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What LGBT America Can Learn From Asian American History

The growing number of states legalizing same-sex marriages has many in the LGBT community convinced that full assimilation is inevitable. But as an Asian American gay man, I’m unconvinced that assimilation for the whole LGBT community is inevitable or even possible, nor that simply being assimilated is even desirable.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I understand why some in the LGBT community are advocates of assimilation. I was shamed, bullied, and occasionally assaulted through a big chunk of my life, most of which was lived at a time when hatred of LGBT people was a sign of moral turpitude. There …

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The Colorblind Racism of Michael Bloomberg

The September 7 issue of New York Magazine featured an interview with outgoing New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg that I’m guessing you’ve heard about. In it, Bloomberg accused Bill de Blasio, the Democratic frontrunner in the current mayoral primary, of running a racist campaign because some of his ads feature his black wife and bi-racial children…seriously.

It’s a case of the salt calling the pepper white that would be funny is it wasn’t an example of colorblind racism, the prevailing racist logic of our supposedly post-racial age. Here’s what I mean.

Bloomberg’s accusation imposes a double standard on de Blasio …

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Still Dreaming About Jobs and Freedom

The March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom is probably best remembered today for Martin Luther King, Jr’s march address, “I Have A Dream.” That speech, along with dramatic media accounts of black struggle inspired a generation to take action, including LGBT activists, feminists, immigration reform advocates, and anti-imperialists, each of whom would also make their mark on society.

But, 50 years later, the economic demands of the marchers, including for decent housing, educational equity and school integration, full employment, and a livable national minimum wage, remain little more than dreams. Meanwhile, a growing percentage of whites believe …

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And the Supreme Court Punted…

In the continuing drama surrounding the case of Fisher v. University of Texas, the suit challenging Texas’s race conscious college admissions policy, the Supreme Court punted. In a 7-1 decision, SCOTUS decided against the University of Texas, but also put off deciding on the constitutionality of affirmative action. Instead, SCOTUS decided the lower court failed to apply strict scrutiny to the Texas program and asked it to try again.

So affirmative action in higher ed is safe for the moment, but the fight isn’t over.

The Fisher case is important. I know many have argued that the case looks weak …

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The Rebellion That Wasn’t

I’ve lately had multiple conversations with friends bewildered over the lack of widespread rebellion against economic elites. They wonder, given the hubris, the greed, the outright irresponsibility and callous arrogance that led to the bottoming out of the American economy in 2008, why no broad based revolt?

Yes there was Occupy Wall Street. But while it was at times glorious it was in the main an anemic rebellion confined, with some exceptions, to one narrow slice of the broad public affected by the crash. Where were the rest of us? Why aren’t we raising pitch forks and torches and …

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Why Affirmative Action Pisses Them Off

The Fisher v. University of Texas-Austin case against affirmative action in college admissions is a subject I’ve been turning over in my mind for a while. Folks who are arguing against affirmative action for people of color are attacking it as if it’s a program meant to address the impact of discrimination on people as individuals, and not as members of aggrieved communities. According to that logic, affirmative action, at least on a case by case basis, puts one form of discrimination over another, as if some people matter more.

Proponents argue that affirmative action exists to address barriers to …