On April 7, at the University of Missouri at Kansas City, Leonard Zeskind spoke on “White Supremacy and Islamophobia” at a gathering of students outside the Student Union building. The local Muslim Student Association, the campus branch of the NAACP, and the Pride Alliance were among the sponsors of the event. The Student Organizing Committee was the principle group directing the event. It is an off-shoot of the Workers Organizing Committee, which is organizing fast food workers.
This article is dedicated to the many victims of the Oklahoma City bombing, and to the reportorial genius of James Ridgeway.
IREHR’s Leonard Zeskind gave a talk on “Deindustrialization and Race in Kansas City” to the Phantom’s Equity Series on March 27. He did so at the behest of the Workers Organizing Committee, which has been organizing fast food workers, and is preparing for an April 15 march and rally. http://www.standupkc.org/ . Below is an edited version of the talk. It should be noted hat the East Side of Kansas City is predominantly occupied by African Americans.
On March 12, 2015, Leonard Zeskind conducted a workshop on the Tea Party movement, its manifestly false sense that they had been dispossessed of their control of the nation, and the racism that infects much of the movement. Zeskind then developed a seven-step program for stopping the Tea Party movement. About 100 people from all over the country participated in the workshop, filling up the room, sitting and standing along the walls after all the seats had been taken. Zeskind’s talk was very well-received. More than 1,500 people attended conference, with dozens of workshops over three days and periodic keynote talks.
Racism, anti-Semitism and homophobic bigotry are present to some degree in most every social club, neighborhood association and political party in the United States. It is a fact of life that bigots are everywhere, even when they do not know they are bigots. Someone somewhere will undoubtedly use the term “Jew me down” to describe price haggling, even when they have never met a Jewish person and are not really aware of what they are saying. Just as there will be someone who will say that so-and-so “gyped me,” to describe getting cheated, unaware that the term demonizes the Roma people, who are often known as Gypsies. Then there are racists like the Oklahoma SAE fraternity members who sang a racist, insulting song. In this society, at this point in time, some of such behavior is called out and the perpetrators apologize, and they are often punished like the SAE members ejected from school.
Not in the Republican Party of Missouri, however.
In another deadly shooting spree, this time in Mesa, Arizona, one person is dead and five others have been wounded in multiple locations. After an extensive manhunt, a man with purported ties to white nationalist groups was arrested by law enforcement. After being hit with a stun gun, he was taken away from the scene in a white biological hazard suit.
On Friday, March 6, gun activists, militia members, Tea Partiers, Threepers and other far-right activists plan to hold an armed rally in Spokane. The rally is scheduled for 11am to 2pm, at the Tom Foley Federal Courthouse (920 W. Riverside Ave) in downtown Spokane.
Organized to show support for an activist who was recently arrested when he brought his firearm onto federal property, the event is part of dangerous intensification of conflict with authorities over guns. Adding to the volatility of the rally is the announcement that the leader of a rival faction declared his intention to attend the event.