The guiding principles behind our workshop with illuminating case stories
from 25 years of helping to eliminate racism, sexism, homophobia, anti-Semitism,
ableism, ageism, classism and other forms of oppression
Tony Harris and Jacob Holdt
EXISTS UNIVERSALLY IN PRESENT SOCIETIES
This might seem self-evident, but is usually ignored by oppression fighters.
In the 20th century many tried to idealize certain "Marxist"
societies for having virtually brought an end to racism, sexism, classism,
etc., while totally ignoring how these "isms" on the whole,
had there merely found new forms of expression.
EVERY PERSON IS LOCKED INTO BOTH OPPRESSED AND OPPRESSOR ROLES
in the wide world the realization that everyone in our societies has been
forced into operating within both oppressor and oppressed roles is still
almost unknown and unfaced. Until we understand the deeper nature of oppression
our struggle to end it will be in vain. We will continue looking for "the
enemy out there" and thus carry on the long sad history of desperate,
bewildered human beings substituting a Czar for a Stalin, a Shah for an
OPPRESSION OF CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE - ADULTISM
- IS THE FOUNDATION
FOR ALL FORMS OF OPPRESSION
is the first oppression all people experience. Parents must take charge
of their relationship with their children. Presenting the world as a dangerous
place with murder and hurtful people along with a "That's the way
it is" attitude they instill powerlessness in children. As new forms
of oppressions are later introduced, we now accept them without fighting
back. Born with an open, zestful and cooperative relationship to everyone
we are hurt very early by this irrational behavior of adults. While we
are in emotional distress, our vast human intelligence momentarily seems
to shut down and the new information is stored wrongly or "jams up"
in a tied-up knot, and we are blocked.
we cannot understand – or evaluate - such early information from a distress
experience, subsequent information tends to get stuck in the same pattern,
which over the years becomes chronic - or like a recording which now plays
us! Finally we end up with a "distress pattern" of rigid, illogical
behavior not unlike that of our parents or other adults. Having gone through
such oppression, we then reenact our own experiences on others.
example from racism: In my workshops young whites - especially from the
South - relate with tremendous pain how they in their early childhood
developed deep love and affection for their black servants. Thus they
were unable to understand why their parents, in the company of other whites,
would talk in a derogatory, mocking or even hateful way about blacks in
general. In the "warm" presence of the blacks they would be
overwhelmed with flushes of guilt if their parents suddenly entered the
torn such whites have been is evident to everyone who sees them break
down and cry in racism workshops. Also evident in this example is the
development of the guilt-fear distress pattern, which most white Americans
suffer from in their relationship with (American) blacks (who have been
shaped by this racism).
fear ingredient is also remembered in different variations by many: We
sat on the bus with our mother. A young black male got on the bus and
we felt our mother pull us a bit tighter. We didn't understand why this
early message was given and it thus had a snowballing and crippling effect
on our entire relationship to blacks ever after.
OPPRESSION ONLY OPERATES, AND CAN ONLY OPERATE, THROUGH DISTRESS PATTERNS
fighters and liberation movements in the whole world desperately need
this powerful insight about oppression. It is useful, in part, because
when we see the disheartening appearance of human beings, who we assume
are good and wholesome, acting in such oppressive, unwholesome ways it
tends to destroy our morale and blight our spirit over and over again.
No person would ever agree to, or submit to, being oppressed unless a
pattern of oppression had been installed, first by the oppression of adults
in early childhood. Only the distress patterns left by adultism allow
other oppressions later to be accepted and make it possible to force a
person to continue to function as oppressed.
sexism, we know how women through early conditioning develop emotional
blocks toward "male-oriented" learning or work and end up "accepting"
a society of men occupying all the positions of power. In the unique American
brand of black-white racism this pattern is even clearer:
blacks are very early steered away from an academic career and often develop
enormous emotional blocks toward reading, writing etc. - causing them
to start fall behind whites in school usually from 4th grade.
NO ONE WOULD SUBMIT TO BEING OPPRESSED FOR MORE THAN AN INSTANT
UNLESS THEY HAVE ALREADY HAD DISTRESS PATTERNS INSTALLED
of oppressive forces might bide his or her time and keep a submissive
facial expression while the gun is pointed at him, but the oppressor would
be overthrown very quickly if the distress patterns of being oppressed
were not internalized to enforce the person. Newly imported African slaves
in the antebellum South or Caribbean were usually rebellious like Kunta
Kinte, whereas blacks born into slavery tended to be submissive.
than that, no person would agree to function as an oppressor for an instant
if the patterns of oppression had not first been installed and the person
then manipulated into the oppressor role. For instance, most outside whites
would feel repulsed by entering and participating in the old southern
Jim Crow system or the recent South Africa under apartheid - systems which
seemed "natural" to the native conditioned white. Likewise American
Protestants would feel repulsed by the idea of discriminating against
Catholics in Northern Ireland and American Jews by and large would not
participate in settlements on the Palestinian Westbank.
PERSON WHO FUNCTIONS AS AN OPPRESSOR HAS ALWAYS FIRST BEEN OPPRESSED AND
THEN MANIPULATED ONTO THE OTHER END OF THE OPPRESSION PATTERN.
is old human knowledge: child abusers have usually been abused themselves
as children. From classism - the institutionalized inequality between
rich and poor - we get a good insight into this process from England.
How does one become "ruling class" there? Members of workshops,
who were brought up in England, often describe the oppressive preparation
for being "presented to the Queen" or how they are taken away
from their parents at an early age and sent to special boarding schools
where they are tortured and systematically degraded in the most inhumane
ways: being kept as "slaves" by the older students, running
the gauntlet, etc. In later years, they are then manipulated onto the
other end of the pattern, forced to give the same vicious treatment to
the younger boys in preparation for their "ruling" role.
from America: How do American doctors "justify" earning more
than doctors anywhere else in the world or 10 times more than their hospital
workers? Well, during the hard years of internship they are often forced
to work 30-40 hours without sleep. Without any logical reason for letting
such zombies literally hold human life in their hands, such oppression
gradually creates the feeling in them of having earned "the right"
to such great classist (and sexist!) power.
realization or principle is met at first with indignation by victims of
oppression. "You're trying to tell me that those were innocent humans,
those people who tortured and shot and gouged out my family's eyes? You
are going to tell me that Hitler, Saddam Hussein or Milosovic were human
Yes. It is of great support to us to realize that the most viciously functioning
person in the world was a human being underneath the distress and functioned
so viciously only because of the distress. The person who functions as
an oppressor does so always and only because he or she has first been
oppressed, and with the pattern of oppression thus installed, the person
has subsequently been manipulated onto the other end of the pattern in
order to function as an oppressor.
CAN HELP THE PERSON ACTING OUT AN OPPRESSOR ROLE IN A PATTERN TO DISCHARGE
THAT PATTERN OR ASSIST THE PERSON TO BE RID OF IT, THAT PERSON WILL GLADLY
CEASE FUNCTIONING AS AN OPPRESSOR AND WILL BECOME AN ALLY.
principle is easy to realize when we look at the two ultimate distress
patterns of racism: on the one hand the white Klansman, on the other hand
the black mugger - both overwhelmed by feelings of hate, insecurity and
rejection from mainstream society. It really shouldn't come as any great
surprise that on the personal level it is often extremely easy to befriend
them both and by giving them attention and affection we are automatically
helping to steer them away from a destructive path. In my experience they
are both starving for love and recognition, so when we reach out to them
and make them our allies we are thus actually helping to make society
a less oppressive place for everyone to live in.
Yet - when confronted with their severe distress patterns most of us in
daily life - conservatives, liberals and radicals alike - are so conditioned
into the oppressor role that we usually forget this principle and tend
to further isolate and reject them. In other words we further ghettoize
them into the condition of hurt and abuse out of which their anger grew
in the first place. Thus "we" are the actual oppressors!
victimized people do not act out their pain in such violent extremes,
but instead express this pain in the form of racist, sexist, homophobic
and anti-Semitic slurs or thinking. On every campus and in every work
place we can help make the atmosphere less oppressive by making such bigots,
male chauvinist pigs etc., our natural allies. Most campuses have had
a strong increase in racist and sexist incidents in recent years reflecting
a worsening of the underlying oppressive patterns in society. We know
that people are not really worse today than they were a few years ago,
so this should empower us and embolden us to seek allies much more widely,
to keep up our own morale and our strength. Let us repeat again and again:
distress pattern attacks you (and nothing else ever will), help is always
close at hand. This is the human being locked inside the distress pattern,
the pattern's victim and your best ally, who can be reached in ways that
we are now learning to recognize.
CAN BE AND IS INTERNALIZED
realization that oppression is usually internalized will, if we can communicate
it widely enough, make a great difference in our work. If we can reach
the liberation forces of the world with this understanding, it will reinforce
their strength several times over. One of the most disheartening examples
of internalization is seen in homophobia. For centuries the oppression
has been so severe that nowhere in the world have gays been able to respond
freely, kiss and hold hands in an open atmosphere without fear, and thus
have been forced underground like dissidents in the most totalitarian
countries. Seeing few positive gay role models around, young gays are
unable to freely choose their true sexual identity.
so they end up loathing homosexuality before reaching adulthood, adopting
and internalizing straight definitions of good and bad and are forced
throughout their lives into painful, futile attempts to straighten their
lives with the same crippling effect on self-image as when blacks straightened
their hair to "pass". To avoid internalization (or frequently
suicide) they are forced to leave family and friends in many native areas
(such as the Midwest and the South) for exile in ghettos (such as San
Francisco, New York, New Orleans, etc.) not unlike traditional Jewish
ghettos in Europe, Catholic ghettos in Northern Ireland or black ghettos
in the U.S. But most have suffered a slow death from internalization in
futile, destructive intermarriages with heterosexuals.
DAMAGE DONE BY OPPRESSION IS DONE BY ITS INTERNALIZED FORM.
realize this is of importance in eliminating oppression, and in discharging
oppression patterns. The blows from outside came early, they will still
come occasionally, sometimes they come viciously when the struggle is
joined against oppression. But almost all the damage done by oppression
is done by its internalized persistence, by the self-invalidations, self-attacks,
attacks upon each other by the members of the oppressed group and by the
fierce attacks and competition between different oppressed groups that
otherwise would be, and can become, each other's supportive allies.
us repeat: The blows first came from outside, but day in and day out we
wreck ourselves, wreck each other in the internalized continuation of
A classical example, spotted by sociologists long ago, is the game "The
Dozens" played by young U.S. black men in which the object is to
remain "cool" and "calm" while insulting each other
(and their families: "motherfucker") and degrading each other
in the most vicious possible ways. The game continues on and on. Each
new generation of young black men is expected to participate in this cruel,
cruel invalidation procedure. It has been traced to its origins in the
necessity for black mothers under slavery to humiliate their male children
into submissiveness in order that they could remain alive.
slavery, if black male children showed any trace of spirit or rebellion,
this so frightened the slave owner that they were subject to instant execution.
Black mothers deliberately kept their sons alive by humiliating them and
degrading them and forcing them into submissive patterns of behavior in
which they were expected to endure without resistance. The tactic was
successful in keeping them alive; but the internalizing of the oppression
has carried on generation after generation to this day (with reinforcement,
of course, from new oppression) with all the persistence and contagion,
which such patterns, can have.
such patterns are not nearly as dominant in other ex-slave societies it
is easy to conclude that slavery in a way never really ended in the U.S.
Which black child hasn't heard, been affected by or even crushed by the
"You ain't shit, nigger" curse uttered by people close to them,
echoing the aversive guilt-fear patterns of a distant, and thereby seemingly
"innocent" white racism? As the white oppressor becomes more
and more invisible or distant for most blacks, internalized racism is
getting out of hand in these years and threatening a near total collapse
of traditional family and inner city structures, and ultimately threatening
the very fabric of American life. Thus it is clearly affecting white lives
too with oppression's age-old boomerang effect.
PERSON OUTSIDE A PARTICULAR OPPRESSION CAN BE POWERFULLY EFFECTIVE AGAINST
THE INTERNALIZED FORM OF OPPRESSION
to what seems to be the reality (and, of course, is actually our fears),
when blacks invalidate each other, compete with each other, pool their
discouragement and hopelessness and the white draws back and doesn't dare
say anything about black oppression because the white is "of course
not an expert and doesn't want to intrude in "black culture"
and make a fool of himself or herself," contrary to that is the reality
that an aware white in a black group can be decisively effective in interrupting
the internalized oppression simply by seeing the viciousness of it and
speaking clearly from the outside.
one workshop several Latino women were speaking out of their internalized
oppression, of how ugly they felt and how they longed for long blonde
straight hair all the time they were growing up. One aware white man felt
sincerely indignant since he felt they were beautiful women, all of them
without exception, and he spoke from his heart when he said, "How
can you talk that way? You are the most beautiful women in the world."
At first they felt he was being sarcastic and wanted to fight him, but
when they heard that he meant it, a heavy discharge (emotional release)
took place. With each other, up to that point, they could only be sarcastic.
takes some skill to contradict oppression, but we can all help to loosen
up such emotional blocks. West Indian blacks (not so affected by American
racism) have often been of great help for U.S. blacks in identifying and
discharging their emotional blocks and have even formed organizations
to help motivate American blacks not to drop out of school or college
as a result of internalized oppression. From sexism we know that for a
long time men looked on bewildered, timid, id and fumble-footed as women
struggled to liberate themselves. Now they are beginning to find out that
they don't have to stand back, ashamed of their sexism and apologizing
for it forever. They can move in and be of great assistance to the emergence
of women from their internalized oppression.
likewise with classism, which American workers have internalized to an
unusual degree. They have adopted hopelessly outdated "bootstrap"
and Horatio Alger fantasies even better than their actual oppressors -
the so-called owning class - and it can be of great help for them to be
contradicted in this pattern by people from Europe where a strong traditional
working class consciousness has won many struggles. It is easy for an
outsider to see how American workers pull each other down, settle for
less and often support the most reactionary candidates working against
their own deeper interests.
a result they get very short vacations (where Europeans get 6 paid weeks),
have hardly any maternity or paternity leave (Europeans get 7 to 10 months),
hardly any kindergartens or profit sharing or decision making and control
over their companies and those on minimum wages get less than half their
European counterparts (which helps lower the wage level of salaried workers
also). Without effective job security and adequate recuperation, their
productivity is far behind that of Europeans (unless they put in more
work hours!). Since this directly affects American competitiveness it
is evident, as it always is with oppression that in the long run it also
hurts the oppressors.
PARTICULAR OPPRESSION HAS CERTAIN FEATURES IN COMMON WITH ALL OTHER OPPRESSION
oppression, for example, includes a lack of respect for members of the
oppressed group. Every oppressed group develops feelings of powerlessness,
self-hate, self-blame or self-doubt in relation to the oppressor.
OPPRESSION IS ALSO UNIQUE AND NEEDS TO BE UNDERSTOOD IN ITS UNIQUENESS
liberation fighters we need to master the knowledge of these particular
characteristics. Some examples would be the "settling for less"
conditioning of women by sexist oppression or, the denial of education
and information to U.S. blacks by white racism (a worsening trend: in
the 80's more than 20% of blacks have dropped out of college and more
are now in prison than in college). It is desirable for us to become experts
on the oppression of every group of which we are not a member (in order
to be of decisive assistance against the internalized oppression of members
of the group) and to become experts in combating the internalized oppression
of our own group.
PARTICULAR OPPRESSIONS PLAY KEY ROLES IN THE OVERALL STRUCTURE OF THE
OPPRESSIVE SOCIETY AND IN RELATIONSHIP TO THE OTHER OPPRESSIONS
oppression of the working classes, which is, in its foundations and at
its core, economic exploitation, is the fundamental oppression in society.
The taking of the value produced, from the working persons who produce
it, by those in "ownership" could be said to be what the whole
society is "all about." (Internalized classism and the present
absence of any clear practical alternatives to such a society creates
tremendous emotional blocks in most people against an objective definition
of the problem).
OTHER OPPRESSIONS MIGHT HAVE DEVELOPED AS MEANS OF ENFORCING CLASS OPPRESSION,
AS MEANS OF DIVIDING THE ECONOMICALLY OPPRESSED AGAINST EACH OTHER SO
AS TO SECURE THEIR SUBMISSION TO AND COMPLIANCE WITH, THEIR ECONOMIC EXPLOITATION.
began already in the first slave societies and continues right up to the
present day. Working people are divided along lines of gender, age, race,
physical ability, size, presence or absence of physical handicaps, sexual
preference, religion, nationality, culture, and language and are turned
to oppressing each other and are thus discouraged from uniting against
the economic exploitation.
OF JEWS (ANTI-SEMITISM) IN THE WESTERN AND ARAB COUNTRIES PLAYS THE ROLE
OF A "PRECEDENT-SETTER" OR AN "OPENING WEDGE," FOR
THE USE OF VIOLENCE AGAINST ALL OPPRESSED GROUPS IN TIMES OF SOCIAL CRISIS.
oppression of the Chinese in Southeast Asia and of East Indians in the
countries of East Africa is very similar.
Jews have been a visible, distinct minority population in the countries
of their exile who brought with them skills of survival and a highly developed
culture. They, or their leaders, have been required to function as a tool
of the ruling groups of the majority population as a condition for the
Jews as a whole to be tolerated. At the same time a continual low-level,
"unofficial" campaign of anti-Jewish propaganda is kept evident
among the oppressed majority population. In times of threatened revolt
by the oppressed people of the majority population, this is replaced with
violent, official anti-Jewish propaganda. Pogroms, massacres, and expulsions
are organized to turn the resentments of the oppressed majority population,
which was on the edge of rising against the oppressors, against the Jews
(or Chinese or East Indians), using them as scapegoats. This clear strategy
(the fact that Jews were generally invited to new countries shows how
well it was thought out) has been used over and over and over again in
the last two thousand years.
the oppressors have diverted the revolutionary fervor of the oppressed
into such shameful activity, it leaves the people who threatened rebellion
ashamed of themselves and discouraged, and the Jews dispersed and plundered.
Later, the Jews are re-instated in the country where the violence occurred,
or in the new place to which they fled, and forced back into the role
of visible agents of the oppressors.
scapegoating imposed upon Jews (and upon East Indians and Chinese in other
sections of the world) has been possible in the past in part, because
until recently, there was no homeland nation with psychological power
to support Jewish populations in other countries and the homeland nations
of the Chinese and East Indians were, until recently, under colonial domination
and so were almost powerless to protect their émigrés on the world scene.
The fact that a Jewish homeland was created at the expense of oppressing
Palestinians was - in the final analysis - the ultimate result not of
Jews, but of rampant anti-Semitism in the Western and Arab world. How
deep anti-Semitism runs in the U.S. is not commonly understood among gentiles.
Stereotypes such as "Jews are naturally good with money and control
the economy, banks and media" are not only used by the KKK and neo-nazi
groups, but has become misinformation so socially sanctioned that these
facts surprise most Americans:
1965, 45 of the 50 largest U.S. banks had no Jews in upper management.
38 of the 50 had no Jews in middle management.
1979 only 15 of the 345 senior officers in the largest New York banks
were Jewish, and only three of the top 86 were. Of the 22 officers of
big New York banks who were members of the Board of Directors, none were
the 2,000 daily newspapers in the United States, Jews effectively own
less than 100.
the six major oil companies and their 300 senior officers, less than 25
important to understand the hollowness of such stereotypes and the deeper
reasons for them. On the other hand, the fact that Jews in the U.S. -
contrary to most other oppressed groups - are not economically deprived
as a group also needs to be comprehended in order to fully understand
oppression. Equipped with a strong cultural identity they could internalize
some aspects of anti-Semitism without becoming defeated by them. Thus
the gentile oppression has in some ways encouraged them to seek success
just as white racism has encouraged the West Indians - also called "black
Jews" - to succeed and the sense of isolation has also encouraged
most new immigrants to excel).
common insecurity has enabled these groups to develop more refined techniques
- such as "Jewish guilt" - for oppressing their children with
"drive" and "success" enabling them to ultimately
wind up in disproportionate numbers in higher academic institutions. With
a great intuitive understanding of oppressive patterns they have probably
been better able to create for each other the safety necessary to discharge
such patterns, through, for instance, merely being able to talk freely
about their problems. This has helped them to avoid many of the emotional
blocks towards learning, etc., which ties up the intelligence of so many
than being mystified by why personal achievement at a given moment in
history seems to come easier for some groups than others, we should feel
encouraged to work together on the oppressive patterns which instills
in so many children and young people the crippling sense of powerlessness.
Otherwise we tend to waste our energies on destructive debates about "affirmative
action" (through which minorities are placed in positions, where
they would have arrived naturally if they lived in a free society). How
little even liberals understand about oppression is shown in their incredible
definition of this important, but clumsy policy of countering it: "to
remedy the effects of past discrimination." Not surprisingly their
ignorance is reflected in angry counter-charges of "reverse discrimination."
fully understand how hysterical such debates are we need to look beyond
the closed vacuum of our own society. In the coastal areas of Costa Rica,
historical circumstances have helped to make blacks an affluent upper
class of landowners, which hire poor white land workers. Listen to what
these cultured blacks say about whites: "When I meet two whites at
night I cross over to the other side of the street, " "Whites
carry knives and are prone to violence," or even better: "Whites
are oversexed." The poor whites can't help but internalize such negative
perceptions of themselves. As a result the blacks are succeeding into
university (often in the USA), while whites fall behind or drop out. This
is what "reverse discrimination" really is all about - the power
to force another group effectively behind, and nowhere in the USA have
I seen affirmative action being capable of forcing whites as a group behind
blacks in jobs or education!
about Jews not only leads to justification for the continued mistreatment
of Jewish people regardless of class and social status, but is also an
opening wedge designed to divide our attempts at liberation. If there
is one stereotype Jews are proud of, it is the fact that almost everywhere
they are disproportionally over-represented in liberation groups (even,
in many places, in Palestinian support groups). For it is simply impossible
to go through 2,000 years of constant persecution and oppression by ruling
classes without developing a refined understanding and heightened sense
of oppression. Being true victims of the classical "divide and rule"
strategies has made them far more readily than most to reach out and seek
where anti-Semitism in the black community is again being used to divert
attention from the underlying oppressive patterns in society, it should
not be forgotten that the great majority of whites who gave their lives
in the Civil Right's struggle were Jewish. (This, of course, does not
make American Jews as a whole less racist, sexist, homophobic, etc., than
others, just a bit more committed to work on these oppressive patterns.
Perhaps we also need to add that the above was written by gentile white
allies of both Jews and Palestinians.)
ANY ONE OPPRESSION, THOROUGHLY AND COMPLETELY, REQUIRES ELIMINATING ALL
is free as long as there is one person oppressed!
principle is easily understood in America where everyone now lives in
fear of crime and everyone is now paying for the astronomical cost of
putting more people in prison per capita than any other country on Earth!)
appeals to our intuition when we have our heads out of our distress, but
it is also very practical. Any example of oppression going on with another
group of people drags down and fetters our own struggle repeatedly. The
white male working-class movement has continually floundered and weakened
itself, in every practical sense, by going along with sexism, by going
along with racism.
feudal society of the southern United States between the post-Civil War
Reconstruction period and the Second World War, the enmities assiduously
cultivated between the white sharecroppers and the black sharecroppers,
the serfs of this feudal economy, kept both groups viciously and perpetually
oppressed. Neither group could move out of the bondage as long as they
tolerated the bondage of the others.
NEED SEPARATE DISCUSSIONS WITHIN EACH PARTICULAR LIBERATION GROUP BEFORE
THEY CAN HOPE TO COMMUNICATE WELL TO, OR UNITE WITH, THE OTHER GROUPS
this principle has been applied, it has been very powerful. Where it has
not been applied, such as in the drift into having an oppressed group
and its allies in the same mixed support group or workshop, we develop
difficulties that take time and trouble to sort out. Each group must caucus
separately first in spite of their fears of segregation and their eager
desire for unity. They must have a time to get together in the safety
of their similarities, their commonalties, or their homogeneity. For instance:
children of alcoholics and victims of ableism - handicapped people - are
often under so much distress that they need to define their own similarities
before being able to join broader liberation groups. People having the
same backgrounds need to first discuss and agree on what they want the
other groups to hear from them. Once that is accomplished, they can come
together and listen to each other with respect and achieve the real unity
that they would otherwise seek too quickly or too simplistically.
principle has been forgotten over and over. Working-class support groups,
for example, have started enthusiastically and then many times tended
to wither because of the considerable differences in backgrounds among
the twenty or thirty people that enthusiastically come out first. They
have one or two good meetings and then, unsafety. Individual members complain
bitterly about "the things they had to listen to." The underlying
unity is obscured by the differences.
FROM OPPRESSION REQUIRES A THREE POINT PROGRAM: ONE, A CLEAR LIBERATION
POLICY, TWO, UNITY OF THE GROUP AROUND THAT POLICY, AND THREE, THE WINNING OF
first steps are best tackled together in that the members of the oppressed
group should participate in the working out of the policy. (Not necessarily
without a first draft being written by someone else. We have found that
one can write a first draft of a liberation policy with considerable ease
from outside the oppression compared to doing it from the inside, but
then the group itself should review and revise that first draft so that
they participate in working out that policy.) This will help to organize
the group. To participate in working out the policy can help to achieve
unity. You will achieve the policy and the unity at the same time. The
third step is the winning of allies. This has been known intuitively in
a very few quarters, but almost all liberation movements have neglected
it, almost entirely. Almost all the liberation activities of the 60's
floundered and wasted their resources for lack of that third action, the
winning of allies. Right here we are trying to use the Internet for that
on this subject:
National Resource Center for
the Healing of Racism
- provides all people involved in the process
of healing the disease of racism, and upholding the oneness of humankind,
with the tools and resources to support and enhance their work.
The Resource area of their website includes an impressive searchable database
organized by category with direct links to on-line documents, websites,