This space i have created here is to have honest conversations and to center them on intersectional experiences and perspectives. i received messages from @jennywdonahue that i wanted to share with you, because it fits into my mission for this space. we need to know how to navigate conversations that do not center whiteness while acknowledging and honoring heritage. there's a different between ethnicity and race. i will definately be diving into it more this week. this is what @jennywdonahue wrote and graciously gave me the permission to share:
"i remember sitting in the back seat on the highway when my mil told me she was reading a book about a girl in china.
(let me quickly provide the context that my mil is white, i love her dearly and appreciate her efforts to connect with my heritage as a chinese-american woman.)
my first questions were: “who is the author?” and
“is the author chinese/chinese-american?” these kinds of questions were instinctual, as i’m protective of my heritage. she told me the authors’ name is lisa see. i immediately googled her, and found a photo of a pleasant-looking white woman smiling at me. after scrolling through her wiki page i learned that is 1/8 chinese and felt confused/hurt. while i did and do not deny see’s heritage, it made me uncomfortable to know that chinese culture was being presented to white readers through a white-passing woman’s lens. she may feel very close to her chinese heritage, but she did not experience what it’s like to grow up as an “other”. that experience of “otherness” is isolating, sometimes scary, and often uncomfortable.
this discussion is not about denying see’s ethnicity or blaming her for tackling a topic that she shouldn’t have. it’s purely about acknowledging that her experience as a white-passing woman is so fundamentally different from mine. her ability to pass as white provides her certain privileges, and it can be unbelievably validating for poc to see that acknowledged."
#guidetotiffanywongart // white tissue paper
i use white tissue paper in my work, because i think it demonstrates how white privilege and supremacy looks like from different perspectives. if it's against white, it's almost undetectable except for when it creases and where it's ripped. against color, it's way more noticeable and undeniable, but sometimes it also blends in and is hard to see. it's nuanced and it bends.
i'm not interested in flat experiences when it comes to issues of race and identity. and when i use the white tissue paper, it doesn't always mean the same the thing same way. that's the beauty of art and storytelling - it moves. it changes depending on where you stand. it hits a different spot for everyone - it could bring a sense of being seen for one person and complete discomfort for another. that's a good thing!
//giveaway closed// today is week 20 of #twintersectionalfridays! and to switch it up, i talk through some of my current thoughts in my instastories - and i have a giveaway for you. this giveaway is for my bipoc folx. here are the instructions:
tag someone/place/organization that is a trustworthy and safe space for you (and if you want, you can write why.) in these dark times, we need to be thankful for those spaces an be inspired to be that space for others. tag as many people as you want. i'll pick someone tomorrow at noon!
watch my instastories/highlight (friday 20) for my rambling thoughts about christianity, language, control of bipoc bodies, and the abortion ban. it's alot, and i'm not going to hash it all out via captions! also, swipe to read about the inspiration behind this art piece - i created it last year for #twmemorymondays. thanks and good luck❤️
#twintersectionalfridays: space to explore intersections of identity and systems of oppression. space to tell your story. space to listen. every friday of 2019. // week 20/52. 'control' / 8x8 in. / mixed media on paper
there's this understanding about what is and isn't allowed when it comes to how a person comes into a white space or/and male dominant space. if you are not a cis white man, your air must be gentle, humble, ultra open, the perfect amount of indecisive and insecure. that way, the people in power can feel like they can help you, and then maybe your ideas will be heard.
a trigger word for me is "humble" especially when it's used in a faith setting. words like "humble," "patience," and "love" are often terms used as a weapon to spiritually bypass. and you know when it's happening by noticing who that kind of sentament is used against. you rarely hear white people telling white people to have patience and more love when it comes to their own agenda, but you mostly see white people telling black and brown folx that it's about love and patience...and that anything besides for calm docile tones will make white people too uncomfortable to engage.
power always is at play. so before we/you demand a different behavior from other people, we all need to clearly see how privilege and power is influencing it. simple but not simple! you've probably heard this a million times (or i hope you have) but i know i need to always reminded of it. 💪🏼
humans are so resilient. we can really adapt to so many situations out of survival in either a physical or emotional or mental sense. at @hodakatebi's lecture, she talked about how until she moved to chicago, she was used to being called a "terrorist" everytime she would go to the grocery store growing up in oklahoma. it was common for that to happen to her at school and public places. (she current lives in chicago, and is a badass activist, community organizer, creative, and educator about intersectional feminism and anti capitalism - and so many other things that has to do with systemic oppression. you should definately follow her and her work.)
this made me think of how acclimated are we to racism/bias? now, when i look back, i can see how normal i thought comments about my eyes or people mimicking chinese or people telling me how good my english was...it was normal and not that offensive. but now, i would be horrified and tell them how racist that is. so my question is what are other ways i've/we've acclimated to systems of oppression and toxic behaviors...and my guess is so many ways.
and that's another reason why bipoc righteous anger is important. the reason we wouldn't be angry is because we are bending towards white comfort. behind that reason why it is demanded that bipoc can never be angry is because we are all trained to uphold white supremacy. we are brainwashed to be acclimated to the fact when bipoc grieve and have anger with how racist our society and white people are, we see bipoc as unreasonable, uneducated, unfair, unprofessional, and just plain ol' crazy for making things into such a big deal.
so let's get more angry and fight against the acclimation of the cencoring and controlling of marginalized bodies. and ward off spiritual bypassers who refuse to listen and learn. 🙅🏻♀️
i had the most intense therapy session where my therapist told me to talk to her like how i just talked about my experience. the instant the tables were flipped, i broke, because i heard how i invalidate my experiences and how self depricating i can be. despite my knowing how self compassion and self kindness is everything. i literally preach it, because i know how we, black, indigenous, and people of color are brainwashed to discount ourselves.
the dissonance from my heart and head was deafening. it's super confusing to experience it.
so immediately i was caught up on how to change this. how to fix my self talk. my therapist said it's time to sit in it and not rush through this moment of connection with myself. wow. thank goodness for therapy, and for the opportunity and privilege that allows me to have it. and thank you to my patrons for contributing to my mental health fund! without serious financial aid, i would never be able to benefit from it. #yaytherapy
Week 19 of #twintersectionalfridays! today's feature is incredible, and i'm excited to have @yenalynn as my guest for today! so much vulnerability and insight. every week, i'm encouraged in this work of reclaiming our identities and dismantling white supremacy. yena's perspective is powerful, and i'm so glad we all get to read about it.
watch my talk through and art process in my instastories/highlight.
thank you, yena!!
#twintersectionalfridays: space to explore intersections of identity and systems of oppression. space to tell your story. space to listen. every friday of 2019. // week 19/52. 'yena' / 8x8 in. / mixed media on paper
It's always about race
the more i learn and reflect the more this statement is true. say it with me: it's always about race.
the moment this is challenged is the moment whiteness is centered and when privilege is pointed out. so instead of mentally doing backflips to figure out how the anomaly when the statement isn't true, use your energy in learning about how it is true. *tip: you can start with intersectionality
i had this dream the other night where there are all these bugs in my path, and at first i can only see the big sized bugs. the terrifying part were as my eyes adjusted there were millions of these tiny baby bugs. it’s this reoccurring theme where i feel the need to figure a way to get rid of them, but knowing it’s impossible.
i’m not sure what it indicates, but i think the dream expresses my anxiety. it’s the overwhelming feeling where there are all these things where some are big and a million of them are small.
if you feel the same, i invite you to entering back to your body and into the present. after you read this, put your phone away and just take a few deep breaths. look around and notice lines in your view like the window sill and see how the lines form patterns and shapes with other lines. see how the pattern repeats or change into something else. anything to get us into the present is crucial. because anxiety (i'm not talking about hardships) lives in that overwhelming future place where we feel out of control. (i'm taking this exercise from something i heard from a podcast or meditation, but i can't remember where. wish i could give it credit!)
last thing, intersectionality has everything to do with the experience of anxiety. if you are bipoc, you are born into society with a set of overwhelming difficulties against you. so having self compassion and kindness for yourself today ❤️
i'm sitting at my desk, and thinking about this month and what i've been seeing and hearing...and not seeing and hearing. i think that many of the times people believe there there is no racism against asians/pacific islanders in america, and therefore they do not see the need to amplify our voices. this happens because of white supremacy flattening api to be monolithic. if it's flattened, there will be no acknowledgment oppression, and if there's no acknowledgment, there will be no fight against it. how can we celebrate api if our culture and diversity is invisible? how can we celebrate api if people believe api are "white adjacent" (fyi there is no such thing.)? how can we celebrate api if we (non api and api) fall into model minority myth narrative?
we have to celebrate and learn about the diversity among api. there are so many languages, customs, and culture among api, and i want to see it celebrated here in the states! from instastories to policy change to the language we use to interpersonal interactions - everything we do that deepens our love, embrace, and awareness of api, the more white supremacy will be dismantled. it's all interconnected!
Today is week 18 of #twintersectionalfridays! i'm honored to have sally @callmeflowerchild as my featured guest. many know her for her beautiful feed highlighting sustainable fashion and national park advocacy. she so openly and vulnerably writes about her background and experiences a latinx. thank you, sally!! 🌼
watch my talk through and art process in my instastories/highlight.
#twintersectionalfridays: space to explore intersections of identity and systems of oppression. space to tell your story. space to listen. every friday of 2019. // week 18/52. 'sally' / 8x8 in. / mixed media on paper
@teachandtransform asked "does your intersectionality and activism include people would are asian and pacific islanders?" it reminds me what i wrote near the end last year when this white man didn't believe there is any racism against asian people anymore. swipe to read post.
how are you consciously or subconsciously falling for the same racist/prejudice beliefs?
#aapiheritagemonth #apahm #aapi