March 29, 2009

To gripe or not to gripe over American Lit (to my white friends)

Sup from subspace,

It seems I've been in a bit of a posting drain lately. Oh sure I still update daily with something random as hell, but the drafts are piling up and I've just been unmotivated as...I don't know WHAT.

Saturday I was so unmotivated I had to have someone go eat with me. It was sadness. More on that in a second.

As you good folks know, either via twitter or my posts (scroll a few months for the hate), I hate my AmLit class. I unabashedly sit in the very front row RIGHT IN FRONT of the man and threaten him with my eyes. I meanmug and side-eye at the risk of going crosseyed or permanently blind. He probably senses this as we rarely make eye contact anymore. I've totally disengaged from this shit not only because of our caucasian malecentric reading list (I've seen him purposefully skip over women and people of color, just cause) but because of his...well, is it privilege to just sort of assume that everyone in the class has a grandparent that grew up/owns a farm therefore we're all instilled with intricate agricultural knowledge? I kid you not. You know what, fine. Maybe I just hate him in general.

(Okay, granted my dad IS from the country side...but that's not a farm)

The professor rambles on and on and has developed a tendency to start injecting religion where there is none indicated. I can't even pinpoint anymore the issues I have with that class, and I decided a while ago to just stop complaining and read something else, since my grade is currently invincible in that class. I fully believe in the power of a library and my ability to just find random stuff to read. I can't just wait for diversity, I gotta go get it. That's a lesson in life for everyone!

Anyway, I've vaguely touched on this issue, mostly to white friends of mine, because it seems (unfortunately in a lot of cases) white friends are all I have in the moment. Woefully unaware white friends. I haven't dared mentioned my displeasure with the whitecentric list but, oh, last week it came out to a person I don't particularly like, and she giggled.

"Who are more people going to know, Robert Frost or WEB Dubois?" she said behind a glass. Not missing a beat I laughed in turn and said, "You should know both" and kept right on going. She faltered, I glared.

Huh. Well going back to Saturday, as I was leaving with my dining buddy we stopped upon another friend of ours working the info desk. As we were talking we got around to discussing our English classes, and I again brought up my displeasure with my AmLit reading list in addition to the fact that the teacher just sucks. When I exclaimed "WHITE DUDES!" and boring not too long after, yeah I got a bit of a look. Then one of the girls just went on to say some mildly racist/fatphobic junk later on in the conversation (don't worry, I called her out...what the fuck is speaking Asian?)

I'm beginning to wonder if even soft activism is just lost on the people I tend to associate with--again I guess because I'm their safe negro--and if I should just give up. You see, I have no choice but to live my skin color daily. It kind of follows me around and the bad things that go with my skin color? Also stalk me. I wish I could just shed it and hang it up on the door every night but sadly I can't. Things stick out to me when I see myself unreflected in my most favorite of subjects, let alone when I know damn well there's a good portion of our reading dedicated to people of color. I suppose I'm impatient. I guess we'll never get to it. I suppose I shouldn't care so much since I'm going to have to take Am Lit I next semester, and I should be lucky to get slave narratives.

So I go on and on. But I'm a little tired of bringing up the itty bitty and the biggie things that irritate ME so much only to have either laughter as a result or at the least a subtle "what's wrong with you? Why can't you be quiet? What are you talking about?!" in response.

Such is the life of people of color, we seem to be the only ones that understand that. And yeah, my phrasing is correct and you read me right.

Ehhh. As carefully as I try to pick my classes, it seems I'm benefiting more and more from just tuning out of them and learning things on my own, as it usually is. Sigh.

blog comments powered by Disqus