Although J. Sakai’s Settlers: The Mythology of the White Proletariat was published in the mid-1980s it has remained at the edges of “acceptable” social theory, just at the threshold of obscurity. Perhaps the reason for its academic neglect can be blamed on its unsober use of language and rhetorical tone: those who study political theory within the polite confines of academia tend to zone out when they read phrases and words that break the implicit rules of intellectual chivalry. Or perhaps the academic dismissal of Settlers is due to the fact that it was published by a fringe press and presented in a somewhat unorthodox manner: the type-setting, use of found images and collage, and 8.5×11 graphic novel size does not fit the acceptable standards of an “authoritative” book.
In 1999, J. Sakai agreed to be interviewed by Solidarity Publishing and Distribution, a prisoner-support project based here in Montreal. The text of this interview is available alongside Kuwasi Balagoon’s The Continuing Appeal of Anti-Imperialism in the pamphlet When Race Burns Class, published and distributed by Kersplebedeb. The text of the interview, along with Balagoon’s review, are both provided here, so you can read them online.
In 2004, J. Sakai was interviewed by Ernesto Aguilar for KPFT Pacifica Radio. It is available in audio here, and the transcript became the pamphlet, “Stolen At Gunpoint: Interview with J. Sakai On the Chicano-Mexicano National Question,” and is currently hosted at anti-imperialism.com. (A lightly edited version also appears in the newest edition of Settlers as an appendix.)
Here is a list of links to other texts, discussing and debating Settlers:
More by J. Sakai
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