Against the Grain – July 8, 2020

Against the Grain

Nikki Khanna on the nature and impact of skin-color discrimination and privilege, both globally and as experienced by Asian American women.

Upcoming Episode

What role did slavery play in the story of U.S. capitalism? Does the fact that slavery wasn’t rooted in wage labor mean that it wasn’t a form of capitalist practice? Caitlin Rosenthal offers a definition of capitalism and shares her understanding of how commodification, and the power to impose it, operated under slavery. Caitlin Rosenthal, Accounting for Slavery: … Continued


What do college athletes, prison laborers, welfare recipients, and graduate students in the sciences have in common? According to sociologist Erin Hatton, they’re all workers who face a particular form of coercion. She discusses what these workers’ circumstances tell us about work under contemporary capitalism. She’ll also consider the situation of prisoners pressured into dangerous … Continued


Excavating alternative and radical histories of San Francisco is Chris Carlsson’s specialty. He talks about the city’s role in the Underground Railroad; the enslavement of Native Americans; the 1966 Hunters Points uprising; the San Francisco Diggers; the Freeway Revolt; and more. Chris Carlsson, Hidden San Francisco: A Guide to Lost Landscapes, Unsung Heroes and Radical … Continued


“All Lives Matter,” “I am Darren Wilson”: Reactionary whites and racist institutions have coopted and appropriated discourses originated by radical antiracist movements. Paula Ioanide discusses how and why this is happening. She also considers what white identity in the U.S., constituted historically by the exclusion and exploitation of perceived others, means for whites’ ability to … Continued