Sharing my story embedded in the world around me and what the transition onto the Board of CPAWS-BC means to me.
A look at how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected adolescents and what this means as Canadian provinces progress through their re-opening plans.
I still can’t find the words to process how I have been feeling since the onset of a pandemic a year ago as Asian hate crimes still continue to rise in Canada and the US (and I’m sure other areas of the world). Long before the pandemic, the most violent…
… away from ambiguity and to either submit or lash out at those whom we think might threaten us.
Shame rules community, and not only the social justice kind: In every tight-knit, ideologically steeped community that I have known — Chinese-Canadian, Christian, queer — shame and judgement pervade. In the movement, privilege is our original sin, and the doctrine is our Hail Mary. The political w…
This is a very powerful metaphor. As a Chinese-Canadian Christian myself I've had to confront my own feelings of guilt and shame. But one of the most transformative developments of my faith and love for Jesus the past few years after unexpected and traumatic health events, is that my relationship…
· Critique vs Compassion: My final struggle with social justice culture is its tendency to centre critique at the expense of creative thinking. The strength of social justice ideology are its sharp eyes and tongue, its ability to reveal and tear open the hidden logic of oppressive systems — a powerful and important revolutionary tool. My fear is that the valorization of critique, and the central role that criticism plays in the performance of goodness, has resulted in a rigid way of thinking that prioritizes the endless re-enactment of outrage and conflict while preventing us from developing strategies for reconciliation, necessary compromise, and collective action.
So powerful! Will never forget this. Especially as I work on one of my final papers for undergrad on social activism.
Again so grateful to my friend Katy Ho for introducing me to your work and this piece! Thank you for sharing your thoughts, they resonate deeply with me.
· Bullying and Call-Outs: A lot of public debate has already been had about the benefits and drawbacks of call-out culture in activism, so I won’t go too deeply into it. Suffice it to say, a culture in which the majority of political education is done through public shaming neither all that socially transformative nor psychologically healthy. Call-out culture, in my experience, can also spin into dynamics of punishment through bullying and intimidation, ie doxing, online harassment, etc.
Right! There's this great quote that says "if we don't give people a path to redemption, then they will go towards a place where they will be accepted." I will never forget that. …
· Righteousness and Exclusion: The moralizing paradigm of social justice Discourse (as the kids are callin’ it these days) when unchecked also leads to a frankly unpleasant tone of superiority and self-righteousness. Those who are not “rad” or “woke” are considered either unworthy of respect or treated as unenlightened potential converts. Frequently, these unworthies are elders, working class/poor individuals without access to the language of social justice, or whose cultures of origin hold differing belief systems. Social justice movements, then, become counter-productively centred around white, middle-class, university-educated Millenial Anglophone North Americans and those of the rest of us who are able to force our way in.
Wow! I think I'm just going to have to highlight most of this article because you have so eloquently put down all my thoughts that I have been struggling to put out into the world. As a student and a writer myself, I've just been writing a lot of thoughts like these but never had the courage to publish it because I found myself incoherent and unsuccinct... so thank you! Thank you for voicing out what I have been feeling and thinking since 2017 :')
…uently, ferociously dragged, and meaningful dialogue is rare in comparison (though it does occur). The cultural atmosphere is thus more conducive to anxiety-driven attempts to prove one’s goodness through faith to the dogma than it is to the creation of authentic relationships in which we are allowed to be imperfect (which is to say, human) or the development of meaningful social change. The performance of virtue often relies on adherence to startlingly simplistic political slogans tha…
100% I feel this all the time. I've personally had to take a step back from social media as I feel like I'm trying to do my best but also not doing my absolute best and also not doing it in a way that is truly representative or best for the cause... so then after all this mental debate, I just step away from exhaustion.
When I was younger in the activist space, I didn't know as much so I was much more dogmatic in my views. Now as I have come across so many unique and nuanced lives, I realize how important what I say is. Because on social media so much of what we said can be taken without its intent... and interpreted in a different way then we had intended.
“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about the things that matter. In the end we will remember not the words of our enemies but the silence of our friends.” -MLK.
Even as a POC, I have immense privilege. Growing up as an immigrant under the powerful…