Date: Thu, May 9, 2013 9:05 am
Subject: Re: [psysr-disc] Seema Jilani: My Racist Encounter at the White House Correspondents' Dinner
Please ignore the following post: Denial of oppressed status is a commonplace social form. As a teenager in Washington, DC, I engaged that process even though I did not have the direct "White House visit" status described in the thread here.
My experience on PSYSR-DISC is that sometimes somebody responds to what I have to say on some basis of its rational relationship to the ongoing discussion. At times exciting things do happen, as for example that Xyz was able - while serving as an officer of PsySR - to speak at San Jose City College to a forum presented by the Mental Health Client AssociationHERE: "Overcoming Trauma, Building Cultures of Peace."
More commonly, what I have to say is ignored or there is in fact an active "denial procedure," such as the one described in the post below. I do think that phenomenon is well worth noting. I'm told what I'm saying is "complaint" when in fact it relates to building a path towards social responsibility in the area of behavioral oppression.
Recently, I'm proud to report that another psychologist - Paula Caplan - was able to present at San Jose City College. [Again that was] with the support of the Mental Health Client AssociationHERE: "Trauma Sensitivity."
Thank you Eee for this forward. The episode that turned me into an activist may have occurred in a far humbler setting -- yet so many of the incidents Seema Jilani speaks of strike close to home. Of course, even after decades of living here I flaunt my differentness by wearing a sari or a punjabi --something few can recognize by name, often referring to it as a sari because that word has been around longer - when I speak in English, with greater fluency than most, I have learned to follow the dance their eyes and bodies perform as they remark "You speak so well, except you have an accent." My immediate retort is "So do you?" something that frequently takes them aback.
Names are another story, where at times, especially professionally I begin " The first time I tell you it is free, the next time I charge." Dark humor is how one deals with the bleak reality at times, but then humor too gets lost in many settings. Yes we have a long, long way to reach even the basic level of cultural competency-- it simmers down to power and privilege and that must be addressed constantly.
After forty-five years or more in the country I have come to the conclusion, at times it is only one person I can make more aware- what a slow process. Yet like growing older, the choice is to take the next positive step or else there may be none.