Tag Archive: social justice

Microaggressions, calling out, giving power and eating our young:

Why how we treat Suey Park might matter more than her campaign to cancel Colbert

You may be bored by now with the #CancelColbert controversy. I was bored with it before it became a media sensation. And yet here I am, because I just found out that Suey Park is 23, and that turned everything that’s happened in the past five days on its head for me.

By way of background: My best friend and I have occasional debates about microaggressions, and I’m usually the one saying that those small daily sleights people of color experience do contribute a great deal to racial oppression, while he (who has a lot more reason to feel oppressed than I do as a Black man in America) usually argues that focusing on microaggressions detracts from the really critical issues that have widereaching impact. But honestly, when #CancelColbert trended, I was the one thinking, “Wow. I cannot bring myself to care.” It felt like a misunderstanding and also like a stunt. I would have been bothered by the joke without context, but the context was adequate for me not to be offended. I was a little embarrassed when I did watch Suey Park’s interview with that guy on Huffington Post, because I thought she had better arguments in her than telling him she wouldn’t argue with him because he was a White man. I thought Colbert himself handled the situation well.

But I just read an article by Julia Wong that Suey Park is 23. (more…)

Community care is self care is community care

On solidarity and not burning out and doing movement work well

I’m going to make a confession: I’m not awesome at yoga or meditation. I don’t care much for silence in general. I tried being a Quaker for a month in college because on paper it was the perfect match, but after about ten minutes of silence, I would find myself thinking of spiritual conversation starters. I would have been better off with pacifist socialist Pentecostals.

In the Bay Area, this is a character flaw, particularly in my very socially conscious and down for the cause while up with our self-care crowd I aspire to be a part of. And I know that when I force myself to meditate, I’m the better for it (the East Bay Meditation people of color sit is particularly awesome, although I always feel like the people who don’t know me shoot me a little shade for presumably being one of those entitled White people who sometimes show up because they think it’s wrong that people of color practice exclusion like that one day a week). My mind settles and I slow down and I breathe more deeply and I may even connect with the divine in a more profound way.

But for me, meditation is like kale: I consume it because it’s good for me, not because I’m jonesing for it. I would rather have Taco Bell or the spiritual equivalent of Taco Bell: reruns of Sex and the City. Sometimes I manage to make the right choice instead, but not always. (more…)