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I just want to throw it out there that I really appreciate the fact that, in Pacific Rim, Mako Mori was never really shamed for wanting revenge on the Kaiju. Sure, her initial Drift with Raleigh was botched by her intense emotions, but even after, neither the characters nor the narrative told her to forget revenge or anger. Her desire for vengeance drove her, and that was okay. No one told her to forgive the Kaiju, and the filmmakers never threw in a scene with her looking a Kaiju in the eye and saying, “It’s really very beautiful.” AND THAT’S GREAT, because, while forgiveness is healing for many people, for others it can be just as healing to know that what happened to you will never happen to anyone else ever again. The narrative allowed Mako to both own and utilize her emotions, and for that it gets a gold star from me.
as a poc adoptee, let me tell you there is no better way to start your day than having to argue publicly with your white adoptive mom about whether or not the racism you experienced is valid.
I didn’t realize how strong and thick my armor against racism had grown until the day I realized I didn’t have it anymore. We were parking outside the Seward Cafe, and a man walked right up to our car and said, “Chinaman, This is my country!” and although I used to be able to just brush it off by thinking, “What a crazy freak!” this time I could not because I have lived 9 years in Korea without people being racist against me (although they are to other people), and because of that I have lost my skills to deal with street racism, and those words hurt just as much as they did when I was a kid, before I had accumulated 30 years’ worth of armor and mental acrobatics to protect myself from everyday life. This happened the day after I got my receipt checked at the door at Walmart and my bag emptied to make sure I wasn’t stealing anything, which was the day after exactly the same thing happened at exactly the same Walmart. Living with discrimination erodes a little bit of your human dignity every day. The fact that we need so much armor to get through the day, and that we have to teach our children to act for the sake of safety rather than the sake of their dignity, and the fact that if I had a child, my child would have seen me targeted and humiliated rather than talk back to that man because I was concerned for my safety — makes me so, so angry.
a thread soon formed with people adding their own experiences with racism. and i added my own comments with some of my experiences with racism growing up in the states, including a reference to a racist question that my uncle (mom’s younger brother) used to ask me every time i saw him:
i remember kids (and even a TENURED PROF AT MY UNIVERSITY) making gibberish noises imitating what they thought asian languages sounded like, yelling at me to go back to my country, pulling back their eyes at me, i had my own uncle asking me where he could “get two little girls like you” every time i saw him, i had people asking me if my vagina was sideways way before i even understood what that could even mean, i had people giving me weird “compliments” like “pretty as a lotus flower” or crap like that, people asking me if i was chinese or japanese, which was still better than the many people who called me a chink and jap. my sister said she had a little girl follow her into a bathroom stall to see if hers was the same… this is just off the top of my head. (and for reference, i lived in maryland, tennessee, indiana, and illinois)
i should mention that i’ve already written (here) about my uncle and his insistence on asking me this question every time i’ve seen him and how i was finally able to tell him to get stuffed at the age of 30.
what is not included in that previous post is that even AFTER that visit when i made my displeasure with my uncle’s question clear, my mom asked my uncle to repeat it in front of jinwoo (as a cute family story!) on my next visit when i went with him to the US and he met my family for the first time. this is how oblivious my white parents are to racism and their dismissive attitude toward my clear expressions of boundaries as it relates to race.
so after i brought it up again in that comment, my mom responds:
Ur uncle loves u and he was never making fun of u.
i think carefully for a full twelve minutes on how to respond. i am basically boiling angry at this point, but part of me thinks i should address this privately, not publicly. but i decide no. i can’t just allow this to stand publicly. i’m tired of being the accommodating one, it has clearly gotten me nowhere so far. still, in an act of enormous restraint, i only answer:
how do you still not recognize that as racist?
to which my mom responds, flat-out:
It was never racist.
oh ok, thank you white mom for invalidating my feelings on the racism that i experienced. this time i think for a good thirty minutes. i do not want to publicly thrash my mom but i have made my decisions about not continuing to sugarcoat discussions with race with my family anymore. and i answer:
mom, i’m not going to keep arguing with you about this publicly. if you don’t think that was racist then that’s deeply frustrating. did he ever ask that question to anyone else but sharon and me? (i.e. my white brothers and sisters) no. does that mean i think he’s a horrible person and i hate him? no. does it mean i’m going to pretend it wasn’t racist and humiliating every time i heard it? not any more.
no word from her (either publicly or privately) since then. my guess is that she is feeling sorry for herself and won’t initiate contact for awhile. still trying to decide if i should call or text her for the holidays.
you handled this beautifully. big props.
Can I reblog this to racebending?HAY! And yes, of course! I adore Racebending, many many thanks for the work yall are doing :) X
…We often hear that necromancy was outlawed because it was a devilish practice that depended upon the power of Satan for its effectiveness. What you do not hear is that necromancy was an aspect of ancestor worship, and that part of outlawing it involved making it illegal to bury your family members on your own land. Suddenly, you were required to bury your dead in Church-sanctioned graveyards.
…Even what the Church called witchcraft involved family traditions that had been passed down from generation to generation for hundreds and thousands of years. To break up the families and make the people dependent upon the state, it was necessary to break the lines of their established traditions. To do that, it was necessary to remove the influence of grandparents upon their grandchildren and all the family lore that was previously passed down from one to another."
At The Crossroads, Aaron Leitch (via kingdom-of-the-troll-king)
"Western culture is so much more free and INDIVIDUAL" lol yall don’t even know your own histories
terrible statistic i just remembered from class and kimberle crenshaw’s article, saying 60% of black boys who are in juvenile jail for murder are in jail for killing their mothers abuser. the message showing Black boys that their mothers mean nothing to the state, it is ok to beat and abuse women, and when it gets too far likely because they weren’t offered help or worse, ignored, it leads to the young man killing the abuser, they are then placed in jail for exorbitantly long times. the state is meant to crush us, imprison us and exploit our labor and its really sad knowing the Black boys who really defend their mothers/sisters even in danger are then unfairly and overly penalized for it.
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