Sunday, October 31, 2010
Saturday, October 30, 2010
Sunday, October 24, 2010
Thursday, October 14, 2010
Not unlike many gatherings at Yale, we began by going around the room and introducing ourselves. The procedure, though necessary, was formulaic as always: name, year, college, and subject of study. But probably because of the nature of the event, everyone found it essential to include what kind of not white minority they were. I have personally never seen such personal, political boldness of this kind at Yale. In a way, we were stating quite clearly that any purely white individual would be either quite unwelcome at the event, or at the very least quite uncomfortable. With our statements of minority identity, we shut the room to all majority members who by simple fact of blood would not understand the nature of Indigenous People's day. (Perhaps this is what gave some of us the courage to speak from especially radical, even anarchist, political stances.)
I don't have any analysis of the ethical implications of this act, namely answering whether or not it was right to exclude in the way that we did, but I'd like to hear what you all think of the matter. Don't white people have the right to advocate too? Or is any kind of aid white people provide a form of "neoliberal" (a term thrown around at the table quite a lot) neocolonialism that only reasserts their superiority? If so, what can they do to address the problems? Perhaps address them within their own infrastructures, within the larger, more deeply ingrained systems that created, or at least exacerbated, these situations of inequality in the first place.
Sunday, October 3, 2010
I wrote this for a project that someone else is doing, but here is the unedited version (I need to cut it down, but you'll probably run into this again some place else soon)... It's in the general theme of my interests. Well, I'll let you read it and you can see what you think.
This summer I worked in Huixcazdha, Hidalgo, Mexico. It is a village that grew out of a hacienda, and most of the villagers descended from the seven families. I came to teach English and do some development work in a community of 480 people, where most of them work all day long in the fields using farming methods that Americans used during the colonial period. Nearly all of the men from this village had gone to work in the United States for a few years before they returned home with their earnings and built houses for the families they left behind.
One day my partner asked them, what do you want to be when you grow up? The kids, all middle school age in this class, stared back at us with blank expressions. The silence was awkward to say the least. Stop. I told her. Stop, I don’t want to hear this answer. But she didn’t. She called on one of the girls, our best student in fact, and she said she didn’t know. A teacher! Of course, Jacqueline will be a teacher! In the tiny school house with the only real teachers in the village. And you? My partner asked one of the boys. Well, what do you think? He replied. Of course I want to be a narco-trafficker. It’s the only way I can make money in this world. And fast too. What could I ever give them to take away this feeling of being trapped and only having this as an option out of their pre-determined paths? I left with a sickening, sinking feeling that day.
Saturday, October 2, 2010