你好 from cyberspace!
This week, Jay scuba dived the depths of Asian American TikTok to engage Andy and Tammy in a critique of gendered home-cooking videos. How far have we really come? We then get a bit more serious, with a discussion of the continuing Black Lives Matter protests in downtown Portland and lessons in coalition-building from the 1970s Combahee River Collective.
4:10 – TikTok Cooking
Jay plays several TikTok videos of young Asian Americans cooking their favorite dishes. The men seem to adopt a “Black” style of talking, while the women take on a more childlike “kawaii かわいい” tone. What does this say about the personae available to Asian Americans? Is there such a thing as “pan-Asian”—or even Korean, etc.—English? Also, a “Waysian” TikTok blows Andy’s mind.
34:50 – Portland Protests
The feds are still rioting in Portland, Oregon, spurring thousands of locals to fill the streets. The novelist Mitchell S. Jackson, a native of the city, recently described his skepticism about white anarchists in these protests. Contrast this with the big-tent perspective of Kent Ford, founder of Portland’s Black Panthers chapter. What makes a protester, or a protest, really about Black Lives Matter?
47:40 – Good Identity Politics
We’re all big fans of How We Get Free and other writing by and about the Combahee River Collective. How does this model of Black, queer, socialist feminism apply to our present movement moment? Can we forego an “oppression olympics” for more productive solidarity? Can “identity politics” be redeemed? Also, Tammy’s landline rings.
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