Angela Davis 3-Pack
Solidarity was long a term invoked by unions and working men and women. Now, alas, unions, under sustained political attack, are in acute decline. Who can forget Ronald Reagan championing the rights of workers in Poland while smashing the air traffic controllers union in the U.S.? Today from Tahrir Square in Cairo to Ferguson, Missouri to Gezi Park in Istanbul people are in the streets raising again the cry of solidarity. Solidarity, linking up with kindred spirits is a crucial element in overcoming isolation and atomization. Mutual support and feelings, yes, of love, empower people over the rulers of the Earth. The masters want to keep us apart and to have us focus on shopping. There are glimpses of cross border alliances. They need to grow. Given the global scale of the climate change crisis transnational solidarities are needed now.
The idea of freedom is inspiring. But what does it mean? If you are free in a political sense but have no food, what's that? The freedom to starve? Or if the candidates on the ballot are yoked to unjust power structures, what's that? The freedom to vote? The colonies in Asia and Africa gained their independence from their European lords but did they gain freedom? Frantz Fanon, who worked with the liberation movement in Algeria wrote prophetically in his classic work, The Wretched of the Earth, that the newly independent states of the post-colonial era will not achieve real freedom if they replicate the patterns of oppression and domination perfected by their former masters. He warned about changing one policeman for another. Replacing white sahibs with brown and black ones.
In the United States, the term multicultural is often linked with a surface-level diversity. People of color in leadership positions are cited as examples of our move toward a society that truly values diversity. The so-called "black face in a high place" is therefore evidence of our commitment to multiculturalism. Meanwhile, the Bush administration engages people of color around the world and in some cases winds up invading and occupying their countries. And it pursues trade policies that encourage resource and labor exploitation of the global South. Social and economic justice are not connected with the prevailing view of what it means to have a multicultural society.
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