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.