Adventures in Cultural Competence

Originally a blog for my 'bewildering' experiences as an international, it has since evolved into... something else. Though not entirely. The point is, when I say 'stupid foreigner', I do sometimes mean myself.

For the curious: home was Philippines for most of my life; then sixth form at a British school in Italy; then college in the grand ole US of A (East Coast). Currently I go back and forth between Rhode Island and Manila.

'Cultural Competence' is a reference to a mandate that my school issued to many of its organisations, which probably tells you something about my school.

kenway asked: do you have any morel inks about what's happening in mexico? im part of a club at my school where we focus on international affairs and problems and id like to present something about it but i feel like i dont know enough yet

lenmccoy:

yes absolutely

What is happening in Mexico? 

  • How it began

On September 26, students our age (~19-22) were attacked by the local police and gangs in Iguala, Guerrero in Mexico. They were studying to become teachers at Escuela Normal Rural de Ayotzinapa. I have read many articles about how the students were in the town to ask for money to help pay tuition, to protest discrimination of rural school teachers, to travel to commemorate another student massacre of 1986, etc., so I am unsure of what is what here. But the students were on the buses and police blocked their way to get the students out. When they did, they opened fire on the students at once. Some students threw rocks back in self-defense, but the students were unarmed. Six people died and 17 were injured. Three students died, a taxi driver, a woman in a taxi, and a football player that was just 15 years old (x). The injured were taken away by an ambulance, local journalists came, etc but it was not over as more men came in plain clothes and rifles (x). These men are apart of Guerreros Unidos and work for the Beltran Leyva cartel. The students were forced into police vans and have since disappeared. 43 students are missing.

Some of the students escaped by hiding in nearby houses. One terrified student tried running away, but he was found later yet with his eyes gouged out and his face completely sliced away to the bone. A YOUNG MAN only 19 years old suffered through this. (As a warning, be aware that there are photos online and that while searching deep through articles and tags, they are present.) A survivor of the attack says this is “symbol of the cartel assassins” (x).

22 local policemen have been detained for suspicion of working with Guerreros Unidos. This is how authorities were then tipped on what has happened to some students. (x) (x)

  • The Mass Graves

~ More than a week later, on Saturday, authorities found mass graves nearby that has 28 burned remains with the tips (x). We fear that this may be some of the students. We won’t have DNA analysis to confirm anything for another two weeks, if not longer.

image

MORE mass graves were found yesterday, but it is still unknown about how many remains these graves have (x). 

Keep in mind that the CITY MAYOR AND HIS WIFE are on the RUN. No one knows where they are. 

We still don’t understand the reason behind this violence. Why kidnap and kill these young men? There are several explanations online, but how do you explain something like this? One story is that the mayer’s wife was giving a speech that day and did not want to be disrupted by the students. Keep in mind that the wife is the head of the city’s family welfare department and also has family connections to cartels (x). There are other alternatives online, but I don’t know. I just don’t. 

  • You cannot be silent about what is happening in Mexico

You can’t. You just can’t. Social media has a big impact and this story has to spread. In the last 24 hours I have seen an incredible boost in coverage about Ayotzinapa.

On Wednesday, thousands protested the disappearance of the students in Mexico.

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Amounting pressure is being put on the Mexican government to find the missing students. There is also added outrage and demand ‘to punish politicians linked to organized crime’. It is no shock when considering the police corruption and brutality in Mexico. As Mexico bleeds, we all bleed. 

Americans cannot ignore the violence of drug cartels and place it as just a problem in Mexico. There is too much innocent bloodshed. And because BILLIONS AND BILLIONS of dollars are collected in the United States by Mexican drug cartels, it is a shared responsibility (x). CHILDREN ARE DYING. Do not skim over these articles, do not just read them and do nothing, you have to act and spread the information. Do not be silent. Please, please, please help and pay attention. 

ARTICLES

TUMBLR TEXT POSTS (these have better information than I can explain)

If there any corrections that need to be included, please just add them in.

Dropbox Dudes Tried to Kick Children Off a Soccer Field

b8l:

Tech bros will stop at nothing to get what they perceive to be theirs. In the latest example of unchecked hubris, we witness as a squad of adults in Dropbox jerseys argue with and cuss at children over a San Francisco soccer field.

The argument started over a Mission District field, which Mission Local says has been popular with “mainly Spanish-speaking soccer players” for decades. The location has traditionally been used for pick-up games. But Dropbox-uniformed players who used an app to rent the field insisted it was their turn to play.

Of course, the kids already playing on the field weren’t psyched about a group of presumably well-paid men taking the space away from them. When a 20-year-old intervened on behalf of the kids, the adults became petulant. As transcribed by Uptown Almanac:

Guy Already Playing on Field: You don’t understand— this field has never been booked. How long have you been in the neighborhood?

Bro: Over a year!

GAPOF: Oh, over a year?

Off Camera Guy in Dropbox Tee-Shirt: Who gives a shit? Who cares about the neighborhood?

this is a real problem in san francisco. and this kind of behavior is common. its like a parody of dystopic scifi levels of ridiculous. the techies are taking over the city and they are all big whiny babies with unimaginable entitlement issues and a deep hatred for all the poor and PoC from there. also its not just about bros, the women are just as terrible.

(Source: clarawebbwillcutoffyourhead, via sugahwaatah)

floricanto-canela:

COLUMBUS DAY
JIMMY DURHAM
In school I was taught the names Columbus, Cortez, and Pizzaro and A dozen other filthy murderers. A bloodline all the way to General Miles, Daniel Boone and General Eisenhower. No one mentioned the names Of even a few of the victims. But don’t you remember Chaske, whose spine Was crushed so quickly by Mr. Pizzaro’s boot? What words did he cry into the dust? What was the familiar name Of that young girl who danced so gracefully That everyone in the village sang with her— Before Cortez’ sword hacked off her arms As she protested the burning of her sweetheart? That young man’s name was Many Deeds, And he had been a leader of a band of fighters Called the Redstick Hummingbirds, who slowed The march of Cortez’ army with only a few Spears and stones which now lay still In the mountains and remember. Greenrock Woman was the name Of that old lady who walked right up And spat in Columbus’ face. We Must remember that, and remember Laughing Otter the Taino who tried to stop Columbus and who was taken away as a slave. We never saw him again. In school I learned of heroic discoveries Made by liars and crooks. The courage Of millions of sweet and true people Was not commemorated. Let us then declare a holiday For ourselves, and make a parade that begins With Columbus’ victims and continues Even to our grandchildren who will be named In their honor. Because isn’t it true that even the summer Grass here in this land whispers those names, And every creek has accepted the responsibility Of singing those names? And nothing can stop The wind from howling those names around The corners of the school. Why else would the birds sing So much sweeter here than in other lands?

Jimmie Durham, a Wolf Clan Cherokee, was born in Arkansas. He received a B.F.A. from the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Geneva, Switzerland in 1973, where he studied until returning to the U.S. for his work with the American Indian Movement (AIM). He was the founder member and executive director of the International Indian Treaty Council. His poetry has appeared in the Minnesota Review, Parnassus, Ikon and others. In New York, he was executive director of the Foundation of the Community of Artists and editor of Art & Artists newspaper. He is a sculptor, performance artist and poet, who has lived in Cuernavaca, Mexico and currently resides in Europe.

floricanto-canela:

COLUMBUS DAY

JIMMY DURHAM

In school I was taught the names
Columbus, Cortez, and Pizzaro and
A dozen other filthy murderers.
A bloodline all the way to General Miles,
Daniel Boone and General Eisenhower.

No one mentioned the names
Of even a few of the victims.
But don’t you remember Chaske, whose spine
Was crushed so quickly by Mr. Pizzaro’s boot?
What words did he cry into the dust?

What was the familiar name
Of that young girl who danced so gracefully
That everyone in the village sang with her—
Before Cortez’ sword hacked off her arms
As she protested the burning of her sweetheart?

That young man’s name was Many Deeds,
And he had been a leader of a band of fighters
Called the Redstick Hummingbirds, who slowed
The march of Cortez’ army with only a few
Spears and stones which now lay still
In the mountains and remember.

Greenrock Woman was the name
Of that old lady who walked right up
And spat in Columbus’ face. We
Must remember that, and remember
Laughing Otter the Taino who tried to stop
Columbus and who was taken away as a slave.
We never saw him again.

In school I learned of heroic discoveries
Made by liars and crooks. The courage
Of millions of sweet and true people
Was not commemorated.

Let us then declare a holiday
For ourselves, and make a parade that begins
With Columbus’ victims and continues
Even to our grandchildren who will be named
In their honor.

Because isn’t it true that even the summer
Grass here in this land whispers those names,
And every creek has accepted the responsibility
Of singing those names? And nothing can stop
The wind from howling those names around
The corners of the school.

Why else would the birds sing
So much sweeter here than in other lands?

Jimmie Durham, a Wolf Clan Cherokee, was born in Arkansas. He received a B.F.A. from the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Geneva, Switzerland in 1973, where he studied until returning to the U.S. for his work with the American Indian Movement (AIM). He was the founder member and executive director of the International Indian Treaty Council. His poetry has appeared in the Minnesota Review, Parnassus, Ikon and others. In New York, he was executive director of the Foundation of the Community of Artists and editor of Art & Artists newspaper. He is a sculptor, performance artist and poet, who has lived in Cuernavaca, Mexico and currently resides in Europe.

(via susurrations)

kinolorber:

The Playlist’s Best Documentaries of 2014 So Far: Göran Hugo Olsson’s “Concerning Violence”

Director Göran Hugo Olsson certainly has a way with archival footage. In 2011 he released the excellent “The Black Power Mixtape 1967-1975,” which used footage shot by Swedish journalists about the black power movement, to present a fascinating new window into a charged time in American history. This time his focus is on colonial Africa, and Olsson’s ambitions are matched by his skill, with the film once again using vintage footage, but with a much headier thesis. Divided into chapters, and using quotes from Frantz Fanon's “The Wretched of the Earth" as the sole context, “Concerning Violence” essentially posits that any group of dispossessed people will eventually rise up to balance the scales. And the documentary takes viewers on a rich, fascinating trip through history, pointing out numerous examples in countries like Angola, Mozambique, Liberia and Burkina Faso, where groups and even political leaders, led an active resistance against Western forces. In an era where the line between documentaries and reality TV is beginning to blur, as personalities become their own subjects, “Concerning Violence” is a refreshing change. Olsson’s film is admirably literate, and trusts the audience to go with him into corners of the past that, if not forgotten by history, are certainly not commonly discussed. And they should be, as the message of “Concerning Violence” is that oppression is just one stop in a cycle that will see those underfoot rise up again. [Full Review]

(via susurrations)

theuppitynegras:

dynastylnoire:

lisawithabee:

spacedmeanssomethingdifferentnow:

sunfell:

darkjez:

djphatrick:

A 13-Year-Old’s Slavery Analogy Raises Some Uncomfortable Truths in School
In a bold comparative analysis of TheNarrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, Jada Williams, a 13-year old eighth grader at School #3 in Rochester, New York, asserted that in her experience, today’s education system is a modern-day version of slavery. According to the Fredrick Douglass Foundation of New York, the schools’ teachers and administrators were so offended by Williams’ essay that they began a campaign of harassment—kicking her out of class and trying to suspend her—that ultimately forced her parents to withdraw her from the school. In her essay, which was written for a contest, Williams reflected on what Douglass heard his slave master, Mr. Auld, telling his wife after catching her teaching Douglass how to read. “If you teach that nigger (speaking of myself) how to read, there will be no keeping him,” Auld says. “It will forever unfit him to be a slave. He would at once become unmanageable, and of no value to his master.”
Williams wrote that overcrowded, poorly managed classrooms prevent real learning from happening and thus produces the same results as Mr. Auld’s outright ban. She wrote that her white teachers—the vast majority of Rochester students are black and Hispanic, but very few teachers are people of color—are in a “position of power to dictate what I can, cannot, and will learn, only desiring that I may get bored because of the inconsistency and the mismanagement of the classroom.”
Read more: Education - GOOD
truth.

I’m so freaking proud of this child.

“The conservative Frederick Douglass Foundation gave Williams a special award, saying that her essay ‘actually demonstrates that she understood the autobiography.’ They have also reached out to the school for an explanation of the 13-year-old’s treatment.”


She spoke truth to power.

Good job helping make her argument more solid by kicking her out of class and forcing her parents to take her out of school.

theuppitynegras:

dynastylnoire:

lisawithabee:

spacedmeanssomethingdifferentnow:

sunfell:

darkjez:

djphatrick:

A 13-Year-Old’s Slavery Analogy Raises Some Uncomfortable Truths in School

In a bold comparative analysis of TheNarrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, Jada Williams, a 13-year old eighth grader at School #3 in Rochester, New York, asserted that in her experience, today’s education system is a modern-day version of slavery. According to the Fredrick Douglass Foundation of New York, the schools’ teachers and administrators were so offended by Williams’ essay that they began a campaign of harassmentkicking her out of class and trying to suspend her—that ultimately forced her parents to withdraw her from the school.

In her essay, which was written for a contest, Williams reflected on what Douglass heard his slave master, Mr. Auld, telling his wife after catching her teaching Douglass how to read. “If you teach that nigger (speaking of myself) how to read, there will be no keeping him,” Auld says. “It will forever unfit him to be a slave. He would at once become unmanageable, and of no value to his master.”

Williams wrote that overcrowded, poorly managed classrooms prevent real learning from happening and thus produces the same results as Mr. Auld’s outright ban. She wrote that her white teachers—the vast majority of Rochester students are black and Hispanic, but very few teachers are people of color—are in a “position of power to dictate what I can, cannot, and will learn, only desiring that I may get bored because of the inconsistency and the mismanagement of the classroom.”

Read more: Education - GOOD

truth.

I’m so freaking proud of this child.

“The conservative Frederick Douglass Foundation gave Williams a special award, saying that her essay ‘actually demonstrates that she understood the autobiography.’ They have also reached out to the school for an explanation of the 13-year-old’s treatment.”

She spoke truth to power.

Good job helping make her argument more solid by kicking her out of class and forcing her parents to take her out of school.

(Source: daughtersofdig, via susurrations)

Six mistakes mankind keeps making century after century:
Believing that personal gain is made by crushing others;
Worrying about things that cannot be changed or corrected;
Insisting that a thing is impossible because we cannot accomplish it;
Refusing to set aside trivial preferences;
Neglecting development and refinement of the mind;
Attempting to compel others to believe and live as we do.

Cicero, 106 BC - 43 BC (via lazyyogi)

(via iconuk01)