Roxane Gay on the murder of Alton Sterling and America’s continued racist violence: “It’s overwhelming to see what we are up against, to live in a world where too many people have their fingers on the triggers of guns aimed directly at black people. I don’t know what to do anymore. I don’t know how to allow myself to feel grief and outrage while also thinking about change. I don’t know how to believe change is possible when there is so much evidence to the contrary. I don’t know how to feel that my life matters when there is so much evidence to the contrary.”
Tag Archives: racism
What To Eat When You’re an Asian American Writer and The New Yorker Is Racist and Scarlett Johansson Is Asian
A Dining/Survival Guide for Those Moments as an Asian American Writer
When You’re with Your Friends After Work and You’ve All Agreed to Cancel Your New Yorker Subscriptions and Instead Subscribe to The New Republic and/or The Atlantic Because, Respectively, Cathy Park Hong and Ta-Nehisi Coates.
Dan dan noodles, Sichuan pickled vegetables, steamed chicken with chili sauce, fried lamb with cumin, chongqing diced chicken with chili peppercorn, tears in eyes, hot and spicy crispy prawns (in the shell), and Sichuan spicy ma po tofu.2
Cady Noland’s Bluewald (1989) sold at Christie’s New York this year for close to $9.8 million—a record for an American artist. Curious who the “top 10 most expensive living female artists of 2015” are? Click here. Additionally, “In 2016, all of the solo shows at SculptureCenter in Queens, New York, will be by women.”
“After an Appleton clinic temporarily suspended abortions earlier this year due to funding issues, there are only three clinics that provide abortions remaining in Wisconsin…NARAL Pro-Choice Wisconsin announced recently that it is piloting a program in Madison to provide food, lodging and support for Wisconsin women who have to travel long distances to receive an abortion.”
I wrote/recorded (click here to hear) the following in reaction to recent events. Also, our fabulous Weird Sister Soleil Ho wrote a related post (which you should also check out if you haven’t already)…
[Procedure: Have an actual Asian female poet silently mouth “take my face take my voice take my face take my voice” throughout this entire audio recording]
Are you a cis-white male poet who’s been rejected over and over for the same shitty poem? Do you want this same shitty poem to be selected for the Best American Poetry anthology?
Then look no further–just adopt an Asian female voice! Continue reading
I want to mourn Yi-Fen Chou, the Chinese American woman poet who doesn’t exist. Her recent achievement, notable for the fact that she is not real, is snagging one of the 75 highly competitive slots in The Best American Poetry 2015. Ingeniously, she was formulated as the Stepford edition of the modern writer of color: a version of us who is white in all but name, who will never know the pain of having her name “bungled or half-bungled” by a well-meaning literary editor MCing her reading; who will never find any reason to celebrate spotting another Asian woman writer from across the vast AWP Bookfair complex; who will never be inconvenient or angry or vocal. Instead of being a real person—which is always so messy, so loaded with the things that make good poetry!—she is a mask, her name peeled off by someone who probably can’t pronounce it at all. Continue reading
Like so many writers, I also teach. Like so many teachers—especially of literature, especially of younger students—I am female. This profession is largely and historically comprised of a female majority, so it’s no surprise that so many media outlets hate on teachers, so many leaders bust teachers’ unions, and so many good citizens ensure that teaching is not afforded social prestige. And yet, teachers in schools across the city and country are engaging with some of the hardest issues America faces. On June 18th, I joined a packed room of educators and parents from across New York City to learn more about racial inequity in schools. “Creating Racially Equitable Schools” was a panel discussion and fundraiser for Border Crossers, held at the Brooklyn Heights Montessori School. The notes below are woven together from quotes and paraphrases of the five panelists: filmmaker Joe Brewster, school leader Martha Haakmat, educator and filmmaker Ali Michael, Professor Pedro Noguera, and Professor Howard Stevenson.
REAL: New York City schools are among the most segregated in the country.
VISION: In racially equitable schools, all children see themselves reflected and respected in the curriculum and in the pedagogy. All staff understand the history of race and racism in the United States.
REAL: New York City is diverse—in the daytime. People ride the subways together and work in the same buildings, then go home to their largely segregated neighborhoods.
I had a lot of feelings about this season of The Bachelorette before it even started, and I considered not watching it in protest of the franchise’s BS decision to have TWO BACHELORETTES—but ultimately I decided that if I was boycotting TV shows because of my politics, I would have stopped watching this horrid show a long time ago. It’s not news that the Bachelor franchise as a whole plays on deeply problematic ideas about gender—the fact that this season the men got to choose which woman they thought made better “wife material” (Kaitlyn, obviously—I’ll put a ring on her finger right now.) is not a line in the sand; it is in fact neither here nor there in relation to the show’s decidedly sexist foundation. Yes I have watched this show for the past thirteen (oh my god how can that number be real) miserable seasons. I have wasted so many hours of my life. And yes I shall continue to waste my life this season. If I believed that being a “bad feminist” was a thing, I might feel like this makes me a bad feminist, but I don’t. I think I’m a decent feminist and also a necessarily flawed human that is vast and containing of multitudes. I sometimes make decisions that don’t always exemplify my political beliefs—I shop at chain stores that no doubt use unethical labor practices, I slather my face with night creams in hope of stopping my inevitable female aging, and I watch The Bachelor. And The Bachelorette.
This past week’s episode was really on point in terms of the show’s heinous politics. The Bachelor franchise has a terrible track record in terms of racial diversity (see host Chris Harrison’s gross comments dismissing allegations that the show is racist here). The past few seasons we’ve seen the show make a minimal, face-value effort to address critiques around this by inviting a handful of people of color into the dating pool. Whether these guys and gals get any substantial air time, or make it past the first several episodes, is another story. But we’ve been seeing some more contestants of color on the show, and with this comes more overt, and not so overt, racism. The all-white or mainly white contestant pools of the past allowed for total erasure of race politics as an issue within the whitewashed alternate reality of the show. With more people of color being cast, white contestants’ privilege to never have to think about race is sometimes challenged, and we get to see how the show frames/addresses race (hint—it is not good).