Jan 30 2009
the entire program
On Jan. 21st, a day after the presidential inauguration, The Southern Poverty Law Center published an article on their website titled “Hatemongers Poised to Exploit Obama Elections and Tough Economic Times.” The article highlights how racist extremists have been energized by Obama’s election, hoping to exploit an Obama backlash among whites who resent having a black man in the White House. The article goes on to quote neo-nazi David Duke saying How Obama will be a “visual aid” for angry white Americans and will provoke a backlash among relatively mainstream whites that will “result in a dramatic increase in [the] ranks” of extremists, a sentiment which many other hate group leaders agree.That backlash was evident in the aftermath of the election as scores of racially charged incidents – beatings, effigy burnings, racist graffiti, threats and intimidation – were reported across the country. “There’s a real fury out there in certain quarters,” said Mark Potok, director of the SPLC’s Intelligence Project.But while White supremacist groups boasted of a post-election surge of new members as well as overwhelming traffic to their websites, there is also a strong sense among white folks to collectively develop anti-racist practices and tools for nurturing anti-racist practice among white people and working in transformative alliance with people of color.
GUESTS: Shelly Tochluk, member of AWARE-LA’s leadership team, author of the book “Witnessing Whiteness: First Steps Toward an Antiracist Practice and Culture”, and Chair of the Education Department at Mount St. Mary’s College. Joshua Busch is a member of AWARE-LA’s organizing arm, Active Resistance to White Supremacy, community organizer with Community Coalition and is Director of the youth organizing project, South Central Youth Empowered thru Action.
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