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[Xmca-l] Re: NYT Op-Ed: Class Prejudice Resurgent

As Horton says, in the end the Communist Party decided they didn't want him as a member, rather than the other way around.
He was such an independent and uncompromising spirit.
*Andy Blunden*

Greg Thompson wrote:
I think I circulated this to the list before you, but this is a great video
on Myles Horton if you have some time (I listened to it on my commute). it
is an interview conducted by Bill Moyers:

The earlier work of the Highlander School was focused on workers and the
early labor movement in the U.S. Very much about class. It changed focus a
bit during the late 40's and 50's and 60's and became much more associated
with civil rights movement. Myles explains it well in his interview with
Bill Moyers. But communist associations with the school probably weren't
too far off the mark, esp. in the early days.

Great stuff indeed!

On Tue, Dec 9, 2014 at 10:50 AM, Annalisa Aguilar <annalisa@unm.edu> wrote:


Just reading the wikipage on Myles Horton and I am very inspired! Thanks
for turning me on to him! Though how the school could be called communist
floors me. Segregation does strange things to brains.

I found the most important thought in the page was:

"Horton was influenced early on by his work with poor mountain people in
Ozone, Tennessee. From them, he learned that a free discussion of problems,
without indoctrination to any preconceived ideas, generated vitality and
brought out ideas from within the group."

What this means to me is a picture of the ways in which people, with their
own common sense, when free to speak together in a community, each from
one's own vantage point, can, when speaking in the present moment for what
is at hand in the present moment, manifest ideas and solutions together. I
assume that what can come out of this kind of speaking are movements for
action, such as sitting at the front of a bus! :)

Kind regards,


From: xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu <xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu>
on behalf of Greg Thompson <greg.a.thompson@gmail.com>
Sent: Monday, December 8, 2014 11:12 PM
To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: NYT Op-Ed: Class Prejudice Resurgent

That quote was from the Brooks piece that Annalisa had mentioned.


My sense was that what Brooks was talking about was cross-class
friendships. I kinda doubt that there is much of that here on XMCA.
Friends, surely. But cross-class, maybe less so.

If you look at cities across the U.S. across time, you'll find an
increasing polarization of neighborhood by class. These are seen in our
common sense notions of "the rich part of town" and the "poor parts of
town" (yes, there are always more of the latter than the former!). Many
different structural forces are aligned to make these even worse (e.g., the
way schools are funded). With that in mind, I think Brooks' idea of
friendship across class lines is a lovely one. But my question is: what can
we do to make these kinds of arrangements happen?

And, more cynically, can these arrangements amount to anything more than a
Sisyphean hill of beans (there's an evocative string of words!) if the
structural basis of class-based segregation is not addressed?

And speaking of the 30's, Myles Horton's Highlander School seems exemplary
to all that we are discussing here. Certainly more than a hill of beans
that was made by that radical hillbilly...


On Mon, Dec 8, 2014 at 10:54 PM, Annalisa Aguilar <annalisa@unm.edu>

Hi Greg!

WRT to your favorite line: I am waiting for the ATers to pick up and run
with that!  :)

Maybe we are building friendships here by interacting on this list? Now !

But then, even though we are "speaking" we are not talking about "our
friendship," but then maybe we are. I'm not sure. Perhaps I disagree here
with Brooks. Perhaps reminding ourselves of the meaning of friendship
friendship) can be a method for disentanglement. It is just a thought.

It is certainly not easy to have meta-conversations. But this might be a
way to catch the moments of inflammation and to untangle V's
and even perezhivanie. I don't think it's just about the language of
poverties, but also the language of wealths, and then discovering, or
rather uncovering, what is there and how these relate, if they do at all.

But Greg, perhaps my last post was my best pitch on "the how" as a first
step. I'm just thinking out loud here.

As I consider it, the first step also seems to be understanding (and
agreement) that there is a problem. Am I wrong?

Kind regards,


From: xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu <xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu>
on behalf of Greg Thompson <greg.a.thompson@gmail.com>
Sent: Monday, December 8, 2014 10:23 PM
To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: NYT Op-Ed: Class Prejudice Resurgent


My favorite line was:

"In a friendship, people don’t sit around talking about their friendship.
They do things together. Through common endeavor people overcome
to become friends."

But how to build friendships across the grand canyon known as (or,
not known as) social class in the U.S.?


Gregory A. Thompson, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Department of Anthropology
880 Spencer W. Kimball Tower
Brigham Young University
Provo, UT 84602