Apr 01 2009
The month of March marked an anniversary that barely went noticed. Forty years ago in March, an action on the campus of UC Berkeley called “Third World Strike,” led to the creation of ethnic studies programs to college campuses that many of us take for granted today. Four ethnic student groups and their allies led a campaign that lasted near two months to demand their university offer courses on race and racism, and non-white cultures. Today nearly all universities and colleges offer a plethora of ethnic studies classes; at UC Berkeley there are hundreds. While this event, and the past 40 years of ethnic studies education have done much to alleviate white supremacy in the US, problems are still systemic. While the US has a Black President for the first time, we hardly live in a post-racial world. According to our guest for the hour, University of Texas Journalism Professor and author Robert Jensen, the problems of racism, sexism, and classism remain dominant. Robert Jensen is the author of “Citizens of the Empire: The Struggle to Claim Our Humanity,” “The Heart of Whiteness: Confronting Race, Racism and White Privilege,” and “Getting Off: Pornography and the End of Masculinity.” He spoke recently in Southern California, at a talk organized by the USC School of Social Work.
Special thanks to Global Voices for Justice for recording this talk.