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Parent Article: The Boston Social Forum: Another World is Possible
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Re: The Boston Social Forum: Another World is Possible
27 Jul 2004
There were far more people of color at the BSF--at least 20 percent of attendees--than any major multiracial event in recent memory in the U.S. (few of which have been on anything like the scale of the BSF).

Significant long-term outreach was made to communities of color, and it worked. Was parity to the percentage of people of color in the U.S. achieved? No.

But was it a totally white event? No way.

White activists who are quick to level charges of conscious exclusion of people of color at BSF organizers (many of whom are people of color themselves), should perhaps look more closely to their work in their own communities (if any), and how they're doing with organizing other white people into progressive movements. Then they should ponder that people of color might trust them more if they feel that white activists have their own base before coming into communities of color, than they will if these white activists spend all their time tailing around after activists of color trying to prove how PC they are.

This kind of bridge-building work takes a long time. The BSF organizers took almost two years at it, and did quite well. As time goes on, progressives of all racial backgrounds can grow closer together, but only if white activists step up and organize their own backyards. And only if they stop seeing people of color as a mere category--to be noted, tallied and numbered like widgets in a factory--and start seeing them simply as people. People that white people can talk to as fellow human beings, work with, and build movements with. Gradually building trust and mutual respect over long years of working together more and more.