Skip to main content

Critical White Studies - Sign Me Up

I think the time has come for white men and women to reflect critically and honestly on how their whiteness makes them different. How their whiteness accords them privilege and access to resources that they withhold from those who are "not their kind." How their whiteness has been made the unacknowledged norm of what it means to be human. How their whiteness has brought hardship and misery to millions.

- Asian-American theologian Gayle Yee.

Mea culpa.

I try to avoid being publicly political, but the past few weeks have been beyond outrageous when it comes to race relations, crime, and oppression of non-caucasians.

I didn't feel like I had much of anything to add to the conversation, as a caucasian Canadian female - we need to hear voices from within marginalized communities. At the same time, silence leaves me seated on the side of the oppressors, the majority who are not aware of the roles we often complicitly play in maintaining the unhealthy status-quos. A place I do not want to be, though God knows I am guilty.

Guilty of assuming my life is no easier, guilty of failing to use the voice and the power I have to elevate and encourage people whose voices deserve to be heard, whose stories need to be told. If I'm not using my power for change, I'm defaulting towards oppression.
Change has to start with me. With self-examination and honesty and humility.

Yee goes on to say:

"Critical "White Studies" is a field in its infancy, but we Asian Americans, who live and work in the belly of the beast, should keep tabs on the developments in this field..."

Now there's a PhD field.

And even for those of us whiteys who aren't so academically oriented, let's take a good long look at ourselves. And let's start working for change.


Popular posts from this blog

What About Travis!?

I just watched Hope Floats, the second movie in my I-really-need-to-vegetate night. Now that we have more than three channels, there are so many quality programs on TV! Like movies in the middle of the week. I enjoyed many of the lines in this movie, including:

"I went home and told my mama you had a seizure in my mouth."
(referring to her first french-kissing experience)

"Dancing's just a conversation between two people. Talk to me."
(the conversation in our living room then went,
Girl 1: Only Harry Connick Jr. could say that line without it being incredibly cheezy.
Boy: Without it being cheezy? That's all I heard. Cheez, cheez, cheez.
Girl 2: Yeah, but it was sexy, sexy cheez...sigh.)
"Better do what she says, Travis. Grandma stuffs little dogs."

Bernice: At home we had a pet skunk. Mama used to call it Justin Matisse. Do you think that's just a coincidence? All day long she would scream, "You stink Justin Matisse!" Then one day she just…

Fostering FAQ: How Can You Say Goodbye?

It seems I finally have something(s) to say... Here's the first in a short (or maybe long?) series on Fostering FAQs. If you've got a question to add, feel free to comment/email/text/message me and maybe the next post will be in response.


8:30 am on Day 4 of parenting. I woke up in a panic two hours ago because I remembered that there is a baby and I am responsible for her (at least at 6:30am, when the man beside me will snore through anything). Now, I have put on clothes and eaten breakfast. The dogs are walked, there is a loaf of banana bread in the oven. My tea is steeping. Most importantly, Dream Baby is already down for her first nap.

Despite my morning efficiency, I'm already beginning to see that even with the happiest, most easygoing, and smiliest baby, like we somehow managed to be given, parenting is a grind. On Friday night, I couldn't join friends for $5 pints at a local joint. Instead, I blearily washed the same 8 bottles again, and then made another ba…

Fostering FAQ: How Long Will She Stay/Will You Adopt Her?

Our first foster baby came with about 18 hours notice; it was respite care, which means we had him for a few days while his regular foster family had a break/dealt with a family emergency. He stayed 3 nights, long enough to come to church and have a dozen people cooing over his little sleeping cheeks.  With each new visitor to our quiet corner, I explained again that he would be going back to his foster family the next day.

Barely a week later, we got a 9am phone call with a fostering request and by the same afternoon, we were snuggling her. This time, we had her for 4 days before church came around. Again, our community was keen to see the little one we had in tow. Again, the question, "How long will she stay?" And this time, "Are you going to adopt her?"


Here in Toronto, when a child is placed in foster care, it is always for an indefinite length of time. It depends on the parents' situation, and whether they are able to make a safe home environment for th…