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The Struggle Goes On

January 16, 2023

It’s Martin Luther King, Jr’s birthday today (celebration thereof). I’ve spent the better part of today reading this book by former Stockton mayor Michael Tubbs. It was completely unplanned, but nonetheless serendipitous, that I’m reading this book on this day; it’s been a very, very good way to spend this day of remembrance. (I’m reading it for a gathering of my book group tomorrow.. so you could say I’m cramming, having procrastinated until the very last minute.)

The book is putting me in mind of the grinding poverty and unconscionable social inequities that exist throughout the country/world, the vast gaps between the privileged & power classes and those who try to survive — much less thrive — with far, far less. Half a century later, the societal, political, economic conflicts are still glaring and painful. It’s a good, if frustrating and shameful, read.

MLK would be despairing at our collective lack of effort and progress.

Exacerbating the problem in 2023, thanks to today’s demoralizing, dispiriting state of politics, are those denouncing woke-ism. “Florida is where woke-ism comes to die,” bellows Ron DeSantis so very ignorantly. Seriously, how stupid. I’m only halfway through the book, and not sure Tubbs will address the anti-woke, right-wing hysteria of today, but I liked something he said about how we might try to address the disconnects for those in denial-land. He was reflecting on conversations he’d had with fellow Stanford students when on a study abroad program in South Africa in around 2010, and wrote, “Although exhausting and at times infuriating, these conversations helped me recognize that ignorance (willful or not) helps perpetuate racism in our country, and that mass education, a safe space to ask dumb questions and enter dialogue, is needed.”

In today’s parlance: critical race theory.

For starters.

Anyway, lots more thoughts… but gotta finish a book before tomorrow.

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