Blog Archives

“Race, Shame and Self-defence” by Sam Yang

I love Sam Yang‘s blog. He writes very interesting and thoughtful articles. This article discusses the subtle and poorly understood social challenges of being part of a minority group in the colonial mentality of the anglosphere, and perspectives on the racial hierarchy. Well worth a read.

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#racerelations #race #racism #colonialism #martialarts
 
On survival:
“Martial arts work in isolated situations, but when the danger is systemic, then one must hold on to the principles, rather than the physical techniques. When fighting perceptions, there is no solitary “bad guy” to defeat.”
 
On understanding the perspective of a minority:
“Because if you are at the top of the institutional food chain, you may not sense the same dangers. That is good for you, but you are not the whole of the collective experience.”
 
On racial biases and stereotyping:
“Often people will relate to us in the only ways they know how, they relate to us based on our race — as if we were the representative of a whole people and not individuals.”
 
On falsely imagining racial diversity:
“The two common types I have found in the US are, liberal and conservative, and everything must fit into one or the other, no overlap. Everything then becomes mutually exclusive. Racial diversity is often tossed into the liberal bin, so people assume if a city is liberal, it must have racial diversity.”
 
On false equivalence in “reverse racism”:
“There is a difference between being bullied and institutional oppression. There is common ground but thinking it is exactly the same is a false equivalence.”
 
On recognising the differences between equality and equity:
“We cannot close that gap if we pretend things are the same. If two people run at the same speed, the person who started out in the lead will stay in the lead. To catch up, the person in the back will have to run twice as hard. Equality is nothing without equity. These are not complicated ideas; we can float these thoughts in our heads. We just may not want to if it does not work out in our favor. A quality of a civilized culture is that of empathy. Survival of the fittest is natural, but it is also primitive. The very existence of medicine is a challenge to the survival of the fittest, yet a civilized society means giving everyone a chance at life. That is what civilization is consistently working towards.”
 
On dealing with an inescapable reality:
“Race is one of those identifiers that is immutable — people will just know, which makes it the hardest thing to see past.”
 
On oversimplified racial stereotypes:
“Simplifying a minority group as always “good” or right, is exchanging paternalism with infantilization. It is reducing a group to a stereotype when there is a wholeness to people. Some people are good, some are not, some are right, some are wrong — the same wholeness that exists for the majority group.”
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