A dark reminder that anti-immigrant sentiment has a long history in this country and that the immigration issue is not going...

READ REVIEW

HUNTING SEASON

IMMIGRATION AND MURDER IN AN ALL-AMERICAN TOWN

A disturbing account of how attacks on Latino immigrants became a teenage sport in one suburban town, whose bigotry is seen here as typical of much of America.

Ojito (Journalism/Columbia Univ.; Finding Mañana: A Memoir of a Cuban Exodus, 2005), who was part of the team that won the Pulitzer Prize for reporting on race in America while at the New York Times, takes an in-depth look at the entwined issues of racism and anti-immigration sentiment. Where once new immigrants headed for large cities, now the destination is often suburbia. In this account, it was an influx of Ecuadorians to Patchogue, N.Y., that aroused hatred to the point of mayhem and manslaughter. The author tells her story through key players in the drama, among them Marcelo Lucero, an Ecuadorian who was stabbed to death; Angel Loja, his companion, who was also attacked; Julio Espinoza, the “pioneer” Ecuadorian emigrant to the town; the librarian who started an outreach program to the town’s Spanish-speaking immigrants; and Jeff Conroy, the teenager stabber, and his six buddies who, on a November night in 2008, were out “hunting for beaners,” as they called their search for Latinos. In the background are politicians, TV pundits, lawyers, police officers, ministers and, importantly, parents. As Ojito reports, the message that many young people in Patchogue receive over the dinner table is that immigrants are despicable pests and that hunting them down meets with parental approval. The author lets participants tell their own stories, and their words reveal much about their attitudes. Conroy, who received a long sentence, was surprisingly willing to talk to the author, and his father and several Ecuadorian parents are well-portrayed in the later chapters.

A dark reminder that anti-immigrant sentiment has a long history in this country and that the immigration issue is not going away any time soon. 

Pub Date: Oct. 29, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-8070-0181-3

Page Count: 240

Publisher: Beacon

Review Posted Online: Aug. 19, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2013

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Not an easy read but an essential one.

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • Kirkus Reviews'
    Best Books Of 2019

  • New York Times Bestseller

  • IndieBound Bestseller

HOW TO BE AN ANTIRACIST

Title notwithstanding, this latest from the National Book Award–winning author is no guidebook to getting woke.

In fact, the word “woke” appears nowhere within its pages. Rather, it is a combination memoir and extension of Atlantic columnist Kendi’s towering Stamped From the Beginning (2016) that leads readers through a taxonomy of racist thought to anti-racist action. Never wavering from the thesis introduced in his previous book, that “racism is a powerful collection of racist policies that lead to racial inequity and are substantiated by racist ideas,” the author posits a seemingly simple binary: “Antiracism is a powerful collection of antiracist policies that lead to racial equity and are substantiated by antiracist ideas.” The author, founding director of American University’s Antiracist Research and Policy Center, chronicles how he grew from a childhood steeped in black liberation Christianity to his doctoral studies, identifying and dispelling the layers of racist thought under which he had operated. “Internalized racism,” he writes, “is the real Black on Black Crime.” Kendi methodically examines racism through numerous lenses: power, biology, ethnicity, body, culture, and so forth, all the way to the intersectional constructs of gender racism and queer racism (the only section of the book that feels rushed). Each chapter examines one facet of racism, the authorial camera alternately zooming in on an episode from Kendi’s life that exemplifies it—e.g., as a teen, he wore light-colored contact lenses, wanting “to be Black but…not…to look Black”—and then panning to the history that informs it (the antebellum hierarchy that valued light skin over dark). The author then reframes those received ideas with inexorable logic: “Either racist policy or Black inferiority explains why White people are wealthier, healthier, and more powerful than Black people today.” If Kendi is justifiably hard on America, he’s just as hard on himself. When he began college, “anti-Black racist ideas covered my freshman eyes like my orange contacts.” This unsparing honesty helps readers, both white and people of color, navigate this difficult intellectual territory.

Not an easy read but an essential one.

Pub Date: Aug. 13, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-525-50928-8

Page Count: 320

Publisher: One World/Random House

Review Posted Online: April 28, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2019

Did you like this book?

A clear and candid contribution to an essential conversation.

SO YOU WANT TO TALK ABOUT RACE

Straight talk to blacks and whites about the realities of racism.

In her feisty debut book, Oluo, essayist, blogger, and editor at large at the Establishment magazine, writes from the perspective of a black, queer, middle-class, college-educated woman living in a “white supremacist country.” The daughter of a white single mother, brought up in largely white Seattle, she sees race as “one of the most defining forces” in her life. Throughout the book, Oluo responds to questions that she has often been asked, and others that she wishes were asked, about racism “in our workplace, our government, our homes, and ourselves.” “Is it really about race?” she is asked by whites who insist that class is a greater source of oppression. “Is police brutality really about race?” “What is cultural appropriation?” and “What is the model minority myth?” Her sharp, no-nonsense answers include talking points for both blacks and whites. She explains, for example, “when somebody asks you to ‘check your privilege’ they are asking you to pause and consider how the advantages you’ve had in life are contributing to your opinions and actions, and how the lack of disadvantages in certain areas is keeping you from fully understanding the struggles others are facing.” She unpacks the complicated term “intersectionality”: the idea that social justice must consider “a myriad of identities—our gender, class, race, sexuality, and so much more—that inform our experiences in life.” She asks whites to realize that when people of color talk about systemic racism, “they are opening up all of that pain and fear and anger to you” and are asking that they be heard. After devoting most of the book to talking, Oluo finishes with a chapter on action and its urgency. Action includes pressing for reform in schools, unions, and local governments; boycotting businesses that exploit people of color; contributing money to social justice organizations; and, most of all, voting for candidates who make “diversity, inclusion and racial justice a priority.”

A clear and candid contribution to an essential conversation.

Pub Date: Jan. 16, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-58005-677-9

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Seal Press

Review Posted Online: Oct. 9, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2017

Did you like this book?

more