Went to an exhibition about Identity. It was an exhibition of mixed bag old-style left politics. I went to meet someone I have been in email contact with, as well as to see the work.


Asking one of the artists involved to point out who she is - this person I've been in email contact with. He pointed to a a group of 4 people: 2 Asian (Indian sub-continent) one man and one woman; 2 white, one man and woman. He said the woman in pink, meaning the Asian woman.
I looked at him.
You mean the Asian woman, I asked?
He nodded his assent.
I could tell I had just crossed a line.

I'm not sure what's going on when liberals start to believe that it might be offensive to describe someone as Asian...


A woman, someone involved in anti-war (Iraq) protests and anti-arms trade demonstrations, was wearing a t-shirt emblazoned with the line:
I wanted to ask who she meant by "we". I knew she didn't mean me - whatever I think of contemporary Israeli murderous actions against Palestinians. I knew she meant you are either with us or against us -
and my face wouldn't quite fit.


I was interested in perhaps being a part of the action against the Arms Dealers Fair that is taking place just up the road from where I live in London at the moment. I asked a man that I met about it. He was a protester, someone who devotes a great deal of energy to protest and is part of global protest movements.

He said a lot of things, assumptions about taxi drivers and class [but that would be work for another diary] and about the area having a lot of "Asylum Seekers and Refugees- people who are here because of the arms trade and wars in their countries". I think he said it to make me empathize with his cause, not really picking up that I was speaking to him in the first place because I was already disinclined towards arms trade.

I was annoyed that he characterized my area, where I live, in that way. There's not an especially large amount of "Asylum Seekers". Maybe he has made assumptions about the local Somali community, based on their appearance - I don't know. I felt annoyed and misrepresented that my area was being used as a mere political anecdote to get me (and others, I assume) 'on side', to score political points - when he clearly knows nothing about us.


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