:: to the teeth ::    thoughts on social justice, medicine, race, hope and beats

"Another world is not only possible, she is on her way.
On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing." :: Arundhati Roy ::

"The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don't have any." :: Alice Walker ::
Saturday, April 10, 2004  

Tactics that work, and don't...

I just read a post on a fellow medical student's blog -- Blogborygmi (an awesome name for a weblog!) -- that discussed "punishment" tactics that students at his medical school were using to educate and mobilize others about global HIV/AIDS. I know a lot of movements use such tactics, and they're effective in some instances, and turn people off in other instances. Though I believe strongly that activists should employ a variety of tactics, not all scare/guilt/punishment type tactics, I feel like we've become very complacent, as a nation, and as individuals about pandemics like Global HIV/AIDS, and if we're not given some shock tactics, we're not going to deal personally or politically with such important issues.

Especially with the global AIDS issue, every victory has been won by unrelenting AIDS activists using punishment tactics to get people in power to change their policies and to get the general public to get involved. At the same time I'm interested in hearing about other tactics that have worked, and suggestions for tactics that could mobilize students and others around the country without punishing them.

On a related note, I'm working with a few others on carrying out an anti-racist training of medical students nationwide, and one of the organizations that we're working with, The Peoples Institute, in knowing that the punishment/oppression model of talking about racism (in which white people would automatically become defensive or feel guilty) DOES NOT work and has replaced it with a more collective model, of understanding how we're all affected by racism and not placing blame. This has worked extremely well for them, and I'm sure we can all learn something from this approach.

posted by Anjali Taneja | 4/10/2004 09:26:00 AM | |


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