Book Review: Giovanni’s Room

Then the door is before him. There is darkness all around him, there is silence in him. Then the door opens and he stands alone, the whole world falling away from him. And the brief corner of the sky seems to be shrieking, though he does not hear a sound. Then the earth tilts, he [...]

“Asian Privilege”: Racial Stereotyping 101

File Bill O’Reilly under “unoriginal” and “unsound.” As the Ferguson crisis continued to roil this week, the Fox News talking head chimed in to deny the existence of “white privilege” in the United States. The implication, of course, was that deeply-rooted, historical patterns of anti-black racism had nothing to do with African American poverty, unemployment, [...]

Why Ferguson Matters to Asian Americans

For weeks I have been in awe of the organizers and writers – Rev. Osagyefo Sekou, Jamala Rogers, Malkia Cyril, Ta-Nehesi Coates, john a. powell, Falguni A. Sheth, and so many others – who have placed the situation in Ferguson into critical historical and political context. This despite persistent attempts by police, elected officials, and [...]

ferguson

Michael Brown, Ferguson, and the Logic of Slavery

The shocking situation evolving in Ferguson, MO has laid bare an ugly feature of American life: that the relationship of American society to Black people is founded upon the logic of slavery. Now, I know many of you will roll your eyes at that assertion. I get it. Slavery was abolished over 150 years ago, [...]

American History 2.0

The mainstream media had a heyday last week when Rep. Mo Brooks’ (R-AL) went on the radio with Laura Ingraham and declared that the Democratic Party is waging a “war on whites.” Brooks’ follow-up, “if you look at federal law, there’s only one skin color you can lawfully discriminate against. That’s Caucasions – whites…” added [...]

Summer reads, and bell hooks Beyond Beyonce

This past July, I was a mentor (read old guy) at the Kopkind Colony, an educational summer residency program for independent progressive journalists and community organizers set on Tree Frog Farm, just outside of the rural mountain town of Guilford, Vermont. The camp is named for the pioneering radical journalist Andrew Kopkind, for whom Tree [...]

On Yellow Face, Racial Parody, and White Denial

The fight over the Seattle Gilbert and Sullivan Society production of The Mikado, that just closed it’s summer run, has been noisy and contentious. So noisy and contentious that it earned a special segment on the MSNBC show, Melissa Harris-Perry, this past weekend. What’s all the noise about? Yellow face. Yellow face refers to a [...]

No Buffer Zone, No Pill, No Power

“The right to have an abortion is a right to equity, it is the right to choice and is a right to allow a women to make the best decision she can about her situation without handing over the reigns to the judgment of others to make that decision on her behalf, often against concerns [...]