#IAmAnImmigrant: A look at Immigrant Heritage Month in Los Angeles 

A celebration of inclusion brought together co-founders, lawyers, academicians, advocates, actors, mayors, #Dreamers and those protected under President Obama’s Executive Action orders on immigration. 

It’s been wonderful working with this dedicated group. Together, we learned about the impact of decades of immigration reform policy, and other forms of public policy. We got support from VCs and produced events all over LA featuring art, music, dance, and technology.

The theme #IAmAnImmigrant fit with the emphasis on inclusion for the Third Annual Immigrant Heritage Month! 

#DACA #DAPA #Justice #CuluralStudies #Events #ImmigrantHeritageMonth
#IAmAnImmigrant #DACA #DAPA #Justice #CuluralStudies #Event

 

#Brexit: A No-Brainer Casting a Shadow Over Cultural Politics 

Why should political pundits be surprised that a majority of the UK electorate voted to secede from the EU, last week? Here’s my take: People of voting age in the UK, and around the world, who do not have access to educational courses on politics and economics, who do not desire to read about the history of the UK-EU-relationship, and who cannot form face-to-face relations with like-minded souls, curious about international politics, may lack the will to swim against the tide.

Jubilee! American Hero Harriet Tubman to Grace the $20

Harriet Tubman’s presence on the $20 elevates U.S. society and feminizes bravery. Now a trending topic on Twitter, Harriet Tubman, an American hero, replaces Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill, as announced today by U.S. Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew.

Tubman, a former slave who became free in order to free others, symbolically becomes part of our collective daily commerce. Think of all of the boys and girls who will grow up with the name Tubman as part of their cultural lives. This is a giant step toward addressing and repairing the trauma of America’s slave-holding past. Kudos to the U.S. Treasury Department’s bold move.

When can I get my hands on this currency?

Disney’s “Zootopia,” and the Urban Zeitgeist in American Political Discourse

Want a primer on intersectional politics? Go see Disney’s “Zootopia,” a tale of a tenacious country bunny rabbit with aspirations of being an urban cop in Zootopia where the majority of residents are prey and the minority, predators. If you, like I, thought that seeing a kid’s movie would be a nice break from watching primary-election coverage, think again. Evertything is politics, including Disney movies.

“Zootopia,” the movie, presents an animal world eerily reflective of the detritus of American domestic policy. Still pondering what effect 1990s-era crime legislation has had on American society? Note that in the Zootopian metropolis something appears to be affecting a minority of the predators’ behavior leading to moral panic and irrational quality-of-life-mediating decisions by some of the prey-majority. In the introduction, audiences receive a primer on the entire ecosystem of Zootopia and the outlier-communities. The predator class, sly foxes, family-loving otters, courageous-lions, live under suspicion of wilding-out to the detriment of the mellow bunnies, meek sheep, and other prey.

An aesthetically stunning film, “Zootopia” provides a way to reflect upon the current divisive rhetoric of the American presidential primary campaigns. How do political science professors, social studies teachers, and parents go about having conversations with children about politics, today? When one presidential candidate offers to pay the legal bills of audience-member thugs who lash out at disruptors, can there be hope?  Campaign politics aside, America appears to be a nation constantly at the verge of reconciling, or attempting to reconcile, the trauma of centruries of colonialist ptractice.

“Zootopia” audiences see echoes of a ’90s-era rhetoric of “super-predators” and restrictions on the freedom of suspect predators. Rodney King’s message about getting along, takes on new meaning (Zootopia is an urban space much like Los Angeles). With forays into alternative cultures, gender inequality, underground economies, and mixed relationships, “Zootopia” comments on the precarity of identity and the diversity of the American experience. A cute bunny cop and her enlisted partner, a fox (surprise!) navigate an emotional tightrope in order to maintain their fragile relationship and solve an incredible mystery related to the politics of identity.