I just got through watching this CSPAN video of a presentation given by Carl Dix and Cornel West titled Race, Inequality and Student Activism. It was quite good and both made some very good points. I agree that we must fight injustice and stand up to power. That education and making people aware of how injustice manifests itself needs to be made visible when ever possible.
Where I do not agree is with the call for revolution in any form and that we can get people to change themselves, their beliefs and/or behaviors the way Dix and West seem to think.
People simply do not change that easily. Especially when they believe they are still doing just fine in the current circumstances. And the operative word here is believe. Because it has little to do with their actually reality. I know this from the 20 years or so I have been involved with substance abuse recovery area. Which I would call the most obvious situation where people are engaged in destroying theirs and others lives.
And they certainly will not give up any part of their cushy life styles willingly simply because some people are doing poorly. And West seems to think it is possible to get people who do not give a wet slap about those on the bottom to change this mindset. A mindset they have spent years cultivating – an engrained ability to rationalize and minimize the poor and minorities like some spirits of Christmas past, present and future. Just ask any psychologist about the futility of changing another human being.
And forced change via revolution or coup d’état nearly always results in a situation that is as oppressive as the one it replaced. Think 1776 or the Soviet Union or China under Mao Tse Tung or any number of other relovutions.
The kind of change that is necessary to get the kind of world that we want has to come from with in. And this generally does not happen until their world with out become intolerable.
So watch the video. It is interesting if not more than a bit unrealistic.