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Sixth & I (Virtual)

VIRTUAL: Go Back to Where You Came From

Wajahat Ali and Spencer Ackerman on the War on Terror, Trumpism, and American Identity

Jan 27, 2022 • 7:00 pm ET
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This event will now be held virtually. All in-person tickets will be honored as virtual tickets, and all books will be mailed. With questions, please contact Amanda Loerch.

Journalist and Daily Beast columnist Wajahat Ali grew up searching for Brown superheroes. Pop culture portrayed people like him as goofy sidekicks, shop owners with funny accents, or sweaty terrorists. Driven by his desire to expand the American narrative to include a diversity of protagonists, Ali became a writer, and in the aftermath of the 9/11 terror attacks, an accidental activist and ambassador of all things Muslim-y. In his hopeful and hilarious memoir, Go Back to Where You Came From: And Other Helpful Recommendations on How to Become American, Ali offers indispensable lessons and strategies to help cultivate a more compassionate America.

For nearly the entire War on Terror, Spencer Ackerman has been a national security correspondent for outlets like The New Republic, The Guardian, and The Daily Beast. His reporting from the frontlines of Afghanistan, Iraq, and Guantanamo Bay informs his latest book, Reign of Terror: How the 9/11 Era Destabilized America and Produced Trump—an examination of the profound impact the War on Terror had in pushing American politics and society in an authoritarian direction.

In a conversation moderated by Jenn White, host of the nationally syndicated radio show “1A” from WAMU and NPR, Ali and Ackerman will speak about their personal experiences and reporting, and how millennial activists are pushing back on a rising tide of xenophobia.

Thanks to our promotional partners: American Muslim Institution, Make Space, the Aspen Institute’s Religion & Society Program, HIAS, and PEN America