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This is how we shoot ourselves in the foot in America in most noble endeavors - we start to see a little success and then we allow ourselves to be lulled into thinking that "the wheel beginning to roll" will never stop. Thinking like this allows a permissiveness of folks uninterested in progress, to chime in with demands that our minimal success on issues, like fighting racism in America, are not needed anymore as we have won the battle. Later we often find - as we did in backing off of The War on Poverty - the folly in listening to such voices as the country did during the Reagan era.

The Revolution Forgotten...

In the early seventies there was this idea seeded in society that attacking institutionalized racism was an enterprise that wasn't needed due to the passage of reforms during The Great Society. In 1972, one year away from death, Lyndon B Johnson gave a speech at the LBJ Library warning the audience of this whilst admitting that during his time in office he hadn't gone far enough. During that period integration was just beginning to happen in the country's schools and neighborhoods and the policy of affirmative action was beginning to begin a slow process of expanding opportunity to the African American community in the marketplace.

Around the end of the 70's there seemed to be this idea, as is always here in America when something positive starts to work, that once something begins to be successful, there is no need to continue it; it will, somehow, work itself out on its own. A contemporary example of this flawed thinking is when the Obama Administration engineered the temporary nationalizing of GM. It was the perfect chance to instill in the automotive industry initiatives to manufacture vehicles that were truly fuel efficient, thus beginning a process of weening the country off of gas guzzlers. What happened was GM got themselves out of that arrangement quickly and is now back to behaving like they did before they got in the predicament they were in.

This is how we shoot ourselves in the foot in America in most noble endeavors - we start to see a little success and then we allow ourselves to be lulled into thinking that "the wheel beginning to roll" will never stop. Thinking like this allows a permissiveness of folks uninterested in progress, to chime in with demands that our minimal success on issues, like fighting racism in America, are not needed anymore as we have won the battle. Later we often find - as we did in backing off of The War on Poverty - the folly in listening to such voices as the country did during the Reagan era.

So now in 2014, we find ourselves with the realities that our efforts at expanding liberty to African Americans, and this "new" issue of addressing income equality, is still here. Michelle Alexander, in the instructive book "The New Jim Crow", points this our in sobering and real terms. We abandoned these issues long ago, and are now having to face the fact we did, after allowing ourselves to buy into the idea that everything could simply make itself happen without any direct management. Even worse the center/right in both parties has been largely for creating the situation we're in and isn't interested in it changing as it may retract from their power.

It is time America made a new commitment to equality in our society on all fronts. In order for that to happen individuals need to be willing to stand for these ideas, working free of recognized power structures in our society to that effect. Often we see that people running for office, or heading certain groups of individuals, are really only interested in maintaining control over their constituencies whilst doing little for them. Until people start to stand and form new collectives to champion these issues, little will be done in terms of progress, and especially on the battle to end institutionalized racism.

- Robert Montgomerie

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