Advice to Young People: Don’t Normalize Racism

By Mark Naison (August 19, 2019)

If there was a piece of advice I would give to young people, it would be the following:

Don’t normalize racism.

Speak out against it and challenge it wherever you see it, whether it is in a classroom, a dormitory, a locker room or at your family dinner table.

Do so with kindness when possible, but fierce determination when necessary.

This country’s future depends on the best impulses of its people coming to the fore. This is something that has to be done every day, not just when there is an election. Be the moral compass your school, your community and your country desperately needs

Peace. The future is yours to shape and enjoy if you have the courage of your convictions.



White Supremacy has Always Been Behind White Terrorism in the US

By Mark Naison (August 12, 2019)


When I think of the ideology of white supremacy–which has affected everything in US History from immigration policy, to citizenship, access to voting rights, marriage laws, the ability to play in professional sports leagues, and much much more– what makes the largest impression, in the context of the El Paso shooting, is how it provided justification for mass murder.

In addition to legitimizing the more than 3,000 lynchings of blacks in the US between 1890 and 1910, white supremacist ideology led to three documented racial pogroms in the early 20th Century ,the Slocum Massacre in East Texas in 1910 ; the Elaine Massacre in Eastern Arkansas in 1919; and the Tulsa Riot of 1921 which destroyed the wealthiest Black community in the US – known as Black Wall Street- and killed over 200 people and left thousands homeless. In each instance, it was the threat of Black economic success which drove whites to slaughter their black neighbors-, either black farmers accumulating property and controlling the marketing of their crops, or blacks owning large homes and prosperous businesses.

The basic tenet of White Supremacy, as translated into popular ideology was that black self-assertion and economic independence threatened all white people. This is what Ida B. Wells argued when explaining the prevalence of lynching; it lay behind every racial pogrom in 20th Century United States.

If you want to find analogues for that in the present, think about sources of the huge popular resentment of the Obama presidency among blue collar and middle class whites which Trump tapped into in his use of birther ideology to pave the way for his presidential campaign. In short, the ideology of white supremacy has always lay behind instances of white terrorism and still does today


Just Futures: Speculative Arts and Social Change Symposium

Just Futures: Speculative Arts and Social Change

November 22, 2019

Oregon State University

Corvallis, Oregon

Keynote Talk by Dr. Grace Dillion (Anishanaabe)–one of the leaders of Indigenous Futurism

The Anarres Project for Alternative Futures calls for abstracts for this multidisciplinary symposium that aims to bring together scholars, activists, and community members to consider the ways in which speculative arts can help us to diagnose social injustices in the present moment, and to imagine the ways we can catalyze solidarities to achieve more just futures.

Our understanding of speculative arts broadly encompasses the literature/film/television genres of science fiction, fantasy, horror, magical realism, and alternative histories. We seek the ways in which social justice and liberatory social change can be conceptualized through a variety of speculative lenses and themes including, but not limited to:

Major science fiction and fantasy franchises: Star Trek, Star Wars, Harry Potter, Game of Thrones, Handmaid’s Tale, Stranger Things, etc

Superhero and Villain universes: Avengers, Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Black Panther, Luke Cage, Jessica Jones, X-Men, etc.

Literary Icons: Ursula K. Le Guin, Octavia Butler, Kim Stanley Robinson, Samuel Delany, Phillip K. Dick, N.K. Jemisin, W.E.B. Du Bois, J.R.R. Tolkein, etc.

Video and Role Playing Games : Halo, World of Warcraft, Fortnite, Minecraft, Dungeons and Dragons, etc.

Comic Books and Anime.

Presentations may be paper presentations, workshops, or poetry/prose readings. They may address some of the following themes and problematics, but are not limited to them:

• Gender and Sexualities
• Intersectionality
• Colonialism
• Imperialism
• White Supremacy
• Ableism and Disability
• Resistance
• Alternatives to capitalism
• Models of friendship
• Human relationships with technology, artificial intelligence, robotics
• Genetic enhancement and transhumanism
• The role of the Environment/non-human animals/creatures
• Future ecological scenarios
• Alternatives paths of co-evolution
• Cross Species Relationships
• The role of women-femmes
• The role of people of color
• The role of children/young people
• Ambiguity around “good guys” and “bad guys” in social conflicts
• Family/found family/lineage/heritage
• Class hierarchies
• Immigration, citizenship, and belonging
• Cultural appropriation and Orientalism
• Heroism through necessity
• The significance of names/naming
• Religion/belief/ritual
• Icons/symbols
• Hope-Despair
• Utopia, dystopias, heterotopias

Please send an abstract for your presentation of no more than 300 words by September 27, 2019. Each presentation will have approximately 20 minutes.


People Will Die As Long as We Teach Kids There are Always Losers and Winners

By Teka Lark (August 7, 2019)

Your worldview is shaped by your community, family, media, education system, and essentially all the people, things, and actions that you interact with and provides you with information.

Your view on the world starts from the minute you hit earth. Fairytales, TV, the Internet, video games, books, what your education system decides to teach you in school, and what they decide to leave out, it all shapes who you are.

In the United States, when you begin school, and maybe even before you start school, if your family has been in the US two or more generations, you are told that some people must lose.

That idea is drilled into your head. As adults people sneer, “This everyone gets a trophy nonsense, kids needs to understand that someone has to lose! ”

But what is losing? What are we preparing young children for when we tell them that some people must lose?

It seems like we’re saying some people must be homeless, some people must be poor, and some people must die— at least to me.

The United States encourages cruelty and violence, from dodgeball, to our media, to how we share about injustices.

Do we really need a video of someone being shot in the head, to know that you shouldn’t shoot people in the head? Apparently in the US you do, because that is part of the fun of being an “American,” being outraged, yet slightly entertained by the suffering of someone else who you are under the idea that you have more privilege than, at least for now….

In our media what do the troublemakers look like? Who are our villains in fiction?

Good triumphs over evil is the story every kid in the US has been told from birth. This theme even goes in our history books,In the United States the good people won the game.

A game that we all agreed to play, so no one needs to tell anyone sorry for hitting someone in the face with the figurative ball over and over and over again, because this was a game, and if you had tried harder and had better morals– you would have won –and any deviation from the game results in being taken out of the game by capture, fire, gunshots, or lynching.

The reason you can’t get federal gun policies passed in the United States, is because the point of guns in the United States is to protect “everyone” from Black (African) and Brown (Mexican/Indigenous) people. In the North they do it by making rent so high you can’t live next door, in the West they won’t allow you to work, and in the South –they have their guns.

Unless something is done to change the average person in the United States’ worldview–a culture that encourages punitive cruelty, racism, nationalism and sexism–we’re going to continue to have people dying in violent ways.


Violence Against Mexicans in Texas as a “Habit of Whiteness”

(Image of Hayden Edwards and the Republic of Fredonia)

By Joseph Orosco (August 6, 2019)

Irene Sanchez reminds us that white supremacist violence against Mexicans is not a new phenomena in Texas. She charts it to beginning of the Texas Revolution in 1836, when Anglo Mexican settlers seceded from Mexico to form the Lone Star Republic.

But I think the use of violence by white supremacists against Mexicans in what is now Texas is even older.

Almost 200 years ago, the newly independent nation of Mexico opened its borders to US American settlers. Northern Mexico was a sparsely populated region and the Mexican government believed that immigrants from the United States would help it to develop economically. Many of the immigrants that took advantage of the invitation were from Southern States where slavery was allowed, so they brought with them many Black slaves. This also meant a lot of white supremacist attitudes. Anglo settlers would become Mexican citizens as long as they agreed to convert to Catholicism and swear allegiance to Mexico.

In 1826, one of these Anglo Mexicans, Hayden Edwards, called for a violent overthrow of the Mexican government. Edwards had started legal proceedings against Mexican residents in the Nacogdoches area, forcing them to prove title to their land. He intended to displace them and sell their land to other wealthy Anglo settlers. When the Mexican authorities caught wind of this scheme, they ordered him to be deported. He then rose up with several of his friends, and the nearby Commanche tribes, and announced he was forming an independent nation—the Republic of Fredonia.

The Mexican government sent regular army troops, along with militia from among the Anglo Mexicans in the area, and put down the rebellion. Edwards escaped back into the United States and stayed there until other Anglo Mexicans followed his lead about ten years later and formented the Texas Revolution.

The Hayden Edwards Revolt demonstrates that violence against Mexicans is what my colleague Terrance MacMullan calls a “habit of whiteness” or I have called (see my essay here) an aspect of “los estadounidos profundo” (the Deep United States)—it is one reaction among the many “practices and institutional policies of exclusion, marginalization, and eradication of non white peoples; these are the ready-to-hand tools that are reached for in moments of fear and crisis for white Americans.”

If you read the manifesto of the El Paso terrorist, you can clearly see the fear that is part of what social scientists are calling “white replacement theory”—the idea that white Americans are being displaced as the majority of the population by demographic shifts. As Black and Brown people become the majority, the theory goes, there will be social decay, economic downturn, and environmental catastrophe.

These are all ideas that one can find among the writings of Anglo Americans who were settling Northern Mexico from California to Texas—they were quite mainstream at the time. The El Paso shooter might be elated to find out that the poet Walt Whitman agreed that Mexicans had no capacity to run their own political and economic affairs:

“What has miserable, inefficient Mexico—with her superstition, her burlesque upon freedom, her actual tyranny by the few over the many—what has she to do with the great mission of peopling the New World with a noble race?” 

And the shooter’s concerns with “race mixing” come right from the work of notable writers, such as Thomas Jefferson Farnham (who was one of the Oregon Trail pioneers). In 1851, Farnham wrote:

No one acquainted with the indolent mixed race of California will ever believe that they will populate, much less for any length of time, govern the country.  The law of nature which curses the mulatto here with a constitution less robust than that of either race from which he sprang, lays a similar penalty upon the mingling of the Indian and white races in California and Mexico.  They must fade away…the old Saxon blood must stride the continent…and in their own unaided might erect the altar of civil and religious freedom on the plains of California.”  (Life, Travels, and Adventures in California, 1851)

As the late Toni Morrison pointed out in 1993, there is what she termed a “profound neurosis” among white Americans that needs addressing: “If you can only be tall because somebody is on their knees, then you have a serious problem…My feeling is that white people have a very, very serious problem. And they should start thinking about what they can do about it.”

Realizing that the use of violence against Mexicans in Texas (and even before Texas was Texas) is one of the classic go-to responses of white Americans in crisis would be step toward dealing with this profound problem of white supremacist terrorism.

Waking Up to the Lie of the Second Amendment

By Teka Lark (August 4, 2019)

The United States is a country which creates narratives to not only create policies, but to shape minds. When the Pilgrims arrived to what is now the Massachusetts in 1620, the tribes of the Wampanoag people prevented them from starving and as a thank you the Europeans brought communicable diseases and enslaved them.

In 1643, William Penn said of the Lenni Lanape “In liberality they excel, nothing is too good for their friend; give them a fine Gun, Coat, or other thing, it may pass twenty hands, before it sticks; the most merry Creatures that live, Feast, Dance almost perpetually; they never have much; Wealth circulateth like the Blood, all parts partake; and though none shall want what another hath, yet exact Observers of Property.” The Europeans saw this and stole the Lenni Lanape’s land between what is now Delaware and New Jersey– in one of the United States’ first narratives of the “fair” and “honest” deals this country “offered” to the Indigenous inhabitants of the country they would later just outright steal.

You probably read about the finished draft of this United States’ “narrative” –the Manifest Destiny.

“And that claim is by the right of our manifest destiny to overspread and to possess the whole of the continent which Providence has given us for the development of the great experiment of liberty and federated self-government entrusted to us,” from John Louis O’Sullivan in an essay entitled Annexation, in 1845, advocating that the U.S. admit the STOLEN Republic of Texas into the Union.

The United States learned quickly in the beginning in order to continue to enslave, murder, and steal from the Indigenous people of the country they stole and in order to continue kidnapping and enslaving Africans –they couldn’t have the people of the world viewing either of these two groups of people, as people or innocent.

They had to be dehumanized and demeaned, because the average person is not going to sign on to kill and steal from their fellow person, at least not just because, but if the person wasn’t characterized as a person or even better, they were characterized as an enemy, well that might be a better sell.

And it was a better sell.

Had the Indigenous people had been even a ¼ as violent as the Europeans said they were, the great experiment of “America,” would have never happened.

Fast forward to modern day. The European, now the white man has ended slavery, because, apparently Abraham Lincoln was a generous and just man, at least that was the story told in African children (now Black) history books.

“Slavery is founded in the selfishness of man’s nature — opposition to it is in his love of justice,” Abraham Lincoln, 1854.

On December 26, 1862 President Abraham Lincoln ordered the execution of 38 Dakota Indians in Mankato, Minnesota, in the largest mass execution in US history.

We didn’t hear that part of the story, because Lincoln freed “the slaves.” Lincoln murdering the people whose land the United States stole, well that wouldn’t have been very consistent.

Because it is all about the consistent lie folks.

The United States has been built on the backs of Black and Brown people.

Both of our names have been changed –to protect the guilty. Our histories have been hidden, and our borders and histories keep shifting to fit whatever lie the United States wants to tell on a particular day.

The Samba, the Tchamba, the Daka. the African, the slave, the n*%ger, the negro, the Negro, the Colored, the Black, the Afro-American, the African American are not really African, according to the United States.


The Nahuatl, the Maya, the Indian, the s*vage, the Native American, the Mexican, the *illegal, the Chicano, the Latino, the Chicanx/Latinx have crossed the border into OUR (white people’s) country “illegally,” according to the United States.

The Second Amendment was ratified to protect the Slave Patrol. The slave patrol is the basis for modern publicly funded police departments (aka white men vigilante types with guns who are institutionally supported to murder and/or round up and detain Black, Indigenous, and Latinx people), the Feds, the Border Patrol, ICE…the reason that Black and Indigenous people die at higher rates by these departments is no accident.

It is by design.

The Second Amendment was created so that white men could continue to kill Black, Latinx, and Indigenous people with the power of the narrative that Black, Latinx, and Indigenous people are violent, that Black, Latinx, and Indigenous are stealing white people’s job, that Black, Latinx, and Indigenous are raping white women, that Black, Latinx, and Indigenous are sucking up resources that could go to white people, that Black, Latinx, and Indigenous people are loitering in spaces where white people want to walk around and not see us, that Black, Latinx, and Indigenous people have crossed the border without the proper paperwork, and that Black, Latinx, and Indigenous people need to be controlled lest they do to white men what has been done to them.

Removing the Second Amendment is not about gun control.

Stripping the Second Amendment is about stripping the lie away, from white men that they have the right to kill people for being Mexican, for being Black, and/or for being Indigenous.

This is what I don’t think white men on the far left understand or they don’t care about.

Stripping the Second Amendment from our US Constitution isn’t taking away anyone’s rights, but the white man’s.

Who else can use the Second Amendment, maybe white women…I can’t use it, Chicanx/Latinx people can’t use it, only white people can use it.

Twelve year old Tamir Rice can’t use it. He was sitting around with a toy gun and white men emboldened by their Second Amendment rolled up and shot him.

Philando Castile couldn’t use it, when they shot him with 4-year-old Diamond Reynolds in the car who said after the murder, “Mom, please stop screaming ’cause I don’t want you to get shooted”

Stripping the Second Amendment is removing the symbol and protection that white men have as their god given manifest destiny right to murder people for not just not being white, but for being a descendant of the the people whose land this was stolen from or for being a descendant of the people who were kidnapped and brought here, because that is the only reason the Second Amendment exists. The Second Amendment exists to hold up the lie that built this country and keeps this violent sadistic place pasted together with the blood and tears of our ancestors.

I’m not fighting or debating for the right to empower white men to kill me, again.

The lie told over and over again is one of the most powerful tools the United States has at its disposal, stop letting them tell this one.


“Treason to Whiteness is Loyalty to Humanity”

By George Ciccariello-Maher (August 4, 2019)

Two and a half years ago, I sent a tweet mocking the white supremacist myth of “white genocide,” which posits that white people are being “replaced” by a combination of migration, birth rates, and racial mixing. Twitter and the media briefly lit up, with thousands discussing the absurdity of the white genocide myth—this was a good thing indeed.

But a great coalition of liberals, conservatives, and cowardly academics, hand-in-hand with white supremacists, found my words too controversial (more controversial, apparently, than the words of the Nazis themselves). Today, two and a half years later, I don’t have a job as a result.

Since then, the myth of “white genocide” and “the great replacement” has metastasized, fusing seamlessly with Trump’s demonization of Central American migrants among others. It has been the direct cause of—among other things—the mass slaughter of 51 in Christchurch, New Zealand only a few months ago, and in just the past week, 4 deaths in Gilroy (targeting “hoards of mestizos”) and now at least 20 in El Paso (targeting the “invasion” of Texas by Mexicans—explain this to the people who were there before 1848).

Despite this roaring cognitive dissonance, too many Democratic Party hacks, handwringing liberals and trash professors continue to make excuses for the Nazis in our midst. CNN headlines grant credence to the myth of a disappearing white America. They tell us that Antifa and the Nazis are the same thing, that fighting white supremacy only makes it stronger. When liberalism coddles the right and legitimizes its theories, the deaths in El Paso and elsewhere are the only logical result.

But we know that material force defeats material force, that fascism and white supremacy will not go away until we make them go away. We know that white supremacist movements and ideas must be destroyed before they kill again.

Every Proud Boy, neo-Nazi, and Identity Europa member is a mass shooting waiting to happen. And every mealymouthed liberal is an accomplice.

Death to the Klan. Death to fascism. Death to white supremacy. Treason to whiteness is loyalty to humanity.


Choosing Non-Violence in an Awful Time

By Mark Naison (August 3, 2019)

As I sit here in shock and mourning over the mass murders in El Paso, once again engineered by a white supremacist, I feel compelled to share some thoughts about why, when I decided to start a new organization to fight racism, I wanted it to be strictly non violent.

There are two reasons for this choice, The first is that we live in a society with far too much violence, not only violence undertaken in the name of hatred and the quest for power, but violence in our families and communities where no political motive is present. In organizing to protect people under attack, the last thing I want to do is legitimize armed violence as a means of self expression through actions of a group I started. As much as I understand the need for self-defense and the emotional appeal of revenge, I am convinced we need to create ways of protecting ourselves and fighting for things we believe in without turning our country into ever more of a war zone.

The second reason is personal. When it comes to dealing with racists and white supremacists, I have hatred in my heart. As someone who grew up fighting in the streets of my neighborhood and in every school I attended, I have recurrent fantasies of beating up white supremacists who try to intimidate and terrorize people in places where I am present. On a personal level, i NEED to be in a group that practices and promotes non-violence to keep my own rage in check, and to make sure that I do not make things worse than they already are in a fit of rage

We are in deep trouble as a country. We have a huge problem with racism. We have a huge problem with violence. In fighting to solve the first problem, I don’t want to contribute to intensifying the second

I am glad I am part of a great new NON VIOLENT organization
NARA- The National Anti Racism Alliance

Peace and Love to All.