Sunday, December 6, 2015

Friday, December 4, 2015

Event: Holiday dinner with friendly neighborhood activists.

Today, 12/4/15, I attended an interesting event called the Indigenous Peoples' Dinner. The Rhode Island School of Design's Feminist Club was having a dinner and group event to discuss indigenous people and capitalism. The event was "A holiday dinner, hosted by your friendly neighborhood RISD activist clubs, to celebrate community involvement and to discuss colonialism and capitalism in the American holiday tradition."

It was interesting to go to this 95% female group. It was a diverse group of mostly women, with Asian, Caucasian and Hispanic women and a couple of guys from the college communities of Providence gather to discuss the current state of holiday traditions. It was an interesting experience for me feeling in the minority. I felt a little less strong perhaps. Unfortunately not many people participated, instead focusing on mingling with friends and eating the awesome free food.

I joined a small group sitting in a circle to discuss Capitalism and the pressure we feel in society to conform to the unhealthy status quo. We discussed SCWAAMP, and how one the Asian young women in our group has felt she had to choose between options like  "talking white" and being easy for causians to include her or "talk with a Chinese accent" and be cool but different and foreign. We live in a society that like during the early stages of suffrage, dismisses those that are different. Those not fitting into the SCWAAMP mix get to play second fiddle to those that do.

In our capitalist culture, we discussed those with privilege (SCWAAMP people) want to keep it that way. Many of our holidays have become filled with buying things, including Thanksgiving. The indigenous people that we came to the table with have been forgotten. We have sold out. The dominant class has gotten the best of us.

I thought this was a powerful image of what privilege can look like.

It was great to meet with a community of young feminists, especially women to discuss our views on the current state of our holidays, and the colonialism and capitalism the SCWAAMP people continue to push and we continue to buy. We have come to celebrate privilege!

Reflecting after the event, I did a little bit of research and came across a historic Sunrise Ceremony that the Native American community has event Thanksgiving morning on Alcatraz island in San Francisco. You can find a short video of the ceremony here. It is a celebration and coming together of Native Americans and an interesting tradition to see in contrast to the mainstream Thanksgiving celebration.

Today was a day to reflect on what I need to do this holiday season. I know I want to spend less time on shopping and more time talking about issues in our community.