“Something strange happened on Wednesday, when the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Fisher v. University of Texas. For about an hour and twenty minutes, seven justices—Justice Kagan recused herself; Justice Thomas was silent, as expected—and three lawyers debated the finer points of affirmative action without even once mentioning racism.
Diversity goals don’t combat racism. They are a tool for submerging race. Diversity goals exist to make racial identity less pressing—to prevent isolation and being made to feel a spokesperson. The word “comfortable” was actually used in these arguments—as in racial difference is uncomfortable, so let’s make sure it’s not so noticeable. Diversity is a means of making racial difference disappear”
“Yasmin Saikia [in her book: Women, War, and the Making of Bangladesh: Remembering 1971] underlines the fact that a people’s history of 1971 is necessary because it allows us to uncover, at the moment of intersection between memory and history, and past and present, the violence that undergirded the formation of nation-states in South Asia. It also forces us to remember the dehumanization of women in the history of nation-state formation in the region, by militarized nationalism, systematic state policies, random men as well as friends and neighbors.”
Saikia does admit, however, that there are no easy answers to the questions raised by violence and the initial challenge is to provide a space for women and men to speak about the multiple sites of violence while also compelling the Pakistani and Bangladeshi governments to admit to their culpability in promoting violence against the vulnerable.
“This critical framework of a specifically queer diaspora, then, may begin to unsettle the ways in which the diaspora shores up the gender and sexual ideologies of dominant nationalism on the one hand, and processes of globalization on the other. Such a framework enables the concept of diaspora to fulfill the double-pronged critique of the nation and of globalization that Braziel and Mannur suggest in its most useful intervention. This framework “queers” the concept of diaspora by unmasking and undercutting its dependence on a geneological, implicitly heteronormative reproductive logic. Indeed, while the Bharatiya Janata Party-led Hindu nationalist government in India acknowledged the diaspora solely in the form of the prosperous, Hindu, heterosexual NRI businessman, there exists a different embodiment of diaspora that remains unthinkable within this Hindu nationalist imaginary. The category of “queer” in my project works to name this alternative rendering of diaspora and to dislodge diaspora from its adherence and loyalty to nationalist ideologies that are fully aligned with the interests of transnational capitalism. Suturing “queer” to “diaspora” thus recuperates those desires, practices, and subjectivities that are rendered impossible and unimaginable within conventional diasporic and nationalist imaginaries. A consideration of queerness, in other words, becomes a way to challenge nationalist ideologies by restoring the impure, inauthentic, nonreproductive potential of the notion of diaspora. … If within heteronormative logic the queer is seen as the debased and inadequate copy of the heterosexual, so too is diaspora within the nationalist logic positioned as the queer Other of the nation, its inauthentic imitation. The concept of a queer diaspora enables a simultaneous critique of heterosexuality and the nation form while exploding the binary oppositions between nation and diaspora, heterosexuality and homosexuality, original and copy.”
— Gayatri Gopinath - Impossible Desires: Queer Diasporas and South Asian Public Cultures (via enumerate)