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4 Notes

What are “American manners”?

Alexandra Wallace, a UCLA student, posted a culturally insensitive rant directed towards people of Asian descent on YouTube. Her video has gone viral within the University of California community and beyond.

She concedes to her lack of political correctness, but she goes on to target “these hoards of Asian people” because their “lack of American manners” really pisses her off.

By lack of “American manners”, I am assuming she means using a phone in a library.

Apparently, her staunch advocacy for phone etiquette transcends the necessity to be “politically correct”. She coyly stated that she is “not the most politically correct person”. However, I don’t believe social consciousness and political correctness are synonymous, so I don’t buy her microaggressive preface.

And I still don’t understand how this phone incident spiraled into a rant directed at an entire ethnic community. 

There are hundreds of opinions already circulating throughout the internet regarding her offensive remarks. And there are just as many responses piling UCLA Chancellor Block’s inbox.

Clearly, I’m confused by a lot of statements made in this video. But I’m as confused by many of the responses. The original YouTube posting was deleted, but sexually explicit comments regarding her gender and appearance were made.

From phone etiquette to offensive racial comments to degrading gender-related responses, I don’t understand how each step of this reactionary cycle relates to each other. 

Incidents like these have added fuel to support institutionalizing Ethnic Studies programs in our UC system. Although, I don’t think institutionalizing Ethnic Studies is necessarily going to mitigate this clear, horrific mess of insensitivity.

Ethnic Studies courses mandated by General Education requirements along with mathematics, science, etc. objectifies cultural competence itself. Social consciousness isn’t an academic discipline or specialization, it’s the lens which we need to see the world. When Ethnic Studies is viewed as a product of liberal arts curriculum, there’s obviously a problem with our educational paradigm. 

In the higher education arena, social consciousness and ethnic appreciation should be the foundation and lens in which we view the rest of academia, not just a subject or discipline in and of itself. 

In addition, racial issues don’t transcend gender lines, either. The objectifying remarks directed towards Alexandra are as appalling as her racial insults.

Alexandra’s lack of cultural sensitivity makes me question exactly what are “American manners”. Several people’s responses have traces of misogyny and make me question people’s conception of “manners” in general.

- Suzanne

1 Notes

The ‘Real’ Orange County

MTV countered FOX’s fictional series The OC with Laguna Beach: The Real Orange County. UC Irvine is trapped in the heart of Orange County, and its political climate is as ludicrous as the aforementioned TV series.

Last February, 8 UC Irvine and 3 UC Riverside students were arrested for disrupting a speech by US-Israeli ambassador, Michael Oren. UC Irvine reprimanded its Muslim Student Union with a year-long suspension, but the punishment was curtailed to fall quarter 2010.

UC Irvine’s initial punishment mimicked the nonsense that is The OC, but Orange County District Attorney, Tony Rackauckas, apparently wants to give UCI a taste of the real OC:

"We must decide whether we are a country of laws or a country of anarchy," Rackauckas said. "We cannot tolerate a preplanned violation of the law, even if the crime takes place on a school campus and even if the defendants are college students. In our democratic society, we cannot tolerate a deliberate, organized, repetitive and collective effort to significantly disrupt a speaker who hundreds assembled to hear."

Rackauckas’ plea for justice sounds like a melodramatic script from The OC or Laguna Beach, ergo I can’t take him seriously.

I am not well-versed with the legal logistics in Orange County, but pressing charges one year after the incident seems a bit sketchy. The chronological overlap of the Irvine 11’s subpoena with the protests in Tunisia and Egypt and rippling uproars in the Arab world exponentially augment the sketchiness.

I feel like Rackauckas is using these Muslim students as a political example to implicitly define Orange County’s ideological position in the global arena of crises in the Middle East. 

Sketchiness is an understatement. MLK Jr. said it best, “Injustice anywhere [truly] is a threat to justice everywhere.”

- Suzanne

1 Notes

"Fair" is Not Equal.

According to the Boston Globe, “most” women make 77 cents to every dollar “most” men make. But let’s be real— African-American women make 68.9 cents and Latinas make 60.2 cents to every dollar a Caucasian man makes. I’m not trying to pull the race card, but I pulled it anyway. It’s in my hand, and it’s hard to keep a poker face when it feels like I can’t win. I am not a man, and I am not “most” women. And I don’t identify with the statistics the AFL-CIO provided.

The Fair Labor Standards Act (1938) was augmented by the Equal Pay Act (1963), and the latter supposedly abolished wage disparity based on gender. That only took 25 years, and it’s 47 years later. Tomorrow, the Senate will  vote on the Paycheck Fairness Act. The bill requires employers…

 to prove that any difference in pay is the result of a business necessity, and to demonstrate why they didn’t adopt a plaintiff’s suggested “alternative remedy’’ that wouldn’t result in a pay gap.

The Paycheck Fairness Act is beautifully worded. The bill addresses gender inequality in the workforce, but it circumvents the issue of equal pay. Brown v. Board of Education ruled that separate is not equal, but apparently “fair” is not “equal”, either.

I am not a man. I am not “most” women. I am not African-American. I am not Latin-American. These statistics bombard me with messages of who I am not.

I know who I am. I don’t need anyone to tell me who I am. But I need everyone to realize who I am.

I am a Woman. I am a Woman of Color, and there is no way to quantify my immeasurable work-ethic, but employers need to start trying.

- Suzanne

1 Notes

I Voted for Meg Whitman.

When I was younger, I would accompany my family to the racetracks and quietly sit on the sidelines. I was there out of obligation, and I impatiently twiddled my thumbs between Mad Lib games and the races. Whenever the horses neared the finish line, I would be swallowed by my fascination of the audience’s temporary excitement— only to be more fascinated by their silence during the seemingly eternal intermissions.

I was so confused. The harder the jockeys beat their horses, the faster the horses went, and the louder the audience cheered. I didn’t get it. At age 7, I had no conception of animal abuse. But the whole situation made me uncomfortable.

Why am I reminiscing on a memory that happened 12 years ago? Because it’s a memory that happened 3 days ago.

Replace the Mad Lib games with political science textbooks. Replace the audience’s temporary excitement with the 2004, 2008, 2010, etc. elections. Replace the intermissions with years of development.

The only aspect that hasn’t changed is my confusion.

I genuinely tried to keep up with the election results, I really did. Sound bites rerunning on cable TV and newspaper headlines bombarding my BlackBerry can only do so much. There were 435 seats up for grabs in the House and 37 in the Senate. That’s 472 people. I don’t even know the names of 472 of my Facebook “friends”— let alone their political affiliations. In addition, the slur campaigns ran by California’s gubernatorial candidates were maliciously dehumanizing. And they made me feel uncomfortable.

I fast-forwarded to election retrospect, but let me rewind to election night. I just took a vicious midterm for a class entitled “Legal Implications of the Drug Trade”, and I sprinted to the freshmen dorms to cast my vote 30 minutes before the polls closed statewide. I was so amped to legalize marijuana and amend the super majority budget requirement for the sake of reducing student fees. I awkwardly hunched in my little booth. The first option came up for California Governor. It reminded me of the GRE. Both started with the “easiest” question, and I managed to choke up.

I voted for Meg Whitman. Yeah, I choked up—but I didn’t choke. I meant to vote for her. And I’m proud that I voted for her.

To be honest, my reasons were pretty selfish. Jerry Brown frankly didn’t show as much promise. He’s a world-class talker, I’ll give him that. But can he execute? I want to see something get done. And Jesse knew Whitman was damn capable of getting something done, and the obscurity of something was a scary thought. I guess I didn’t think of that. I just want so badly to see change. I want to restore hope that our government isn’t full of institutionalized gridlock. I know I want to teach. I know I want to focus solely on education. But I do see myself in government one day.

So— I guess when I voted for Whitman, I voted for myself.

Because I can. I can vote. And I did. Did you?


Above: An Old Facebook Status from May 2010; Looks like I announced a premature candidacy…

Notes

Courting My Vote?

Source: Boston Globe

BET, CMT, and MTV hosted “A Conversation With Barack Obama” today. President Obama strategically targeted us to rejuvenate the momentum he captured two years ago.

The Washington Post claimed that Barack Obama merely wanted to lend a helping hand to his “beleaguered Democrats in Congress”. And maybe that’s true. His motives are independent of the fact that he depends on us— on our vote.

April Woodard acknowledged our apparent disinterest:

"Right now there’s an ‘enthusiasm gap’ so [President Obama] wants to get them back in and realize that these midterm elections are really crucial and almost as crucial as the presidential election," Woodard said.

That “enthusiasm gap” according to Woodard might be too wide for the President to narrow, “I can’t say that I am confident. I think maybe he’ll change a few minds and hopefully we’ll change a few minds too. Because it’s everyone’s duty, they’re civic duty to go out and vote.”

Yes, there is an enthusiasm gap. But there’s a financial gap. An achievement gap. A tolerance gap. There’s all sorts of gaps that are more important. Enthusiasm is a necessary foundation, but I don’t think Barack Obama prostituting his charisma during a 60 minute ‘conversation’ will necessarily foster that.

Words are great. And President Obama is a great speaker. But words are not a form of reparation. (Slightly irrelevant, but Shacole and I had a conversation about Women vs. Womyn.) The point is: I’m not going to merely accept words, I want action. I want change.

President Obama promised us change, but I want change I can actually believe in. Besides my family—the only person I can count on is myself.

I have to make change—we all do. We can make it on November 2nd.

- Suzanne

1 Notes

Nasty as I Wanna Be [sic(k)]

This banner shows up on Simon Rex’s homepage, but the students of Northern Arizona University may know him as Dirt Nasty. He is scheduled to perform as Ke$ha’s opening act at NAU this Sunday.

Dirt Nasty has quite a resume. In 1997, his performance in Hot Sessions 3 won him “Best Gay Solo Video” at the Adult Videos News awards. He also has a song entitled Baby Dick, in which he tells his audience to call him “itty bitty swizzle stick”. He’s bold with his lyrics, and he’s even bolder with his tweets.

It’s one thing to disrespect yourself. And it’s another thing to disrespect other people. That doesn’t fly with me.

Simon Rex does not fly with me.

I hope he doesn’t fly with the students of NAU, either.

- Suzanne

1 Notes

No SLEEP for the DREAM Act!

We are going to jam their voice mails. Get it!!

NoSleepfortheDREAMActRoster

4 Notes

Does Lady Gaga run the U.S. Senate?

Lady Gaga called Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid, out on the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy via twitter. Check out their tweets:

Lady Gaga: “Gay Veterans were my VMA dates. Repeal Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. CALL HARRY REID to Schedule Senate Vote”

Senator Reid: “@ladygaga There is a vote on #DADT next week. Anyone qualified to serve this country should be allowed to do so http://bit.ly/9ucdIj #nvsen”

Lady Gaga “God Bless and Thank you @HarryReid, from all of us, like u, who believe in equality and the dream of this country. We were #BORNTHISWAY.”

If I can’t call my own senators out- I’m damn sure Lady Gaga can.

Wait…why am I calling my senators?

Because Senator Reid is attaching the DREAM Act to the defense bill that repeals “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”.

Lady Gaga (above) supports the DREAM Act, now we just have to get her to tweet about it.

The Senate will vote on repealing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and passing the DREAM Act this Tuesday, September 21st. Access your senator at the number below, and be sure to explain why this DREAM is so important.

Make the DREAM a reality. This is your call.

- Suzanne

2 Notes

"Education has produced a vast population able to read- but unable to distinguish what is worth reading." - G. M. Trevelyan

The National Network to End Violence Against Immigrant Women compiled a few statistics about the DREAM Act.

Swallow this: Each year, 65,000 undocumented high school students earn their diplomas.

Less than 6,500 pursue a college degree. I tried researching exactly how many undocumented students actually get their degree…

I don’t know.

Did you know 40% of undocumented children live below the federal poverty level?

I didn’t.

-

Hmm, the median annual income for an undocumented woman is $16,532 less than the average U.S. male citizen.

In California, undocumented students pay in-state tuition.

(The annual cost of in-state tuition at UC Irvine is $11,232.)

What about Georgia?

Undocumented students pay out-of-state tuition.

(The annual cost of in-state tuition at Georgia College and State University is $7,852 and out-of-state tuition is $24,890.)

That’s not fair.

The report states: “Undocumented immigrant women in America are often relegated to hourly or low-pay work in the informal sector, such as housekeepers, nannies, farm or sweatshop workers, where their academic potential is squandered. Furthermore, these jobs make no promises of fair wages, health care,retirement and, in many cases, their health and safety.”

That’s not even humane.

-

I just wanted to share this document that Jake sent me-as well as this quote. I’m still a student. I’m still getting educated. I can’t distinguish everything in terms of what’s worth reading and what isn’t.

But this definitely is.

- Suzanne

DREAM Act Statistics

Notes

Tani Cantil-Sakauye is expected to be California’s first non-white, first Filipina-American Chief Justice. Last Wednesday, Canti-Sakauye was unanimously approved by a state commission-and a state bar evaluation committee gave her its highest possible rating…
So why am I saying “expected”?
Because she’s up for a confirmation vote this November, so that means you (assuming you are a registered California voter) will decide whether or not Tani Cantil-Sakauye makes history.
Don’t get me wrong-as a fellow Filipina-American, I’m genuinely excited for this turning point in our state’s history. As always, I’m very critical. I’m critical of the Los Angeles Times reporting her justiceship as a ‘sure thing’:

If approved, as expected, she would replace George in January.

There’s no such thing as a ‘sure thing’. And please forgive the unavoidable sexual innuendo-but I am not easy.
My values matter and my voice matters- my vote matters.
Yes, I am going to vote for her, but the LA Times dismissed the importance of voting.
Our elected officials are only important because we made them important.
But who makes us important? We do. We vote.
P.S. Thank you for sharing this with me, Sarah.
- Suzanne

Tani Cantil-Sakauye is expected to be California’s first non-white, first Filipina-American Chief Justice. Last Wednesday, Canti-Sakauye was unanimously approved by a state commission-and a state bar evaluation committee gave her its highest possible rating…

So why am I saying “expected”?

Because she’s up for a confirmation vote this November, so that means you (assuming you are a registered California voter) will decide whether or not Tani Cantil-Sakauye makes history.

Don’t get me wrong-as a fellow Filipina-American, I’m genuinely excited for this turning point in our state’s history. As always, I’m very critical. I’m critical of the Los Angeles Times reporting her justiceship as a ‘sure thing’:

If approved, as expected, she would replace George in January.

There’s no such thing as a ‘sure thing’. And please forgive the unavoidable sexual innuendo-but I am not easy.

My values matter and my voice matters- my vote matters.

Yes, I am going to vote for her, but the LA Times dismissed the importance of voting.

Our elected officials are only important because we made them important.

But who makes us important? We do. We vote.

P.S. Thank you for sharing this with me, Sarah.

- Suzanne

1 Notes

Meet my hero, Steven Slater.

"It’s been great."

"Then, the authorities said, he pulled the lever that activates the  emergency-evacuation chute and slid down, making a dramatic exit not  only from the plane but, one imagines, also from his airline career…"
[For an objective report, check out: the NY Times]
"But what makes him an instant legend, of course, is the beer. He grabs  the beer on the way out. That’s the "Animal House" meets "Airplane!"  note. No wonder he’s an instant Internet icon. His name will become a  verb, just watch…"
[For a report that rightfully glorifies the man, check out: the Achenblog on the Washington Post]
- Suzanne
P.S. How does this pertain to Women of Color? Sometimes I want to pull a Slater, too- sans the beer steal, of course. Don’t we all? Unfortunately, we can’t all run away from reality; it just takes one person to make that run vicarious for all of us. Thanks Steven.

Meet my hero, Steven Slater.

"It’s been great."

"Then, the authorities said, he pulled the lever that activates the emergency-evacuation chute and slid down, making a dramatic exit not only from the plane but, one imagines, also from his airline career…"

[For an objective report, check out: the NY Times]

"But what makes him an instant legend, of course, is the beer. He grabs the beer on the way out. That’s the "Animal House" meets "Airplane!" note. No wonder he’s an instant Internet icon. His name will become a verb, just watch…"

[For a report that rightfully glorifies the man, check out: the Achenblog on the Washington Post]

- Suzanne

P.S. How does this pertain to Women of Color? Sometimes I want to pull a Slater, too- sans the beer steal, of course. Don’t we all? Unfortunately, we can’t all run away from reality; it just takes one person to make that run vicarious for all of us. Thanks Steven.

Notes

Why should they get to keep their jobs while the parents of the children they teach are unemployed?

"killerm1" (reader on the Washington Post)

It’s not only Shark Week on the Discovery Channel, but “killerm1” is on the prowl in the political waters as well. The EduJobs bill just passed through the Senate, and Nancy Pelosi is rounding up the troops and requesting the House to curtail its August recess.

The bill promises $10 billion to save 100,000+ potential lay-offs for teachers and governmental employees. In addition, the bill also provides $16 billion in Medicaid Aid to states. Apparently, the latter indirectly helps K-12-by “saving” it from the chopping block of state budgets.

The bill passed 61-39. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) swung her vote to eliminate the Republican filibuster. She rationalized her vote with this statement:

"I think that this should be sort of the final down payment."

I’m not sure if she knows exactly what a down payment is. According to Legistorm, Representative Snowe made about $174,000 last year. I’m just sayin’.

But a down payment is an initial payment, so calling the Edujobs bill a “final down payment” is an oxymoron-not to mention demeaning. Education isn’t another line-item on the to-do list of saving the economy. We’re not AIG; we haven’t screwed up our investments.

A down payment implies that we’re still worth investing in-because we are. Teachers invest in us, and the government needs to invest in them.

- Suzanne

Notes

Swallowing our pride-and our missiles? (Hopefully.)

8.4.2010 Women gathering at the Atomic Bomb Dome in Hiroshima, Japan

It only took 65 yrs. The United States is going to attend the Hiroshima memorial for the first time-alongside fellow newcomers Britain and France. I’m not going to spur a diatribe about whether dropping the bombs was right or wrong. (Even though my position is implicit in my word choice.)

But…from the relatively trivial issue of failing a test to the monumental matter of losing a human life, I really see no point in dwelling in the past.  Period.

I do think that 65 yrs. is an awfully long time to finally show remorse for the 140,000 lives lost that day. I’m a little disappointed, or rather-downright disgusted that it took US that long.

This isn’t about what we did or should have done. It’s about what we should do.

Like I said- dwelling in the past is pointless. The reason I’m sharing this is because U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon said something that really struck me-something so obvious, but it still gave me the chills.

The only way to ensure that such weapons will never again be used is to eliminate them all. There must be no place in our world for such indiscriminate weapons.

It gave me the chills knowing that we didn’t know right from wrong back then, and we still don’t know right from wrong now

Mr. President, how can I believe in anything if there’s no change?

- Suzanne

Notes

Hello womyn!

I’m so happy to have met everyone at congress in July. Hopefully we can keep communication going through this thing. I’m new to tumblr so i’m not sure how everything works just yet.

I’m excited to go to Irvine next week! Maybe I’ll see some of you there.

with love and respect,

tracy garcia

2 Notes

Prop. 8 OVERTURNED

Finally! California is doing something right. Even Mayor Villaraigosa tweeted his joy, he wrote: “Because a judge had the courage to stand up for the constitution of the United States, prop 8 has been overturned!”

Marriage isn’t a heterosexual privilege; it’s a human right. It’s about time California realized that-thanks to a federal judge, of course.

U.S. District Chief Judge Vaughn R. Walker tackled gay marriage and overturned prop. 8.

Now who’s going to tackle higher education and pass the DREAM Act? (Affordable higher) education’s a right, too.

Yeah, California-I’m calling you out. Unless you need the federal government to take care of that, too?

- Suzanne