Author Topic: Reproductive decolonization  (Read 1994 times)


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Re: Reproductive decolonization
« on: January 27, 2021, 11:01:53 pm »

I'm A First-Generation Indian American Woman. I Married Into A Family Of Trump Supporters.
 I watched as my brother-in-law, a usually mild-mannered man, picked a gift and then shook it at the camera in our direction, a taunting glint in his eye. I looked closer. Whoever had wrapped it had meticulously taped a $2020 bill to the top, with Donald Trump’s smug face glowering on it. I grimaced. I didn’t look at the then-president’s face or listen to his voice if I could help it anymore.

My sister-in-law was next. She unwrapped her gift and held it up for all of us to see. It was a red football jersey with “Kaepernick” printed in big white letters across the back. The three of us on our side of the screen reacted with excitement before realizing that what we thought were cheers from the rest of the family were, in fact, jeers. They laughed with derision as they passed the jersey around and heckled the Black football player who had dared to peacefully protest police brutality and racism. Only one of my in-laws claimed the jersey and wore it with pride. Something sunk inside of me.
It suddenly became harder to breathe. I knew that tossing a jersey around was not the same as a lynching, but those actions stemmed from a similar sinister place. It was “good” people who lynched those boys. It was “respectable” people who stood by and watched as it happened. I thought of the violent history of this country and the rhetoric that has inspired these kinds of unforgivable actions and how alive those beliefs still are today. I thought of how quickly thoughts and feelings and “jokes” can evolve into the unthinkable ― a lynching. An insurrection.

For several years now, some of Eric’s family have brought “Make America Great Again” paraphernalia, Trump bobbleheads and the like, to the annual gift exchange, hoping to get under the skins of their left-wing family members. It’s a move similar to their spreading of coronavirus misinformation online, calling us self-righteous for insisting on the efficacy of masks before we gathered for his grandfather’s funeral and intentionally sending GIFs of Trump to the family message thread.

And yet you still married Eric.

Eric’s family was a chance to experience something different ― a family that lived within minutes of one another, spent their weekends grilling at each other’s houses, who seemingly could not get enough of each other. I imagined my children would grow up with cousins who were like siblings and that I would have in-laws who were both friends and family. There would be no lack of people to turn to and be supported by.

Above all, you imagined your children could be "whiter" than you are. Just admit it.

We put each other in boxes and labeled one another “good” or “bad,” “racist” or “liberal snowflake” for what we posted on social media, what jokes we found funny, what we chose or chose not to respond to. We tried to have conversations about issues of race, class and gender both in person and from afar, but those conversations often devolved on both sides. My blood began to simmer. Then Ahmaud Arbery was killed. And Breonna Taylor. And George Floyd. I knew that some of them believed the ahistorical, racially charged rhetoric: “But he had a criminal record.” “Why was he running there anyway?” “Blue lives matter.” “Black Lives Matter are the ones who are violent.” My blood began to boil.

How could they love me, a brown-skinned woman, if they believed lies that placed whiteness and the power of empire above all else? Above me?

Good question. But neither do you love yourself, or else you would not have voluntarily joined such a family.

Would they love me only if I stayed quiet and looked the other way from their racism and support of institutions that have been hurting Black and Brown people since they began?

If you loved yourself, you would not want to be loved by racists in the first place.

And then on Christmas morning, I boiled over. My brother-in-law, who had once marveled at my father’s migration story, waved the Trump dollar at our faces, and my two middle fingers raised themselves at the camera in protest. I walked away. I don’t know if anyone noticed the gesture in the hubbub of paper tearing and children chattering. You shouldn’t have done that, the immigrant daughter in me immediately said with remorse. They’re elders. You’re supposed to respect your family. But another voice roared, Respect?! Respect the colonizers? Respect the ideology of whiteness being spewed through that screen? No.

So will you divorce Eric, since he will not disown his family?

The thing is, I still want my in-laws to love me and I, them.

I will take that as a "No", and I am not surprised. You are genetic trash just like your in-laws.
« Last Edit: March 18, 2021, 11:10:51 pm by 90sRetroFan »
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