damn you buzzfeed. But you’re so right though….
(And I just started feeling about a million times better about my own “existential crisis”, because Rory Gilmore had one too).
Braden Summers traveled to six different countries to prove that no matter where you are, love is equal.
Well, this is downright beautiful. I did a quick Google of Braden Summers (http://www.bradensummers.com/menu/assignments/), and quite frankly, all of his photos are spectacular, but this photoset makes me want to like, reach out and touch and hug the subjects.
And it’s also really nice to see qpoc without the caption “brave” and “trailblazer” and whatever other fuckery we are so used to seeing.
Earlier today a man (white, probs about 45) walked up to my desk, planted his loafer clad feet on the floor, raised his left arm and pointed at me; “You’re parents aren’t from here. I can tell. Where are you from Taiwanese? I can tell with a name like that, you’re parents couldn’t be from here!” he accused.
Yes, he referred to Taiwan as “Taiawanese”.
As I momentarily contemplated schooling this mofo about about my heritage, I bit my tongue. Who does that? Who calls out someone for being the child of immigrants? In TORONTO? And better yet, why is it relevant? Does it make me any less Canadian to have been born, raised, and socialized as a middle-class Canadian because my parents may have had a different upbringing?
So I started to think. And think. And get really, really distracted catching up with the Olympics, and then I went back to thinking about what it means to be Canadian. Here we have this fairly new nation that was birthed from England and France (and if I were more in the mood to fully formulate thoughts, I’d insert something about the bizarro Quebec nationalism that’s happening with the Olympics- a [peace] time when our country should be more unified- if only for the sake of entertainment), and we have only become the nation that we have because we robbed the Indigenous people of their land. Here, we have two nations (Canada and the United States) that were built on the backs of people that didn’t fit into the picture of what the people of the colonies were meant to look like - white and an acceptable sect of Christianity or Jewish- they were instead built on the backs of Native people and then African slaves.
Now, here’s where my issues start to bubble and boil. Many (white) people will say things like “My ancestors were from Holland/Norway/England/Ireland, etc…, but I call myself a Canadian/American because I didn’t grow up over there! That history isn’t mine.” and while it maybe true that their entire life was spent in North America, and the history was not lived by them first hand, that is not to say that the erasure of the history of white people in North America is even close to what it means to be not white and call yourself a Canadian/American. Because here’s the thing, white people: you chooseto denounce your history, ours has been forced out of us since the creation of the colonies. Take a look at Native reserves. Just Google “Native Genocide Canada”. Just consider how Africans were purposely sold apart from their families so that their traditions couldn’t carry on and so that they could not communicate with their communities on the plantations.
I think you get my point.
So yes, strange, rude man - I am the child of an immigrant, but that’s not really what you care about is it? You just wanted to take a second to remind me that you don’t think that I belong here. Because I’m not turning myself into a commodity for your gain, because you probably still see me as “less than” you, and because my mother came to this country- by choice- you need to make sure that I know that you disapprove. But guess what? I figured this all out a long time ago, and people like you? Well, they say ignorance is bliss.
Or maybe I just over think things.
TL;DR - sometimes people say things that rub me the wrong way, but probably don’t mean as much as I think they do.