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I was very active politically in the 1960s, 70s, and the early 80s. Life became more difficult in the late 1980s with the arrival of a third child, and as I focused to publish enough to get tenure in a large Midwestern university. Today, as I look back on that time, I struggle with two perspectives about current anti-racist activism and about a continued anti-racist struggle in the academy. One of them is to believe that the current political reckoning over racism in the United States is different. With the involvement of more non-whites, with the courage of the youth in the face of horrific police attacks, and with the swiftness with which people in high places are resigning and policemen are being dismissed or even indicted, real change appears to be happening in record time.
My second perspective is less sanguine. The changes appear too shallow and too centered on reform rather than transformation. This change may dissipate as the protests run out of a steam […]
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