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Angela Davis “How Does Change Happen”
Angela Davis talk on “How Does Change Happen” was timely and focused on American democracy. Angela’s talk made prominent the issue of gender and race with the candidacies of Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama acting examples. Davis criticized George Bush administration by insinuating that it lacked diversity.
In her talk, Davis acknowledged that there existed hurdles in overcoming social injustices encompassing race and gender. She explained how there existed conflicting interests between social and political struggles. Angela Davis supported her arguments by demonstrating how individuals benefit from collective demands of the population. The existence of individuals from the marginalized members of the society in administrative positions has failed to achieve collective empowerment or social justice. For instance, Davis argued that individuals like Condoleezza Rice, Obama, Clinton, Clarence Thomas, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, and others have benefitted at the expense of the collective struggles against restrictive gender roles, racial and ethnic discrimination.
The speaker visited her past by explaining her involvement in struggles for social justice. Davis agreed that there were instances when failure appeared inherent. Her discussion reveals how tough it was to bring change to the society. However, little has been done at the present moment in bringing collective empowerment and structural changes in the society. Institutional discrimination against the middle class has persisted due to increasing benefits achieved by individuals. It is noteworthy that there exist some conflicts in Davis’ argument. There is difficulty in differentiating the social conditions in the 1960s and the present moment. The black race is associated more with poverty while the question at hand is social and political change. It is eminent from Davis’ talk that there is no proper structure meant to address problems facing black Americans.
Paul Gilroy’s “Multiculture in Times of War”
Paul Gilroy, one of the pioneer black academics and the guru in the field of cultural studies, does not fancy the British culture. To Gilroy, there is something missing in realization of multiculturalism. Britain did not experience the same kind of civilization as America.
Gilroy is not defensive in exposing the failure of multiculturalism. He blames historical empires for continued racism, lack of nationalism, and imperialism. Gilroy argues that most Britons are not aware of the injustices and cruelties perpetuated by their empire. The elderly live in denial and are stuck in post-empire sulk. The post colonial melancholy has frustrated efforts of developing a habitable multiculture. It resulted in the use of cruel methods like wild protests for Britain to address the plight of the minority.
According to Gilroy, racism has led to creation of discriminative laws targeting various races. However, the same is not realized by the public. People strive to occupy their space in the social structure without awareness of the forces set to make them choose certain lifestyles. Therefore, racism in itself becomes insignificant.
The desire for greatness has also dealt multiculturalism a big blow. It has resulted in the need for imperial domination that calls for the British unity. Britain has conquered much of the world. It is what makes Britain want to remain united in times of war and other activities, like sports. However, there are slim chances of achieving this because of fears of hostility. The racial war continues as cultural diversity increases.
The World War occurred due to the imperial powers needed to get rid of the weaker races. After the war, the European powers sought to find ways of making their presence felt in their colonies by imposing rules. However, Britain has made tremendous strides in the recent past in a bid to develop a convivial society. However, racism still persists with new challenges emerging each day.