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National Mobilization Lacking in Progressive Movement

March 04, 1996
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Georgia-based political activist Loretta Ross points to the narrow focus of identity politics as a source of impediment to the Progressive Movement. Ross, who serves as Executive Director of the National Center for Human Rights Education, feels that Progressives would benefit strategically by changing the language they use to advance their agendas; rather than fragmenting into a myriad of "-isms" (racism, sexism, classism, etc.), she proposes that all of these injustices fall under the category of human rights violations. Additionally, she suggests that approaching other problems such as poverty, unemployment, and lack of health care as human rights issues could be a strong mobilizing factor for Progressive activists. With regards to the upcoming Republican Primaries in several southern states, Ross suggests that Far Right candidates take advantage of the region’s ongoing resistance to federal human rights standards to gain support for their agendas and, in joining with conservative organizations such as the Christian Coalition, are able to form a force powerful enough to determine which issues are debated on the national level and how they are framed.


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