Have a different relationship with a void

What is the verb most associated with a void? It’s “fill.” It’s not desirable. It needs to be eliminated by filling it. This is a white idea. For instance, in my culture, a void (間、空間) is a name of that space. A void is a presence of a void not absence of something else. PeopleContinue reading “Have a different relationship with a void”

“How do I ask people their gender?”

My answer to this is “Don’t.” There is no point in conversation, business, or services where you need to know people’s gender. If it is a gender-based service, just list eligibilities and ask them if they fit them. If wrapped holiday gifts are gendered, first of all consider stopping this practice. In any case, reallyContinue reading ““How do I ask people their gender?””

So how much do BIPOC know?

You can easily witness how much insight and knowledge BIPOC have, but you have to first let it happen. There is this thing that’s hard for many people of the dominant race: sideline themselves and just witness. To demonstrate what they’re missing by this, sometimes I specifically set up a situation where white people can’tContinue reading “So how much do BIPOC know?”

Trauma expresses through our weakness – and strengths

What we typically call “trauma reaction” is fundamentally a one-time, life-saving reaction that repeats into other contexts that do not require it. It is often categorized as “fight, flight, freeze, submit,” but we don’t walk enough about how each reaction may be chosen. It could be a contextually-restricted choice – e.g. a person may haveContinue reading “Trauma expresses through our weakness – and strengths”

My reaction when people tell me they’re “anti-oppressive”

Let me start with an analogy. “I’ve been to Japan!” doesn’t inform me who they are. In essence, this declaration is orientalism. If they learned things in Japan and incorporated into the way they live, I hardly need them to tell me. I can tell. Same for anti-oppression. People saying “I’m anti-oppressive!” does not informContinue reading “My reaction when people tell me they’re “anti-oppressive””

“Meet them where they’re at”

This is a phrase that’s most often misinterpreted to a harmful degree. It is in fact so misunderstood that people around them don’t catch it. I’ve been wondering about a way to explain this, and I think these photos bridges it. [photo credit https://twitter.com/audrawilliams/status/1500669564711014401?s=21%5D Many real life examples are not quite this obvious. But theyContinue reading ““Meet them where they’re at””

Thought on “systemic” vs “individual” harm

There is an alarming trend of using “systemic lens” to lift individual accountability. This is not only performative but is in fact complicit to the systemic issue. First, anyone who worked on systemic changes know that they happen as an accumulation of individual acts. We have to create anecdotes, then enough anecdotes to create aContinue reading “Thought on “systemic” vs “individual” harm”