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19 September 2010 @ 05:04 pm
Just still not breathing much either. Back to bed with me. If I a) had something contentful to say to a comment and b) was able to track it down, I've answered. Maybe tomorrow I'll read through 'em again & find all the ones I lost... er, actually seeing a very dear academic friend tomorrow Tuesday, and will probably have repercussions to that. Maybe next week :)
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Current Mood: amusedoh, body...
19 September 2010 @ 06:53 pm
(Because of COURSE when I decide to go to bed, my brain goes but but but.)

I won't say the last thought cause there's always one more with this stuff isn't there?

When I got to the US, and the racism-against-ME was less overt, I was so grateful that it really did seem "as good as it could get". My new friends were the least hurtful people I had ever known -- well-meaning nice people lueless about their privilege, who were very willing to take me in as one of them (not knowing the extent to which that was erasing parts of me). Clueless, I mean,as I too was clueless, inarticulate and unaware of it.

At the time I thought that this was the best best possible that people could be, and that if I found it hard to explain why something was painful, that was my bad. It never occurred to me to look for anti-racist activism, because I was too inarticulate to know that that's what I was missing, that there was a thing I was missing, that there was more to racism than insults and violence, that other people who'd struggled with this had put it into words. (The other PoC I knew, I now think, had the same fitting-in masks I did, and to a large extent I suspect we even fooled one another.)

Many of those nice people-of-privilege have continued to grow, along with me, and are continuing, and I am proud and glad to know them, whether they are still/again close friends or now friendly acquaintances. But some have continued unaware of their privilege, or possibly just content with it, and I cannot get along with them any more.

And here's the thing; they can't get along with me any more either. Back then, to the extent I could manage, when I had an issue I'd frame it in their terms, knowing myself the outsider. I'd often manage patience, if not coherence, and if/when I got angry, I'd blame myself for it. I'd give endlessly of my time, to the point that I got ill, and thought that was just what friends did; but I never expected the same of them. I was still being ideal-minority here.

And in ways I'm not yet aware of I still am. I'm still peeling bits of it away and wincing both at the pain and that those scabs were still there. I'm a work in progress, I'm not very far on in that progress.
I'm still bleeding.

So. I'll be friends with pretty much anybody who allows me enough humanity to understand that it is not my job to be their pet brown (or sick) person and I'm not permanently on call to explain things to them (so long as they are otherwise decent people). I'd be a hypocrite to insist my friends always be aware of their privilege and my boundaries when I'm not myself :)
And perhaps someday I will know deep down that it's really truly not my job, and will therefore manage non-attached compassion, and be able to explain things to people who I know want to be good people but a) don't get how strongly their privilege is interfering, b) are smearing that privilege all over me, and c) dismiss my hurt.

I still think that's a good idea in principle, because every person convinced is one fewer person causing such amounts of pain. But for now, it's not happening. For now, even if it's not an ideal response, anyone dumping that privilege on me is going to get a hearty FUCK YOU.

I don't need reassurance about this, by the way, though I always appreciate good thoughts/community. I'm saying it out loud so that I can understand it, and so that I can look back on it later, and articulate how I'm changing, and also for more full disclosure. I'm leaving it public because one thing I'm learning here is that my experience is so very far from unique, and that we all learn from bouncing off one another.

And, breathing aside, right now I'm doing okay :)
Current Mood: exhaustedexhausted