Dismantling Structural Racism

MA Congressional Rep Ayanna Presley speaks forcefully about ending systemic racism, at the March on Washington, August 28.

ORMA’s Anti-Racism Platform – Our Revolution Massachusetts (ORMA) condemns all distinctions between human beings that are used to unjustly or inequitably divide us. ORMA specifically condemns sexism, classism, racism, ageism, ableism, heterosexism, homophobia, racist policing, mass incarceration, the racist aspects of Islamophobia, anti-immigrant and anti-refugee sentiment and policies, the connection between war and racism, and the many other ways that racism manifests in social, economic, environmental, and political life today. Our Revolution Massachusetts believes in the power of diversity of thoughts, ideas, beliefs, experiences, and the inclusion of people of good will regardless of race, color, gender, language, national origin, religion, sexual/affectional preference, or age. A multi-century campaign of genocide against indigenous peoples worldwide and the crushing evil of slavery are still felt throughout our nation and our socio-economic-political institutions. Our Revolution Massachusetts is at its very foundation an anti-racism organization, proud of the diversity among us and working to be even better.

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ORMA actively supports the Anti-Racist New Prison Moratorium Bills S2030- H1905We in ORMA are inspired by a vision of ending the incarceration of women and girls in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and shifting our state’s focus from investment in imprisonment to investment in housing, education, health care, and jobs — all the elements that are required for a productive and satisfactory life. We oppose any attempt to build a new, $50 million women’s prison or invest as much in renovating and expanding the women’s prison at Framingham where currently less than 150 women are incarcerated. With this money the Commonwealth could fund individualized community-led plans for currently incarcerated women, including significant programs to help women secure safe housing, rise out of poverty, and receive ongoing medical treatment–thereby addressing the root causes of incarceration.
We are inspired by a groundswell of support for bills in the State House and Senate that will establish a jail and prison construction Moratorium for five years. The bills address the Commonwealth’s huge investment in prisons, jails, regional lock-ups, and other such facilities by pausing new construction and planning. Imagine what all of us can create if we pause jail and prison construction and reinvest tens of millions of dollars in community-led solutions!Please watch this fabulous video sharing clear and compelling evidence of the strength of our Movement and of the vision of Families for Justice as Healing.Please sign this petition ASAP
Thank you. 

The 2021 ORMA General Assembly, held on January 30th, 2021, helped set ORMA’s direction for the coming year… as John Lewis inspired us, we will continue to make “Good Trouble.”

Read President Obama’s eulogy for the indefatigable civil rights campaigner Congressman Lewis.

ORMA statement on policing
The guilty verdicts in Minneapolis are a moment of truth. But they are not the end, and they might not even be the beginning of the end.
In order to see a beginning, we need color-blind police.
We need to end the militarization of all police departments.
We need to ensure that schools are not over-policed.
We need community services to be provided by people trained in more than the use of guns and tasers.
Police departments must recognize that some situations don’t require police involvement, and escalation is to be avoided.
We need Attorneys General and District Attorneys who are willing to take on the problems of structural racism, as Keith Ellison did in Minnesota.
If we did all this, that would be a beginning

Understanding the important distinction between non-racist and anti-racist

Ibram X. Kendi, the director of the Center for Antiracist Research at Boston University, draws a distinction between racist, non-racist, and anti racist.  His work is transforming the public conversation around racism and antiracism in vitally important ways.

Brief 'definitions' of the terms: antiracist, racist, and "not racist".

As Kendi writes: “What’s the problem with being “not racist”? It is a claim that signifies neutrality: “I am not a racist, but neither am I aggressively against racism.” But there is no neutrality in the racism struggle. The opposite of “racist” isn’t “not racist.” It is “antiracist.” What’s the difference? One endorses either the idea of a racial hierarchy as a racist, or racial equality as an antiracist. One either believes problems are rooted in groups of people, as a racist, or locates the roots of problems in power and policies, as an antiracist. One either allows racial inequities to persevere, as a racist, or confronts racial inequities, as an antiracist. There is no in-between safe space of “not racist.” The claim of “not racist” neutrality is a mask for racism. This may seem harsh, but it’s important at the outset that we apply one of the core principles of antiracism, which is to return the word “racist” itself back to its proper usage. “Racist” is not—as Richard Spencer argues—a pejorative. It is not the worst word in the English language; it is not the equivalent of a slur. It is descriptive, and the only way to undo racism is to consistently identify and describe it—and then dismantle it. The attempt to turn this usefully descriptive term into an almost unusable slur is, of course, designed to do the opposite: to freeze us into inaction.”
Kendi, Ibram X., How to Be an Antiracist. Random House Publishing Group, 2019.

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Indigenous Concerns and the Red Nation Principles of Unity

We in ORMA are inspired in our revolutionary and anti-racism actions by the mighty vision contained in the Preamble to the Red Nation’s Principles of Unity. We cannot win any revolution ORMA is involved in without joining directly in the struggles of the oppressed. In support of the Massachusetts Indigenous Agenda, we urge you to read the eloquent and moving “Preamble,” ratified by the first General Assembly of Freedom Councils in Albuquerque, New Mexico, August 10, 2018 (Pueblo Revolt Day).

We are Indigenous revolutionaries. We are comrades and relatives first and foremost.
We practice radical democracy and compassion for all relatives.
more…

Thank you for supporting this movement.
Your help with this ORMA priority will help make it achievable!
Please submit your ORMA priority events, suggestions, achievements, questions, and proposals to info@OurRevolutionMA.com


16th Street in Washington DC. Photo by Burke Buckhorn/CNN

 

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