Erasure is never and will never be solidarity, it is always a form of violence in its most raw form from supposed “allies” who love nothing more than to hack into black lives, bodies and experiences for their own ends as a movement.
This would make sense if the people in Hong Kong were actually doing the “Dont Shoot” but from what I read? They actually aren’t.
'Most Hong Kong protesters aren’t purposefully mimicking “hands up, don’t shoot,”as some have suggested. Instead, the gesture is a result of training and instructions from protest leaders, who have told demonstrators to raise their hands with palms forward to signal their peaceful intentions to police.
Asked about any link between the gesture and Ferguson, Icy Ng, a 22-year-old design student at Hong Kong Polytechnic University said, “I don’t think so. We have our hands up for showing both the police and media that we have no weapons in our hands.” Ng had not heard of the Ferguson protests. Another demonstrator, with the pro-democracy group Occupy Central, Ellie Ng said the gesture had nothing to do with Ferguson and is intended to demonstrate that “Hong Kong protesters are peaceful, unarmed, and mild.”
Hey everyone, my name is Vincent Tao and I’m a member of No One Is Illegal Montreal.
I believe it should be our priority here to stand against the state’s brazen use of violent police force in response to this Monday’s protests in Hong Kong’s downtown core. While the HKP’s most recent display of state-sanctioned brutality is plainly appalling and should be condemned internationally, it is anything but “surprising” in this day and age — sadly, we have come to expect that when the people take to the streets and attempt to exercise their right to occupy public space in any given global financial hub, they will inevitably be met with the blunt end of a cop’s nightstick. From Montreal to Hong Kong, police forces around the world are charging ahead in a one-sided arms race with the people — while we pick up umbrellas and bottles, cops are brandishing bigger and better implements of war every day. So whether a protestor decides to break a window or pick up their garbage, we must denounce police brutality in any place and in any form — all police brutality is excessive.
I am the son of Hong Kongers — [I am a Hong Konger] — so I cannot begin to describe the complicated feelings of longing and belonging I felt when I first saw the images of Victoria Square filled with people my age marching for what they believe in. But when the deluge of Western media reports came pouring in, the message communicated in these images of people power became at once terribly distorted and painfully clear. From the Times to the Economist, Western media outlets are obsessed with the imagination of a “famously orderly” and clean Hong Kong, a postcard image of the prosperous global financial centre painted with a nostalgia for the city’s time under British colonial rule. At the same time that press releases recycle the age-old language of ‘yellow peril’, that ever-looming threat of an always backwards and fundamentally undemocratic China, reporters seek to perpetuate stereotypes of Occupy Central protesters as ‘model minorities’, an image strategically mobilized to shame the anti-authoritarian actions of our black and brown brothers and sisters in Ferguson and abroad.
So contrary to the notion that this is the first time in Hong Kong’s history that the “people are coordinating themselves with little direction from the government or institutions,” and with an exceptional air of middle-class decorum at that at that, we must be reminded that in May of 1967, the youth of my father’s generation set off bombs in the fight for decent working conditions and social planning initiatives from Hong Kong’s negligent colonial administration.
What must not be erased here is the long history of labour organizing, grass-roots mobilization, and protest in Hong Kong. But more importantly, I fear what else may be erased in our hasty celebration of the pro-democracy moment is the actual content of ‘democracy’. What is obscured in the flood of Getty images of youthful students peacefully marching in the streets is the fact that Hong Kong’s population of 7 million are not all bright-eyed MBA prospects and would-be hedge fund managers. In the reports of the protest streaming in as I speak, why is there no mention of the appalling income gap in Hong Kong, of how one in five of the island’s population are below the poverty line, of how suicide rates in the city’s poorer neighbourhoods are 3.5 times higher than they are in the adjacent financial districts? When the world measures Hong Kong’s so-called prosperity by its skyrocketing property prices, it is a sad inevitability that Occupy Central’s televised cry for democracy makes no mention of demands for public housing.
So let me ask you — just who is this ‘democracy’ for? Will universal suffrage be extended to the foreign domestic workers from Indonesia, the Phillipines, Nepal, Thailand, and Bangladesh that make up 10% of the island’s work force? When Leung Chun-ying is ousted as the city’s Chief Executive, will there be an end to Hong Kong’s “live-in rule” and “2 week rule” that force migrant women into a form of state-approved slavery? When Hong Kong achieves ’true democracy’, will there be justice for Erwania, the 23 year-old live-in domestic worker who was just one year ago found to be kept in a cage and tortured by her employers? When migrant workers must keep silence in the face of overwhelming rates of verbal, physical, and sexual abuse from the employers they must live with for fear of near-immediate deportation, how can we begin to talk about democracy?
So I urge you to ask yourselves, what is at stake in Hong Kong’s so-called pro-democracy movement, and just who does Occupy Central represent? Does universal suffrage for Hong Kong just mean universal suffrage for middle-class ‘Hong Kong Chinese’? It is my belief that democracy is bankrupt without justice and dignity for all peoples.
I leave Tumblr for half a day and then find Hong Kong all over my dash.
All I have to say is
I am very suspicious of people saying “stop a second Tiananmen Square Massacre happening” because wow way to conflate the two and ignore the different factors in each. Not to mention people love holding up the Tiananmen Square Protests as a “students’ fight for democracy against communism” and that’s just so overly-simplistic? And then they use this as a reason to “help fight democracy by getting the US gov involved” and it’s like NOOOOOO do you understand what you’re doing, you’re just making things worse STOP STOP ABORT
On that note, don’t sign the whitehouse petition. Again, no US intervention wanted nope.
PLEASE don’t compare this to Ferguson. Repeat- don’t compare this to Ferguson. Ferguson has a different situation that is centered around anti-blackness and black genocide in the US, for gods sake don’t compare it to what’s happening in Hong Kong
What’s happening in Hong Kong is serious, no doubt about that, and yes we should support the protestors there. But NOT in a way that misrepresents the issue and helps foster US imperialism.
OK.. but… the Hon Kong protestors have been actively using Hands Up Don’t Shoot. Obviously the issues at stake her shouldn’t be compared but I really don’t see the error in comparing the strength of oppressed people fighting for what is right. We saw the same with Gaza— two completely different issues, but there are comparisons/connections to be made in the peoples’ struggle, and above all else in the way these oppressed people connected with each other— by sharing via twitter for example tips to dealing with tear gas in the eyes. I mean certainly no one is going to compare anti-blackness to the democratic issues happening between Hong Kong and Beijing but I don’t see why people are so opposed to the very idea of connecting these events. It’s important to realize the difference between the peoples and politics and axes of oppression involved, I know, but I think the unification of oppressed people is a powerful and touching thing. Of course perhaps I’ve entirely misunderstood the post, wouldn’t be the first time for me…
Most of the Hong Kong protestors who are holding up their hands aren’t doing it purposefully as an act of solidarity towards Ferguson. Most people in Hong Kong have never heard of Ferguson. Instead it came out of training where the protest leaders taught everyone to hold their hands up so that they don’t appear threatening to the police. So no, it’s not like Gaza and Ferguson where there was an intentional bond of solidarity.
The problem I really have with HK<->Ferguson is that a lot of supporters of the HK protestors have been circulating this photo:
Do you see what’s problematic about this? It gives the Hong Kong protesters a good rep but it does so at the expense of pretty much every other protest that has happened or is happening- including Ferguson.
Read between the lines. When people say “Look at these people who are getting hurt by the police even though they clean up after themselves and don’t cause vandalism, etc” they’re also saying “You only deserve civil treatment from the police/ government if you behave civil”. When the Ferguson Protests happened, a common argument that people used to justify the Police Brutality was that the protests were causing looting and vandalism. The Ferguson Protesters DESERVED police brutality was what they were basically saying.
Plus, the reason behind the strong bond created between the people of Ferguson and Gaza is not just because of “police brutality”. It goes deeper than that. It goes into White Supremacy and Western Imperialism. It goes into the systematic connections between Black Genocide (The Prison Industrial Complex, Stop and Frisk) and the Israeli Apartheid. I recommend these twoposts if you haven’t read them already.
The situation in HK is slightly connected to that, when it comes to Western Imperialism and infringement on Civil Rights, but all in all it’s not as linked as Ferguson and Gaza are. Until the HK protestors themselves decide that they stand in solidarity with Ferguson, we can’t call that solidarity.
When I met my fiance’s African-American stepfather, things did not start well. Stumbling for some way to start a conversation with a man whose life was unlike mine in almost every respect, I asked “So, what do you do for a living?”.
He looked down at his shoes and said quietly “Well, I’m unemployed”.
At the time I cringed inwardly and recognized that I had committed a terrible social gaffe which seemed to scream “Hey prospective in-law, since I am probably going to be a member of your family real soon, I thought I would let you know up front that I am a completely insensitive jackass”. But I felt even worse years later when I came to appreciate the racial dimension of how I had humiliated my stepfather-in-law to be.
For that painful but necessary bit of knowledge I owe a white friend who throughout her childhood attended Chicago schools in a majority Black district. She passed along a marvelous book that helped her make sense of her own inter-racial experiences. It was Thomas Kochman’s Black and White Styles in Conflict, and it had a lasting effect on me. One of the many things I learned from this anthropological treasure trove of a book is how race affects the personal questions we feel entitled to ask and the answers we receive in response.
My question to my wife-to-be’s stepfather was at the level of content a simple conversation starter (albeit a completely failed one). But at the level of process, it was an expression of power. Kochman’s book sensitized me to middle class whites’ tendency to ask personal questions without first considering whether they have a right to know the personal details of someone else’s life. When we ask someone what they do for a living for example, we are also asking for at least partial information on their income, their status in the class hierarchy and their perceived importance in the world. Unbidden, that question can be quite an invasion. The presumption that one is entitled to such information is rarely made explicit, but that doesn’t prevent it from forcing other people to make a painful choice: Disclose something they want to keep secret or flatly refuse to answer (which oddly enough usually makes them, rather than the questioner, look rude).
Kochman’s book taught me a new word, which describes an indirect conversational technique he studied in urban Black communities: “signifying”. He gives the example (as I recall it, 25 years on) of a marriage-minded black woman who is dating a man who pays for everything on their very nice dates. She wonders if he has a good job. But instead of grilling him with “So what do you do for a living?”, she signifies “Whatever oil well you own, I hope it keeps pumping!”.
Her signifying in this way is a sensitive, respectful method to raise the issue she wants to know about because unlike my entitled direct question it keeps the control under the person whose personal information is of interest. Her comment could be reasonably responded to by her date as a funny joke, a bit of flirtation, or a wish for good luck. But of course it also shows that if the man freely chooses to reveal something like “Things look good for me financially: I’m a certified public accountant at a big, stable firm”, he can do so and know she will be interested.
Since reading Kochman’s book, I have never again directly asked anyone what they do for a living. Instead my line is “So how do you spend your time?”. Some people (particularly middle class white people) choose to answer that question in the bog standard way by describing their job. But other people choose to tell me about the compelling novel they are reading, what they enjoy about being a parent, the medical treatment they are getting for their bad back, whatever. Any of those answers flow just as smoothly from the signification in a way they wouldn’t from a direct question about their vocation.
From the perspective of ameliorating all the racial pain in the world, this change in my behavior is a grain of sand in the Sahara. But I pass this experience along nonetheless, for two reasons. First, very generally, if any of us human beings can easily engage in small kindnesses, we should. Second, specific to race, if those of us who have more power can learn to refrain from using it to harm people in any way – major or minor — we should do that too.
Arthur, that outspoken Asian-American Jeopardy! champ, now has a feature film being made about him. It’s time for more Asian-American superheroes in the media, and Arthur has ironically become one, even if it was a trivial pursuit (pun intended). Through Arthur, filmmakers Scott Drucker and Yu Gu (a Chinese-Canadian) hope to give viewers a different, more intimate portrayal of the game show. We are exploring such themes as: the nature of viral celebrity in the modern world, ethnicity and new media, and the American Dream. The film also examines the link Arthur has made between his success on Jeopardy! as an outspoken “Asian-American” champion and the immediate backlash he received as a result. But we also have access to film in the Jeopardy! studio and interviews lined up with notable figures such as Ken Jennings and *Alex Trebek. We are a very small team working with this giant in Jeopardy! (don’t forget the exclamation point) and could use all the help we could get to tell our story about the Arthur Chu (also don’t forget the exclamation point). I think a lot of people would love to hear Arthur’s story but we need your help. So support the film at the link below and help us spread the word…with those other links below that.
youre gonna make a biopic abt anna may wong, who left america because they werent offering her substantial roles who was passed over for playing a chinese woman in the good earth in favour of a yellowfaced katherine hepburn
Feel free to correct me if im wrong, but your upset because because they cast a chinese woman instead of a chinese american?
I dont know…maybe its just me, but in my opinion thats about as bad as getting upset over casting a british person to play an american, or something of that nature.
Then again, maybe im just an uneducated fuckwit.
so i mean i’m glossing over a lot of anna may wong’s life here, but her entire career was full of disappointments because she was too “chinese” for hollywood and too “american” for china. she found fame in europe where they were fascinated by her chinese looks and american personality, both of which were “exotic” and glamorous to european audiences. she dedicated her later career to denouncing the negative views of chinese women in american culture. she’s become an icon and heroine to chinese and asian americans as a symbol of our specific histories of suffering in america. there’s a statue dedicated to her in hollywood. she’s a chinese american legend. her story is exactly one of the lack of opportunities afforded to asian american actors even still to this day. so yeah, not only is it fucking disappointing that an incredibly important chinese american figure is not being played by a chinese american, it’s also pretty hypocritical. you obviously have no fucking idea what anna may wong means to chinese america so please stop editorializing on something that has nothing to do with you.
Hi, I love your blog! I’m a mod at bookendeds. We’re a diverse media review blog focussing on books. Our aim is to bring media with themes and characters that are scarcely represented in mainstream media to your attention, as well as to give you an overall assessment of its progressiveness and quality. We’re new and could use some promotion. Would you mind publishing this ask for your followers to see?
“Why can’t you be like other girls, and care more about how you look? No man will ever want you,” she lamented, when I showed no interest in make-up.
“I will kill myself if you don’t do what I say,” she threatened, waving a kitchen knife around, in an argument about curfew.
"You need to talk to your father about not sleeping with other women. If you can’t stop him then he is going to get AIDS and then he will give it to me and then you will be an orphan," she said, when I was twelve.
“I will pay for surgery to get your nose and eyelids fixed,” she offered, even though I didn’t care about my mismatched eyes and my perfectly functional nose.
“You must go on the pill because I don’t trust you not to get ‘carried away’ and have sex,” she demanded, when I started dating, even though I had no intention of having sex at the time.
“Have you lost any weight?” she asked, each time she called on the phone in lieu of “hello.”
“Why don’t you quit school and take better care of your husband and your home?” she asked, after a lifetime of demanding academic achievement.
“What did you do?” she asked accusingly, when I told her my marriage was ending.
“There is something wrong with your personality. You’re too much like your father.” she declared, to explain why my marriage ended.
“I had you because I thought it would make your father want to be at home more,” she said, as though that wasn’t selfish and incredibly hurtful.
“Doesn’t your husband/boyfriend/fiance mind if you travel without him?” she asked, and continues to ask.
During a severe bout of major depression after the end of my marriage, I decided I needed space from her toxicity, as she had reacted exactly as I predicted: she blamed me. First she asked if I was cheating. Then she asked if I had failed to “take care” of him and the household sufficiently. Then she asked if it was because he resented my education, my independence. Then she cried and made it all about her. This all happened within half an hour.
After a few days of this self-centred diatribe, I told her not to contact me until she heard otherwise. Instead of respecting my boundaries, she emailed and called relentlessly. When I didn’t reply or pick up the phone, she progressed to ask other members of my family that I was close to, some of whom lived overseas, to plead on her behalf. One by one they contacted me. One by one they heard my side of the story, and understood why I needed that space for my own well-being. Most of them apologized for getting involved. More than a year later, when I allowed her (cautiously), back in my life, she accused me of being cruel:
“How could you not speak to me for a year? How could you do that to your own mother?” she said, sobbing. In a Thai restaurant.
She never understood that her behaviour was/is problematic. She never accepted that her words, regardless of intent, were hurtful. From the time I was a teenager, right up to the present, she was and can still be abusive.
Only through intensive psychotherapy did I realize how much of her toxicity I internalized. I blamed myself for things I had no control over. I felt guilty about everything, and whenever I managed to get the guilt got under control I would feel guilty that I didn’t feel guilty enough. I had to learn how to love myself without constantly using guilt and self-deception. I had to learn how to stop talking to myself abusively, inside my own head. I had to teach myself something everyone should know about themselves right from the beginning: that we are worthy of being treated with love and respect.
It didn’t help that the people I confided in rarely believed me. When I was younger, people would say, “all teenagers fight with their parents.” When I got older, people would say, “she just doesn’t know how to say ‘I love you.’” When she asked about my weight, people would say “she’s just concerned about your health.” Sometimes they would attribute her abuse to misunderstandings due to language (she is ESL, but so am I, and although it is not my primary language anymore I am still fluent in Cantonese). “It’s a generation/culture-gap,” people told me. “A mother would never hurt her child intentionally,” some said, especially those who were mothers themselves.
That was all bullshit. That’s people’s internalized ageism, fatphobia, racism, and idealized ideas about parenthood masquerading as explanations for my mother’s verbally-abusive behaviour. It’s straight up denial. Sexism and her perception that I should only exist for others (whether as a prop in her relationship with my father, or as a domestic worker for my partners) guided her words. I often wished she had hit me instead, because I figured it was harder for people to explain away a bruise or a cut. I want all those people who ever excused her behaviour to know that, even though they may have never spoken with her directly, that their words and excuses enabled her abuse, and that by not believing me they gave her more power to hurt me. They may have had the best of intentions, but my mother believes she has nothing but the best of intentions too.
Many people won’t believe you, when you tell them your mother’s words burn like fire and tear you to pieces and leave you scarred on the inside. But there are people out there who will believe you. I know, because I believe you. It’s not your fault. I know, because it wasn’t my fault either.