Saturday, April 28, 2012

talking about race/eating more vegetables

what do vegetables and race have to do with each other?

asparagus with lemon zest & cold creek farm artisan butter
a question i have, and it's not really rhetorical:  when you want to get healthier you eat more vegetables, or drink more water, or exercise more, etc. according to concrete, scientifically proven methods.  when you want to become less racist & contribute to a more racially just world, what actions do you take?

i read "a complete guide to 'hipster' racism"  in jezebel today by lindy west (i'm in love with this woman!)  , and she articulated so well the problem with denying racism, with accepting the benefits of belonging to a dominant racial group in a racist society without acknowledging or taking any actions to rectify the situation.

one thing that really struck me was when west said she works every day to be less racist.  since i'm spending this year focusing on small daily practices, i had the thought what daily practices make a person less racist, or contribute to the creation of greater equality in the world?  

that is not a rhetorical question.

here's what lindy west says:

When people are trying to be sensitive about race but they don't know what to say, they usually go with, "Well, race is a complicated issue." Except, no, it's not. Race is one of the least complicated issues that there is, because it's made up. It's arbitrary. It's as complicated as goddamn Santa Claus. Oh, that guy's mom was half-black, which makes his skin slightly more pigmented than mine, which therefore means that he's inherently 12.5% lazier than me? Science! Um, no. What's actually complicated is our country's relationship with race, and our utter ineptitude at talking about it. We suck. I mean, I work on it every day, and I'm still a total fuck-up*. But this new scheme someone came up with—where we prove we're not racist by acting as casually racist as possible? Not our best, white people. Not our best.

so read the whole article. it's great--very incisive and saying some things that need to be said, and then tell me what you think about the whole daily practice thing.  for me to make changes i have to
mushrooms, cabbage, spring onions & chicken over yukon asiago mashed potatoes served in pottery made by lula

a) believe there's a problem that needs to be fixed, b) have a plan of action that i will actually adhere to (not too overwhelming or discouraging, in other words) and c) believe that my actions will be efficacious.

*it's been a week of posts containing the f-word.  in totally necessary ways.  we can talk about it some time if you want.  if you haven't already, please read guest blogger natanya ann pulley's post from monday--it goes with the theme of the week.  also--

**read something that proves there's still racism, in case you're doubting, from this week's news.  rad writer ana castillo was banned from a visit to a tuscon high school.  surely not because she's a chicana, right?

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