"but, i just love your culture so much"
Today when we think of U.S. fads and fashions for India, we tend to focus on the recent mass popularity of yoga and Bollywood films or on narratives of self-discovery in the East such as Elizabeth Gilbert’s bestselling Eat, Pray, Love. The hippie counterculture of the late 1960s, with its obsessions for Indian music,fabrics, and spiritualities, also remains strong in the public memory. It is largely forgotten that at the turn of the twentieth century the United States was in the grips of a craze over India[*] and “the Orient” that was, in some ways, larger and more pervasive than anything that has occurred since. Between the 1880s and 1920s, Americans from all classes and walks of life were drawn to an ‘India’ that was, in essence, a collective fantasy. Elites of cities such as New york, Chicago, Boston, and Philadelphia explored Vedantist philosophy and attempted the contortions of ‘tantrik’ yoga. A young Isadora Duncan performed her interpretations of Eastern dance, in barefeet and flowing robes, on the lawns of Newport, Rhode Island’s finest mansions, while Ruth St. Denis performed in Indian-style on Broadway, bedecked with jewels and wrapped in a colorful silk sari. The New Thought writer and publisher William Walker Atkinson built a national audience for his mail-order books on clairvoyance, mind control, and the ‘Hindu-yogi science of breath,’ published under pseudonyms such as Swami Panchadasi, Yogi Ramacharaka, and Swami Bhakta Vishita.
Vivek Bald, Bengali Harlem, pp.16-7
He goes on to write about the sexualized image of the Indian “nautch” dancer. He also writes about many other ways that “exotic India” is used to sell things from cigarettes to circus attractions. A historical context to discussions that sometimes take place now. None of it is new, etc. Also a lot of this reminds me of a Politics of Style class I took.
[*Bald uses “India” here to refer to all regions considered India pre-1947](via indigocrayon)
Of course if we choose to use a language comprehensible only to law and economics graduates it will be easy to prove that the masses need to have their life run for them. But if we speak in plain language, if we are not obsessed with a perverse determination to confuse the issues and exclude the people, then it will be clear that the masses comprehend all the finer points and every artifice. Resorting to technical language means you are determined to treat the masses as uninitiated. Such language is a poor front for the lecturer’s intent to deceive the people and leave them on the sidelines. Language’s endeavor to confuse is a mask behind which looms an even greater undertaking to dispossess. The intention is to strip the people of their possessions as well as their sovereignty. You can explain anything to the people provided you really want them to understand.
- society: *blocks access to educational resources, silences and erases minority voices and actions in media, forces dissenting opinions to be censored or blunted, refuses to publish or broadcast minority-made minority-led media*
- society: if you want representation, just make it yourself! it's not like there's anything stopping you!
hey everyone. an australian aboriginal woman has been sentenced to life in prison because of her disability, even though she hasn’t been convicted of any crime. she has been in there for 18 months already, and although the government has the facilities to care for people with disabilities, they are ignoring requests to have her transferred to a dedicated care facility rather than a prison. here is the petition to free her - it still needs ~14,000 signatures. please sign.
My people have lived in the Hawaiian Islands since the time of Papa—Earth Mother—and Wākea—Sky Father. Like many other native people, we believed that the cosmos was a unity of familial relations. Our culture depended on a careful relationship with the land, our ancestor, who nurtured us in body and spirit.
For over one hundred generations, we tended the earth. Then, in 1778, white people arrived on our shores. They brought syphilis and tuberculosis, iron and capitalism. And they also brought violence, the violence of first contact, the violence of plague and death, the violence of dispossession.
By the arrival of the first missionaries in Hawai’i in 1820, more than half the estimated one million Hawaiians present in 1778 were dead from foreign, epidemic diseases. Within another twenty years, the population had been halved again. Conversion to Christianity occurred in the chaos of physical and spiritual dismemberment.
In 1893, the American military invaded Hawai’i, overthrew our chiefly government, and put an all-white puppet government in its place. We were forcibly annexed to the United States in 1898. Hawai’i has been an occupied country ever since.
The first step to dismantling white supremacy is to stop this false idea that there are 7 continents.
Europe is not a separate land mass from Asia.
My culture brings all the whites to the yard
And they’re like, “I’m taking what’s yours,
Damn right, it’s mine and not yours!
Want it back now? k fine but we’ll charge”