A lens of -isms

lens of isms

via Luke Sugie – Engineering Social Justice: Why not use a lens of -isms?

A typical tactic I’ve seen deployed against those who bring up issues of race, sex, class, ability, etc. is for the speaker to be accused of “always seeing racism everywhere” or “promoting the feminist/anti-racist/anti-classist agenda” and therefore unable to provide an “objective” critique of something.

This particular tactic has been used against posts on my blog more times than I can count.

Frankly, we should be able to move beyond this stage into the stage where we evaluate the claims people make — all people, feminist, anti-racist or not — by the evidence used to support them, rather than seeking to destroy credibility of the people that proclaim them.

Evaluating claims does not seem to be part of the process (although I deeply wish that it was) for folks who enjoy deploying the “you see it everywhere” trope.

Community forum series

Daily Barometer Community forum series isms at Oregon State University

I was in Waldo Hall about a month ago when I came upon a larger version of this poster. I’m a fan of inverted black and white posters as they remind me of my graphic design days in Chicago.

The poster was advertising a community forum to discuss “isms in media.” I moved a little closer and read the list of “-isms.” Sexism, racism, ableism and classism. Okay, those are all forms of oppression. What? Why was alcoholism on this list? It just did not make sense to me as it did not fit with the rest of the items on the poster. And where oh where was heterosexism? A list of institutionalized oppressions and a disease. I do not understand why alcoholism was included…?

The Daily Barometer, Oregon State University’s student newspaper, has had yet another year where the paper prints something racist, sexist, homophobic, etc. and then attempts to do a better job (usually folks of color start appearing in the photographs on the front page during Winter term). It’s a cycle and the pattern has occurred since I moved to Corvallis in 2004 and became a member of the OSU community. Year after year a student editorial board and their lackluster faculty advisor bring about copious amounts of harm to the community, apologize and then attempt to rectify what happened in the fall. I can understand that student editorial board members come and go, but the faculty advisor remains…

Continue reading Community forum series