Dream of the Water Children: The Black Pacific

Critique of Review of “Proof of a Man” by Ratgirl

In my older blogpost on mixed race Black-Japanese-themed movies, I linked and referred to the blogpost by Paghat the Ratgirl.

Although I commend the blogger for writing about a topic that is almost unheard of in the United States, I have critiques of much of the tone and critique.  Especially since it is obvious to me, that this person does not understand the diversity of elements around Amerasian experience, histories, and the ways in which people internalize, survive, resist, repress, explode, resent, formulate.

My feeling is that I hope people do not read things just as a way of ingesting a “truth” but to investigate essays such as this, on their own—especially around topics that the writer are not too familiar with, except through cursory readings and people they may know.  History and life are larger than any one particular.  My point is that calling things “stupid” and “idiotic” tends to point to some kind of show-boating and ignorance.

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a Note: Pure?Justice?

Critique as a technique to raise questions to the normal and invisible ways in which we live, that create injustice, as a way that perhaps people like Karl Marx, the Frankfurt School and Critical Theorists including Post-structuralist thinkers use, is something I love. But in the world, people do not welcome it.  Many people view it as an attack on a self, not understanding that the defensiveness and aggression brought about by encountering critical thinking, should raise the concern about the foundations of self that are colluding, and complicit with practices of cultural/political practices of domination. This comes from the illusion of a SINGLE self, not understanding itself as multiple.

Think. And……

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Mixed & Objections – Thoughts

Occasionally, as people may guess, I get emails, or messages in my FB messages, and comments in response to my posts on Facebook, that object to and criticize my posts that “lean” toward “being against white people” or “being against Japanese people” or “being against black people.” In a world of words, and I–being a person who distrusts words but must use words to communicate certain things, it is hard to navigate what I consider to be colonized relations.  This includes how we use words, and how we *listen* or *hear* and how we filter and project. In social relations, our words and ideas as well as our ideals, are mixed up with personal feelings, kinds of traumas we’ve experienced, attachments and commitments in our subconscious, and how willing we are to change or to look at ourselves, as well as our ethical and moral dispositions. Yes, we are not simple beings. From all sides, people who are married to their own ideas of self (and cannot see difference), will accuse, accuse, accuse.

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Mixed-Race Identity: Celebration?

multiracial-what-is-race-kids

 

Let me be clear from the start: I am critiquing, not criticizing. Criticizing judges, has a moral hierarchy, is more “truth oriented.”  I come from an intellectual background that struggles to critique–to point out crevices, junctures, and points of diversion that may open to new possibilities that present multiple locations from a single space (as opposed to criticism which tends to negate and/or annihilate whatever it points to). What is “multiracial” and “bi-racial” for? Who does it serve? What does it do or not do? Why?

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“Babysan” by Bill Hume; and Japan Society Review by Kim Brandt

babysan-cover

 

One of the most interesting and revealing pieces of art and history, as well as what I think to be among the most “valuable” from the U.S.-Allied Occupation of Japan, is Bill Hume’s cartoon book: Babysan: A Private Look at the Japanese Occupation.

A great review of this book can be found at the Japan Society, written by Kim Brandt:

http://aboutjapan.japansociety.org/learning-from-babysan

This book gives a great glimpse into how American soldiers viewed their stay in Japan, as Occupiers, as boys who have left home, as military personnel, who were largely becoming intimate with a “Japan” through their relationships with their own ideas about “Oriental” women and Japanese women themselves. In my own work, I focus much on the more intense violent interactions in order to make points related to uneven relations, nation-building, and the tactics and thinking that create the will, desire, and the unspoken aspects of military occupation and empire-building in our world, whether past or present, and most likely the same building blocks that will be re-created in structural procedures and people’s minds in the future. Babysan looks at these these things in the intimate everyday, through their loneliness, need for affection and sex, and their position as conquerors, as male.

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