Chapter Six - “Embracing Diversity: The Ground of Our Being”

Despite the election of an African American President, combating racism is still central to transforming power. In this chapter Judy discusses how racism has been central to creating the system of power we suffer under today. Colonialism first and then imperialism and even capitalism itself relies on racism not only to keep people divided but also to be able to exploit an underclass of workers globally and locally. She asks several anti-racist activists why we have not made more progress in combating racism.

“It was at the U.S. Social Forum that I first saw this new kind of anti-racist politics. Instead of the confrontations of my generation, there was a unity based on respect for differences. The people most affected by the topic under discussion were the speakers. Instead of academics lecturing about their studies of people, the people themselves spoke about their own reality. Instead of featuring the celebrities of the Left, of whatever colour, the discussions called on local leaders. In a reverse of the usual racial composition of panels in such conferences, the majority of panelists were people of colour and women. When there was conflict, it was handled with grace and a respect for the anger of those who felt offended or oppressed in some way, but with a view to continuing the process and building unity. Perhaps the reason it went so well was that the process was led by a co-coordinating committee composed mostly of people of colour.”

Related Links:

Relevant Blog Entries:

Advocates for Environmental Human Rights

Anima Leadership

Choudhury, Shakil

Galabuzi, Grace-Edward

Goldtooth, Tom

Human Rights Watch

Jones, Van

Malik, Abdul-Rehman

National Action Committee on the Status of Women (NAC)

No One is Illegal

Obama, Barack

Security and Prosperity Partnership (SPP),

Thobani, Sunera

United Nations Declaration of Human Rights

U.S. Social Forum

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