Thursday, September 10, 2015

Response to “Why Does the Radical Left Feel Threatened by the Bernie Sanders Campaign?”

I stayed up late one night writing an angry rant response to an article that frankly wasn't worth the time, but I felt the need to tear down paragraphy by paragraph because some of my Facebook friends were extolling the article as insightful and offering up a constructive contribution to the discussion of tactics on the Left, whereas I just saw strawman arguments and ad hominem attacks.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

On fighting back: Checklist vs strategic logic

I decided that I needed to write this because I am constantly reading or being asked questions that operate from a framework that completely misses my reasoning behind why I am not supporting the Sanders campaign.


The checklist logic of supporting or not supporting a candidate

The question about whether or not to support a particular candidate and their campaign is a complex one, involving many possible logics. However, the lack of a discussion about goals and strategy and tactics among the populace, and even often on the left, has led to the reduction of this complex set of logics into the easily consumable logic of “I support candidate X because they are the best candidate out there” (ALSO: this logic often ignores other candidates which have better politics because they are not “realistically going to win”.)

This logic is the most common logic I find behind supporters of Bernie Sanders. Bernie is obviously to the left of all other Democratic Party candidates, and I would argue that his candidacy is only possible because of the amazing work done by Occupy and other movements that have made the left more visible and brought issues of inequality into the spotlight.

This rationale is behind the argument that is thrown at me or others on the Left who aren’t supporting Sanders when people caricature and misunderstand our argument and they say that we are “engaging in purity politics”. They argue that we are just standing on the sidelines doing nothing, waiting for the “perfect” candidate to arrive. This way of reframing the discussion and misrepresenting our argument makes us seem like we aren’t doing anything to further our cause and that we are being “impractical” and “immature”.

However, my reason for not supporting Sanders isn’t about having a checklist of qualities or positions on issues and then doing some kind of math to see if his candidacy passes a bar that I have set arbitrarily high. By only allowing the conversation to operate from the framework of “he is the best and most realistic to win” it brushes aside all other logics for why one might support a candidate/campaign.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Eugenics rears its ugly head in DJUSD


Eugenics rears its ugly head in DJUSD

My son is in 6th grade at Birch Lane Elementary and right now they are doing a “parenting” unit. Part of this unit consists of the cutesy activity of carrying around a sack of flour for a week, as if it was a baby they had to take care of. Another part of this unit was for the students to figure out a budget, with the stated intention of showing them the cost of having a baby. However, the implicit lessons being taught were not about being a responsible parent, but rather were subtle ideological messages about the “undeserving” poor, about who should and should not be reproducing, and about the value of life. This is a lesson that seems to be taught across DJUSD for years now and not something isolated to my son’s class or school.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Subverting professionalism to challenge the neoliberalization of higher education

Recently, I had the pleasure of meeting the renowned labor sociologist Ruth Milkman at a luncheon in in my department. I got to speak about my research and was told I could ask Professor Milkman a question - it could be about anything I was told, public sociology, her research, whatever.

I thought about what I would ask her for quite some time and kept coming back to one conclusion: I had to ask about the neoliberalization of higher education and the fight to defend public education, and how we could best do that.

The idea of asking some clever question about methodology, or some feel good public sociology question felt like a betrayal of everything I stand for. Doing so would be a capitulation to the theater of academic culture - you know, when we pretend that we aren't on a sinking ship, and we talk about the possible futures of graduate students, as if the very future itself isn't sinking to the bottom of the ocean.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Response: Katehi's "Economic Impacts" article

UC Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi recently penned an article for the Davis Vanguard praising “The Economic Impact of UC Davis”. It came as no surprise to this working-poor Teaching Assistant, student parent, and activist fighting to defend public education and student and worker rights that much of the economic impacts of UC Davis were ignored, specifically the financial hardships faced by the workers who make the university run, and the students who the university is supposed to be serving.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Education, Incorporated

Just wanted to share this excellent video made by a UCD student.

Also, I'm featured in it, so that's really cool too. ;)

Education, Incorporated from Darin Reyes on Vimeo.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Response to Katehi's anti-divestment e-mail

As the time of publication this statement has not been endorsed by any organization or caucus, the views expressed represent only the views of the author. (Though hopefully the Davis UAW will be signing on to this statement soon.)

On the morning of Friday January 30, Chancellor Katehi sent out an e-mail to the entire UCD community in regards to the previous night’s successful passing of a bill through the ASUCD senate that calls for the UC to divest its funds from companies that profit from human rights abuses in Occupied Palestine. We would like to deeply examine just what is being said in this letter and its implications.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Condemning anti-Semitic hate speech @ UCD

I did not write this, but I did sign it. So I am putting it up on this blog for all to see because I think it is important for people to see that the Divestment movement condemns all forms of hate speech.

Dear UC Davis Community,
As a coalition of students and campus organizations at UC Davis, we condemn the actions taken sometime during the night of January 31st, 2015 by an unknown person(s) who defaced the Alpha Epsilon Pi fraternity house, which is a Jewish interest fraternity, with swastikas.
Just as we condemned the hanging of a noose, the defamation of the Palestinian dove, or calling students ‘terrorists’ based on their physical appearance or beliefs, we equally condemn the display of the swastika. This reminds us that anti-Semitism, along with all other forms of hate, including, but not limited to, Islamophobia, homophobia, transphobia, racism, and misogyny, still exist and are rampant trans-nationally and on our university campuses.
We reject any attempts to blame this on any single student community, including the UC Davis Divestment movement. We hope that the university investigates and exercises due diligence in holding those responsible for this hate crime to the fullest extent of the law.
The Undersigned:
Students for Justice in Palestine at UC Davis
Muslim Student Association at UC Davis
Arab Student Union at UC Davis
Pakistani Student Association at UC Davis
Afghan Student Association at UC Davis
M.E.Ch.A. de UC Davis
Black Student Union at UC Davis
Sikh Cultural Association at UC Davis
S.M.A.R.T. (Students Matter: Activism, Retention, Teamwork) Coalition
Officers of the Davis Unit, UAW 2865
Hannah Kagen-Moore, Davis Unit UAW 2865
Duane Wright, Davis Unit UAW 2865
Mai Sartawi, National Lawyer’s Guild
Claire White, Student National Vice President, National Lawyer’s Guild
Gonzalo Cortes Moreno, Lawyer and Constitutional Law Professor (King Law School)
Armando Figueroa, ASUCD President