Decolonize ALL The Things

The UNsettling reflections of a Decolonial Scientist in a Constant State of Rage

Ain’t It Funny: A Note on Social Reproduction & Self-Reflection

May 10, 2017
Shay-Akil

somewhere along the way i’ve begun to laugh when i see people have the “men are trash” arguments on social media every like 2-3 months. everybody blows it up, screenshots tweets, do threads, & write think pieces.  & when i think about it, we do that with pretty much everything. which makes me consider: HOW are we here again? HOW do we get to where we want to be? HOW do we get to being present in communities that don’t deny the self determination of others?

i’m only able to make this observation because i’ve already experienced that season in my life. i know because at this point i’ve already written the threads, got screenshots, & wrote think pieces & then i noticed the world wasn’t changing. there is a season for everything, & there is beauty as well as destruction & unsightly suffering in the cyclical overturning of everyday life. i started to notice we were doing the same thing but somehow we aren’t doing better by one another, we don’t take care of each other, we still use one another as solely a means to an end. & then i had to sit & struggle with facing the very things i was doing & yet expecting different results. Continue Reading

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We Need Decolonial Scientists

November 10, 2016
Shay-Akil

cropped-tumblr_ndea0bn9ls1s0auzbo1_500.jpgI write this essay with the poignant words of writer and Sociology Phd student Zoe Samudzi in mind: “Donald Trump is as quintessentially American as they come. In so many ways, Trump is the president that contemporary white America deserves: he is an amalgamation of some of the worst racism, ableism, misogyny, and anti-poor attitudes and rhetoric that collectively comprise ‘American values’. Outside of Republicans’ own involvement in sexual misconduct, the party is ultimately responsible for draconian anti-choice policies over sexual reproduction, horrific discourses around rape, and a perpetual onslaught on the rights of women and gender and sexual minorities.”  These words highlight a settler nation’s refusal to see that Donald Trump is and always has been NORMAL.  By normal I mean just that, status quo.  There is nothing about him nor his track record that deviates from America’s accepted rules about behavior.  It is not taboo to be a bigot in the United States, its an accepted and expected behavioral practice and demanded in many cases.  These contemporary colonial relations dominate our minds and how we teach our children to treat other human beings.  White supremacy is central to how we socialize our youth and regulate adults into model citizens, designed to defend the logics of settlement and profit even at their own expense. Continue Reading

Cishetpatriarchy is not community

February 20, 2016
Shay-Akil

I am Black and TransI AM A GENDERQUEER BLACK TRANS MAN.  I am racialized as Black, a Trans man, genderqueer, bi, & a descendant of stolen Africans on Indigenous peoples’ stolen land ALL AT THE SAME TIME.  I know this may be astonishing to you but none of these things are choices.  They are the social, political, and historical contexts within which I live. They just are. They don’t have a switch.  They don’t click on or off. And these contexts have shaped me but I am not limited to them.

I was socialized into the wrong gender, misgendered since my birth, and socialized into a transphobic society.  Just because I was misgendered as a cis woman does not mean that I know what its like to be a cis woman.  I am, always have been, and always will be a Black Transman.  I knew that when I was a small child, I knew that when I was terrified into having to perform cisheteronormativity.  What I do know is how cis Black women are treated.  That’s all, but that does not make me a cis Black woman, I have never been one.

Continue Reading

Transitioning Into A Decolonized Masculinity

November 15, 2015
Shay-Akil

Under-construction

Its been 4 months. Its been 4 months today that I’ve been on HRT. I came out to everyone else about being genderqueer about 2 years ago.  I told loved ones that I wanted to transition after the passing of my grandmother this May.  I’ve known I was trans since I was a kid.  As a child I had all senses of mystical rationales that I came up with to be “okay”.  At night I would dream that I was a baby boy in a crib and told myself that being awake was just a bad dream and in reality I was a baby boy and everything was right with the world.  I spent a large bit of my childhood and teenage years rebelling against people telling me I was a girl, telling me what women do, telling me that I need to get into place.  I stayed in trouble mostly because I was gender policed.  The majority of my troubles in school, daycare, and at home was all about me doing things that “only boys do”. Continue Reading

“The Blacker The Berry” Is A Black Pathology Anthem

February 11, 2015
Shay-Akil

kendrick-lamar-the-blacker-the-berryKendrick Lamar recently dropped the track “The Blacker The Berry”, what has been called a “Black Anthem” that deals with the hypocritical racial self hatred in the Black community.  As a hip hop head I was hype to first listen to the song, hoping that it would say something critical, contextually accurate, reveal the true issues at hand & I was unfortunately immediately disappointed.  The song left a bad taste in my mouth, it was disrespectful, lecturing, and inaccurate.  “The Blacker The Berry” has been quickly gaining traction since its release and its for a very particular reason: Black pathology sells (H/T @thetrudz). Continue Reading

Under Construction: Decolonizing Queer Masculinity(ies) Part II – Depatriarchalizing The Body

February 7, 2015
Shay-Akil

Under-construction

Introduction

I have decided to turn my initial blog post “Under Construction: Decolonized Queer Masculinity(ies)” into a series where I deconstruct colonial notions of gender, sexuality, sex category, & the many intersections with other identities & systems of domination.  In my first blog post in this series I discussed unhinging my identity from patriarchal notions of gender & situating myself within my queer masculinity.  In this blog post I want to discuss what that is like when it comes to decolonizing my own eyes & the ways in which I view, theorize, & engage with my own body. Continue Reading

Black Feminism(s) Taught Me

December 30, 2014
Shay-Akil

16427_10154921330175521_1391279896173625381_nIntroduction 

This past year I spent a lot of time working on me.  There were some major events at hand that contributed to some key changes in my life.  I for one took a step back from problematic and unhealthy friendships and relationships in my life.   For 6 months I didn’t talk to 2 of my best friends.  This was a time for self reflection, confronting hurt, and healing.  I decided to focus on myself during that time and embark on my person journey of decolonization and depatriarchalization.  It was during this time that I started to come into my own.  During the beginning of the year I suffered from some serious writer’s block, I was dealing with PTSD as a consequence of white supremacist racist trauma from the Fall Semester of 2013 along with acute stress disorder.  I started off 2014 hurt, pissed, and betrayed.  But what was most challenging for me was confronting with starting my process of unlearning unhealthy habits that this hegemonic society has taught me.  I told myself that this would be a year of self care.  I achieved that by actively engaging in self care, saying “no” more often, choosing to not doubt myself at every turn, and believing in my own abilities. Continue Reading

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