Monday, January 17, 2011

Terrorism is in the Eye of the Beholder

Fueled by a national idea of manifest destiny, the United States of America (USA) has believed its expansion of control and power has been inevitable. As such, the imposition of their hegemony throughout the world was considered natural and necessary for this self-fulfilling prophecy. However, is the driving vehicle of capitalism, as a western conception, natural and necessary for the success of countries? It has proved to be working for the Western World, justifying its necessity through their economic modernization. Even poverty has been considered a part of the process: “But at least for the next several decades, the discontent of poorer nations does not threaten world destruction. Shameful as it undoubtedly may be, the world has lived at least two-thirds poor and one-thirds rich for generations. Unjust as it may be, the power of the poor countries is limited”(Galenao). The western world had transferred the divisions of labor to a global scale- hence the development initiatives, like family planning, are the bourgeoisie's attempt to suppress the turmoil within and overall power of the proletariate

With the belief in the superiority of capitalism and western lifestyle it is cumbersome (to the west) as to why “Castro continues to enjoy the support of the masses,” and Cubans need “to face up to the fact their union with Castro is turning out badly.”(Chomsky, xiv). Disagreement and challenge to this opinion, in a Cubans case by supporting Castro, put those countries in ‘the others’ category: there exists the west and the rest. The United states, according to Chomsky, has a mafioso method for coercing compliance: Chomsky’s Mafia doctrine states, the godfather does not tolerate disobedience and uses his goons collect the debt and set a precedent: disobedience is not acceptable. Despite inflicting terror, these actions are in the interest and protection of the american peoples and their freedoms from the possible threat to their private property rights.

It is the terrorist that is then defined by the west and shouls be considered a social construction that helps emphasize and stratify the difference between ‘us and them’. When, in reality truths and idioms can be social constructions which challenges the binaries of right and wrong, good and evil, capitalism and communist, freedom-fighters and terrorists.

Monday, January 3, 2011


ACSA Presents Blake Carrington Feat. DJ Romeo

Prior to the club Blake Carrington will be at Queen's to provide a workshop on lyrics alongside his cameraman “Bobby Fresh” who will provide the editing aspect of the workshop. Later that night the videos will be streamed at the club for your enjoyment, with Blake performing alongside his DJ, DJ Romeo.

ACSA Music Workshop

First of all my biggest influence is Damien Goodwin he’s my dad, a Rapper from Buffalo, NY whose nick name is D Dot Tee. He came up in the old school era, and he had a promising career but got lost in the street life. Everything from drugs to alcohol took over my dad’s life. As I got older I saw that he wanted to change his life after being caught up in that lifestyle for so long. My dad is now 15 years clean from everything. My main influences would be; Martin Luther King jr, Malcolm X , Mohammed Ali , 2 Pac , Ray Charles, The Black Panthers, and most of all Harriet Tubman. The common thing about all these people wasn’t just their skin colour it was the dream they shared with the world and never quit until they got their dreams and point across to the world. Now I’m one of those people. I will be teaching everything I’ve learned from these heroes. Their success started with following their dream. Making an impact, and never giving up, they are the key elements in making any song successful… from writing to making the beat and even coming up with the idea.
- Blake Carrington Dare to Dream

My influences are Spike Lee as a director in so many different things and Hype Williams as a music video director. I will be talking about the different aspect of the film industry, the importance of networking, having a team, and the business side of it and my experiences plus a bio about my experiences. I have been working with Blake for some time now, and have edited, directed various videos, and performances for him, (i.e.) Goodmorning. I have also worked with Dancehall recording artist Movado, as videographer during his Canadian tour. As such I will demonstrate briefly some editing techniques I use when creating music videos. One day I hope to work with such greats as Spike Lee, and Hype Williams, and be recognized for my creativity, and forward thinking within the industry.
- Bobby Fresh Oui Self Made

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Big Tits. Great Tits. Small Tits. Fake Tits.

I remember being 9, playing basketball during recess, when the class clown snapped my bra.

I remember being 10 at summer camp. We only had a communal shower and we were not allowed to wear our bathing suits ( ensure optimal cleanliness?). I was the only 10 year old with a C-cup, and I could see all of my cabin-mates notice.

I remember being 13 at summer camp. I was going to free-swim and an older boy, 14 or 15, asked me my age. I blushed and when I told him he replied, “you have really big boobs for a girl in grade 8.”

I remember being 16 when the term “titty-fucking” became popular.

I remember being 19 and after 3 hours in the operating room and an easy week of recovery, I went from an E/EE-cup to a C-cup. A month later I even had my scars photographed for Vagina Monologues!

I remember being 21 and at work, when I see a guy I used to “get intimate” with in first year. Later he asks, with his buddy in toe, “how big were your boobs before the reduction again?”

*Published in Queen's Feminist Review 2010

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Symbolic Ethnicity is a White Privilege

A Reflection on Mary C. Water’s Article, Optional Ethnicities: for whites only?

“Symbolic ethnicity is a term coined by Herbert Gans (1979) to refer to ethnicity that is individualistic in nature and without real social cost for the individual”(Waters, 199): According to Waters, in America, it is only possible for whites to experience symbolic ethnicity, as “discrimination and social distance attached to specific European backgrounds has diminished over time.”(Waters, 199). Thus, this can lead white people (people from European decent) to the assumption that “all identities are equal and all identities in some sense are interchangeable”(Waters, 201). Furthermore, that the systemic racism, white-hegemony and white-privilege that exists, continues to perpetuate eurocentrism, stereotypes and xenophobia.

It is natural for anyone to have questions about what they cannot understand: it is clear that white-americans cannot understand what is it to be a non-white American. Yet, I see it as deeper issue of ignorance and indifference to the non-normative. When discussing white privilege, Flares remarked that, “Whiteness is everything yet nothing: everything because whiteness is the normative but unmarked standard by which reality is judged or interpreted without much awareness of the process; nothing because it is perceived by whites as inconsequential in defining who gets what” (Flares, 34). Flares and Waters both agree that to be non-white embodies a dichotomy or ‘anti-thesis of whiteness’, and when white is normal everything else is not.

Waters states that State regulation regarding racism is always needed, and I argue this is true; however, Water’s comparison to capitalism fell short of an inspiring metaphor and she neglected to suggest favorable regulation. Still, as many of current State regulations themselves perpetuate systemic racism, it is the responsibility of the State to question and amend these regulations.

Despite agreement with large concepts of Water’s article, the strength of conviction is questionable. It is important to question the statistics and essentializing statements made by Waters in her article as they are made without citation; for example in the first paragraph on page 203, she discusses a typical Black students experience with racism without reference to where this knowledge was ascertained from.

As educational officer of the African Caribbean Students Association (ASCA) it continues to be a major goal of the executive to end ACSA’s racialized identity as a black club. As Waters states, “much of what happens among students on campuses involves a low level of tension and awkwardness in social interactions” (Waters, 202), and this statement speaks true to what the club struggles with. When planning events it is always a question of how to encourage non-ACSA members to participate: especially with events like Black History Month and Culture Show. As educational officer my primary responsibilities are soul food sundays (our general meetings) and Black History Month; it is ACSA’s challenge to have the Queen’s community take ownership of Black History Month, recognizing the importance of black history as Canada’s history and the world’s history (don't forget that history in the making!). Furthermore, through my time at Queen’s there have been reported actions of racism: like the islamaphobic comment made my ASUS president Jacob Mantle, or when a Professor was shoved off the sidewalk followed by racist taunting from the pack of three engineering students. However, as a white student, it is rare for me to experience forms of racism at Queen’s.