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The American Revolution and Political Legitimacy Evolution Report

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The New American Revolution

Anderson speaks on the movement in the 1960’s that forced businesses to change the way they conducted their affairs. The author puts forward that the activists’ movement in this time in the American history had a huge impact in the market place.

At the beginning of the article, the Anderson highlights Forbes magazine comments where they stated that the businesses that would continue to feature in the future Forbes directory are the ones that head the activists’ words. The young people protested against companies that polluted the environment, supplied weapons to be used in the Vietnam War and engaged in discriminatory recruitment practices against minorities and blacks.

The activists engaged in strikes with workers to force employers to reconsider their payroll systems. They bought shares in companies that supplied war weapons so that they could sit in the annual AGM meetings and cause a riot and protest against war. The students in campus boycotted Dow Chemical company efforts to recruit students for the workplace. This was a company that supplied a war weapon called Napalm. The negative publicity and disruption of their business led them not to renew their contract with the government in the supply of war weapons.

Blacks and women arose to fight for equal pay and employment at the workplaces through strikes. General Motors found that it was clashing with the activists due to the air pollution they produced. Multinationals that had invested in South Africa were accused of investing in ripping off oppressed persons. The activists highlighted the ills of capitalism demanding corporate social responsibility. They used fliers and underground publications, a form of alternate media to mainstream media to highlight the evil practice of certain companies.

Cartoonists and illustrators were also heavily involved creating humor, sarcasm and irony. Anderson’s thesis is confirmed by the stance taken by companies in subsequent years. They adopted social responsibility and informed the people on their efforts to reduce emissions or employ diverse employees in order to generate customer goodwill.

Race, Ethnicity and the Evolution of Political Legitimacy

Colburn and Pozetta state that the ethnic activism and the Black movement in the 1960s worked for the benefit of America as it ensured that all Americans were able to be American in their own way. Integration was wrong as it was simply dominance by the American culture. This is something that the Black activists foresaw, causing them to rebel against accepting political reforms such as the right to vote and being content with it. Despite political reforms, the Blacks were still living in massive ghettos with low rates of employment.

They also felt lost and inferior without a clear identity of who they are and their achievements. They therefore decided cultural pluralism was the better choice for the country. The Blacks came up with alternate institutions such as schools and universities. They started studying their own history, learning the Swahili language and even wearing African attire. They sought for Black history to be taught in schools and universities. They began to appreciate themselves and started pushing for political reforms that would suit them as a group. They elected their own leaders in government to push for their agendas. In time great progress was made politically and in the workplace.

Colburn and Pozetta argument that plural culturalism was crucial for the country is proven by the influence the Black movement had on the white ethnics in the society. The Italian Americans, Hispanics and the Polish Americans sought to dismantle the negative stereotypes about them in the society. The Italians Americans wanted jokes about the mafia to reduce. They started appreciating their culture by highlighting famous Italian Americans in history and their communal culture going against the American culture of individuality.

The Scottish Americans also engaged in ethnic activism as they wanted to have a self identity and belonging. Ethnic activism and the Black movement helped the country’s political system evolve to take care of the country’s ethnic groups enabling everyone’s need to be addressed.

References

Terry Anderson, “The New American Revolution” in ed., David Farber, The Sixties: From Memory to History, 133-156.

David Colburn and George Pozetta, “Race, Ethnicity and the Evolution of Political Legitimacy ” in ed., David Farber, The Sixties: From Memory to History, 93-112.

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