Thursday, July 9, 2015
I remember doing this exercise with Keisha Scott from Grinnell at a UO workshop for administrators and some professors. We, of course, were not admitted but went anyway. Keisha was there. In the final thoughts section there is an Asian brother who felt awkward of not fitting in the front or the back. I hope that helps him understand his role in society. I was lucky -- if one is to look at it from the point of view of "Clueless at the Top," meaning the higher you are in status the less clearly you see what is happening, what is the societal problems, and I would say, "which side are you on." The view is very clear at the bottom. So in that way I was lucky, stepping back step after step with questions regarding my parents, my grandparents plight as immigrants, their sacrifices making me the lucky one to become certified by higher education, "one step forward" but discriminated by my administrator, "one step back"; punished for speaking another language "one step back"; grandparents and parents labored for less than minimum wage "one step backward"; teased for being who you are "one step back." In real life, with that step forward which opened some opportunities to connect with college students with like background to me, it put us in the position of "change agents" which is a clear cut, powerful position for a youth to be in. We built a safer world for our children and grandchildren but be sure to pass on the legacy so they have clarity. Don't hide it. Don't "protect" them from the struggle. Stay in it. You owe it to your ancestors. And if you are lucky you may gain in tools, but stay put with the clued. No one wants to be clueless at the top. If you are a person who had a life of privilege, no guilt necessary. Just make those connections so your vision is clear. On my Facebook friend list is a generation of young white clear seeing people who are change agents, happy and courageous as well as a generation with such wisdom early because of the struggles of generations, and love which nourished them, a teacher, a parent a grandparent, a community who are also magnificent change agents. With the Winnemem tribe, my last and greatest teachers, it is by being true to self, ancestors and spiritual responsibilities where I have experienced the most clarity. I have great hope that together we will see the last of white supremacy with the double shame of racism and colonialism, stamp out useless guilt, and move beyond it. White Supremacy of the Earth and all its inhabitants must be left in the past for us to survive.

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"from Outside the Belly" was also known as "TBAsian" from 2008-2010. Thank you for reading.

from Outside the Monster's Belly

from Outside the Monster's Belly
. . . following Earth instead (Rakaia River, site of Salmon Ceremony, photo credit Ruth Koenig)


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Eugene, Oregon
I am a citizen of the Winnemem Wintu Tribe. I am a Nikkei descendant sansei (third generation);retired teacher, involved in the Winnemem tribal responsibility to Water, Salmon, and our belief that the Sacred is our Teacher. Working locally for human rights and supporting youth leadership.