts that this kid is so against the idea of being even partially Asian that he just outright denies something that we’ve never hidden from him. He’s nine years old; more than old enough to know his racial background. His school has a high population of Chinese kids, he sees our grandmother (who speaks minimal English) on a regular basis, he receives the customary gifts on Chinese New Year and he enjoys other parts of our culture (like homemade Chinese food).
Yet the idea of being anything but fully white is repulsive to him.
He’s reminding me of myself at that age except the difference is that he has a white half that he thinks he can hide behind. I don’t want him to hide. I don’t want him to feel ashamed of an undeniably important part of him like I did… and sometimes still do. I want him to be proud of both halves.
And this is not an isolated case. I have two other half white cousins who have outwardly expressed shame when our grandmother picked them up from school. They tried to deny being half Chinese to their friends who saw her.
So fuck anyone who says we live in a “post-racial” world or that we shouldn’t be talking about these issues. The racism that is practically sewn into every stitch of society, especially the media, gets absorbed by children so early and so quietly that no one even realizes until shit like this happens. Not speaking out against it just tells these kids that hey, nothing’s wrong. And that’s bullshit.
[i cut the quote for length]
This is why I, being half-Chinese and half-white, will always describe myself as Chinese first. Because fuck you, post-racial hahahaha.
My favourite anecdote in Her Father’s Daughter is when Pung begins applying for graduate positions after finishing her law degree. Looking at her résumé, the big firms can’t understand the number of years spent as a sales assistant in an electrical goods store. She ends up at a small practice, hired by an Italian Australian who appreciates her working for her family’s business. When I moved to Footscray, my mother took me to Retravision to buy a vacuum cleaner. Alice Pung’s aunt served us, and while she and Mum discussed the merits of bagless machines, I had that sepia feeling that comes when you’re inside a place that’s inside a book.
I don’t want to write about a country I barely remember. I don’t want to write my parents’ stories in a language they barely read. When people appropriate my culture, I can’t always say that the problem is that they are misrepresenting it, that they lack the necessary expertise. I lack the necessary expertise. I just have this name, and this face, and sometimes that means I have to account for things I don’t understand.
In October 1911, the Sydney Morning Herald published a short article under the headline, ‘An indignity: photographs and finger-prints’. The article discussed the situation of Charles Yee Wing, a wealthy and respected Sydney businessman, who had asked to be exempted from having to supply his handprint and photograph as part of the process of being issued a CEDT.
Yee Wing had travelled before and was well-known to Customs officials. … Yee Wing’s primary objection was that the officials insisted upon photographing him, in various positions, ‘just like a criminal’.
As part of our Invisible Australians project, Tim Sherratt has recently been experimenting with facial detection technology to automatically extract and crop photographs from CEDTs. You can read Tim’s discussion of what he’s done over at his blog. After extracting 7,000 photographs from Sydney series ST84/1, about a seventh of which is digitised in RecordSearch, Tim built an interface to display them as an interactive wall of faces. As Tim was putting it all together, I thought of Sophie’s critique of the use of photographs of Chinese people in the Forgotten Faces exhibition and of the way the images had been assembled together in rows as a kind of rogues gallery. I also thought of Charles Yee Wing’s comments a hundred years ago about the indignity of having to provide his photograph for a CEDT.
Could the same kind of criticisms be levelled at our wall of faces as at Forgotten Faces? Are we representing our subjects as more than passive victims of a racist bureaucracy? Are we using their images respectfully and decently? Are their images able to be understood by our contemporary audience? And how should we acknowledge the resistance and opposition of people like Charles Yee Wing?
Kate Bagnall on the ethics of using POC imagery/records obtained coercively, in media addressing racist coercion and ommission in historic archives.
Invisible Australian’s is an online gallery project, documenting the thousands of Chinese, Malay, Japanese, Afghani, Indian and Syrian people subject to state surveillance - as migrants at the commencement of the now infamous White Australia Policy.
+ the archive they’re creating counters white nationalist denial of POC contributions to nation building. Their ‘about’ page states: “They celebrated Federation. They fought at Gallipoli. They struggled through the Depression. And they battled for freedom in the Pacific.”
Whatever you think about the links between militarism and nation, this and the photos of families of primarily Asian Australians who served in military and civic roles are a visible counter to current aggressively ahistoric, white nationalist myth building around Gallipolli, the ANZACs etc.
-although these people are now deceased, their descendents may recognize them, using the gallery. You can access the project via a blog - which does have posts describing lives and politics at the time of the photos - acknowledging whatever is known about the subjects, their self perception and how this was disregarded by the WAP. Or you can access a photo browser that directly clips photos of these people with their original migration dept. ‘Excemption from Dictation Test” paperwork.*
That part - the separation of any subjectivity, context, consent etc. from what remains a demeaning white supremist mode of archiving - remains jarring and ethically dubious imo.
- otoh, much work being done in Asian Australian histories is very academic or highly localized and not public searchable atm. I suppose the thing this prompts and why I’m tumbling it is, because there is a lot of scope for online curation in addressing the legacy of the WAP, just thinking about the how, who, where aspects.
*dictation tests were English language skills tests that Australian immigration staff could apply randomly at the border. They were manipulated to discriminate against POC or non-British migrants, to whom they were given far more than white Brits, although they could involve esoteric questions that even mother tongue English speakers probably wouldn’t know.
So this is my attempt at a steampunk Indian character. I was irritated into it by bad depictions of Western-aesthetic-pretty Indian Girlies in fake saris. Her hair is partly “inspired” by the Indian-rapunzels, because like Battameez, I cannot imagine an Indian woman with that much hair left unbraided.
I’ve tentatively named her Amrita Bai, but that’s probably not period-accurate so it’s subject to change as I do more research. Her family’s from Tamilnadu, & are Vishwakarma caste (specifically metalsmiths, I assume), but they moved to one of the forts under Shivaji’s control, and she’s training under a mechanical artificer there. — All subject to change as I do more research. (Plz do tell me if this is faily somehow…)
Real saris are hard. And group-specific; this is a Tamil-brahmin 9-yard sari, and probably not quite period accurate but I’m not sure how it’d be different. No blouse, because this is from my no-British-Raj alternate India. I haven’t actually worn a 9-yard sari myself, so I’m not at all sure I have the folds right on this one. But I did get input from my mother, who has.
Anyway ya know what’s not hard? Making her skin dark. I find that dark skin is so much easier to get looking human rather than zombie than pale skin is, so extra wtf to those whitewashers who say it’s haaaard.
And now I run off to the doctor.
OH MY GOD SHWETA THIS IS PERFECT. CAN I WRITE FIC TO GO ALONG WITH IT. OH MY GOD *BREATHLESS*
But, ontological question, if you write fic of my original character before I manage to write my story about her, which one is the fic?
(I want to run thoughts about that story by you if that’s okay sometime btw, not that I’m well enough to write yet but hey! Apparently I’m well enough to draw again, which is HUGE, so maybe soon!)
ETA: Name and sari do need more work — they are not caste-period accurate (hmm, must chew this over)
BUT OH MY GOD.
Yeah the earliest sari reference I could find is early 1900s, which is of course way too late. But *something* like it seems eminently practical for engineering work. Must make use of university libraries. & problem with Tamil names that are actually period will be getting Anglophones to parse them at all - but that is also true for those foreign Maharashtrans XD So her name could get shortened, as mine & my brother’s did, because these northerners can’t pronounce proper Tamil names only (I was Shwetambari, he was Saratchandra, we became Sharad & Shweta).
btw I invented the changeable-size wrench because the pipe wrench is a) Western and b) not invented yet XD
“Mixed Race 2.0: Mixing Race, Risk, and Reward in the Digital Age” is a project dedicated to examining the intersections of multiracial identities that lurk behind the scenes of everyday life in an increasingly networked world. In recent years, multiracial identities have seen increased representation in media, politics, art and activism. To explore these exciting transitions, Mixed Race 2.0 will pose questions and provide analyses that strike the core of what multiracial identities have meant, currently mean, and will mean to generations across the globe.
The primary question is: What does mixed race 2.0 mean to you?
Potential themes with which to address this question include, but are not limited to:
2010 v. 2000 US Census
Digital v. Analog
“Hapa” v. “Mulatto”
Book v. e-Media
One Box v. Check All that Apply
Consumers and Marketing
The Ivory Tower v. The Real World
America v. The World
History v. Future
There is a significant market for a contemporary and analytically engaged, yet very accessible, book and media project on the meanings of multiracial identities in the digital age. The target audiences are both popular and academic consumers. The general consumer interested in race, identity, politics, demographic shifts, popular culture and media subject matter will find Mixed Race 2.0 interesting and engaging. The academic consumer will find this text to be multi-disciplinary, and suitable for undergraduate and graduate students, as well as researchers and practitioners in the fields of communication studies, journalism, critical cultural studies, racial/ethnic studies, popular culture studies, mass communication and media studies, media literacy, sociology, and education.
We welcome the following formats of submission: essays, high-resolution images of artwork, short films no longer than 3 minutes, and music in mp3 form no longer than 3 minutes. Essay contributions should be approximately 2000 words, Chicago formatted, in 12-pt Times New Roman font. All submissions are due on or before Monday, April 16, 2012. Submissions should include contact information and a brief 50-word bio for each author. Authors of accepted projects will be notified no later than Tuesday, May 15, 2012.
Please reblog widely, especially if you have many mixie followers!!
I know it says ‘across the globe’ but the potential themes make me wonder how interested they are in submissions from outside North America.
Long story short: Erykah Badu was supposed to perform in Malaysia; some newspaper printed a picture of her with tattoos that read “Allah”, some local Muslims get outraged, local Muslim government that takes issue with a lot of stupid shit related to some ideal of Islamic purity bans her from performing.
We’re not completely in agreement at KK about this issue (I, for one, do not consider Badu to be part of the hegemonic music industry exporting certain values from the States) but we invite everybody who is black, Muslim, black Muslim, and interested in discussing this kind of intra-POC racism and the varying standards set by the international ummah to discuss.
and one last thing—that’s my number one pure venom spitting hatred for all scifi/fantasy books in the world—the idea that white folks are survivors and resourceful enough to survive in the face of the apocolypse or some other world shattering event— and people of color either don’t exist or exist in this weird other sphere that rarely if ever crosses with the white survivors. the one thing I really admired about the hunger games is that the author at least acknowledged—it only makes sense that a *certain type* of white person will survive under conditions like what is presented—and it’s those who survive off of their privilege and/or those who have historically been treated most similarly to people of color (poor whites).
i *loved* how Rue was written in this story—and oh, yeah, i totally fucking cried my goddamn eyeballs out when what happens happens—i was looking forward to a long interesting relationship between Rue and Katniss. and the gift of bread thing?
**drying heaving sobs into my blanket.**
but all those good feelings shriveled up into a dry puff of dust at how Thresh was written and how he was treated and how Katniss used her relationship with Rue to save her own ass.(which oddly enough, although it was infuuuuriating, it was a believable situation)
i just…don’t understand why it makes sense that the majority of survivors in sci-fi world are white, much less that the majority of **leaders** are white. and i need this to be clear: this is only partially coming from a “i want more diversity in story telling” framework.
MOST of it is from a practical sense. from the logic of sci-fi/post apocalyptic storytelling—it simply doesn’t make *sense* that the majority of survivors/leaders are white. there has to be a reason to *explain* that—and most of these types of stories very rarely do.
and as such, i think it’s especially important for white folks who can only see “white” when characters aren’t fully described (or in some cases actually *ARE*) to wonder why they only see white.
all of us people of color have known for centuries you couldn’t survive without us there—that the only reason you survive is *because* we’re there— (I just read a testimonial from a woman who was a slave, and she says *exactly* that—if we wanted to kill y’all, you’d be dead, we know all your weak spots, we know you can’t survive unless somebody is putting your clothes on you and feeding you etc)…what does it mean that even today in 2012, white folks don’t clearly understand this yet? are still so certain that they would be smart enough and brave enough and strong enough and desperate enough to crawl under a fence to find food?
that they would even know that a fence exists?
I also love the paragraph after this one but it’s a short article and I’ve included links. This could be a good resource to send people if they don’t get why POC often don’t fell comfortable in many queer/trans* spaces.
a performance night featuring people of colour
spoken word, music and more
THURSDAY 26 JAN 2012
doors at 7pm
part of Midsumma & ‘They’re a Queer Mob’ at
BLAK DOT GALLERY 413 Lygon St, East Brunswick
wheelchair accessible - blakdot.com.au
$3 self-identified POC / $5 solidarity
poster by Arlene Texta Queen
super super sad to be missing this
Health inspectors are putting the kibosh on kimchi, the fermented cabbage dish that’s a staple of Korean cuisine, because they “don’t understand what it is,” say many Korean restaurant owners.
The gist of the issue is that kimchi is usually left at room temperature, meaning it’s above the DOH’s 41-degree temperature requirement for cold foods. Inspectors have been violating and fining Korean restaurants across the city, which owners say is unfair, because kimchi has an acidity level below 4.6, meaning it’s not hazardous. One health commissioner said he’s willing to let kimchi slide if restaurant owners can prove it’s acidity is below 4.6, but owners say they don’t have the time or means to test every batch.
“Traditionally-prepared kimchi has been a staple of Korean food for thousands of years and has proven to have many health benefits. By fining restaurants for the way kimchi—and other fermented foods—are prepared, the Health Department is essentially forcing us to dissolve an ancient practice that is at the core of Korean cuisine,” said Ja-Boon Kwak, owner of Kang Suh restaurant in Koreatown. Chinese restaurants with hanging ducks and pizza parlors with slice displays have been subject to similar fines from the DOH, who might be a little too obsessed with the “danger zone.”
…. But… but…. but… kimchi’s not a cold food? Is it? o.o
fuck but Candy Bowers is a genius
you should almost certainly go to her stand-up show “australian booty”, the last performance is tomorrow
I saw her show last night, it was super awesome. Go see this tonight if you can! (at the Lithuanian Club in North Melbourne)
But my pals still need someone to help out with making a simplistic website/looking up hosting. Is anyone good at this and wants to help a small group who makes artwork/stories/stuff for sale and stuff for specifically marginalized groups (currently they’re focusing on queer people of all kinds, their next project will be non-white people of all kinds)?
Reblooooooog and signal boost pleeeeeeeeeease.
Reblorging myself again.
Also, if you are a fantasy writer who isn’t white (ideally, you’re African/Arabic/Latin@/Indian/Indigenous and non-passing since the focus is on brown people and their experiences with being obviously brown) and you want to work on a super big awesome writing project that focuses on brown-ness and high-fantasy/mixed-fantasy/modern-fantasy type deals, please contact me ASAP!
Oh hey, this is relevant to my interests if you want American black fantasy writers too.