Category Archives: Immigration

Media Trumped by Tribalism

There’s an old saying in journalism that a reporter is only as good as his or her sources. What does it say about America’s national news media that they were caught so surprised by Donald Trump’s victory? Perhaps they spend too much time talking to pollsters and each other. Instead of cultivating sources, they cultivate […]

Secrets of the Urban Forest

Donald Trump wants to build a wall. I’d like to get rid of some rats. What we want has something in common, but one is much easier to condemn than the other. To most people, rats are disgusting and unwanted; they are disease carriers. The illegal immigrants that Trump wants to keep out are human beings. […]

Young Fascists Colonize Portland

She was a picture of Aryan perfection: Blonde hair, the color of straw. Creamy complexion. Pale eyes. Thin, colorless lips. Blonde on blonde on blonde. She followed me into the Saffron Colonial Cafe in North Portland where I had taken a seat for a late Sunday lunch. “I want you to know that what you said […]

Heathens in The Grotto

The New York Times ended the year with the story and video of Farkhunda Malikzada, a young Afghan woman beaten to death and  desecrated by a mob of men because they believed she had burned a Quran. Not surprisingly, some Times’ readers rushed in to remind us that Nazis, Communists and American race-based lynch mobs […]

Fear of Black Men

The year 2042 can’t get here fast enough. That’s the year when demographers predict white people will be the statistical minority in the U.S. Finally, black folks will have to find someone else to blame besides whitey. Only joking. I’m not worried about being a statistical minority because I’ve never felt part of a majority. […]

The Virtuous Terrorist

It was a fine autumn day to sentence a man for attempting to detonate a weapon of mass destruction. A day as agreeable as that day in 2001 when terrorists brought down the Twin Towers. Mohamed O. Mohamud’s ambitions were smaller. He wanted to blow up the Christmas-tree lighting ceremony in downtown Portland, Ore. Two […]

Taking Care of Mother

What a beautiful bomb. That much is certain after FBI undercover agents showed Mohamed O. Mohamud the bomb he wanted to detonate in downtown Portland, Ore. Six 55-gallon barrels, supposedly filled with diesel fuel and nails (to act as shrapnel) were secured in the back of a van to be parked near Pioneer Courthouse Square. […]

Obama’s America, Romney’s America

Suppose a distant relative showed up at your door, down on his luck and needing a place to stay. You don’t really know this person, but you feel sorry for him. And you want to set a good example for your kids. Compassion in action. So you turn over a spare room to this relative. […]