Friday, April 23, 2010

Not Your Cabana Girl

Watching television I've come across a code I hadn't really parsed before "They were so WARM & WELCOMING". It's a phrase I hear being used by whites, predominantly white USians, to describe the non-white individuals and how they were treated when they vacationed/honeymooned in a particular place. Given what I've been watching, it's usually them describing why they want to go back, or buy a house there, etc.

But I find myself thinking that 'WARM & WELCOMING' is code. Because it doesn't seem to occur to these individuals that being 'WARM & WELCOMING' to tourists is a JOB. Sometimes it's part of a specific job description as with hotel staff. But sometimes it's a national job description, wherein the job is being a native who's aware of what contributes to the country's GNP.

'WARM & WELCOMING' can very much be a natural part of a culture. But it can also be an aspect of said culture played up for money. For survival.

And it is interesting to me that people catering to their needs is automatically 'WARM & WELCOMING & FRIENDLY ' to these white individuals who don't seem to want to think further about why things are the way they are. It makes me consider statements about how American African Descended individuals are cold and rude and 'so angry'. It makes me consider the story being told about good brown people vs not good brown people and how that plays into things like this latest round of Racefail.

Charles Tan is essentially saying (and do note I've already made it clear I think he lacks reading comprehension and the ability and resources to be part of conversations I want to have) that people aren't being 'WARM & WELCOMING'toward white writers who make the decision (and effort) to write about something other than cultures that have been embraced as being white (Euro-Celtic-Med Cultures).

Apparently white writers who write about something other than these 'embraced as white 'cultures, should not be criticized, evaluated, analysed and told when they didn't reach the bar. Because they're taking a vacation in that culture and handing out large tips so they have a righteous expectation that reactions be 'WARM & WELCOMING'.

To complain, to point out hurt and stereotyping and cultural misunderstandings perpetuated is 'the natives becoming restless'. So of course, to them, the question to ask is; Do you really not want our money want us to write about you/your culture?

They want ask a simple question? Then I will answer with a simple answer. But first I'll state the question they're really asking.


The Question Is; Do you really want us to give up our monopoly in contributions to your Gross Cultural Product ?


That's what they're really asking. That's why they already KNOW the answer is a resounding;

YES



They have been the dominant voices, when they shouldn't be, in that Gross Cultural Product. They and theirs (ancestors, countries, etc) have previously shaped that particular Gross Cultural Product and filled it with crap. And now in the present people have the ability and power to say; "NO! And STOP! This is NOT how we want to be represented. This is NOT what we want added to the pool. Check yourself."

Self Autonomy = 'The natives are getting restless'.

Self Autonomy = 'WARM & WELCOMING' crushed by 'UNHAPPY RESTLESS BROWN PEOPLE'.

They will never engage on the actual point of representation and ethics and multiple perspectives of non dominant cultures. Because that perspective is layered and historical and sociological and opens the flood gates to white guilt* they would then have to move past.

{Aside: * White guilt is the instant withdrawal symptoms of even the thought of giving up unearned power. A useless ass thing that nevertheless gets delivered by the bucketful whenever there's the requirement to think deeper/historically about how white supremacy has been exported. And of course addictions are always difficult to fight.}


So all the complaints that people are trying to STOP white writers from writing about cultures other then their own? All the panic? All the flailing?

Remember this:

The Question REALLY Is; Do you really want us to give up our monopoly in contributions to your Gross Cultural Product ?


And all the upset is because they ALREADY KNOW they're being asked to give up that monopoly. They already know that to give it up means more research, more thinking, more consideration and more respect. Which means they've entered into these conversations under false pretenses of giving a damn. They really want to flail about someone expecting them to give up power.

Note: By the way, this is why I'm not described as warm or welcoming. Because not only do I expect them to give it up - I'm willing to snatch/yank/wrench control back and loudly point out when they try to hide the steering wheel in their pants (which is why said pants are sagging and their ass is showing).

[Comments Open: Usual Rules Apply]

ETA:More proof they refuse to give up having a monopoly on telling the tales of others. Mickey Rourke as Ghenghis Khan. I. Shit. You. Not..

4 comments:

  1. "And all the upset is because they ALREADY KNOW they're being asked to give up that monopoly. They already know that to give it up means more research, more thinking, more consideration and more respect. Which means they've entered into these conversations under false pretenses of giving a damn."

    Yes, yes, and yes.
    The rest of your post is spot on, but to me this is the critical part. It doesn't surprise me that they don't want to surrender a historical and cultural monopoly which has involved being the droning monologue that gets to define everyone else. But I hate that rather than admitting that they love being in control you get this drawn out process: obfuscation, lying to oneself, the pretense that they 'didn't understand/know/realise what is at stake or what is being asked/demanded of them, (give up control!) and round and round the maypole we go.

    I, for one, am so sick of that particular dance, so sick of the seventy layers of confusion and hurt surprise that they manage to feign in order to ultimately evade and waste other people's precious time. I always think about how much time, energy and resources that are wasted in engaging in this dance which just comes down to white people pretending to be 'open' and amenable to being confronted with the glaring reality of their control and being asked to surrender it up (they love 'discussions' and other such delaying tactics) - only to be secretly trying think of ways out of it, and of new ways to hang on to their control as they come up with evasion after evasion, along with knew mechanisms to preserve the same old bullshit that they love but can't ever to admit to anyone (not even themselves) that they love it.

    ReplyDelete