The line from A CHORUS LINE is resonating with The Fairy Princess today – “I knew it when I was in front”
Sheila says it. Shelia, for those who do not know the show is the ‘mature’ dancer in the show. She’s done the most shows, she has the most experience, but she sees the younger ones nipping on her heels. Shelia knows that time is the enemy of a dancer, but she is not going down without a fight.
But going to the back of the line and dancing behind the kids? When she has been in front for years?
Sheila has had it…officially!
The Fairy Princess is done, officially too, I’m going to make this short and sweet.
I understand “Activism”
Activism is looking at working conditions in the garment district and pressing for change in safety regulations.
Activism is sending children to school to combat segregation.
Activism is being sent to jail for 28 years because your country needs to be united.
Activism is volunteering at a soup kitchen, raising funds for HIV treatment for those in need, mentoring at an after school program, donating items to a Women’s Shelter, providing free legal help at a community center, entertaining the Troops, visiting the elderly, being a Candy Striper, running in a marathon, sending care packages – all of that is Activism. Some of it is individual and some of it is part of a larger organization, but it is all Activism. Endowing a scholarship is activism. Providing your talents at fundraisers is activism. Signing petitions is Activism. Being a “Big Brother” or a “Big Sister’ is activism.
Activism is not enabling yourself to ‘speak’ for an entire community just because you can turn on your computer.
Therefore The Fairy Princess is going to say this, just once:
YOU DO NOT SPEAK FOR ME.
I AM ASIAN AMERICAN, AND YOU DO NOT SPEAK FOR ME.
I realize that the Twittersphere could come for me. Oh sure, they will ‘bring the rain’ and call me all sorts of names because they disagree with me. They will say I’m a disgrace to my race, and then they will tell me that I should not even be allowed to comment on this because I am Hapa, and not ‘really Asian“.
They might pick on my hair or my weight, or my clothes. They might spam me. They might threaten my son. They might threaten my Husband (Which would be really stupid, he is a third degree Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do).
The Internet Coven is ruthless….Hmmm, I should stop giving them suggestions….
(By the way, all of that sounds totes mature, don’t it?) (Totes)
By the way, (btw for the kids), these things have all been said to The Fairy Princess before...in person.
You see, The Fairy Princess is a person, and we would all do much better if we would remember that behind Facebook Accounts and Twitter Accounts and Instagram Accounts, there are actual people.
We are, yes, a group that can be like-minded on some things, and it is a privilege to belong to the group that has the highest amount of education, the highest amount of disposable income, strong familial ties, etc. etc, etc…..
However constant ‘yelling’, flinging around words with -isms willy nilly, hurts us.
What it means is, when we REALLY need to be heard, when there is a horrible issue that must be dealt with swiftly, no one will listen.
The constant barrage of tweets and blogs and posts on social media will have worn down those who need to listen. Worn down those who would partner up with us and help us enact change. In political terms, we would be alienating ‘our base’ while ensuring that the ‘independents’ would not join us.
We have real issues in the Asian American community – Domestic Violence, Substance Abuse, few API Foster Families and a rising amount of API kids in Foster Care, and yes, Racism and Sexism to name just a few – all of which could be the focus of ‘Activism’. But will they? Or will all this static have cost us the platform on which we need to stand to be heard?
You will have made our voices, white noise . (Oh, the irony)
The Fairy Princess knows that this is only her opinion. She has no power to stop different organizations or individuals from expressing their beliefs. But she has the ability to say to those people, that they do not speak for her.
If The Fairy Princess wants you to know what she is thinking, she will write it down, herself.
Note: The Fairy Princess does not consider herself ‘an Activist’, although she does volunteer and raise money for charities and do all sorts of things that could fall under that label. The Fairy Princess is simply a person with a point of view who shares it. She does consider herself an ‘Advocate’ for Diversity, LGBT rights, Musical Theater as an art form, and for her child.