Race, Privilege, Cultural Appropriation: 6 Articles I’ve Been Reading This Week
From Vox: The Rise of American Authoritarianism
“Authoritarians are thought to express much deeper fears than the rest of the electorate, to seek the imposition of order where they perceive dangerous change, and to desire a strong leader who will defeat those fears with force.
They would thus seek a candidate who promised these things. And the extreme nature of authoritarians’ fears, and of their desire to challenge threats with force, would lead them toward a candidate whose temperament was totally unlike anything we usually see in American politics — and whose policies went far beyond the acceptable norms.
Authoritarians prioritize social order and hierarchies, which bring a sense of control to a chaotic world. Challenges to that order — diversity, influx of outsiders, breakdown of the old order — are experienced as personally threatening because they risk upending the status quo order they equate with basic security.”
From The Boeskool: When You’re Accustomed To Privilege, Equality Feels Like Oppression
“All this anger we see from people screaming “All Lives Matter” in response to black protesters at rallies… All this anger we see from people insisting that THEIR “religious freedom” is being infringed because a gay couple wants to get married… All these people angry about immigrants, angry about Muslims, angry about “Happy Holidays,” angry about not being able to say bigoted things without being called a bigot… They all basically boil down to people who have grown accustomed to walking straight at other folks, and expecting THEM to move.
So when “those people” in their path DON’T move… When those people start wondering, “Why am I always moving out of this guy’s way?” When those people start asking themselves, “What if I didn’t move? What if I just kept walking too?” When those people start believing that they have every bit as much right to that aisle as anyone else… It can seem like THEIR rights are being taken away.”
From Kevin Powell: Will Racism Ever End? Will I Ever Stop Being A Nigger?
“I can hear my White sisters and brothers say now, as many often declare to me when this uncomfortable dialogue occurs, “But I did not own slaves, I had nothing to do with that” or “My relatives did not do that.” It does not matter if you or your long-gone relatives were directly involved or not, or if you believe that “that is in the past.” The past, tragically, is the present, because we’ve been too terrified to confront our whole history and our whole selves as Americans.
Furthermore what matters is that a system was put in place, rooted in slavery, based on White skin privilege and White skin color, that revolved around power, land, property, status, shared values born of oppression and discrimination and marginalization, and that has never changed in America. Never. That system and its values have been passed generation to generation as effortlessly as we pass plates at the family dinner table.”
“Kayan Cheung-Miaw‘s “Dear Brother,” the English version of which you can read in full here and below (there’s also a Chinese-language version), depicts the relationship between an Asian-American sister and brother as the brother grows from a fun-loving youth to a hardened police officer caught up in the shooting of an unarmed Black trans youth.
The comic’s panels show the increased distance between siblings on divergent life paths as it becomes clear how close they are to people whose behavior perpetuates White supremacist social structures. It’s a scenario that may be familiar to many readers, including those who don’t identify as Asian-American.”
“Once we’ve confronted the political and economic advantages that came with ending slavery, we shouldn’t celebrate Abraham Lincoln as someone who ended slavery because of the inhumanity. We can’t begin to celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr. without confronting why he became a prominent leader in the Civil Rights Movement.
We can’t celebrate Rosa Parks without confronting the dark history of Jim Crow, and we can’t celebrate Thurgood Marshall, The Little Rock Nine or Ruby Bridges without assessing the current climate of inequality in the education system.”
From Medium: The Cultural Appropriation Primer
“I teach classes on how to write “The Other” and keep a growing list of resource links for my students. These are the links in the cultural appropriation section. I hope you find it as useful as my students do.”
From Aspiring Humanitarian, Relando Thompkins-Jones, MSW, LLMSW