KEY COMPONENTS OF SUCCESSFUL SOCIAL MOVEMENTS

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"For me, the most important lesson
[of the Freedom Movement] is that by respecting the fact that fellow activists could passionately disagree over strategy and tactics—yet remain allies—they strengthened SNCC and the Movement as a whole."
From Bruce Hartford's article in the current issue of Urban Habitat.
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Friday, February 16, 2007

institutionalized racism

Sandra, Chia and I went to hear a panel on racism in oakland last night. It was at Geoffrey's Inner Circle and put on bythe Black Elected Officials and Faith Based Leaders of the East Bay, Oakland Black Caucus, The John George Democratic Club, the Wellstone Democratic Club, and the Socially Responsible Network. The four panelists wre Monique W. Morris, Director of Discrimination Research Center and author of "Too Beautiful for Words" and authors Francis Adams and Barry Sanders of "Alienable Rights: The Exclusion of African Americans in a White Man's Land, 1619-2000, and Dr. Wade Nobles, Executive Director of the Institute for the Advanced Study of Black Family Life & Culture, Inc., Psychologist and Professor of Africana Studies, San Francisco State University, and Director, Center for Applied Cultural Studies and Educational Achievement.

The DRC website has several publications you can download that identify clearly how racism is institutionalized today. Adams's and Sander's history of racism was a bit depressing; Sanders was a very good speaker (and brief) and Nobles was eloquent on how pathological white supremacy is. The only suggestion last night on how to attack institutionalized racism was to learn african wisdoms -- a necessary but not, by a long shot, necessary variable.

In going to the DRC website and its links I was once again confronted with a very fancy and well funded non profit organization that employs very smart people who are devoted to studying the problem. When will we stop studying and attacking the problem? the non profits are good at research and policy suggestions, but where is the community organizing that will really make the needed changes? Where is the direct action piece to the puzzle?

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