Los Angeles Times+ Your Authors @latimes Bringing L.A. to the world and the world to L.A. Subscribe now: latimes.com/subscribe Jul. 07, 2020 1 min read + Your Authors

In his latest piece for @latimesopinion, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar reflects on what he's learned in his 60 years of social activism about preserving momentum in the fight for justice.


"You can’t be in the business of social reform without a deep reservoir of hope and faith in the general goodness of people. And some of my faith has been rewarded in recent days," Abdul-Jabbar writes.


Abdul-Jabbar writes that civil rights activists are not here to fluff the public’s conscience, nor is the cause of “equality for all” a nostalgic throwback, like efforts to recapture Woodstock.


"Meaningful and measurable progress for any marginalized group can be achieved only when all besieged groups pull together, without waiting for or needing or having to convince others who don’t face the same challenges."


"It’s exhausting and frustrating trying to convince such people that systemic racism pervades all aspects of American life. It’s like talking to a flat-Earther. Proof is useless."


"We have to stop trying to roll these deliberate dullards uphill because, like Sisyphus, we’ll never get them to the top of the mountain to see the possible paradise on the other side."  https://www.latimes.com/opinion/story/2020-07-07/kareem-abdul-jabbar-anti-racism-movement 

"Where will African Americans be 90 days from now?

Will people continue to believe the evidence before them even as the nation begins to reopen and protests grow smaller and less frequent, then disappear?

Will real changes have occurred?"


Read on for Abdul-Jabbar's thoughts on what activists should collectively do next and why measuring progress will be key for social reform:  https://www.latimes.com/opinion/story/2020-07-07/kareem-abdul-jabbar-anti-racism-movement 

And take a look back at Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's opinion piece from May on the wave of national protests:

"Racism in America is like dust in the air. It seems invisible — even if you’re choking on it — until you let the sun in. Then you see it’s everywhere."  https://www.latimes.com/opinion/story/2020-05-30/dont-understand-the-protests-what-youre-seeing-is-people-pushed-to-the-edge 

You can follow @latimes.


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