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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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Same Sh*t, Different Decade: Trayvon Martin and the Politics of Race

When the verdict in the George Zimmerman murder trial was announced on Saturday I turned off the TV and went to bed, emotionally exhausted. My exhaustion surprised me, though the verdict did not. The verdict was all too predicable.

It is simply a fact that the racial composition of juries makes a difference in cases where the victim and/or the perpetrator are black, yet five of six jurors were white, and none were black. And in cases of murder where the victim is black, both the rate of conviction and severity of punishment are suppressed by this fact of race, …

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So, I Ask You, What If Trayvon Martin Was Asian?

Last year, I asked the question, What If Trayvon Martin was Asian? The post, included below, is timely now in light of all of the warnings against rioting in reaction to the verdict in the George Zimmerman case that all seem to target African Americans. The sentiment seems to be that when African Americans don’t get their way, violence is likely to follow.

But the reality is that the most damaging race riots in U.S. history have been led by whites against people of color. In 1923, in Levy County, Florida, a white woman accused a black man of sexually …

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Lost in the Supermarket: The Psychological Burden of Invisible Racism

Many Americans, especially many white Americans, believe we live in a post-racial era. They’re convinced that racism no longer has the power to organize the way we live and impose disadvantages on people of color. I’m holding out hope that this is wishful thinking and not just a convenient form of denial, but I’m guessing disappointment is on the horizon.

Post-racial believers overlook incidents like the now famous racist rant of that Papa John’s pizza delivery man. Obviously, he’s not post-racial. And, you know, he didn’t learn his racism in a vacuum, nor was he singing to himself.

And this …

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Race Basics

A  friend of mine sent me an email with a link to an article entitled, The History of Race… And Why It Matters.  The article tells the story about how race was invented out of whole cloth, at a time when African and European immigrants lived in relative harmony in North America, purely for the political purpose of justifying race slavery in the colonies.

This was news to her. She had no idea that long before the Civil Rights Movement, there was a time when Black and white people in North America lived together in integrated communities. They married …

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What If Trayvon Martin Was Asian?

In a Daily Kos article, Laurence Lewis asks the provocative question, “What if Trayvon Martin had been white and George Zimmerman were Black?” I’m guessing you get the point. Clearly, if the races were reversed, things would be very, very different.

But this got me to thinking, what if Trayvon Martin had been Asian, say Japanese American for example? Would he have been profiled as a potential menace? Would he have provoked George Zimmerman to say, as revealed on the 911 recording, “These a**holes always get away”?

I’m guessing, no. Moreover, a Japanese American Trayvon would be exempt from …

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Coopt-upy Wall Street

One of my favorite pundits, Elon James White, recently wrote about How Occupy Wall Street Co-opted the Million Hoodie March, describing the behavior of OWS activists at the recent New York protest over the Trayvon Martin case.

In the post, White describes white OWS’ers taunting the police, which, besides just being insensitive of the always tense relationship between cops and African Americans, appeared to be a ploy to get attention. Many carried Occupy signs, chanted, “We are the 99%,” etc. Hence, White’s complaint that they attempted to co-opt the march.

The following weekend, MSNBC’s Chris Hayes addressed the conflict, …