thymelock asked: i saw your reblog of my mermaid pillowcases. i'm pretty sure the fabric is by robert kaufman
I just want to remind people that the “sewcial justice” tag is a thing.
Jane Espenson (from interview with Advocate.com)\
I dunno how many which ways this needs to be said.
If we can’t write diversity into sci-fi, then what’s the point? You don’t create new worlds to give them all the same limits of the old ones.
This morning my daughter, who is nearly four, saw the stretch marks on my hips and stomach. She ran her hands over them and asked what they were.
“I got them when I grew up,” I said, “and a few more when I had you.” I grinned down at her. “They’re my stripes. You’ll get stripes too when you grow up.”
She was overjoyed. “Really?”
I think she’s in her room now, pretending to be a tiger.
This is what we need to teach.
how many people of color do you know who can speak twenty languages?
My grandmother speaks seven, my dad speaks four, my mom speaks three
NONE OF THEM SPEAK TWENTY LANGUAGES
the fuck is wrong with pointing out a special accomplishment, even if the kid is white?
actually, i am not sure i know many people who speak TWENTY languages, but I do know PoC who speak MANY languages
they aren’t 17 tho, but that’s bc i’m in my mid-twenties so most of my peers are above the age of 20 for fairly obvious reasons
idk, pointing out how he’s lionized when he has the class background that enables him to do this for leisure rather than necessity isn’t exactly off the mark, ya know? that doesnt take away from his incredible linguistic talents, it’s just noting what enabled him to accomplish that much in that little time [and seems to be the more dominant factor in his accomplishments, nonwithstanding obvious intersections between race and class]
still think it’s also cool to note that his at least partial ethnic judaic background and the culture and history that comes with re:polyglotism
i’m so glad that this segment of conversation is happening
i also don’t think that pointing out this kid’s obvious prodigious talent and not to mention HARD WORK is anything wrong. he’s 17, and he wakes up everyday happy to learn. he spends most of his time learning. that is admirable beyond belief.
and bracha i think you give too much credence/are too nice about the talk in the reblogs who erase this guy’s ethnicity to insist that he’s just learning languages for shits and giggles. it’s profoundly disturbing to me given the rampant antisemitism in tumblr left.
like, he started really learning hebrew and arabic to understand the israel-palestine conflict. and it’s clear from the videos that he is not using languages to show off, but to communicate ideas with people all around the world. he even quotes at the end, “if you speak someone’s second language, you speak to their brain. if you speak their mother tongue, you speak to their heart.”
i don’t think you can get more dedicated and respectful than that. i really have faith that if he’s reading nelson mandela and many POC authors in their native languages that he’d have a very strong awareness of race. i mean sure, criticize his class upbringing allowing him these opportunities i guess, but most of vocal parts of tumblr left are solidly upper middle class so…
I am willing to bet that people didn’t watch that video all the way through, or if they did, it didn’t register
his ethnic background and his reasons for learning are just pigeon-holed in there in the last segment of the short, whereas the rest of it was the film crew pointing at him going LOOK WHAT HE CAN DO and I can see how that would smart when your folks are busting their asses trying to learn yet another language and speak it without “sounding funny” just so they can get a job and work and eat.
I do agree, I think his motives are genuine, and like I said before - and I did amend my own reblog and shoved another novel in there, haha - that his ethnic background ONE, is Diasporic, and TWO, his specific Judaic ethnic background means he comes from a long history and culture of polyglotism.
I do think those comments by those other tumblr users were engaging in erasure, for sure, and it does kinda seem weird that the Jews, who are one of the oldest and most persecuted Diasporic ethnicities AROUND, like the notion of the “Wandering Jew” is stereotypical, and they’d complain that the video “is not showcasing the notions of Diasporic cultures.” That makes no sense.
Honestly, I think his class background is the salient issue here that allowed him the ability to devote himself to learning so many languages for pleasure and not necessity. Pointing that out isn’t wrong, nor does it take away from his achievement. I think his ethno-cultural-historical diasporic background also gives us a clue into just what pointed him in this direction, and erasing that isn’t cute. And the way it was done in that thread was just nonsensical.
Honestly, regarding wider PoC and Diaspora erasure, I would point to Thinkr and the film-makers for framing this entire thing in a really specific way, and almost forcible divorcing the kid from the background motives of his own actions, not the kid himself. They’re the ones who decided to film himtalking to people for shits and giggles, and cut and pasted the footage in such a way that his motives, and ethno-cultural background came in dead last, instead of at the the very beginning, they’re the ones who tried to divorce his accomplishments from his motives in the first place. Blaming the kid for that is….messed up.