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June 09, 2007


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Rosetta Thurman


Thank you for highlighting this issue. There was interesting discussion around this Black/Brown debate at the National Conf on Black Philanthropy last month. Some nonprofit leaders and fundraisers of color were stressing that we have to work even harder now for philanthropic dollars since Blacks are not the 'main' minority in this country anymore.

While you have done well to recognize here the forces at work to "divide and conquer" communities of color, many people often label this as "conspiracy rhetoric" when it comes from a person of color.

For me, the more we all can talk about it these issues openly in the nonprofit sector, the closer we can get to collaborating for the real change that is larger than race.


Thanks for your comment, Rosetta. Yes, there are some who will label it "conspiracy rhetoric," but I think we should resist taking responsibility for every piece of nonsense somebody utters. Achieving or consolidating control over a group of people by encouraging factional discord has an old pedigree, and it doesn't require any kind of conspiracy. In this election season, I'll be paying close attention to statements from conservative candidates expressing a deep concern for low-income, African American citizens who are being displaced from jobs by illegal immigrants. While their concern is touching, it's also rather late in coming and doesn't get at the real issues facing low-income workers in this country (the "real change" you speak of).

Hope to run into you in DC. Warm regards to you and my collagues at TNR.

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