For as long as this blog has been around, Bobby Jindal has been a source of controversy in the comment threads. Should South Asian Americans support him because he is an undisputedly intelligent politician and desi like us, or is it okay to turn our backs on him because we fundamentally disagree with his policies and the type of America that he represents? Both answers are of course correct, depending upon what matters most to you as an individual voter.
I don’t understand the purpose of coming to community events if you are not actually interacting with the community. And when I say “interacting,” I don’t mean that you eat their food or watch them in their strange cultural rituals. I mean that you might actually attempt to develop relationships with those people. And maybe you might not treat them like your servants as you dip your toe into your cultural experience.
Lately I’ve been a little too aware of being one of them when among you all. And I see your children watching, too.
I have tried for a long time to be understanding of white people’s fears when it comes to interacting with people of color. But frankly, since they usually manifest as privilege and patronage, I’m having a hard time. During a seminar on racism, a white woman voiced her anxieties about entering communities of color. I commented that was one of the ways that racism had harmed us all. But then she was quick to deny that fear was a product of racism.
Because it occurs to me that worrying that other people might find you racist is a product of racism. Being anxious that people will not accept you when you’ve always been accepted previously is privilege and perhaps projected racism as well.
And here you are losing the ability to be real and genuine, and to have true and genuine relationships. Because if you cannot acknowledge the damage that racism has done, it is going to be very hard for me to accept you as a friend or ally.
Hirshman’s piece resonates because of a conversation I was having as I walked to brunch with Fillthy yesterday. I mentioned to him that I just learned about a non profit that is against the jail that is scheduled to be re-opened in downtown Brooklyn. I had the idea that the prison reform folks and the and anti jail folks may be able to form like Voltron.
Soon the wind would be let out of my sails when he mentioned that he had already spoken to anti-jailers, as he had the same idea. He concluded they were not anti-prison, they were just against the opening of the prison in their neighborhood because of the impact on their property values.
The anti jail folks were the classic Single Cause Activists (SGA’s).
As Americans, I think we have a knee jerk aversion to understanding and admitting how things are connected.
We would be better off as a humans if we acknowledged and approached life from the perspective that everything is connected or damn near so.
For example, Corn prices go up, beef goes up. Over-fish the Salmon, salmon become extinct. Spend Trillions on a war, less money for State infrastructure. Fewer jobs in post industrial cities for teenage Black men, more teenage black men sell crack. The analogies are crude, but you get the picture.
In thinking about the SCAs, I wondered how the notion of SCAs related to Linda Hirshman’s resentment of the in “intersectionality” that she sees in some of today’s feminism.
Is Hirshman advocating for Single Cause’s Activism within feminism?
In response to the single cause activism in feminism, bell hooks is clear that if feminism is a lifestyle choice, then it will not mean shit to the masses of women and will consequently be irrelevant to them as well.