Concert of my Life

Pats posts stuff sometimes, mostly reblogs and likes other posts, usually cats or important issues but often pop culture too.

Some personally written posts are big blog post style, so a "Read More" link is used to shorten posts for browser feeds. (sorry mobile users)

I write a lot about social/political/world issues and you may or may not agree with my opinions. I am not and do not claim to be an expert on any of the topics, and am only presenting my thoughts formed from knowledge gained through research or school. Feel free to let me know what you think, I am always open to new ideas and perspectives.

Any statements made on this blog are my own personal opinions and do not reflect the views or stances of any organization, company, or peer that I am affiliated with.

Any Questions, Comments, or Concerns? Praises or Objections? Put it in the Ask!
  • Ask Me


  • A Page I made some time ago to collect all Posts related to Society/World Issues, but I got too lazy with tagging so it's not updated: Thoughts on Society

    Posts tagged "racism"
    Stated simply, affirmative action is meant to counteract the evils of caste, not of class. It is predicated on a realization that blacks have been victims of a system of oppression that goes far beyond the disabilities associated with class disadvantage, and therefore warrant a special remedy.
    Stephen Steinberg in The Liberal Retreat from Race [x]

    it seems both absurd yet is contextually so horrifying the extent of white male supremacy during the era of Jim Crow. that the Ku Klux Klan, white supremacy, and lynch mobs, were at their core fueled by an intensely irrational yet “logical” fear of black (male) agency. that white men were so misogynistic that their most “prized property” was their sexual control over white women; and the mere thought that a black male (then emancipated from chattel slavery) could possibly (even consensual) interact with or interact sexually with a white woman - “damaging” or “spoiling” their “property” - stirred them into performing the most gruesome acts of violence this country has ever seen.

    the vastness of the white male’s fears was reflected in the jim crow policies and violent means taken to prevent black folks from voting, working, owning businesses, etc. but something they don’t teach us is that these actions weren’t performed out of a particular modern notion of “hatred” towards black folks, but out of the immense discomfort of seeing black men participating in activities that had been for centuries reserved for the only true “full humans” - the only true “men” - of the country. to white men, black men, by having agency over their own lives, were literally “stealing” “manhood”, and by extension, “stealing” the possibility of interacting with the white women that the white men “owned”. 

    refer to: The Sexualization of Reconstruction Politics: White Women and Black Men in the South after the Civil War - by Martha Hodes  [http://web.uvic.ca/~ayh/Hodes.pdf]

    Confronting Anti-Blackness in Asian/American Communities and Organizing - a Tumblr powerpoint


    *This content was put together by a middle class Chinese American student in the University of California, with input from other UC students, and based on his personal interpretations of a fraction of the literature and knowledge on Anti-Blackness. This post does not claim to be close to comprehensive or nuanced or even accurate on the issue, nor does it claim to represent all of the diverse AAPI experiences and conditions. Most importantly, this post fully acknowledges that it is no substitute for Black voices and scholarship on the issue and urgency of confronting Anti-Blackness.


    Here are just a few selected pieces that were used to put together this post, and can provide much more detailed insight into the many issues raised.

    I’ve been itching to write this post since my Sociology 1 lecture the past Tuesday. The theme of this week’s readings and lecture and discussion is how History is framed in America, and how it is more often than not a skewed and problematic portrayal. Hit Read More for my thoughts on the things I’ve learned. Historical figures to be covered: Helen Keller, George Washington, and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. One of the three texts we have is called “Lies my Teacher Told Me”. So far it is a book that debunks or clarifies American History facts that are often improperly portrayed in the American education system. It starts off with a big, shocking kind of hook to exemplify how American History tends to Obscure facts and Heroify figures. If you watched the films or read the childrens’ books, would you know that Helen Keller spent the majority of her adult life, until her death, advocating for womens’ rights… as well as the working class… as a self-identified Socialist? I certainly didn’t know. The book doesn’t deny the story that the films and the short-and-sweet stories say about her youth being blind and deaf and learning to understand a form of language and going on to advocate for the disabled. The book emphasizes how we don’t know the REST of her story, a story that is just as important and significant as the story of her personal achievement in overcoming a disability. For Helen Keller, her disability was part of what made her identify so strongly with radical Socialism. As part of a marginalized and oppressed group, she strongly empathized with the plight of low wage industrial workers who were also being marginalized and oppressed by a privileged class. She even recognized that her chance to have a home tutor who taught her language, as well as the other support systems she had, were due in large part to the fact that she was born into a wealthy family. That kind of radical Socialism, the kind associated with the Communist boogeymen that we all fear so much, just doesn’t fit the character of the “All-American” Helen Keller. The book focuses on the idea of “Heroification”. Turning figures in history into one-dimensional do-gooders with no fault, not unlike a god in mythology. This kind of “Heroification” obscures important parts of their humanity, especially their faults. The book (and the professor during lecture) goes on to talk about America’s favorite national hero: George Washington. We all are taught at a young age to revere the founder of America. Perhaps when we get to AP US History, after two to three rounds of simplified American History, do we get hints that Washington was also a slave-owner, but that might usually be glossed over as a function of the time period. But, and I’ve yet to confirm this but I can’t, the Soc professor talked about how a subculture existed during the Revolutionary Era that flat out opposed slavery. So in some sense, it was a conscious decision of many of the Founding Fathers to reject the existing idea that no person should be enslaved, for whatever reason. The professor also went to on explain how much of the reasons for the Revolutionary War were very much not noble, but initially rooted in more greedy intents to gain more land and profits. Now personally, my education in American History DID in fact touch on many of these less savory parts of American History, including the horrifying effects of Columbus’s “discovery” of America, which brought untold amounts of death and suffering onto Native populations. So there is probably some variance between different schools, school districts, states, and textbooks. The book repeatedly emphasizes that it is not out to demonize America’s historical figures. It simply wants education from the beginning give a more holistic and fact based portrayal of these historical figures, laying out both the good and the bad, showing these figures to be imperfect and normal human beings, and allow for critical thinking instead of blind obedience. This is especially relevant following a week that celebrates the memory and achievements of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. When my group gave a presentation about Racism last quarter, we talked about how King has become just that, a memory, frozen in time, on infinite loop. Today, we are taught an American History about this great amazing man who worked very hard to advance Civil Rights in American and bring equality for all the races. And that’s it. Like it’s over. As if the struggle for justice and equality started and completed with Dr King. Which I think, and I’m sure many other critical thinkers would agree, is a flat out falsehood and a embarrassment to the memory of Dr King. We are not in a post-race society, not after King, not after some Civil Rights bill, and definitely not after having the first African American President of the United States of America. Yes, there have been great steps and strides of progress, and that needs to be recognized and celebrated. That is the history that is told. But the other half of history is not told, and that is that there is still so much more work to be done. Racism is alive and kicking people into the dirt everyday in America, and that is unacceptable. If the book has anything to say about Dr King, I think it would agree that MLK Jr has been Heroified as this godlike figure who came and fixed everything and was totally nonviolent and nonconfrontational. The fact is, and the one I certainly didn’t know about, and many people don’t talk about, is that Dr King, towards the end of his life, was championing the cause of economic equality. He was on the verge of gathering together a nationwide movement inclusive of all races to target rampant economic inequality, which he recognized was inextricably linked to racism. At the MLK Symposium Lecture the other day, former San Francisco mayor Willie Brown expressed his belief that if Dr King had not been killed, and had continued his work, we would not have needed the Occupy movement. That MLK fought for economic justice is a fact, it is History. But it is not a History that they’ll teach you, it is not a history that the GOP will tell. MLK recognized that American Individualism was not a whole truth, that institutional and structural barriers existed to the oppressed. He said that “true compassion is more than flinging a coin to a beggar… it comes to see that an edifice which produces beggars needs restructuring.” They’ll also tell you that MLK was all about peace and nonviolence. But that is only half the truth. Yes, MLK fully believed in achieving social justice through nonviolent means, but that didn’t mean he wasn’t willing to be critical and confrontational about injustice. In fact, he organized and participated in nonviolent protest intended to be able to provoke arrests. He knew that calling his Senator wouldn’t be enough. But when the history textbooks and the mass media pushes this Heroified picture of Dr King, it distorts what he stood for and what he fought for. America today is so dismissive of protesting. I only need to check my Facebook to see how many of my friends have been so dismissive of Occupy and of student protesters as “idiotic”. America is still rather dismissive about real economic justice, and you only need to listen to a GOP presidential candidate to hear the (bulls***) “bootstraps” talk. When we celebrate Martin Luther King Jr, we should also be remembering and honoring these aspects of his memory in addition to the truly extraordinary work he did in advancing the cause of equality and justice, but we don’t, because we don’t even know these parts of him.

    18mr:

    Here’s to the marchers, the picketers, the organizers. Here’s to 50 years of the dream. Let’s march together into a better future, because there’s still work to be done.

    (P.S., this image is optimized to be a Facebook cover photo! Feel free to change yours and help us honor the Asian Americans who shared the dream.)

    Part IV provides concluding thoughts and explains how APAs have a unique opportunity to defend affirmative action in a way that challenges both conservative cries of the APA “victim” and liberal neglect of APA communities. How APAs react to the onslaught against affirmative action presents a defining moment for APA history and identity. By standing up for affirmative action—regardless of whether APAs are always included—we can show loyalty to principles, not self-interest, and a genuine commitment to a community of justice.
    Beyond Self-Interest: Asian Pacific Americans Toward a Community of Justice [x]
    Finally, APAs must be mindful of their own blindspot: We possess a “simultaneity” in which we can be both victim and perpetrator of racial oppression. We must reject a self-congratulatory embrace of the model minority myth and reject policies justified only by the narrowest self-concern. Most importantly, we must denounce the prejudice within our own communities, which allow us to care less about social justice and more about individual self-interest.
    Beyond Self-Interest: Asian Pacific Americans Toward a Community of Justice [x]
    Recently, opponents of race- and gender-based affirmative action have advocated replacing it with class-based affirmative action. But these two programs are not mutually exclusive. Universities, for example, can and do consider multiple “diversity” factors—not only race, but also socio-economic disadvantage—in its admissions decision. We must also recognize that the two programs target different, although somewhat overlapping, problems. In particular, if social contact among the races is necessary to decrease racial prejudice, a race-based affirmative action program is better tailored to promote racial harmony. Finally, we must ask whether class-based affirmative action is being offered only as a ruse, to assuage progressives while dismantling race and gender-based affirmative action. A genuine commitment to class equality would lead one to target resources at an individual’s formative years—with anti-poverty programs that provide adequate housing, nutrition, and education to children. But oddly enough, the programs mentioned so far would instead give mild preferences late in life, in admissions or employment. This should give use cause for skepticism.
    Beyond Self-Interest: Asian Pacific Americans Toward a Community of Justice [x]
    Whatever else APAs decide about affirmative action, we should not allow ourselves to be used to attack other people of color. Pitting racial minority groups against one another represents the worst form of divide-and-conquer political strategy. APAs must refuse to believe that they are superior to Whites, non-Whites, or anyone else. This is not to denigrate the accomplishments of APAs or our hard work. But APAs must refuse to buy into derogatory stereotypes that other people of color have no achievements or shirk hard work. History teaches us that not long ago, the exact same criticisms were leveled at us, that we were the stupid, the unassimilable, the depraved, the criminal. And our own experiences, whether they be of racial epithets, glass ceilings, or hate crimes, reveal the continuing existence of racial prejudice.
    Beyond Self-Interest: Asian Pacific Americans Toward a Community of Justice [x]
    Finally, cultural reactions to ongoing racism may be another explanation for improved socio-economic mobility for APAs. This mobility may have little to do with anything essential to Asian cultures as much as their historically contingent reaction to limited opportunity. Professors Stanley Sue and Sumie Okazaki
    have argued, for instance, that ethnic, racial, and immigrant discrimination blocked off various avenues of success for APAs. Since APAs saw no future in politics, sports, or entertainment, they turned their attention toward education. And as they enjoyed mild success through education, this belief—that educational investment is the sole path to success in America—was reinforced. Indeed, this belief may have been bolstered by the model minority
    myth, which inculcated teachers to encourage and place high expectations on APA students while subconsciously discouraging or placing lower expectations on other minorities.
    Beyond Self-Interest: Asian Pacific Americans Toward a Community of Justice [x]