Words to Come
Thank you for subscribing to this newsletter. This newsletter started on January 3, 2020, so it just had its first anniversary.
In 2020, I took a year off from Medium to start this newsletter, so I could build an audience outside of Medium and gain control over my content. When I started this newsletter, my patrons from Patreon were my only subscribers. A year later, more subscribers have signed up, and I’m thankful.
Like many writers, I must read to write. And my need to think, read, and revise can slow me down. But I want to do a better job at consistently delivering content this year.
This year, I will occasionally republish some essays from this newsletter to Medium. And I may use Medium as a blog to share random and short thoughts. But this newsletter will be my main writing place. This is where I will gather my thoughts.
Here’s What You’ll See This Year
In this newsletter, I write essays and curate reading recommendations for subscribers. You get my words and what I think is worth reading. To me, a newsletter should have a variety of content that you can click through and decide to read.
For the last several years, my writing focused on race, racism, whiteness, anti-racism, and politics in the United States. Within the United States, I usually write about the Black and white categories.
I’m changing in 2021.
Beyond Black and White
This last presidential election in the United States put Asian, Latino, and mixed identity in greater focus, which has revised my writing focus.
As the election results were coming in, pundits offered their punditry and prognosis about Latino voters. And look at this headline I saw today, “Asian American and Pacific Islanders’ Record Turnout Helped Flip Georgia Blue. Now They Could Shape the Future of the Senate.”
This year, you’ll see essays from me about Asian Americans, Pacific Islanders, and Latinos. But I must do my homework.
I recently finished these two books:
Anthony Christian Ocampo’s “The Latinos of Asia: How Filipino Americans Break the Rules of Race,” and Laura E. Gómez’s “Inventing Latinos: A New Story of American Racism.” I recommend both books. Another book on my list is “The Making of Asian America: A History,” by Erika Lee.
The election of Vice President-elect Kamala Harris is another historic opportunity to think about mixed-race identity. I’m reading the book “Mixed-Race in The US and UK: Comparing the Past, Present, and Future” by Jennifer Patrice Sims and Chinelo L. Njaka. I chose that book for its focus on mixed race-identity beyond the United States.
At the beginning of their book, Sims and Njaka quote David Theo Goldberg who says:
“racist arrangements anywhere — in any place — depend to a smaller or larger degree on racist practice almost everywhere else.”
As I learn about mixed identity and middle categories between Black and white, I’m interested in understanding how those identities form and function in the white racist hierarchy.
I’ll share what I see.
Beyond the United States
I’m also looking around the world.
A few months ago, I read a research article by Whitney N. Laster Pirtle about race in post-apartheid South Africa. Pirtle’s paper about the Coloureds category in South Africa has some similar findings as the books above about mixed identity, Asian Americans, and Latinos, which is interesting and insightful.
But it was the latest coronavirus that forced me to think abroad. I agree with those who say the coronavirus and white racism are two pandemics. As white world leaders, particularly those aligned with Trump, failed to respond to the coronavirus, the virus capitalized on the racist inequalities started and sustained by white world leaders.
I don’t have the luxury to only concern myself with what whiteness, race, and racism do in the United States. There’s no single point of attack. The problems of whiteness, race, and racism are all over and come from all sides.
Example: I didn’t know of any Kemi Badenoch until she recently condemned critical race theory as a Member of Parliament of the United Kingdom. I noticed that Badenoch gave her white remarks with a Black face not long after Trump condemned critical race theory in the United States. Badenoch and Trump aren’t a coincidence; they are connected.
So now, I can’t confine my words to the United States alone. I will cross the pond this year, y’all. I shall cuss at people all around the world this year. 😂
Those Damn Democrats
In the United States, with the incoming Biden-Harris administration, I know Biden will frustrate me with his moderate and conciliatory politics, which ALWAYS compromises Black lives. That’s why I’m coming for Democrats in 2021.
Words to Come
Here are two upcoming releases with essays I’m working on now:
Theme #1: White Democracy:
This upcoming release will review the recent US presidential election, Trump, Biden, and white voters. I’ll refer to “The Abolition of White Democracy” by Joel Olson, “The First White President” by Ta-Nehisi Coates, “White Reconstruction” by Dylan Rodríguez, and my piece “Democracy Doesn’t Work With White Citizens.”
Given Trump’s coup attempt and the fact that 57% of whites wanted to reelect a terrorist, I think it’s important to reiterate that white identity is incompatible with democracy. A society cannot have democracy and the status of whiteness. Paradoxically, those who claimed Black people and people of color weren’t fit for democracy are themselves not fit for democracy. White identity is unfit for democracy based on its politics, not its melanin or biology.
Theme 2: Mixed:
I have mixed feelings about Trump, Biden, and Harris. I want to talk about Harris’s mixed ancestry. And I want to share why it’s okay to just call her a Black woman without specifying all her ancestry.
I’ll also get personal and share my mixed feelings about the family members I learned about after taking the AncestryDNA.com test. Before I share my words on mixed identity, I have to get through the book I mentioned on mixed race in the US and UK.
I expect to publish those releases this month before January 31.
Based on the sources I’ve cited so far, you may think I don’t care for fiction. You’re right. I’m not a fan of fiction. But I have a few fiction books about race and racism on my list this year, and I expect they’ll have insights to share too.
What Do You Think?
I hope you are interested in these topics. Tell me what you think.
Thank you for reading and supporting this newsletter.