Wednesday, July 06, 2005
faith & race
That's why I hear new music and i just don't be feelin it
Racism still alive they just be concealin' it/
-Kanye West "Never Let Me Down"
Every Tuesday night the past couple of weeks, I've been attending the Faith & Race class at Quest that Dave gave me the heads up on. The focus of the class is built around the cleverly named book "Why Are All The Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?" by Beverly D. Tatum, PhD.
While I'm not a n00b on the topic of race, this class marks the first time that I've talked about the issue from a spiritual standpoint with other Christians.
The faith component definitely leads to more mature discussions compared to some that I had when I took a couple of classes in AsianAm studies at the UW - feelings tend to run a little bit on the pissy side sometimes. And in a topic as complex as racism in America, I think that hearing people's personal experiences and thoughts on the issue is the most educational part of class, especially considering that a large portion of the people in the class are very different from myself in terms of race and background.
My only "disappointment" with the class so far is that the class is almost exclusively White and Asian American, which seems limiting when you consider the fact that we're reading a book that primarily addresses questions of racism in terms of the concepts of Blackness and Whiteness in America. A single chapter is devoted to Asian, Pacific Islander, Latino/Latina, and Native American issues, along with the subject of multiracial families. Of course, it's also fair to say that I don't really know of any books that discuss White / Asian American relations in depth either...
...and if you're thinking of Joy Luck Club, I'd rather be slapped around by Michelle Malkin, a conservative lapdog and proponent of racial profiling.
Speaking of Malkin, the end of the Faith & Race class will culminate in a mini-conference with a variety of speakers, including survivors of the Japanese American incarceration and veterans of the famed 442nd Regimental Combat Team, the most decorated unit of its size in the history of the US military. I'm really looking forward to hearing their stories.
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