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Communities, Values and Justice

Linking Up with the Community

It is important for students to link up with local communities. Students need to be aware of how racism affects local community groups and of local struggles for better jobs, working conditions, health services, day care facilities, housing and so on.

It is important to interact with local racialized communities, in the pursuit of reciprocal knowledge. It is absolutely crucial, in my view, for organizations representing racialized groups to link up with each other and with non-racialized white working class communities, and to develop strategies for reciprocal mutual support and well being and to undermine the growth of organizations like the British National Party (BNP) whose tactics are to divide rather than unite communities. Residents’ associations and youth organizations might also be good inroads, in defending and enhancing the rights of all the members of the local community.

Linking up with communities facilitates an understanding of racism, Islamophobia and xeno-racism, locally, nationally and internationally. Understanding processes of racialization and xeno-racialization will inform the ways by which people become demonized because of their (perceived) identities.

It needs to be stressed that working with local communities requires considerable skills from Marxist educators or the purpose of such links might well backfire. Thus it will be important initially to make links with Left activists and other equality advocates in the various communities in order to decide strategies. A joint meeting with these various activists and advocates might be a good starting point.

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