Nov 27, 2020 • 1HR 30M

Episode 22 - Interrogating Whiteness with Rafia Zakaria

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Diversity Hire
A podcast about being "POC" in media. Hosted by @arjununcle & @krevinlorenzo
Episode details

Hello and welcome to the twenty-second episode of Diversity Hire.

Today we talked to Rafia Zakaria, who is a lawyer, activist, and columnist for Dawn and the Baffler. This was a very spicy EP! We talked about white supremacy in second-wave feminism, “allies of whiteness” in the media and politics, Kamela Harris’ place in the diaspora, how Rafia writes for both audiences in Pakistan and in the states, and much more. Kevin and Arjun also talk about recent articles from friends of the pod - Jay Caspian Kang and Maya Binyam - which tangle with our favorite topics: POCs and DNI. Thanks for listening!

  • Arjun & Kevin discuss recent articles by past guests (re: “‘People of Color’ Do Not Belong to the Democratic Party,” Jay Caspian Kang, The New York Times; “Diversity Work,” Maya Binyam, CJR) (0:00)

  • Rafia Zakaria on submitting her manuscript for her upcoming book, Against White Feminism (15:45)

  • Rafia leads us through her career timeline, from Pakistan to her law Ph.D. to becoming a fulltime writer (20:17)

  • The legitimacy in media that is only granted to Western writers (28:25)

  • How Rafia manages writing for a different audience, between Dawn, the oldest Pakistani newspaper, and Baffler, a publication read by guys named Connor (32:45)

  • Bringing the discussion about the other to the other, especially when nonwhite people aren’t in control of their narrative (re: “The Pulitzer Problem,” The Baffler, 2020) (38:06)

  • The hopeless state of whiteness (re: “The Allies of Whiteness,” The Baffler, 2020) (46:00)

  • Has @NYRDaily reached out to Rafia after they blocked her for criticizing them? (53:00)

  • How the altruistic mission of diversity is based on inherent racism (57:34)

  • Is Kamala Harris an ally of whiteness? (1:03:45)

  • The white supremacy of Western feminism (re: Against White Feminism, W. W. Norton, 2021) (1:10:57)

  • Arjun’s Feelings Don’t Care About Facts Corner (1:18:39)

  • The Diversity Tribunal (1:25:33)