John Muir On The ‘Negroes’ Of The American South

John Muir often wrote soaring prose about the beauties and majesties of nature, about how the outdoors were our ‘natural cathedrals’; he urged his fellow human beings to leave behind their sordid, grubby, weekday cares and let themselves be elevated by the sublime qualities of hill and vale and river and babbling brook. Here, onContinue reading “John Muir On The ‘Negroes’ Of The American South”

Orange Is The New Black And The Privatization of Prisons

Spoilers Ahead.¬† Orange is The New Black has attracted–not unjustifiedly–some flak for its powerful and painful fourth season: it has been accused of being ‘trauma porn for white people,’ and of having ‘failed the Dominican community.’ Still, the show has provided some powerful drama in those thirteen episodes, largely by throwing off any pretensions thatContinue reading “Orange Is The New Black And The Privatization of Prisons”

The Cruelest Cut Of All: Punjabis Are Not White

In 1921, a certain John Mohammed Ali became a naturalized citizen of the US. In 1925, this grant of citizenship was contested (United States v. Ali 7 F.2d 728 (1925) by¬†Martin J. Kilsdonk, a United States naturalization examiner. His affidavit: [A]lleges in substance that said defendant was born in Karpurthala, in the province of Punjab,Continue reading “The Cruelest Cut Of All: Punjabis Are Not White”

Darren Wilson’s Post-Police Career

Darren Wilson has resigned from the Ferguson, MO, police force. His stated intentions are honorable, possibly even noble: It was my hope to continue in police work, but the safety of other police officers and the community are of paramount importance to me. It is my hope that my resignation will allow the community toContinue reading “Darren Wilson’s Post-Police Career”

“Look Out of the Window, Camel Jockey”

Twenty-seven years ago, I arrived in the US, and shortly thereafter, began graduate school at a small technical school in Newark, New Jersey. Once classes picked up speed, I spent increasing amounts of time in our grim library–rather inefficiently if I may say so–struggling to stay awake while finishing my readings and programming assignments. ToContinue reading ““Look Out of the Window, Camel Jockey””