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Saturday, April 28, 2007


Do I Scare You?

Though I haven't really visited the blog much, PostSecret is generally pretty cool. This recent post (above), followed by the following messages, certainly gave me the opportunity to really examine the value of the site:
-----Email Message-----
Sent: Sunday, April 22, 2007 3:33 PM
Subject: Asians Scare Me

Don't worry, after VT, we have more reasons to be scared than you do.
-----End Message-----

-----Email Message-----
Sent: Monday, April 23, 2007 8:02 AM
Subject: PostSecret

I grew up being in fear that I was asian. Now after VT I too am more scared then ever. It's good to see that someone else feels the same way I do . . . That email message made me feel better about the situation we are in now.
-----End Message-----
When I first saw this, I was infuriated. I thought, "Great, so PostSecret is be a place for closet bigots to anonymously air their fear and ignorance?!" I thought about all the responses I could offer that would convey my put-off├Ęd-ness, about how I could submit my own, scathing message that would teach them that--

And then I took a breath.

And I knew that anger does not beget understanding; understanding begets understanding. And I realized that these people were putting on display, if anonymously, their weakness, their fear, their ignorance along side other displays of vulnerability: a photo of a depressed kid's cutting, an apology for a long-ago hurt, an admission of a still-hurting long-ago hurt...

To rail against ignorance is not to enlighten; it is rather to repel. The ignorance must first be accepted to be addressed.

At the bottom of it, what made me mad was the overarching blanket of "Asians" in association with the tragedy at Virginia Tech. When Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold took down a dozen students plus a teacher, were there people harbouring fears of "Whites" because of it? I doubt that PostSecret got any photos inscribed with "Trenchcoat-wearing, Disaffected white youths scare me," let alone, "Whites scare me."


Anonymous Alison said...

For a while, there was another e-mail posted: it admonished the creator/owner of PostSecret for contributing to racism (or something like that; the e-mail was only up for a short time, and I read it very quickly).

You make a good point here. And no, you don't scare me.

1:13 PM  
Blogger otter said...

Only racists scare me! (and they really do!) Some quote from somewhere..."the mind of the bigot is like the pupil of the eye...the more light you shed upon it, the more it contracts". I hope that's not true. I have always felt that racism is really a bit of self-loathing and dissatisfaction. To imply that a whole group of people is bad or good is to imply that we are all the same...that must be hard to live with, if you are a bigot.

6:40 PM  
Blogger Paida said...

Cool site - and your blog is cool too.

What a small world you know Shayna Cribbs! We are so happy to have her for our daughter Aida's teacher. We LOVE her. I had to tell her the next day at school @ the dorky photo of her I posted.

Nice to "meet" you.

9:16 PM  

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