But at the same time you can’t assume that making a difference 20 years ago is going to allow you to sort of live on the laurels of those victories for the rest of your life.
When Bush says democracy, I often wonder what he’s referring to.
Yes, I think it’s really important to acknowledge that Dr. King, precisely at the moment of his assassination, was re-conceptualizing the civil rights movement and moving toward a sort of coalitional relationship with the trade union movement.
In a sense the quest for the emancipation of black people in the U.S. has always been a quest for economic liberation which means to a certain extent that the rise of black middle class would be inevitable.
What I think is different today is the lack of political connection between the black middle class and the increasing numbers of black people who are more impoverished than ever before.
And I guess what I would say is that we can’t think narrowly about movements for black liberation and we can’t necessarily see this class division as simply a product or a certain strategy that black movements have developed for liberation.
The work of the political activist inevitably involves a certain tension between the requirement that position be taken on current issues as they arise and the desire that one’s contributions will somehow survive the ravages of time.
It’s true that it’s within the realm of cultural politics that young people tend to work through political issues, which I think is good, although it’s not going to solve the problems.
Jails and prisons are designed to break human beings, to convert the population into specimens in a zoo – obedient to our keepers, but dangerous to each other.
I think that has to do with my awareness that in a sense we all have a certain measure of responsibility to those who have made it possible for us to take advantage of the opportunities.