A Primer for Today and Tomorrow
A Primer for Today and Tomorrow
It is most important that we do all that we
can to help depolarize the divide and actively confront the serious threats
that we face.
My world is both very
complex, and really simple underneath its layers. I see:
- powerful elites (primarily
wealthy, white, Christian, heterosexual men) using racism, sexism,
classism, and homo/lesbian/trans phobias systemically to manipulate and
control most other people.
- an immediate critically
important clash between two strongly opposed world views.
- a serious danger of a
right-wing takeover of power which could easily happen as soon as this
It is not crazy at all
(for me) to fear a Fascist State where:
- My wife being Black could be in
danger because she is Black and not invisible,
- My Black, gender-fluid
step-child — could become another “statistic” — in a world where their
life expectancy already is only 36,
- Me being Jewish, or “radical”
or even Autistic — could make me face potential institutionalization or
For many white people
a “zero sum world” of Blacks (and others) is encroaching and threatening their
falsely perceived safety. If a Black Person does better, inevitably a white
person — like them will lose at least the other’s gain.
Sally Hemings - Thomas Jefferson - Slave/Mistress
I live in a world
of increasing diversity. BIPOC (Black and Indigenous People of Color), women,
and others such as Queer/gender non-conforming people are leading important
movements towards positive change for all of us.
Today, January 6, 2022
— one year to the day our Government was almost “overthrown” — it is most
important that we do all that we can to help depolarize the divide and actively
confront the serious threats that we face.
SO WHAT’S THE POINT?
Our country was
founded by wealthy, white, male landowners taking the lands of Native People
“MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!”
When and how was The
United States great?
Example: “We saved the
world fighting for freedom in World War II”.
When the Nazis set out
to legally disenfranchise and discriminate against Jewish citizens, they
weren’t just coming up with ideas out of thin air. They closely studied the
laws of another country. According to James Q. Whitman,
author of Hitler’s American Model, that country was the United States.
“America in the early
20th century was the leading racist jurisdiction in the world,” says Whitman,
who is a professor at Yale Law School. “Nazi lawyers, as a result, were
interested in, looked very closely at, [and] were ultimately influenced by
American race law.”
In particular, Nazis
admired the Jim Crow-era laws that discriminated against Black
Americans and segregated them from white Americans, and they debated whether to
introduce similar segregation in Germany.
We have a history that
includes much that is horrible related to racism, sexism, classism and other
“isms”. The key problems related to this are the systemic nature
of the problems and how they are interrelated.
Classism and other
Isms are also hugely important! Often horrifying numbers on rape and sexual
abuse show a lot — please see:
WHAT’S THE THREAT ?
AND WHY NOW?
A right-wing takeover is
a realistic possibility!
Those opposed to a
right-wing takeover are not united! Our major unifying force is simple
opposition to Donald Trump. This is far, far too little to build an effective
HOW DO WE NEED TO
particularly Black Women, have often been the core of major organizational
efforts. Their six and one half percent (13% including men) of our total population
— can’t and won’t drag us white people ahead.
The 2020 election
results point to the importance of white people, most particularly non-college
graduates. Men are the largest opposition, though women aren’t that far behind.
Very active people
will always be a relatively small proportion of the population. A highly
motivated 5–10% of the population can make a great deal of difference.
Those interested in organizing work should work on the issue(s) you feel is/are most important. Supporting other causes is also important. I focus upon:
a. organizing men
supporting Reproductive Justice work of women,
b. trying to get concerned white men
supportively talking with each other (see: http://www.caringwhitemen.com/ ),
c. pushing activist
white men to cooperatively be politically active (see www.owmcl.org)
d. my local Mutual Aid
It is also very important for me to support issues like climate change, as well as supporting Palestinian Justice.
- Our Messaging — is Most
Important! Feelings and Fears — affect us all most deeply- As soon as I
call you: “racist” or “sexist” — you won’t substantively hear anything
that I may say. Ian Haney Lopez (see above) brilliantly addresses these
- We need to build with potential
allies — not reinventing the wheel — Men 4 Choice (https://www.men4choice.org/) is excellent at reaching
male college students who support reproductive justice, helping them build
their work together. Our reproductive justice work needs to follow the
directions and leadership of women lead groups, as well as complementing
the work of Men 4 Choice,
- We also need to reach out,
meeting others — where they are at. They need options as to how they can
join and/or support us,
- Our work is challenging. To
make it most fulfilling, it is helpful where we:
a. reach out and take
risks, knowing that we will make mistakes,
b. learn how to repair our faux pas — which are not the end of
c. look towards the
long-term — avoiding short-term burnout
d. be in our hearts —
recognize our needs to move beyond our “head space”,
e. have balance — in
our lives — taking the time to relax and recover, when we need a break,
f. be serious while
having lighter/fun parts in our work (such as singing together),,
g. work as team
players — being a cooperative partner — the cause is most important.
Showing Up for Racial
Justice (SURJ) www.surj.org is the most significant
white anti-racist group in North America. It has many local chapters.
Organizing White Men
for Collective Liberation (OWMCL) www.owmcl.org began
as a result of men steadily disappearing from SURJ three years ago. It is still
getting fully organized. Its strength has been the internal/personal work of
It is important that we do what we can — individually. We learn from each other. Your way isn’t my way — and that’s okay! Thanks!