A Look at Racism in the United States
By Jim Carey
For two Mondays Occupy SMA will look at “The Next System Project,” a multi-year initiative aimed at thinking boldly about what is required to deal with the systemic challenges the United States faces in coming decades. There’s no shortage of commentary about the elections and the structural crisis plaguing the American economic and political systems: wage stagnation, chronic invisible unemployment, unchecked corporate and state power, capitalist globalization, and growing inequality. The current annual expenditure of one trillion dollars on domestic and global militarism is unsustainable. I am reminded of the late Shimon Peres’ statement: “ If you have children, you cannot feed them forever with flags for breakfast and cartridges for lunch. You need something more substantial. Unless you educate your children and spend less money on conflicts, unless you develop your science, technology, and industry, you don’t have a future.”
Meeting and Films
“The Next System Project”
Mon, Oct 10, 1pm
Quinta Loreto Hotel
Loreto 15, Centro
“The Next System Project” believes that by defining issues systemically we can begin to move the political conversation beyond current limits, with the aim of sparking a debate about the need for a radically different and just economic system. There are real alternatives locally and globally. Arising from the unforgiving logic of dead ends, the steadily growing array of promising new proposals and alternative institutions and experiments together with an explosion of ideas and new activism offer a powerful basis for hope.
Occupy SMA will show four short videos on the major problems we face as a society. Monday we will focus on the systemic racism that has existed in the US in its various forms: slavery, lynching, police abuse, redlining, social stratification, public schools, prisons, and economic disparity. Recent vocalized negative attitudes about “Black Lives Matter” protests bring to mind Martin Luther King Jr.’s Letter from a Birmingham Jail in 1963: “I must confess that over the past few years I have been gravely disappointed with the white moderate. I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro’s great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen’s Councilor or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to ‘order’ than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says,: ‘I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I cannot agree with your methods of direct action;’ who paternalistically believes he can set the timetable for another man’s freedom; who lives by a mythical concept of time and who constantly advises the Negro to wait for a ‘more convenient season.’ Shallow understanding from people of goodwill is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will. Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection.”
Our discussion on racism will include an inspiring video of Bryan Stevenson—founder of the Equal Justice Initiative—one of the most articulate spokesmen for the struggle against racism. The videos take 39 minutes with plenty of time for discussion. Join us. It’s free.