Organizing, standing up and fighting back, by Students for a Democratic Society

Published on Online Journal, by Larry Pinkney, Oct. 29, 2010.

It is October of the year 2010, and there is something earth-shaking taking place, with and among, many college / university students throughout this nation.

The Students for a Democratic Society SDS*, whose organizational roots and history run deep, are once again on the move. Don’t expect to be intelligently informed about this by the corporate-stream media. But pay close attention to what these courageous students are in the process of doing today.  

Do not be confused by the word ‘Democratic’ used in the SDS organizational name. It is not referring to the so-called Democratic Party. It is referring to economic, social, and political democracy—with a special emphasis upon students. In other words, it is referring to struggling for and attaining genuine democracy of, for, and by everyday people. SDS is an organization of primarily student organizers who understand that the term ‘radical’ means root. And they practice that understanding.

This writer was honored and privileged to have been among those in attendance at the national SDS convention in Milwaukee, on October 23-24, 2010. Present were radical SDS organizers (and their allies) from around the nation including, but not limited to, Wisconsin, Florida, Oklahoma, Illinois, California, Vermont, Arizona, New Jersey, Maryland, Tennessee , Minnesota, Massachusetts, and Texas. It was a glorious and empowering sight to behold!

SDS is a predominantly White radical political organization with (I’m pleased to report) a strong and ever-growing number of ‘people of color’ active within its ranks. Indeed, it was for example, stunningly wonderful to witness the Chicago SDS contingent proudly walk in, who were all save one, organizers of color. By seriously recognizing and addressing the color, class, and gender, etc. challenges, differences, and (and to some extent) contradictions; I saw first-hand SDS demonstrate an honesty and commitment that is all too rare these days. These important issues were boldly and honestly addressed by those young SDSers (who are in fact mature and insightful far beyond their physical ages). The SDSers seemed to almost innately recognize that it is this filthy, hypocritical capitalist system that perpetrates and perpetuates these differences to keep us divided and powerless. Nevertheless, despite some pain and discomfort caused by addressing these realities, these SDSers Black, White, Brown, Red, and Yellow refused to play the despicable liberal game of sweeping them under the rug, and I trust they will continue to creatively and forthrightly address them. After all, comfortable people do not make change. (full text).

* SDS on en.wikipedia.

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