The future of life on the planet depends on bringing the 500-year rampage of the white man to a halt. For five centuries his ever more destructive weaponry has become far too common. His widespread and better systems of exploiting other humans and nature dominate the globe.
The time for replacing white supremacy with new values is now. And just as some whites played a part in ending slavery, colonialism, Jim Crow segregation, and South African apartheid, there is surely a role whites can play in restraining other whites in this era. Beneath the sound and fury generated by GOP presidential candidates, Fox News, website trolls, police unions and others, white people are becoming aware as never before of past and present racism.
Admittedly, this encouraging development is hardly the dominant view. To the contrary, given the possibility that Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, Ben Carson or one of their ilk might become president, white supremacist ideology seems to be digging in harder than ever.
I don’t take this lightly. Once upon a time I foolishly thought that there was no way that Ronald Reagan could get elected president. Lesson learned. Now is the time to start contingency planning for intensified resistance to mass deportations of immigrants, atrocities against Muslims and extreme danger to African Americans.
That said, it would be a mistake to focus only on the negative. Recently theNew York Times ran Gordon Davis’ op-ed What Woodrow Wilson Cost My Grandfather. It is still generating debate. (Gordon Davis and I are both “alumni” of the Northern Student Movement, a 1960s civil rights group.) Davis was writing in the context of the student-led protest at Princeton University over the veneration of its former president, Woodrow Wilson. The controversy stems from Wilson’s viciously racist speech and behavior particularly when he was president of the United States.
A subsequent Truthout article by Harvey Wasserman, "Princeton Students Are Right, Woodrow Wilson Was Way Worse Than You Think," complements the critique. Most of the 776 comments on theNY Times article (as well as 1,600 more on a followup Times editorial) were the predictably negative responses usually heard regarding white racism. Many said some version of, “that was a long time ago when values were different.” Others took the tack that “nobody is perfect and the good things Woodrow Wilson did outweigh the bad of his racism, so let it rest."
But there was also a substantial undercurrent voiced by those who were open-minded enough to learn. ...
Read full article, published at Alternet three years ago