sanromero

Socio/Political and Historical analysis necessary for my peace of mind.

Category: Uncategorized

Why keep a blog?

So I have been asking myself this question for a while now due to my inactivity here. I think that I have managed to come up with why I will keep this blog a while longer.

The main reason I started one is that I have free time on my hands and I like to explore ideas through writing. The second reason was that I would not mind is someone read it as long as it was in a space that I can control.

This has not changed.

What has changed is my perspective on what blogging entails. More to the point, the discomfort I’m caused when a lot of people see a post. I don’t mind if a handful of people read this sht, but when a few hundred do… It’s becomes, I would say, kinda dangerous for my health.

The things I write here can’t really be said in public without inviting a lot of backlash and or harassment. So when one post got a few hundred hits… It made me hang back. I stopped posting cause I did not want too much attention. So I decided to wait a while before I start posting again. Just to be safe.

Thought about deleting the blog, to be safe… But I’ll keep it just a bit longer.

Nation’s Pride

I love the movie Inglourious Basterds.. in fact, I love all of Tarantino’s movies. I would recommend watching all his movies. I recently re-watched it… and what is particularly interesting about this one, is the movie within the movie, Nation’s Pride.

You see, within Inglourious Basterds, you have this Nazi hero called Fredrick Zuller. He killed a bunch of Allied soldiers and of course the Nazi’s want to exploit this story for a film. In the movie, Hitler wants to use this true story as the baseline for a war propoganda movie called Nation’s Pride. The “trailer” can be seen here….

So here is the interesting part….. we can, quite easily, call this Nazi propaganda. A slightly different question we can ask ourselves, a more useful one, is what characteristics in this fake movie allow us to call it propaganda? Read the rest of this entry »

Listening, Learning, and Language Modification.

It has been quite a while since I posted something on here. Outside factors continuously prevented me from staying committed to this new thing I am trying to do. (Blogging is hard because it is so time consuming to produce quality material regularly). However, I have not been slacking either.. instead of writing, I have been using my free time to listen and learn.

I have been reading about other forms of oppression that I do not have to face. My privileged status left me ignorant about various issues outside my own Salvadorian community. The effect of understanding the amount of ignorance I have on other issues has worked as a mitigating factor when it came to writing about those issues. I found myself wanting to share, but I also realized that I lacked the expertise needed to talk about these issues with any force or nuance. Sometimes it is better to just shut-up, listen and learn when you are part of the privileged group instead of voicing your opinion. All too often, the way privileged people voice opinions is to either act like authorities on issues in which they have no experience in, or to be mere mouthpieces of minorities they have been listening to. Desiring to be neither, I have opted simply to listen and learn. (Something many of us should try doing from time to time)

Now, as I did this, I was simultaneously educating myself about Human Psychology. In my profession, it helps tremendously to understand human behavior, because that knowledge helps to manage, deal with, and control a situation. Having “people skills” can help you get your message through with even the most resistant folks.

What I saw, was this underlying connection to the importance of Language Modification to get desired results. In every book I read, the main point and strategy in communication is acknowledging that your language matters. Language used, made all the difference to the impact your message had on the person you were trying to communicate with. In that, having good people skills/communication skills means knowing what to say, how to say it, and when to say it. If you were unwilling to modify your own language, then it meant that you were going to have trouble communicating with resistant people – and in my profession there are many. In a profession where you have to put the needs of your client above your own, having the ability to monitor and change your own language, in order to comfort your clients (getting them to a place were you need them to be), is the difference between a successful career and unsuccessful one. Because my profession requires me to make such accommodations daily, this has resulted in me using these same accommodations in my personal life. The career skills I learned have benefited me in my personal and social affairs, and as such, I have no resistance towards modifying my own language when I think it is appropriate. (Hint: In my blog, I use that I want, if I want to say fck or sht, since this is my space, I am ganna do it. Do not attempt to argue with me about my language on my blog.)

So here is the thing that hit me, one that I felt was interesting enough to write on my blog…. each and every time I entered minority spaces on social justice issues, in which, as a person of color, I was not one of the oppressed but rather one of the privileged (LGBTQ issues, anti-black race issues, mental illness issues, physical issues, feminist issues, womanist issues)… what I found was that each of these minority groups actively monitor the use of Language by privileged people. They look for trigger words that indicate this or that privileged person either has a lot to learn, or if they are not ready to engage minorities directly because they still voice biases and bigoted thoughts about minorities. Minorities also develop they own words and labels in which they feel comfortable with. They point to words that more accurately describe their lived experiences – often times they promote the use of these words in order to encapsulate their struggles. Needless to say, I am all for this. However, what I found interesting is that each time they monitored a privileged person language or tried to improve their verbal repertoire (which in effect humanize their experience that are often dehumanized by the larger society)… they were met with resistance every time. Nothing but privileged whining and nonsense about how, oh now they are the “real oppressed because someone wants them to use better words.

What kind of fking sht is this?

I mean, it really started to piss me off. How resistant can people be to simply using better words because the language they are presently using actually hurt the minority groups they spoke of. WTF is the issue? Why is it that cis people are so resistant to using accommodations like cis-male or trans-male? Why is it so hard to, when asked to refer to a trans-woman as a “her”, to use the word “her”? The world is ending because Transgender activists are actively trying to inform the public that they prefer you acknowledge the natural complexities of gender we have? Puhlease… This active resistance becomes really grotesque when privileged groups accuse minorities, who attempting to make space for themselves by adding humanizing language to their experiences, of being abusive or totalitarian. How fcking foolish do you have to be to not understand that words are important? How ignorant do you have to be to not understand that being adviced to use better words is not actually a form of oppression?

How can someone not understand that the words you use have an impact on what you are trying to say? I would think such an understanding is so trivial that even grade schoolers  understand the logic of such a view. Their resistance is… not just frustrating but also a form of aggression. This resistance, is actually a symptom of their privilege and is, in many cases, quite literally, active oppression. Oppression comes in many forms and in difference intensities, and in this case, peoples inability to and or refusal to simply modify one or two words when actively talking to minority groups (where words can be triggers), after being told, repeatedly, what word to use, is in fact dehumanized and oppressive.

When someone asks you to not use this word because it dehumanizes them, and tells you to use other words because it makes their experiences real (when often society likes to ignore their experiences)…. to not engage in such an activity, and to continue to use the word in question in their presence…. is plainly a move of oppression. It is telling someone “fck off, I can say whatever I want, and I am ganna say this to fck with you because you don’t mean sht to me. You are garbage, watch me make you powerless” Make no mistake, that is the massage that is sent.

When this is done by someone who is in the privileged position in society – someone that has enough social, political, economical power to shrug off the struggles of the other peoples – it is a step in active dehumanization. They use their status to say that this or that group is not worthy of such a trivial (on our part, not theirs )consideration. This rejection of language modification (which is easy to do) does in effect, undermine their human dignity. You see, if you can not even be bothered to use different fcking words, what does this say when the stakes are higher? When we are not just talking about the impact of words and asking you to use better ones, but instead talking about violence or built in societal inequalities? If you can’t even do that… do you think you are even going to engage in the other harder issues around that minority community?

The truth is that if privileged peoples don’t give a fck there… they ain’t ganna give a fck over there either. Instead their active and often aggressive resistance to using different words does a tremendous amount of emotional damage to the minorities in question. You see, it makes it that much harder to mobilize on other issues because they are being hurt, and burnt out on language issues. So yeah, if you refuse to take part in humanizing minority experiences by simply using better words – can’t stress that enough – then you are actively being an oppressor.

I Don’t Care If You Are Not Offended, That Is Still Racist.

Here is a thing that pisses me the fck off often… the phrase “I was not offended, so I don’t think that was racist”.. I mean… Since when does racism have to personally offend you for it to be officially raicist? Fck you…. that sht is racist whether you are insulted or not.

This goes for any subject as well, be it homophobia, be it transphobia, be it orientalism, or be it sexism… just because you are not personally insulted does not mean that you can therefore rationally conclude weather or not something is bigoted. That is the fcking stupidest way to go around looking to spot bigotry, and I am fcking tired of seeing it.. especially tired of seeing it from fellow minorities.

That phrase is especially damaging, as a result of tokenism, if you are a member of a minority group and you take it upon yourself to pronounce that, because you are not personally offended, therefore all minorities who are, might be are overreacting or irrational. People are way too comfortable sending out this random minority to say “I was not offended by that.. thus it can’t be bigoted!”.. that sht is extra fcking annoying dogg!

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Awesome Media Consumption

You know what I fcking love?

I love music that has a god damn message. Now, while I can digg music that don’t – I mean that sht still makes my body rock and head bumb – I love music that do.

You know what I fcking hate? I hate all these haterz that hate on hip-hop and act like this is “bad for the black community.” I hate people who like music, but have to preference that with “except hip-hop”.. Man, I bet 99% of the time these mofos that say that sht are racist as fck.

I mean ‘cmon dude.. Rock, Country, Pop.. all that sht is bad, all that sht has built in sexism, racism, homophobia..etc.. They are no different from hop-hop… and yet hip-hop gets concentrated on as if it is the only one that reflected bigoted cultural trends. Man, everyone does that sht, and while that do not make it right, and while I do got a problem  with music that is bigoted as fck… to unfairly concentrate on hip-hop like this, as if it is the source of the problem, is just racist.

I am however, really fcking picky on what I chose to listen to these dayz. I mean, I will bumb my head on the radio to mostly whatever, but I ain’t ganna buy tracks from anyone unless they got not only good music but good lyrics and a good message. You see, it is a whole lot harder to make a hit with a message, than it is to make a hit without one.

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