Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Here are two videos

that were created by a young woman using the excellent name Sensei Aishitemasu. I'm not sure whether it is a pseudonym or not, either way I really like the name.

I found her when I was tasking myself with one of the things many scholars and writers suggest for those who want to expand their consciousness. They recommend becoming familiar with the viewpoints of people of color because...exposing yourself to perspectives and observations from those who don't have white skin is one of the absolutely necessary things that must be done in order to de-center oneself from a white perspective of the behaviors and thinking associated with human societies and cultures.

It's very easy to be seduced into thinking you're learning "just the facts" or watching the "news" or gathering information about world events and believing that what you see/hear/read is some sort of "objective" and accurate presentation of "facts" when...in actuality...what you're getting...at least here in U.S.America is information, almost exclusively, from white people operating off of a white perspective. The media is (networks, newspapers, magazines, cable channels, etc) run by and dominated by white people. Actually not so much white people as white men...the perspective of white women is almost nonexistent. It's really much worse than you might think...for instance...even BET (Black Entertainment Television) is a subsidiary of a white man controlled corporation.

It is white men who select and shape the information that is served up as the "news", that's who determines what is presented and how it is presented. And if you think that perspective doesn't influence what you're presented with and how it is presented...well...that's sort of sad.

In this quest to be exposed to other perspectives and learn about different ways of seeing things I found her Youtube channel and started watching many of her videos. I'm going to share two of them in this post because...while she is not a vegan...she does address some of the issues that plague vegan advocacy. Her first video is...warning...a rant with strong language. She is quite emotional at times in expressing herself. The video is about the thug kitchen phenomenon, which I wrote about in a post back in December. It's a little more than 12 minutes and is very sad and full of pain and anger and is also very enlightening.



She mentioned in the video that she might make a follow-up that was less of a rant and worked toward being more detailed in the explication of what is meant by coded language. This is what she does in this second video. It is an excellent visual essay that includes information about implicit bias and unconscious stereotyping. This video is a bit longer, about 18 minutes, but it is very informative and offers a nifty summation of how offensive and repugnant racial messages are placed in a sneaky package and presented as if they are not what they are.


If you choose to go to her Youtube channel, you'll find many other incredibly informative and enjoyable videos that she has created and...many times she includes links under the videos that will take you to further information about the topics she addresses in her presentations. I'm deeply thankful that I found her. She's become one of my go to resources for my efforts to "de-center" my old white man perspective.

For instance, she did a video wherein she addressed privilege, which can be a slippery and upsetting thing to try to come to grips with. Another video I found to be very powerful was one in which she talks about being white and racism. If you choose to watch these be aware that you might find that they make you uncomfortable. If you're a white person...unless you're a hell of a lot more enlightened than I am...they should make you uncomfortable.

Think of it this way...U.S. America has inflicted harm and destruction and "discomfort" on people of color and on women for centuries. Do you really think, if you're skin is white and/or if you're male, that you're going to be able to resist that stuff and work at opting out of participating in that crap without experiencing some upset and discomfort? For way too long, "discomfort" has been felt by the victims of patriarchal white supremacy...it's time to put the "discomfort" where it belongs...with the perpetrators...not the victims. And that means, if you belong to the perpetrator group(s)...doing some hard to take learning and comprehension.

There's a tremendous opportunity that the internet makes available and accessible...that is to easily delve into and learn from the perspectives of people of color and/or from the perspectives of females. In that process, hopefully, someone (me) can recover, somewhat, from the smog (as I saw it very eloquently expressed) of patriarchal white supremacy. Deconstructing aspects of my socially imposed and constructed 'identity' and perspective(s) is a requirement for opting out of being oblivious.

To not make that effort is, to me, just unconscionable. If I'm going to advocate against oppression...and I want to do just that...if I'm going to advocate for my sister/brother Earthlings and If I'm going to advocate on behalf of oppressed groups of humans...it's incumbent on me to do that responsibly and with precision and sensitivity and in the doing of that to endeavor to not recreate or reproduce oppression. I must...absolutely...educate myself. I will make errors anyway...but...that's ok...you can't learn anything new without messing up at times. The important thing is to learn from the error and work to not repeat it.

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