Scot Nakagawa: We need to play defense now, but I think we have got to start to also, equally, play the long game, and figuring that out should begin with an assessment that looks as much at cultural currents as at politics.
Scot Nakagawa: U.S. industry basically ripped all of the wealth and labor value out of Black workers. As a result, political elites have deemed poor Black people nothing but a “problem.”
Scot Nakagawa: What most animates movements on the right is not class but culture, and central to those cultural arguments are race, gender, sexuality, religion, and nationality.
Scot Nakagawa: I can attest to there being racism everywhere, but my travels have led me to the conclusion that Portland is the most smugly racist major city in the country among the ones I’ve visited, and I’ve been to most.
Scot Nakagawa: Both the Brexit Vote and Trumpism demonstrate that there is a deep cultural fault line that runs through the the western world that is defined by identity and primarily by race and ethnicity.
Scot Nakagawa: 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. Fear Factor
Scot Nakagawa: Those who say activists for racial justice ought not preach to the choir are too personally invested in the people doing the singing to hear what they sound like to those for whom they are strangers or even the “other.”
lived for nearly 25 years in Portland, Oregon. There I staffed an organization dedicated to fighting vigilante white supremacists. In order to fight the white right, we built a base that was made up almost entirely of white progressives. I also served as the Executive Director of the McKenzie River Gathering Foundation, a financial resource […]
Scot Nakagawa: So you grow up in the burbs, attend better schools and enjoy other advantages as a result, and then decide that now that you’re a big wage earner, you’d rather live where the poor people are and push them to the places you’re abandoning because those neighborhoods make you “nauseated.”
Scot Nakagawa: By sensationalizing Black-Asian tensions (and isolating these tensions from the tensions between Blacks and whites, whites and Asians, Asians and Latinos, Native Americans and settlers, etc.) while also ignoring the context for them, the media also heightens those very same tensions.
Scot Nakagawa: American history revolves around the story of the exploitation and exclusion of Black people. We live in denial of this reality at our own great peril.
Scot Nakagawa: Poor people, disproportionate numbers of whom are Black and brown, are being pushed out into the periphery of metropolitan areas while privileged whites leave the periphery (and take their capital with them) to move into redeveloped inner-city playgrounds.
Scot Nakagawa: The crisis of Ferguson is also being driven by changing racial demographics and forced migration. And in these dynamics, Black people are just the canaries the mine shaft. What happens to them is a harbinger of what may happen to all of us.