The tragedy in Charlottesville has brought race and racism to the surface of national attention.
Sadly, the violence fomented by the KKK, neo-Nazis and other “alt-right” white nationalists on Saturday is the latest in a long list of actions throughout our nation’s history of white supremacy by individuals and institutions that includes slavery sanctioned by the Constitution, attempted genocide of native peoples by the U.S. government, lynchings, systemic rape, broken treaty promises, beatings, arrests “for being black,” voter suppression, internments, income disparity, deportations, and housing, education and employment discrimination – among others.
Racism and white supremacy are one of many forms of oppression that our nation has not honestly and thoroughly acknowledged – let alone rectified.
Authentic democracy simply cannot exist in a culture of racism, misogyny, homophobia, and other forms of institutional and cultural oppression that excludes large numbers of human beings and denies their fundamental human rights.
And an authentic democracy movement cannot succeed unless it acknowledges and incorporates anti-oppression into the core of its thinking, education and action.
This is why Move to Amend believes working to abolish corporate constitutional rights and money defined as constitutionally protected “free speech” cannot be worked on, and will never be successful, in isolation.
It is why Move to Amend has always centralized the need to build an authentic democracy movement that is anti-oppressive, multi-racial and inter-generational.
- And it is why strategically and practically Move to Amend developed several years ago a Movement Education Program curriculum that all our national and grassroots leadership go through to learn about many forms oppression, how they’ve been used to divide and co-opt people's movements, and how to connect abolishing corporate constitutional rights and money as speech with the struggles for human rights still underway in this country.
We don’t believe there’s a quick fix to the ingrained issues of social oppression. It’s inextricably connected to issues of economic and political oppression. As tempting as it is to focus on the seemingly “quick fix” of getting “money out of elections,” even this will never, ever be accomplished without a broad, deep, and diverse grassroots movement that is --
For justice (in all its forms).
For an authentic democracy.
We understand this may be a more difficult road, but it’s the only one we believe morally and strategically worth traveling. We appreciate all of you who’ve been traveling it with us. We welcome the journey as we continue to learn and act together.
Laura Bonham, Jerome Scott, Leila Roberts, George Friday, Daniel Lee, Kaitlin Sopoci-Belknap
Move to Amend National Team
P.S. In February we held a conference call discussion on "Emergent Fascism In The United States: Historical And Current Implications For Social Justice Organizing." If you weren't able to join us then, the recording and reading materials are on our website. We are committed to continuing this conversation, stay tuned.