IREHR’s Leonard Zeskind gave a talk on “Deindustrialization and Race in Kansas City” to the Phantom’s Equity Series on March 27. He did so at the behest of the Workers Organizing Committee, which has been organizing fast food workers, and is preparing for an April 15 march and rally. http://www.standupkc.org/ . Below is an edited version of the talk. It should be noted hat the East Side of Kansas City is predominantly occupied by African Americans.
On March 12, 2015, Leonard Zeskind conducted a workshop on the Tea Party movement, its manifestly false sense that they had been dispossessed of their control of the nation, and the racism that infects much of the movement. Zeskind then developed a seven-step program for stopping the Tea Party movement. About 100 people from all over the country participated in the workshop, filling up the room, sitting and standing along the walls after all the seats had been taken. Zeskind’s talk was very well-received. More than 1,500 people attended conference, with dozens of workshops over three days and periodic keynote talks.
A founder of the Institute for Research & Education on Human Rights, Benjamin Israel, died at his home in St. Louis on February 23. He was 64, and had been battling cancer for a long time. Benjamin was dedicated to the fight against the white supremacist movement, against racism, anti-Semitism and bigotry and for the rights of working people to organize. He had unbounded energy for work he believed in, and an intense intellectual curiosity marked his everyday life. His second marriage in 1990, to Virginia Walker, made him obviously happy and satisfied, and allowed him to make a greater contribution to the community around him. He was a man of principle in a world that bought and sold morality dirt cheap.
The 125 North Carolina NAACP branches and the 160 other social justice organizations that compose the Historic Thousands on Jones Street (HKonJ) People’s Assembly Coalition have called for a Moral March on Raleigh. They will march on February 14 for voting rights, labor rights (including raising the minimum wage), education equality, health care for all, criminal justice reform, and equal protection under the law. They will march forward against those political forces that are trying to push them back. This is the ninth annual mass mobilization, and they have changed the consciousness of the people of North Carolina.
One and all who care about equality before the law and the arc of justice should attend this march.
Following the attacks in France, including the murders at the French magazine, Charlie Hebdo, and a Jewish market, large Islamophobic rallies have taken place across Germany. One of the rallies' lead organizers resigned today as a head of an Islamophobic group after a newspaper published a selfie of him posing as Adolf Hitler.
David Goldstein, the executive director of the Greater Kansas City Jewish Community Relations Bureau / American Jewish Committee from 1972 until 1998, marched in Selma during the voting rights fight in 1965—twice. So IREHR sat down with him as he remembered those days, now commemorated in the movie Selma.