Recently, someone told me about an exercise that a professor had his class do during seminary. The professor told the class to talk to someone within their social sphere who they knew but did not really have a relationship with apart from maybe a passing acquaintance. The students had to, before speaking with the person, write down their preconceived notions about the individual. After … Read More “What are you?”: Part III
Category: toufic el rassi
Individuals consistently label others in hopes that they will fit into preconceived constructed categories. The use of these categories helps us navigate the world around us, but these categories also craft differences between individuals. Rather than celebrating these differences, the categories serve, especially to those in power, as a means of severing communities and individuals, causing them to turn on one another out of … Read More “What are you?”: Part I
A few weeks ago, we read Toufic El Rassi’s Arab in America in my Multicultural American Literature course. El Rassi was gracious enough to Zoom in and speak with up about his work, and the conversation covered a myriad of topics from representation to Abrahamic religions. One of the things that stood out was our discussion of El Rassi’s experiences in class during the … Read More The Problem with Blind Patriotism!
Last post, I looked at the feeling of shame that incarcerated Japanese and Japanese Americans felt after the end of World War II. Today, I want to expand that conversation some by looking at the ways that Toufic El Rassi discusses the ways that feelings of unwarranted shame weighed down on him in Arab in America. In each text, it is not the oppressor … Read More The Unproportionable Distribution of Shame: Part II