What We're Reading: March 2021
As members of an organization that believes in the power of conversation to promote systemic change, the team here at The Lark often circulates, among ourselves, anecdotes and emails about materials we've read lately that have moved us. In accordance with our commitment to the amplification of necessary voices that reflect the world we live in, this monthly post compiles some of the media we have been tuned in to, to share with our wider community. We know these are only a sampling of all the insightful work out there, so if we missed anything that had an impact on you this month, we encourage you to share in the comments section!
In light of the ongoing rise in anti-Asian hate crimes in the United States, most recently with the shootings in Atlanta, The Lark held a gathering space for folks to reflect, listen, and support one another. We've compiled a list of resources for further reading, organizations that work to address anti-Asian violence, and actions you can take. It's a living document, and if you have any that you wish to share, please reach out to The Lark's Communications Manager, Jennifer Haley (firstname.lastname@example.org). We also encourage folks to check out CAATA's statement, signed by CAATA theaters and AAPI theater leaders and artists, and to read more about ways you can support Asian communities.
By Caroline Framke
"Whether or not the people cracking wise about Asians realize it, they’re helping to dehumanize an entire population for no reason other than their own instant gratification. And frankly, granting the benefit of the doubt of “whether they realize it or not” is probably far too generous considering the ample evidence of how many do, in fact, realize exactly what they’re doing."
In this Instagram video, Sonya Renee Taylor talks about how the label of 'cancel culture' has been conflated with accountability, and how the tendency to condemn "canceling" someone can sometimes be a function of white fragility. We also recommend checking out her TEDx Talk, in which Taylor suggests "calling on" as another framework in addition to "calling out" and "calling in." Calling on is a means of naming harm, and putting the onus of taking responsibility for transformation back on the person who has done harm.
"Americans tend to be particularly bad at talking about racism toward Asian Americans, with those outside the community leaning on outdated myths like the idea of the “model minority” to argue that Asian Americans don’t face any particular prejudice and have nothing to worry about. "
By Daniel James Belnavis
"There is an extreme lack of intersectionality within the gatekeepers of Hamilton which drastically juxtaposes the highly intersectional identities of the Black and Brown actors they employ and continue to get rich off of."
By Viet Thanh Nguyen
"Even if America as we know it survives the coronavirus, it can hardly emerge unscathed. If the illusion of invincibility is shredded for any patient who survives a near-fatal experience, then what might die after Covid-19 is the myth that we are the best country on earth, a belief common even among the poor, the marginal, the precariat, who must believe in their own Americanness if in nothing else."