ZNet Institutional Racism Instructional
Justin Podur (2002)

Parts of the Instructional

1. Society, Culture, and Communities

2. The Racial Caste System

3. Racist Economics

4. Racist Geography

5. Culture and Racism

6. Racist Politics

7. Racist Sexism

8. Antiracist Strategy

9. Antiracist Visions

Antiracist Strategy

Program of decolonization

What would a program of decolonization entail?  It does not make sense to talk about a multicultural colonial society: for cultures to coexist in a single society on an equal basis, comprehensive decolonization has to happen.  Decolonization entails as a minimum the following:

1)  Cancel all 3rd world debts and start over.  This is economically feasible, necessary, and only a very small step.

2)  Abolish the WTO, the IMF, WB, and structural adjustment programs.  A nation's assets cannot be controlled by another nation or by a corporation.  No holding of foreign lands or assets (other than small amounts of personal property) allowed.  This goes for north American government and corporate holdings of aboriginal lands as well.

3)  Cancel all foreign intervention in political affairs and start over.  No official funding for any parties or movements in the third world.  No CIA in other countries or COINTELPRO in North America. (Is there to be no intervention at all then-- not even to prevent poverty or injustice or repression?  I think a long moratorium on it should be a starting point.  Remember that it is an asymmetric right.  An important right to have, however, is the right to leave a community, and this should be protected part of a multicultural society.)

4)  Demilitarization and denuclearization: funds and personnel to be re-allocated into productive uses.  Demilitarization applies internationally and domestically (the ghettos also have to be demilitarized, and the occupying armies that work there replaced by some kind of community policing).

All these prescriptions hold for aboriginal territory where aboriginal people are in a majority.

For some indigenist proposals see 'I am Indigenist' by Ward Churchill (www.zmag.org/chiapas1/wardindig.htm), 'Peace, Power, Righteousness' by Taiaiake Alfred, and 'Islands in a Continent' by Winona Laduke.  But just in case you don't check this out, I will clarify here that this 'indigenist' program does not include the ethnic cleansing of whites or other ethnicities from native lands.  It is rather a question of self-government and equitable participation in a shared economy and polity.  Two other aspects are directly related to colonization:

5)  Revoking corporate personhood and legal bases for corporations: first to operate at all on foreign soil, and then to exist;

What I'm proposing is essentially that the west revoke its grip on the world.  It sounds crazy and improbable, but the world wouldn't fall apart-- and it's only an inflated sense of self-importance that makes us think it would.  If all the effort we put into killing hope (see Blum's book with that title) destroying dreams of progress and democracy all over the world, were simply not expended, the world would change-- for the better-- very quickly.  It is not our responsibility to control the world in any case. 

If we did this, we would destroy the basis for the structural poverty, instability, and desperation that causes such strong pulls to immigrate to cities and to the west; we would destroy the basis for many of the social ills found in colonies-- alcoholism, drug production and use, suicide, and violence.  There would no longer be a need to restrict travel or control borders to the extent that we do.  This means that when cultures do come into contact, Western/northern and not, they would do so on the basis of equality-- not patron/client, master/servant, or colonizer/colonized. 

This almost meets the prerequisites for multiculturalism-- we're prepared to discuss it for immigrant people of colour-- Latin American, Asian, African, Mideastern, and for aboriginal people.  But African American decolonization requires the following as well:

6)   Reparations.  These are necessary to establish the economic basis for self-government, since the African American communities have been deprived of assets; they are just; and they will have to come primarily from corporate and government holdings of assets especially in African American communities. (One reference on Reparations for blacks is 'The Debt: What America Owes Blacks' by Robinson, 2000.)

7)   Start justice over: begin by ending and reversing the war on drugs and abolishing imprisonment for everything but violent crimes; a comprehensive overhaul of the justice system with extensive participation by the black community, and if necessary such that the black community administers justice to its own members (situations when disputes or crimes occur across communities were discussed briefly above).

8)   Affirmative action, with a minimum qualification, to ensure adequate representation, especially in political work.


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