On Appropriation (Part 5)

The double-edged sword of choice and appropriation has remained as entrenched as ever within this stone of my psyche. If I were to take a sudden interest in all things Korea, what would separate me from your garden-variety imperialist, bored of the known and searching for a profitable exploit? On another hand, would I even be able to give up what is demanded whenever one swears identity allegiance to the hegemonic USA of the only family I have ever known? Scared of being called a fraud by people who looked like me, and haunted by experiences with people who did not, I ran just out of reach of both, but much like Lot’s wife I became frozen looking back.

If the suburbs were a source of stability and security, they were also protective cage that I outgrew as soon as I crossed the threshold of childhood. Likewise, if my skin shields me from infection and the outside elements, it also broadcasts myriad ideologies that become unhinged from space and time within the face of the individual and the institutions we have and continue to (re)create. Such are the burdens and gifts of skin and society.

As I write this, I am in the act of taking back possession of my self. Who I will be is as unclear as who I was, I only know we are relational even as I remain unsure of ways I am related to my selves. 

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