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Another Halloween is past and you know what that means my POC friends.  Yup, we just did another round of muttering “that’s racist” over and over again to ourselves.

… and while I fear I might be (ok, am) a minority on this one (see what I did there?):  I don’t entirely get it.

Now ruling out the extremely obviously racist costumes like the buck toothed Asian (a la Mickey Rooney in Breakfast at Tiffany’s), Jim Crow era Black caricatures, or Islamic “terrorists,” which clearly are unacceptable, I don’t particularly agree with the uproar and activism over “ethnic” costumes.

When I say I don’t ‘get it.’  I mean that I don’t accept the rationale behind why the outcry is focused on the costumes themselves.  I don’t understand why the call is basically for White people NOT to do it.  Full Stop.

I mean why is it that we see costumes based on traditional dress racist?  The usual refrain is:  “we are a culture, not a costume.”  But if this is the case, would it not also be proper for Whites to decry costumes based on horned Vikings (which are historically inaccurate btw) or medieval knights?

Now the answer to my question is obvious: It’s not the same because of the disparity in power relations, and the vicious history of colonization that has imbued on to these images a different connotation.

I get that.

What I don’t get, is why this translates simply into:  Don’t wear that Whitey!  (more…)

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A few weeks back I asked Filipino youth to tell me what they liked and hated about their people.  During Kultura last Saturday, I did this again.  (more…)

Olivia with Juana and her husband Noli.

Yesterday Migrante-Ontario, the Independent Worker’s Association (IWA), and associated groups celebrated Juana Tejada’s successful fight to gain permanent residence status. Juana is the live-in caregiver (LCP) that was denied status twice after she was discovered to have terminal cancer and deemed a burden to the Canadian healthcare system. (more…)

A while back I went to a Filipino event at a large Toronto venue. It was an outdoor event and unfortunately it was raining, though luckily the venue had large open air tents to keep the people dry—but for some reason I smelled wet dog.

I was reminded of my youth when I was ashamed of being Filipino. (more…)

poster designed by Christine Mangosing

Hey Toronto Peeps! Come out this Saturday (23 Aug) for Kultura, and see how Filipino youth put on a festival! This is not your Tita and Tito’s Fiesta, this is ours.

I’ll be exhibiting here, and I have an photo installation that will be ongoing throughout the afternoon. Plus check out what local professional Filipino artists are putting together.

spoken word/music performances in the park, arts & crafts vendors, Pinoy street food what?! fishballs, banana-Q anyone!? play readings by Filipino playwrights & actors, shorts films by Filipino filmmakers. Represent!

All happening at Bellevue Square Park on Augusta & Dennison, and at KPC 167 Augusta Avenue

Just a little gentle prodding and Canadians are tripping over with racist glee. All someone had to do is use the right politically correct code words for racism in the 21st century.

Canadians are too polite to tell the gooks to go home, that just wouldn’t seem right. (more…)