Julian Abagond

Julian Abagond: nation of immigrants

Migrant Tales insight: Finland is a nation of emigrants, not of immigrants. Even so, the same structures that have kept intact the structures and systemic exploitation of minorities, slavery and Jim Crow are still alive and kicking despite the fact that we try to convince ourselves that the United States is a nation of immigrants. 

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Julian Abagond: Was Hitler evil?

MT comment: Was Hitler and the Nazis an aberration or a product of European racism and colonialism?  Was the devastation that Hitler sowed the same beast that Europeans had imposed on others in Africa, the Americas,  Asia and Australia? By blaming Hitler and the Nazis for what they did, are we denying the problem of

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Julian Abagond: What did race have to do with the George Zimmerman case?

By Julian Abagond What did race have to do with the George Zimmerman case in America?George Zimmerman, a half-white, half-Latino man who gets a bloody nose and a few scratches on his head, shoots dead Trayvon Martin, an unarmed, 17-year-old black boy, calls it self-defence and is found “not guilty” of both murder and manslaughter

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Julian Abagond: Calling out racism

By Julian Abagond Calling out racism is where you point out that something is racist. It might not seem like a big deal, but it is an important part of fighting racism. It can even stop genocide, as crazy as that sounds. Genocide: Genocides unfold in eight stages. Stopping it at any one stage, stops

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Julian Abagond: style guide – Eurocentric words

By Julian Abagond Eurocentricisms are words that centre Western experience, that make white people seem “normal” and everyone else strange, exotic or screwed up. Such words get in the way of clear thinking. In general, avoid: Dichotomous thinking: words that split the world in two, especially into a good half and a bad half. The world is

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Julian Abagond: The term “illegal immigrant”

By Julian Abagond The term “illegal immigrant” (1930s- ) means an undocumented immigrant, one without papers to stay in the country. The older term was ”illegal alien”, common in English in the 1970s and 1980s, rare in American news stories since 2003. An illegal immigrant can mean someone who: crossed the border illegally, overstayed a student or

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Julian Abagond: Spielberg’s Lincoln

By Julian Abagond “Lincoln” (2012) is a Steven Spielberg film about the passing of the Thirteenth Amendment, the one that freed the slaves. It stars Daniel Day-Lewis as Abraham Lincoln, Sally Field as his wife and Tommy Lee Jones as Radical Republican Congressman Thaddeus Stevens. Gloria Reuben plays Elizabeth Keckley, Mrs Lincoln’s dressmaker and friend. The

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Julian Abagond: Why I write about racism

By Julian Abagond I write about racism in America because it affects my life and the lives of those I care about. Because it has shaped how I experience and see the world and myself, so by understanding racism I understand myself and the world better. It has little to do with trying to make

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Julian Abagond: “Stereotypes have some truth to them”

By Julian Abagond “Stereotypes have some truth to them” has some truth to it but not in the way people think. That truth is not about the stereotyped but the stereotyper. First, stereotypes are kept alive by confirmation bias: We notice the few examples that fit the stereotype and overlook the ton of examples that do

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Julian Abagond: human zoos

Julian Abagond  Human zoos (1500s- ), also known as ethnological exhibits, peoples shows (Völkerschau) or Negro villages, showed native peoples at zoos and fairs. They have been common in the West since the time of Columbus, butreached their height from the 1870s to the 1930s – back in the days of Joseph Conrad, Gauguin, minstrel shows and

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Abagond: Is the white anti-racist an oxymoron?

Julian Abagond The White Anti-Racist is an Oxymoron” (2003) by Kil Ja Kim argues that you cannot be white and against racism at the same time. By “white” she does not mean having white skin. She means thinking of yourself as white and enjoying the benefits that come with it in America: white people need

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Abagond: Colorblind racism

Comment: Every time we stray from the real issue behind racism (=ethnic background) we are flirting or committing  colorblind racism.  A familiar colorblind racist counter-argument commonly heard from anti-immigration groups is why whites are treated unfairly? Why was Jussi Halla-aho fined for defaming a religion and inciting ethnic hatred but nothing happens to you if you insult

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