Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Summer Readings


I can't believe the GOT is almost over- i definitely recommend it to anyone who is serious about leading the movement in their own communities- changing the world through organizing and facing opposition in the eye. It's been a great experience and I cannot wait to go to the Gulf Coast to witness the oil spill and then to go back to university so I can start organizing.

BUT that is not what i wanted to talk about...well at least not this time around. As I said a few posts ago, instead of just listing off all these books i was going to read this summer, I'll list them off as I go along. Even though I am no where close to finishing that list, i still consider the 2 books iv'e accomplished a win- lol.

Don't Think of an Elephant
By George Lakoff

This book was written shortly after the 2004 elections and basically analyzes why the republican party has their act together while the Democrats do not. Lakoff states that people do not vote based on self interest but rather by frames (the values that you filter information with). He believes that in the US we operate within two frames- a strict father model and a nurturing parent model. Republicans have a strict father frame that they filter politics with and democrats have a nurturing parent frame they filter politics with.

It was a pretty good book, but after the first chapter things got repetitive. One thing that i didn't really like though is the division that he makes between Republicans and Democrats. I mean, i don't read a lot of current affair books but is there really that much hostility between the two parties? It makes me feel like the civil never ended. These divisions go beyond just political differences, we literally see opposing sides as less than human or as an enemy that will never change. The point of his book was to encourage the top dogs of the Democratic party to take note of what the Republicans did to pass all the bills they wanted- package their frame in a way that's sellible to get more American's on their side. But my question is if both parties start working in the same way, if they both successfully killed the independent vote, wouldnt we end up making this deep division between Americana's worse?

Sellout: The Politics of Racial Betrayal
By Randall Kennedy

(whoa! big pic!!!)
This book was about the history and reasons of application of the word sellout in the African American community. Kennedy tackles the what we mean by selling out in the black community, the complexities of selling out to a race or being a race traitor, and how slippery of an identification 'Black' is.
It was a very good book. I think it makes some very interesting points and asks some very bold questions. Kennedy tries to bring to light that the community's quickness to jump the gun on the 'race traitor' waggon prevents us from opening up a dialogue that may be controversial but much needed. Even by writing his book, Kennedy will be fending off race traitor accusations. I think that african american's are so quick to call someone a sellout because we want so desperately to keep, if nothing else, our sense of community- we must stick together, we have a responsibility to help each other out of our oppression, and we support one another. That is all the black community know's to trust- each other, and that cannot change.
Right now i'm trying to get through Blue Gold: The Fight to Stop The Corporate Theft of the World's Water. So far it's really good but I hate to say, VERY one sided. Good thing i'm a little familiar with water privatization issues already. Update on that soon hopefully! and I'll probably make another GP semester update soon-ish too : )

1 comment:

Toyin O. said...

These sounds like great books, thanks for sharing. i just also want to thank you for your visit and gracious comment.