tw: ethnocentrism

  • White People: Get super defensive whenever Desis point out that saying "I don't like Indian food" is ethnocentric, insulting, and culturally reductive. "What? We aren't allowed to dislike things??? OMG IT'S FOOD CHILL OUT LET PEOPLE EAT WHAT THEY WANT."
  • Also White People: Act like you stabbed their grandmother in the neck with an icepick if you say you like Shake Shack or Five Guys better than In-N-Out.

twrkmalik  asked:

Thank you for your tags of wisdom on the European discrimination post. I was reading the post and was like hmm okay I can see the point that is trying to be made, but this doesn't describe institutionalized racism & the tags summed up my thoughts

Thanks. Yeah, I totally get what people are saying. But I think using the term “racism” is what makes Americans side-eye. American POC in particular are very cynical about white people claiming they’re as oppressed as POC. Personally, I don’t believe they are. The anecdotes were about xenophobia, ethnocentrism and nationalism. So that’s different even though the same stupidity drives it. And yes, it’s terrible and shouldn’t be happening. But ffs, it ain’t the same as being a POC in a world where the power structure overwhelmingly favors any flavor of white. I firmly believe white people shouldn’t try to claim that it is. From the perspective of a POC, when you’ve seen so much of your heritage, history and culture taken by white people, it’s a little galling to see them try to claim your oppression too. It’s like picking the meat off a bone, then coming back for the bone too. Nope. And I say this as not only as a POC but as someone who has studied history and social Anthropology. And again, I understand. But it’s not equivocal.

Anonymous said:

So do you think racism is the same in Europe as in the US? I live in Switzerland and if we are talking about job interviews its usually swiss first, western european second (but north before south) and then it doesn’t matter if you are from romania or albania or syria or eritrea, if you are black or white, chances are you are not getting the job cause if you’re from a country with too “many prejudices” you are doomed. Is that not considered racism cause it involves white people? europe is shit

Like I said above. What you’re describing is xenophobia, ethnocentrism and nationalism as it applies to white on white. It’s not so much whites hating other whites due to their whiteness. It’s hate based on cultural and ethnic differences. Out of respect for people who have been affected by racism, I think it’s important to make the proper distinctions. And not for nothing, making the proper distinctions helps us all understand better. I can tell you right now, if you approach a POC and tell them you’ve experienced racism because you’re tan, that ain’t gonna go over too well. But if you explain that there’s a de facto caste system in Europe among white people based on ethnicity and/or country of origin, well that’s much easier to wrap your head around.

A Letter to Patricia

“In the past few years, I’ve had to reassess what it means to have a national identity. Do you consider yourself English now that you have lived in England for so many years? What does it mean to be English? I ask myself a similar question: what does it mean to be American? I grew up loving this country, I grew up being fiercely patriotic. Even now when I see the corruption in our government and the bigotry of a large portion of our citizens, I can still see the beauty of America’s spirit, trying to shine out from under the muck. 

I’m not sure that the concept of nations makes much sense to me anymore when I see that the multinationals are the ones who run the world. Governments don’t act in accordance with the needs or wishes of the people they represent, they act in accordance with the demands of the corporations who paid the money to put them in office. I really believe that. The big multinational corporations don’t pay taxes, they can’t really be sued except by their stockholders if they are publicly owned, and their sole reason for existence is to make money, not to provide goods or services to the people. They are virtually unregulated. Governments help to create the illusion that there are nations and some even pretend to have a democracy but in the end when it comes to serving and representing their citizens, they fail. 

It’s comical to me that we have people claiming that Mexicans are taking their country from them. They’re too blind to see that America doesn’t belong to the people, it belongs to big business. Why don’t these people rally to tax the corporations instead of complaining about immigrants who do the toughest jobs for pennies? Why do immigrants come here in the first place? Why, for work of course. The thing is that in today’s world they may not need to come here because so much work is outsourced to places where labor is cheap. If I were a Teabagger (as we on the left refer to the Tea Party members), I’d push for businesses to hire where they sell, I’d push for fair wages for all workers, documented and undocumented. In the end that would help their cause, unless their real cause is just to spread racist paranoia because they’re too afraid to tackle the real enemy, which would be a monumental task and require real patriotism and not just theatrical flag waving. 

As for culture, I think of myself as a citizen of the world. I love that there are cultural differences between us, but I do not value those who dominate or suppress human freedom in the name of culture or religion. I cannot be silent when women or minorities are discriminated against. It’s funny, maybe that’s just part of my Mexican-American upbringing. Multiculturalism is a difficult dream to achieve. We have so much to learn before we can expect to be respectful of others. I know it would be a challenge for me. I am so damn opinionated! But can you imagine what a beautiful world it would be if we did achieve it?" 

Alice Bag, a letter to Patricia, August 2011

little asian annoyances: when your ethnic name uses a vowel or consonant sound that english doesn’t have, and no matter how many times you say “no, it’s pronounced ______” people still fuck it up

and then you either give them a nickname to call you, or let them call you a butchered version that was the closest they could get

Gettin’ tired of these all “anti otayuri”

Otayuri is NOT pedophilia. Only in the dirty minds of those who are automatically thinking about them bangin’ non stop is.
I dated a guy who was 18 when I was 15. Our parents knew about the relationship and it was ok, because we were TEENS. It’s a fuckin’ three or two and a half year gap.
And for the record, no. When I was 15 I didn’t think about sex non stop. In fact, I was 18  when I had sex for the first time.
So this all “anti otayuri” thing only has sense if you have a dirty mind and if you think ethnocentrically.

On Culture.

I was watching a video the other day lampooning the notion that Asians are good at math - and I never realized what kind of bullshit ethnocentrism is associated with those types of jokes or unnecessary comments at all. Maybe Asians ARE good at math because of the cultural values that matter to them. I mean - I know my mom, like many other Asian moms, always loves a good sale. This comes as no surprise to others maybe because we assume that Asians are raised in our cultures to care too much about resource allocation, or maybe because it’s just an eerie coincidence, or maybe we just live in a world that is just too fucking racist to function and non-Asians feel the need need to make these types of jokes when s/he think an Asian might be even an inkling more superior than him/her in something. How the fuck are you going to set a bullshit bar and ridicule everyone that rises above or sinks below it, and then raise an entire population to believe the very same narrow-minded bullshit that you do? How are you going to make Asians raised in America believe that it’s a bad thing they’re good at math or that we eat rice because these qualities do comprise a majority of stereotypes?

Our oppressors have taken our truths, our cultural beauty and they have smashed it on the ground so that they can be more comfortable with who they are and what they represent. I never even thought about what fucking bullshit it is that whites have the audacity to deride and to tell us to change our Chinese names, our Indian names, our Korean names because they can’t fucking pronounce them, and because they don’t understand them.

Thinking about what values matter to an American - is it creativity? discovery? Why does no one ever question these principles that Americans hold, and why do so many hold it as indisputable standard? 

As proof of black and Latino “racism,” Robert claims that “Blacks and Hispanics are far more ethnocentric, racially conscious and, yes, racist, than Whites.” In fact, blacks operate with a double consciousness; they are racialized and operate in a white man’s world. Because whites rarely operate in the black world, they are much more ethnocentric; whites are far more white than blacks are black. Moreover, it seems that, according to Robert, in order for blacks not to be racist, they would have to think like white people. But majority group demands that minorities think like them is one of the hallmarks of racism. He has assumed the white man’s point of view in all of this. Whiteness, which is the racial consciousness associated with racism, blinds white people to the structural logic of racism. There is no effectively difference from the whiteness embraced by white nationalists (whom he deplores) and the whiteness embraced by those who condemn people for thinking like nonwhites.
—  Austin, A. (2008). Why Black People Can’t be Racist (at Least Not Against Whites).
There are children in the world who would do anything to do go school. Therefore, you should be *thankful* that you’re required to go to school. You should be *thankful* for the bullies that torment you relentlessly. You should be *thankful* for the sadist teachers that continually berate you and insist that you’ll “never amount to anything”. You should be *thankful* to spend six to eight hours inside a building that is insufficiently air-conditioned during the warmer months and is insufficiently heated during the colder months. All because there are other children in the world who *wish* they could go to school. Never mind the fact that it’s because it’s an *education* that they want, and *not* the fact that they have some sort of masochistic desire to be relentlessly tortured on a daily basis.
—  the “white saviour complex” - using ethnocentrism to dismiss the needs and feelings of children who suffer daily in an institution that they are, by law, required to attend daily

I hate that stupid saying:
“If you are reading this, thank a teacher.
If you are reading this in English, thank a soldier”.
Like, how Americentric is that?? There ARE other countries out there with English as their central language, and last time I checked, Americans didn’t speak it first.
This pet peeve of has nothing at all to actually do with soldiers - most of them are upstanding people who work very hard to keep us safe. But if our country suddenly got taken over by France one day, do you think we would be sent to the guillotine for speaking English?? No.

So thank the soldiers for the many things they do do, but don’t give them credit for something so stupid in order to project your “America is #1 and if you don’t like it, you can kiss my ass!” attitude.