Topic | Civil Rights Movement

Why We Can’t Trust the US State

A version of this talk was delivered originally at a teach-in on “Ferguson and Beyond: Race, State Violence, and Activist Agendas in the 21st Century” at the University of Washington on January 23, 2015. Video of the teach in can be viewed here. Let me begin by pointing out some obvious, but oftentimes overlooked, points. […]

American History 2.0

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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 […]

The Power of Thinking Small

The Power of Thinking Small

  Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has. – Margaret Mead This quote is often repeated in order to remind us that, in the midst of an apathetic majority, a small minority of people can make big changes. Even major […]

More on What Asian Americans Owe to the Civil Rights Movement

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Thursday I taped a short interview with Tell Me More, a program that airs on National Public Radio. The segment aired last Friday. Give it a listen by clicking here. Tell me what you think. Be kind, these things are edited so I did actually say it (occasional cringe), but I also said a lot […]

Three Things Asian Americans Owe to the Civil Rights Movement

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The 28th of August marks the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, one of the great turning points of the black Civil Rights Movement. The anniversary got me thinking, what do Asian Americans owe to the black Civil Rights Movement? I know that probably seems like an odd question. I […]

Why Are White People So Touchy About Being Called Racist?

I’ve often pondered the question, why are white people so touchy about being called out for racism? I know some of you will say that racism is much more than the hurtful prejudice of a marginal few. Agreed. Racism is also inherited structural and political inequity by race resulting in persistent poverty, health disparities, and […]

Beyond Either/Or: More Thoughts on Marriage Equality

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My post yesterday about marriage equality attracted so much attention my website crashed…twice. And traffic isn’t showing signs of slowing. Obviously, people are hungry for debate. Many make enlightening arguments on both sides of the issue. I’ve learned a lot from reading them. And, if my email box is any indication, some people get really […]

What’s Wrong with Inclusion? The Case for Radicalism

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Radical (adj.): 1. of, relating to, or proceeding from a root. 2: of or relating to the origin : fundamental. 3: marked by a considerable departure from the usual or traditional. A few days ago, I made the argument that attacks against LGBT rights, including the right to marry, rely on a template that is […]

Politics is a Battle for Position: More Thoughts on the Election

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As relieved as I am about the outcome of the national elections, I can’t get the thought of how much we’ve lost in order to “win” out of out my mind. Something an old colleague of mine told me in the 1980s keeps popping into my head: politics is a battle for position. What he […]

Why “Racist” Is Such a Powerful Word

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There’s been a lot of talk in recent years about the term “racist.” Cognitive psychologists, political pollsters, and communications consultants have weighed in about how to talk about racism and advance an equity agenda while not alienating white people by labeling them racists.  Many advise never using the term to describe people, instead suggesting we […]