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"I recieved the message of anglocentrism, of white supremacy, and I internalized it.  As a writer, as a human being, I have had to accept that reality and deal with its effect on me..."


"Does the inability to empathize start with an inhibition or a reluctance to see? Do racism and prejudice instruct those inhibitions?"

"The mirrors of society don't mirror society"

"...tension can be productive in so far as it causes motion, and that we watch and document that motion"


In reading these two pieces the quotes above really stuck out to me as seperate words and connected ideas.  Cliff writes about how she internalized the ideas of white supremacy and describes Jamaica as "a place halfway between Africa an England"  Her words reminded me of some of the things I noticed in Kenya this summer.  Although Kenya is part of Africa (unlike Jamaica) the impact of colonialism is still strong.  Little girls, as young as 5, would tell me that they thoughts white people were smarter, more beautiful, or just plain better.  Although we hardly ever saw white people, all the advertisements at places like shopping malls had white models ("The mirrors of society don't mirror society").  I hesistate to write about my experience in Kenya because often I feel people expect to hear about the problems, and me talking about it may only reeforce assumptions.  But there are problems in every part of the world, including the US.  Just before I posted this I went on twitter and saw this: "Michelle's out here, trying to make up for VH1's entire reality show lineup" (refering to Michlle Obama's speech at the Democratic National Convention). The way subordinated ethnic/racial groups are presented in American media is often dispicable. However, rather than focus on the negative completely, I do want to say I agree with Smith's words about the tension we feel being productive.  Cliff, as a writer, displays that when she takes the tension she feels in her own life, "deals with its effects on [her], and then writes about it.