The Truthdig columnist tells The Real News how his experience living in the inner city in Boston shaped his perspective as a journalist.
And I think for a white person of relative privilege to confront the cruelty of what we do to poor people of color in this country and to begin to understand institutional forms of racism, all the mechanisms by which we ensure that the poor remain poor in, you know, what Malcolm X and Martin Luther King correctly called these internal colonies really rattled me, really shook me. It made me question all sorts of things—the myth we tell ourselves about ourselves, the nature of capitalism, the nature of racism, exploitation. So those two and a half years I spent in Roxbury were quite profound—not that, of course, I wasn’t stunned at the evils of empire in places like El Salvador or Gaza or anywhere else. But Roxbury was quite a shock for me.