While there is a lot of appropriate rage about Ferguson right now, the killing of John Crawford, III is getting less attention than it deserves. I put Shaun King’s tweets and history lesson on the matter in chronological order for easier consumption.
You really should be following Shaun King on Twitter.
Never Forget…. the never-ending bullshit from the state.
The skull of the Dikika child, nicknamed “Selam” (meaning “peace”).
From my recent trip to the National Museum of Ethiopia.
“My mother is Japanese and my father is American. I only just recently reconciled these identities. In middle school, my Asian-ness was a quirky thing about me. I made Asian jokes about myself so my white peers would accept me, making a caricature of myself as the ‘Asian person’. At the time it was really important for me to connect with people who had the same cultural characteristics as myself, but I couldn’t find anybody. So, I tokenized my Asian identity.
“Later, I realized that making my Asian-ness a central part of my identity was harmful—there were so many other facets of myself that didn’t have to do with that. It affected how people interacted with me: when I earned a good grade, people would say, ‘Of course, you’re Asian.’
“I then decided to go to the opposite end and shun my Japanese heritage by pretending I was white. That was my strategy for a few years. Without even realizing it, I internalized certain racisms against Asian people. I saw them as inferior, which made me want to identify with my ‘white’ self even more.
“Finally, last semester I went to a giant cultural celebration for people of color. I saw a Japanese Taiko performance, which made me think of when I was a kid going to Japanese festivals—I would be so excited about everything Japanese. I almost cried and realized that I love a lot of Japanese culture, and that it was a part of who I am. I needed to revisit how I thought about my racial and cultural identity: what it was that I felt, why I felt it, and how I wanted to identify myself from that point on. I went back to Japan for a month and fell in love with the culture again. That was very important, because I shunned it for so long.
“So after a lot of processing this summer, I realize that I am in peculiar place between being a person of color and being white: I have too many privileges to identify as a person of color, yet I’m not white because of the way people label me as Asian and the shame I experienced as being Asian and Japanese. It’s a unique experience, being Japanese-American, and it’s important to know that this is who I am—no matter how people label me.”
Columbia student will carry her mattress until her rapist exits school
September 2, 2014
While most students at Columbia University will spend the first day of classes carrying backpacks and books, Emma Sulkowicz will start her semester on Tuesday with a far heavier burden. The senior plans on carrying an extra-long, twin-size mattress across the quad and through each New York City building – to every class, every day – until the man she says raped her moves off campus.
“I was raped in my own bed,” Sulkowicz told me the other day, as she was gearing up to head back to school in this, the year American colleges are finally, supposedly, ready to do something about sexual assault. “I could have taken my pillow, but I want people to see how it weighs down a person to be ignored by the school administration and harassed by police.”
Sulkowicz is one of three women who made complaints to Columbia against the same fellow senior, who was found “not responsible” in all three cases. She also filed a police report, but Sulkowicz was treated abysmally – by the cops, and by a Columbia disciplinary panel so uneducated about the scourge of campus violence that one panelist asked how it was possible to be anally raped without lubrication.
So Sulkowicz joined a federal complaint in April over Columbia’s mishandling of sexual misconduct cases, and she will will hoist that mattress on her shoulders as part savvy activism, part performance art. “The administration can end the piece, by expelling him,” she says, “or he can, by leaving campus.”
As painful as I know the constant reminder of attending school with her rapist must be, I’m glad she won’t be the only one forced to remember. I hope the rapist drops out immediately…or better yet, I hope he faces the justice he deserves.