Anti-Oppression Training at Occupy Boston

Back on October 16th, Occupy Boston took some time out, and held an anti-oppression training focused on racism, in place of the evening’s General Assembly. Yes!

The facilitation plan/notes are here:,_2011

2 Responses to “Anti-Oppression Training at Occupy Boston”

  1. This is an essay by an African-American theologian (Thandeka) on anti-racism training and issues of class:
    “What’s Wrong with Anti-Racism”
    “To answer this question, we have to turn to the second problem I have found in UU anti-racist strategies: the errant assumption that white America works for white Americans. Any one who cares to look will quickly discover that it doesn’t — at least, not for the vast majority of them. The privilege that, according to the anti-racists, comes with membership in white America, actually belongs to a tiny elite. Let me illustrate this point.
    Imagine that business and government leaders decreed that all left-handed people must have their left hand amputated. Special police forces and armies are established to find such persons and oversee the procedure. University professors and theologians begin to write tracts to justify this new policy. Soon right-handed persons begin to think of themselves as having right-hand privilege. The actual content of this privilege, of course, is negative: it’s the privilege of not having one’s left hand cut off. The privilege, in short, is the avoidance of being tortured by the ruling elite. To speak of such a privilege — if we must call it that — is not to speak of power but rather of powerlessness in the midst of a pervasive system of abuse — and to admit that the best we can do in the face of injustice is duck and thus avoid being a target.
    My point is this. Talk of white skin privilege is talk about the way in which some of the citizens of this country are able to avoid being mutilated – or less metaphorically, to avoid having their basic human rights violated. So much for the analogy. Here are the facts about so-called white skin privilege. First, 80 percent of the wealth in this country is owned by 20 percent of the population. The top 1 percent owns 47% of this wealth. These facts describe an American oligarchy that rules not as a right of race but as a right of class. …”

    One of the points Shirley Sherrod made in her talk (the one she got fired over) was that racism was intentionally invented in America centuries ago as a distraction to keep poor whites and poor blacks from working together to resist exploitation by what OWS would call the 1%.


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