Backlash: Community or Chaos in the Twenty-First Century
Racism, sexism and homophobia are deeply entrenched. While some legal provisions provide a patina of protection, the problems persist. During periods of economic decline, there is a tendency not to examine root causes but to scapegoat individuals and groups who are most vulnerable and powerless. Politicians and editorial writers sanitize and mask their attitudes. The real issues, they inveigh, are crime, welfare, single women of color having children and gays and lesbians who go too far, whatever “far” might be. Ballot initiatives and amendments seek to limit rights. Are we moving toward greater equality and tolerance or in the opposite direction?
Mab Segrest is a writer, teacher and social activist. Her books include Memoir of a Race Traitor and The Third Way: Feminist Issues on Racism. She is the Coordinator of the U.S. Urban-Rural Mission of the World Council of Churches in Durham, North Carolina.