DE #2 Richard Thompson Ford

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Richard Thompson Ford's article, "What's Queer about Race?" starts off with him announcing his marriage engagement to his partner. He then discusses about queer theory and how he prefers to be transgressive and outside of what is "normal" or not a part of mainstream society. His article is focused upon his personal meaning of queer theory and how it applied to his life. The focus of his article was about, the critique of identity, critique as a style, and the liberation from professional orthodoxies. He praises the significance of being queer and how it can also relate to race, because he is also in a interracial relationship with this partner. Being queer is not about one's identity but rather how one chooses to live their lives by challenging mainstream society's social and ideological construction of race and gender. He discusses about the Left and Right wings and how they have impacted the social construction of grouping individuals into certain categories.

I thought it was interesting how he said, "I wanted to ignore orthodoxies--not self-consciously challenge them but just write as if they weren't relevant" (Ford, 484). His article dealt with a lot of analyzing into race and social identity construction and how queer theory to him played an important role in challenging these views. It's almost as if he refers to himself as queer theory itself, and yet by him choosing to marry his partner, he is also choosing to obtain a part of what heterosexuals views as sacred and "normal".

What I found most interesting in this article was about how minority groups often referred outsiders from their race to a type of fruit or food item. For example, "Asian 'bananas', Latino 'coconuts', Native American 'apples' (Ford, 482). I have to admit, I have used these terms because I had a cousin who was Hmong (Asian) and he obviously did not grow up with a lot of other Asians, therefore he presented himself as more Caucasian, with his gestures, his physical appearance, as well his his speech. "These figures of scorn imply that there is a particular type of behavior that is appropriate to a given race, and thereby censure deviation from it" (Ford, 482). After I read this part in the article, Ford truly made me think twice about how we as a society construct these racial stereotypes but how we perpetuate it without even realizing it.

When I reflect upon being a minority myself, I feel that I should not have the right to say who is not "Asian" enough or even try to categorize them into a racial food group such as what I discussed earlier. How do we change the ways in which we see race and incorporate Ford's definition of queer theory to our lives?

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Good final question. I wish we could have had more time to discuss Ford's essay and think about the question in his title, "What's queer about race?" Thanks for writing about it in your direct engagement.

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