In the current political climate, the Tea Party is capturing media headlines and the voices for racial justice continue to go unheard. Racist incidences and commentaries are more prevalent since the election of the first African American president. More states are considering immigration laws similar to Arizona and racial divides are widening. Is this because of the policies put forth by President Obama or is this the United States of America showing its true colors and exposing all the subtle forms of racism that have existed during the terms of Caucasian presidents?
In 2009, WILPF and the Building Beloved Community issue committee, sponsored Racial Justice Trainings in 14 branches, who invited their local allies and community partners. We are continuing this tour in 2011, conducting interactive, community building trainings that explore systemic racism and white privilege and how, even as social justice activists, they affect our own thinking and attitudes. The trainings will again be facilitated by Sha'an Mouliert, a WILPF member from Vermont and racial justice consultant and trainer.
One might think that the historic election of an African American president might mean we're on our way to a more equitable society in the U.S. This is far from the case. The ultra-conservative Tea Party Movement is spewing racist propaganda across the country. What started with a discussion about "fiscal responsibility" has morphed into hate speech, which is clearly anti-immigrant and racist. WILPF's Building the Beloved Community Issue Committee wants members to take a stand - let's make Republican Party leaders accountable for the Tea Party's racist messages. We've created a letter (cut and paste text below or click here for Word document) which members and branches can use as a template to send a message to the Republican Party leadership. Let them know that their lack of public statement on the actions of the Tea Party is paramount to accepting their reactionary and racist views.
Sample letter to cut and paste into your word processing program:
Are you ready to be a part of the change?
Racism is a fierce, ever present, challenging force; one that has structured the thinking and actions of individuals and institutions since the beginning of U.S. history. To understand racism and effectively begin dismantling it requires an equally fierce, consistent and committed effort. Please join us as we embark on this most crucial journey and begin to realize our vision of a racially just society.
The Racial Wealth Divide & Comparative Wealth
By Vickie M Fouts, WILPF Building the Beloved Community Chair
The gender wage gap is well documented in mainstream media. On February 28, the NY Times published an article “Why Is Her Paycheck Smaller?” which states:
"There's no measurable way to explain the gaps within occupations," said Barry T. Hirsh, a labor economist at Georgia State University. "Other wage gaps, like racial gaps, can be almost fully explained by factoring in the differences in education, geography and age."
It’s a shame that the ranking of disparity continues and even worse that the racial wealth divide could be so easily dismissed by a labor economist.
It is true that women are discriminated against by what is referred to as a lack of comparable worth. Women today make only about $.66 for every dollar a man makes and a woman of color makes even less. The U.S. has a history of women in traditional “women” jobs making less than men in traditional “men” jobs. This topic is explained in detail by Claire Andre and Manuel Velasquez in their article, “Comparable Worth”:
LOGAN, West Virginia (AP) -- The list of horrors allegedly endured by a woman at the hands of six people in a remote trailer grew during the suspects' court hearings -- leaving the woman's mother sobbing.
Reading Tuesday from a statement 20-year-old Megan Williams gave deputies the day she was rescued from the ramshackle home, a sheriff's deputy said she had been stabbed with what she described as a butcher knife and beaten with wooden sticks and fly swatters.
September 18, 2007
Honorable Kathleen Babineaux Blanco
Governor of the State of Louisiana
Office of the Governor
PO Box 94004
Baton Rouge, LA 70804-9004
[cc: District Attorney, U.S. Attorney and School Superintendent]
Dear Governor Kathleen Babineaux Blanco,
The cast of the upcoming 13th season of the reality game show "Survivor" will be divided along ethnic lines. The contestants will be segregated into four "tribes" of blacks, whites, Asians and Latinos when the hit CBS program returns on 14 September. The Building the Beloved Community Issue Committee feels this premise will only create further damage to race relations. We strongly urge to write a letter to CBS stating your concerns. For your convenience, we've provided the below letter...for background on the letter here are the references you may want to check out: NY Times and in the LA Times
|Workshop participants form break out groups to discuss how racial domination and oppression plays itself out in the lives of white Americas and the organizations they belong to.|
Earlier this year, the BBC obtained a Racial Justice Grant from the Pond Foundation for, for an East Coast Tour of Creating Caring Communities. This is a pilot project that combines Sha'an Moulierts's workshop, which utilizes the very physical and often non-verbal techniques of the game Star Power and Augusto Boal's Theatre of the Oppressed techniques, and Donna Lamb's workshop "Being an Effective Social Justice Activist - the Personal Side," which takes a more verbal approach to dealing with the need for introspection in order to achieve one's goals as an activist.
The invitation to give our workshop on May 20th at the Thomas Merton Center in Pittsburgh came from Pittsburgh branch member Edith Bell, who contacted us in response to the branch mailing in which we advertised the East Coast tour. The Thomas Merton Center wanted to begin to address racism and Edith thought the East Coast Tour would be a good place to start.
By Donna Lamb
Earlier this month, the National Conference on Organized Resistance (NCOR) met for the ninth year at American University in Washington DC.
|Sha'an Mouliert introduces workshop|
10 AM - 2 PM June 10, 2006
Sponsored by Catonsville and Baltimore Branches of WILPF
On this sunny Saturday in June, 19 people attended the workshop, including members of both the Catonsville and Baltimore branches of WILPF, Women in Black of Baltimore, and 5 other non-WILPF members who responded to the various mailings, flyers, press releases, and phone calls that promoted the event. Three men were in attendance. Two of the women were African-American. Participants ranged in age from mid-20s to 90.