Kivel+Understanding+white+supremacy - Understanding and...

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Understanding and Dismantling Privilege Kivel, Understanding White Supremacy 1 Understanding White Supremacy, Challenging White Privilege and Working for Social Justice 1 Paul Kivel 2 How does white supremacy look in 2009? What are the challenges and what are the opportunities we face in a time when some people are saying that if a black man can be elected president we have become a postracial society? How do we encourage white people to take responsibility for challenging specific forms of white privilege built around issues of land, labor, education, housing, and self-identity? Let’s move beyond generalities about racism and white privilege and move into responsibility for addressing concrete issues of racial justice. I began by asking people in the audience to pair up with another person and to talk about one impact the civil rights movement had on their lives. Then I asked people to pair up with someone else and talk about a young person who inspires them in some way. Our struggle for social justice is built on the contributions of those who have gone before us and is inspired by our vision of the world we want to leave to our children and our children’s children. I want to acknowledge the creative spirits in the world that nurture and sustain us and that connect us to each other and to the plant and animal life around us. I want to acknowledge the earth that also nurtures and sustains us. I want to acknowledge the Native Peoples whose land we are on. I want to acknowledge my own Jewish foreparents and how much they have taught me about survival and social justice. I want to acknowledge the vast numbers of people around the world whose labor makes it possible for us to meet together and have this conversation. The Volume 1, Issue 1, August 2010
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Understanding and Dismantling Privilege Kivel, Understanding White Supremacy 2 people who make our clothes, computers, grow our food, and clean our rooms. Finally, I want to acknowledge all the people who helped make the conference possible, staff and volunteers. The inspiration for my work grows out of the labor movement in the 1930s, the civil rights movement in the 1960s, and the women’s movement in the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s. My work specifically grew out of the women’s movement, particularly the parts of that movement that dealt with male violence—the battered women’s movement, the sexual assault prevention movement, and the child assault prevention movement. We need to look at the social, political, and economic context we are in, particularly the three major issues confronting our times: war in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan, and our involvement in other conflicts throughout the world; the financial crisis and the tremendous inequalities of wealth and power in the United States; and global warming. We are living in a declining empire and our leaders are trying to manage and remain in control during the descent. I also referenced the history of Memphis and the garbage worker’s strike that Dr. Martin Luther
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This note was uploaded on 02/05/2011 for the course SOC 101 taught by Professor Grindel during the Spring '11 term at UC Merced.

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Kivel+Understanding+white+supremacy - Understanding and...

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