Monday, 6 May 2019

Where the actual heck am I these days?

It's been a REALLY long time since I posted. With the end of a semester (I'm a learning helper in adult edu rooms), I'm just now taking a look and trying to figure out where the actual heck I am these days concerning blog posts...

Wow, and I'm STILL reviewing material from the "Syllabus for Whites--"

Truthfully, looking back on the past year or so, I think I backed off on writing anything about that particular "syllabus," while encountering r/l push back from people I know... people TRYING to be allies to marginalized communities and individuals. These are people hitting roadblocks - settlers guilt, racial/racist ambiguity and confusions, clashes between what is right and what has flown or passed for okay in our societal and cultural norms for decades. Honestly, so much in the world is screwed up and even THAT makes people feel helpless to do anything much of the time so they fall victim to that powerful feeling and do nothing.

What really ticks me off (situations, not the people) is that people hitting these obstacles seem largely unaware of having bumped up against these things, anyway... I suppose being unable to determine the source of discomfort means feeling the need to defend oneself "I didn't do anything to Indians/Indigenous people, blacks, immigrants, gays, women, etc, so stop talking about this" "I'm not homophobic - I just don't want gays to be near me - I have that right about who I want around me."

If I point out - "Hey that's a racist statement--" or "...a statement or opinion based on privilege that doesn't include the reality of integral but smaller, marginalized groups your opinion affects..." people get, frankly, pisssssssy with me and then my patience flies out the window.

Thank actual Christ that I get to be WRONG so much lol 'cos it means I can SOMETIMES understand why someone is correcting me.

I'm just someone learning, too... and someone learning to help others keep learning how to process some life happenings, in general. Some days, I think my only value is in showing some people how to get back up after getting lambasted and being WRONG... showing people you learn from those mistakes - IF YOU MAKE A CHOICE to process the wrongs a certain way. (Watch ME making my many mistakes and getting up - this is how it's done).

Know what? I'm kinda cranky, so I'm going to share the vid that's helpin' me blow off steam

Godsmack song, "Whatever"

Okay so after listening to that and experiencing cathartic bytching, I'm good again lol

I think I technically understand why people say they are allies then stop actual ally action and "walking the talk," but I just don't know how to manufacture enough patience to hold space better beside struggling allies who have some resistance to ally truths and praxis.

This ally and examining privilege stuff has been really important to me but got really stalled. I've learning this through coming back into the blogger platform and trying to figure out where the actual heck I am these days... 'cos a LARGE handful of drafts in my dashboard, entirely unposted, are about ALLY and privilege topics.

Add the fact that I've been reading a LOT about how facts don't make people change (the right pressures sometimes DO - but applying pressure can go wrong in oh so many ways and right in only a few ways)...

So - where the actual heck I am these days is...

Still basically at the beginning, ready to try to make calls to action and change. Making mistakes and learning and getting back up.

Here I go again...

Saturday, 13 October 2018

Syllabus For Whites Alternate Locations

The "Syllabus for Whites" document been removed from the google documents location it was stored at since 2016.

I've found another couple of locations for it, however, if you prefer to locate this document yourself and look up its proper name/title on a google search, you'll also find it in several more web locations.

The proper title for the document if you are searching:

Syllabus for White People to Educate Themselves

Another location (will open a pdf page/link):

On Trello site: Syllabus for White People to Educate Themselves 

From the above link, a download is possible, so feel free to download and store a copy of this document in case the web page gets altered or the document is moved or removed.

Another location:

Beck and Bre: Syllabus for White People to Educate Themselves

I'm still going through reading/material suggestions from this 2016 document.

A short explanation in case some readers don't know about this document or why the author created it and asked "Whites" to educate themselves...

The document is basically a response to the American Presidential Election results of November 2016...

In November 2016, Donald Trump was voted in as President of The United States of America. The base of Trump's supporters are "the dominant" in US/American society, privileged white persons. This was known in 2016 during the election and, according to current stats in 2018, it is still true that Trump's main supporters are privileged white persons.

The author of the "syllabus" document created a list of reading materials for people to read and understand which may educate people on topics of oppression, harms of white supremacy, the ways in which whites have oppressed non-whites and the harms this has caused not only to people but to society/social structures, in general. There are articles on how to be an ally, how to recognize oppression, racism, etc., and so much more... because, frankly, it seems supporters of certain white politicians may be following leaders and approving policies that will bring about repeats of history - a long North American history of oppression of non-whites, women, minorities and vulnerable populations.

NOTE: the full intent of the document, I'm sure is not solely about white Trump supporters needing to educate themselves - the US 2018 election was just sort of the straw that broke the camel's back... In the document and suggested reading list, there are definite Trump-specific topics, however, I don't even live in the USA and by reading some of these articles, I've been learning about how to deal with oppression, how to recognize certain nefarious and covert types of racism, sexism, oppressions and other "isms" that are harmful not only to those oppressed but also to those doing the oppressing.

If you think racism, sexism and other oppression situations are wrong but you don't know where to start learning about these topics, use one of the links above to go check out this document and start working your way through the reading list.

I've reviewed a few of the early articles in the list via my blog, but am by no means finished with learning from this document/list.

Feel free to comment if you read a particular article or have some insights on the topics after reading from the list. I'd love to hear what these titles/materials mean to others.

Monday, 30 April 2018

I want to see colours!

More and more, when talking about racism and gender issues, I hear people say, "Oh I like everyone - I don't see gender or colour."


Why the hell NOT? Are you f-ing loopy? Or are you just trying to be nice and non-political, perhaps - politically correct? I'm sorry - I'm not trusting of this kind of statement anymore... been hearing it too long without the actions that follow to tell me you really mean that gender, colour, etc., really aren't things seen, taken into consideration...

I just can't take stock in notions that people can pretend skin pigmentation, remarkable eye shapes and cheekbones and such things don't exist and don't matter.

In saying you see no differences or that differences don't matter, are you trying to see an amalgamation of everyone into some kind of mixed grey and total androgyny?

Or... are you just kidding yourself?

I think the ideas about not seeing a person's colour and instead seeing them as human beings - likewise for gender - um, sorry - screw that - it's dream thinking. Can't we see people as human beings without being this strange kind of colourblind??? (Race-blind and gender-blind, too?). I don't think pretending not to see race, gender, colour, etc., is a progressive idea anymore... it's making us backtrack and not work at our curiosity about, acceptance and respect for others. If we can pretend not to see these things, aren't we ignoring a person's features? If we say these things don't matter, overall, aren't we somehow, at least in small part, saying parts of people don't matter? (Very tricky... very covert, colonialists!)

Labels? Bring them the pluck back! (I want to be able to describe how awesome you are... and for that, I need some of the words BACK that have been taken away by political correctness).

I WANT to see your colours, your gender or non-gender being. Your gender fluid or non-binary you. Your butch or femme or dyke or grrl or boi, cis-normative-whatever. I want to know that androgynous looks like "this" or "that" for you... and that it differs from masculine or feminine or femme or other things.

Then, what I'm going to do is... accept you.

...In your masculine look with your white skin or your reddish brown skin or you, too - with your almond shaped eyes and your black as night hair.  Or hey YOU - with your porcelain skin and freckles, your female curves with buzzed orange-red hair. And also YOU - with your long, braided hair and boy lines with your awesome Iron Maiden t-shirt, volleyball shoes - painted nails to match your shoes! I mean - how cool can this get???

(come out Dirtbags! Let's go see Iron Maiden!)
(Mary Lambert covers Wheatus' "Teenage Dirtbag")

Tell me your pronoun - that's good with me - I'll use it - but please be visible and don't pretend there are not labels and infinite ways to describe you. I don't want to like everyone for or under the same "no colour, no gender" rule. I hate that rule and think it's unreasonable and stupid.

I think the rule is a way for priviledged people to say they don't see marginalized persons and labels or that they don't make a difference when, in fact, people are discriminated against ALL THE TIME based on looks, gender assumptions, skin colour, etc... THAT is what needs to stop - not peoples' ways of describing themselves.

Having a rule to not see difference and uniqueness is a shitty way to deal with acceptance.

Why can't we accept all colours, shapes, and such? THAT makes sense to me.

I swear you are NOT going to be invisible to me - because I swear I will see your skin colour, clothing preferences, use the pronoun you tell me to use, etc.

Your colour means something to me.

(Wheatus - Teenage Dirtbag)


You are an awesome colour, shape and design. I see you!