Writer Jackson Bliss describes an experience when a Pakistani writer spoke up in defense of a Desi character Bliss had written, and “the workshop rejected his comments and then spoke over him. Think about that for a second,” Bliss writes, “a group of mostly white writers telling a hapa writer and a Pakistani writer what was culturally authentic and culturally permissible … about non-white people.”
[…] Writers of color are also asked to offer up their voices solely because of their race. Another of my fellow Ph.D.s complained to me once about what happened after a talk at her MFA program. The talk included offensive comments about African-Americans. Afterward, one of her professors asked why my friend hadn’t spoken up. The [white] professor had been waiting for a black student to say something.
[…] People of color often believe that there are safe places and that academia is one of them. But I find that academia is sometimes even more a place where race is dismissed or invisible or regarded with suspicion. In an intellectual arena, the rock and the hard place people of color are put in is the place between silence and killing rage, a place where it hurts to keep quiet and it can hurt your career to speak up. It is a place determined by the majority context, where either choice is self-defense."
"When Defending Your Writing Becomes Defending Yourself" by Matthew Salesses. Read more here.
"I believe that every person is born with talent. I love to see a young girl go out and grab the world by the lapels. Life loves to be taken by the lapel and told: ‘I’m with you kid. Let’s go.’ A cynical young person is almost the saddest sight to see, because it means that he or she has gone from knowing nothing to believing nothing. Courage is the most important of all the virtues, because without courage you can’t practice any other virtue consistently. You can practice any virtue erratically, but nothing consistently without courage. Each time a woman stands up for herself, without knowing it possibly, without claiming it, she stands up for all women. One isn’t necessarily born with courage, but one is born with potential. Without courage, we cannot practice any other virtue with consistency. We can’t be kind, true, merciful, generous, or honest."
"Unless carefree, motherlove was a killer."
From Beloved by Toni Morrison.
Q: Today you saw the children lying on the beach. What was it like to see this but be unable to help?
Tyler Hicks: It was clear that these children were beyond help. I was very close to three of the four children who were killed and it was clear that they had been killed instantly. Had there been some way to help them I certainly would have. Because Gaza is so small ambulance crews arrive almost immediately when something happens.
Image: A civilian carries one of four Palestinian cousins killed by an Israeli air strike while playing on a beach in Gaza, by Tyler Hicks via The New York Times. Read the Times’ interview with Hicks about reporting from Gaza. Select to embiggen.
Things not to be ignored. May these children rest in peace.
"California often leaves inmates to wait for decades for their sentences to be carried out, which the judge said is cruel and unusual punishment. Since the death penalty is supposed to warn others from committing the same crimes, and California inmates often die in jail before they’re executed, the judge decided their death sentences are ineffective."
On yesterday’s ruling that California’s death penalty is unconstitutional via The Daily Skimm. The Daily Skimm, side note, is a great way to stay up-to-date with what’s happening in the world.
"I come from a dark region, from a land separated from all others by the steep contours of its geography. I was the most forlorn of poets and my poetry was provincial, oppressed and rainy. But always I had put my trust in man. I never lost hope."
From Pablo Neruda’s Nobel Prize acceptance speech.
"If I were you, a Nigerian, I’d be taking some serious stock as I read this, of how much I’m worth. Worth to whom, you might ask, and the answer to that, is to your government, somewhere less than a Pakistani teenager. At least, that’s the message that we have received after yesterday’s audience granted to a Pakistani teenager, after which, the Prez finally agreed to open the door to a set of Nigerians who have been knocking for 92 days now."
The Nigerian president Goodluck Jonathan has consistently refused to go to Chibok and the parents of those girls who were kidnapped insist that the government has not talked to them yet. But he decides to meet Malala Yousafzai who is currently in Abuja and it is only then that he says he will meet with the parents to “reassure them that the Federal Government was doing all within its powers to rescue their daughters”. I will not be surprised if this promise is empty.
I think it’s important to note that she is not just any ‘Pakistani teenager’, but one that has all the backings of the Western world and the United Nations. I’m not trying to second-guess Malala’s intentions or whittle her down to a puppet-like figure, but there’s just something about how she’s been framed by the West that makes me squirm a little.
But yes, Nigerians for the most part know our government doesn’t give a damn about our welfare.
shoutout to you doing what you love young black men
tiiiight gonna give them a listen
when’s the last time a major music label put so much money in to an all-Black ROCK band?
this is huge.
This makes me so, so happy.
NEW MUSIC: Talib Kweli ft Res - Whats Real.
Great vibes, a little different to what we’re used to from Talib but great nonetheless. Definitely a summer soundtrack anthem.
Feeling the feels of this.
"His best. Time may show it to be the best single piece of any of us, I mean his and my contemporaries. This time, he discovered God, a Creator. Until now, his men and women had made themselves, shaped themselves out of their own clay; their victories and defeats were at the hands of each other, just to prove to themselves or one another how tough they could be. But this time, he wrote about pity: about something somewhere that made them all: the old man who had to catch the fish and then lose it, the fish that had to be caught and then lost, the sharks which had to rob the old man of his fish; made them all and loved them all and pitied them all. It’s all right. Praise God that whatever made and loves and pities Hemingway and me kept him from touching it any further."
William Faulkner’s review of The Old Man and the Sea.
"your life is your life
don’t let it be clubbed into dank submission.
be on the watch.
there are ways out.
there is a light somewhere.
it may not be much light but
it beats the darkness.
be on the watch.
the gods will offer you chances.
you can’t beat death but
you can beat death in life, sometimes.
and the more often you learn to do it,
the more light there will be.
your life is your life.
know it while you have it.
you are marvelous
the gods wait to delight
"The Laughing Heart" by Charles Bukowski (via kalakutaqueen)
A timely reminder.
Ballerina Tanaquil le Clercq…doing werq.