Trump and the predictability of violent white male backlash

The reaction to Trump’s misogynistic xenophobia basically runs in two large directions: repulsed distance and righteous celebration. As much as his racist and sexist swagger are abhorrent, the moves to distance from him run the risk of missing why Trump’s messages of xenophobia have gathered traction at this moment as well as the deeply American…

How Whiteness tells the Story of Katrina 10 Years Later

Malcolm Gladwell’s essay on New Orleans ten years after Hurricane Katrina is but one of the many narratives that center whiteness as the protagonist of the city during and after Katrina. The purchase this essay has by virtue of its publication in The New Yorker, a nationally renowned news, politics and culture magazine, holds lessons…

Place becomes space: Structural oppression in situ

Structure: the arrangement of and relations between the parts or elements of something complex. When I was finishing up my doctoral studies, third space theories were aflame in literacy research. Studies of how people created spaces that were neither school nor home, neither book nor digital, neither visual nor auditory, but along different nodes, reached…

Grief and Profit

Many around the nation and globe will be formally grieving, and through their grief, honoring the victims of the recent racism-fueled massacre  in South Carolina. Those present in Charleston will include President Obama and myriad other dignitaries, in observance and communion around terror, loss, violence, and perhaps justice and healing. But many will not be…

Why racial justice is not what we need at this moment

What a week for the study of race. Rather than she whose name has already had too much airtime, I start with the violence the Dominican Republic is enacting on some of its own citizens. I’ll connect to what’s her name and why neither the confusion and cacophony that’s transpired in her wake nor the DR’s…

Pretty hurts: Nail salons and intersectional vulnerability

The people who work in nail salons are overwhelmingly poor female migrants from East Asian countries. Some have legal documentation status to be in the United States; many do not. As is the case with almost all contemporary poor migrants, they are central to the financial viability of their families here and send remittances to family they left…