Monday, March 30, 2015

Slam dunk

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has something to say about the fracturing of America.

Slam dunk

OK, it's Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, so maybe the more appropriate headline would have been "Sky hook." That said, the former NBA star and iconoclastic public intellectual has something to say about race -- and, more importantly, class -- relations in America, and it's worth a read. I don't agree with everything -- the headline, "The Coming Race War Won't Be About Race," seems aimed more at getting Web clicks than describing what the article actually says. But I agree with 95 percent of it -- here's a taste:

I’m not saying the protests in Ferguson aren’t justified—they are. In fact, we need more protests across the country. Where’s our Kent State? What will it take to mobilize 4 million students in peaceful protest? Because that’s what it will take to evoke actual change. The middle class has to join the poor and whites have to join African-Americans in mass demonstrations, in ousting corrupt politicians, in boycotting exploitative businesses, in passing legislation that promotes economic equality and opportunity, and in punishing those who gamble with our financial future.

Otherwise, all we’re going to get is what we got out of Ferguson: a bunch of politicians and celebrities expressing sympathy and outrage. If we don’t have a specific agenda—a list of exactly what we want to change and how—we will be gathering over and over again beside the dead bodies of our murdered children, parents, and neighbors.

Besides, I wouldn't want to go a whole week without mentioning Kent State somewhere on the blog! Just like last week, I'm trying to work on a couple of stories (the same ones!) and I'm also trying to see if I can write on the blog about something else besides Missouri -- but that may depend on the tin soldiers and Nixon.

About this blog
Will Bunch, a senior writer at the Philadelphia Daily News, blogs about his obsessions, including national and local politics and world affairs, the media, pop music, the Philadelphia Phillies, soccer and other sports, not necessarily in that order.

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