Tag Archive: activism



Photo of "Stepping Stones" by Paul Tomlin

“Stepping Stones” by Paul Tomlin

As a relatively new scholar and even newer attorney, I often struggle to understand what kind of a difference my efforts make in the world. I look at renowned scholars, activists, and civil rights attorneys and sigh at how little I’ve done in comparison. My writing hasn’t been cited in SCOTUS decisions, I haven’t litigated ground-breaking lawsuits, I haven’t given a TED Talk or spoken to a stadium-sized audience.

Intellectually, I know it’s not fair to compare myself at such an early stage in my career to people who are decades into their work, but there’s always this nagging feeling that if I’m not doing something ‘big’, something affecting hundreds or thousands of people at a time, I’m not really affecting anybody or anything. Then, every now and then, something will remind me that my particular collection of experiences, knowledge, and skill set mean I do have something valuable to contribute. Continue reading

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“The difference between a liberal and a progressive is that a liberal is open to everyone’s views; a progressive is as narrow-minded and judgmental (more?) than any conservative.” — Doug Reitsch, Pharmacist at Kamilche Pharmacy in Shelton, WA

According to this myopic internet definition, being “open to everyone’s views” is good and something people should strive for. That is easy, of course, if “everyone’s views” are benign. And if they are not, you can still be “open to everyone’s views” if you are secure in your comforts, privileges, and power, and “everyone’s views” do not perpetuate your oppression. Continue reading


Transcending is a perpetual one-way street for black people, yet famous white people like Antonin Scalia, David Bowie and Merle Haggard weren’t asked to transcend their whiteness for black people to recognize their importance. They didn’t have to transcend being Italian-American, British or an Okie from Muskogee. They were just accepted for being who they were.

Continue reading at: Muhammad Ali and Other Black Celebrities Didn’t ‘Transcend Race’


In the light of King’s powerful demagogic speech. … We must mark him now, if we have not done so before, as the most dangerous Negro of the future in this nation from the standpoint of communism, the Negro, and national security. —FBI Director William C. Sullivan, Enemies: A History of the FBI

Today the USA celebrates Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the same country that arrested him 30 times and used its powerful surveillance apparatus, the FBI and the NSA, to target him as “the most dangerous Negro of the future in this nation” right after he gave his famous “I Have A Dream” speech. This is the speech that colorblind adherent exploit when they resist efforts to address racial inequity. But Dr. King’s speech is the same one in which he denounced police brutality against Black people, and insisted that it was “the time to make real the promises of democracy.”

It comes as no surprise then that Dr. King was later assassinated a mere 5 years later—some, including his family, say by the government. Continue reading


Eating animals is wrong, vegans say. But so is eating slave-made chocolate, or wearing sweatshop clothing. Guess which one vegans of the Global North care about?

Not that one issue is more important than another, but it is more than frustrating when I see vegans (mostly vegans of the global north) say “this is cruelty-free” about products made from human suffering. Vegan chocolate cake made with trafficked child labor? Mmm, delicious

I wish vegans would demand fair trade/ethical goods, protest the prison-industrial-complex, or fight against food deserts as much as they put effort into getting vegan Ben & Jerry’s ice cream.

What prompted me to write this was a series of exchanges I saw on Twitter, where white vegans from western nations were admonishing people of color for eating animals as part of their cultural identity. Continue reading


A screen capture of a Facebook post by Bryant Terry, food justice advocate and author of the "Afro-Vegan" cookbook.

A screen capture of the Facebook post by Bryant Terry

If you have shared innumerable posts about how humans can be more compassionate towards animals and you have not said one peep about police terrorizing and killing little black girls and boys, a terrorist killing 9 black people in a church this month, 6 black churches being burned to the ground in the past week, and the myriad ways that anti-black racism manifests, I encourage you to think long and hard about how you might expand your “compassion” and fight for justice for all living beings. —Bryant Terry

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