Writing, Organizing, & Creative Arts
“It demands great spiritual resilience not to hate the hater whose foot is on your neck, and an even greater miracle of perception and charity not to teach your child to hate.”
― James Baldwin, The Fire Next Time
Capitalism and racism have been intertwined from the beginning–which is why confronting one requires organizing to confront the other, writes.
RACISM HAS been an ugly and persistent feature of the United States since the country was founded. Today, despite the important victories of the 1960s civil rights movement and other struggles, racial disparities are in many respects getting worse.
In mid-March, the National Urban League released its annual State of Black America report, which found “little accountability for law enforcement responsible for killing unarmed Black men, teenagers and children; a continual assault on voting rights; [and] widening economic inequality gaps,” among other major problems.
As the report notes:
Sixty years after the landmark ruling in Brown v. Board of Education ended segregation in America’s public schools, separate and unequal is still a pervasive reality. While de jure, or legal, segregation has been abolished, de facto, or the actual practice of segregation, is greater now than it was 40 years ago.
Black and Brown students are less likely to share classrooms with white students. We also see separate and unequal levels of expectations and resources in our schools that continue to break down along economic, and thus largely color, lines.
Using government data on income and wealth, unemployment, poverty and other factors, the report calculates a Black Equality Index of only 72.2 percent–meaning that “Blacks experience less than three-fourths the quality of life experienced by white Americans,” according to the report. The Hispanic Equality Index is only a little higher, at 77.7 percent.
RACISM IS a moral obscenity, but how can we fight it?
That depends on how we understand the problem.
I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality… I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word.
“Ignorance and prejudice are the handmaidens of propaganda. Our mission, therefore, is to confront ignorance with knowledge, bigotry with tolerance, and isolation with the outstretched hand of generosity. Racism can, will, and must be defeated.” ― Kofi Annan
“Race doesn’t really exist for you because it has never been a barrier. Black folks don’t have that choice.”
I swear to the Lord
I still can’t see
Why Democracy means
Everybody but me.
~Langston Hughes, The Black Man Speaks
“Pit race against race, religion against religion, prejudice against prejudice. Divide and conquer! We must not let that happen here.”
― Eleanor Roosevelt
The Wordsmith Collection: Writing & Creative Arts
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