Heterogeneities: Race, Gender, Class, Nation, and State

By Robert Ackermann John | Go to book overview

STARTING POINT

run an errand to the local secondary school, where I see a young student of color who, driven crazy by racism, wears heavy white makeup and blue contact lenses to school. I return home and read my mail. A small faculty research grant that I had applied for to invite some local street people into a graduate seminar on race, nation, and class is turned down because faculty referees object to my choices' lack of academic credentials for speaking on the subject matter. I think that I might have obtained a grant to fly to amsterdam to discuss racism with other academics instead. I open a dozen appeals from around the world for funds to help those subjected to daily starvation or incarceration without cause by their own governments. The radio reveals that the united states president is warning the russian government about the dangers of what used to be called adventurism. There are no resonances of grenada, panama, iraq, somalia, or haiti in his voice. New members of Congress express shock that in their orientation to washington they are told not to walk more than three blocks from the Capitol Building in any direction. I go back to the secondary school in the evening to see a student cabaret performance. Although about one third of the students in the school are "minority" students, there seem to be no africanamericans in the production. Two asian students and one latino student whom I know are hidden in the chorus of a couple of large group numbers. Solos are handled by the sons and daughters of the local elite. Although the school is situated in a progressive academic community, the skits, amidst much laughter, reinforce the most banal gender and racial stereotypes. Things don't ever seem to add up, and it's extremely hard to write and think when one is constantly angry and confused.

In waiting for full theoretical legitimation of strategy, opportunities are lost for the small local changes that are always the material form of revolution. Scholars delay by shielding themselves behind a display of learning that challenges their readers to prove equal intellectual grounding, or deeper intuitions and feelings. Action is deferred. Several

-1-

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Heterogeneities: Race, Gender, Class, Nation, and State
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents ix
  • Preface xi
  • Starting Point 1
  • Racism 9
  • Benign Racism 31
  • Gender 53
  • Class 79
  • Nation 103
  • State 131
  • World System 153
  • What to Do 179
  • FURTHER READING 205
  • Index 209
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