Skip to main content

I Forgot my Dick's Deluxe

I just got back from a visit to Seattle. It was lovely. I lived there for six years and ten months. It was time to go but it's still a lovely city. I like to go there and move so much slower. In almost silence. In the shadow of the sleeping volcano, Rainier. There were times, even after years of living there, when the sight of it would take my breath away. It would disappear for days, weeks, under cloud and rain and then suddenly I'd turn a corner and there it was. Huge, majestic, like god saying, "wake up boy." And the city just seemed to stay green all-year round. Is that even possible? Is that just nostalgia? I'll have to ask someone.

This trip I remembered two racial dynamics that I always enjoyed there. Most black people passing each other on the street greet each other. In nyc I'd place it at 1 in every 17 (+- 2 for sample). Also there seems to be more warmth and connection between Asian and black communities in Seattle than one might find in nyc. I think Asian immigrants have a more negative view of American blacks here. The last time I shopped at Costco, after telling me how articulate and honest I seemed, she shared her opinion of the black people actually from the city. As ridiculous and over-general as it was, I don't think it's exactly uncommon.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

'Anti-racism', All Trap, No Honey: A Discourse About Discourse

One of the things that prevents me from writing more often is the sense that I'm just writing the same thing repeatedly from a slightly different angle. In a nutshell, all I'm saying is that moral idealism substituted for material goals will not lead to justice, but is an argument against materialism. I'm a dumb person's low rent Adolph Reed Jr. translator. I'm a "class reductionist" who understands that when the discourse is reduced to just class there's nothing as important as food, water and shelter that's left out. I often find myself contending with people who insist that there is, unable to name anything. They don't understand that they're making an argument against economic redistribution, or they don't care. There are no concrete manifestations of systemic racism or any oppression that are not dealt with through economic redistribution. When people say that economic redistribution won't end racism, what they mean is that

Anti-racism - Class = Status Quo: The Neoliberal Argument Against Coalition

I was approached a few months ago around the idea of collaborating to make the progressive case for reparations. I've said before that while the idea of reparations is morally appealing I don't believe in them as an immediate political project. It's not clear to me that it's possible to build a coalition around a reparative justice focused on just 13% of the population. Encouraged by a recent Twitter conversation that included economists Sandy Darrity and Darrick Hamilton where they suggested that saying reparations will never happen is cynical I've begun trying to think of them as an eventuality and lay out the steps to reaching them. Doing this has made clear that our understanding of reparations as a form of compensation to the descendants of the enslaved is not the reparative justice that we think it to be. If we were living with the kind of understanding of justice that made reparations possible we would not be a nation where war, healthcare, education, and cr

The Stories That Break Us, The Stories That Bind

Remember the mass shooter who planned and executed an attack on a gay nightclub in Orlando possibly because of his own unreconciled sexuality? It never happened. The mass shooting at The Pulse nightclub definitely happened, but the narrative around it was wrong from the start. I'm a poor consumer of mainstream news and still I was left with the erroneous impression that the sexual orientation of the victims was central to the event. It's understandable that even without consuming media one would conclude that this was an anti-gay hate crime. The victims were gay it happened in a gay nightclub. The story , like most of reality, is more complicated than the narratives we use to contain it. This illustrates the problem with a media more concerned with getting out the first just-so story that confirms our impressions and prejudices. It's worth pondering the ways in which this damages us. In the wake of the shooting, the media and public focused on certain details, many of which