AMERICAN RACISM  [ORGANIZER'S REFLECTIONS:  RACISM, KINDRED ILLS, GOOD MOVEMENT AND VISION]   HUNTER GRAY / HUNTER BEAR    OCTOBER 15  2002   COMMENT BY SAM FRIEDMAN

[PUBLISHED IN THE FALL 2003 ISSUE OF  MICHIGAN SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW]

AND SEE ALSO MY COMBINED COMMUNITY ORGANIZING PRINCIPLES http://hunterbear.org/my_combined_community_organizing.htm

 

Bulletin by Hunter Bear:  Early on Christmas morn, this essay of mine was happily taken by the Michigan Sociological Review.

My widely posted 12/25/02  message on that pleasant development:

This is a very brief and diverse kind of post.

[Christmas was great and included TWO copies of Salt of the Earth and TWO
copies of Shane -- my favorite films.  Each is DVD.]

First, within a day of learning that DSA's Democratic Left editorial
committee had [for reasons very thin but  still murky] declined my AMERICAN
RACISM:  AN ORGANIZER'S REFLECTIONS, it's been taken by the Michigan
Sociological Review for publication next October.  The Review, which enjoys
an excellent reputation in the discipline, is edited by Jay Weinstein, also
President of the national Society for Applied Sociology.  Jay and I have
known each other for about 30 years -- ever since we taught at University of
Iowa, he in Sociology and I in the Graduate Program in Urban and Regional
Planning.  The Review will use my piece  " as an introduction to a symposium
on race and racism" -- which was what I assumed would be its role in
Democratic Left vis-a-vis the Anti-Racism Commission issue.  For the record,
I've given our Commission Chair, Duane Campbell -- who had solicited the
article from me, likes it very much, and who has been supportive all the way
through -- a copy of Jay's letter to me and my acceptance.  I am Regional
Organizer for the Anti-Racism Commission -- and am also the Chair of the
SPUSA's Native American Commission. I am also a member of  Solidarity and
CCDS.

The other dimension of this post is a very rare consumer report from me --
about a once every decade event. This, which was not solicited from me and
is totally a non-pay thing, was written and posted by me on December 15 at
Outdoor Review.  [Rating 5 is the highest.]  There are people on these lists
who are outdoor souls -- and this very tested  information may be useful.  I
hike six miles, almost daily -- in extremely challenging turf.
 

Reviewed by: Hunterbear, Mountaineer, 5, from Pocatello, Idaho, USA

Price Paid: $210 at Summit Hut

Summary:
My Lowa Trekkers [extra -- size 15] are splendid in all respects. I do a
great deal of climbing in and out of very rough and rugged mountains and
canyons here in Southeastern Idaho -- often on a daily basis. I require
super-traction -- especially since some of this occurs in pre-dawn darkness.
Within hours after receiving my Trekkers, I was on the trail. Within a six
mile stretch, they dealt in extraordinarily capable fashion with steep
up-hill, steep down-hill, snow, ice, mud, fixed rocks, loose rocks, slippery
sage brush. In the days following, in addition to all of the foregoing
challenges, the Trekkers dealt extremely well with water. They could not be
more comfortable. Virtually no breaking-in period was required. I recommend
them with the highest enthusiasm.

Customer Service:
Excellent service. I called Lowa [USA] which rushed the Trekkers to the
retailer -- who then rushed them to me.

Similar Products Used:
I have used Vasque Sundowners -- have two pair. They are quite good -- but
my Lowa Trekkers have better traction, are better fitting, and seem less
cumbersome.

As Ever -

Hunter Gray [Hunter Bear]

HUNTER GRAY [HUNTER BEAR/JOHN R SALTER JR] Mi'kmaq /St. Francis
Abenaki/St. Regis Mohawk
Protected by Na´shdo´i´ba´i´
and Ohkwari'


AMERICAN RACISM:  ORGANIZER'S REFLECTIONS

By Hunter Gray [Hunter Bear]

As a long-time social justice organizer -- and frequent professor -- I've
often found it useful to use graphic and sometimes even sanguinary examples
in trenchantly and quickly making basic points.  Like, on prejudice and
discrimination, I might say, "If someone doesn't like someone, that's
prejudice -- an attitude; and if whoever shoots someone because of that
attitude, well, that's an act -- that's discrimination."

And of the closely related twin evils of racism and ethnocentrism, I'll
sometimes say, "And if whoever is doing the shooting tries to justify that
by saying the target isn't really human -- that's racism.  But if it's put
on the basis that, although the victim is human, the person's culture --
total way of life -- is deemed inferior, now that's called cultural
ethnocentrism."

There's still a great deal of confusion about what racism and ethnocentrism
are and aren't.  They're certainly big components of that river of poison
that's so antithetical to humankind -- along with all of the other
anti-people isms -- that must come from a murky and fog-bound headwaters
full of goblins and demonic bats.

Racism -- the effort to deny the biological humanity of the victim -- is the
most dangerous nonsense that humanity has yet produced.  While Anthros talk
of various racial stocks -- Negroid, Caucasoid, Australoid, Mongoloid [with
many including Native Americans as Mongoloid and others placing Natives as a
separate group]-- there is certainly, of course, extremely pervasive
consensus among Anthropologists and all scientists [and has been for many
generations], that"racial differences" are extremely skimpy, superficial --
and have nothing to do with any intelligence qualities or basic physical
abilities.  Further, there is wide recognition that there is no longer any
pure or completely "full-blooded" racial category anywhere among humankind.

A weird concept that waxes a bit now and then, and wanes a great deal,
involves the presumption that specific "racial memory" and
"knowledge" are conveyed genetically.  Known as "biological essentialism" or
"biological reductionism," this is quack nonsense -- generally not initially
racist in its own right -- but very much open to a downward drift or plunge
into that plain old and very dangerous super-toxin of biological fantasy.
And that's certainly happened in some instances.

Racism -- and this is often surprising to many -- is historically new.  It
began to develop, and not all that vaguely, in the late 1400s and early
1500s as western Europe moved into the non-White sections of the world
seeking land and resources, ports and booty, and slaves.  From the outset,
it was the basic rationalization for genocide and slavery.  Very quickly
indeed, the Roman Catholic Church condemned racism in a series of Papal
pronouncements which correctly recognized the horrific nature of this
anti-human, fast developing, and thoroughly destructive doctrine.  And,
of course, the Church was also very much interested in the conversion
of the non-Whites -- and a bona fide conversion always has to be predicated
on a recognition of the basic human equality of the intended convert.

These major denunciations of racism carried heavy weight in Spain, Portugal,
France.  But the fast developing Protestant Reformation saw England and
Holland break with Rome -- and, quickly, those two nations came early-on to
embrace racism as national doctrine.  If, as one enslaved and killed, one
also denied the basic humanity of the target victim -- you didn't have to
worry a whit about Christian strictures.

And, more than any other culture of Europe, that of England permeated the
ruling circles of the colonies north of Mexico -- and racism became national
doctrine in the eventual United States, Canada, and some other places in the
world once ruled by the Court of St. James. Neither the American Revolution
nor the Civil War overthrew that Evil in the United States. Its
economic base -- massive anti-Native genocide, far-flung Black slavery,
the theft of much of Mexico, and then the quasi-slave sharecropper system
and cheap labor generally  in a racially divided anti-union atmosphere --
was paramount.  So was the major role of racism in maintaining the political
power of an Anglo elite.

And the skeleton hand of racism is still, from the shadows, de facto
doctrine throughout much indeed of the U.S.A.

Cultural ethnocentrism -- essentially a "cultural superiority complex," is
as old as humankind -- and can easily run close behind racism as
extraordinarily dangerous and enduringly tangible myth.  Racism, since
it seeks to deny the basic humanity of the victim, is always inherently
ethnocentric -- since, if one presumes the victim to be biologically
inferior, it certainly "follows" that his or her culture is also
substandard.

But cultural ethnocentrism has flourished very widely in its own right.

Carried beyond quietly private and mildly and humanly widespread smug pride,
it's also been consistently used throughout human history to
justify genocide and seizure of land and resources -- and slavery and cheap
labor and the maintenance of elitist power generally.  Sometimes
centered on theology -- "the only bona fide religion" -- it usually moves
much more broadly, trumpeting the alleged superiority of one way of life
over another.  The targets of ethnocentrism are frequently, but not always,
non-White peoples and their cultures.

And here, false and dangerous terms like "primitive" and "civilized" are
thrown to the four directions.  The Catholic countries -- especially Spain
and Portugal and France and later Italy -- often carried ethnocentrism
into dimensions just as deadly as racism.  But, usually, if the target
victim [again generally non-White] renounced [or appeared to renounce]
his/her original culture and adopted that of the European ethnocentric,
he/she was pronounced essentially equal [or almost so!] to the oppressor.
If the victim did not renounce, hard and lethal stuff  often followed fast.

And coming from many directions indeed, cultural ethnocentrism has permeated
the wounded and often outrightly tortured turf throughout the entire New
World.

The realities, of course, are that ethnocentric terms like "primitive" and
"civilized" should be dumped and never used.  Every society and its culture
has its own special origin and vision and unique history and destiny.
Linear ranking is cruelly fallacious -- and sometimes with hideous results.
The only way that any culture can be even generally evaluated is to measure
its own realities against its own ideals.

In what's called the United States, Blacks have been consistent targets of
racism.  Native Americans and Chicanos and Asians have, depending on local
and regional history and circumstance,  been subjected to either racism or
cultural ethnocentrism.  And often, to the victims, the differences have
been moot.

But the inherent drive for a full measure of liberty and bread-and-butter
and dignity is universal in the Circle of the Creation. Always, the victims
of this oppressive travail have consistently fought back with vigor and
vision and courage -- and they always will.  A major epoch in all of this
was the great civil rights struggle in the United States  of the latter
1950s into the 1970s.  And much of that Good War -- which gathered momentum
with rapidity and force -- occurred  initially in the blood-dimmed lands
down behind the Cotton Curtain.

And as it flamed, it threw its sparks into the North, East and West -- to
all oppressed.

Let me tell you.

Springtime -- that's what I always think of -- when I recall the year 1961
when I enlisted in the Southern Movement 'way down in Mississippi for what
became six full years in the Dixie freedom campaign. And, believe me,  at
that early point there were clouds, ominous clouds -- and hostile winds
and very strong ones.  But there was Sun and there was great courage.
And all over the Southland, there were a great many dissident things
growing. Some came sooner, some later; but for a good long while
there were struggles of all sizes and each of them truly
great -- everywhere.

And the emergent Movement rose in shining form in those years -- especially
during the early and mid-'60s --  and out of all those local streams of
struggle came a Great River buoyed by faith and optimism in the New World
A'Coming.  And it fought its now legendary battles through economic
reprisals, police and vigilante brutality, bloody swamps, murder and
betrayals.

And much indeed  of that which had sent me into the Movement -- a young
Native person with a radical labor background from the racist Southwest --
was essentially swept away by the Southern Movement as those turbulent years
passed:  the sinister forces which had given me boyhood memories of Blacks
and Indians and Chicanos murdered with immunity by open racists or via
"color of law," restaurant signs that warned us that "No Indians or Dogs
Allowed," and countless other cutting  things that served as a toughening
crucible-for-struggle for myself -- and for many, many others.

And as those burning Southern sparks went up and far beyond into the North
and the East and the West --  they helped fuel older movements:  Native,
Chicano, Oriental, women -- and peace.  And they helped ignite newer rights
struggles --  urban ghettoes, gays, students, prisoners, handicapped, senior
citizens, mentally challenged, anti-death penalty.

For a time, there was a genuine national Movement.

And there were indeed many very positive changes which emerged nationally:
breaking the hard-lines of resistance to social change; a slowly growing
awareness -- especially among the young -- of the common humanity of all
peoples and cultures; the achievement in  heretofore "closed" quarters of
the very right to organize and dissent and demonstrate; and the development
of widespread local leadership; the Civil Rights Acts of 1964 and 1965 and
others; the beginnings of desegregation and integration in the lands of Old
Apartheid.

And there was a strengthening of Native treaty rights and tribal
land/resource ownership and a  broadening recognition of the
 functional reality of Indian tribal national sovereignty and the
need for bona fide Native self-determination.  And there was the rise of
militant and effective unionism in that most-difficult-to-organize world:
that of the farm workers in the always oppressive "factories in the fields."
Increasingly widespread minority political  participation and activism
flourished; there was an end to most racial terrorism; and a basis
for interracial and democratic unionism -- for those unions willing to
display courage and commitment in the thrust to "organize the unorganized."

And there was even more.  For awhile.

And many indeed began to talk determinedly and optimistically of bona fide
economic justice -- that full measure of bread and butter for all.

But the really radical visionary promise of the initial Movement of the
latter 1950s and the 1960s and into the '70s --  looking for the end of
racism and ethnocentrism and the achievement of full economic
justice -- did not, of course, materialize.  The social class dichotomies
of the Southern Movement especially, joined by the even broader
integrationist/separatist debates -- all of this in the context of the
initially positive victories, much tokenism, and continuing economic
deprivation and poverty -- combined to fragment much of the
solidarity which had once characterized the Great Struggle
in its Springtime.

Behind the scenes, there were the never-ending manipulative maneuvers of
capitalism -- and those of stratospheric corporate liberalism and its more
localized appendages; the seemingly endless and increasingly hideous
War on the other side of the world; the Machiavellian usage of the
Economic Opportunity Act --  generally sprinkling just enough for the
poor to fight over and never enough to even wound the monster of poverty.

And then there was the FBI and its COINTELPRO poisoning and hatchet-jobbing.

All of these had an extraordinarily destructive impact on a myriad of
national fronts.  And what they didn't kill, they often substantially
slowed -- frequently to the point of glacial pace.

And when the Movement fires died down and  the pieces broke away,
and the smoke began to clear, there were  -- still -- some burning
coals of continued social justice activism.  Some were older, some newer.
For there are always those who, whatever the national mood and ethos
 and however seemingly high the cliffs of adversity,  continue
to "keep on, keeping on."  These are the long distance runners in the
Save the World Business.

But now it can often be lonely.

Minority people may not be frequently shot down these days with immunity --
though it can still happen under color of law -- and there may no longer be
the "No Indians" signs on the Southwestern restaurant doors and the ugly
Woolworth lunch counter episodes awaiting those non-White.  Minorities
moving into previously all-White neighborhoods in the Yankee lands are
generally no longer burned out.  But poke the turf  anywhere in the United
States and there's still plenty of racism and ethnocentrism right under the
grass -- just like stratified rock.

And the general economic situation is increasingly bad -- going  right down
Skid Road into the waters of heavy recession, and maybe even depression. In
this grim geography of mounting crisis, there is massively disproportionate
minority sub-employment and unemployment.  The never-reality of health,
education and welfare for all of those "of the fewest alternatives" --
minorities and otherwise --  is now frequently a very cruel joke.

Assaults on minority cultural programs and non-English languages are now
common.

Federal and state and vigilante attacks on immigrants -- especially those of
darker skin -- have become legion.

And, for many of Islamic background, and emanating directly from the
sacristy of the Federal colossus itself, there is the cruelest harassment
and incarceration treatment  since at least the massive Japanese-American
imprisonment [and collateral land-theft by Anglos] of sixty years ago.

Anyone who is at all naive about the extraordinary survival and resurgence
abilities of racism and cultural ethnocentrism and all of the other related
anti-people isms is either myopic or a damn fool.  The proverbial
rattlesnake who, shot innumerable times, still twists and spits "until the
sun goes down" is an easy adversary -- compared to the Varieties of Human
Hate.

And now, these days, hate groups are certainly moving very actively about
in the United States -- and some are steadily growing..  High nationalism,
domestic and international paranoia, "Wars" against dark-skinned peoples,
and the significantly deepening economic difficulties are among the basic
factors stimulating such virulent hate organizations as the National
Alliance, the Nationalist Movement, Identity Church, Aryan Nations, the
Order, contemporary Klans, racist skinheads et al.

And all of these, grounded on a completely irrational myriad of murky and
mercurial forces, defy easy and conventional sociological blackboard
analysis.  The pathology of these outfits is certainly complex -- but there
 are always certain specific consistencies:  they are racist, poisonously
ethnocentric, anti-immigrant, anti-Semitic, anti-Muslim, usually homophobic
and frequently carry all sorts of other anti-people "isms" as well.  And
they are very often violent -- increasingly so.

The old Southern Klans developed and functioned [and the few survivors still
do] in the context of the traditionally closed South and its open,
widespread poverty -- with the poor Whites being cunningly and consistently
manipulated in anti-union and racist schemes by the economic Big Mules, the
"Captains."  The primary basis for the old Klans was/is economic.

These far more complex and increasingly sophisticated contemporary hate
organizations [again, National Alliance et al.] reflect in virulent fashion,
via their own sick and twisted perspective -- the great maelstrom of forces
in which modern Humanity is enmeshed.

But, when you cut down -- through it all -- right to their ultra-venomous
bone, you find, again and always, the very basic components:  racism,
ethnocentrism, anti-Semitism and all the other anti-people isms.  And you
find violence.  And you also find, as the ultimate foundational component,
very substantial economic concerns, fear, and massive insecurities.

While all of these pose substantial threats and dangers, the one category
now most open to racist/violent recruitment -- and this has been true
for at least the  past generation -- are economically precarious,
disaffected and alienated White youth:  racist skinhead material.

And, of course, it isn't just active and potential hate-groupers who warrant
concern.  It's a great many average American Anglos -- fundamentally decent
people in many ways, but with serious hang-ups about folks who they perceive
as "different."

And, let me note, it isn't easy to be, say,  one of the always few
Native Americans or often the only one -- or other minority faculty -- in
the ostensibly genteel and usually wicked Groves of Academe where virtually
 everyone piously denies in proper prose being racist or ethnocentric.

Approaches?  Well, as always:  Keep on organizing, keep on fighting.  That's
Genesis.

Organizing -- genuinely effective people-oriented organizing --
is always hard, tough work. It means getting and keeping people
together for action.  It's tedious and frequently mundane.
Sometimes it's dangerous.  But it's absolutely
critical.  And every movement -- Native rights, radical, labor, civil
rights, and all others reaching to the Sun -- is built on the wreckage and
the remains and the hard lessons of its predecessors.

Some specific things?  Widespread exposure of issues and multi-faceted
education -- certainly.  Arrest and prosecution for hate crimes -- for sure.
Hard-fighting human rights action -- always.  But very basically, racially
and ethnically integrated grassroots socio-economic justice and advocacy
organizations,  wide-spread public works programs
and other related approaches [e.g., the old voluntary Civilian Conservation
Corps], the push for full employment with living wage and much more,
and full health  care and a decent education,  and militant and democratic
and pervasive  unionization.

And, most fundamentally of all, a democratic and egalitarian society
organized to ensure that a full measure of bread and butter and a full
measure of respect and liberty are accorded every human -- everywhere.

And now, putting on my Indian blanket and viewing the whole panorama from
the perspective of a Native who is also a perennial outdoor mountain and
mesa climber:

When all is said and done, and one sits on the edge of a 'way up ridge or
high mesa and looks out at the geographical contours of the Earth, you can
see that most of these blend smoothly and logically together.  And so it is
with the contours of humankind and  all
its varied ways of life.  These, seen
from a high vantage point, flow for the most part into and with one another.
The dichotomy of working class / employing class is -- no matter how diverse
the various peoples involved -- the great basic river-thrust.  Of the
ultimate outcome, genuine socialist democracy for all of the many colors and
cultures, I certainly have no doubt.

Human commonality demands Justice -- and will get it. And I know that Spring
will come again.
 

HUNTER GRAY  [HUNTER BEAR/JOHN R SALTER JR]   Mi'kmaq /St. Francis
Abenaki/St. Regis Mohawk
Protected by Na´shdo´i´ba´i´
 and Ohkwari'

COMMENT BY SAM FRIEDMAN:

"American Racism": A strategically-focused paper

Samuel R. Friedman

Michigan Sociological Review, in press.



Although Hunter Gray`s article may seem
superficial at first, it is in fact a serious and useful reflection on racism
and how to fight it. To be sure, it lacks the supporting scaffolding of sociological (and other) scholarship such as masses of references, discussion of
methods, data, analysis techniques, or even theory. Beyond that, the article ignores the concept of institutionalized
racism as structural power that oppresses selected groups of targeted people. Gray does not,
therefore, discuss IQ tests or police procedures that lead even minority group
members who are teachers or police to do the "dirty work" of oppression (Rainwater 1967; Friedman 1969).
Furthermore, beyond brief mention, Gray does not discuss the functions of racism for the system as a
whole, its ruling class, or political elites. Thus, superficially, Gray's article seems to be relentlessly
"superstructural," focusing on personal and ideological racism and
ethnocentrism, and on their embodiment in Klan-like organizations that recruit
from "economically precarious, disaffected and alienated white
youth." On its surface, then, this article seems akin to what we called "white
liberalism" in the Movement in the mid-1960's: focusing on attitudes and beliefs, on the problem of poor
whites as the cutting-edge racists, and ignoring the roots of racism in (a) capitalism and its needs, (b) the problems
faced by political elites in a contradiction-filled, crisis-prone system, and
(c) institutionalized structures of racial power that evolved from, and are
sustained by, histories of imperial oppression.



But this is just the surface (and, in
large part, probably due to space limitations in the magazine to which it was
originally submitted.) Upon deeper
reflection, it is clear that. Gray's approach in this article is rooted in the dialectics of social struggle.
Although, in my mind, Gray does not say enough about points a, b, and c above,
it is clear on careful reading that a and b, at least, are the backdrops for
everything he says. They are his contextual assumptions.



What is this article about, then? First,
it provides a useful panoramic view of the reality of racist practices and beliefs as they exist in the USA today. This is essential. In the popular media, and some academic literature, racism is treated as a past problem that has essentially been defeated (Steinberg 1989, 1995). Gray shows that racism remains a force from the top (Federal attacks on anti-racist programs and policies, immigrants, people of Islamic background) to the bottom (vigilantes, racist hate groups). He should probably have
nailed down the ways corporations also act as racist entities, including in
hiring decisions, plant-closings, and where they dump their wastes.



Second, this article is probing the
nature of racist consciousness in order to derive strategies, theories, and
philosophies of response. Gray describes racist consciousness (among middle
class and working class whites, at least) as "grounded in a completely irrational myriad of murky and mercurial forces, nationalism,
paranoia, and deepening economic difficulties, fear, and economic insecurities." I would add, perhaps, that the constant assaults on the dignity and respect of workers, the poor, and much of the middle class that are
structurally embedded in capitalist society, business organizations, schools, and
the culture of the mass media can be a potent additional ground for this
racist consciousness (Friedman 1991).



Third, and most important, Gray then
turns to what can be done to fight against racism. His emphasis is on "genuinely effective people-oriented organizing"--something at which he is an expert (Salter 1965, 1969, 1987, 2000; Wortman 2001). He calls for the
"normal liberal" exposure of bad things, multi-faceted education, and prosecution
of hate crimes. But he goes way beyond this to emphasize integrated grassroots socioeconomic justice and advocacy organizing, widespread public works, full employment, health care, militant and democratic unionism, and a
democratic and egalitarian society. This can be
painted as pretty much a return to the days when ML King was active on Poor People's Marches and the Memphis garbage strike, and beginning to call for the end of capitalism (King 1967). But Gray's call for organizing such
a struggle in this way at this time seems not to be based on nostalgia or
naiveté, but rather on a calculated judgment that this approach can swell anti-racist forces with whites who might otherwise gravitate to racist hate groups, and also that this approach might generate a movement for the socialist re-organization of society.



In conclusion, Gray's article is a strong
one, although it might be stronger if he fully articulated its conceptual foundations. Its greatest strength is his
useful specifying of organizing strategies and themes as the key point for
analysis and action at this time. It leaves me, at least,
hopeful that he will soon provide us with his further thoughts about how to organize, and how to make these political themes effective.


References

Friedman, SR.
(1969). How is racism maintained?" et al. 2 (Fall): 18-21.

Friedman, SR.
(1991). Alienated labor and dignity denial in capitalist society.” Critical Perspectives in Sociology, Berch Berberoglu (ed.), Kendall/Hunt: 83-91.

King, ML.
(1967). Southern Christian Leadership Conference Presidential
Address.

Rainwater, Lee.
(1967) The revolt of the dirty workers. Transaction 5 (November): 2, 64.

Steinberg, S.
(1989) The Ethnic Mix (Boston, Beacon Press).

Steinberg, S.
(1995). Turning Back. Boston: Beacon.

Salter, John R,
Jr. [Hunter Gray]. (1965). "Organizing the Community for Action," mimeographed/single-spaced/nine legal-size pages, Southern Conference Educational Fund, Raleigh, N.C., March 1965; and Peoples' Program on Poverty, Durham, N.C., August 1966.
[Southwide/national distribution. Copies in Salter/Gray papers at SHSW and
MDAH.]

Salter, John R,
Jr. [Hunter Gray], (1969). "Community Organization Principles", mimeographed/single-spaced/two pages,
Chicago Commons Association [1969] and Office of Human Development, Rochester NY (1977).

Salter, John R,
Jr. [Hunter Gray]. (1987). Jackson, Mississippi: An American Chronicle of Struggle and Schism. Melbourne, Florida: Robert E. Krieger Publishing.

Salter, John R,
Jr. [Hunter Gray]. (2000). "Reflections on Ralph Chaplin, The Wobblies, And Organizing In The Save The
World Business -- Then And Now," Pacific Historian [Voices of Western Labor edition], Summer, 1986; and One Big Union Annual, Red Dawn Publishing, Cincinnati, Ohio, August, 2000.

Wortman, Roy T.
(2001). "I Consider Myself a Real Red: The Social Thought of American Civil Rights Organizer John R.
[Salter] Hunter Gray," Journal of Indigenous Thought. Saskatchewan Indian Federated College, Regina, (Winter).

__________________________________________________________________________________________________

SPECIAL INSERT  [HUNTER GRAY / HUNTER BEAR]  OCTOBER 12 2008

 

Like all back and forth discussions, this on RBB regarding race and racism can -- probably unavoidably -- become a little diffuse.  One of the problems involved is obviously the interesting mix of cynicism with various political perspectives, some of which are obviously sharply critical of Barack Obama on ideological grounds [to say nothing of the Democratic Party in general,]

 
As I've indicated, I support Obama -- in the sense of critical support.  I can appreciate all of the other perspectives.  But let's not overlook the tremendous importance of this historical moment.  If the United States [and Canada as well] have a still all-too-pervasive sickness, it is dehumanizing racism and that related and intertwined ill, cultural ethnocentrism -- the many varieties of alleged "cultural superiority/inferiority".  Long after the initial and explicit [and, again I say explicit] economic foundations of these have eroded,  the quack theological justifications ["primitive children of the Devil"] and the equally quack biological rationales ["inherent, genetic inferiority of non-whites"] -- all of this to justify genocide against the Indian nations in order to secure lands and resources, and the enslavement of Blacks, and the seizure of Mexican territory, and all the rest --, racism and ethnocentrism have continued with consistency, taking on and carrying their own ill-life forward: profound infections in our national minds and our national bodies.  Often all of this still retains, however veiled these days, an economic foundation -- but these durable poisons can certainly survive purely "on their own" and do so in a vast number of cases.  [See http://hunterbear.org/AMERICAN%20RACISM.htm ]
 
True, in the past few decades, we've come a very long way in a very short time toward digging much of this out, exposing it all to healing forces, "overcoming" -- albeit far too slowly.  But, as everyone of us on these discussion lists knows, there is one hell of a long way to go.
 
When Barack Obama won the Iowa Democratic Primary, I commented on a number of lists:  "It wasn't so long ago that we had to fight to survive at a Woolworth lunch counter."
 
But this Good War is far from over.
 
In Solidarity,
 
Yours, H.

_____________________________________________________________

AND MARTHA ELIZABETH TURE COMMENTS:

Hunter, I believe the substitute for a national religion in the United States is the conflict between those of us who honor and enjoy learning and those of us who do not.

Best,

Martha

___________________________________________________________

MARY ANN HALL WINTERS:
 

Good observations .Thanks for sharing.

 Was in contact with three fellow Tougalooians this weekend : Evia Simelton-Briggs Moore, Stockton, Calif.; Dianella Williams-Crudup , south suburbs of Chicago and my roommate for one year @ Tougaloo . Hadn't spoken with her in over two years; Robert Mairley , outside of Denver, Colorado.
All three  asked about you . Dianella had heard that you had left us. Bob remembered seeing your picture in Jet Magazine back in the day . It was that bloody picture of the Jackson - Woolworth sit-in.
It was  good talking with all of them and going down memory lane wabout  the good & the bad.
Love and regards to the clan.
WWW,
Mary Ann

[NOTE BY HUNTER:  "WWW" was the slogan of our massive Jackson Movement:  We Will Win]
 

 

 
SPECIAL EXAMPLE OF OLD/NEW RACISM  [HUNTER BEAR]   FEBRUARY 18 2009
 

"The purpose of this comparison is not to embarrass or humiliate anyone.  You can dress a chimpanzee, house-break him, and teach him to use a knife and a fork, but it will take countless generations of evolutionary development, if ever, before you can convince him that a caterpillar or a cockroach is not a delicacy.  Likewise the social, political, economic and religious preferences of the negro remain close to the caterpillar and the cockroach ..."

 
"Whenever and wherever the white man has drunk the cup of black hemlock, whenever or wherever his blood has been infused with the blood of the negro, the white man, his intellect and his culture have died...."
 
-- Judge Tom Brady of Brookhaven, Mississippi, in his Black Monday  [Citizens Councils of America, Jackson, Mississippi, 1954].
 
The above quotes constitute a mere fraction of "racist gems" -- intermixed with garbled versions of anthropology and history [and a multitude of warnings about "Communism"] -- that grace the 92 pages of the late Tom Brady's Black Monday [apropos of  Monday, May 17, 1954 and the Brown school desegregation decision.]
 
What brings this to mind, leading me to dig out my well worn copy of Judge's Brady's tract [which is invaluable in any course on racism or civil rights history], is the now well publicized cartoon in today's edition of the New York Post depicting two uniformed police officers shooting a chimpanzee, with the caption, "They'll have to find someone else to write the next stimulus bill."
 
Apparently stimulated in part by yesterday's tragedy involving the pet chimp [Travis],  the cartoon is drawing fire --  with its many critics feeling that it has something much to do with Barack Obama.  And I'm inclined to agree.
 
Obama's election constitutes a super heavy blow against American racism -- but that illness has more lives than a great big rattlesnake.
 
Judge Brady's tract was the major founding and launching document of the [white] Citizens Council movement -- "States Rights / Racial Integrity" -- which dominated Mississippi for more than a decade and developed major bastions in other states of the Old South.  As the '60s and the Civil Rights Movement progressed, the Council movement began to break up and slowly fade -- even in its Magnolia base -- and, finally reduced to a group of older men, hung it up and went out of business in the early '90s. [Its latter day wistful successor, the Council of Conservative Citizens, doesn't amount to much by any yardstick.]
 
Long before the death of the Citizen's Councils and in the twilight of his own life, Judge Tom Brady admitted that he had been completely wrong on the matter of racial integration -- taking the position that it was working out well.  He felt there were still some problems in the school sector but when on to say those would ultimately work out as well.
 
Perhaps his ghost could speak to the leadership of the New York Post.
 
Hunter [Hunter Bear]
 
 

HUNTER GRAY [HUNTER BEAR/JOHN R SALTER JR] Mi'kmaq /St. Francis
Abenaki/St. Regis Mohawk
Protected by Na´shdo´i´ba´i´
and Ohkwari'

 
Check out our Hunterbear website Directory http://hunterbear.org/directory.htm
[The site is dedicated to our one-half Bobcat, Cloudy Gray:
http://hunterbear.org/cloudy_gray.htm
 
See our Community Organizing Course [With new material]
http://hunterbear.org/my_combined_community_organizing.htm
 
See http://hunterbear.org/outlaw_trail1.htm
 
And see http://hunterbear.org/forces_and_faces_along_the_trail.htm
 
 





 

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