Category Archives: Blogging

Monday (Music) Mayhem: Kim Possible

I have some really great, inspirational friends. Sometimes, I don’t know how I meet these amazing people but with God’s blessings, I do.

My friends are strong women who share my pain and sorrow, who show me courage when I need to see examples of modern-day bravery, who teach me that I should be myself and who accept me for who I am.

Kim Possible is one of these people.  Her music and lyrics are raw and true. Mostly produced and recorded by her. She’s a music maker, a storyteller, an artist, a poet, a friend…she is an inspiration to me.

This is for you, Kim – Whoever said they couldn’t be a rock star when they grew up obviously didn’t believe in themselves like you do.

Here are some of her great tunes:

Free downloads for your IPOD/MP3 player here.

For your reading pleasure: comments from folks who JUST DON’T GET IT

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So I haven’t been writing on this thing for…hm let’s see…3 months?

I decided to stop blogging some time ago because I was sick of it. But then, something surprising happened. People started commenting on my blog! Hoorah!

But wait…it’s actually some fairly disturbing and racist comments for this post I have up called ‘Proud to be white? You’re a racist.‘ …which is actually an excerpt I cross-posted from the wonderful ladies from the Africana (I tried getting to their blog but it’s currently unavailable). I started getting said dubious comments that filtered into my email in November of last year and I just ignored them. But the more I ignored them, the more regularly I got them. So now, my ‘Comment’ inbox has about 27 comments from various readers who felt the need to ‘express their opinions’ on my blog. I wasn’t sure what to do with these comments at first but after much thought, decided that it would be best to showcase the best of the best in one blog post.

Before I expose said dubious comments for the world to see, let me be clear on a couple of things:

1. This wasn’t even an original post I wrote. So these people are commenting on a piece of writing I found to be powerful and true… on the wrong website. People, if you’re going to hate and be racist, why not try doing it on the right website and giving your feedback to the original authors?

2. I have re-read the excerpt. I do not regret putting it up and I still find it to be very true and powerful. I understand that white folk who have not yet interrogated their white privilege may find it difficult and painful to read and stomach but I am still not apologizing for something I find to be true.

3. TRIGGER WARNING. Some of the comments I’ve received below are very racist and may bring up strong emotions. Not to mention, potential wall punching, ranting, crying to the person next to you, puking and maybe even feelings of despair. If you do not want to read this post for fear of inviting negative energy into your day, please don’t do it. Otherwise, the comments can be fairly entertaining.

So here it goes. Because I’m only a semi-asshole, I have decided to remove the names of these people who have decided to ‘comment’ on this post and replace them with my own stand-in names for them instead.

Mr ‘Reverse KKK’ said:

Submitted on 2012/11/11 at 4:54 am

So your saying that because people who are white are all descended from the same stock. I am proud of my nordic heritage not only because of the strength and honour of my warrior ancestors but because of the great state of my home country. Thus I am proud of being white nordic. Are you proud of the Rwandan genocide, the fact that not only were blacks enslaved by whites in the slave trade but african tribes enslaved their own people and sold them to white british slave traders.

The attitude of those days was different in all people including blacks, if africa and the native americans got gunpowder and technology before britain, france, Germany etc then they would have done the same because LIFE WAS CHEAP for all cultures.

Why should all white people feel guilty just because of what ancestors that have slightly the same skin colour did? Also not all white people are rich. My family and the predominitaly white british familys around us struggle at the bottom of the income ladder same as anyone.

You say white people, just plain white people. You see no individuals in us. By taking away our individuality and calling us all white people and telling us to hate our culture and vye with each other for who can be most tolerant your no better than the KKK or the neo nazis

Yes. I am akin to the KKK and Neo-Nazis. I have always been taken with their effective ways of campaigning and the relative successes of their endeavors. Reverse-KKK anyone? Join the club!

Mr ‘Change Your Attitude Or Else’ said:

Submitted on 2012/11/15 at 7:50 pm

This is so ridiculously bias, but you might not be able to see it behind all of your ignorance and self-indulgence. Colored people are given the same amount of oppurtunity if not more oppurtunity than white people, I mean heaven forbid there be a white scholarship fund. Just because white people have found the way to be successful in the past and do anything to put themselves on top doesn’t mean that we are a HORRIBLE people. You’ve just found yourself being unsuccessful so you’re going to find anyway to blame that on something other than your lack of effort and abilities. I’m sorry that you may have been misled to believe all of this nonsense, but you really need to be educated on things before you go and make such an accusation at the white race. Good luck with this attitude when you get into the work force out of highschool. This type of attitude won’t get you far, especially since the last I checked, the white race is still the majority in the U.S. why don’t you show your boss this rant when you go into a job interview…
-Jesse Zwick,
Glendale AZ

Gee, thanks for telling me I have an attitude problem. I guess THAT explains why my life sucks SOOOO much. Oh darn. It’s nothing to do with me living in a capitalist, male-dominated, racist, homophobic, ableist world. It’s just my attitude! *life changed*

Ms. ‘We Gave you Rights Now Shut Up and Let Me Call You the N-Word’ said:

Submitted on 2012/12/30 at 3:29 am |

In reply to Syahidah.

I’m not white I’m european American is what I like to be called news flash everybody is getting sick of the racism bullshit. As individuals we did nothing wrong and every time a black person cries racism I just gouge my eyes out…. I was bullied and got my ass kicked everyday since 1st grade but I wasn’t allowed to say anything and the principal told me that he wouldn’t do anything because they were black….. I’ve been to a place where black people do get killed okay but everywhere is not that way 99% or black people don’t know how hard that life could be okay your equal to everyone else now what more do you want is that not good enoughBecause nobody really owes you…. And hey we even gave you your own appreciation month! But skin color doesn’t change the ignorance. Everybody will fukin tiptoe around the situation because they are scared of saying the wrong thing too close to a black person. So some people of similar skin color treated people in Africa badly but it doesn’t just give “black birth rights” to just be better than everyone but say there the victim cuz it’s long past bein the victim it’s really just sick yeah modern world here everyone gets it that no race is better than another but for. Example the stereotype that all white people are stuck up rich and educated or that all black people are on welfare or hood rats or criminals………a lot of black rich celebrities…….. As a personal example I’m white I did drugs I’m on welfare I had a child as a teen and I run the streets breaking into houses TRYNA make money and guess what…. I’m white….. It pisses me off so much that people can’t just let go of it ……. Black people aren’t victims….. Hey I’m scared to death of insulting a black person because that’s “prohibited ….fuq there’s no white appreciation month but hey it’s just all kewl and funny when it’s “black power”

By the way, I’m not Black.

Ms. Disappointed said:

Submitted on 2013/01/06 at 1:09 pm

So you’re telling me I have to be ashamed of being a certain race?

I never put much stock into all the “white guilt” garbage, but this post is really disappointing.

You know what, if it helps you feel better, I’m disappointed with lots of my posts too.

Mr Unsympathetic said:

Submitted on 2013/01/13 at 1:18 amOh god, another crying loser.

Get over yourself. Im proud to be white. Why? Because we’ve done lots of good things too. Like giving 660 billion dollars in aid to africa and curing diseases n shit. What have you done lately? Oh thats right, Nothing.

You’re totally right. I’ve done nothing with my life. I can’t even latch onto the successes of  a community that proudly claim it is helping destroy a whole continent by looting its natural resources. I am such a failure.

Mr ‘I Don’t Buy your bullshit just my own’ said: 

Submitted on 2013/01/22 at 5:24 am |

In reply to Syahidah.

Im proud to be white and dont buy your bullshit.White people have done awesome good in the world.Just one example is feeding aficans who are too damn stupid to feed themselves but keep breeding………

There were lots more of these comments but for the sake of time and at the risk of putting people to sleep with the same ol’ reverse-racism arguments, I’ll stop.

Poor whitey. Poor, poor whitey. Don’t you see? You are never going to get it if you keep denying it. But hey, it’s ok. According to Star Trek, ‘you people’ get better at this in the 23rd century! Yay!

On blogging

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Today I feel something I’ve been feeling for a while.

I get this itch in my fingers whenever I feel the need to write. Usually, it’s in response to something I’ve read, seen, witnessed, heard (or all of the above).

It’s true. My writing is mainly reactive. I write best when I’m angry.

But today, I feel this energy, I do want to write something and my fingers do itch but…I can’t bring myself to write. I love writing but lately, I don’t know how I feel about this blog anymore. It started as a way for me to write anonymously. As the years went on, I realized that people were actually reading this and my anonymity eroded away.

And that’s both good and bad.

Do I like the validation of my writings being read? Of course. Who doesn’t??

Do I like my writing put out there for everyone to read and judge? Hm…maybe. It depends on the topic.

I used to write on this blog almost everyday when I needed to. I used it like a diary. But I am slowly realizing how dangerous that is.

Just to be clear, I always feel the need to write and to think and to write…but I just don’t think my blog is the way to go anymore.

I say this not with despair and sadness, but with hope!  Because if there’s something I’ve learned about myself… it’s that I always find a way to get my voice heard.

 

and….I’m back!

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hey hey HEY!

It’s 3am in Vancouver so why am I still awake. I’ll tell you why. Because I am losing this fight with Jetlag. Yup. I thought it wouldn’t be a problem but the second I turned my back on Jetlag, Jetlag turned around and bit me on the ass. Yup. On mi ass. MI. ASS.

Ok.

I might be slightly high seeing that my brain is kinda confused right now.

3am Vancouver is really 5pm Singapore so my body is telling me to stay awake and watch TV. Because that’s probably where I was for the past 6 weeks at 5pm in Singapore. In front of the TV. Or eating.

WAHOO!

Did I mention I was high?

In all seriousness, I am back in Vancouver for the forseeable future and in this state of self-reflection and jetlaggedness, my brain is stumbling and trying to process everything that has happened in the past 6 weeks. I can’t say that I am willing or able to sit down for the next few hours and type out a coherent reflection on the question ‘What just happened for the past month and a half and why I am not asleep’ so that question will have to wait for tomorrow. Or the next day or the next. Suffice to say, I AM BACK after my absence of blogging. My brain just needs to catch up with my body and then we’re good to go. And all you people who actually care about what I have to say and what I have been thinking about for the past few weeks…can get to read about it. YAY!

Not tonight (this morning?) though.

Right now, imma sleep. Or force myself to.

Peace.

Indigenous women and women of color RESIST

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I am featured in a blog post as part of blog series titled ‘ How Does She Resist?’ – Resisting Media Representations to End Violence Against Girls and Women’ hosted by the Battered Women’s Support System . The blog series commemorates Prevention of Violence Against Women Week (April 15 -April 21) and aims to engage the online community to resist media representations as a way to prevent violence against girls and women.

The author of the blog post is the co-founder of WAM! Vancouver, Joanna Chiu. She interviewed me for the piece entitled  ‘Indigenous women and Women of Color Media Makers Resist: How to Create the Media you Want to See in the World’. I talk about media representations of women of color and queer and/or trans women.

Here is an excerpt:

Today, as I was walking down the street to write at my favorite coffee shop, I received the usual afternoon greetings from my neighbours: “Hey baby!” “Konichiwa!” “Ni hao! “Look at that ass!!”

As all Indigenous women and women of colour know, if sexism wasn’t bad enough, we encounter racism on a daily basis as well—on the street, in the classroom, in the workplace, and in the media. (See the theory of intersectionality on how oppressions like racism, ageism and classism intersect.)

In media, women of colour are often hyper-sexualized, and depicted in racial caricatures: Kung Fu ladies, geishas, sexy Latina sirens, Pocahontas types, etc. That is, if we see ourselves represented in the media at all. According to Journalism.com’s State of the Media report, race and gender issues only accounted for 1% of overall news coverage. And how many women of colour lead actresses can you name in Hollywood, or who have graced the covers of glossy magazines?

Continue reading here!

The inspirational Renee Martin

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Hi everyone, hope your Tuesday is going well so far.

I’ve not written something like this before and seldom do I engage in efforts to raise money for any cause. Call me jaded but I don’t like knowing that my money will go towards administration fees and paying the livelihood of individuals I don’t know who work in the non-profit organizations I donate to. But this time…this time, things are different.

Renee Martin from Womanist Musings – a blog I frequent and whose writings I respect and admire – is raising money for a new mobility scooter. Renee’s writings give me inspiration, educate me and challenge me in radical ways. She hasn’t written anything in past few days and in those few days, I personally missed her presence in the blogosphere. Her blog creates a space like no other – for women of color like me to really think about how we live in this world and for everyone to fully question the larger systems of oppression that exist today.

I know many of you look up to me and to my writings and thoughts and for that, I thank you. But I’m not going to sit here and take full credit for my ideas. My ideas have been shaped by countless number of people along the way, most notably my professors, my friends and fellow writers I respect like Renee. To me, Renee is an inspiration – she writes with gusto and passion and unabashed bravery among the unforgiving feminist blogosphere. Her voice is invaluable in a sea of voices. She is an inspiration to me and if I have been an inspiration to you, then she has been an inspiration to you too.

If you have extra money and want to help her get a new mobility scooter, please visit her website.

If you wanted to take a look at some of Renee’s writings, here are some of my favorites:

Trayvon Martin and Fear in a Black Mother’s Heart

Men, Sexism and Faux Oppression

No Feminist Wedding for Me, Thank You – this one is not written by Renee but serves as an example of how she collaborates with other women of color writers and creates a space for everyone to engage respectfully and intellectually

Princess Hijab – again, not written by Renee but an example of how she collaborates with other writers and issues

Urban Fantasy: Escapism when the Real World has too many Minorities - this is from another one of her blogs that focus on urban fantasy. It’s great!

 

Turns out I’ve been sick and ruminating

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I’ve been MIA recently because I’ve been sick. I’ve been sick because I’ve been tired. I’ve been tired because I’ve taken on too many different projects recently.

I’ll be honest – I liked being sick. I liked taking time off my different projects and really just focusing on myself. For the past few days, my brain literally could not get beyond doing anything but sleep and watching Ellen DeGeneres on Youtube. Literally.

This morning, I felt much better so I decided to go onto my favorite anti-racist, ‘feministy’ website and catch up on some readings. As I read the entries, I felt sick. What is up with the millions of 101 conversations that people insist on having? Why are we still not over the fact that racism still exists and that white supremacy still exists? Why are still not over the fact that sexism still exists and that women in the workforce do not get paid as much as men – no matter where we are in the world? Why do we still refuse to accept that there is ONGOING class warfare and that it didn’t end with Marx’s death? Why are we still hard-up on discussing issues of heterosexism and homophobia when we should be looking at how we and our national policies oppress these communities?

Why can’t we seem to move beyond 101 conversations on race, gender, class etc?

And can someone just please tell me why are there (still) so many idiots in this world?

Some people claim we are in the ‘information age’ and that we’re in the ‘best age to live in woo!’ because access to education is increasing etc etc. I truly call BULLSHIT on this. If we are so freakin darn smart like we think we are, how come there’s still so many idiots in the world who refuse to accept that women are still oppressed and that black and brown people are still being treated like slaves?

Don’t get me wrong, I REALLY, REALLY admire the activists, the people, the educators and the learners who are willing to continue to educate people on 101 conversations. God knows how important that is. I can only imagine how much energy it takes to keep 101 conversations going. I know because in some ways, I realize that this is what my blog is for. I write because I like to write but lately, I’ve really struggled with what I want to write, why and for whom. I feel an inordinate amount of pressure to write ‘intelligent’ blog posts when really…WHY THE HECK do I feel this pressure?

I am tired.

I am tired of feeling the pressure to educate. I am tired of feeling the pressure to be the good little activist all the time. I am tired of being the person who critiques everybody else and I’m tired of holding my tongue for fear of being critiqued.

Maybe being sick and taking time off this week was exactly what I needed.

Just for the record, I do have lots of drafts in the ‘Drafts’ section of my blog. They’re just waiting for me to ‘get on with the program’ and write something coherent on the topic. When I feel like it, the posts will go up. ‘When I feel like it’ means when something horrific enough happens and I am spurred to write something in a fit of passion.

 

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