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Ian Haney López in conversation with Eva Paterson

October 9, 2019 @ 7:00 pm

discussing the subject of his new book

Merge Left: Fusing Race and Class, Winning Elections, and Saving America

published by The New Press

From the acclaimed author of Dog Whistle Politics, an essential road map to neutralizing the role of racism as a divide-and-conquer political weapon and to building a broad multiracial progressive future

“Ian Haney López has broken the code on the racial politics of the last fifty years.” —Bill Moyers

Today more than ever, warnings to fear immigrants and people of color bombard us incessantly. Quite simply, the Right’s fundamental strategy has been to divide and distract while rigging the rules to benefit the superrich. No more. It’s time to reject this kind of purposeful division and to join together to demand that government work for all of us, whether we’re white, Black, or brown.

Ian Haney López has spent the last two years collaborating with a team of union activists, racial justice leaders, communications specialists, and pollsters. Based on conversations and interviews with people all over the country, the team discovered that a large majority of the population (people of color included) fall into “the persuadable middle”—they hold both progressive and racist views and can be shifted in one direction or another based on different stories about America.

For decades, while the Right has exploited racial fear-mongering, the Left has splintered. Some have wanted to tackle racism head-on; others have insisted that a race-silent focus on class avoids alienating white voters. Merge Left distills the heartening results of cutting-edge new research: naming racism as a weapon of the rich and calling for cross-racial solidarity builds unity across the base and enlists the broad middle in supporting progressive dreams.

A work of deep research, nuanced argument, and urgent insight, Merge Left is an indispensable tool for the upcoming political season and in the larger fight to build racial justice and shared economic prosperity.

Ian Haney López is the Earl Warren Professor of Public Law at University of California, Berkeley, and the author of Dog Whistle Politics and White by Law, as well as Merge Left (The New Press). He lives in Richmond, California.

Eva Jefferson Paterson has campaigned for civil rights with passion, courage and tenacity for more than three decades. Paterson is the President and a co-founder of the Equal Justice Society, a legal organization transforming the nation’s consciousness on race through law, social science, and the arts.

The Equal Justice Society is transforming the nation’s consciousness on race through law, social science, and the arts. Led by President Eva Paterson, our legal strategy aims to broaden conceptions of present-day discrimination to include unconscious and structural bias by using social science, structural analysis, and real-life experience.


October 9, 2019
7:00 pm


City Lights
261 Columbus Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94133 United States
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