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The Foundations of Racism In America

Monday, November 23, 2015
6:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Event Type:
Ruthie Sakheim
San Francisco
Location Details:
Global Exchange
2017 Mission St., Conference Room
San Francisco, California 94110

Occupy Forum presents:

The foundations of racism in America: "Race" is not a noun, it is a verb ("to racialize")

with Steve Martinot

White supremacy is not just racism, it is the core of a culture. "Race" is produced by cultural structures and not just by psychological aberrations, or by attributing characteristics to human beings. To recognize the operations of the structures of racialization in the U.S. today, and the role of white racialized identity in maintaining those structures, we must know their history.These structures emerged in the Virginal colony during the 17th century as part of the way the English colonized the land, demonized the indigenous people, and enslaved Africans.

Thus we can see the structural components, and identify them in contemporary events and political processes. This capability has become all the more urgent because, though the civil rights movements seriously undermined the hegemony of whiteness, it did not contest the underlying structures of racialization. It is the resurfacing of those structures that is now making a violent political comeback, and reconstituting the elements of white racialized identity.

The strength of this comeback leaves the old language of anti-racism weak and ineffective. The new resistance that this resurgence has engendered needs to see much more clearly what we are up against than the old civil rights movements did. To see and hit at the core of this resurgence, which includes the prison industry and the police-prison nexus, we need to see how its structural components work together and resurrect each other.

Steve Martinot has been a human rights activist most of his life as a union organizer, community organizer, anti-war activist and historian on the structures of racialization in the U.S. He is a former political prisoner, and active in prisoner solidarity work today. His eight books include "The Rule of Racialization" and "The Machinery of Whiteness". His latest publication is "The Need to Abolish the Prison System."

Time will be allotted for discussion, questions and answers, and announcements. This event is wheelchair accessible. Donations to Occupy Forum to cover costs are encouraged. No one will be turned away for lack of funds.
Added to the calendar on Mon, Nov 23, 2015 2:49PM
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