We Have Not Stopped Trembling Yet: Letters to My Filipino-Athabascan Family

SUNY Press
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 A father’s personal and intimate account of his Filipino and Alaska Native family’s experiences, and his search for how to help his children overcome the effects of historical and contemporary oppression.
In a series of letters to his mixed-race Koyukon Athabascan family, E. J. R. David shares his struggles, insecurities, and anxieties as a Filipino American immigrant man, husband, and father living in the lands dominated by his family’s colonizer. The result is We Have Not Stopped Trembling Yet, a deeply personal and heartfelt exploration of the intersections and widespread social, psychological, and health implications of colonialism, immigration, racism, sexism, intergenerational trauma, and internalized oppression. Weaving together his lived realities, his family’s experiences, and empirical data, David reflects on a difficult journey, touching upon the importance of developing critical and painful consciousness, as well as the need for connectedness, strength, freedom, and love, in our personal and collective efforts to heal from the injuries of historical and contemporary oppression. The persecution of two marginalized communities is brought to the forefrontin this book. Their histories underscore and reveal how historical and contemporary oppression has very real and tangible impacts on Peoples across time and generations.

“What you’re reading is a groundbreaking book: part personal memoir, part rigorous scholarship, part passionate manifesto, altogether original. We Have Not Stopped Trembling Yet is an essential work in these unprecedented times. E. J. R. David is among the leading Filipino thinkers we have today, and this book more than lives up to that distinction. Read it, share it, talk about it.” — Jose Antonio Vargas, Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist, Emmy-nominated filmmaker, and founder and CEO of Define American

“David, through his deeply personal words to his family and community, masterfully calls our attention to the systemic injustices that perpetuate themselves under the false promises of the American Dream; offered only to some, invisibly blocked to others. We, the witnesses and fellow victims to this truth cannot look away—we must not. Maraming salamat, E. J., for your vulnerability and courage. May it serve to grow the awareness necessary to shift the trajectory of our future ancestors’ experiences.” — Jorie Ayyu Paoli, Vice President and Indigenous Operations Director, First Alaskans Institute

“David is gifted with the wisdom and philosophical acumen of an Elder. I emerged from the deep, dark truths about the aftermath of colonialism emanating from David’s heart with an amplified sense of urgency to instill hope, resilience, and belief in current and coming generations that this world can and will be ‘a better place.’” — Pausauraq Jana Harcharek, Director of Iñupiaq Education, North Slope Borough School District

“David has written a spiritual, self-examination, and cultural critique of his American and his Filipino family. It reminds me of the duality of Black consciousness elegantly depicted by W. E. B. Dubois. In the final summation, he exhorts his native family to love and believe in themselves, to shed the idea that they are special because of their Americanness, and to reclaim their kapwa—their humanity. He also challenges White America to find theirs. David has rendered a powerful and valuable meditation, guided by self-reflection and familial love, and grounded in intellectual discernment and a generosity of spirit. An inspiring and informative read.” — James M. Jones, author of Prejudice and Racism, Second Edition

“This bookis a heartbreaking and heart-validating masterpiece about a Filipino American immigrant man who worries about the future of his children in what was once deemed a ‘post-racial’ America. In his letters to his family, he tackles a spectrum of issues affecting people of color—from unlawful police deaths to historical trauma to immigration reform. His intersectional lens in understanding how his own multiracial kids may be forced to overcome obstacles like colonial mentality, toxic masculinity, institutional sexism, and stereotype threat is one that is rare, raw, and refreshing for an academic. He brilliantly uses personal stories, historical facts, and contemporary media accounts, while tying in scientific psychological and epidemiological research, to demonstrate how racism, classism, sexism, heterosexism, and other forms of oppression are slowly killing us. In sharing the grief, anger, and trauma of losing his childhood friend to unjust police violence, his voice becomes one that represents the weight that ‘woke’ Black and Brown Americans carry with us daily, as we continue to survive, thrive, and tremble in this society.” — Kevin L. Nadal, author of Filipino American Psychology: A Handbook of Theory, Research, and Clinical Practice

“David takes often theoretical constructs such as ‘internal oppression,’ ‘white privilege,’ ‘historical trauma,’ and provides visceral, emotional contexts through examination of his own personal life and the lives of his loved ones, both ancestral and current. He delivers those contexts through well-crafted letters to his wife, sons, and daughter explaining the complexities of their realities in an approachable, easy-to-understand manner. One of David’s most striking analyses is bridging the perceived gulf between Native Americans and his status as a Filipino who immigrated to Native American lands. This is an important work that ties together histories, generations, and peoples and provides the reader with a solid grounding to challenge the dominant narrative.” — Bonnie Duran, Indigenous Wellness Research Institute, University of Washington

“History is about stories of conquests through the ages. Historians often write those stories with a dispassionate view of colonization and oppression. E. J. R. David’s book gives a personal narrative on topics of oppression and racism to his family. It’s also a gift to others whose voices have been muted. ‘Letters’ to his family is a time capsule worth reexamining.” — Jim “Aqpayuq” W. LaBelle

“An eye-opening dive into the complex social impacts of colonization and intergenerational trauma told through the personal story of an immigrant Filipino psychology professor. Written as heartfelt letters to his family of mixed Koyukon Athabascan and Filipino heritage, it is an intimate and raw journey into awakening and truth. I recommend it widely to immigrant, Indigenous, and mainstream populations alike!” — Evon Peter (Gwich’in Athabascan), Vice Chancellor for Rural, Community, and Native Education at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, Board member for the Gwich’in Council International
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About the author

 E. J. R. David is Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of Alaska Anchorage. He is the author of Brown Skin, White Minds: Filipino -/ American Postcolonial Psychology,editor of Internalized Oppression: The Psychology of Marginalized Groups, and coauthor (with Annie O. Derthick) of The Psychology of Oppression.

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Additional Information

Publisher
SUNY Press
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Published on
Feb 1, 2018
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Pages
200
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ISBN
9781438469539
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Language
English
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Genres
Biography & Autobiography / Personal Memoirs
Social Science / Ethnic Studies / Native American Studies
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Read Aloud
Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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ìIt is a great honorÖto write the foreword to such an important book edited by E.J.R. David, filled with contributions from leading and emerging psychological scholars on internalized oppression. One of the best features of the book, in my opinion, is that the chapter authorsÖare allowed to share their own personal experiences and that such experiences are regarded to be just as valid and legitimate as the ëtheoriesí and ëempirical studiesí that they review.î

-Eduardo Duran, PhD
7th Direction Therapy, Assessment, and Consulting
Author of Healing the Soul Wound and Co-Author of Native American Postcolonial Psychology

The oppression of various groups has taken place throughout human history. People are stereotyped, discriminated against, and treated unjustly simply because of their social group membership. But what does it look like when the oppression that people face from the outside gets under their skin? Long overdue, this is the first book to highlight the universality of internalized oppression across marginalized groups in the United States from a mental health perspective. It focuses on the psychological manifestations and mental health implications of internalized oppression for a variety of groups. The book provides insight into the ways in which internalized oppression influences the thoughts, attitudes, feelings, and behaviors of the oppressed toward themselves, other members of their group, and members of the dominant group. It also considers promising clinical and community programs that are currently addressing internalized oppression among specific groups.

The book describes the implications and unique manifestations of internalized oppression among African Americans, Latinos, Asian Americans, Pacific Islanders, American Indians and Alaska natives, women, people with disabilities, and the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community. For each group, the text considers its demographic profile, history of oppression, contemporary oppression, common manifestations and mental and behavioral health implications, clinical and community programs, and future directions. Chapters are written by leading and emerging scholars, who share their personal experiences to provide a real-world point of view. Additionally, each chapter is coauthored by a member of a particular community group, who helps to bring academic concepts to life.

Key Features:

Addresses the universality of internalized oppression across marginalized groups in the U.S. and its corresponding mental health and psychological manifestationsConsiders how specific groups exhibit internalized oppression in their own unique waysProvides insight into how internalized oppression influences the thoughts, feelings, attitudes, and behaviors of the oppressedHighlights promising clinical and community programs

Filipino Americans have a long and rich history with and within the United States, and they are currently the second largest Asian group in the country. However, very little is known about how their historical and contemporary relationship with America may shape their psychological experiences. The most insidious psychological consequence of their historical and contemporary experiences is colonial mentality or internalized oppression. Some common manifestations of this phenomenon are described below: • Skinwhitening products are used often by Filipinos in the Philippines to make their skins lighter. Skin whitening clinics and businesses are popular in the Philippines as well. The "beautiful" people such as actors and other celebrities endorse these skinwhitening procedures. Children are told to stay away from the sun so they do not get "too dark." Many Filipinos also regard anything "imported" to be more special than anything "local" or made in the Philippines. • In the United States, many Filipino Americans make fun of "freshofftheboats" (FOBs) or those who speak English with Filipino accents. Many Filipino Americans try to dilute their "Filipinoness" by saying that they are mixed with some other races. Also, many Filipino Americans regard Filipinos in the Philippines, and pretty much everything about the Philippines, to be of "lower class" and those of the "third world." The historical and contemporary reasons for why Filipino / Americans display these attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors often referred to as colonial mentality are explored in Brown Skin, White Minds. This book is a peerreviewed publication that integrates knowledge from multiple scholarly and scientific disciplines to identify the past and current catalysts for such selfdenigrating attitudes and behaviors. It takes the reader from indigenous Tao culture, Spanish and American colonialism, colonial mentality or internalized oppression along with its implications on Kapwa, identity, and mental health, to decolonization in the clinical, community, and research settings. This book is intended for the entire community teachers, researchers, students, and service providers interested in or who are working with Filipinos and Filipino Americans, or those who are interested in the psychological consequences of colonialism and oppression. This book may serve as a tool for remembering the past and as a tool for awakening to address the present.
Written in an engaging and relatable manner, this book reviews the psychological theories and research on the topic of oppression – its evolution, its various forms, and its consequences. Painful historical examples and modern-day occurrences of oppression including mass incarceration, LGBT and transgender issues, police brutality, immigration reform, anti-Muslim sentiments, and systemic racism are explored. How oppression exists and operates on various levels, the mental and behavioral health consequences of oppression, and promising clinical and community programs to eradicate oppression are reviewed. The authors hope that by providing readers with a basic understanding of oppression it will motivate them to combat bias to create a more just, harmonious, and healthy world.

Highlights include:

Introduces readers to the psychological theories and research on oppression whereas most other books focus on a sociological or ethnic studies perspective.Introduces readers to the fundamentals of oppression--what it is, who experiences it, and where and when it has taken place.Dissects the layers of oppression -- how it is expressed blatantly or subtly and overtly or covertly.Explores how oppression is manifested on different levels including interpersonal, institutional/systemic, and internalized, for a deeper understanding.Demonstrates how oppression influences peoples’ thoughts, attitudes, feelings, and behaviors, and how it influences peoples’ well-being and health.Explores why certain people are discriminated against simply because of their race, ethnicity, gender, or sexuality and the resulting psychological implications.Highlights what researchers and service providers are doing to address oppression via encouraging community and clinical interventions.Examines why oppression exists and has persisted throughout history and what it looks like today.Recommends future psychological work on oppression across research, clinical, and community contexts.

Ideal as a text in upper level undergraduate and beginning graduate courses on oppression, prejudice and discrimination, race relations, ethnic studies, ethnic and racial minorities, multicultural or cross-cultural psychology, multicultural counseling, diversity, women’s studies, LGBT studies, disability studies, and social justice taught in psychology, social work, and counseling. Behavioral and mental health providers in both clinical and community contexts will also appreciate this book.

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