Possible Readings for

L. Ways We Are Divided


White Privilege

“White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack,” an excerpt from “White Privilege and Male Privilege: A Personal Account of Coming to See Correspondences Through Work in Women’s Studies,” by Peggy McIntosh, Wellesley College Center for Research on Women, 1988, 11 p.

Whites are taught to think of their lives as morally neutral, normative, and average, and also ideal, so that when we work to benefit others, this is seen as work which will allow “them” to be more like “us.”

Feminism

“If Women Ruled the World, Nothing Would Be Different,” by Lisa Jervis, LiP Magazine, September 15, 2005, 14 p.

The biggest problem with American feminism today is its obsession with women. Because a useful, idealistic, transformative progressive feminism is not about women. It’s about gender, and all the legal and cultural rules that govern it, and power — who has it and what they do with it.

Religion

“Chapter 4: Radicalized Religion,” an excerpt from American Theocracy by Kevin Phillips, 2006.

Very long history of religion in US—sectarian divisions, interface with economics and politics. Maybe list it as a resource.

“Old-time religion,” By Harvey Cox, Boston Globe, July 9, 2006.

History of evangelicals and politics. ????

Class and Wealth Inequality

“The Rise of the Super-Rich,” by Teresa Tritch, New York Times, July 19, 2006.

Seems like it might be redundant in the inequality section.

Introduction from All Together Now: Common Sense for a Fair Economy by Jared Bernstein, 2006, 12 p.

The abandonment of our faith in government to help meet the challenges we face — social, economic, and international — has been costly. We need to escape from a restrictive, cynical vision.

Economic Class

“American Road Leads Off a Cliff,” opinion column by Holly Sklar, Providence Journal (Rhode Isalnd), December 29, 2005, 3 p.

The American Dream is becoming the American Pipe Dream.

“Class in America: Two Elite Newspapers Tackle The Big Taboo,” by Jennifer Ladd and Felice Yeskel, CommonDreams.org, June 2, 2005, 6 p.

Americans overwhelmingly believe that we live in a mobile society. Half of those polled believe they have a chance to become financially wealthy. But the data now shows that the U.S. has less mobility than the countries of Europe, which we always thought of as having rigid class and caste systems.

“The Mobility Myth,” opinion column by Bob Herbert, New York Times, June 6, 2005, 3 p.

The gap between the rich and everybody else in this country is fast becoming an unbridgeable chasm.

“Class in America: Shadowy Lines That Still Divide,” by Janny Scott and David Leonhardt, New York Times, May 15, 2005, 18 p.

The contours of class have blurred; some say they have disappeared. But class is still a powerful force in American life. Over the past three decades, it has come to play a greater, not lesser, role in important ways.

Overcoming Domination

“Tools for White Guys who are Working for Social Change … and other people socialized in a society based on domination,” by Chris Crass, 4 p.

Practical strategies for minimising everyday domination.

Listening

“Tell Me More: On The Fine Art of Listening,” from Strength to Your Sword Arm: Selected Writings by Brenda Ueland, 1993, 10 p.

The power of listening — including a particularly poignant story about listening to a man for several days, and the impact it has on him.

Collectivity

“Rejecting The YOYOs,” by Jared Bernstein, TomPaine.com, May 30, 2006, 4 p.

Two ways of thinking about society: You’re On Your Own (YOYO) versus We’re In This Together (WITT).

Traitors

“The Past and Future of A Right-Wing Myth,” by Kevin Baker, Harper’s Magazine, July 15, 2006

The role that blaming bad policy on internal critics plays. Dense and long, hard to get into.