We Are Our Choices

We Are Our Choices

Steve Hochstadt: The racist normality of the early 1960s is difficult for my students to comprehend. None of them have attended a segregated school, they don’t routinely hear racist slurs.

Berkeley vs. Big Soda

Berkeley Soda Tax

Robert Reich: If a soda tax can’t pass in the most progressive city in America, it can’t pass anywhere. Big Soda knows that, which is why it’s determined to kill it here.

James Baldwin’s Giovanni’s Room

james baldwin

Scot Nakagawa: Like Van Gogh, Baldwin drew our attentions to lives lived on the margins of the known world in the 20th century just as we margin-dwellers were beginning to push toward the cultural center, contributing, in the process, to its continuing disintegration.

No One Was Singing the Blues

White Self-Pity

Steve Hochstadt: Only a man blind and naive to the suffering of others could have existed there and not recognized that there was a rampant culture of violence against blacks. Whether he personally saw mistreatment of them is irrelevant.

Hillary Surprisingly Bold on Ferguson

Hillary on Ferguson

Nia Malika Henderson: Whereas most Democrats and Republicans, and eventually President Obama, addressed the militarization of the police, Clinton actually went there on an issue that most avoided: racism and the criminal justice system.

O’Reilly, Race, and Asian Americans

Bill OReilly Asian Americans

Scot Nakagawa: Wednesday, Bill O’Reilly took us from the No Spin Zone to the make-your-head-spin zone in his rant, “The Truth About White Privilege.” And what was O’Reilly’s “truth?” That white privilege is a myth, the proof of which lies in the experience of Asian Americans.

Ferguson and Human Dignity

Michael Brown Left on Street

Jonathan Simon: Human dignity arose on the streets of Ferguson, hovering over Michael Brown’s body, growing ever larger as that body was degraded in the hot sun. Not his soul or his ghost, but the specter of the humanity he shared with all of us.

Why Ferguson Matters to Asian Americans

Ferguson Asian Americans

Soya Jung: The mutually reinforcing myths of black criminality and the model minority have no place in the world envisioned by the people of Ferguson, defiantly standing their ground, armed with love and rage in the face of tanks and guns.

The CHP’s Thug Life: Justice for Marlene Pinnock

CHP Beating

Sikivu Hutchinson: There is no question that a video with an older defenseless white woman lying prone on the ground being knocked senseless by an officer of color (or a white cop, for that matter) would’ve had the entire nation up in arms demanding the officer’s immediate termination and prosecution.

Mississippi Revisited

Mississippi Freedom Summer 50th Anniversary

Vivian Rothstein: The Mississippi Freedom Summer 50th Anniversary gathering was a way to make sure that Mississippi’s civil rights history is defined by those organizers and local leaders who made it.

Juneteenth: Marking the End of Slavery

Juneteenth

Jessie Daniels: When I see those historical photos of early Juneteenth celebrations, and I see how small and sober these events seem, I think what a bittersweet moment that must have been – celebrating emancipation and commemorating all those that didn’t make it.

Washington Redskins, Choose a New Name

Redskins

Lisa Bloom: Some Native Americans consider the “R” word their “N” word. And those who live in the minority group know far better than the rest of us which terms are used to demean them. Those observations deserve our respect.

Mexican or American?

Mexican American Teacher

Rudy Acuña: White Americans of my generation questioned, why would anyone want to be anything but American? Everyone wanted to come to America, didn’t they?

The American System of Racism

American System of Racism

Steve Hochstadt: We remember a bee sting for a long time. A dozen bee stings change how a person thinks about insects. The daily stings of racism over a lifetime, a generation, several centuries have determined the painful relations between black and white in America.

Dismantling Collective Amnesia

Collective Amnesia

Jessica Ann Mitchell: Anyone who reads Ta-Nehisi Coates’ latest masterpiece on The Atlantic will realize that it goes beyond the traditional conversation about reparations. It’s a beautifully woven story that works towards dismantling collective amnesia.

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