Subtitled: Why I Hate Adoptive Parents,* Reason Number 872.
*various qualifiers, explanatory notes and other crap of that nature contained in previous posts. Please read blog thoroughly before leaving long rants or vitriol in comment section.

So I volunteered at a community event recently. There are a fair number of white adoptive parents who dabble in the community. I’ve encountered a number of them for several years now. And unfortunately I think familiarity breeds contempt. Because sometimes I want to stand up on a big soapbox and yell, “What the heck do you think you are teaching your children of color?” Continue reading

Dear whomever

[N.B. This is a rant and as such needs only commiseration, sympathy and agreement. Thank you for your understanding, and please don’t make me whack you over the head.]

Dear neighbors,

You may not know this, but dogs are social animals and enjoy company. As such, a dog should not be locked in a house for a couple of weeks with somebody merely coming by to feed it and to let it out twice a day. Continue reading

Insults and institutionalized racism

On the Playing at poverty post, Kai commented that Adam Shepard’s “experiment” was a “joke and an insult, with its ridiculously vain thesis, ‘Anyone could make it out of poverty — if you were as cool as me!'”

And that pretty much sums up how I felt after reading Shepard’s book. (Which, by the way, is poorly written.)

Because the reality is that there are lots of people in the lower fringes of the economy who are making it. Otherwise they’d all be dead. And most of us know somebody who has made it against all odds. Continue reading

True Story

There are 15 people round the meeting table, and on the agenda a list of desired facilities for the personnel1. The attendees are asked to add any facilities2 they feel would be beneficial to the company3.

The lone woman4 expresses a desire to see a new addition5: sanitary protection available in the women’s washroom6.

It is put forward that this is already covered by “improved sanitary facilities7”, particularly as only 20% of the personnel are women8. The woman4 begs to differ. ‘Sanitary facilities’ does not mean sanitary protection9, and it is not because the minority is a minority that it should not be taken into account.

But improvements to the facilities will include whatever is necessary10, retort other attendees. Sanitary protection is surely considered necessary11. This is not a given according to the woman4: since none will be installed in the men’s washroom too, it may be overlooked12.

But we can’t provide sanitary protection for everyone13, argue other attendees: every woman is different and surely has their own preferences in feminine hygiene products14. But providing sanitary protection does not mean providing a range of products9, insists the woman4. It is availability of any sort of product that counts15.

It is proposed that another point5 be added: “specific sanitary facilities in the women’s washroom16”. 14 people vote for the motion. The lone woman4 abstains.

Continue reading

Listen up, white people!

All right, white people. Gather round and listen up. Because I have some things that need saying.

First and foremost, you are white. Yes, you are. I don’t want to hear about how you’re kind of a peachy-pink, or how you’re a nice tan, or how your black friend or yellow daughter has skin that is lighter than yours. “White” refers to your skin tone, but more than that it refers to your privilege.

But if you feel that you absolutely cannot force the word “white” out of your lips or off your fingertips (repeat after me: “White. White. White.”), then would you please at least spell the word “caucasian” correctly? For the record, it’s c-a-u-c-a-s-i-a-n. It is not “caucasion” or “cocasion” or (shudder) “caccashun.” Yes, there’s an asian inside caucasian. It’s C-A-U-C-A-S-I-A-N. Why don’t you just use “white”? At least it’s easy enough for you all to spell. Continue reading

Bah humbug

Dear sibling,

I wonder if I might ask you something. Do you ever consider the origin of the presents your children receive from their grandmother? Like, have you ever noted that the packages have been posted from the town in which I live and not the town in which she lives? Have you ever wondered how exactly she ordered things from and other online vendors when she doesn’t have a credit card? Do you marvel at how she remembers to send your children cards and presents for their significant events? Continue reading

The significance of a snowflake

A friend of mine just had a frustrating week. Asked to propose a design for an international non-profit organisation’s New Year cards, he offered a stylised snowflake, cleverly incorporating one of the organisations symbols. It was refused on the grounds that snow at New Year is only significant to people in Europe and North America.

Apart from the fact that China and Japan don’t seem to figure on the client’s radar, this is a good example of the sort of “inverted ethnocentrism” rife in so-called international business today.
Continue reading