Join us on Saturday, August 28 at 3pm PT when Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz is joined by Kim Shuck to discuss her latest book, Not a Nation of Immigrants: Settler Colonialism, White Supremacy, and a History of Erasure and Exclusion, on Zoom!
Praise for Not a Nation of Immigrants
“In this book, a precious gift drawn from an amazingly rich life and a prodigious life of learning, Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz urges us to disavow the violence of the US settler nation-state, its discursive erasures of native peoples and its material relations of dispossession. The struggle for workers’ rights and working-class solidarity, she reminds us, involves the fight against capitalism, imperialism, and colonialism for the liberation of all peoples.”
—Gary Y. Okihiro, author of Third World Studies: Theorizing Liberation
“What do the Iroquois or Navajo think of the Statue of Liberty? With characteristic grit and brio, Dunbar-Ortiz demonstrates how profoundly the settler colonial history of the United States and the ideology of ‘white nativism’ have shaped both immigration policy and immigrant identity.”
—Mike Davis, author of Prisoners of the American Dream
“Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz is a one-woman wrecking ball against the tower of lies erected by generations of official and television historians—people who make a living glorifying slave traders and exterminators of Native Americans.”
About Not a Nation of Immigrants
Whether in political debates or discussions about immigration around the kitchen table, many Americans, regardless of party affiliation, will say proudly that we are a nation of immigrants. In this bold new book, historian Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz asserts this ideology is harmful and dishonest because it serves to mask and diminish the US’s history of settler colonialism, genocide, white supremacy, slavery, and structural inequality, all of which we still grapple with today.
She explains that the idea that we are living in a land of opportunity—founded and built by immigrants—was a convenient response by the ruling class and its brain trust to the 1960s demands for decolonialization, justice, reparations, and social equality. Moreover, Dunbar-Ortiz charges that this feel good‑-but inaccurate—story promotes a benign narrative of progress, obscuring that the country was founded in violence as a settler state, and imperialist since its inception.
While some of us are immigrants or descendants of immigrants, others are descendants of white settlers who arrived as colonizers to displace those who were here since time immemorial, and still others are descendants of those who were kidnapped and forced here against their will. This paradigm shifting new book from the highly acclaimed author of An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States charges that we need to stop believing and perpetuating this simplistic and a historical idea and embrace the real (and often horrific) history of the United States.
About Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz
Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz grew up in rural Oklahoma in a tenant farming family. She has been active in the international Indigenous movement for more than 4 decades and is known for her lifelong commitment to national and international social justice issues. Dunbar-Ortiz is the winner of the 2017 Lannan Cultural Freedom Prize, and is the author or editor of many books, including An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States, a recipient of the 2015 American Book Award. She lives in San Francisco.
Debunks the pervasive and self-congratulatory myth that our country is proudly founded by and for immigrants, and urges readers to embrace a more complex and honest history of the United States
2019 NCIBA Golden Poppy Award Winner - Poetry
San Francisco's 7th poet laureate--a Native American and native San Franciscan--explores urban space and the natural world.