a discussion

I’m sharing this discussion because keiyoshi tagged our blog, and because I think this is a constructive discussion and I hope other followers here can read and think and have their own input if they wish.

Original post about race, activity, and identity: https://reclaimingasia.tumblr.com/post/152132284900/race-and-culture-activities-arent-the-same

And user keiyoshi’s response on the post:http://keiyoshi.tumblr.com/post/152134259856

I (Mod W) responded:

Hello. I am Mod W from the reclaimingasia blog and I wrote the post about culture =/= race. I want to message you to say thank you for your long thoughtful comment. I read it and I am going to think about it more after this message. For sociology reasons, I do believe that race and culture are separate things, and that one does not dictate the other. But I still want to understand what you say, when you say activities do dictate your race, because I want to understand your point of view. I think we agree on lots of things, like the role of colonialism and its connection to the idea of the west as modern. What you say about the idea of West = modern affects your community is something I definitely agree with and I am aware of. I am aware of the way that assimilation erases cultural practices. I do believe that activities are part of culture and ethnicity. Just not race. I believe that ethnicity and race are separate. I would not have said the things I did if it was about ethnicity. Only about race.

I don’t think my thoughts are foreign. I think they are common. My final point was not about fun- it is about the idea of “authenticity,” which is a lot about colonialism. The idea of “authenticity” relies on conflating race and ethnicity.  I grew up in a white family. Nobody in my family is Asian. I did not write about “white things” because I prefer things which people call “white”. I wrote about “white things” because I had no choice but to learn and like “white” things. I did not grow up learning my native language. I did not learn about my native culture. Whiteness and colonialism took it. But I am still Asian. It is why I say race and ethnicity cannot be the same. And that race is not activity/culture. Even if ethnicity is.

I hope I am understandable. I hope I did not say anything which disregards your experience. When I wrote the post, I did not mean to portray myself as the center or universal Asian experience. I am adopted by white people. My circumstances are uncommon and not universal.


thank you for contacting me and actually save me a bit of time to question myself.

I want to apologise first if what I had said are also hurting you based on your background, and I sincerely do not wish you to question where do you belong.

When I wrote activities does dictate my race, it is because the Race Theory one of them that commonly used by my many circles around me are from Blumenbach. And this will range widely from ultra-nationalistic Malay Malaysian on Peninsular side, or the one that claimed they are liberal or much more better than these people.

Activities dictate my race because it was put on the centre of attention while nowadays people are trying to claim where do we belong or do we not belong - when the artforms like dances, fine arts or speech that are influences by rich cultures that surround us and share with us and develop our own styles that goes out of our region (particularly SEA) are being torn apart due to current political/country boundaries - whether some things belong to us or not. More often than not, we were told we have nothing but a hand-me-downs knowledge and contributions from other ‘big’ civilisation like Hindu or Chinese civilisation, which is not wrong, but oversimplifying the people and the country.

Activities dictate my race because the Malay Sphere (Rumpun Melayu) are in centre and very questionable but, rarely deserve attention of critical views and understanding of locals just because what Blumenbach said is taken seriously and often hallmarked academic structures. And our own sociopolitical and socioreligious realms.

When I said it dictates my race, it is because it IS my race. Malay is my ethnicity, and by some part it is my RACE, and often it become the racial tension in my country for very apparent reasons.

And remember, Blumenbach uses my ethnicity to name part of his race theory - and it sticks. And it sucks.

Mod W:

I am definitely familiar with who Johann Blumenbach is and his ideas about race(s). I am very interested in the history of Race Theory and how it affects racial discourse today. I think I now understand why you say action dictates your race. In a way, I wrote what I did because I have the same problem: people want to dictate my race based on my activities. They want to push me to do one thing or the other. So I wanted to fight that by stating the opposite. I did not mean to disregard the huge connection between activities and race or the history of forced assimilation in SE (and other) Asian countries. I apologize if this is what happened.


tbvh that doesn’t happen in that extend, but i think if you describe the setting and background (like where does it comes from and how does it affect others) in a more specific way, it can help to isolate issues and underlying problems/issues so people can learn via those, say, mistake or actions.

part of the race theory is oversimplifying a very large community, and lets hope not to take the same route again, maybe?

Mod W:

Yes I agree. I will try to specify context better in the future. It is bad to just assume our followers share my context. Just because I believe race and ethnicity are separate, and that race and activity are separate, doesn’t mean I’m right. Thank you for sharing your perspective. I hope my words did not invalidate your identity, and I apologize if they did.


Johann Blumenbach is this guy. Horrible anthropologist responsible for lots of racial discourse in the 19th and 20th centuries. TW for scientific racism.

“…Rialto's randomised controlled study has seized attention because it offers scientific – and encouraging – findings: after cameras were introduced in February 2012, public complaints against officers plunged 88% compared with the previous 12 months. Officers’ use of force fell by 60%.”

– California Police Use of Body Cameras Cuts Violence and Complaints | The Guardian

Mexican Indigenous Ask Pope to Apologize for Massive Genocide

The Purepechas of Michoacan released a statement asking Pope Francis to apologize for the killing of 24 million Indigenous people.

The Supreme Indigenous Council of Michoacan, Mexico, accused the Catholic Church of being complicit in the killing of over 24 million Indigenous people.
Some 30 Indigenous communities of Michoacan, Mexico, have released a statement demanding Pope Francis apologize for the genocide committed with the complicity of the Catholic Church against their people during the Spanish invasion of the Americas in the sixteenth century as well as the fact that they have been victimized for over five centuries.

“For over 500 years, the original people of the Americas have been ransacked, robbed, murdered, exploited, discriminated and persecuted,” the Supreme Indigenous Council of Michoacan said in the statement.

“Within this framework, the Catholic Church has historically been complicit and allies of those who invaded our land,” they added.

Various Purepechas communities from Michoacan demanded that the pope make a public statement apologizing for the church’s role in the genocide and ongoing disappearance of the Indigenous people of Mexico.

The council also denounced that with weapons and the help of Catholic missionaries, a culture, language, religion and other European values were imposed on the people of Mexico.

"The Bible was the ideological weapon of the Conquerors,” they added ahead of the pope’s visit to Mexico, which begins Feb. 12.

The Spanish intervention and invasion of the Americas represents one of the biggest acts of genocide in history, they said.

“The arrival of the Europeans meant the interruption and destruction of various original civilizations, which had their unique ideas and concepts of the world, our own government, writings, languages, education, religion and philosophy,” the statement added.
The “European invaders” caused the death of 95 percent of the the total Indigenous population within 130 years after the unfortunate arrival of Christopher Columbus and Hernan Cortes, the council noted.

They highlighted that before the Spaniards arrived to the Mexican region, there were about 25.2 million Indigenous people, and that after 1623, less than 700,000 were left.

The pope is scheduled to visit Morelia, the capital of Michoacan, Feb. 16.

Last year, First Nations people also demanded the pope apologize for the genocide committed by colonization.

[For more on social justice, follow me on Instagram: soulrevision , Tumblr: soulrevision , Facebook: soulrevision , Twitter: soulrevision]   If you read, or are currently reading this news headline today and thinking, “Great!! I’m glad justice is served”, you have the wrong idea of what justice is. It’s time to re-think the way we see justice delivered to victims of oppression and abuse.

For the humiliation, pain, psychological and physical violence Marlene Pinnock endured, this settlement was rightfully owed to her. But this is what I call, “partial justice”.

The provision in the $1.5 million settlement states that the officer will resign. This is where justice is lacking. He is not being terminated, he is choosing to resign. For justice to work, the officer involved should be terminated, and must be arrested and charged for the violent crime of assault. There has to be accountability within the CHP. CHP is responsible for sending a clear message to Marlene Pinnock and Californians throughout the state, that they will not tolerate police brutality and will bring charges on any and all officers who fail to comply, just as they would do to civilians.

There is a pattern that has been developing for years across the nation, police commit acts of extreme violence on civilians (including sexual assault and murder), and walk away without incident. A new precedent must be set, one that says law enforcement is not above the law. This is just the beginning, we have yet to scratch the surface of ‘justice’ with this story. My post can be found here: http://on.fb.me/1usMqX0 Story on Marlene Pinnock’s $1.5 million settlement: http://bit.ly/1suRH01  
A moment to address something important

I am a person of color, but I am not Black.

I need to take a moment to address this because, 99% of the hate mail I receive is directed at Black people very specifically, which is a lot of why I do not usually publish it. Because why bother to intercept a killing arrow if you’re just going to continue throwing it at its intended target?

But I am getting the impression that lot of people believe that I am Black because of a mistaken assumption that anyone emotionally and/or intellectually invested in positive representation of Black people must be Black themselves. I find that very, very saddening. And it makes me angry.

It’s also a complex issue because I’m not qualified to speak for or over Black people about how they are represented in images, historical or modern. That is why I focus on making information accessible above all, because institutional barriers to access are openly anti-Black in nature in the United States, and my academic conclusions or assertions do not trump or negate anyone’s lived experience.

I’ve published hate mail that was anti-Black in sentiment two or three times since this blog’s inception, and I honestly wonder if I was right to do so. It’s my concern that readers will think that racist backlash against this blog doesn’t exist, or that it’s not complete racist garbage. But on the other hand, it’s wrong for me to claim that this kind of specifically anti-Black racism harms me personally, because it does not.

The very nature of my blog’s thesis requires complexity of thought and analysis, and it resist being boiled down for anyone’s comfort levels, including mine. The purpose of this disambiguation is not to distance myself from being perceived as Black; the purpose is to make it clear that I am absolutely accountable for claims I make.

I don’t derive some kind of megalomaniacal joy from being “right all the time”; some of you might have noticed I can be wrong as well. I am fine with that because I am in love with the dynamic, interactive and living nature of History as a discipline and Historiography as a dancing partner to accompany the stories we’re creating here.

That being said, anyone who upholds this blog as some kind of “example” of how to be polite or respectable needs to seriously re-examine their motives and nasty prejudices involving their entitlement to police other people’s behavior or responses to violence.

Thanks for reading.

I wonder how many people blame Tony for what Obadiah Stane did.

How many have the bald, vile, manipulative, abusive, stereotypical villain, that sold weapons under the table & Howard’s & Tony’s nose for years, just passing their mind when they blame Tony for the bad guys having his weapons.

The guy that wanted power, the guy that sold weapons to the ones that blew up the Maximoffs’ parents, the one that was willing to kill Pepper because Tony found out, the one that fought for the weapons part of SI stay open when Tony said “no, our, my, weapons, have been getting into the wrong hands, and I and SI needs to be accountable for that”, the one you see a full scene of him talking with the people he ordered to kill Tony, but instead they tortured him.

How many just forget this one character just so they feel better about blaming Tony for every little thing wrong in MCU.

How many don’t acknowledge him, how many didn’t even watch the movie (I’ve seen some say they haven’t - then they wonder why Tony wants accountability), how many.

How many forget that Tony’s character arc in the Iron Man trilogy is about accountability and taking action in his wrong doings.

I have heard from a lot of survivors who are, understandably, confused about how responsible their parents are for the abuse because they were also abused by their parents. So let me clarify…

They are 100% responsible. Abuse is 100% wrong and it is 100% their responsibility that they are doing it. Just as it will be 100% wrong and your responsibility if you do it to your children.

It is the abusive parent’s duty to deal with their emotional wounds so that they do not abuse you. Repeatedly saying, “sorry, I was abused too,” is not good enough. They need to change their behavior and not abuse you anymore. That is the only thing that means anything. Bringing up past abuse instead of being accountable and changing their behavior is just another way of manipulating you into accepting the abuse. Maybe you are underage and cannot yet stop them from abusing you, but you can at least know in your mind that it is not acceptable behavior, that they are at fault and responsible for their abuse of you.

When people with privilege hear that they have privilege, what they hear is not, “Our society is structured so that your life is more valued than others.” They hear, “Everything, no matter what, will be handed to you. You have done nothing to achieve what you have.” That’s not strictly true, and hardly anyone who points out another’s privilege is making that accusation. There are privileged people who work very hard. The privilege they experience is the absence of barriers that exist for other people.
—  Mychal Denzel Smith

#Mealprep done! First up are my veggie frittatas for #breakfast made with kale, onions and red peppers. I cracked one egg into each spot of the muffin tin, scrambled it, then put in the veggies. Baked on 360 degrees for 11 mins.
#fitfood #eeeeeats #yum #eatclean #mealprepsociety #getfit #weightloss #weightwatchers #recipe #healthyliving #accountability

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