Sunday, August 28, 2016

Greensboro and Poughkeepsie

GUEST: Gary Kenton, political activist and former co-host of Activist Radio, returns to the Vassar College airways to talk about progressive movements in his new state, North Carolina.

What a pleasure to have Gary back on Activist Radio. It was a one time event since he lives in North Carolina these days.

Gary, Eli, and I talked about race relations in Greensboro, comparing them to Poughkeepsie in Dutchess County. The fact that we in the north live in such segregated areas really diminishes white people's chances of having meaningful talks with Blacks about race and privilege. Not so, Gary tells us, in Greensboro where races are more mixed and the city has a long history of promoting these types of discussions. 

So is the current debate about Dutchess County's new jail just a way to avoid actually talking to Blacks about what really matters? Of course, the jail is a criminal waste of money, especially since it is being built after so many social services have been slashed or done away with. Progressive whites can all agree on this. But does this logical analysis take the place of genuine conversations with Blacks on race in America? 

Racism is America's disease, so embedded in our history and culture as to almost be invisible. The cure will only come when white American can accept our individual responsibility for perpetuating this system of oppression. 



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