GUEST: Robert Jensen is a Professor of Journalism at the University of Texas at Austin where he teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in media law, ethics, and politics. He is the author of a number of books. His latest book is called ‘Plain Radical: Living, Loving, and Learning to Leave the Planet Gracefully.’
Our society tends to glorify leaders, those who make a name for themself, who are front and center in movements for transformation. But there are countless nameless people who form the backbone of organizing work, who lead from behind-the-scenes, and transform those around them in ways that are hard to express.
One such person was a man named Jim Koplin, an organizer in Minnesota who was involved in every major progressive movement in the last half of the 20th century. Koplin died in 2012, leaving behind a legacy that would have gone unnoticed on a national level if it weren’t for Robert Jensen, a regular guest on Uprising. Jensen has written a book about his decades long friendship with Jim Koplin called Plain Radical: Living, Loving, and Learning to Leave the Planet Gracefully. In it, he says Koplin was, “Not radical in the sense of dangerously extreme or a fanatical idealogue, but instead radical in its most basic meaning – going deep to the root of the problem.”