untitled peom

I

we carried
together
a large animal’s body up the hill’s side through scrub oak and
ponderosa and there was the smell of musk and blood and deer
droppings and we kept the ridge of the next hill in sight and I kept
you in sight and I tried hard to never let you out of my sight

you brought peace to me

and then you didn’t

but you still searched for me
for that part of me that needed you
that ache in my days
and after a while I began
to make plans and then I made a life that didn’t have you in it and
I no longer think about whether that makes you sad or not

in the photo where you kneel holding the animal’s head and I
stand behind you at the bottom of that hill we climbed
it is impossible to figure out the name of the emotion on my face

 

II

there was the soft electronic jingle of my phone’s alarm clock and
there was the orange yellow light that spills across the city by the sea
dripping off the fronds of palm trees making me squint to see
what was outside my window

just the roof of the building next door
and the sound of a vacuum cleaner

then

there was the Trader Joe’s parking lot and
there was the black plastic funnel that they use to measure out
and pour whole roasted coffee beans into paper bags and
there was a white pastor frustrated with his parishioner’s
gossiping about other parishioners’ scandalous Instagram accounts and
there was the writer and star of a new HBO series having brunch
by herself at the next table
(at the restaurant that serves cornmeal pancakes) and
there was garbage skidding along a concrete drainage channel carried by the flow of recent rains and
there was the graffiti on the asphalt of a new bicycle path and
there were mothers and goddaughters
killed in drunk driving accidents and
there were menus with Brussels sprouts on them and
there were younger brothers who dropped out of college and
there was a cactus plant with its arms hacked off and
there was a black man with a yellow mohawk driving a Jetta
with Juvenile’s 1999 hit “Back Dat Azz Up” playing at high volume outside of an expensive pastry shop on Washington and
there was the chasm between me and the people I love

 

III

you gently tore a small plant from the earth and told me that it
was wild strawberry

a pair of dragonflies floated, wobbling, over our heads and I
watched them, no longer listening to you

in the grassy center of the valles caldera in northern new mexico
large herds of elk grazed and they had no worries and they were
warm in the mountain sun and you watched them through
binoculars and I smelled the smell of the smoke on your flannel
shirt while I spun a thick stalk of grass between my fingers wondering

will I ever be like you

 

IV

now I wish people would love me by clicking the pixelated buttons
near my name and
the incompleteness I carry with me every place I go is still there and
I still am someone i no longer recognize

a few weeks ago I sat with four other men at a restaurant in pasadena and
we ate pizza and spoke of money jobs wives college
cities we have siblings in

I did that to give you something that would give you hope
because there is a debt I will never pay off and so I have learned
to talk to these men and to other men who are like me in ways
I don’t want to think about

you and I ate salad together on a sidewalk the corn was roasted
the dressing was delicious and then we walked back to the room
where all our worst moments happened and I remembered
looking in your misty red eyes and apologizing and saying that it will never happen again
I hope it will never happen again I will try my hardest but
some days I will not try my hardest
you asked me to stay and not go
we cried and could not let go
you paid a great price and
I learned that there is a price I would have to pay and
I learned that I am not as good as I thought I was.

 

V

and I still don’t know if I am like you

 

Advertisements

In this post, I write about Christmas in New Mexico and then get vulnerable.

img_0911
inside the Frontier restaurant
img_0873
San Felipe de Neri church, founded in 1706

 

 

 

Yesterday we returned from a five-day trip to Albuquerque. As always, time there is bittersweet.

Albuquerque is a better place for Christmas than Los Angeles. The air is clean and the stars plentiful. The cold has a bite to it, and may even come with snow, which everyone knows is beautiful when it covers brown adobe walls. There’s also the deeply rooted Catholic culture and a Middle-East-looking landscape filled with pilgrimage sites and place-names like Belén.  Red and green chile match the decorations, and in the days before the holiday, neighborhoods and public buildings are lined with luminarias.

I was able to enjoy most of these things on this trip, but the comfort and familiarity of being back in the Motherland always comes with reminders of why it was easy (or necessary) to leave.

2016 has been a year of life-changing upheaval not just for me, but for my immediate family. Being with them last week was difficult, not just because of the holiday stress, but because the brokenness and toxic patterns in their lives are the brokenness and toxic patterns I carry in me. As much as I try, I can’t be an objective observer or impartial counselor when there is drama or conflict between parents and siblings or parents and parents. At 18 I left the house and made a life for myself, but my family’s emotional DNA has shaped that life, despite my best efforts.

Those best efforts, though, are so, so important. 2016 taught me that. If I am not making an effort, if I am not working on becoming more healthy, more honest, more whole–then that emotional baggage will wreak havoc. That happened this year, in ways that were worse than I would have imagined. Call it God’s grace, call it the super-human love of those closest to me, but somehow I’m rebuilding and 2017 is looking a lot more hopeful.

It’s not that I don’t love my family. Of course there is love, and of course there is loyalty and sacrifice. But I know now that I need boundaries, and one of the best things I can do is work on myself so that I don’t pass on the same pain that was passed on to me.


img_0870
yucca plants in Old Town Abq

Another thing home and family dysfunction remind me of is my faith. I’ve avoided writing about my faith on this blog. This might seem strange to those of you who have known me longest. My last blog, which I kept most actively in 2005 and 2006 when I was serving as an intern with an urban youth ministry in Pasadena, was deeply spiritual. I was passionately seeking to know God and his love for justice through writing about my experiences in ministry, work, and community.

I also remember vividly how my holidays at home in New Mexico seemed to test my faith, and the urgency with which I pleaded to God for intervention, comfort, and hope. As I got older, I incorporated Advent practices and disciplines as a way of orienting my mind and heart toward the deeper truths and mysteries of Jesus’ being with us–Immanuel. I found great comfort in that, and being a part of various communities of faith after college always helped reinforce it even if I felt distracted, unmotivated, or too busy.


img_0867
a trash can in Old Town Abq.
img_0852
Pueblo gingerbread

This all began to change for me around 2012. I finished my Master’s degree and began pouring myself into a new career. Detailing what happened and how things began to unravel is a topic for a future post (which I probably don’t have the courage to write right now, but I’m open to persuasion ;P), but yes, this is when I really began to stray from the Father’s house. I started doing and thinking and wanting things I hadn’t before. I learned that I was not as good as I thought I was. I learned that I did not really know how to love people or receive love.

Fast forward to today–God feels like a friend who knew me in my best years and still waits for me to get in touch with him after moving far away. I really thought I believed in grace, but when I think about the last couple years, I see that the lies I carried with me were louder and more compelling: I don’t deserve to have people’s attention or love. I am unappealing and unlikable at the core. I am not good and I can’t be good, and everything that people see about me is an act, so they’ll like me. If they saw past the act, they wouldn’t like me. 

Maybe this is why attention–on social media, from employers and coworkers–began to appeal to me so much. I knew it was the kind of attention that only arises for a limited time and then fizzles out. That’s what I could handle. That was manageable for me. If it got any more intimate, then I would be confronted with the prospect of people getting to know me on a deeper and more vulnerable level. That would be unacceptable because I’m so afraid of being seen as a fraud, of having my deep unworthiness exposed, of being rejected.

I still go to church, but it is largely because I don’t know or have other ways of cultivating the kind of deep adult relationships I want and need. I sit and stand,  daydreaming. I might have some moments of clarity in which I think about how I wish I could be more surrendered to God. I sometimes feel resentment toward church and people in church for seeming to have a faith and a sense of belonging that I want so much but don’t believe is for me.

Then I stop myself. Life is too short to be mired in resentment. Why waste precious years like that?  What can I do to make the most of my life, to live more authentically and vulnerably?

This is one of the questions I’m committing to ask myself this next year. Whatever the answer(s) might be, I am sure that it starts with learning how to be less critical and dismissive of my own self. I’ve always been taught that the way to do this, simply, is to practice seeing ourselves through the eyes of God. God, we are told, sees the best and worst of us and loves us all the same. When I saw myself, as I did when my faith was stronger, in the light of that truth, there was less room for shame and pride. Shame dismisses the good and focuses on the bad. Pride does the opposite. Both are distortions.

Now I am gaining the tools to see myself rightly. It’s a slow process, and I don’t think I could do it if I hadn’t walked away from where I came from. Now I have to hope that when I walk I am walking towards Home.

 

 

 

perpetual present

img_0806

Back in LA after a pre-Christmas weekend in the Yay Area. I’d forgotten how cold it gets up there and how weak I’ve gotten since Illinois days. I wore a tshirt and a hoodie exiting the Oakland airport and froze my ass off walking to the newly built monorail shuttle and waiting for the BART train. I seriously expected the station to have heat lamps like they do in Chicago. I stood on the platform judging people in puff coats while simultaneously judging BART for not having heated stations.

So today it was a sunny 75 degrees in Culver City; I worked part of the day from the sidewalk outside the coffee shop near the apartment.

Having grown up and lived in places that actually have seasons–changes in climate that mark the different times of the year–winter in Southern California has always been disorienting. Something about it feels off, and not just because of the temperature.

I recently read something that captured that feeling:

The very qualities that make it America’s chosen stage on which to mount the drama of self-creation also make it a site of a profound dislocation. Swaddled year-round in warmth and light, you imagine yourself to be moving through a perpetual present; there’s always time to begin again, to wake up and do things better, to manufacture yourself anew. Time is a renewable resource, plentiful as sunshine. The sky looks like someone’s taken the roof off the world and the city itself stretches on ecstatically, looking like someone jammed a bunch of buildings together with great enthusiasm but little forethought.

You can abide all this for a few months until you actually are moving through a perpetual present in which the seasons at best mark infinitesimal variations in light and warmth and the palm trees are always swaying gently, imperceptibly, maddeningly to and fro like faulty metronomes. This isn’t to say that time is static. No, it dilates and contracts according to the whims of traffic; a trip that took you 20 minutes one day takes you an hour the next. You reminisce about an episode in your life as if it took place a year ago, only to find that three years have elapsed.

I get this idea of the perpetual present in Los Angeles. Time doesn’t seem to really pass. It is a renewable resource, just like the sunshine, and one year seems the same as the last. This is why this place is so good at forgetting or ignoring its history so much. But its also why so many people come here. The industry we’re known for is the one that promises the power to become someone new.

When I lived in Chicago, I felt that city carried the weight of its history like a heavy burden. It was carried with pride, but it also could be heavy and limiting, like the layers of ice and snow that lingered for months on end. In New Mexico, history is like a vast ocean (more like an ocean of land, but stick with the metaphor), and we float in it, specks on the surface. It is bigger than us, it contains us, and we are just passing through it. It touches everything– the architecture, the surnames of the people, the mountains and mesas where people lived millennia ago and their descendants still live there.

Even now, I feel like it’s easier to mark and measure the episodes and progress in my life that happened in those places. It’s not that things haven’t happened to me here in CA. Quite the opposite, as some of you know. I guess what I mean is, we who live here have to pay a little extra attention to ourselves if we want to reflect on our growth and change. If the light and the warmth and the time never seem to change, it is harder to notice the change in ourselves. This can be very addicting: live each day in the present, hit the Reset button on your life each morning or whenever you experience frustration, pain, or failure.

It might be because I was a history major and my mind is wired that way, but I’ve always believed that the deepest meaning can be found in the past. Where we came from shapes who we are. Who we were in he past explains why we are who we are in the present.

But this way of thinking can also be crippling if taken too far. Regret and nostalgia are just as dangerous to personal growth as forgetting. No surprise, then, that these are the traps I fall into in my own life.

I could write at length about those things, but I won’t here. I think the only reason I wrote this post, initially, was so I could share that quote about LA. In the pressure to fill out the post with more original thoughts, I arrived at what you just read. Not terrible, but also maybe not super profound.

I guess it is just one way for me to relate what it is like to live where I live.

 

 

best of 2106: libros

‘Tis the season for best-of lists. Normally these include things that are easily listed: books read, songs heard, movies watched. I tried to think of some other things I might have kept record of this year (meals in restaurants? Donald Trump think pieces? memes? moments of personal despair and failure?) but these either seem too uninteresting, too messy, or too much work.

So, I’ll keep it simple. Here are the 8 best books I read in 2016 in no particular order.

laroseI’m actually still in the middle of this one. Erdich is a superstar in Native American lit. I began 2016 by reading her award winning The Round House, which seems to take place on the same reservation as LaRose. Erdich’s stories weave family trauma, historical memory, and questions of culture, law, and justice for Native Americans living on the margins of U.S. society. What I like about LaRose is the way it combines a deeply intimate and vulnerable telling of its characters’ lives with themes that are as deep, dark, and wide. The story centers on two families (both of whom are of mixed white and Native ancestry) who are neighbors on the reservation. The father of one family accidentally kills the young son of the other family while hunting, and in accordance with traditional practice, gives his own young son to the grieving family to balance things out. How this arrangement impacts the families is told with heartbreaking honesty and humor.

Like all Erdich’s work, LaRose uses family stories to bring light to the painful but resilient history of Native America–genocide, loss of land and sovereignty, alcoholism. The novel also contains a version of one of the best short stories I read this year, Erdich’s “The Flower.”

a_brief_history_of_seven_killings_coverWow. This was a wild ride of masterful storytelling. Marlon James crafted a bold and ambitious novel–a whirlwind of politics, violence, race, Cold War intrigue, music, drugs, crime, immigration and so much more. This book won the Mann Booker prize and it was well deserved.


The narrative structure of the book is unique and can be overwhelming at times, with its abundant cast of characters, jumps through time, and multiple (sometimes conflicting) viewpoints. But it was utterly absorbing. James succeeds in creating an epic, cinematic feel. Maybe it is the setting of the book (Jamaican slums in the 70s, New York City slums in the 1980s), but at points I felt like I was in a gritty 70s film or a crack-era rap song.

The core of the plot is the real-life 1976 assassination attempt against Bob Marley. Marley himself hovers as a mysterious but heavy presence in the novel, which is just as much about the ways in which Jamaica (and, you might say, the Global South) struggles to define itself in a world where the violence of politics and capitalism flow unfiltered into the lives of families, communities, and people who are just trying to live and love each other and themselves.

rivr-of-dark

Slavery dominated pop culture and media in 2015 and 2016. Ta-Nehisi Coates blew up and became a celebrity/prophet, and novels, films, and TV swam boldly into the topic. This book isn’t for a popular audience, but it gives scholarly depth to a lot of what is being talked about in the mainstream. It also ranks as one of the most entertaining and beautifully written scholarly works I have ever read.

Johnson’s writing is sharp, accurate, contextual, and packed with mad insight. Each chapter covers a different aspect of the slave-based economy/social structure in the antebellum Mississippi Valley. These include: The technology and economics of steamboats, the attempts by pro-slavery filibusters to invade and take over Cuba and Nicaragua for the United States, an examination of how credit and debt worked in the cotton economy, the importance of food as a tool of control on plantations, and many others.

The narrative and analysis alone are excellent, but added to that Johnson’s incredible use of language and wit, this was a thoroughly fascinating and engaging read from beginning to end.

Several chapters were devoted to painting a picture of the lived experiences of slaves in the Mississippi Valley cotton empire, and Johnson’s use of former slaves’ memoirs in these chapters is stunning and powerful. The connections between intimate bodily violence, capitalism, imperialism (and Manifest Destiny), white supremacy, technology, and ecology are illustrated in this book like no where else I have ever seen, and done so with remarkable clarity and insight.

One chapter for example, entitled “The Carceral Landscape,” was haunting and disturbing in how it showed how the reorganization of land in service of one single export crop became a physical medium through which master oversaw, controlled, and inflicted violence on enslaved bodies. Throughout the book, Johnson holds no punches when it comes to breaking slavery down into its most fundamental elements. Black labor and Black flesh (and Indian land) were “converted into” bales of cotton and thus, white wealth. The mechanism for this conversion was not complicated: it was the torture of Black bodies, the destruction of Black families, the commodification of Black labor (and the conversion of Indian land into white property).

Johnson ends his study with an implication that reappears throughout the book: That in American history, the very idea and reality of “freedom” may not be an inevitable outcome of human progress, but rather the consequence of intentional and systematic violence and extraction directed at others. In other words, Black slavery (and Indigenous removal) were not incidental to White freedom, empire, and democracy– they were its very foundation.

fifth-seasonI’m very new to the fantasy/sci-fi genre, and this year I made a big effort to get more into it. I wanted to start by focusing on authors of color, and N.K. Jemisin’s book (the first of a trilogy) set the bar very high.

This was a thoroughly fun and enthralling read, new and exciting on many levels. Jemisin, according to her bio, is a counseling psychologist by day, and her dialogue and development of the characters’ relationships and emotional lives really reflect that. To see those things so superbly crafted in an original work of speculative fiction, with all its world building and intricate and epic plotting, is refreshing and exciting. Also refreshing is the way Jemisin writes with an intrinsic understanding and grasp of race and sexuality that almost never appears in sci-fi or fantasy. And it’s done in a way that is subtle and poignant, but not the focus of the narrative. In other words, diversity is normalized.

The originality of the concept and the depth of emotional development in the characters made this one of the most enjoyable books I’ve read this year.

selloutThis book is insane and hilarious and incredible. It is a wild and  notes of Boondocks and Chappelle, and is smart in all the ways those shows were smart and then some. But it’s also literary and self aware and it nails Los Angeles beautifully.

The premise is a young Black farmer in South Central L.A. who gets hauled before the Supreme Court for re-instituting segregation and slavery. Yeah.

If you’ve spent this year reading Ta-Nehisi & Claudia Rankine, you need to pick this up and get well rounded. Every page had me laughing out loud and/or saying “Damn that is some deep sh**.” Definitely one of the most memorable books I’ve read in a long time.

Oh, and I shouted when he referenced my local Trader Joe’s on National & Westwood Blvd.

orendaAgh, all the feels. Heartbreak and joy and violence. And this is just one story of so many like it about Turtle Island and the way the world changed forever when two civilizations met and clashed. It’s tragic, complicated, and hopeful all at once. I thirst for more stories like this to be told and heard widely.

Three lives intertwine on the early 17th century French-Canadian frontier: a Jesuit missionary, a wise but troubled Huron warrior chief, and a young and fiery Iroquois girl whose family was murdered by said chief.

The Orenda (by Canadian half-French, half-Indigenous author Joseph Boyden) was a great novel to read I was developing my own novel idea: it concerns First Contact, cultural conflict and cultural survival. It asks how conflicting worldviews can be reconciled between individuals even as their clashing results in unspeakable loss and violence on a larger and historical scale. And it is told with remarkably researched detail and aching intimacy.

mothersThis debut from 25 year old Brit Bennet got a lot of buzz this year. Having read a few buzzed-about novels, I know that they don’t always live up to the hype. This is definitely a first novel by a young writer, but it surpassed my expectations.

Bennet crafts young adult characters that are authentic and complex. This is a coming of age novel, but it’s also an exploration of love, loyalty, and friendship among millennials of color. Oh, and abortion and motherhood are big themes.

Like The Sellout, this book is about a Black community in Southern California (in this case, the beach town of Oceanside). Both books stray from tradition and tell the stories of people of color in their own unique and refreshing ways, which is a really nice by-product of having more and more diverse voices in the arts.

night-skyI read a number of books of poetry this year, and it is hard to choose a favorite. Solmaz Sharif’s Look could easily have been on this list, and Night Sky With Exit Wounds is often grouped along with that one. Both are debut collections from non-white, immigrant authors. Both deal with dislocation and how war and colonialism inflict psychic and generational violence.

Ocean Vuong was born in a Vietnamese village and raised by his mother in New Jersey tenements. His skill with the English language clearly is rooted in experiences of being an outsider, a translator for the older generation, a refugee, queer. To Vuong, language is a bridge, a tool, a weapon, a key to citizenship, a challenge to citizenship. It is a middle finger to empire and to conformity, and to all the voices that say a poor, illiterate rice farmer could never raise a son who would one day publish his writing in The New Yorker.

 

“What can I do to help Syria?”

This post is not an original. I’ve reproduced in its entirety a response from a Syrian blogger. Here it is:


Well, after educating yourself and advocating for the rights of the Syrian people in their fight for freedom against a brutal dictatorship as well as naming and holding accountable those who aid the Assad regime such as Iran, Hezbollah and Russia among others, *breathes*, you can help by donating to any of the organisations/groups listed below.

These groups mainly help on the ground in Syria providing aid; be it medical or psychological as well as food and clothes to those in need.

SAMS Foundation: the foundation works with Syrian American health care professionals and operates 106 medical facilities throughout Syria

Doctors Without Borders (also known as MSF): the organisation provides front-line medical treatment as well as providing drugs, medical supplies and equipment

Questscope: the organisation’s work is mostly centered on providing immediate trauma support and psychosocial counseling

Save the Children: the organisation is on the ground in Syria and in refugee communities providing children and their families with warm clothes, shelters, clean water and emergency care

Syrian Civil Defense (also known as The White Helmets): they are about 3,000 neutral, impartial and humanitarian Syrian volunteers who operate as first responders in rebel-held areas across the country. They were recently nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.

Karam Foundation: the organisations is focused on educational opportunities for Syrian children, currently raising funds to rebuild schools in Syria.

NuDay Syria: the organisation’s mission focuses on bringing housing and food to displaced families with single mothers or wounded family members. They are especially concerned with the lack of safe shelter and living for single mothers with daughters.

Hand in Hand for Syria: the organisation provides aid including food, clothing, water, sanitation and crucial medical assistance

According to the United Nations, there are almost 14 million Syrian refugees around the world (so far) in need of humanitarian aid. The groups below are mainly focused on helping Syrian refugees:

Migrant Offshore Aid Station: this charity exists to save children like Alan Kurdi, with a fleet of rescue boats patrolling the Mediterranean to save migrants lost at sea.

Refugees Welcome: dubbed as a kind of “Airbnb for refugees” this German nonprofit matches people with spare rooms with refugees in need of housing. If you don’t have a spare bed in Germany.

The Worldwide Tribe in Calais: a group of social activists documenting stories in the Calais migrant camp, they also raise relief funds.

Small Projects Istanbul: the initiative provides classes and cultural enrichment and scholarships to Syrian children in Turkey.

International Medical Corps: they run a service center for Syrian refugees that provides medical care, classes and job training.

Medical Teams International: the organisation focuses on health and dental care for Syrian refugees in Lebanon.

Mercy Corps: the group provides direct aid to Syrian refugees in the form of food and supplies, and by increasing access to clean water and sanitation, shelters, and safe spaces and activities for children

Shelterbox: the group has been providing emergency shelter and supplies to families affected by the Syrian crisis in Iraq Kurdistan, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria, including clothing, stoves and, water filters.

UNICEF: the UN agency focuses on assisting Syrian children by providing healthcare, nutrition, immunization, water and sanitation, and classes.

Oxfam: the nonprofit provides aid to Syrian refugees in Lebanon and Jordan such as clean water, sanitation services, and hygiene education to help ward of cholera and other intestinal diseases.

Yes, donating won’t stop barrel bombs from falling on besieged civilian areas (that comes by being vocal about Assad’s crimes) but it can definitely help create a start.

Speaking of educating yourselves, an initiative called Syria Social Campaign would send you one or two articles concerning Syria each week! You only have to submit your email address.

I have also found a more detailed list of things you can do to help aside from donations made by Syrian Solidarity Committee. I highly recommend going through it as it has many excellent recommendations.

Here’s the Syria Solidarity Calendar for those who would like to take part in solidarity events around the world

for those who asked

donating is great, but at this bleak and uncertain point, what matters the most is to be knowledgable and outspoken to defend the free people of syria and be their voice that’s been long silenced and ignored. and remember, neutrality only helps the oppressor.

miscellany

I’ll make an attempt to write a longer blog update this week. In the meantime, I’m going through this last week’s reading and links. Some highlights:

Ta-Nehisi Coates will interview Barack Obama in The Atlantic‘s next issue: “My President Was Black” (the article is not yet available online)

Not to be missed: Donald Trump didn’t flip working-class white voters. Hillary Clinton lost them.

(longform): The Refugees of Amarillo:

They have fled war-torn countries, given up livelihoods, and left behind possessions and family for the safety of a foreign world of cowboy hats and Walmarts. But the refugees who land in Amarillo’s Astoria Park have an ally who understands their confusion and loss: a 64-year-old former teacher named Miss Evelyn.

Scenes from the last days at Standing Rock:

17_native_portraits_larsen-adapt-536-1

Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren Contribute to a Progressive-Themed Essay Collection: “What We Do Now: Standing Up For Your Values in Trump’s America.”

White-Collar Supremacy:

This sort of image makeover is a big part of the alt-right’s game. They want to convince the media that they are a “new form” of white nationalism that we’ve never seen before: clean-cut, intellectual, far removed from the unpolished white supremacists of the past. But the alt-right is not as new as we might think. In fact, efforts to dress up white supremacy in ideas and middle-class respectability have been around since the first organized movements emerged in the late 19th century — and once again, people are falling for it.

Part of the problem is a lack of historical awareness. When white supremacist organizations crop up in tellings of American history, they appear and recede from the story quickly, a footnote about racism to be overlooked, not a central component of the American story. Hence, the alt-right appears novel only if we ignore the continuum of “intellectual” white supremacy from which it emerged: scientific racism in the 19th and early 20th centuries, the national Ku Klux Klan of the 1920s, and the Citizens Councils of the 1950s and ’60s.


All of Mexico Is Gearing Up For Rubi’s Epic Quinceañera

The Year We Played Ourselves

djkhaled