Well, after a long hiatus, I'm back and just in time to give props to the Reverend. It took me a while to remember how to get back in my account, but thankfully, I did it.
First, I want to not only talk about the continuing racial and economic disparities in the U.S., but also about how an ecological perspective DOES account for these inequities and is not just a white, male, middle-class obsession with leisurely pursuits.
First, I think the Dr.'s dream is fulfilled in name only. Victor Villanueva posted a great article about the new racism. To me, it seems he's either been reading or come to the same conclusions as did Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri in Empire. While the social narratives insist Dr. King's legacy was success in making the lives of African-American's better, folks like Alonzo Kittrels knows that there are real problems. Black folks are still impoverished, still marginal in our society. Yet, to many students I see and to many people I have talked to, civil rights is a thing of the past. There are almost no marches, racism rarely makes the news, and many students can't really spot it when they see it. That's why Peggy McIntosh's essay is important for a lot of students to read here in the midwest. Racial and economic inequity are linked.
But this is also why an ecological approach is important. Racism has become embedded in the way we organize ourselves -- as an effect, if not an outright cause. We can call the playing field level because we have Affirmative Action, color blind bankruptcy laws, etc. But at the end of the day, racial minorities are the ones who get screwed. Blacks, Latino/ Latinas, Native Americans, muslims, etc. are structurally marginalized in our society and the average college student, much less the average voter, is unable to recognize how the system works to the disadvantage of many. It's a systemic problem and a systemic approach is the only way to challenge it.