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Hillary Clinton's speech

phenoms's picture

Hi everyone,

I just wanted to say that I'm heartened that this space will live on past the official ending of our class/ semester. In the spirit of perpetual online communities I thought I would make one more post regarding activism and current events.

Has anyone seen this?? It speaks to the concept of rights in regards to cultural relativism. We've been talking a lot about the importance of individual activism on a structural level. It's rather hard to conceptualize how an individual such as myself could possibly go about creating change on anything but an individual level. I'm not a member of congress. I'm not a millionaire. I'm certainly not Paul Farmer.

Believe me, I appreciate the value of social movements and the inherent potential of many voices mobilized against oppressive power structures. But we also have to think about our elected leaders as resources for change. While social movements are vital to cultural structural change, government leaders have the capacity for structural and legal change. The symbolic power of government public protection and recognition can go a long way for both activists and opponents.

However, this is a question I've been struggling with for the last few weeks/months - can legal change create cultural change, or does the cultural shift in consciousness have to precede any legal action? I guess this ties back into the importance of rights versus/in combination with right relationships. The necessity of both is hard to overstate.