Tag Archives: silent racism

Tea in Providence

I go to a weekly Stitch and Bitch on Wednesdays. It’s a nice place to hang out with actual, non-college-age humans, knit, crochet, or spin, and enjoy a cool beverage. I’ve met some very awesome people at the S’n’B. We usually meet up at Malachi’s on Ives street, but this week we switched it up and went here instead:

It is not, in fact, in Sahara but rather in Fox Point.

Tea in Sahara is a Moroccan-themed cafĂ©. They also sell a number of products (housewares, clothing, jewelry) imported from Morocco, and they have hookah, but I haven’t actually seen anyone partake while I’ve been there. I tried the zaalouk and the iced mint tea. I really enjoyed the tea- very refreshing, if a little sweet, and overall perfect for summer. The zaalouk, an eggplant-tomato dish served with pita for dipping, was tasty but nothing to write home about. I’ve heard good things about the hummus and the taktouka, a tomato and green pepper salad.

Tea in Sahara is located at Governor and John.

I got some work done on my sweater, though I’m still not done with the back panel.

In other news, I found this compendium of horrifying situations: MFIF, or “My fault, I’m female:” stories of how people can be super-assholes to you simply due to gender. I don’t know why I read things like this, it probably says something about my subconscious. Either way- read if you desire some righteous indignation, or especially if you think you might tend towards sexism without being entirely aware of it.

In that vein, I’ve been reading a book called Silent Racism by Barbara Trepagnier, which deals with the issues of racism among people who identify as “not racist.” She proposes a shift from the idea of a dualistic racist/not-racist approach to thoughts and acts, but rather a continuum between more and less racist. She also discusses racism inherent in institutions, a topic that has interested me since I first researched the death penalty for high school debate.

Her research practices are not entirely to my liking- the book is based on a series of discussions held by small focus groups of white women. This was done in order to facilitate open communication. However, I would have liked to see a larger sample. Either way, so far I find that the book has been useful in helping me address ways in which I can shift myself from the “not-racist” to the “less-racist” mindset.

An example: take a situation in which a peer has just told a racist joke. According to Trepagnier, a “not-racist” person would simply not laugh at the joke. However, the correct response in this situation is in fact to call out the person’s racism; by not doing so, one gives implicit approval. It can be difficult to call out a person on their prejudices, but Trepagnier assures the reader that it becomes easier with practice. Please try to call out prejudice of any kind, wherever you see it.

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