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Margaret L. Andersen and Patricia Hill Collins, “Systems of Power and Inequality” (via wretchedoftheearth)
This is why I don’t say “caucasian” anymore.
Also the category was pretty much a tool for the US government to keep POC from becoming citizens and supporting white supremacy.
Don’t fuckin say Caucasian or I won’t take you seriously
captioned: first contact.
hopefully the last contact, whitey. (also, are you related to the gurls at gurlgoestoafrica?)
captioned: These are the ones paying for the Kim regime. There are millions of photos of poverty. These are not exceptional. But what’s most depressing is how preventable the poverty is. North Korea sits adjacent to the 2nd, 3rd, and 15th largest economies in the world. In the DPRK, so many millions suffer due to the ignorance and despotism of so few.
whitey, decoded: I am the best kind of white liberal voyeur. I love walking around third world countries taking pictures of people (especially children) that I think look dirty, poor, and sad. Because I grew up in an upper-middle class home in Palo Alto and went to school at Columbia, I really know what struggling looks like, and I also know that suffering doesn’t happen in any places like the US or South Korea. I also know that poverty doesn’t happen in the 2nd, 3rd, or 15th largest economies, ever, especially when they are capitalist economies that usher in horrendously destructive things like the Korea-US free trade agreement. I am such a hard-hitting journalist. I am the next Anderson Cooper. I am in North Korea. I can see Russia from my hotel. I am an East Asia expert. My last girlfriend was Korean. All my girlfriends are Asian. Did you know I can speak Chinese?
please, tell me what it’s really like for these brainwashed, exploited, forlorn people as you tour north korea with your colleagues from columbia university. give me more of your hard-hitting journalism that aligns 100% with the american media, because we all know the american media has always been such a beacon of clarity and critical truths. tell me more about how the north korean people suffer under the tyranny of “so few” and about how south koreans have it so much better (including south korean farmers, peasants, evictees, sex workers, migrant workers, the disabled, queers, and so on).
while you’re at it, please: tell me who divided korea. tell me who was responsible for the 635,000 tons of explosives dropped over the peninsula. i want to know more about those 32,557 tons of napalm (more than the amount used in the entire pacific theatre of wwii) used in the war. tell me more about how america saved us all. tell me who first threatened nuclear warfare on the korean peninsula, and who is really at the root of nuclear proliferation in east asia. tell me more about why massacres like the one at nogeun-ri happened. please explain to me why the american-backed president syngman rhee is more legitimate than kim il-sung. tell me more about the peaceful presidencies of south korean military dictators park chung hee and chun doo hwan, and how they were such upstanding, liberatory leaders who didn’t do things like massacre thousands in kwangju or have labor organizers assassinated or collude with the US and the japanese to uphold colonial systems of power.
tell me more about north korean repression. tell me about how the south korean national security law, which criminalizes the publication and circulation of material deemed “pro-north,” or how the corporate-run south korean media, are not meant to squash political dissent. if we’re talking about the production of fear, about government control and brainwashing, tell me how an entire generation of south koreans was taught that north koreans literally had horns sticking out of their heads, and how that’s the north’s fault for being so evil.
tell me about how no south korean political prisoners exist, and how torture to the death is a tactic only north koreans use. tell me why north korea has become so isolated and why its main strategy of defense is militant posturing. tell me why, exactly, there are food crises in north korea, and how they are unrelated to US-led blockades and sanctions. tell me more about how it is north korea’s fault that the koreas are still divided when south korea and the US are practicing war games and tactics for north korean invasion just miles from north korean land. tell me more about how the US and south korea have worked hard to de-escalate tensions, and how the potential for nuclear development in north korea is more threatening than the twenty-something existing nuclear power plants in south korea. tell me more about how the north korean government is the most evil, lawless, cruel government in the world, as south korea buys up most of the land of madagascar, displaces and exploits its poor and working peoples, and ushers in neoliberal policy after neoliberal poilcy for the sake of ‘development’.
if you want to talk about north korea and not sound like a fucking ill-informed, sensationalist, mccarthy-era tool that can’t fucking think for itself or be critical of messaging that is homogenous all across western media, then educate yourself beyond talking points from that sham of an organization “liberty in north korea” (think invisible children and kony, but with starving korean kids and kim jong-il).
i also don’t know why people think they can be “north korea experts” without knowing shit about south korea beyond its lightning-quick development (which, by the way, was built on the backs of thousands of exploited workers, many of whom were arrested, incarcerated, tortured, and killed for organizing during the dictatorships of US-backed korean military leaders!). the only reason people like this sound the least bit intellectual or informed is because no one else knows shit either, and is content with the soundbytes we get from the msm. but on principle, when has the msm promoted actual justice or liberation, inside of the US and out of it? how do people who think themselves “critical” miss this huge, huge point?
korea (north and south) is what it is because of japanese colonialism, US imperialism, and a decolonization process that was hijacked and warped into partition and war. the decontextualization (and ensuing demonization) of northern korea from this history is in and of itself promoting a political agenda that is predicated upon historical amnesia. this historical amnesia absolves both southern korea and the US for all the violence that occurred on the peninsula post-japanese colonialism. it fixes north korea as the one that is at fault for everything bad ever during and after the korean war, which is how you get shit like this where people are blaming north koreans for kwangju. when south korea is defaulted to as the progressive, good, normal one that’s a victim of north korea’s “crazy” belligerence, it automatically gets to be in a position of moral authority, victimhood, and legitimacy. it justifies US intervention (which came in the form of bombs, napalm, indiscriminate massacres [because they couldn’t tell north and south koreans apart — for obvious reasons]), and authorizes continuing US occupation and a hypermilitarized south korea. the US-SK relation, as it stands now, depends on the constant vilification of the north, because the creation of the south korean state itself (which was closely tied to US and UN intervention) was justified and legitimized by constructing leftist korean revolutionaries (who would later become ‘north koreans’) as threats to peace, freedom, and democracy.
also, does no one see how people can say all the racist, orientalist shit they want about north koreans because of this type of discourse, and how it’s made totally acceptable because “well, they’re the crazy ones”? like, there was a fucking video game made last year about north koreans invading the US (never gonna happen lol) and the goal of the game is to kill them all. (fun fact: that game, homefront, originally wanted to make the villains the chinese.) people pop off about north korea and kim jong-il and north korean people in such fucking obviously racist ways, but it’s acceptable because they’re just this impossibly foreign, mysterious, unknowable nation… there are all these gross american fantasies about what north koreans are really like, with no acknowledgment that their fetishizing and fantasizing are products of war and forced division and separated families.
and of course, savior missions like liberty in north korea won’t ever acknowledge how fucked up the process is for north korean refugees who try to migrate to south korea, and how many north koreans face discrimination in the south, and how high suicide rates are amongst them.
i am not an expert. i don’t know that much about north korea either, and i would really like to learn more. i’m also just really not that into nationalism, ever, and north korean nationalist discourse is off-putting to me. i also don’t doubt that violence and horrible things have happened in the dprk, but i want to learn about these things and be critical of that state without relying on imperialist discourses or racist bullshit to do so. goddammit. a lot of knowledge produced about north korea fits so, so neatly into US government doctrine that it’s just really fucking suspicious, and i’m not about to trust anything that aligns so closely with an apparatus that bears some of the heaviest responsibility around contemporary korean suffering.
[pro-tip for bio spawn: it’s common practice for adoptive/foster parents to assign us codenames so they can publicly broadcast our own personal (often traumatic) personal details and histories]
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