Greetings! Once again, it's time for everyone to meet the Angry Reader of the Week, spotlighting you, the very special readers of this website. Over the years, I've been able to connect with a lot of cool folks, and this is a way of showing some appreciation and attention to the people who help make this blog what it is. This week's Angry Reader is Scott Kurashige.
Who are you?
I am an aspiring revolutionary activist and theorist. I emphasize “aspiring” because I am a perpetual work in progress. For the past 17 years, I've been blessed to work closely with Grace Lee Boggs, the 99-year-old Chinese American radical activist/philosopher rooted in the Black community of Detroit. I'm a board member of the James and Grace Lee Boggs Center to Nurture Community Leadership.
What are you?
I am the father of the world's cutest and most adorable baby, who happens to be differently abled. I am the father of a 4th grader, who is working on a Title IX complaint to stop sexism in her school and boasted to her class that she knows three former Black Panthers. I am the partner of Emily Lawsin, who is an incredible poet and community historian.
I am the de-assimilated son and grandson of Japanese Americans who were forced into concentration camps by the U.S. government.
I was a bad student, who got banned from my high school's boring AP U.S. (dead white male) history class and went on to become a history professor with fellowships at places like Harvard and the Smithsonian. It's not quite the same as Michael Jordan getting cut from the varsity basketball team, but it's close enough for me.
Where are you?
I'm a speck in the cosmic fabric of space-time. I'm in my apartment drinking soju from a bottle that has a picture of PSY yelling into a megaphone. I'm in Seattle's Central District, where my mom was raised. Historically, it was the 'hood where Asian and Black folk lived because they were generally excluded from the rest of the city. Sadly, I'm now at ground zero for yuppie gentrification.
Where are you from?
I'm from the Westside of Los Angeles, which was designed to be an all-white suburb but became the frontline of struggle for racial integration and the emergence of a polycultural society. This history inspired my book, The Shifting Grounds of Race: Black and Japanese Americans in the Making of Multiethnic Los Angeles.
I'm from Detroit because I lived there for 14 life-changing years, seeing the worst forms of devastation that capitalism and white supremacy have produced and the best hopes of a beloved community arising from movement organizing and Black radical struggle. This is what Grace and I write about in The Next American Revolution: Sustainable Activism for the Twenty-First Century.
What do you do?
I teach Asian American and Ethnic Studies at the University of Washington-Bothell, which is dedicated to serving people of color and working-class students.
I organize grassroots community events and national conferences. I think I'm the only person who has ever brought Grace and Yuri Kochiyama together on a panel, but I'm happy to be proved wrong.
I write books but only after lots of procrastinating. In the meantime, I write long Facebook posts because I'm not very good at tweeting. I'd like to find a new blogging home.
What are you all about?
I'm about struggling to fulfill Martin Luther King's dream of “a revolution of values” to overthrow “the giant triplets of racism, materialism, and militarism.”
I'm about striving for intersectionality and seeking inspiration from the nonwhite, anticolonial, proletarian, sexually deviant, genderqueer, eco-conscious, and access-minded wretched of the Earth
I'm about over-the-moon that my daughter stopped insisting that we listen to Radio Disney after I introduced her to the genius of Vienna Teng and Alex Wong.
What makes you angry?
Injustice. Even more so, injustice laced with hypocrisy.
I'm angry at the bogus attacks on the movie Selma. I'm even angrier that they are emanating especially from elite white liberals, who claim to be the guardians of historical accuracy and responsible discourse about race but never use their mainstream media privileges to decry the racist distortions and omissions that are produced on an everyday basis against people of color.
I'm angry at the Lakers screwing over Jeremy Lin. I'm even angrier at the way they've portrayed him as a soft, overpaid, self-promoter who needed to replaced by a career bench warmer with limited skills but more desire, effort, and resilience. Model minority ideology will keep biting us in the ass until we demolish it for good.