Where were you when 9/11 erupted? I was in my shower stall when the bloody phone kept ringing and ringing. It was a call from the historian Jeremy Adams (SMU, Dallas, TX), a friend I had not heard from in years. Quick go to your TV to see the end of the world as we knew it. … Continue reading »
California’s budget compromise adds a pre-kindergarten year for all 4-year-olds, funds 200,000 fresh child care slots, and modestly raises wages for pre-K teachers and subsidized child-minders. These bold advances seemed unimaginable in the state Capitol just weeks ago.
This week features commemorations of one of the worst atrocities on American soil during the twentieth century, the so-called Greenwood Massacre, also known as the Tulsa Race Riot. In 1921, a white mob invaded the Greenwood District, a thriving district known as “Black Wall Street,” by foot and air in a targeted attack on Tulsa’s … Continue reading »
If more journalists — and indeed, more industry leaders — were people of color, mainstream media would have recognized much sooner that the cases of Black and brown civilians being killed were not isolated examples of police misconduct.
Beyond the protests, every police killing — indeed, every violent act by police toward civilians — can have painful and widespread consequences.
With a new congress and president the federal government will once again become the focus of advocacy and attention for advancing a racial equity agenda. The question before us is simple yet profound: What can the new congress and Biden administration do? Perhaps more importantly, what should be done?
A year ago, I canceled a trip to Indiana. Normally, I wouldn’t remember so vividly something like this. But March 11, 2020 is underlined in my memory like few other days in my life. I had a newly published book to promote, and the trip was supposed to be part of launching it. With a … Continue reading »
But the bottom line is that we have to reject the hate crimes and attacks on Asian Americans. Not because there is complete agreement on all issues, but because we must keep each other safe and hold on to our shared humanity. At the same time, we must be sensitive to the concerns for the Black community in how solutions are discussed and used.
It is hard to overestimate the impact of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s service on America and American democracy. And it’s critical to note that the example of his own life, as well as the actions of the Southern Black Freedom Struggle (aka the Civil Rights Movement) indicate that for King, service encompasses a broad range of activities including direct action and civil resistance.
Taken together, the book and the film are a plea for the mainstream adoption of nonviolence without delay in order to bring us into right relationship with ourselves, each other, and our world. Yet this brings us to a question: Is it already too late? Can nonviolence turn the tide at this critical inflection point for our democracy, our natural environment, and our relationships with each other?
As the latest long national nightmare slithers inexorably to its end, it is time to consider a few familiar stories that may provide much needed wisdom. Rumpelstiltskin, Samson, and a modern story.
In the days, weeks, and years ahead, we have much work to do. In our college, this work is particularly acute because geography is destiny, and our destiny is density. Red states and blue states? Fuggedaboutit! Elections in the United States are increasingly about our cities and the communities that enliven them.
In the summer of 2012, as a rising senior physics major at the University of Minnesota, I participated in a 10-week NSF Research Experience for Undergraduates program at the University of Chicago. Every day I would fabricate thin films of quantum dots, and every night I would exercise by running to and from Lake Michigan … Continue reading »
There are many complicated issues here about how to judge, remember, and commemorate the past, which are not easily resolved. But I hope we can agree that we should tell the truth about past. This should be our starting point for all consequential discussions, a point that has been under some stress lately.
The Berkeley faculty has been invited to respond to the proposal to re-name Kroeber the Hall. We have had little time to reflect on this. The re-naming report was prepared hastily and secretly. I was told that it was a ‘classified’ and ‘highly confidential’ report that was not to be copied or distributed. Thus, the … Continue reading »
No one at Berkeley would ever encourage a student to drop out of the university. But you can learn a lot from studying what college dropouts do with their lives. Recently, I have been thinking about two famous dropouts who have been in the news. Observers of the political situation and the state of public … Continue reading »
I am trained as an anthropologist and believe deeply in the future of my discipline. But if we are going to be able to move forward into the future I want to see happen– a future being shaped by my students, who come from much more diverse communities than ever before — we have to … Continue reading »
I was deeply distressed to learn about an administrative plan to remove the name of AL Kroeber from Kroeber Hall. The decision was not discussed with the anthropology faculty. Moreover, the ‘statement’ on Alfred Kroeber was woefully misinformed and in the pop style of social media “cancel culture”, based on shaming and removing public figures … Continue reading »
Recently while shopping in my San Francisco neighborhood, I was racially profiled and accused of stealing by another customer. This was not the first time I was racially profiled in a city known for its progressivism. This open letter is an invitation to all, and particularly those who count themselves among the “woke,” to dig … Continue reading »
Black lives matter across any geographical border. My research and my own racial encounters confirm what I have known in my soul: our fates are inextricably linked. And they depend upon the recognition of Black humanity and dignity.