Categories
Blog

White Supremacy as the Form of North American Capitalism

When it comes to thinking about race and human rights, I’m obsessed. You’ve probably noticed that. But what might be less obvious (or, who knows, maybe more obvious) is that the pandemic has put my obsession on blast. Case in point, I was up at 5:30 today, eventually landed at my desk, and there I saw that a long-time human rights activist I know from Portland had asked me a question via direct messenger.

By then it was 3:30am in Portland, but when I answered, she was awake. Good to know there are other people as obsessed as me. And …

Categories
Blog

Antisemitism Is Racism

I believe that the reason that so many progressives, including racial justice progressives, don’t understand the threat of antisemitism and even, really, that antisemitism is in fact racism!!! is that we understand racism wrong, or at least incompletely. Here’s what I mean.

U.S. residents, for the most part, think of racism in terms of effects – impoverishment, incarceration rates, etc., – and not in terms of root causes like economic exploitation and the gathering and consolidation of power. When considered in those terms, any group can be targeted if enough pressure is exerted by a competing and, especially, dominant group. …

Categories
Blog

A White Gay Male Faction of White Nationalism is Rising and No, That’s Not a Joke

Donna Minkowitz writes in Slate about the emergence of a white gay male alt-right/white nationalist/neo-Nazi front using camp and sex to attract recruits. As counter-intuitive as the idea of a gay white nationalist movement may be, this development is very dangerous, making the article, IMO, a must-read for all who are fearful of white nationalism.

And, by the way, the article also includes a quote from me calling for us to use compassion as a wedge to separate the leadership of this new vector of racism and male supremacy from their potential base of support. That call, I’m guessing, requires …

Categories
Blog

Anti-Black Racism is Still the Fulcrum of White Supremacy

In a highly globalized society, with mass migration driving rapid change in the racial demography, both of the world and of the U.S., racial attacks and racism itself have grown much more complex, making last century understandings of the racial context less useful or even misleading. Whiteness, however, is still at the center of American culture, even as its power as a normative force is slowly eroding while it simultaneously becomes less invisible in the ways it exercises power.

Even with all of these changes, I continue to view anti-black racism as the nut of American racism. Poor black people …

Categories
Blog

About the Stereotype Busting High Median Incomes of Trump Voters

Nate Silver’s findings regarding the median incomes of Trump supporters are worth taking a look at as what he has found busts the frankly offensive stereotype of the Trump supporter as a working class rube.

When trying to defeat a bigot, one would do best not to fall prey to bigotry. Doing so just polarizes an already dangerously polarized situation, and all while failing to address what may, in fact, be one of the most important bits of knowledge necessary to effectively fight the right: in order to beat right wing movements, you have to separate the leaders from their …

Categories
Blog

Trump, Racism, and the Fear Factor

A recent USA TODAY/Rock the Vote poll of 1,541 voters aged 18-34 found that younger voters’ lack of enthusiasm for Hillary Clinton is overcome in a theoretical Clinton v. Trump general election race. Across all demographic groups specified, young voters only get excited about Clinton as the lesser evil.

The lack of enthusiasm for Clinton in the primary may be the result of her record as one of the most effective champions of neoliberalism from the center-left. And neoliberalism, the politic of privatization, unfettered free trade (NAFTA, TPP, etc.), and small government, is one of the drivers of the conditions

Categories
Blog

On Solidarity, “Centering Anti-Blackness,” and Asian Americans

As a long-time racial justice worker – a grey head in a movement mainly made up of young people – earnest young Asian Americans, anxious to acknowledge the pivotal role anti-Black racism plays in the perpetuation of white supremacy, often ask me how to “center anti-Blackness” in Asian American racial justice activism. I am as often asked that question by white progressives who aspire to become allies in the Movement for Black Lives.

My answer is simple. Acknowledge the leadership of Black Lives Matter and use the political space and opportunity the movement has created – including the 24/7 media …

Categories
Blog

No, Dylann Roof, Asians Aren’t “So” Racist

The racist manifesto attributed to vigilante racist, Dylann Roof, is troubling for a lot of reasons, not least of which is that Roof’s diatribe reflects certain broadly held and increasingly mainstream beliefs among whites, like, for instance, that Blacks are the true racists and whites are under attack. And this plum, “black on White crime” is the real problem, while white on black assaults are overblown, indicating a lack of concern for, or even a conspiracy against, white people.

Roof’s manifesto serves as evidence that, in a society whose elected political leaders often blame Black people for everything from the …

Categories
Blog

The Twisted History of Jerry Hough

It’s been a while since Duke University Political Science Professor, Jerry Hough, kicked off a sh*t storm of commentary by offering a bluntly racist critique of the New York Times article, How Racism Doomed Baltimore.

The Times piece is an excellent take down of entrenched poverty among Blacks in Baltimore, describing the collapse of Baltimore’s inner-city as the nexus of a history of racial coding and legal restrictions, social exclusion, white flight, inequitable public policy, and straight-up financial chicanery, suggesting that these conditions contributed to the world weariness and anger behind the unrest we were witness to following …

Categories
Blog Guest Bloggers

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. We live in a society where we can’t escape the US state and its insistence on allegiance and loyalty. But, for many of us, the US state—and I use that term to refer to all levels of government, be it local, state, or federal—has …