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"No One Even Knows What Integration Is,"

by John Woodford January/February 2000 issue of Poverty & Race

Our struggle is about desegregation and justice, including recompensatory and reparative measures to make up for past systematic handicapping of our socioeconomic and political rights and privileges.

The goal is not and should not be termed as “integration.” No one even knows what that is. It can’t be measured or defined. But desegregation and fairness are discernible and measurable. If integration is whatever happens after there is no racist repression and super-exploitation, then what will be will be. No one can say what form that will take as far as individual or group behavior may go. So it’s not worth talking about, other than to say people should be free to associate however they choose.

But to declare integration “impossible,” in view of the connotation the word has today, where it also implies desegregation, is really a defeatist cop-out, and such a slogan or program is an attempt to lull Afro-Americans into a defeatist and hopeless mind-set. Scholars have never been able to predict the future. But they can abuse their presumed authority to engage in psychological warfare. What you describe here is psychological warfare against Blacks.

John Woodford is Executive Editor of Michigan Today, former Editor-in-Chief of Muhmmad Speaks Newspaper, & a Contributor to The Black Scholar.

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