Monday, April 27, 2009

what does it look like for both parties to abandon their race / culture?

does it mean not bringing up gospel music to my jewish friend when we exchanged mixtapes in 8th grade? not questioning her distaste for soul/ rap/ r n b music but also not discussing how I am rewarded with peer approval for cultivating a taste for rock music?

does it mean allowing my then-boyfriend to be blissfully unaware of the history of redlining in the city where he bought a house, and how that impacts our differing understanding of the need for affirmative action, or the cause of wealth disparities that fall along racial lines?

even going out with friends, entering a bar where you're one of only a few poc, is a strong reminder (for everyone) that race exists. and the music playing may reflect that cultural divide as well.

are the people making this suggestion even contemplating having to enter, and socialize in, poc spaces with the unavoidable frequency that poc must enter "other" spaces? are they willing to?

as a minority living in a majority culture, i find it hard to conceptualize what it would mean to have this goal cultural / racial suppression work both ways. if you both suppress your culture or race, then what are you offering each other? what songs are left to go on the mixtape?

and really, does anyone mean they actually forget your race? or is it more like seeking advance approval for a policy of ongoing cultural ignorance? because why not just talk about the effects that living in this culture has on people of color? why not juat accept that there are some things you may learn from POC friends that you wouldn't know about, or maybe think about, otherwise?

ps Tasha's character annoys me because as the black character with the fewest racially mixed features -- she's the strongest, butchest black woman on the show. when i go to Bounce and see whole cliques of shayne wannabes, i don't need ppl thinking i might be a marine, or wondering if i've got a motorcycle.


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