Rants

think we must

think we must, comme un cri entre les mots pour :
a) restituer l'égalité des intelligences
b) permettre une meilleure intelligibilité
c) a) et b), les deux, en même temps, et bien plus encore
et toc.

Au début, j'avoue, j'avais mes doutes sur cette expérience. L’espace de travail me paraissait, pour les participantes, trop étroit, trop contraignant, trop inconfortable. De faite, j'aurais du avoir confiance en Julie, des le début.

Alors voila, digestion du pad, digestion de l'expérience, après le coup, parce que les petites machines exigeaient mon attention pendant le coup.

I have a few little ideas I want to introduce and define for myself before I get into the nitty-gritty. To my more semantic friends, these are my personal definitions and not dictionary definitions, and yes, I am aware of that. I'll try to come back to these:

  • Racism: An imprecise word referring to discrimination based on phenotype, often associated to an overarching system of domination, white supremacy. Many people understand racism to be no more than a form of discrimination. This leads to confusion when anti-racist militants use the word as short-hand for the white supremacist system.
  • Discrimination: My opinion is that we need to unhook this concept from systems of domination, because recognizing that both oppressed and priviliged people make use of discrimination allows us to explain to people how discrimination and domination are different.
  • White Supremacy: A term that has unfortunately become synonymous with the far-right, fascist organisations that explicitly cite white supremacy as a goal. White supremacy is in fact an ideology, one that percolates throughout society, with far-ranging effects. White supremacy exploits and aggravates hostile relationships between distinct groups of oppressed peoples. African slavery is a historical example of this strategy in action.
  • POC: A person of colour, a generalized banner term for groups of racialized people organising against white supremacy. QPOC (Queer People of Colour) and APOC (Anarchist People of Colour) are two specific networks that, in the past, I have participated in.
  • Passing Privilege: Examples: a queer person that can pass as straight, or a trans person that can pass a cisgendered individual. I have passing privilege as white, and also as straight. I find I am constantly having to come out as a racialized individual, and often white people will refuse my self-identification as a racialized person.
  • Racialization: The process by which a person is "raced". The theory is that white supremacy does this to people as a way of excluding them from some aspect of what it is to be human. The consequence would be that the only fully human individuals are those that are not raced, and in this society that usually means white-skinned people of exclusively western european descent.

I'm also going to allow myself to use the term "white" as shorthand for "non-racialized person". I feel the term is problematic but I don't want to use more jargon than I have to in this text.

I typically tell two stories when people ask me to explain what I mean when I say I feel like a spy. They are hardly my most painful examples, nor are they the most dramatic exhibitions of racism I have witnessed. It is of these every day, banal interactions that my understanding of my place as a "spy" is constructed.

I'm coming back from a really intense weekend of reflection and discussion with other anti-authoritarians about our "movement" and its relationship to front-line struggles. And I've once again had the opportunity to watch people encounter the concept of anti-oppression, and even the dubious privilege of being identified as a resource on that struggle.

For geeks like me, running into a new political or philosophical concept like that follows a curve that is a lot like a long-term high-school couple. After a brief, early peak of intensity the whole thing sorta blends into your life and you stop noticing how important or central it's become, until you run into other folks with that same spark in their eyes and you think "Woah, I remember that!"

This weekend was that moment for me and a chance to really think about the lessons and questions I've learned over the years. So I'm going to challenge myself to write about it. I'm planning a series of posts on the following topics, but first I want to position myself in writing about this.

I went to Berlin for the 27th Chaos Communication Congress. My flight was late, my plans uncertain, and I didn't bother to get a ticket in advance, but despite all these setbacks I was able to get in with a four day pass strapped to my wrist within a couple of hours.

I've dented (read as "tweeted") most of my major take home learnings, so I will spare you a blow by blow. By the fourth day, incessant talk about wikileaks and mounting claustrophobia had taken their toll, and since I had misplaces my pass anyway I decided to spend the last day wandering around Berlin instead, checking out the art.

I followed my instincts to the canal and the train tracks, where I found an incredibly rich trove of stencils, graffiti and wheatpastes. The nice thing about underpasses and train tracks is that people really take their time on them, so you can find some incredibly nice pieces on the walls. Apparently, Berlin is one of the most painted cities in Europe.

Feeling good about my use of my last day in Berlin, I finished the night flitting between my hostel and various parties, waiting for my 7 am flight.

f I had a giant robot, I'd smash the state!

I think this probly calls for a link to Et si Spiderman était anarchiste?

Autrement dite...

Je me suis égaré dans un débat assez acharné sur le sexisme récemment, et je me suis réveillé avec ce texte plus ou moins plein formé dans ma tête.

Dans ce texte, je vais me permettre d'utiliser de temps en temps les mots "femme" et "homme". Je les utilise comme une formulation brève dans ce texte pour éviter d'écrire "personne socialisé au valeurs féminines" et "personne socialisé au valeurs masculines". Je m'excuse au prêts des gens qui pourrait ce sentir exclus de ce texte par l'utilisation de ces mots.

Alright, lets clarify things:

Dollars and votes don't have any of the same physical properties.

Nor do they have the same spiritual, social or political properties.

Rants on the burqa

Looking at me, you would not think I would have much to say about the burqa, or the hijab, or any of the other religious vestments of the Islamic world. I appear Caucasian, with dark brown hair and green eyes. But once a new acquaintance learns my name, the questions start. Where was I born, when did I arrive here, and so on. I would say about one out of every two white men, when they discover I am Arab, inevitably ask me about the Veil.

A terrible bargain

Check out this painfully honest blog post about moving through this world as a feminist woman:

The Terrible Bargain We Have Regretfully Struck

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