You Are Triggering me! The Neo-Liberal Rhetoric of Harm, Danger and Trauma by Jack Halberstam
Challenging blog from Jack Halberstam, well worth a read.
"Is this the way the world ends? When groups that share common cause, utopian dreams and a joined mission find fault with each other instead of tearing down the banks and the bankers, the politicians and the parliaments, the university presidents and the CEOs? Instead of realizing, as Moten and Hearny put it in The Undercommons, that “we owe each other everything,” we enact punishments on one another and stalk away from projects that should unite us, and huddle in small groups feeling erotically bonded through our self-righteousness.”
My grandparents’ sugar was the cane. You need strong teeth, strong jaws, to chew sugarcane. The sticks are sometimes too thick to fit comfortably in the mouth. You get purchase on a ridge of juicy, crisp fiber, arrange the fibers crosswise against the blades of your incisors. You position your tongue and the roof of your mouth out of reach of knife-sharp corners. You bite against the grain. If you bite parallel to the fibers, you end up splitting the cane, smaller and smaller sticks in your mouth, saliva running, no juice. But when you get the crunch just right and the surge and gush of sweet liquid—aaaah.
My parents’ sugar was jaggery. Brown rock. Pre-sugar, before the molasses is spun off from the crystals by centrifuge. Made from coconut or date palm sap or sugarcane juice, boiled to syrup, then hardened and chopped into blocks. As a child I had the task of grating the large hunk down into soft, crumbly shavings for cooking. The gritty, melty sweetness of it, shot with undertastes of minerals.
Speak the truth to the people
Talk sense to the people
Free them with honesty
Free the people with Love and Courage for their Being
Spare them the fantasy
A slave is enslaved
Can be enslaved by unwisdom
Can be re-enslaved while in flight from the enemy
Can be enslaved by his brother whom he loves
His brother whom he trusts whom he loves
His brother whom he trusts
His brother with the loud voice
And the unwisdom
Speak the truth to the people
It is not necessary to green the heart
Only to identify the enemy
It is not necessary to blow the mind
Only to free the mind
To identify the enemy is to free the mind
A free mind has no need to scream
A free mind is ready for other things
To BUILD black schools
To BUILD black children
To BUILD black minds
To BUILD black love
To BUILD black impregnability
To BUILD a strong black nation
Speak the truth to the people
Spare them the opium of devil-hate
They need no trips on honky-chants.
Move them instead to a BLACK ONENESS.
A black strength which will defend its own
Needing no cacophony of screams for activation
A black strength which will attack the laws
exposes the lies, disassembles the structure
and ravages the very foundation of evil.
Speak the truth to the people
To identify the enemy is to free the mind
Free the mind of the people
Speak to the mind of the people
”—mari evans, speak the truth to the people. (via black-poetry)
From the silky feel of the water to the bumpiness of a waxed board, much of surfing is tactile, enhancing and engaging every sense. Hearing the sound of waves crashing, receding, and arriving is unavoidable. The water catches in your mouth and you taste the natural saltiness of the element. Everything is illuminated. Stretching all around is an expanse of blue where sky and sun meet sea, or you catch a glimpse of life on land from a new perspective. Being out in the roll of the ocean awakens the body.
While there are moments of fear, intimidation, boredom, and doubt — depending on the condition of the waves and one’s relationship with it on a given day — there is always a moment of liberation and pride. To catch a wave is an overwhelming feeling of connectedness. Suddenly, you are standing on top of an uncontrollable and unpredictable natural element.
Joanna Macy: On how to prepare internally for WHATEVER comes next
I find a lot of what I am drawn to in the teaching I do, the experiential work, is to help people make friends with uncertainty, and reframe it as a way of coming alive. Because there are never any guarantees at any point in life. Perhaps it’s more engrained in the American citizen that we feel we ought to know, we ought to be certain, we ought to be in control, we ought to be upbeat, we ought to be smiling, we ought to be sociable. That cultural cast has tremendous power to keep us benumbed and becalmed. So it’s been central to my life and my work to make friends with our despair, to make friends with our pain for the world. And thereby to dignify it and honour it. That is very freeing for people.
This column will change your life: stop being busy
One of the best reads ever on time management!
llustration: Photograph: Phil Wrigglesworth for the Guardian
“Most time management advice rests on the unspoken assumption that it’s possible to win the game: to find a slot for everything that matters. But if the game’s designed to be unwinnable, Schulte suggests, you can permit yourself to stop trying. There’s only one viable time management approach left (and even that’s only really an option for the better-off). Step one: identify what seem to be, right now, the most meaningful ways to spend your life. Step two: schedule time for those things. There is no step three. Everything else just has to fit around them – or not. Approach life like this and a lot of unimportant things won’t get done, but, crucially, a lot of important things won’t get done either. Certain friendships will be neglected; certain amazing experiences won’t be had; you won’t eat or exercise as well as you theoretically could. In an era of extreme busyness, the only conceivable way to live a meaningful life is to not do thousands of meaningful things.”
The ability to forgive oneself. Stop here for a few breaths and think about this, because it is the key to making art and very possibly the key to finding any semblance of happiness in life. Every time I have set out to translate the book (or story, or hopelessly long essay) that exists in such brilliant detail on the big screen of my limbic system onto a piece of paper (which, let’s face it, was once a towering tree crowned with leaves and a home to birds), I grieve for my own lack of talent and intelligence. Every. Single. Time. Were I smarter, more gifted, I could pin down a closer facsimile of the wonders I see. I believe that, more than anything else, this grief of constantly having to face down our own inadequacies is what keeps people from being writers. Forgiveness, therefore, is key. I can’t write the book I want to write, but I can and will write the book I am capable of writing. Again and again throughout the course of my life I will forgive myself.
First, the admen stole feminism – then they used it to flog cheap chocolate and perfume to us
Terrific writing from Laurie Penney about how marketing appropriated feminism (and continues to do so).
The trouble is that, while progressive ideas can be used to spice up a confectionery campaign, social justice itself is a hard sell. The kind of feminist change that will make a material difference to the lives of millions, the kind of feminist change growing numbers of ordinary people are getting interested in, is about far more than body image. It’s about changing the way women (and, by extension, everyone else) get to live and love and work. It’s about boring, unsexy, structural problems such as domestic work and unpaid labour, racism and income inequality. It’s about freeing us to live lives in which we are more than how we look, what we buy and what we have to sell.
I don’t hold with the notion that feminism comes in “waves”. For me, gender liberation is a tsunami, vast and slow-moving, that will sweep away all the stale old hierarchies and leave us with something fresh and free. But the activists of what is now being spoken of as feminism’s “fourth wave” – digital, intersectional, globally connected and mad as hell – are good at branding, and increasingly confident in getting their message out. The iconography of injustice has altered in the internet age and viral moments, popular hashtags, catchy videos and slogans are being used to promote ideas that are more challenging than anything mainstream advertising has yet thought of.
RISE does not endorse any movement that claims to be pro-refugee but celebrates “Australia day”. To link our community to such events and white-wash this history is not just insensitive to the indigenous communities of Australia but also to most of us from refugee/asylum seeker communities who…
Some people say I have “Minority Privilege.” Here is a list I complied of 50 Black Male Minority Privileges I’ve experienced in the twenty-four years of my life. Feel free to pick and choose from the ones you would like to possibly incorporate. There is enough to go around for everyone.
We say these words as rituals. But never casually. For to be disposable means we can never be casual about our ongoing vulnerability. We can never be casual about our disposability. About the ease with which a killing world hunts for killable bodies and relishes the killing.
They make you ashamed of your rage. They call you the angry black man, The hysterical woman, The paranoid Jew. They make you stand in fire, Then complain when you yell about the heat. They say: “What are you playing the race card for?” - But I have never known a membership card That has closed so many doors. They cause or prolong your pain, Then tell you how it should be expressed; If you don’t do so politely, Then your case will be dismissed - They talk over you, Talk over you, Talk over you, Talk over you, Talk over you, Talk over you, Talk over you, Talk over you, Talk over you - Then get surprised when you shout. They don’t think: “We ignored them, So they had to scream it out.” For this is what The First Law of Privilege dictates: That what to you is daily strife Is, to them, mere debate.
Walking While Black in the ‘White Gaze’ By GEORGE YANCY
"Black bodies in America continue to be reduced to their surfaces and to stereotypes that are constricting and false, that often force those black bodies to move through social spaces in ways that put white people at ease. We fear that our black bodies incite an accusation. We move in ways that help us to survive the procrustean gazes of white people. We dread that those who see us might feel the irrational fear to stand their ground rather than “finding common ground,” a reference that was made by Bernice King as she spoke about the legacy of her father at the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.
The white gaze is also hegemonic, historically grounded in material relations of white power: it was deemed disrespectful for a black person to violate the white gaze by looking directly into the eyes of someone white. The white gaze is also ethically solipsistic: within it only whites have the capacity of making valid moral judgments.”
The dilemma of feminist researchers working on groups less privileged than themselves can be succinctly stated as follows: is it possible—not in theory, but in the actual conditions of the real world today—to write about the oppressed without becoming one of the oppressors?
In an absolute sense, I think not. In addition to the characteristic privileges of race and class, the existential or psychological dilemmas of the split between subject and object on which all research depends (even that of the most intense participant observer) imply that objectification, the utilisation of others for one’s own purposes and the possibility of exploitation, are built into almost all research projects with living human beings.(Patai, 1991, p.139).
Gluck, S. B., & Patai, D. (Eds.). (1991). Women’s words: The feminist practice of oral history. New York: Routledge. (p. 139)
“…feminists imagine that merely engaging in the discourse of feminism protects them from the possibility of exploiting other women, while their routine research practices are and continue to be embedded in a situation of inequality” Daphne Patai
To intervene in the name of transformation means precisely to disrupt what has become settled knowledge and knowable reality, and to use, as it were, one’s unreality to make an otherwise impossible or illegible claim…. when the unreal lays claim to reality, or enters into its domain, something other than a simple assimilation into prevailing norms can and does take place. The norms themselves can become rattled, display their instability, and become open to resignification (Judith Butler 2004, 27-28).
“To make trouble was, within the reigning discourse of my childhood, something one should never do precisely because that would get one in trouble. The rebellion and its reprimand seemed to be caught up in the same terms, a phenomenon that gave rise to my first critical insight into the subtle ruse of power: the prevailing law threatened one with trouble, even put one in trouble, all to keep one out of trouble. Hence, I concluded that trouble is inevitable and the task, how best to make it, what best way to be in it” (Gender Trouble, Judith Butler xxvii).
While laudable in its efforts to educate both teachers and students about the violent effects of various isms that impact LGBT people, I have always found myself at odds with the very notion that the classroom can or should be a safe place. In my early years of teaching I recall conversations with colleagues who identified as allies and spoke of the ways in which they establish their classrooms as “safe spaces”: places LGBT students could expect to be free from anti-gay bias and homophobia. I was always taken aback by these conversations, in part because I espouse Stuart Hall’s (1996) sense that there are “no guarantees” in either hegemonic or counter-hegemonic struggles for power, and in part because such an approach suggests that the teacher can single-handedly mold the fluid, dynamic nature of a classroom into a safe space for those who might be identified as queer or identified as marginalized in other ways. Heteronormativity is partially constructed through a dichotomous logic, where heterosexuality is considered normal, natural, and inevitable and homosexuality is constructed as its binary opposite: abnormal and perverse. Elsewhere, I have argued that discourses of safe spaces for LGBT students too often reproduce this dichotomy through an inclusion model that focuses on homophobia (Fox 2007). Suggesting that allies give, provide, offer, and secure safe space for LGBT people reinforces the normative authority and power of an ally to be the agent configuring what these spaces might be. While the inclusion model has been an important part of development towards queer studies over the last thirty years, it tends to focus on visibility and countering homophobia and often revolves around how to help LGBT people feel comfortable within existing frameworks rather than disrupting them. The display of safe space signs, however well-intentioned, often operates through a transactional rather than transformative logic that serves protect the social safety (or comfort) of allies, thereby occluding genuine reflection, dialogue, and struggle about what might constitute safety for marginalized peoples.
A great read from:
Fox, Catherine O. (2013). Neither Bitch Nor Mother: Queering Safety in the Classroom. Socialist Studies/Études socialistes, 9(1).
Reflecting on how an ethic of maternal care reproduces dominant social relations. “The mothering model…valorizes asymmetric social relations…What the ethic of care takes to be reciprocity (the baby’s smile, the student’s moment of understanding) is not true reciprocity. In contrast to egalitarian relationships such as friendship, ‘caring’ interactions do not include the carer’s needs in the picture. They do not require the cared-for to see the person who is attending to her from the latter’s point of view” (Bernice Fisher (2001).
Throughout the years, African American entertainers, especially those in the R&B field, have often reached for the exotic in order to enhance their art. One of the things reached for was a turban.
A turban is basically a style of headwear that is closely associated with India. It consists of a piece of cloth wrapped around the head, often in an ornate manner. Although the exact history of it is not known, it is believed that the turban evolved out of a hat that was worn in ancient Persia. It has become a symbol of some religions, including Islam (Mohamed was said to have worn a white turban) and Sikhism (all males wear a turban).