Friday, April 6, 2007

x is for xenophobia or she changes everything she touches & everything she touches changes

so newt is apologizing in spanish and i just want to ask. . .why bother? if assimilation is the high and mighty god why bother?

when khubz was a few weeks old i camped out in iowa for about 10 days. this was in october of last year and it was the run up to the election. iowa politics are always fun but the ads on tv are relentless!

i especially remember an ad attacking a dem incumbent, boswell. apparently boswell had been smuggling mexicans into the country illegally so they all could smoke up some meth, have a gay sexcapade marathon (after which they all try to destroy the family by trying to marry each other) and then, once the meth high wore off, bomb some public buildings in the name of allah. i am not kidding.

i felt like it was a visual aid for an ISMs training and this was illustrating the point that "isms work in concert with each other. the systems of oppression support one another and have impact on individuals that are difficult to parse out. you can't be working with a survivor living in poverty and neatly separate out 'this harm was caused by sexism. that harm was caused by classism' etc."

and i looked at my little child looking so bright (in pictures i now see she was splotchy and her head was still a bit misshapen. it was a 52 hour labor, remember) like all the right pieces of destiny and possibility. And I felt like she was the other side of those systems of oppression working in concert. Her being was their opposite.

she is just a little baby. and, frankly, not here to answer for those harms or fix them. but their very existence questions her very existence. (um, except the meth part. i don't see that one as inextricably linked, inshallah)

an arab/latina girl child (and white, too, bringing down the master race) come into the world to two women makes her a very, very queer of one sort or another. she collides with all these systems by her very being. and i felt so sad at the time (frightened of all the world) because i feared these systems would chew her up before she could spot them and that they would be her undoing.

in fact she has come into the world despite them
and that is a triumph
right now she is oblivious to them
but her mommies are not
& that is why mother is a verb.
when she learns the word 'no'
she will also learn who to say 'no' to (us & others too)
her existence cannot be undone
the world has already changed

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