Monday, October 4, 2010

My Big Question

Today, while reading for a class, I found the articulation for the internal dilemma I have felt since beginning my graduate program. It is the question of power. There is a definite code of behavior and language used  among those in power. As an advocate for oppressed people and a woman of color have felt that I would need to learn this code and language in order to bring change. However, can I really do this? Can I change who I am in order to climb the ladder of power?

This quote rocked me this morning and brought more questions to mind:
One of the basic principles of the new racism is that when nonwhites or women manage to "win" on the basis of existing rules, then the rules must be changed (Chan & Wang, 1991, p. 63).

Am I trying to fight the system by "winning" with the rules that the people in power have already laid out for me? Is learning to fight power with power going to be a major waste of time, because the power rules change? Or should  I work on changing the rules of the game, before the powerful people do? Or are the rules in society going to be in place to keep some people on the bottom?

Do I need to become more fluent in the language of power even if it means changing who I am or do I stay me and fight to change what the language of power sounds like?

I don't have an answer yet...



  1. Is the New Racism supposed to be good or bad?

    I think neither changing the rules nor changing yourself is necessarily bad. I think a little of both should be done when God provides the opportunities and the grace to flex what your conscience allows (i.e. Apostle Peter and the Vision of Animals to Eat). I guess it sounds sort of cliche but I say it sincerely.

  2. Let's have coffee for 3 hours and talk about this one. Seriously. I ponder these things as well...

  3. kinda random, but who is msen? I would love to respond and it would be helpful to know the audience. :)

  4. Ah...I wondered!

    The "New Racism" is neither bad nor good...just new. In general, it is no longer overtly, "I hate you". It is more about who has the power in society. (See today's blog post) This new racism keeps people of color out of positions of power in a subtle way and with these "rules". That is where I am questioning, do I get Danny to tutor me in the ways of the white man or do I stay the sassy Latina female I am and change what society says is needed to be in a position of power.

    I am coming to agree it is a bit of both. However, I do feel that those in power want people like me to stay the way I am and never learn their language of power, because then I am will not threaten their power.

    I am more an more convinced that the person that I need to become most like is Jesus. He was shrewd in the way he challenged and called out power. Yet, he had time to invest in the individuals around him. Yes, there is a reason he is my God.