I spent some time this…

I spent some time this morning reorganizing a few of my mailing lists and setting up a general mailing list for DesiLit -- stop by our web page to sign up. You should sign up if you're interested in discussing S. Asian lit, if you want to send announcements about your S. Asian books or others', if you want to be sure to get general DesiLit announcements about local/national events, etc.

I have a 12:30 meeting to talk with some local activists about queer S. Asian issues. Should be interesting. I don't think I'll get any writing done before that, but I think I'll take my laptop with and try to stay at the cafe and write for a while after the meeting. Before that, the goal is to exercise a bit, put some job applications in the mail, and read a little more; I've started Vijay Prashad's The Karma of Brown Folk. More academic essay than creative nonfiction, but interesting so far nonetheless. :-)

"Where did you learn to speak such good English?" "Your people work hard." "We like your people." These are the inevitable chatter of a benevolent racism. On The Jerry Seinfeld Show when Elaine chides Jerry for being partial toward Chinese women, he responds, "It is not racist if I like your race." Many folks feel, it seems, that to make positive statements about what they consider to be a race is just fine; racism in this light becomes the use of negative statements about a people. In my mind, the very conceptualization of a people as having discrete qualities is an act of racist throught, whether the resulting statements be charitable or not.
Fair enough -- yet where does that leave historically-based statements about a cultural/ethnic group? These lines get blurred very quickly, I think, and are tricky to navigate.

One thought on “I spent some time this…”

  1. I ran into this with gender with an old friend this week. He was telling me that women are more compassionate, more caring, generally better people than men are. He couldn’t really see why I thought this was sexist.

    I think historical statements should be just that. In the gender example, I think it’s perfectly fair to say that the worst dictators in history have been men but not that women aren’t capable of that level of evil in the future.

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