Sunday, February 23, 2014

"Calling out/In"

Hi everyone, I completely forgot to introduce myself in the first blog that I posted. I am currently a junior at the University of Texas at Austin, an Asian American Studies Major and gender queer. My ethnicity is Khmer-American and my family emigrated from Cambodia as refugees in 1992. Well enough about me, I am here to talk about queer issues and the community that I share with so many people in the United States.

The link above is something that my mentor and teacher (Shane) posted in hir’s Facebook wall and I grew to liking the article very much. The article itself talks about the act of “calling someone out”, and how recently the author has been trying to change it to “calling in” (or create a new tool that we can use to go against the system, because “our work does not have room for binary thinking”). The old process in which the author speaks of “calling someone out” is currently used as a way to tell someone that they are saying/doing something hurtful to a certain community that is disenfranchised. This method the author points out can be counterproductive (does not foster what we really need in our community) in which the person feels attacked and does not necessarily grow from the experience. This community that has been built is meant to sustain and nourish everyone who is trying to go against the system. The process of “calling someone out” does not allow for communication of why someone who is in that community is making those mistakes. However, the author does come up with a solution called “calling in”, this method is meant to allow for people in the community to be welcoming of someone who makes a mistake and that humans are not perfect. The author also points out that the process of “calling in” really brings to light that as minorities we live in a system in which we are supposed to follow rules and hegemonic racial formations. However, as we are unlearning the system that oppresses us, we must also allow for ourselves and others to make mistakes because it’s a relearning process.

When I read this article in the beginning, I questioned whether or not I could follow this new model. The act of calling someone out was so commonly used in my circle of friends who fight their everyday oppression's. When I first encountered someone calling me out, it always felt uneasy and I felt ashamed for something that I did. It didn't allow for dialogue and shut me out of important conversations that I needed to grow. From personal experience if someone did a calling in I would have felt more comfortable to make mistakes, but also unlearn the hegemonic system that I grew up in. I believe this would have established a faster relearning process of how things can be and should be in the future. This would have taken the blame off of me and re-centered it around passion, compassion and fruitful understanding. I would have been able to come to terms with the new world in which I am now seeking and probably will never find, but I do know that this new method could definitely open new doors for how we treat the same people who feel our everyday oppression's. To show them a new door in which they can start their own journey of understanding. 

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