idk if i can do this entry justice
May 5, 2010 § Leave a comment
power and privilege. i guess also identity
what you let identify you will also rule you, said ryan.
the last month or so ive been thinking about this day and night night and day 24/7 over and over. i couldnt get it out of my head my system. my eyes see everything through this lens, and all the actions words filter through that net, and im just so tired really so tired of questions coming up words to fire back anger and frustration ultimately tears as red flags come up up up and i cant stop them. thats how ive been wired.
i think whats happening is this:
im seeing how power and privilege bought by whiteness are actually identifying a person to the point where when that power and privilege either forcefully get taken away by political revolution or some rare times given up voluntarily as one recognizes their oppressive nature, those whose identity are wrapped up in the two become uncomfortable, hurt, pained, even believing they are ‘being oppressed’
i feel almost sick right now. kifahs voice rings in me
i cant believe i just cried for that. i mean it wasnt just right now. probably what ive been feeling this whole month the past four yrs. i felt so uncomfortable i had to leave. i just couldnt stay there. i mean wtf this is the one place ONE PLACE i feel safe on this campus. and they had to come here. i went over to some muslim brothers. i want to be comfortable!
two jewish males come in. if it werent for their tikvah tshirts i think i wouldve just seen em as ‘white.’ which is tragic. jews arent white. they were not white. but like other ethnic whites who are without question now accepted ‘whites,’ they have bought into whiteness.
so they want to film mcc. all my flight or fight instincts kick in, and i ask them what its for. they say something about for another country. documentary on student life campus stuff. first mistake i say they can as long as they let us know what its being used for and email us the clips. but the real tension isnt the permission to film public spaces or the artists privacy. as elisa steps out to deal with them, my heart is already full of all the words this guys said at the last senate hearing and his proud students for israel tshirt. when i saw kifah in her hijab — she doesnt wear it usually. i know that was her statement. hey im a muslim woman. yes youve seen me, im in students for justice in palestine. i helped with the divestment bill, and i work here. this is MY space — walk out to the other side, my heart just hurt. the tension, whether the two jewish students knew or not was between the old blatant in your face white supremacy now disguised in color blind western democracy spreading freedom and equality by the dollars everywhere we go bullshit and the long centuries long hystory of coloniality oppression dehumanization borne by the people of color womyn queer all who are non white non western europe non self ‘others trying a shot at human dignity self determination our own definition of life knowledge community values spirituality power love.
the two jewish students dont know dont understand how not with their consent the fathers and mothers of same blood scorned as the niggers paupers strange ethnics in the ghettos dreamt for them a better future just like the palestinian parents do the vietnamese elders black single mothers everywhere. somehow they traded in their colors for that shot, gladly jumped on the american dream bandwagon shedding all prayers in the secret remembering the holocaust faces in the public supporting democracy the usa usa ivy leagues and lawyers doctors bankers congresspeople whiteness whiteness. now you can come in assuming all the privilege you can walk in anywhere feel comfortable anywhere never be questioned never be stopped and have to explain themselves. im sure the things your parents kept in you were the images stories screams of those bleak years, everyones suffered son. but they cant become badges of entitlement. how could we let this happen? thats what power does. where do we go from here? hystory. we cant fight hystory
what identifies us will also rule us. i dont want fake power fake privilege that end up hurting both those who hold and those who are held to rule over me. to the point where i cant recognize myself away from them. and to you who think that somehow my fight to deconstruct the privilege — of not even having to think about whether some people dont have the choice to feel safe when they are around the police for they are colored because you would NEVER experience that in your life — is an attack of their ‘white’ identity, im sorry. you have been bought by the whiteness you didnt create didnt name didnt choose to let that rule over you. and if yous for real, if you want to talk to me like eye to eye soul to soul human to human yous going to have to hurt a little. yous going to have to face that the sweet comfort of ignorance when you can take things for granted is built on the backs of those who were born with no shot at buying that same whiteness. yous going to have to deconstruct that identity too. who you are isnt what you can/cannot do or what you are/arent comfortable with or what you do/dont agree on.
i see God in you