One of the (many) things TFC struggles with is building bonds between the Chinese and foreign fellows beyond teammates. Discussions of this have always focused on better cross-cultural events during Summer Institute (SI) and the language and cultural barrier. We never talk about the giant elephant…
This makes sense:
American privilege is the reason why most foreign fellows enter TFC and arrive to China without being able to speak functional Chinese.
White privilege is the reason why white fellows are beloved at their schools without having to work at it too much, and yet some always manage to fuck up it up despite the buffer their privilege affords them.
Can you go into detail? I haven’t heard too much of white Fellows “fucking it up” at their schools. Is there evidence to this happening?
In the last two years I’ve seen white, Chinese, and POC fellows do amazing things at their schools. And more often than not, they collaborated on projects: fundraising for clean water; extracurricular clubs/sports; the list goes on.
The white Fellows I’ve known and worked with over the years (I can’t speak for everyone) experience white privilege the second they show up. We try to understand it, work with our Chinese partners to learn more about it. And yes, we often take advantage of it. But most fellows work as hard as local teachers, keep the same responsibilities, and are part of the school culture. They insist to be given the same responsibilities given to local teachers. And they work their asses off.
You have a limited knowledge of what goes on at each school. So do I. You are making irresponsible accusations, especially when foreign and Chinese fellows are putting in extra hours on the weekends and after school to reach out to their students.
I’m confused why you feel confident enough with your Chinese language ability to insult those who are unable to speak as well as you do. What gives you the right to shit on them? If you have a problem with this, your anger should be directed at TFC’s recruiting practices, not the people who chose to come here.
Your comments dismiss the strong relationships that exist between Chinese, white, and POC fellows. Maybe you just don’t know about them. And if that’s the case, maybe you shouldn’t write about them.
And no, Chinese fellows do have the language to talk about white privilege. This comes up all the time in Ximu. Chinese fellows may indeed have a better understanding of what white privilege in rural China actually looks like than what you’ve written on your blog.
Ah, interesting. Push-back. ‘Tis a pity that I cannot respond without sending the rumor mill into overdrive and without pointing out how this—
it makes some valid critiques, and thank you for those—reeks of white privilege.
Perhaps the reason why what I’ve written has not only caught your attention but garnered this response is because it holds a mirror up to your white privilege and makes you uncomfortable?
Edit: Upon re-reading what I initially wrote…fuck it. People, I carefully word my shit FOR A PURPOSE. As how shit currently stands, there were no valid critiques.
Omg. White people please stop.
I’m a TFC fellow who will be going in about a month…I’m a POC. And I don’t functionally speak Chinese (?) Mandarin/Cantonese….I joined the program because I have first hand experience in both being within an unequal educational system and trying to help fix one, which is why I was chosen and why I’m going…I was apprehensive at first about the cultural/language barrier…but I know what it feels like to be in a society where people don’t/won’t appreciate my culture and language…I guess I’m just trying to say that every American fellow is different…and American privilege is not equally distributed….
1. Welcome to TFC!
2. Clarification: we are all the intersection of multiple identities. Because of intersectionality, our (lack of) racial, gender, and class privileges affects how we perceive and receive American privilege. American privilege is real: America has been exploiting the rest of the world for ages (and before America, the British Empire), and we as Americans benefit from that.
3. Because we are the intersection of multiple identities, some are more salient than others depending on the context. When U and I are eating with a whole bunch of people from his school community, and the men always serve him first, me second, themselves third, and leave the local women to serve themselves, what’s going on? U is a man who looks obviously foreign. I’m a woman who if I didn’t tell them I was American, they wouldn’t know. But they serve me because I am still a bourgie American.
4. Welcome to TFC, and can’t wait to meet you in offline life!
Perhaps it garnered my response because you made statements about other fellows without backing it up.
I’m not sure why you feel the need to insult your co-workers publicly. A few posts I’ve read on your blog refer to the inadequacy of other fellows’ skills/experience to your own. I’m not trying to silence you. I’m asking you to stop being disrespectful and unprofessional.
I hope this comes off less as a reflection of my privilege and more as anger with how you’ve portrayed the people with whom you work in a public forum. If it’s the former, then I guess there’s nothing I can say.
Also, ethnicnraunchy, congrats on becoming a fellow! Feel free to reach out.