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I’VE SAID THIS BEFORE, but it bears repeating. You probably know that neurologists have a term, proprioception, to describe our sense of ourselves and our body, its position and movement in space. What they haven’t yet named, so far as I know, is the cultural equivalent to proprioception: our sense of the world, of history, of our place in it and our ability to move and act, within and on it. Yet such an equivalent does exist: we believe our bodies to be whole and immortal, the world to be solid beneath our feet, we know our family loves us, as does God, and we assume that our nation (race, tribe, clan, call it what you will) is where we belong — to it we pledge allegiance. Until, that is, we don’t. Locke wasn’t off-base when he named solidity as the first of his simple ideas, the corner or keystone for all of the rest. He had less to say about those moments when the earth moves, a family splits, gods die, or our nation declares war on itself. One day...

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By Pablo Neruda, Translated by Karen Hilberg

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“We are the heirs of a legacy of creative protest [...] the teachings of Thoreau are alive today, indeed, they are more alive today than ever before.”

—REV. MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. (MR 4.1, Autumn 1962)

From the Blog


10 Questions for Ryler Dustin

- By Edward Clifford

In Edinburgh I could not understand
   what the cabdriver said as he drove me
           to the restaurant, and inside the only person
   who would speak to me was a Lithuanian
                  with pink hair, who leaned
      above her wine and whispered,
                                              nothing is familiar.
—from "...


What We Can Learn from History

- By Richard T. Chu

Richard Chu


The anti-Asian xenophobia we are experiencing today is not the first instance of anti-Asian discrimination. We have seen in history several cases of such xenophobia: the exclusion of the Chinese in 1882; race riots against Filipino farm workers in the 1920s; the barring of Japanese, Korean, and other Asian immigrants under the Immigration Act of 1924; the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II; the crackdown against the Chinese suspected of being communists in the 1950s; the rise in anti-Japanese sentiment in the 1970s due to the economic slowdown in the U.S. automotive industry; the unjust deportations of refugees from Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam; the racial profiling of Indians and...


How Would an Inclusive Community Talk about China?

- By Sigrid Schmalzer

Today I want to ask us to consider how discourse on university campuses—both highly visible statements at the center of social media storms and far more routine communications—reinforces the enduring prejudice in the US that sees China as fundamentally alien and disconnected from “us.”

And I want to ask, how would a truly inclusive community talk about China?

In January 2019, the director of graduate studies in the Biostatistics department at Duke University sent a warning email to graduate students. Faculty members in the program had asked her to help them identify students who had been speaking Chinese “very loudly...


Recuperating Multiracial Labor Solidarity as a Meaningful APA Politics

- By Cedric De Leon

Lessons from the Filipino Agricultural Workers Organizing Committee

What is a meaningful politics for Asian Pacific Americans (or APAs) at this historical conjuncture? Put another way, when APAs experience anti-Chinese racism under COVID, in a time of murderous racial violence by the police against Black people, what is to be done?

For clues, I turn to the example of Filipino farmworkers in the Great Delano Grape Strike of the late 1960s in California.

Migrant agricultural work was and remains back-breaking work, paid by the piece or the bushel and marked by unsafe working conditions and substandard housing, often lacking basic sanitation and adequate plumbing.


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