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.
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.
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.
Scot Nakagawa: The shocking situation evolving in Ferguson, Missouri, has laid bare an ugly feature of American life: that the relationship of American society to Black people is founded upon the logic of slavery.
Scot Nakagawa: While I support legalization as an incremental step in the right direction, I think we are wrong to promote legalization as a means of achieving racial justice.
Scot Nakagawa: The problem is that there is no colorblind meritocracy in the U.S. That’s just a myth of white supremacy. Our problem is racism, not a lack of mettle, gumption, pluck, or educational attainment.
Scot Nakagawa: Asians are the least likely among all racial groups to make it to the top in the private sector, including among law firms, again in spite of being better educated.