Posts tagged "politics"
How to Erase an Arab

How to Erase an Arab

“Israeli General Says Mission is to Smash P.L.O. in Beirut” Seventh grade, social studies—On the family tree, next to the names of my father’s family, I write locations of birth: Lebanon, Palestine, Syria. I trace flags from my atlas. There is no Palestinian flag in the book, but I know how to draw it. When...
Accessory to Genocide

Accessory to Genocide

Omar was what polite society called a collaborator, what spooks called an informant, what Latino Marines called a snitch, and what some white Marines called a race traitor. Omar was a man of many titles, but only one utility, and I’d forgotten about him in the sweat and sleepless nights of Forward Operating Base Riviera’s...
Apocalypse City

Apocalypse City

It’s a friend’s birthday and her house is packed, so I settle into a seat on the porch across from a guy I just met. He’s late-twenties, in a beige button-up, cargo shorts and flip-flops, with a paunch and a grizzly beard. He’s a theoretical physicist finishing a PhD, soon to be employed by Raytheon,...

Wall Painting in Chicago Bar: “Richard J. Daley, Mayor”

It’s three blocks from where my Cantonese in-laws live since they moved out of Chinatown.  Bridgeport, so-called: no bridge, no port, but working class.  I’d thought the neighborhood tough—afraid to go out, lock your door at night.  But one couple on the corner stools, who could be Torres or Rodriguez, toasts me with pints of...

Somebody Else’s Genocide

After my reading in Atlanta, Georgia, a blond woman asked me, in German-accented English, if my books were translated and published in Germany. “Ja,” I said. I studied German for two years in high school and one semester in college, but I remembered only a few words—abgehetzt, schoner, arschloch—and only one phrase: Ich habe sieben...

Snakes

It’s 4:40 a.m. in Managua and I’m shivering. I’m waiting in the entryway of the place where I’m staying, waiting for someone to pick me up and take me to interview the country’s young leader, Daniel Ortega. All I’m told is to be ready to run. I’m wearing sneakers, t-shirt and shorts, and I have...