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Our America

A Shade of Recognition

- By Peter I. Rose

(Photo: A bus stop in San Juan, PR; CC BY-SA 4.0)

On NPR the other day there was a story about sunny, hot, and sticky Los Angeles and the utter lack of shade trees in Watts and other Black and Latino neighborhoods in contrast to their profusion in nearby Beverly Hills and other upscale areas. Hearing this report brought back a vivid memory of an experience I had in Puerto Rico sixty years ago.

A very junior professor of sociology and anthropology in my third or fourth year of teaching, I was thrilled to get a consulting gig with the Social Science section of the Department of Health in San Juan. My boss was to be Ed Suchman, a former teacher of mine for whom I had also worked when I...


Our America

How to Talk to Your Parents About Politics: Part 2

- By Dominique Fong

Photo Credit: Marcela McGreal, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Young Asian Americans describe how they’re coming to terms with political differences at the dinner table and in society

Tip #2: Understand the impact of traumas of the past

Johnny Trinh, a 23-year-old from Westminster, a southern Californian city with the country’s largest population of Vietnamese Americans, started to see how his parents' flight from the Vietnam War shaped who they are and made them cling to certain conservative messages. At first, he felt like they had no common ground, but over time, his criticism of their views softened. He became less quick to judge, and more eager to preserve what he could of...


Our America

How to Talk to Your Parents About Politics: Part 1

- By Dominique Fong

Photo Credit: Marcela McGreal, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Young Asian Americans describe how they’re coming to terms with political differences at the dinner table and in society

When Jamie Gee joined a Black Lives Matter protest last year, the crowd marched peacefully through downtown Oakland until it got to the city’s Chinatown district, where Gee saw some people smashing windows and spraying graffiti on the walls of Chinese businesses.

“That was upsetting,” Gee said. “I could see they were actively hurting my community.” Soon after the protest, Gee, a 34-year-old middle school teacher who is Chinese...


Our America

Are You Listening?

- By Avital Balwit

“Are you listening, NSA?” “Can you hear me  Mark Zuckerberg?” “Are you there Bezos?” At some point, these went from internet-era jokes to truisms, from mocking a conspiracy theory to acknowledging the status quo. While it may not be by these specific actors, most of us accept that we can be listened to—and sometimes are.

One particularly egregious example of this spying comes from the story of Project Pegasus. Over the past few months, a group of NGOs and investigative journalists broke the story that governments are using a powerful spyware called Pegasus to target activists,...


Our America

All That Is Yet to Come

- By J. Malcolm Garcia

(Photo: Afghan girl in class. Courtesy of J. Malcolm Garcia.)

My Afghan colleague, Aarash, recently received a special immigrant visa (SIV). I’m a freelance reporter, and he worked with me in Kabul as a translator for five years. SIVs are available only to those Afghans who worked as translators, interpreters, or other professionals employed by or on behalf of the United States government for a minimum of two years. Aarash’s wife, Sharjeela, translated documents for the U.S. government at the Ministry of Interior. Her job made the family eligible for the visa.

Hello brother, Aarash wrote to me in a Facebook message on June 24, 2016. Hope everything is going well with you. I’m currently in the States. Just wanted you to know.

He...


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