by Janani Balasubramanian
I’ve noticed in several radical, POC spaces I’ve been in over the years, that the words ‘colonized’ and ‘decolonized’ are used frequently, and without necessarily a reference to a specific colonial event or structure.
need to read this later, when I’m actually awake
im really not here for this writer though after their wilful misreading of Frank Wilderson.
wait, was this one of the people in on that?
oh no, i don’t mean any tumblr stuff that’s gone down lately. but they wrote a piece about the problems of the term POC (that they link to in this post) and quoted Wilderson, but said that in his configuration of Black/White/Native he left unaccounted other POC. and that’s blatantly untrue, he does acount for them, and he calls them “civil society’s junior partners.” so their whole premise is faulty. plus there were some other things that rubbed me the wrong way about that piece, like how they suggested that POC claim whiteness (and they were talking about themselves) bc “POC” has no space for them, but it’s like, who can claim that though? there’s only certain POC who can and would claim that, and the fact that there are POC who would align themselves with whiteness rather than blackness bc “POC” doesn’t fit…….i dunno, their article was a clusterfuck of problematic shit for me, and that coupled with the “im only going to read this black author to ther point where i can use their words to support my argument” shit that non-Black ppl love to pull with Black scholarship…….i wasn’t here for it.
Hi! Sorry! Jumping on this thread. I’ve kind of been following your conversation about the writer of this article, and while similarly I’m not really into their politics (i.e. externalizing their internalized antiblackness) like note-a-bear, I too kind of want to have an actual conversation about the issues their raising in this current article; mainly the extent to which the terms decolonization and colonization can be used outside the context of discussions of the rights of indigenous peoples to their lands. Because (like) while I think there ought to be limits to how we can use the terms colonize and decolonize, specifically as metaphors: (Tuck & Yang): “decolonize our schools,” or use “decolonizing methods,” or, “decolonize student thinking.” I think in this specific article the writer, Balasubramanian’s (I’m going to refer to them by name) provides an oversimplified analysis of the ways in which the term can be misused and in so doing misses an opportunity for a discussion that figures our individualized bodies as sites of colonization. I’m referring here specifically to this point:
3. Along the same lines, colonization and decolonization are not individual practices. They are structures. We do not decolonize ourselves; we participate and/or work in solidarity with the decolonization of peoples and communities. That distinction is important.
Primarily because I think to state that there exist a structure which institutionalizes certain forms of violence does not therefore necessitate that such violence can’t be individualized. If this were true internalized racism, antiblackness, sexism, etc. wouldn’t exist. I think there is a very real extent to which our individualized bodies become sites of colonization, and the act of learning/reclaiming our histories acts as a process of decolonization. June Jordan writes in her “Poem about My Rights,”I am the history of rapeI am the history of the rejection of who I amI am the history of the terrorized incarceration ofmyselfI am the history of battery assault and limitlessRegardless of where we are placed within the dominant structures in which we operate, there are histories written on our bodies, and these histories operate with or without or complicity.
thank you for adding this/pointing this out! my brain is starting to shut down so im not gonna be as erudite as i want, but i feel like i’ve been seeing this attitude more and more as well - that the “personalization” (for lack of a better word right now) of the term “decolonize” somehow cheapens or shortchanges decolonization itself? which is really odd to me, for the reasons that June Jordan outlines -THANK you for bringing that in. like there’s a reason Bob Marley was talking bout “emancipate yourself from mental slavery, none but ourselves can free our mind.” Steve Biko, “the most powerful tool in the hands of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed.” and these were folks who were actively about some decolonization on the political level, so you can’t tell me that this is just some myopic “radikewl ~POC~” rhetoric.
and reading folks like blackfoxx and bad-dominicana and Hortense Spillers, who all talk about how Black sexuality is inherently queer because it was construed as non-normative, as the ultimate anti that white sexuality defined itself against, and how we have to basically dismantle the whole world in order to be treated with even a basic level of respect, and how all the personal shit can be DIRECTLY traced back to slavery and genocide and yes, colonization…….yes, i think that Balasubramanian is oversimplifying as well.
oh holy shit i had no idea tina and linda were voiced by men
actual gif of me
smoke weeeed everyday…just like this.