yo this cafe boasts great wifi on yelp. Yelp lies.
We’re not supposed to be working today but the design team is working. We are committed.
Important conversation topics before working:
1. How to write a polite email declining an invitation for a ~design~ talk yr not interested in
2. How to be cordial, patient and accommodating during the hours of 10-6
3. How to explain responsive design to someone who thinks they know everything
Sometimes I blog about personal stuff on my ~professional~ blog
Chrysanthemums (detail), Claude Monet.
She calls it ‘backwards logic’, tells me with a smile
About that one white girl who was killed in South Africa for being white,
Murdered by black men
(who had been crushed beyond measure by an apartheid regime)
"So you see," she says, "Racism goes both ways”
My tongue is trapped, thrashing beneath the tidal wave of words I wish to unleash, but I bite it, suppress it,
Quell the rage for a moment.
You see, I know we all bleed red,
but it’s not your blood coursing down the streets, painting cities
and countries and continents crimson
It is not your people who have been enslaved, colonised, suppressed,
Hundreds of years of their history corrupted and destroyed
(“Don’t get so angry”, she says, “History isn’t now”)
But even today they are beaten down and force fed your ideals
Whiteness is beautiful
Whiteness is employable
Whiteness is power
Do not tell me that you can understand the sorrow
Of a language dying upon my lips because it holds “no use” in a Western society
Do not tell me that you can understand the frustration
When our history textbooks shows us a sea of white faces, glossing over the slaughter of indigenous peoples in five lines
Do not tell me that you can understand the weight of longing
For a homeland and a different night sky, sun warmed stones beneath your feet and a loving grandmother drying out spices on the rooftop
Do not tell me that you can understand the tears when
This land I am standing on, born from, rejects me day after day, labels me ‘other’ although I am rooted in its soil as much as you
Do not tell me that you understand these words-
You will understand what a racial slur is when it is hurled at you like a
projectile, shattering your skull and ringing in your ears by an old woman,
too old to change,
and again by a white boy, pretending he is one of the gang
and again and again by a white girl, too sheltered by pale skin to even begin to understand the meaning of oppression
Don’t tell me emotion has no place in this discussion, that the
anger in my blood will not set this world to rights when we are “already equal”
Let me tell you this:
We can pretend the word “race” is taboo, and still be racist
We can say inequality is over and still have oppression
We can pretend that the death of a white girl all those years ago, is a racial crime without context
We can pretend that the millions of my people dead are nothing more than a statistic, written in ink instead of blood.
My friend, we can call it ‘backwards logic’
But that will never make it true.
- On being told white people can’t use the n-word; A poem by N.