Posts Tagged ‘racism’

You May Say That I’m A Dreamer…

September 6, 2017

 

Many years ago, I had a dream. I would take a child, most likely a little girl who had been abandoned by her birth mother and placed on the steps of an orphanage, and raise her with all the love and advantages I could possibly offer. That dream became a reality in 2001 when we brought our daughter home from China, where she had spent the first 13 months of her life in a welfare center near Nanchang, in the Jiangxi Provence of China.

She was beautiful, and even at a year old, she was verbal, pointing at animals and foods and saying their names in her native tongue. She was fiercely loyal, crying when her caregiver from the orphanage left her and mourning her departure throughout our time in Nanchang. Our pediatrician assured us that her inconsolable outbursts, despite the discontent of the other hotel guests showed that she was able to bond and that she would in time, bond with us as well.(She did.) She told us that children who are able to thrive in the worst of conditions are innately fighters, able to overcome the obstacles that appear in daily life. That these kids tend to have exceptional grit and rigor. She hit the nail on the head.

Throughout her life, our child has been a fighter. When faced with challenges, she says “bring it.” When faced with adversity, she confronts it, sometimes with tears, but ultimately with strength and resilience. She adds value to our lives in a way I could never express, but even more importantly, she adds value to her community, through hard work and service to others, and will no doubt contribute to society as an adult.

Today, as I read that our president wants to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) my heart breaks. I remember sitting in that dingy room in John F. Kennedy airport in New York, holding my squirming and crying baby after a grueling 20-hour flight to her new home, listening to the cacophony of languages around us as we waited to be allowed to bring our immigrant child into this country. A few months later, the government issued a ruling that children adopted by American families during a specified period of time would be granted automatic citizenship. Our daughter was issued an American passport and no longer needed to use her Chinese issued papers and green card for identification. There is no official record of her birth.

She has lived the American dream; one where she has access to a loving family, a safe home, abundant food and clean water, a top tier education and the opportunity to be the best version of herself possible. Other than the fact that her parents are Americans, how does she really differ from the “dreamers’, some of whom may have been in that room with us on that very day at JFK when we brought her home? How does she differ from those who share that same desire to achieve, to rise up above their humble beginnings and fulfill their greatest potential? How bland of a country would America be, without our rich tapestry of cultures that weave together a society filled with bountiful flavors, styles, music, and customs?

Yet with the stroke of a pen, our president can take away the life these people dreamed of when they came to America. He can order nearly 800,000 young people back to their former homelands. Many of these people are living productive lives, whether they are working in our kitchens, picking our food, serving in our military, or tending to our health. These are the dreamers.

You might say that I too am a dreamer. I dream of a world where people are treated with respect and dignity and granted the opportunity to contribute to society in a way that is uniquely theirs. I dream of a world where we are judged solely by our actions and not by our race or religion. And I wake up to the realization that my child, had there been a very slight twist of fate affecting her parentage, could now be facing deportation back to the country that shunned her in the first place. And that is a nightmare.

Photo: Glasshouse Images

Check us out at indigojonesnyc on instagram.

Want to see what we have been pinning? Take a look at our Pinterest page!

Tweet along on Twitter.

To keep up with the latest, show us some “like” by liking our Facebook page

Check out our sister site Indigo Jones Eats

SaveSave

Advertisements

Cultural References in Fashion: Reverent or Racist?

May 4, 2015

 

08EveningDressRalphLaurenFall2011

Dress by Ralph Lauren photographed by Platon for the Metropolitan Museum of Art

 

Different cultures have long provided inspiration to designers. Whether it is jewelry indiginous to an African tribe, patterns influenced by American Indians, or that certain “je ne sais quoi”of French style, designers often borrow ideas from the world at large.
Recently, there seems to be a barrage of scrutiny placed on every sartorial choice and its social acceptability. Where a designer might set out to pay homage to the beauty of a cultural icon, inevitably, it ends in a public apology for offending said culture.
Have we gone too far? Has society become so politically correct, that we can no longer reference elements of traditional dress with out being considered racist? Recent examples of this backlash include Karl Lagerfeld’s Chanel collection which included Native American headdresses, and Victoria’s Secret’s war bonnet and lingerie runway look, for which both companies issued apologies. Katy Perry’s performance in giesha garb also garned severe criticism.

DT5083

Ming Dynasty vase photographed by Platon for the Metropolitan Museum of Art

 

Tonight, the fashion world will decend on the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City for the annual Met Ball, celebrating the opening of the latest Costume Institute’s exhibition. This year, the exhibition is entitled ” China Through the Looking Glass,” and explores how haute couture and avant garde fashion has been influenced by China. In a collaboration between the Costume Institute and The Department of Asian art, the installation will juxtapose fashion with Chinese costumes, art,porcelains,painting and film.

04 Evening Dress Roberto Cavalli Fall 2005

Dress by Roberto Cavalli photographed by Platon for the Metropolitan Museum of Art

 

Typically, the theme for the festivities are reflected in the attire of the attendees, all of whom are personally vetted by Vogue’s editrix, Anna Wintour. It will be interesting to see how the fashion flock interpret the Chinese theme without stepping on anyone’s cultural toes.

Wearing a dress made of traditional Chinese silk jacquard could be percieved as a good choice, while wearing chop sticks in your hair ala Suzy Wong; not so much. It will be interesting to see how celebrities and their stylists interpret the theme. We will be watching closely to see who nails it, and who makes the ultimate faux pas.

Stay tuned tomorrow when we rehash the best, the worst and the most offensive looks on the Met Ball red carpet.

China Through the Looking Glass opens to the public on May 7, 2015.

Check us out at indigojonesnyc on instagram.

Want to see what we have been pinning? Take a look at our Pinterest page!

Tweet along on Twitter.

Take a peek at our Tumblr.

To keep up with the latest, show us some “like” by liking our Facebook page

Check out our new site Indigo Jones Eats

Wrongs and Rights

June 28, 2013

299204_10151557500506138_254812290_n

This has been a bad week, if you are closed minded, bigoted or exclusionary.

Americans are “just saying no” to racism, inequality and prejudice. In case you have been in a coma, or live under a rock, here is a rundown of this week’s big events:

Paula Deen admitted to using the “N-word” and having a penchant for “plantation style” service (code for black men in tuxedoes and white gloves serving white supremacists their dinners). In a series of apologies posted to YouTube, Deen asked for forgiveness again, and again and again. Her crocodile tears and drag queen makeup that stayed intact for the entire ordeal did not succeed in having the desired effect. Her subsequent appearance on the Today Show where she used biblical references to justify her situation, and claimed to be confused as to what is acceptable vocabulary after hearing her black kitchen staff use the “N-word” among themselves, was like rubbing salt in the country’s wounds. Her endorsement deals began dropping like flies, and at this moment The Food Network, Novo Nordisk, Smithfield Pork, Target, Wal-Mart, and Caesar’s have all bid adieu to the Southern belle. In the meantime, sales of Deen’s latest book have sky rocketed, her cruises have sold out, and lines of fat white folks are lining up outside her restaurants in a show of solidarity.

Big business is standing up and saying that racism of any kind is unacceptable and making an example of Deen by hitting her in her pocket book.
No word yet from the butter industry, on the demise of their iconic queen.

The Supreme Court voted to end the Defense of Marriage act, now allowing all married couples, regardless of their sexual orientation, the same rights. Just typing that sentence feels ridiculous. Did we really need to go to the Supreme Court to know that denying benefits to some, based on whom they love is just plain wrong?

While there is still much work to be done on the equality front, this is a giant step in the right direction. Cue the Gay Pride parade, set to happen this weekend in New York.

The Supreme Court also tackled voting issues and ruled that the act to protect minority-voting rights was unconstitutional and unnecessary.  Given the previous stories, maybe they need to rethink that one. One small step backwards, perhaps?

Democratic Senator Wendy Davis became an overnight media sensation when she successfully filibustered a vote that would close abortion clinics across the state of Texas, and ban abortion after 20 weeks. People applauded her accomplishment, and women all over the country want to walk in her shoes: pink Mizuna Wave Riders to be exact.

Republicans are in an uproar, and are trying to reschedule the vote, with the hopes of passing the bill, denying women in Texas the right to choose.

American seems to be at a threshold, similar to that of the mid 1950’s when equal rights were at the forefront. This week, it seems that many people are waking up to the fact that injustices based on race, religion, or sexual preferences are not acceptable. We can only hope that the other part of our country will soon follow suit.

Like us on Facebook, follow us on TwitterTumblr and Pinterest too!


%d bloggers like this: