Rodger Scott, an activist with AFT Local 2121, delegate to the San Francisco Labor Council and Coordinating Committee member of the San Francisco Living Wage Coalition, is donating 100% of the proceeds from the sale of his book through our site to the Living Wage Coalition.
“Grover Lewis: The Uncommon Insight and Grace of an Ordinary Man” is a new biography about a journalist now regarded as one of the forerunners of new journalism. His lengthy examinations of film, music, and more in the 1970s were published in The Village Voice, Texas Monthly, and the Rolling Stone.
Rodger Scott was born in Aspermont, Texas in 1936, the last of nine children in a family of farmers and ranchers who moved into town because they couldn’t survive working other people’s land. Rodger was a juvenile delinquent in junior high, and in high school was suspended or expelled six times in five semesters, but loved college and received a B.A. in foreign languages from Texas Tech at age 20. He has an M.A. in English also from Texas Tech and a Ph.D. in American Studies from the University of New Mexico.
Scott has been a teacher for 48 years in five states of the U.S. and in Japan, China and Colombia (as a Peace Corps volunteer). He served two years in the U.S. Army between the undeclared wars in Korea and Vietnam. He has held union posts for over 40 years and was president of the American Federation of Teachers Local 2121 at San Francisco City College. Scott was co-chair of the Social and Economic Justice Committee of the San Francisco Labor Council for five years and is active in organizations like Justice for Mario Woods Coalition and Mothers on the March, which is committed to stopping unjustified police killings, especially of young people of color. He also works with the San Francisco Living Wage Coalition and the Alliance for Social and Economic Justice. Rodger supports struggles for racial justice, affordable and accessible higher education, and progressive unions with ties to community and human rights groups–unions that advocate for society and humanity, not just their members.
Scott describes himself as a photographer and videographer with more experience than talent or success. In theology and ideology, he prefers single-mindedness to certainty and acknowledges being more cautious than courageous. However, he has been arrested in East Germany, Mexico—and for civil disobedience in California. When the Japanese Migra arrested him in Tokyo in 1969 for anti-Vietnam War activities and sailing on the Quaker yacht Phoenix from Nagasaki, Japan to the People’s Republic of China, he went on a hunger strike for 9 days and lost 35 pounds. After 57 days in Japanese Immigration Detention Centers, Rodger was deported.
Some of his favorite quotes:
“If there were no cowards, there would be no bullies.”
–W. R. Scott
“You must make your enemies live by their own rules.”
“Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.”
–Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
“Books are humanity in print.”
Two of the people he admires most are Woody Guthrie and Paul Robeson. Two of his mentors and local heroes are Archbishop Franzo King and Christina Gutierrez.
Scott admires the book title I know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou, and he appreciates the wit and wisdom of A Texan’s Prayer: “God, help me to find the truth and save me from those who’ve found it.”