If I see any user on any of my many social media services tell another user to kill themselves — even if it’s not geared towards anyone specific, and it’s one of those vague ‘if you do/like ______, kill yourself’ posts — I unfollow them, I block them, and I report them for harassment.
I wish I could “donotlink” this but tumblr won’t let me change URLs (here is a donotlink link to the article in question) and I don’t want to build attention to that article (nothing against the author, I’m sure they mean well, it’s just that it’s not very accurate). Okay, let’s break this down. Most of the things in here are language nuances that bother me, plus the fact that a large majority of this article seem repeating “this is awful” over and over without much political and historical context. Speaking of which:
”[…] nightmare that has lasted 2 complete years […]”, inaccurate. This particular series may have been 2 years, but it gives no context as to what’s happening or why. The civil war in Burma between ethnic groups— pretty much all of them— and the government has existed since about independence in 1948. (yes, quite literally the longest in the world), though certain armed rebellions started around the early 1960s. By about the early 1980s most politically leaning armed groups had withered away, though ethnic ones still existed. Up to a couple of years ago the main armed group were the Karen, who also happen to be one of the largest Burmese refugee population in other places. There have been notes of small bands of Rohingya militia to protect themselves and their refugee bases as well, but I doubt how well they’re armed to begin with. There’s also other armed groups fighting the Tatmadaw (Myanmar government army). Here’s a list of ethnic groups that are armed and fighting. Now. as for political context: the reason why all of this exists is that after independence the British largely left power to a small ethnic group (Bamar) who insisted on a Bamar supremacist nation. General Aung San (yes like, the father of Aung San Suu Kyi, who’s pretty much sold out but that’s another story) wanted a unified state that gave equal power among the different ethnic groups and had all represented; the Bamar supremacists didn’t, so they assassinated him. (The anniversary of his death was yesterday, we call it martyrs’ day).
The Rohingya aren’t targeted for being Muslims. They’re targeted for being/ethnically linked to subcontinental Indian populations (Pakistani, Indian, Bangladeshi). We’re going to call them desis, though in Burma they use a different word. I’m not going to use it, because it’s a slur. So. Desis. A large majority of these desis, yes, happen to be Muslim, but not all are; there’s Hindus and Sikhs as well. (Don’t believe me? This is Buddhists targeted for looking the same) There were desis in the region for a long time, yes, especially the Rohingya, but during colonialism the British imported loads of desis to fill cheap labour for them. After they left they managed to retain the property they had been working on, much to the anger of the Bamar, so Burmese (largely Bamar) aggression towards desis has been noted since at least uh, 1930? For that reason. That was specifically about British hiring practices, 200 were murdered and dumped into a river. Then in 1938 anti-British sentiment was framed as anti-desi (to avoid a response from the British) and they were attacked (oh look at desis being blamed for things we have no control over!!), couple more fights I’m going to skip, then when the Japanese came the Bamar originally sided with them because they were promised freedom from the British and the Rohingya were massacred, raped, tortured. Many of them fled, especially to present day Bangladesh, and the Burmese have never let this damn thing go. After independence Burmese were like, oh, sent the Rohingya to East Pakistan (Bangladesh), the Rohingya were like, uhhh we’re not leaving out homes are you kidding us we’ve been living here for so long, the Bengali (not that then) were like, uhhh we kinda got our own problems here please don’t get us involved. [Source] Oh and, this is why the Rohingya are particularly targeted. Bamar love going “well they went back home so all these others should too” or they love saying “see there’s a population of Rohingya in Bangladesh it’s obvious that’s where they’re from” completely ignoring why there’s a small population there to begin with. SMH.
I’m going to skip the bits about the Burmese Muslim League and move on to Ne Win. he came to power in 1962, just went up and took all the businesses that desis and Chinese had and straight up just gave them to Bamar. Like, especially in cities you have buildings with the store downstairs and the living quarters upstairs? Just took the business. The point was to cut off income so they’d just starve or whatever and leave. Worked some, but not really. Oh! By the way, I should note, esp re: the Burmese Muslim League: yes all of this affected desis, but I’m not going to lie and pretend that Hindus didn’t try to throw Muslims under the bus by going “nope now us just Muslims”. Awful. Sucks to be them tho, because they look just the same, and angry poor rioting Bamar don’t care. So yeah, there was another riot in 1997 in Mandalay! And 2001 ones in Taungoo. Then 2012/13/24 ones that we know.
What’s the point of me giving you a long and extensive history I’m not even sure you’ve read? To show it hasn’t been new. Furthermore there’s reasons behind the timing of every one. Generally some sort of election, or some issues with the economy, or what have you because the government is awful, and so said government starts ish to get people distracted. Especially this last one in Mandalay, I spoke to my father a few days ago in Burma and he said look, the elections are coming up and they’re desperate and need to rally people so they go and start things and blame it on us so they can “call out their atrocities” for votes. That’s what it is. Speaking of which:
”[…] especially when the state government seems to have chosen to side with the oppressors?” Moot point. Like I said, the government’s the one who starts them, frames people, writes articles and circulates news (it’s easy when you have power like that over the press. LOL). The main ethnic group on Rakhine (Arakan in english) are the, uh, Rakhine. Who have been fighting with the government, who’re desperate and tired and it makes it easy for the Burmese to go okay look we won’t fight you, there’s these people instead who’re at fault for the economy! (Lies). Like I said, they’re a large population and there’s votes to rally. I’m not going to say the Rakhine are blameless for their attacks against the Rohingya by any means. They aren’t. But it’s inaccurate to completely ignore that the government was the one who starts it all (and therefore has no reason to not ~choose their side~).
I also don’t appreciate their use of pictures of grieving and vulnerable Rohingya. These types of media usages of people already given no autonomy over themselves is extremely disrespectful. See this and this.
"displacement of around 200,000 Rohingyas", not contradicting it, I know the number is high, but I’d like a source for that.
"There are over 1 million Rohingyas who have been residing in Burma", okay, this one? No one really knows. Estimates are between 800,000 and 1.5 million, but the government refuses to do a count of the Rohingya in census because they brand them ~illegal~. Oh! Since we’re talking about history, here’s one on Rohingya in Burma history. (That also explains race and religion issues in Burma!) Also here’s a, uh, 2013 article on the “present day” issues then? Still pretty accurate.
”[…] implying illegal immigration from Bangladesh,” no, the government, literally says they’re “illegal immigrants. Aung San Suu Kyi has said a couple of times she thinks so as well, likely so, whoa, to rally votes! Which is why I can’t respect her.
"The Burmese Government looked down upon the direction of the UN and refused to carry out an independent investigation. Further, to cover up for the act, they conducted a shoddy investigation by private persons which presented a false report that did not speak of any massacre and the guilty along with the perpetrators walked away scot-free." People say this like they’re surprised. We’ve had a civil war since independence! We’ve had dictator after dictator in power! Literally nearly all the records are like this! This isn’t exclusive to just this situation and just the Rohingya. This is their basic form of governing. Take bad records. Because they don’t care. Drive out humanitarian organizations when natural disasters strike. Or when the army attacks the ethnic groups. Of course they presented a false report and let them walk away, they organized these attacks and fanned them themselves! Why on earth would they force the Rakhine to “pay for consequences”? It would make them, you know, not want to do it again which would make it difficult down the road when the government needs them to repeat it.
"The riots and killing that are happening in Burma in the name of ethnic cleansing are nothing but a glaring example of genocide. It is probably time for the international community to take serious action to save lives of fellow humans.” Yes, yes they are. But this article was literally solely about the Rohingya, when there’s more desis in Burma, when there’s more ethnic groups in Burma that have been enduring similar conditions for just about as long that were not represented. Honestly, I’m very confused why the media has chosen to focus on the Rohingya as if they’re all that’s wrong with Burma, as if that’s the only ethnic cleansing there when the issue is so much better. I’m all for, for example, acknowledging how different groups are affected (like Rohingya women), but it honestly does not make sense how people can say “fellow humans” but leave out a large majority of the country (like the Karen, a lot of who are also refugees. There’s a large group literally in the city I’m in). I just. Why? All this does is divide us further when we have the same causes. The government already does this. Why do international organizations and journalists claiming to try and make things better also do this to us?
That’s a rhetorical question. Mainstream news serves the purposes of larger powers and these issues are making a lot of money for corporations settling into Burma. Governmental stealing of land from indigenous groups to give to other companies to build oil/gas pipelines, dams and factories stuff (like, here’s stuff in Rakhine, and look at a an Indian company scrapping a project because the Burmese government couldn’t force Rohingya to move in time, you can be sure that made the government angry). If you don’t cover that, then it doesn’t get addressed, if it doesn’t it created further animosity between like, the groups getting coverage and those who don’t, which makes it easier to attack the Rohingya and other similar groups of people. It’s a very well thought-out cycle, actually. But I’m done here.
“I am the androgyne
I am the living mind you fail to describe
in your dead language
the lost noun, the verb surviving
only in the infinitive
the letters of my name are written under the lids
of the newborn child”—Adrienne Rich (via fernsandmoss)
“Those people who assume that translators have the power to interpret for them are reluctant to see this skill as worth paying for, and when the same people talk about books they have read that were originally written in other languages, one can be sure that they will mention the author’s name, not the name of the translator without whom they would not have been able to read the book at all.”—Bassnett, S. (2011) Reflections on Translation, Bristol: Multilingual Matters.
Remember that time you chained yourself to a tree in college to prevent “the man” from cutting it down? Contrary to what you tell yourself now (something about being pulled into young activist drama?), you may have been acting rationally.
People who are more sensitive to the ideas of fairness and equity are driven by logic, not emotion, according to a recent University of Chicago study published in the Journal of Neuroscience.
Wow. This science supports my idea to attack racism through introducing cognitive skills training programs into schools.
In the workplace, I’ve seen people this kind of logic taken too far, making people less quick to collaborate and compromise. Making people seem a bit overly emotional. I guess that’s the difference between social justice and the work place, though. People fighting for social justice are fighting for other people. People in the work place are often fighting for themselves.
“Do not tell everyone your story. You will only end up feeling more rejected. People cannot give you what you long for in your heart. The more you expect from people’s response to your experience of abandonment, the more you will feel exposed to ridicule.”—Henri J. M. Nouwen (via artistsuffer)
Wheyclessiastes 3:1 For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under swolehalla: a time to squat and a time to bench, a time to cut and a time to bulk, a time for carbs and a time for whey, a time to be swole and a time to be shamed
“When the Net absorbs a medium, it re-creates that medium in its own image. It not only dissolves the medium’s physical form; it injects the medium’s form with hyperlinks, breaks up the content into searchable chunks, and surrounds the content with the content of all the other media it has absorbed. All these changes in the form of the content also change the way we use, experience, and even understand the content.”—Carr, N. (2010) The Shallows, London: Atlantic.
I was lucky enough, during the two cab rides we took in New York, to sit shotgun next to the driver. It was the first time I had been in a cab that drove like that since İstanbul, hurtling down the side of an unlit mountain after dark at 100kmh+ from Koç down into Sarıyer proper. When the New York cabbie narrowly missed hitting another car, and I gasped a little and scrabbled at the ceiling for an overhead handle that wasn’t there, he laughed at me. It was reasonable for him to do so, and I didn’t feel bad — he’d driven that car every day, and who knows, maybe he still does. The second cab driver was a Sikh. I don’t remember his name, but I remember it was after dark, and I remember how he started talking to me after I looked up at the buildings growing like monuments around the cab and let slip a whispered sübhânallah.
I think it was at that moment, when I accidentally expressed my naïve wonder at the city around us, that he knew I wasn’t from around there. I remember how, as we sat still during the evening rush, he showed me an app on his phone that other cab drivers used to report traffic delays, and how proud he was that he contributed to the network, and that it worked well for him and his passengers. I remember how he talked fondly to me about his stint down south, and how one of his daughters — he smiled so wide when he talked about his daughters — had graduated from my university and gone on to study medicine in Dominica. Maşallah. And all the while, he was just driving, driving, slipping past cars and cyclists and people like our cab was the only thing moving in an endless sea of stuff, and this is why I have fallen in love with cities. By the time he dropped us off in front of Rockefeller Plaza, the counter had been off for several blocks, and even now, eight months later, I still wonder about him sometimes, him and his family and how the cities we live in shape all of us for better or for worse, and how some are drawn irresistibly towards them and how others drift away.
To see whether predator noises would affect plants, two University of Missouri researchers exposed one set of plants to a recording of caterpillars eating leaves, and kept another set of plants in silence. Later, when caterpillars fed on the plants, the set that had been exposed to the eating noises produced more of a caterpillar-repelling chemical.
Evidently, the chomping noises primed the plant to produce the deterrent. “So when the attack finally happens, it’s kaboom,” said Heidi Appel, a chemical ecologist and an author of the study. The chemical comes “faster and often in greater amounts.”
Plants exposed to other vibrations, like the sound of wind or different insects, did not produce more of the chemical, suggesting they could tell the difference between predator noises and atmospheric ones. The researchers published their work in the journal Oecologia.
and I discussed this briefly when railing (equally briefly) on a certain breed of vegangelical assertion wrt sentience of the things you/we eat.
plants react to being eaten - your move, vegans!
well. that puts a spin on eating uncooked veggies, now don’t it? just imagine your salad screaming at you as you unfeelingly tear through all its vesicles with your cruel, cruel, teeth…it’s ethical because you can’t hear it!