Category Archives: 1 PoV by 1 PoC

Two Polynesians Walk into a Bar…

“Two Polynesians Walk into a Bar…”

It sounds like the start of a joke, but this incident is far from funny. If you’re of Pasifika decent and living in the US, you’ve probably already heard about Willie’s – the bar in Utah that reserves the right to refuse to serve alcohol to Polynesian men. I watched this video yesterday, and was definitely taken aback by the idea that the staff was instructed specifically not to serve “Polynesians.” As one of my Utah-based friends so eloquently said yesterday, “I didn’t know I lived south of the Mason-Dixon Line. Or maybe it’s 1960?” Seriously. It’s 2016. And in 2016 people are being refused service based on ethnicity. Houston, we have a problem. Continue reading

A Little Less Self-Congratulations — A Little More Work

2016-02-01 18 09 10Earlier today the LDS Church’s Newsroom issued a news release entitled, “Effectiveness of Church Approach to Preventing Child Abuse,” which contained these statements:

The Church has long had a highly effective approach for preventing and responding to abuse. In fact, no religious organization has done more. Although no one system is perfect and no single program will work with every organization, the Church’s approach is the gold standard.

I take issue with those statements.

Continue reading

Another Lesson in White Privilege

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A Facebook page called “The Good, the Chad, & the Ugly” shared this post today. When I saw it I felt compelled to share it with an added comment, to wit: 

Another day. Another lesson about white privilege. Will I ever complete this course? ‪#‎ComplexionfortheProtection

I then felt compelled to share some other thoughts.

When my oldest daughter was in kindergarten, her class would do a little chant/song at the end of the day to identify what they had learned.

The teacher would ask: “What did you learn at school today?”

The children would reply (in unison): “Sharing, counting, coloring,” or whatever they had learned that day.”

The children were eager to learn, eager to share what they had learned, and eager to return the next day to learn some more.

I, too, love to learn. I especially love the fact that I can receive all sorts of lessons and learn how to do all sorts of things from cooking to carpentry, from weaving to woodworking, and from sewing to sanding, all while enjoying the comfort of my own home.

There are some lessons, however, that I no longer need to learn.  White privilege is one of them.

Believe me, I know all I need to know about white privilege.  I can recognize it in all of its forms.  I can even recognize it when it masquerades as something else.  I can recognize it even when it does not recognize itself.

Continue reading

Tamir Rice’s Death Was Not the Result of “The Perfect Storm”

tamir-riceToday we learned that the police officer who killed Tamir Rice will not be indicted for his murder. When explaining the decision not to indict, Cuyahoga County prosecutor Tim McGinty said,

“Simply put, given this perfect storm of human error, mistakes and miscommunications by all involved that day, the evidence did not indicate criminal conduct by police.”

So…the Perfect Storm caused Tamir’s demise, eh? I’ve been sitting with that, and here’s the conclusion I’ve reached: Continue reading

In Response to the Maple Mountain Drill Team…

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Dear Editor,

Recently the drill team at Maple Mountain High School in Spanish Fork put on a display of racism and white privilege that would make the Washington “Redskins” proud.  I am an enrolled member of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe in South Dakota and we do not appreciate the exploitation of our culture by ignorant non-Indians.  The Maple Mountain drill team not only dressed themselves offensively, but dared to mark up their faces in caricature of our traditional dancing.  I assume they attempted to translate their drill team routine into something that might remotely resemble the spiritual expression that the hoop dance is for Native Americans, and they only succeeded in proving that racism is alive and well in Utah.

Continue reading

Be Supportive or Be Quiet!

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I fell asleep last night in front of the television (a common occurrence with me and even more so since my recent carpal tunnel surgery).  I woke up to the sound of my cell phone vibrating and beeping and pinging with notifications from Twitter, Facebook, etc.  Hesitantly and (a little) fearfully, I began to read the notifications.

As I read, my eyes filled with tears.  The physical pain in my hand was swept away by the intense emotional pain I felt as I read how the Church I love has decided that the children of our LGBTQIA sisters and brothers cannot “receive a name and a blessing” and cannot be “baptized and confirmed, ordained, or recommended for missionary service” unless they renounce and disavow their parents and receive permission from the First Presidency.

I cannot imagine having to explain to my child why he or she cannot be baptized.  I cannot imagine as a teenager being told that I would have to disown my parents or disavow our family in order to be accepted in my church.  I cannot imagine the pain or the anguish that so many of our sisters and brothers who want to continue to be part of the LDS Church are feeling.

All I can do is open my arms and my heart and let my sisters and brothers know that they are loved and that they are wanted.  I can acknowledge that this new policy is a vile and violent act and that no part of it is worthy of being adopted by a church that includes the name of Jesus Christ in its name.  I can mourn with my brothers and sisters and I can bear their burdens.  I can let them cry, talk, scream, or all three.

What I do not need to do is to detract from their pain by drawing any sort of comparisons with any pain I am feeling or I have felt or with situations that I or others have experienced.  Their pain is not a game.  It is not a competition.  I will not make them feel better by making someone else feel worse.

I simply need to step up and be there for them and with them.

I invite each of you to do the same.  If you cannot, I invite you to be quiet.

Yes, Your Halloween Costume is Offensive. Every day. In every way.

There is an orange background with a black spooky tree on top of a hill with pumpkins hanging from the tree limbs. 3 bats are pictured flying around. The text reads HALLOWEEN

IT HAPPENS EVERY YEAR. 

Despite any preemptive posts and attempts to address the issue and to avoid the discussions, there are always questions and justifications about what constitutes an appropriate Halloween costume.

The questions and justifications range from statements such as “[m]y child is really into the culture” to “[w]e are honoring the culture” to ”[m]y child has learning, developmental, or behavioral issues and really, really wants to wear this costume” to “I have _____________ (insert appropriate oppressed group) friends and they do not think it is a problem or find it offensive” to “I/we don’t mean to be offensive.” Continue reading