ceitie: (Default)
([personal profile] ceitie Mar. 13th, 2009 12:42 am)
So the store where I've been working part-time since last summer? Closed down on Tuesday, with no warning to any of the people who were working there. Boo. It's not so bad for me, since I was hoping to get a different job this summer anyway, but I feel awful for my coworkers.

In more important news, for anyone on my flist who wants to know what's the deal with RaceFail09, something that started out as a discussion about racism and cultural appropriation and turned into something much bigger, and much more painful, here are some links that might help:

A timeline of the main events that happened early on in the discussion.

A short summary of the more recent events that have spawned from the original discussion.

A collection of links to everything that's gone down since the beginning. There's a lot of links here, but trust me, they're worth reading through.

I've been following but not participating in this. I'm a white girl with privilege coming out my ears, and I had the luxury to sit back and read, and hopefully learn.

However, to quote [livejournal.com profile] synecdochic here's what you need to know about RaceFail09: These conversations are not wank. This is not petty infighting. This is not trivial. This is important as fucking hell.

From: [identity profile] autumn--leaves.livejournal.com

Ugh, that sucks. Did people show up and the doors were chained/different locks put in like the other stores?

From: [identity profile] neekcomplex.livejournal.com

Sorry to hear about the store. I understand how you feel somewhat--the job I thought I had this summer is suddenly not there, and I'm job hunting again *sigh*.

Thanks for posting the links about RaceFail09. Reading through the links, I was reminded of a video I watched in my class on prejudice and stereotyping--Jane Elliott's Indecently Exposed, about the way Canadians treat Native Americans--and in the video, one person talked about how s/he resents the way that non-indigenous people assume that indigenous people are just the same, and no different from them, except for the colour of their skin, because that's just not true. I think you'd like this video, and if you can get a hold of it, it's worth watching.

From: [identity profile] neekcomplex.livejournal.com

Here's a link to part of it--http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K1jf86p90ZY. Jane Elliott was the experimenter who carried out the blue eyes/brown eyes exercise, and she still uses that paradigm in the video.

And you know, that's really the brunt of the issue--how do we respect differences and incorportate those differences into our concepts of people without making it the basis of stereotypes and prejudice--and how do we do this, because knowledge of stereotypes doesn't mean we have to apply them, but it's easy to, because we have an automatic tendency to categorize information, and then we apply those categories to make ourselves feel good (in-group/out-group derogation).

Last thing, I know I'm writing a lot, but a girl at a workshop I attended mentioned this quote she thinks a lot about that was said in the context of racism in the environmental movement--"If you're here to help me, I don't want your pity. But if you're here because you [and here I can't remember it exactly, so I hope I'm getting it somewhat right] recognize that you share [in some ways?] the same fate as me, then [we can work together?]."

From: [identity profile] neekcomplex.livejournal.com

I just thought of another thing--you may have heard of it, it's called the Implicit Association Test, and it's supposed to measure implicit attitudes--but they used it on a TV show, and the white people who did it were often ashamed that their implicit attitudes showed a preference for white people, whereas the black people who did it were not ashamed that their implicit attitudes showed a preference for black people. And that's the thing--it's not bad to prefer people of your own culture, and so this whole idea of people being universal, and whee, we're all the same underneath, isn't really going to take us anywhere.

(By the way, when I use you, or it sounds like I'm addressing this to you, I'm not saying 'you' as in, 'you do this', or implying anything, I'm just writing as if I were talking to you in person, because I think you might find some of this a little bit interesting.)

From: [identity profile] ceitie.livejournal.com

That bites about your job! Hope you find another one soon.

Yeah, race is such a tangled issue that it's hard to see how we'll ever manage to make things even a little better, or even what "better" looks like sometimes. I do think that talking about it, and more importantly, listening to others talk about it helps. I just wish that the discussion hadn't come about because of people acting like assholes.

I think I recognize the quote, about people working beside each other, although I can't remember the real version either. In response to people who wrote that they hoped that in a better future, race wouldn't matter and everyone would be intermixed and beige, someone disagreed by saying that they wanted difference, and quoted Star Trek: "infinite diversity in infinite combinations", which made me laugh, but also makes sense. Did you read this post (http://deepad.livejournal.com/30593.html)? Very cool.

Hmm, after watching the video, I want to go read more about Jane Elliot and her experiments.

From: (Anonymous)

I didn't read that post, but I did read another of deepad's posts that I thought was really good--this one: http://deepad.livejournal.com/29656.html. I will read the post you linked to though, because it does look very cool--thanks for pointing it out.

The Jane Elliot experiments are pretty cool--you could probably get her videos in the library? I've seen two of them so far, the original blue-eyed/brown-eyed video, and the one I linked to, and they're worth watching, I think.

From: [identity profile] ceitie.livejournal.com

Yeah, I read that first post too, and it helped me look at stories and fantasy from a different perspective. I had to reread it a few times to get everything that she was saying though.


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