Category Archives: Power Structure

Why My Voice Should Count For More Than One Vote

Black and white hand drawn comic with 12 men and one woman sitting around a table. All of the men are looking at the woman. Text reads, "Well, you're the only one who thinks we're a sexist organisation."

This comic has appeared in my newsfeed several times in the last week. It captures what many of us feel when we are the minority in any given situation. It captures the overwhelming feeling of loneliness when faced with the contrast of your difference. It captures why I don’t want a seat at the table.

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Ready for Revelation – 1 PoV by 1 PoC

I originally wrote this post for Ordain Women. It explains one of the reasons I support women’s ordination. This was originally posted on OrdainWomen.org on February 1, 2016. 

The story of black women within the Mormon church has often been ignored. Instead, we focus on those whose oppressions are easily categorized without intersections. The racial oppression of black men through their exclusion of the Priesthood and the pious suffering of white women as they endured the sacrifices and the sexism of polygamy take center stage. At best, black women are a distant afterthought.

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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

How Far We’ve Come and How Far We Still Have to Go

We are so pleased to share this guest post by one of our very favorite people ever: Dr. Fatimah Salleh! Dr. Salleh was born in Brooklyn, NY. She is the oldest of seven children.

Dr. Salleh first learned to love the scriptures from her grandmother, Madeline Riley. It was Nana’s Bible stories that captured Dr. Salleh’s attention.

Dr. Salleh received her Bachelor of Arts in History at Utah State University. She earned her Masters in Newspaper Journalism at Syracuse University and her PhD at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill in Mass Communication.Dr. Salleh is currently in her senior year at Duke University pursuing a Master’s of Divinity .

Dr. Salleh is the mother of four children. She has been married to her husband, Eric, for 14 years.

fatimah

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An Additional Narrative : Discussion of Chapters 1 and 2

Welcome to our first discussion of the book “Doers of the Word”: African-American Women Speakers and Writers in the North (1830-1880) by Carla L. Peterson. If you are confused about this Black History Month segment, please see our post from last week that outlines the book discussion concept.Doers of the word

As Carla L. Peterson explains her purpose and begins to explore the lives of women highlighted throughout the book, I am most struck by the realization that before this book, I knew mostly names of black women connected to southern slavery. This is the narrative of black history. It ends and begins with slavery. When I think of northern abolitionists I think of white people but mostly white women. Black women have been completely erased from the northern abolitionist narrative, which allows for the development of a narrative that views northern whites as the savior of enslaved southern blacks. This, of course, continues an ongoing hierarchy of indebtedness and development of the benevolent oppressor. I believe the very act of expanding our awareness of the diversity of experiences of black people in the 1800s breaks down the oppressive nature of our history and forces us to view the black experience as an individual experience. Our history is not a homogeneous monument to one specific type of oppression (slavery). Just as there is not one narrative of oppression to capture black experience today, there was not of the past either. 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.

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Forget the Seat at the Table

Cartoon drawing of a yellow oval conference table with eight grey business chairs positioned around the table.

In the last couple of years, there has been so much talk about how to get a seat at the table and what to do when you get there. People have been stomping and screaming for more seats and for those in power to make room.

BUT, you know what? I don’t want a seat at that table. Continue reading