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Practicing #Asians4BlackLives Solidarity: 5 Lessons from #shutdownOPD

The following is a reflection written by Christine Cordero, one of the participants in the #Asians4BlackLives solidarity action on Monday, December 15, 2014. Christine is a Filipina-American born and raised in the Bay Area, CA. She is an organizer, trainer, and public speaker with over 15 years of experience working and organizing for social justice.

On Monday morning, a multi-racial group of us shut down the headquarters of the Oakland Police Department for four hours and twenty eight minutes in response to a call from national and local Black leadership to end the war on black people. White, Asian, and …

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Be The Change: A Call for Tolerance

A discussion of race such as we’ve not heard for decades is being inspired by the mass mobilization against police shootings of Black people, and in particular the remarkable determination of activists in Ferguson, now in their 133rd consecutive day of protest over the fatal police shooting of Michael Brown. More and more of us are talking, and the passion behind these conversations is rising.

I’ve been following some of these discussions, a few of which have been taking place in my inbox. Many of them center around arguments over racial theory and analysis. Questions like, who’s the most

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We Can’t Breathe: Why We Need to Give Racism a Chance

In the wake of the Mike Brown and Eric Garner decisions, of the excessive additional unarmed youth who have been killed in the short weeks following the injustice, and in the face of vast disparities facing our country at every level, I believe that there is an important discussion that we need to be having, but one being generally avoided. 

In our society, we’ve demonized the “R Word” so much so, that people pretend it doesn’t exist in our communities, and certainly not in our government, legal system, or other public spaces. That word, and problem, is racism.

A recent

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What Goes Down in Ferguson is an Asian American Concern – In Fact, It’s a 99% Issue

Precariat: A social class defined by the shared experience of precarity, a condition of existence without predictability or stability, particularly as pertains to employment and economic security

What the news media has euphemistically referred to as the “situation” in Ferguson, Missouri is driving home a point that too many of us have managed to miss before Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown. The Black body count resulting from police actions against unarmed African Americans is mounting. To view the situation as merely tragic (if, indeed, one can rightly put “merely” and “tragic” together) is to downplay the broad scope of …

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13 Years After 9/11: A Reflection on Resilience

 I came of age in post 9/11 America like many other people around the United States. On September 11, 2001, I was working as a lawyer in the Civil Rights Division at the U.S. Department of Justice, and living close enough to the Pentagon that the smoke burning from the building was visible from my apartment balcony in Arlington, Virginia for days. It’s safe to say that I felt, as so many did around the nation, that everything changed on September 11, 2001.

For me, the months that followed were a call to action. Like others of South Asian, Arab, …

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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, before anyone now living was born. But turn on your TV. Go online and read what has already happened in Ferguson. If there is some other logic guiding these events, it certainly isn’t apparent. No, the guiding logic here is operating below the surface, informed …

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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 fuel to the fire.

Brooks’ comments are no doubt reprehensible. But, what is of real consequence to us is not that Brooks is a racist, there’s no surprise in learning elected representatives are racial conservatives, it is  that he is appealing to a …