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Words and Actions

My second to last post was about how Octavia Butler seemed to be promoting the idea of social determinism through the character of Rufus and how social determinism, while often espoused by people who consider themselves revolutionaries, in fact undermines revolutionary causes by making societal change seem to be an impossibility. I talked about how simply educating people about racial issues is futile unless it is backed by concrete efforts at change, and how it seems that many in the academic community do just that, while at the same time upholding social determinism as a prison that traps us inside racist societal structures.

I think when Becca commented on my article, she misunderstood my view about educating people about racial issues. I believe that that is the crucial first step in righting racial inequality, and it should not be undervalued. I am sorry if I made it seem otherwise in my post. And I do think that in a lot of ways, Butler’s Kindred touches on new ways of making people aware of racial problems today. But I don’t think the novel really does a lot in terms of inspiring change, but it instead adopts a pessimistic attitude that causes one to question whether or not there will ever be an end to widespread racism. I think there should be more literature out there does more than just wag its finger at modern racism. People need to be suggesting AND enacting solutions to racial divisions. It is not enough to criticize the unjust and unloving of this world. We need to go out and right those wrongs.

I have had fun with and been thoroughly engrossed by the research we’ve been doing for this class, and I’m glad that it will be made available to the public. I have confidence that it can be a powerful tool to correct problems that have arisen in Williamson County with black cemeteries. However, I hope that action, and not just empty words, will come out of this project.

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