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Entries in politics (15)

Wednesday
Oct312018

Ridiculous

I was born in Chicago, Illinois.

Both of my parents were immigrants.

I was born a U.S. citizen.

Apparently, the President of the United States thinks that is ridiculous.

I think about all the American citizens including my parents, sibling and my first cousins and I do a tally of our occupations: three doctors, three lawyers, three corporate executives, two teachers. We all work so hard. We all work in fields that are respected. 

Consciously or unconsciously, the children of immigrants are always doing this tally.  We're making sure that we earn our keep, you know? The thing I have realized in the past two years is that "earning your keep" in America is not only a lie, it's a white supremacist propaganda tool.

The truth is that the work/contribution narrative has served white Americans very well in comandeering people like me as agents of abuse against the immigrants who aren't doctors, lawyers or whatever.  Many Asian origin immigrants and their kids will go into these patterns of thinking that center on the model minority narrative, and we forget the broader ethical directive of: when people are in trouble, hungry or need a place to stay decent people open their doors.

No matter how hard we work, how smart we are, whether we save your life, teach your children, eat the same food as you, sing the same songs... there will always be people who will look at us and say, "You don't belong here." This is not because we don't work hard enough. This is not because we are criminals. It is not because we are lazy.

It is because they are racist xenophobes who want to "Make America White Again." They use resources as a straw man argument to cover their nativist agenda that is based on racial supremacy. In fact, this attempt to cover their racism and xenophobia is so efficacious that many of the 54% of the Republicans who support the revocation of birthright citizenship don't even know they are racist. They think we're shutting the door on the rapists and criminals.

What they don't see is criminality of ethics that are being used to shut the doors on people who are often desperate for safety, food or other resources which we have in abundance. 

I am no longer under the illusion that any of that 54% gives a shit about what I have to say. I want to talk to you. The person who knows what I am saying is true. Who is upset like I am about this conversation.

You need to make a very important decision right now.

You need to admit that our president is a fascist. You need to understand that the people who support him are wilfully supporting a personality that has been historically proven to be a catalyst for national pain and genocide. 

Our nation is not a facist state only because he is currently being reigned in by the precarious threads of the legislative body's and executive body's commitments to upholding the U. S. Constitution.

Now, I know this is going to have some of you thinking, "This is exactly why we should vote!"

Ummmmno, wtf liberal America, you should vote because it's your civic duty.

Votes in opposition to th Fascist in Chief's agenda will certainly strengthen the above mentioned threads that keep us from sinking into the pit of full fledged fascism, but it will not erase the deep seated racism, white supremacy and xenophobia which resides in every neighbordhood across this country. 

If you are among the population that this adminsitration identifies as protected (read: white), then your VOICE matters as much as your vote. You have to say something. YOU HAVE TO SAY SOMETHING OR YOU ARE LETTING THIS HAPPEN. If you are saying something? 

Say.it.louder.

People will not forget that you were quiet.

Future generations will not forget. 

I will not forget. 

 

Sunday
Feb122017

This is Totally Normal

I realize it's been a while since around November 8th when John Oliver crafted the #ThisIsNotNormal thing, but I continue to have thoughts and feelings about it.

You guys, this racist bullshit that you are experiencing that's masquerading as the executive and legislative branches of the government?

IS TOTALLY NORMAL FOR AMERICA. I'm over here rolling my eyes at people who are sharing these posts of people being detained at airports and hashtagging it with #thisIsNotNormal.

FOR YOU.

This is not normal FOR YOU, BRO.

Two months after 9/11, my dad was taking a flight to North Carolina. He was pulled aside, detained and questioned. This was a domestic flight from Florida to North Carolina. My father, at the time, was 67 years old, had lived in the U.S. for thirty two years and had been an American citizen for nearly fifteen years of those years. Since then, between my parents, in laws and extended family, this family has had over half a dozen encounters like this. 

THIS IS NOT NORMAL FOR YOU.

This is totally normal for US. 

So, why? Why bring this up in the first place? 

Well, look, there's two major kinds of racist/xenophobic/discriminatory paradigm:

1. Superiority Based Racism/Xenophobic/Discriminatory Paradigm: This says, "America is amazing and wonderful, white people made America, foreigners are terrible, gays are deviants, the only black people that get shot by the police are criminals, blow all of those sand people up and we'll be safe, etc."

And, then, there's:

2. Cluelessness Based Racism/Xenophobic/Discriminatory Paradigm: This says that the current climate of racism, xenophobia and discrimination is some sort of aberrant occurrence and totally ignores the pesky yet relevant fact that this triumverate of bullshit (racism, xenophobia, discriminiation) is somehow NOT woven into the tapestry of the American story.

So.

You know.

I like John Oliver.

But let's not forget John Oliver is the great grandson of an Imperialist Britain which used racism, xenophobia and discrimination to dominate over half of the world's population in throughout the 19th and 20th centuries.

And then let's not forget that all those people who are using #thisIsNotNormal are the great great great grandchildren of people who appropriated North America from native peoples with their slaves in tow captured from Africa all of which was justified by racism, xenophobia and discrimination.

Barack Obama, our great hope, our American dream... was not normal.

This guy? P45? Is totally normal.

And he will never NOT be normal if you don't own him as a product of who we have chosen to be as a people for two hundred years.

 

 

Wednesday
Mar022016

The Ambivalence of Vulnerability.

There are a thousand different ways to express this, and they feel weak, shameful and pseudo-catastrophic. A few years ago, I read all of Brene Brown’s books, and they changed my life. I learned about the power and courage of vulnerability. I learned vulnerability is a magic key that opens you up to abundance and love in the universe in a way that holding your flaws, fears and mistakes too close will never allow. I came to love the idea of vulnerability – the delicate balance it requires in personal relationships or the way it can inspire friendships and cooperation in phenomenal ways.

Today, I loathe vulnerability. I hate how vulnerable I feel when I watch a man talk about killing the family members of terrorists. Or closing borders. Or requiring ID badges. Or, basically, any time he opens his idiotic, stupid-headed mouth.

I hate the total loss of words I had tonight when my emotionally rock solid daughter asked, “What is going to happen if Donald Trump wins? Are we going to be okay? Is he going to make us leave?”

I do not know the answer to this question.

This vulnerability? It’s victimhood. It’s the haunting sting of being bullied by someone so much more powerful than I am. It’s that familiar feeling of watching people who can do something, sit back and do nothing.  It’s the vulnerability you feel when you hear someone give you the backstory, the rationale, the reason why your abuser is who he is. You don’t care what those reasons are because it does not stop them. I do not give a damn why we are here. Stop telling me why why are here.

We are here. And I am very afraid.

This vulnerability is the finality of knowing you can never count on the people you thought you could count on again. People who love you, they are supposed to stick up for you. They are supposed to say, "You cannot talk about my friend like that." They are supposed to stop people from talking about you like that. They are supposed to effing do something besides make jokes or lament the journey to this place.

When you lose faith in the people who love you, you beleive you will never get it back. You are left with the realization that having faith in people is a precarious proposition at best. Let me tell you, there are very few points that are lower than this one, emotionally speaking.

Disconnected. Alone. Vulnerable... I listen.

He says what he thinks, so, you know, take the abuse. Let’s keep this family together. Don't forget, you're lucky to even be here. You thought you were big enough to sit at the table? Listen. We will make you leave if we want. There is nothing you can do. We were great before you came here. We want to be great again. You made us un-great. We're just trying to go back to what we were before you showed up and screwed everything up.

Also? Jesus. Guns. Racism.

I gasp for air under the weight of this vulnerability that leaves me weak, sad and scared.  I had no strength to loan my child when she showed me her vulnerability.

 “I don’t know if will he make us leave. I don’t know. I know that no matter what has happened to me in my life, Allah has provided me with the best of things in the end. This is something I know to be true because I have lived it. I don't know what's going to happen, bete. Some things, we have to just let Him sort out.”

I can say what I think, too.

Monday
Nov052012

Election Day is Coming. And I Decide to Brainwash My Child.

As the presidential race comes to a close, I'm proud to say that both of the children have grown in their awareness not only of the election, but some of the issues, as well. At my Babble Voices Blog, Native Born and Raised, I explain how I tried to teach N. the difference between Republicans and Democrats and how that was a colossal failure.

We value ideas because they are, wait for it, valuable to us. Many times, we choose one set of values over another because we believe that what we have chosen is superior to the alternative. Not all the time is about superiority, but most of the time is. So, when I explain politics to my child, no matter what I say  or what my intention is, I color that presentation with the passion of what I believe to be both just and true.

You can read the whole post here.

Also, many thanks to Nijamatics for the DOPEST MASTHEAD EVER.

Thursday
Sep202012

I've Been Writing. Just Not Here.

Did I mention I got a day job? I did! You are now reading the words of an assistant to a montessori elementary class. I'm having a terrific time, etc., but have been regrettably busy "assisting" and what not. 

This doesn't mean, of course, that you've lost your full access pass to all things Faiqa.

Here's me being self righteous about world hunger.

From "Children Are Starving in Africa. So, Eat That." on Babble.

“There are children starving in Africa.”

I’m not making this up. That’s exactly what she said.

The kids hadn’t finished their lunches or something. She thought they were being wasteful. With a heart full of beautiful intention, she sought to imbue them with perspective. Instead her words plunged me into a deep state of irritation and anxiety.

There are children starving in Africa.

 

And then here I am being very un-self righteous. Because consistency is for weenies. 

From "Helicopter, Free Range or Honey Boo Boo Parenting? Who Cares" also on Babble.

According to Lenore Skenazy, author of Free-Range Kids, I’m a negative symptom of the stranger danger campaigns of the early and mid-eighties and am hindering my children’s developing self reliance and their independent social maturity. Parents who won’t let their children ride the subway alone or play in Central Park unattended are control freaks — obsessed with their own sense of security rather than their children’s good, don’t you know?

Wait, there's more. Let me tell you about my mutha, Dr. Freud.

From "Coming Soon to a Theater Near You: I've Become My Mother":

"Even thinking about the movie The Exorcist creeps me out. Like, just now, my husband just walked into our room while I was typing this and I almost peed in my pants because I thought it was the devil. I once tried to read The Exorcist, but couldn't finish it. The book makes the movie feel like that episode of "The Cosby Show" when they sang on the staircase and Rudy was all "BAAAABY!!" Which is to say that the movie is a cake walk because every time I finished a page of the book… I almost peed in my pants because I thought the devil was under my bed.

These days I find myself living in a benign, yet twisted version of my own horror movie."

 

BUT.WAIT.

There's even MORE. 

"I just wish that I could, like, possess the body of the body of someone who does PR for Mitt Romney. I'd be like, 'So, the good news is that we have a celebrity endorsement. The bad news is that it's Nikki Minaj."

From the Hey! That's My Hummus podcast episode "Voter Registration Laws and Creationism".

That title makes it sound like creationism and the attempts at revising voter registration are somehow related... which they probably will be if some people have their way.

Anyway, it was good catching up with you.

How are YOU?