1. White terrorists are called “gunmen.” What does that even mean? A person with a gun? Wouldn’t that be, like, everyone in the US? Other terrorists are called, like, “terrorists.”
2. White terrorists are “troubled loners.” Other terrorists are always suspected of being part of a global plot, even when they are obviously troubled loners.
3. Doing a study on the danger of white terrorists at the Department of Homeland Security will get you sidelined by angry white Congressmen. Doing studies on other kinds of terrorists is a guaranteed promotion.
4. The family of a white terrorist is interviewed, weeping as they wonder where he went wrong. The families of other terrorists are almost never interviewed.
5. White terrorists are part of a “fringe.” Other terrorists are apparently mainstream.
6. White terrorists are random events, like tornadoes. Other terrorists are long-running conspiracies.
7. White terrorists are never called “white.” But other terrorists are given ethnic affiliations.
8. Nobody thinks white terrorists are typical of white people. But other terrorists are considered paragons of their societies.
9. White terrorists are alcoholics, addicts or mentally ill. Other terrorists are apparently clean-living and perfectly sane.
10. There is nothing you can do about white terrorists. Gun control won’t stop them. No policy you could make, no government program, could possibly have an impact on them. But hundreds of billions of dollars must be spent on police and on the Department of Defense, and on TSA, which must virtually strip search 60 million people a year, to deal with other terrorists.
Juan Cole, 08/09/2012
Juan Cole actually wrote this 4 days after a white terrorist, yes, terrorist, murdered 6 and injured 4 people at a Sikh gurdwara in Wisconsin. The terrorist who committed said crime spoke of an impending “racial holy war” beforehand and was a member of white supremacist/neo-Nazi hate groups.
This whole nayyirah waheed controversy makes me grateful that Rumi never had a tumblr, imagine how many times Rumi could reblog with an addition of “don’t write that. U can’t interpret it as if its to your boyfriend it was meant for Shams of Tabriz u idiot. U show no respect for me or my work” in…
what you chose to do is yours. what I chose to do is mine. when you write a piece and tag my name, this means you are seeking my audience. you are entitled to your opinion, as I am to mine. i am not a controversy, what is happening is not a controversy, it is a form of violence. consistently thefting, appropriating, maiming art that is for poc by poc is a crime. you minimize this by seeking to brush it off as a contemporary issue, as if who we are as poc has not been coveted, shattered, and resold for centuries.
this person just brought up rumi.
rumi, whose english interpretations of their poetry have been the most bastardised and white-washed and eurocentricised pieces of trash since ever.
nayyirah has said her piece and i support and respect her, but you brought rumi into this, and as a translator of persian poetry, i will need to educate you.
if rumi had a tumblr, he would be pissed as for people talking the islam out of his poetry and turning it into some sort of hippie-ass pantheism for affluent wankers. he would try and divorce the hell out of these coleman barks bullshit english translations for making his poetry seem like it was about your crush.
let me show you what a real rumi poem looks like (i can verify the translation being legit since i actually *made* this translation):
من بنده ی قرآنم اگر جان دارم من خاک در محمد مختارم گر نقل کند جز این کس از گفتارم بیزارم از او وز این سخن بیزارم
man bandeye qor’aanam agar jaan daaram man khaak (-e raah) dar mohammad mokhtaaram gar naghal konad joz in kas az goftaaram bizaaram az oo vaz in sokhan bizaaram
I am the slave of the Qur’an so long as I have breath I am the dust (on the path) of Mohammad the Chosen If one quotes anything but this of my utterances I am disgusted by them and I am disgusted by those words.
Sound like the usual Rumi to you? Probably not if Coleman Barks is your reference. Now that we’ve established that Rumi himself wanted his poetry to be represented by that particular quatrain (but somehow the message somehow got drowned out by ~*spiritual life advice*~ for white hippies), try this one. I translated this ghazal a few months ago from Persian (do you know what a ghazal is? it’s like a sonnet. because Rumi wrote in sonnets and quatrains. Not in free verse as Coleman Barks would have you believe.):
Away Bitterness, sweeten my lips Don’t empty my mouth of wine. He strips me naked every morn Then says I must get dressed and work. He gives no mercy in this house of toils. No, not enough, so what should I do? My head is muddled from His wine-cup. Yet my body gains spirit from His apparition. The seven heavens don’t satisfy Him While He roams through my tunic. From His sap, I become lion-hearted Yet a sweet-tongued mouse am I in his roar. He had bellowed: “You are in my clutches I built you not to knock me down.” Yes, every vein of mine is in your clutches Pluck one and I will pling like a harp The fruits of all this: You rip out my heart And then I lose it. So what should I do?
This kind of poetry doesn’t really sell well to Westerners because it involves esoteric metaphors and motifs and a knowledge of Islam. Westerners for some reason don’t seem to like that, so instead of actually learning about how the poetry is written and the complex systems of meaning, like they would with a Shakespeare sonnet, they appropriate it! Bastardise it! Twist and warp it until it is in their image—RIPE for consumption! Then they can rest peacefully knowing that even in 13th century Abbasid/Seljuk Persia, all poetry had a 21st century Western audience in mind!!
Rumi is not yours. It was never yours. Certainly not yours to use in arguments about the ultimate meaning of someone’s poetry.
“Our culture has accepted two huge lies. The first is that if you disagree with someone’s lifestyle, you must fear or hate them. The second is that to love someone means you agree with everything they believe or do. Both are nonsense. You don’t have to compromise convictions to be compassionate.”—Rick Warren (via lullabyforghosts)
“We can navigate these difficulties of love — and enhance its joys — by grasping the significance of two great tragedies in the history of the emotions. The first is that we have lost knowledge of the different varieties of love that existed in the past, especially those familiar to the ancient Greeks, who knew love could be discovered not just with a sexual partner, but also in friendships, amongst strangers, and with themselves. The second tragedy is that over the last thousand years, these varieties have been incorporated into a mythical notion of romantic love, which compels us to believe that they can all be found in one person, a unique soulmate. We can escape the confines of this inheritance by looking for love outside the realm of romantic attachments, and cultivating its many forms.”—History’s forgotten wisdom on how to live and love (via explore-blog)