WHAT: "Alternatives to War on Terrorism: A Multicultural Perspective," a lecture by Ron Takaki, University of California, Berkeley, professor of ethnic studies. The event is free and open to the public.
In his talk, Takaki will re-visit American history from a post-Sept. 11 perspective; analyze what's behind President George Bush's "expanded" war against terrorism; and offer some long-term and peaceful strategies and solutions for fighting terrorism.
He also will address how America's cultural diversity can enable Americans to better understand the rest of the world, and how this multicultural understanding can lead this country to rethink the way it consumes the resources of the world.
"It is an issue far more complex than elections or our country's need for oil," says Takaki. "Part of what is driving Bush is a certain mentality. Paraphrasing the famous historian Frederick Jackson Turner, we have what can be called 'the significance of the frontier in the policies and language of Bush.' 'Hunt them down,' 'Smoke them out,''Wanted Dead or Alive' - reveals a culture of masculinity and domination embedded in American culture.
"Terrorism is a real threat, but no one is presenting long-term strategies to end it. People are worried about where Bush is taking the United States and the rest of the world. In my lecture, I intend to directly address strategies to win the war on terrorism."
BACKGROUND: Ron Takaki has been a professor of ethnic studies for 30 years. He is the author of 11 books. "Strangers from a Different Shore: A History of Asian Americans," was selected by the San Francisco Chronicle as one of the 100 best non-fiction books of the 20th century. "A Different Mirror: A History of Multicultural America" is read in courses across America.
Takaki helped found UC Berkeley's PhD program in ethnic studies, which began in 1984 and is the first of its kind in the country. He also was instrumental in establishing the campus's American Cultures requirement, which requires all UC Berkeley undergraduates to complete a course designed to broaden understanding of racial and ethnic diversity.