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It gives one pause to consider that the wisdom of the American Revolution has not impacted the progressive movement of recent years. The revelation that the conservative movement has incorporated this ideology into their agenda causes one's stomach to drop.
The ideology of hope has been fragmented by issues, race and ethnicity, and ego. Organizations driven by dedicated activists have paralleled the work of other like-minded groups and have unfittingly wasted precious time and energy.The problem is only intensified when these groups have conflicted.
Progressive ideology should be the uniting force. We have more commonality than divisions. Organizational autonomy ought not trump coordinated, intelligent coalition.
The rise of the neo-conservative movement in American politics demonstrates the importance of unity. Despite the differences in the right's economic and social agenda, their mutual support has driven their success amongst the American populace.
A genesis of this lacking unity inspired the inaugural class of Young People For (YP4) Fellows. The sense of caring community and common cause was difficult to miss. This gave me real, as well as ideological hope.
The YP4 Fellow's sense of unity was challenged at Saturday night's poetry slam. Root's manager Rich Nichols delivered a dose of reality to the youth in attendance, providing a message that may have introduced the barriers of perspective that all of us will, and do face in our work.
A delegate of the great state of Florida, Gabriel Pendas, who spoke extensively with Nichols after he left the stage, reported that the divisive message delivered by Nichols was intended not to create a rift, but to unite us in an understanding of the challenges that we will face.
Admirably, the Fellows reflected and discussed the experience, and many united in this conclusion, as evidenced in the dialogue the following morning.
People For The American Way Foundation, and specifically Iara Peng, should be proud of their creation of the forum that offered all of us the opportunity to find this unity. We should all be proud to be the beacon of progressive unity amongst our nation's youth.