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maps a continual pet peeve of mine

So this post on tumblr is still annoying me, but I have no desire to continue the disucssion on tumblr.

Once the thread settled down a bit and it becomes clear that freedominwickedness really is talking about how South and East erase the realities of seAsians. Okay. I see this point.

But I want to get back to this point in the thread: how trying to organize around a colonial created identity (be it the result of white colonialism or East Asian) is a reality of post-colonial seAsia.

Here is the specific quote from queerKhmer:

I fully acknowledge that the South/Southeast/East Asian divide reinforces that white colonialist map, but I would say that is the political reality of post-colonial Southeast Asia. And I think weather Southeast Asians want to keep this divide should be for us alone to discuss.

I'll take it from his reaction to my post that he doesn't realize that I'm also seAsian. Fine. I don't really care about that part.


I absolutly reject the notion that this 'is the political reality of post-colonial Southeast Asia.' Because you cannot make a claim to being post-colonial if you are still reifying fictional boundaries drawn by colonizers. The colonizers may have (mostly) left, but it is clear that their legacy lives on.

It lives on in the very notion of stable, consistent Filipin@ identity (weren't we just talking about this?). 'Filipin@' is a colonizer's name. It is an identity handed down and inherited from those who colonized us. It isn't real. And the value of organizing around this identity as a shared experience for political capital is limited. So is organizing around some fictional, shared identity of 'Southeast Asian.'

We will never be free and entirely decolonized so long as we continue to treat as real the boundaries they drew for us. The more we invest in this ideas, the more we acquiesce to it out of some political utility, the more we simply accept the right of our colonizers to name us. To identify us. To construct us.

There is no freedom in boundaries drawn by white people. No freedom in the names they gave us.