Donald Trump should take the NYC subway

For months, I’ve been trying to figure out (along with many of you), what the heck happened this past November. As a scholar whose territory is racism and immigration, I have been immersed in self-flagellation—shouldn’t I have seen this coming? (By this, I mean: the election of a man who vocally supports racialized and discriminatory…

Now Stay Woke

I knew this fellow once, let’s call him Shawn, whose heart was in the right place. He was a documentary filmmaker and he decided to make a piece for TV about people who left high-paying jobs to go into teaching. It was useful,he explained to me, to understand why people would do such a wonderful…

Racism is an intimacy disorder

  I’ve been reading a lot about attachment theory lately, and how trauma encountered in early childhood develops into intimacy disorder in adulthood. As Robert Weiss, a scholar and clinician whose work focuses on intimacy and addiction, writes: Intimacy avoidance is often caused by or related to early childhood trauma — physical neglect, emotional abandonment…

Racial Re-parenting

We sat in Fort Greene park, Brooklyn, in a circle on blue blankets while around us children cried out for their parents. Daddy, watch me do a cartwheel, watch, Daddy watch. I marveled at the interracial shangra-la, as black dads and white dads threw and kicked balls for black children and white children playing together….

Can’t Look Away: Towards projects of hope, love and resistance

A few weeks ago, on this very blog, an anonymous commenter posted a comment on my photograph. “Kvetching half-breed,” he wrote. “Hypocritical c*nt.” Words that are opposite of love, rather, a racialized, gendered micro-aggression. A harm, a trauma, words designed to wound. More wounds: one of my immigrant high school students sobbed in my arms a few weeks ago. She, and many…

Standardized Tests are a form of Racial Profiling

A familiar refrain in education circles is that standardized tests are changing public education. With the rise of standardized testing there has been the loss of the arts and music in curriculum and increased stress among children, youth and teachers. A recent survey reported over half of  teachers are considering leaving the profession because of the ill…

Story-telling is healing

We told stories in class tonight. I do a lot of story-telling work with my students, because it is important. I learned how to tell stories when I taught in Hawai’i: “Christine, can we talk story a little?” one of my graduate students would ask me. He is Mexican and lives on Maui and is a beautiful,…

Syrian refugees, rhetoric and respect

It isn’t respectful to view another human being as a “crisis”. The news of the latest refugee “crisis” has hit the newspapers and I have mostly dragged my feet in reading about it. When I finally sat down at my computer to leaf through the many pages of writing on Syrians leaving their homeland in…

Regarding the Pain of the Racial Other: Thoughts on Walter Scott

“Invoking this hypothetical shared experience (“we are seeing with you the same dead bodies, the same ruined houses”), Woolf professes to believe that the shock of such pictures cannot fail to unite people of good will. Does it?”–Sontag, Regarding the Pain of Others  Susan Sontag relates Virginia’s Woolf reaction to photographs of the dead in…

Does Diversity Matter?: How we are becoming more segregated in the U.S.

Lola and I sat in the back of the auditorium. On stage, students rapped haltingly and slightly off-tune. Students, all recently arrived immigrants, were diverse: one was from Nepal, one from Japan, two were from China, two from the Dominican Republic, and still another from West Africa. The group was rounded out by a Haitian, and…