Nearly seven years ago after an unprecedented earthquake devastated Haiti, famed evangelical Christian Pat Robertson believed it was God’s retribution. Referring to the Haitian Revolution, a 13-year-long war in which Haitians successfully fought the French for their independence, Robison declared the Haitians “got together and swore a pact to the devil,” promising to serve Satan if he would free them from the French. He continued, “You know, the Haitians revolted and got themselves free. But ever since, they have been cursed by one thing after the other.”
I guess the historic quake which claimed hundreds of thousands of lives and wreaked havoc on the already impoverished nation wasn’t enough for God, though, because this week Hurricane Matthew unleashed its 145-mile-per-hour winds and torrential rains on Haiti, “the poorest” country in the Western hemisphere. Since Monday, most of the 11 million residents have been without running water and power. Thousands of homes were leveled and preliminary numbers…
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EDIT: I did not hear of the news about the death of the 13-year-old Jain girl when I wrote this. I was on social media tolerating white supremacy and came across the below-mentioned vegan blog.
Sometimes I’m convinced that white vegans (not regular readers I follow too but those who reinforce white supremacy, like in Southern Africa, parts of which are my countries; those who would be in comments draining me further [they already do] if I shared my blog) just throw up anything they rote-learn or once-heard from intersectional vegans to appear pro-intersectional themselves (and other vegans lap it up).
Red flags can range from the word ‘intersectionalism’, to anything really. Take http://bit.ly/2dme7ev as an example, there are dualities everywhere culturally, and morality is often a reflex not a thought-out argument. Most people don’t even have cars or drive trains but yes most people don’t help animals in need or choose not to eat them, or even if they do, they don’t care if a litter [what’s the word for a pack of kittens again?] live or die. It is also true that many humans treat other animals less worse than they treat disabled humans. Simply, it seems easier to walk a dog or feed a cat, or to not eat animals or their food/ovulatings, than create access. I understand Black disabled friends’ anger over this, I do not have anger but
I do find it crap to have white vegans contrast disabled people to non-human animals, although ways in which we are disabled are as varied as there are species.
Critisizing Glover is not an endorsement of Metz’s argument here.
1. White vegans [or insert non-disabled group] would use a disabled concept, transfer it to any situation just coz. When the context they use it in has underlying disability justice issues, they cannot even imagine it does.
2. White vegans like to speak of Jains like they’re experts in Jainism or Jain themselves. There is a prohibition against disabled Jains from becoming monks [monks are allowed to live from charity, I’m not sure if the 2 are related] though a Digambara monk can wear glasses (you wouldn’t know what I’m talking about, a monk was speaking at congress naked [they’re not allowed clothes in that branch], but wearing glasses of course).
I’m not Jain but I’m myopic, so it’s chilled. And in case you don’t know, Jains have nonetheless been part of my culture for 1000s of years, and wrote my epics.
Either way, this illustrates what happens when one treats intersectionality like Kleenex. No reference here to what Kimberley Crenshaw said about intersectionality and kleenex though tbh white vegans may have misunderstood her, if they even know she spoke of that.
A late post after the event.
The misconception that satyagraha is Gandhian when it is, in fact, Buddhist and Ambedkar held a Mahad satyagraha 3 years before Gandhi did. Both sources I linked are problematic and misinformed, in ways but very valuable.
Statute books describe the Indians as belonging to the “aboriginal or semi-barbarous race of Asia” while as a matter of fact there is hardly one Indian in South Africa belonging to the aboriginal stock. Santhals of Assam will be as useless in South Africa as the natives of that country…” Racist and Anti-Adivasi Statements by Gandhi. Mumbai Sept 26, 1896.
World Farm Animals Day is a Gandhi memorial, it needs to be abolished (as do animal exploitation farms). Why, white people, why are there so many more things to abolish in the world, only thanks to you? Why are you hating on human animals and worshipping a dead immoral guy, just to hide the fact that you hate oppressed Indians, Indigenous and Black folks (sexually assaulted or exploited survivors and women)? It’s not fine just because other Gandhians hate them too, along with some known leaders. In this day and age, there is no misconception possible, like there was before, at least for some deceased movement leaders outside India. Dumping Gandhi does not mean appreciating Godse. White vegans probably don’t even know who Godse is.
Readers, if you’ve seen it yesterday or elsewhere, you may have already signed this petition. Otherwise, please consider signing and sharing!
Footnotes if you don’t want to click certain links:
The facebook photo linked has the text and context in comment, it is as follows:
I believe that caste has saved Hinduism from disintegration. But
like every other institution it has suffered from excrescences. I consider
the four divisions alone to be fundamental, natural and essential.
The innumerable subcastesare sometimes a convenience, often a
hindrance. The sooner there is fusion, the better….
One of my correspondents suggests that we should
abolish the caste [system] but adopt the class system of Europe –
meaning thereby, I suppose, that the idea of heredity in caste
should be rejected. I am inclined to think that the law of heredity
is an eternal law and any attempt to alter that law must lead us, as
it has before led [others], to utter confusion….
If Hindus believe, as they must believe, in reincarnation [and]
transmigration, they must know that Nature will, without any
possibility of mistake, adjust the balance by degrading a Brahmin, if
he misbehaves himself, by reincarnating him in a lower division,and
translating one who lives the life of a Brahmin in his present incarnation
to Brahminhood in his next.
-Young India, Vol. III, by M. K. Gandhi
Another quote h/t Thenmozhi Soundararajan
“The ideal bhangi of my conception would be a Brahmin par-excellence, possibly even excel him. It is possible to envisage-the existence of a bhangi without a
Brahmin. But without the former the latter could not be, It is the bhangi who enables society to live. A bhangi does for society what a mother does for her baby. A mother washes her baby of the dirt and insures his health. Even so the bhangi protects and safeguards the health of that entire community by maintaining sanitation for it. The Brahmin’s duty is to look after the sanitation of the soul, the bhangi’s that of the body of society. But there is a difference in practice ; the Brahmin generally does not live up to his duty, the bhangi does willy-nilly no doubt.
But that is not all. My ideal bhangi would know the quality of night-soil and urine. He would keep a close watch on these and give a timely warning to the individual concerned. Thus, he will give a timely notice of the results of his examination of the excreta. That presuppposes a
scientific knowledge of the requirements of his profession. He would likewise be an authority on the subject of disposal of night-soil in small villages as well as big cities and his advice and guidance in the matter would be sought for and freely given to society. It goes without saying that he would have the usual learning necessary for reaching the
standard here laid down for his profession. Such an ideal bhangi while deriving his livelihood from his occupation, would approach it only as a sacred duty. In other words he would not dream of amassing wealth out of it. He would consider himself responsible for the proper removal and
disposal of all the dirt and night-soil within the area which he serves and regard the maintenance of healthy and sanitary condition within the same as the summum bonum of his existence.”
Harijan : Nov. 28, 1936.
On the celibate sexual predator and other misogyny, excluding the fat-shaming of his wife (no sources at hand):
“During his years in South Africa, he once responded to a young man’s sexual harassment of two of Gandhi’s female followers by forcibly cutting the girls’ hair short to make sure they didn’t invite any sexual attention. He operated under the assumption that men couldn’t control their basic predatory impulses while simultaneously asserting that women were responsible for—and completely at the mercy of—these impulses. His views on female sexuality were similarly deplorable; according to Rita Banerji, writing in Sex and Power, Gandhi viewed menstruation as the “manifestation of the distortion of a woman’s soul by her sexuality.” He also believed the use of contraceptives was the sign of whoredom.
He confronted this inability to control male libido head-on when he vowed celibacy (without discussing it with his wife) back in India, and using women—including some underage girls, like his grand-niece—to test his sexual patience. He’d sleep naked next to them [naked] in bed without touching them, making sure he didn’t get aroused; these women were props to coax him into celibacy.”
A more comprehensive post follows.
Following South African universities’ shutdowns and this subsequent ridic #OPENUCT protest. Here is for if you missed the behind the scenes:
h/t Kanyi Disability Justice. And I need to transcribe this text, sorry.
Those brown friends that went to this are like many Mauritians I know. Edit: Don’t take my word for it, here’s some fresh anti-black racism in a major newspaper.
The Interspecies and Intersectional Justice conference would’ve been the 2nd best conference I’ve seen or heard, or at least complementary to The Vegan Praxis of Black Lives Matter. I’m still watching the IIJC, 1 vid per week-end.
[Some talks not to be missed: Dr. A. Breeze Harper’s, who mentioned and had organised The VPBLM, and among others I linked below (besides the problematic one), Aph Ko’s talk:]
BUT there is so much wrong with the presentation that followed Aph’s powerful talk!
Watching Zarna Joshi of Women of Color Speak Out and her erasure of indigenous cultures and her ally theatre, I’ve been on a rollercoaster of feeling nauseated, annoyed, disgusted, etc. In her introduction (at least she seemed honest therein, not counting crucial omissions such as she’s a Brahmin [the most caste-privileged]). One part of her talk is coming up in the 1st link that follows. 38m40s “Pythagoras theorem comes from ancient indigenous wisdom of India, it is in the Hindu scriptures and was there for a lot longer than Europeans had ever heard of mathematics…”
Not only is Hinduism not indigenous, but it has been destroying indigenous cultures and languages, and continues to do so. Shakahara (is a Sanskrit term for vegetarianism, it stands for plant-eaters*) was also co-option.
Co-option of indigenous beliefs and her tone and lack of humility when corrected by a Xicano/Latino/Aztec at the end. Joshi had been, in her talk, speaking of Native people of respective land masses as one entity. She implies Hinduism, the world’s 3rd largest religion and a feudal system that excludes indigenous (and Dalit), is indigenous when it’s an estate and part of at least two others in India.
She doesn’t, and in any case is the worst possible person to, speak about land grabs and absurd violence against Adivasis and Dalits [Content warning for link: brutal rape and violence I could not even read through].
Did Joshi learn the name of any of the indigenous peoples of the lands she has been talking about, like the Niger Delta or Congo? Or does she know there are over 3000 ethnic groups with distinct cultures in Africa. Joshi merely says when corrected in Q&A, that there are many languages, and customs in different parts, and that Africa is not a country, as if we don’t know. She lives on Turtle island.
This is like Arundhati Roy calling herself black in ELLE magazine, except for the latter, black folks could tell it’s BS. Brahmins and Banias act like they have no lanes when it’s convenient to them, as do other savarnas. Some have been calling Roy a Brahmin (she doesn’t need to be from a Hindu family to be one, she is in any case Savarna).
Brahmins and forward castes (savarna) are to India what white and white-passing people are to South Africa (the minority that controls institutions, are visible in the media etc.), the “divinely-appointed”, the holders of knowledge (they co-opted from Dalits and indigenous peoples – whose land they also stole and keep stealing); they experience some racism in the Global North/West, but surely like the Japanese woman who asked a question, regardless of skin colour (there is admiration or objectification of their respective cultures). Joshi keeps her patronising Brahminical tone and detracts from the latter question, explains her coined term “colonial hangover”. Assuming that it was metaphorically from the spiking of drinks or drinking water of the colonised people, this is NOT a hangover unless you grew up a rather privileged British Brahmin whose experience is in no way comparable to even a British person of a lower caste or a desi of another religion. I think her following suggestion of “colonial education among your communities” is a subconscious slip of her tongue. Then, never did she ask the woman if she had answered her question. We know more about Japanese exploitation of South Korean women, than we know about ongoing rapes of Adivasi and Dalit-Bahujan women by Brahminical men, or threats (CW for link: writer meena kandasamy getting a threat wishing for her gang rape pornography, because she tweeted about attending a beef-eating festival), and apathy by Savarna women who practice something akin to white feminism – Braminist feminism.
Browsing 3 short un-numbered pages of Joshi’s male guru, Swami Mukundananda’s Spiritual Dialectics:
1. I came across casteist spin that help young and naive(?) Hindus think there is no casteism, in other words, the Indian version of “I don’t see race”. However, she is someone navigating the world as Zarna [Brahmin name].
But of course one outgrows this naivety, even in a diaspora where Hindu traditions remain very 1752. Anyone in social justice is likely to have realised the oppressiveness, on Turtle Island e.g., one would realise most organisers are upper caste whether or not one reads BGD (see Gee’s statement in interview linked); and if one is oppressed, one is probably more aware from early on. Cf white kids and black kids but in casteism, there is no parallel with colourism among black people, although there is also colourism for women.
Zarna and I are the same age (idk her but she likes to talk about her past activism, and mentions her age then) and from diasporas, she, from the 1st world and I from the developing. I don’t know any anti-casteist movement here in Southern Africa, but I know some UK and USian groups. For someone who boasts about her excellent British education to have researched Adivasis to erase them [to the point of not using the word ‘Adivasi’ at all (lest someone looks it up and figures her out?), to call Hindus indigenous] then claim a right to talk about African indigenous peoples and First Nations, like Zarna did, is absurd.
3. He uses ableist discourse that uses disabled people to make a point.
That account he gives of 3 Blind men each touching different parts of an elephant’s body once and arguing over their conclusions, is not how Blind people operate, unless this was a game being played by a sighted person where Blind folks were used as animals would be, and they are only allowed to touch one part for a second and guess. They wouldn’t draw a conclusion based on that. The elephant of course stands there like a non-interactive object, neither warm nor breathing. The animals in the reader’s imagination are the Blind, it could’ve been a story that uses 3 monkeys to make the same point.
But let’s not dis her Guru, whom she only praised in that presentation (and whom she also writes books for). Also note that the term ‘shakahari’ (she firmly says to the audience “you’re not a vegan, you’re a shakahari (plant-eater)”) is considered outdated by someone in Bangalore, who had not heard it since high school, or it is simply not used outside of Hindu religious discourse.
Krishna’s sexual harassment is not only ok but revered up to this day, worldwide (in a framework that says women can’t climb trees in this case?).
Joshi’s talk with Q&A was 3 and 4 times longer than lauren Ornelas or Brenda Sanders respectively. As if we needed over an hour of erasing indigenous peoples with a patronising tone and spreading misconceptions along with information that is also important but not her own research. Her 1st world Brahminical discourse is not the only one, she erased indenture and erased complexities such as French colonies forcing Indians after indenture, to register babies with Christian first names. Only one’s middle name could be Indian until they changed the legislation in Reunion island.
This is a Brahmin woman spreading misinformation to an audience who is already misinformed, about India – a country where the Dadri lynching was perpetrated by upper castes and where tribal people in Jharkhand’s Latehar live in fear and are more severely affected by drought, after the lynching of 2 young boys. Nowhere did she mention the lynchings, this is about the shakaharis she is so proud of!
Here is Joshi, claiming to be intersectional, pretending she and other Hindus are indigenous which is like Zionists claiming they are Mizrahim**, Palestinian or both***. How could that amazing conference end on the such a low note, and of all the moving and well-researched and well-thought-out talks there were, hers is the only one scheduled to go live? This is likely Photon Factory’s fault, not Christopher’s. I googled – Joshi was presumably never asked in a public way to not co-opt (assuming I could give permission to share this [nope, do not share with whites and Brahminists], it puts me at risk but I’ll share this with a few organisers), and her talk was dispersing of misinformation, which has been viewed live and later by many hundreds.
If anyone reading this knows Adivasis or Dalits who want to write about this, they may by all means use this, without crediting me.
PS. It’s taking me a while to get the timestamps because Joshi’s Braminical tone is frankly triggering, more timestamps coming up in comments below.
. Adivasi and Dalit activists doing tireless advocacy or awareness work in India and diasporas. My focus is toward South India, as are my examples, being Dravidian myself. Every womanist, feminist or social justice activist, among Indians or diasporics I know, knows how damaging casteism is. But more know they’ll get away with it. Here is an Indian journalist thinking she’ll get away with being anti-indigenous Soni Sori, pictured, was attacked with a corrosive substance and she was fighting for her life at the time. Rupa was dragged on social media by Dalit activists but otherwise, she can get away with it – Rupa still seems to be a journalist, thus caste privilege works like white privilege.
. Gee Semmalar for telling me Joshi is a Brahmin name, and for clarifying that Brahminism/Vedic religion unlike Aryan religion came after Buddhism.
*Jayaprakash Satyamurthy for the link and for telling me more about ‘shakahari’.
**My Mizrahi friend, billie rain.
***Laura Schleifer for the link.
I see a few gluten free recipes here by One Arab Vegan. I may have eaten mathrooba with soy mince only, only here we call everything that looks like this chutney or I may have eaten it in Capetown, I ate a Muslim friend’s mother’s vegan cooking many times without knowing the names of the dishes. Here, often we don’t know what region it’s from. Our Mauritian biryani is defo Muslim Indians/Pakistanis. There’s vermicelli basbousa too – it’s what I’d get from neighbours for Eid, before I went vegan and gluten-free, sugar-free, etc. During Ramadan, Bhai Dado often brought me the bestest naan ever while he’d have bought some for his family before Iftaar.
Ramadan had been a time to look forward to when I was young, stranger to the faith, without fasting, while I could still eat gluten and sugar. I guess it was mostly for the naan, they made their special one during Ramadan. I have never tried making naan.
Illness or allergies became a polite way to refuse food. Nothing consequential in my case (outside my culture) but see the post on Muslims with eating disorders.
There are recommendations at the bottom of One Arab Vegan’s page on fasting for Ramadan, staying hydrated, and fighting social stigma.
If you are not Muslim and clueless on etiquette.