This is important. But this paper also reinforces how self-serving, self-important, and self-propagating academia is. Fucking “proper knowledge,” anthropos and humanitas…
Anonymous asked: Hell yes the Brits glorify their colonial history. The idea of benevelont imperialism reeks in the attitudes of most (white) Brits. In fact, the whole way racism and the history of racism operates with British taught history and British lived culture today is hugely different from the US in my experience. In many ways, much worse. - L
(in response to this)
Benevolent imperialism…how does whiteness always conveniently forget that white people were the ones who murdered millions, forced millions off their lands, and worked millions to death?
In response to a message from ninjaruski.
In a previous post, I wrote about identity disintegration in the form of oppressed groups assimilating to the norms of oppressing groups. Oppressed groups, which lack power, are forced to sublimate their identities to norms established by oppressing groups. ninjaruski then brought up this point: “[i]n terms of immigrant communities, or communities that are power minorities, do you feel that there is a demand for individuals to sublimate their own differences to the ways of being demanded by these communities? Is this, too a form of identity disintegration?”
My short answer: it depends. My slightly longer answer: it depends on how the concepts of the individual and the community are constructed, and how deeply internalized capitalistic values are. My really long answer is as follows:
If you asked me these questions my senior year of college, my answers would’ve been fuck yes and definitely. I was constantly at odds with my community. As the loud-mouth activist who was kicking up a lot of shit with the university administration, I was constantly being told I was a “loose cannon” with too many loose screws who was fucking shit up for the community. Why couldn’t I just keep the peace? We’re Asian/Asian-Americans, we’re quiet and that keeps the heat off of us, so why was I messing with something that worked? Why couldn’t I just be a good Asian who played by the rules? And why the hell was I so focused on solidarity—you’re Asian, so focus on your own goddamn community. I was repeatedly thrown under the bus because of my work. It wasn’t until the end of the year when the community started reaping the benefits from my work that there was some acknowledgment that there had been reason to my rhyme. I left bitter. I left understanding that the individual and the community were two concepts at odds with one another. For one to grow and succeed, the other must be sacrificed. I had willingly sacrificed myself and my well-being for the community, but I hadn’t expected to be trampled on by my own.
Now, two years later, I recognize how what I thought then was a reflection of how deeply I had internalized capitalistic ideas about individuality and community. The individual and the community are not two concepts at odds with one another for the community is built by individuals, and individuals are shaped by the community. Individualism is, after all, a concept of liberalism rooted in capitalism. My community was not the one antagonizing me; the pressure to survive under white supremacist capitalism was. My community was not asking me to sublimate my individual differences; we were growing together. Neither of us was static or perfect. The community and its problems influenced how I did things and what I chose to do—in essence, my identity as an Asian-American activist—and my work influenced the community’s perspective on what needed to be done on campus for us.
I think that in immigrant communities or communities that are power minorities, part of assimilation is adopting narratives of capitalism, especially narratives about individualism and the relationship between the individual and the community. Because of that and the need to survive, there are what seems to be calls for sublimation of individual differences so that a united front is presented. As I mentioned in my previous post, capitalism calls for homogenization for the purpose of commodification. Communities take on the idea of climbing up the ladder, which is an individualistic idea ironically, and use a homogenized front to achieve this dream. Is this too a form of identity disintegration? I would say so. If the individual is sublimating his/her/their individual differences for a homogenized front held by the community, and the community is sublimating their identity and said homogenized front to whatever those in power find acceptable as a means to elevate their status, it goes to reason that at the end of the road is identity disintegration.
At the same time, I think that the perception of the community’s calls as calls of sublimation of individual differences is indicative more of the individual’s internalized capitalistic values than anything about the community. An important part of resisting assimilation and identity disintegration is to recognize the ways in which we internalize capitalistic constructs. We need to recognize the struggles of our communities and how we grow together. We need to interrogate and resist the call of climbing up the ladder, whether at an individual level or a community level. Communities and individuals need to resist internalization of capitalistic values; if only one does, that’s only half the picture. The community has influence on individual identity formation and disintegration, and vice versa. The temptation to create the community as a static notion is strong because of a need to root identity somewhere, but that leads to the homogenization which eventually leads to identity disintegration. The community is a living entity in a state of flux, and failure to recognize it as such leads to identity disintegration. ,
Academic who drafted plan for support from former slaving nations says âOur aim is to open a dialogue with European statesâ
“America has made efforts to reflect on their own history, but Britain has made no such effort to do so. If the British public were shown slavery in their own society seen through the eyes of the enslaved, they would get a much better understanding.”
Holy fucking shit. If America’s half-assed job of teaching about slavery and the terrible shit white people did constitutes “efforts to reflect on their own history,” what do the Brits do? Glorify their colonial history?
|Me:||The masochistic half of me is like "oh, good, I'll learn a lot more" at all this stuff I'm hearing about how horribly racist Australia is. Like my last year at Cornell was hell because of that stuff, but I learned so much.|
|U:||Well, that's true...|
|Me:||Honestly, it doesn't sound too much different from the States?|
|U:||But you won't know until you get there. It sounds like the microaggressions are worse.|
|Me:||It'll definitely be interesting to navigate the racism as an ABC (American-born Chinese). People may or may not pick up on the fact that my accent is American, not some "fobby" Asian deal, and even if they do, that may or may not influence the way they treat me.|
|U:||Just buy a lot of Cornell t-shirts and gear and wear that everyday for the first few months until you can comfortably navigate.|
Anonymous asked: 1/1: hi, i follow your blog and i saw that you were moving (or at least thinking about moving) to melbourne, but was worried about what it would be like etc. i'm canadian born and raised, but ethnicised as vietnamese. while i experienced racism in cdn, honestly it wasn't to the level i experienced in melbourne - a lot of microaggressions going on there. v. racist there, left after 2 years (moved to UK where they just hate everyone so more egalitarian in their exclusions haha).
(cont., 2/2) part of it had to do with me not really having to deal with so much microagressions + outwardly racist stuff before so i didn’t know what to do when i was confronted with it. but having lived in 3 different western countries, and travelled to a crapload others, while i haven’t relaxed in my dealing with racism, i’ve accepted that it is something that i WILL have to deal with. that it’s a part of the experience of being a POC in a “western” country. that doesn’t make it better or OK (cont., 3/2) but i can’t sit and get worried about what will happen in the future when i go to places. yeah, if and when you’re going to melb, you will experience racism. and it might be worse from your previous experiences or it might not. but worrying so much about it, the stress and anger can cripple you or make you a hermit. if you’re looking for a place where you experience no colonization or racism, then go to mars? buy a deserted island? but if you’re here, in these places, you just gotta keep….(cont., 4/2) fighting the good fight, you know? +, just because OZ is super racist doesn’t mean that there aren’t great people there who are likeminded and who you can build a great network to spread the love and non-racist mindframe. or something. sorry this was long, i do feel for you, melbourne will be what it is, but you have power over what it is as well. don’t let them defeat you before you’ve even gone. xx
My limitations in Mandarin (read: I sound like a ten or twelve year old when I speak Mandarin) mean that I am constantly being told that I’m adorable, I’m constantly assumed to be stupid, or I am constantly picking up on vibes that others think I’m adorably stupid. Joys.
Kirko Bangz - Drank in My Cup
The perfect song for grinding.
With the question of identity formation comes the question of how identity is broken. This question is easier to answer in some ways—there is already a word for this process, assimilation—and harder in others.
Assimilation happens in many ways. There is formal re-education (e.g. the Catholic boarding schools America and Australia forced their Indigenous peoples to attend), informal re-education (e.g. the narratives People of Color immigrants internalize about how their motherlands are shit holes compared to America/Australia/Europe, or how feminism has been portrayed in mainstream media which has led a lot of privileged women to distance themselves from the movement), marriage in the case of ethnic/racial assimilation, and economic integration (e.g. what the CCP is doing with most Chinese ethnic minorities). The point of assimilation is to dilute identification with and pride in a way of being that does not align with the way of being of those in power (read: oppressors). The oppressed see assimilation as their only way to survive and in the process internalize self-hate and reproduce oppressive power structures.
Of course, assimilation is not a smooth process. Not everyone gives up on the pride of their way of being (see: Malcolm X’s house slave-field slave speech). Given many of the tactics used to make assimilation happen can also be construed as persecution, which only reinforces an identity or causes an identity to emerge, how do oppressors force the various methods of assimilation to work? The answer has historically been with a lot of weapons and blood, but I think the rise of unabridged capitalism in the last one hundred years has been equally effective. I see it all around me in 云南. Capitalism demands a homogenization of culture for commodification. Under this economic imperative, many Chinese ethnic minorities have begun assimilating without the use of physical force.
I was talking with a friend who has similar racial and immigrant identity fractures as I do. He mentioned that self-love has helped him feel at peace.
I wonder if I will feel at peace if I ever get to a stable point in terms of self-love. I wonder if it’s even possible for me to fully realize self-love given that I have never been allowed to love myself. I have never loved myself. As he noted, the process of self-love looks different for everyone.