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View Diary: Optimistic Prop 8 protest draws 5000+ @ CA Capitol {w/ vid, pix} (Updated x4) (78 comments)

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  •  i'm generally discouraged (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    paxpdx, csquared

    by the lack of minorities in causes that i normally picture white liberals and college students supporting. especially gay rights and environmental issues even, since pollution issues affect minorities the most.  white liberals and blacks and other minorities used to be a team. the only liberal cause i see so far with full integration is in pro-union groups, which many of us here thought were racist redneck types because  of some evidence that white union members didnt want to vote the way the union wanted, but they worked hard for Obama's candidacy overall in a way that other groups didnt, or at least were not conspicuous.

    •  I've written elsewhere about this (5+ / 0-)

      Living in a majority-minority neighborhood has taught me a lot. White liberals and college students come around up here, clipboards in hand, and solicit votes/contributions/interest in all sorts of issues. They leave before it gets dark.

      Meanwhile, something happens up here. The local convenience store starts selling more 40-ouncers to kids who sit in the park drinking all day, having nothing else to do. There's a shooting a couple of blocks from the high school. White liberals move up here with their big pet dogs - members of their family, but they're clueless about the history of how dogs were used against black folks for generations, and don't even know how much pain and fear seeing those dogs can engender.

      Gentrification drives up property values, and drives out people who've been in the neighborhood for generations, breaking bonds and severing people from community. A little corner mower-repair shop that's been around for decades loses its lease, replaced by a nice coffeehouse where white liberals hang out.

      You've identified issues - environmental, pollution, etc. - and said that you believe they affect minorities even more than others at times. I'm not going to argue with you about that, but I will gently suggest that what white liberals and college students need to do is not come up here and tell folks that certain issues affect them, but come up here and listen - really seriously listen and get involved - in the issues that the people here identify themselves.

      My neighbors' views of white liberals, especially canvassers, generally range from disdain to disgust. They don't need to be informed about what issues affect them - they live their issues 24/7. If you want them to be engaged in what matters to you, then get engaged - not just signing petitions online, but get your bodies and souls and minds engaged - in supporting them. Not running the issue campaigns for them, but really being in solidarity, and following their lead about what matters.

      </soapbox>

      Sorry, especially to those who think I'm repeating myself over the past few days. Someone's gotta say it...

      "I like to go into Marshall Field's in Chicago just to see all the things there are in the world that I do not want." M. Madeleva, C.S.C.

      by paxpdx on Sun Nov 09, 2008 at 09:17:45 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  great points (0+ / 0-)

        but still, because they are the ones most affected and dont like being lectured to, i would have expected more visibility in the activist portion of the effort, like protests, etc. maybe there are, but i hardly ever see black protesters on anything other than anything having to do with race or wages. on the brighter side, i did think it was refreshing to see blacks and whites all over the country coming together for a common cause to get obama elected.

        •  Lots of reasons (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Ebby

          For three years I was a "tardy mom" at Kid Pax's elementary school. I sat at a desk at the door for half an hour and checked in kids who arrived late. After that flow had stopped, I went through each class attendance sheet, and called parents of kids who were absent but hadn't notified the school in advance.

          The number of kids whose job sheets had parents listed as working 3-4 jobs, many at places that they probably no longer worked, as they were temp or tenuous anyway - was sobering. The number who worked at really, really low-wage jobs - same thing. The number we couldn't manage to track down by phone - ditto.

          Now - that's overgeneralized, of course, and not statistically valid, just anecdotal. There's tons of African American and Latino families up here who work jobs as flexible as mine that also pay well and permit good family leave. I rarely had to call about their kids; they called in when a kid was sick. (Which is way better than I manage to do sometimes.)

          What it comes down to, though, is looking at the assumption that our tactics are somehow the "right" ones or that they should resonate with their community.  Sometimes they do, sometimes they don't. Sometimes they work through different channels. Up here, the Albina Ministerial Alliance (network of predominately black churches) is heavily involved with governmental entities, representing people here. Where we (white liberals) might form our own groups or protests, AMA and other longstanding community organizations up here often work as representatives for others.

          It's not easy. I learned a ton as one of those white liberal ACT-UP! protesters years ago, and from being involved with CISPES. There's no "one size fits all" in social justice. We can learn a lot from one another here.

          "I like to go into Marshall Field's in Chicago just to see all the things there are in the world that I do not want." M. Madeleva, C.S.C.

          by paxpdx on Mon Nov 10, 2008 at 07:10:43 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

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