Random snippets behind this post include this quote I came across on Twitter [link]:
“Getting rid of your Chineseness by losing your accent, it’s like grinding away your face.” —Richard A Lou, artist; from the book War Baby/Love Child
It makes me think of a former and historical/egalitarian “cosmopolitanism” or mixing of cultures in an urban setting, with a neo-cosmopolitanism today which demands assimilation and a class attainment that goes unmentioned.
I’m thinking of the mediation of this demand to “grind away your face”, from the classist Hee Haw to the Disney Channel, where everyone speaks with a “California lite” accent and has Consumerism as their religion.
Ironically, this kind of minstrelsy is often seen by the targeted group(s) as “empowering”; I’m thinking here of The Sopranos or The Jersey Shore or Glee (etc.).
There was a day when alternatives to mainstream media existed; now seemingly long gone….
I want to ask or at least muse out loud: What is your advice for dealing with a society that demands of us that we “assimilate or…”? Expand or challenge at will….