White Priviledge Checklist w/ White Benefits; Middle Class Priviledge

It is not necessarily a privilege to be white*, but it certainly has its
benefits. That’s why so many of us gave up our unique histories, primary languages, accents, distinctive dress, family names and cultural expressions. It
seemed like a small price to pay for acceptance in the circle of whiteness. Even with these sacrifices it wasn’t easy to pass as white if we were Italian, Greek,
Irish, Jewish, Spanish, Hungarian, or Polish. Sometimes it took generations before our families were fully accepted, and then usually because white society
had an even greater fear of darker skinned people.

Privileges are the economic “extras” that those of us who are middle class and wealthy gain at the expense of poor and working class people of all races.Benefits, on the other hand, are the advantages that all white people gain at the expense of people of color regardless of economic position. Talk about racial benefits can ring false to many of us who don’t have the economic privileges that we see many in this society enjoying. But just because we don’t have the economic privileges of those with more money doesn’t mean we
haven’t enjoyed some of the benefits of being white.


“To Make Them Stand in Fear”: The Slaveowning South

Thanks to the influence of the 1939 motion picture Gone with the Wind, many
white Americans still think of the Old South as a romantic land of magnolias and landscaped manors, of cavalier gentlemen and happy darkies, of elegant ladies and breathless belles in crinoline—an ordered, leisurely world in which men and women, blacks and whites, all had their destined place. This view of Dixie is one of America’s most enduring myths (Gone with the Wind still commands huge audiences when it runs on television). The real world of the Old South was far more complex and cruel.

Modern historical studies have demonstrated that antebellum Dixie was a rigidly patriarchal, slave-based social order that might have lasted indefinitely had not the Civil War broken out. At no time was slavery on the verge of dying out naturally.

Tobacco cultivation may have become unprofitable by the Revolutionary period, but the invention of the cotton gin in 1793 stimulated cotton production immeasurably and created a tremendous demand for slave labor.

Thanks to the cotton gin, slavery spread beyond the fertile black belt of Alabama and Mississippi, out to the Kansas-Missouri border, to the fringes of western Arkansas, and to south and east Texas. Although Congress outlawed
the foreign slave trade in 1808 (it simply continued as illicit traffic), the number of slaves rose dramatically so that by 1860 there were nearly 4 million in fifteen slave states, including Delaware and Maryland. Slavery remained profitable, too, as evidenced by the fact that in 1860 a prime field hand sold for $1,250 in Virginia and $1,800 on the auction blocks in New Orleans. A “fancy girl” went for as high as $2,500. Still, from the southern white’s viewpoint, the profitability of slavery was not the crucial issue. Had slavery proved too costly in its plantation setting, southerners would have found other ways to use slave labor and keep blacks in chains, to maintain white male supremacy in the region.

The slaveholding South was a brutal system that sought to strip black people of all human rights, reducing them to the status of cattle, swine, wagons, and other “property.” The slaveholders resorted to a complex “apparatus of control” by which they ruled the region. The symbol of their power was the ubiquitous whip, which, in the words of another historian, was calculated to make the slaves “stand in fear.” Yet, as we saw in the portrait of Nat Turner (selection 15), the slaves created survival mechanisms in the form of their families, black religion, and a slave underground, which helped them “keep on keepin’ on” in life under the lash. And they resisted, most of them did, by committing acts of terrorism (arson and sabotage) or day-to-day obstructionism, such as “accidently” breaking their hoes. As historian Deborah Gray White has pointed out, pregnant mothers sometimes conspired with midwives to abort their fetuses and even commit infanticide, so that their children would not suffer as they had. The slaves protested, too, in their songs and in their folk tales about how weak, clever animals (the slaves) could outwit larger, menacing animals (the masters).

To understand the antebellum South, one must remember that the region was divided into two distinct classes of white, slaveholders and non-slaveholders, with the latter constituting a majority of the white population. Non-slaveholders included poor whites— “po white trash,”“rednecks,” or “hillbillies,” in the vernacular of the day—who lived on impoverished subsistence farms in the unproductive hill country and pine barrens. The class also included middle-class yeoman farmers who raised crops for market and city-dwelling merchants, artisans, and day-laborers. Since slaveholding was a potent status symbol and a great means of wealth, most of these individuals aspired to own slaves and rise up in the class scale.

Compared to the slaveholders, all non-slaveholding whites were relatively poor. Slaveholders owned more than 90 percent of the South’s agricultural wealth; their average wealth was fourteen times greater than that of non-slaveholders. The planters, those who owned twenty or more slaves, were a minority in the slaveholding class—they numbered only 46,000 in 1860. Yet the planters owned most of the slaves and most of the agricultural wealth of their class and truly ruled the region. By stressing white racial supremacy and black inferiority and by playing on the fears of abolition, the ruling planters and their small slaveholding allies were able to unite poor whites, yeoman farmers and city dwellers behind the slave regime. In short, they successfully divided whites and blacks.

Despite the cruel nature of the slave system, African Americans, as black historian John W. Blassingame points out in the following selection, found ways to force the system to recognize their humanity, which compelled the planters to make compromises “in order to maintain the facade of absolute control.” Blassingame disagrees with those historians who have argued that the slave system was so brutal that it damaged African Americans irreparably, reducing them to infantile or abject docility. Even so, as Blassingame’s narrative shows, the slave system was cruel to the blacks— Blassingames’s description of the various forms of punishment is particularly harrowing.

Slavery left an indelible mark on both races. As African American historian Lerone Bennett Jr. wrote in his Confrontation: Black and White (1965): “Slavery, in sum, was a seed experience. The significant dimensions of the race problem, the special dynamism that gave [the racial upheavals of the 1960s] their special harshness, are reflections of eddies that lie deep in the mind and deep in the past. The Negro is what he is today because he was once held in slavery by white people. And white people are what they are today because they cannot forget, because Negroes will not let them forget, what they did yesterday.”

The Political Legacy of American Slavery

We show that contemporary differences in political attitudes across counties in
the American South in part trace their origins to slavery’s prevalence more than 150 years ago. Whites who currently live in Southern counties that had high
shares of slaves in 1860 are more likely to identify as a Republican, oppose affirmative action, and express racial resentment and colder feelings toward blacks. These results cannot be explained by existing theories, including the theory of contem-
porary racial threat. To explain these results, we offer evidence for a new theory involving the historical persistence of political and racial attitudes. Following the Civil War, Southern whites faced political and economic incentives to reinforce
existing racist norms and institutions to maintain control over the newly free
African-American population. This amplified local differences in racially conservative political attitudes, which in turn have been passed down locally across generations. Our results challenge the interpretation of a vast literature on racial attitudes in the American South.

Race, Class and the Dilemmas of Upward Mobility for African Americans

We use the concept of intersectionality to explore the psychological meaning of
social class and upward mobility in the lives African Americans. Throughout,
we pay special attention to the context of education, a site which many Black
Americans feel represents their best hope for upward mobility. Literature related to three themes is reviewed and discussed: (a) the history and significance of class divisions within the Black community, (b) experiences of educational institutions as entryways to upward mobility, and (c) the hidden costs of mobility. It is suggested
that future research should address the intersection of gender with class and race, the relevance of class to racial identity, and the experience of downward mobility among Black Americans.

Dr. Cho’s Global Natural Farming

Natural Farming uses methods that observe the laws of nature and utilizes natural materials and products. It is based on the principle of interdependence among all living things. It aims to have a nurturing impact on the environment, in sharp contrast to the disadvantageous effects that often accompany modernized and commercialized agriculture.

The observance of the natural cycle and environment-friendly agricultural practices applied in a modern setting refreshes the established perspectives on farming and provides analternative to technology-intensive agriculture.

Natural Farming (NF) was developed by Dr. Cho Han Kyu at the Janong Natural Farming Institute in South Korea. It was originally intended to change the chemical-based and harmful farming methods that were being practiced in South Korea.

Together with like-minded farmers, he converted his lifelong studies and his own experiences into an innovative farming system that not only promotes respect and care for the environment, but also produces more with less cost and labour.

Natural Farming recognizes the abundance of nature and utilizes indigenous resources for production. Its basic
philosophy is to maximize the inborn potential of a life form and its harmony with the environment by not interfering with their growth and development or forcing the crops to yield more than what they can. Natural Farmers believe that the best way to achieve top quality yield is to respect the nature of life.

Agricultural Urbanism Toolkit

STRATEGY: The Agricultural Urbanism Toolkit is a PROCESS that promotes public interest design through ENGAGEMENT with community leaders, leading to a holistic design incorporating community values around food. We use AGRICULTURAL URBANISM TACTICS to promote local food system revitalization in communities. The Toolkit has the potential to improve food security, create resilient communities, promote social equity, increase environmental diversity, and build financial sustainability for individuals and communities.

A Farmer’s Mini Handbook: GROW BIOINTENSIVE Sustainable Mini-Farming

Communities, families, and individuals all over the world are searching for ways to provide the necessary food and nutrition for sustenance and health.

This handbook is a simple and instructive look at GROW BIOINTENSIVE® (GB) Sustainable Mini-Farming. It is a method of food-growing that helps revitalize our planet by building soil, using a smaller area to produce higher yields than conventional methods, and minimizing water, organic fertilizer, and biological pesticide use. It attends to the long-term sustainability of farmland, so that food can be produced generation after generation. GB may be part of the solution you, your family, and your community are pursuing.

As you read this handbook and implement GB, please keep in mind these important basic ideas that under-gird and support this method:

1. GB works with the Earth’s natural cycles to create balance and diversity in the growing space and surrounding areas.

2. GB involves observation, recognizing recurring patterns to learn how to improve the health and productivity of the growing system.

3. Local farmers are important resources.

As a farmer or gardener you are also important to your family, your community, and the world! Everyone relies on nourishing food to eat. You produce that food. All of our grandchildren will need healthy land so they can produce food, too. We must take care of the earth for future generations. The farmer faces the unique challenge of how to grow good food and care for the farmland at the same time.

Note: this handbook is written for all people who plant and grow food, whether you identify as farmer, gardener, or producer. For simplicity and consistency we have chosen to use the terms “farm” and “farmer” throughout, to acknowledge that all food-growers contribute to the feeding of humanity, no matter the scale of production.

GROW BIOINTENSIVE Sustainable Mini-Farming consists of eight principles to guide the farmer to simultaneously grow healthy food and care for the land. These principles are inspired by how plants grow in nature and are based on using natural processes to create a thriving and sustainable food-production system. A well-executed GB farm approaches sustainability as it becomes a closed system with no off-farm sourcing of inputs AND nurtures the soil and ecosystem to be self-sustaining. In the long run, a GB farm is a farm that will be vital and productive for generations, a monumental achievement!
The eight principles of GROW BIOINTENSIVE are:

1. Deep Soil Preparation
2. Composting
3. Intensive Planting
4. Companion Planting
5. Carbon Farming
6. Calorie Farming
7. Open-Pollinated Seeds
8. Whole System Method

Read on to see how you can make your farm the bountiful, healthy system you want it to be, for your family and your community today and in the future.

Evidence Confirms the Nutritional Superiority of Plant-Based Organic Foods

By Andrew Weil, MD

Developing a healthy lifestyle requires information and motivation to apply it. Your everyday choices about eating, physical activity and stress management, for example, all influence how you will feel tomorrow and your health risks later in life. It is our choices that individually and collectively determine how gracefully you will age.

Adopting healthy routines, and sticking to them, is key. A practical tip I often give is to spend more time in the company of people who have those routines down. If you want to improve your diet, eat with people who know about and are in the habit of making healthy food choices. Eating well is a foundation of good health. It can help you feel well, give you the energy you need, and cope with routine ailments, from colds to lack of sleep. Long term, it will reduce the risk and delay the onset of the chronic age-related diseases.

For years I have urged people to include several servings of fresh organic fruits and vegetables in their daily diets, and to choose produce that covers all parts of the color spectrum. The medical evidence linking fruits and vegetables to good health is overwhelming. And now, so too is the new evidence that organic fruits and vegetables deliver more nutrients per average serving, including the all-important protective phytonutrients like polyphenols and antioxidant pigments.

Getting in the habit of choosing organic food whenever you can will ensure that you and your family get the nutritional benefits nature provides. It is a cornerstone on which to structure a lifestyle that will promote and maintain health lifelong.

Andrew Weil, MD Board Member, The Organic Center Director of the Program in Integrative Medicine University of Arizona March 2008

Organic farming, food quality and, human health: A review of the evidence

Record numbers of people are now eating organic, and many of them are doing so because they feel intuitively that they are making a more natural and healthy choice. This report assesses the evidence behind that intuition.
Sir Albert Howard, whose research in the 1930s did much to inform the development of organic farming and inspired the foundation of the Soil Association, believed the health of the soil, plants, animals and people was ‘one and indivisible’. But how much evidence is there to validate the hypothesis that farming methods have an important effect on the nutritional quality of the food we eat?

This report examines over 400 published papers considering or comparing organic and non-organic foods in relation to key areas of food quality important to the promotion of good health – food safety, nutritional content and the observed health effects in those consuming food. It points out that organic standards specifically prohibit the use of certain additives and manufacturing processes linked to health concerns such as osteoporosis and heart disease, and argues that there are no grounds for complacency about the long-term effects of pesticides and additives on our health. It asserts that there is indicative evidence suggesting nutritional differences between organic and nonorganic food. More research is needed, it emphasises, but if the indications of the available evidence are confirmed there could be major implications for public health.

These conclusions are sure to be controversial. They contradict Sir John Krebs of the Food Standards Agency, who said in August 2000 that “there is not enough information available at present to be able to say that organic foods are significantly different in terms of their safety and nutritional content to those produced by conventional farming”. Sir John’s comments rather echo those of the critics of the mid-1980s who said there was no evidence to justify the Soil Association’s decision to ban animal protein from feed for organic livestock. Within a few years Britain’s non-organic herds were being ruined by BSE, and the scientific evidence linking the disease with feed was all too abundant.

It is almost as if consumers have become laboratory animals in the huge experiment that is industrialised agriculture, storing up untold health problems for the future. Chemicals such as DDT and lindane have been banned after the initial dismissal of safety concerns. Research in animal feeding trials has indicated that health effects often only reveal themselves over long time spans, sometimes even over successive generations. So the evidence presented in this report showing nutritional differences between organic and non-organic foods should not be lightly dismissed. Nor should the food safety issues raised. The organic movement has repeatedly advocated the precautionary principle, questioning practices that violate the natural cycle and represent a potential threat to health.

It would be easy to criticise this report, as some surely will, on the grounds that the Soil Association is a partisan organisation. However in the midst of a distinctly illinformed debate, we have taken responsibility for bringing together the existing evidence and subjecting it to closer scrutiny than ever before. A number of scientists, organisations and experts in the fields of medicine, nutrition and organic research have endorsed our findings and recommendations and I urge you to read the report for yourself and draw your own conclusions.

Organic Farming, Food Quality and Human Health complements the strong environmental arguments for going organic presented in our previous report, The Biodiversity Benefits of Organic Farming. It is a compelling and challenging contribution to an important debate, which I hope will help all food producers to deliver healthier food, and enable consumers and governments to make informed choices in this time of crisis for our agriculture.

A New Paradigm: Soil Centered, High Yield Intensive, Nutrient Dense Farming


“We Are Not Faced With Two Separate Crises, One Environmental And The Other Social, But Rather, One Complex Crisis Which Is Both Social & Environmental.” – Pope Francis’ encyclical

Only a soil-centered farming system can meet human needs going forward. Food security, environmental sustainability and the global health crisis requires that we restore the microbial, fungal and mineral constituents to soil. The soil must be reconstructed in a precise way using all available scientific methods to create humus in the soil as plants grow.

Sir Albert Howard, the father of the organic farming movement, saw nature as “the supreme farmer.” He encouraged farmers to follow nature’s model. Nature’s farm is the forest; it is planted intensively, is high-yielding and nutrient-dense. This is possible because the forest makes its own humus. Everything that goes into making the forest returns to the soil over time.
He further observed that in nature, the presence of pests indicates low soil fertility or other unhealthy conditions in the soil. He found that when the undesirable soil conditions were corrected the crops were virtually immune to disease and insect attack and the health of grazing livestock was greatly improved.

Healthy soil will also increase yields by more than double those of our farming methods now. Additionally, sound soil will require only half the water and fertilizer to produce higher yields and the food will be nutrient dense, containing more than enough vitamins and minerals to sustain human health.
Farmers must be informed, supported, and empowered to bring their soil back to its balanced biological mineral-rich baseline. Only an ecological agricultural system can produce this result in the soil and the food, yet it must be economically sound for growers. The good news is that this soil-centered model also helps farmers realize higher profits since plants grow faster and the yield per plant is significantly higher. To support the transition to the soil-centered model, farmers must realize higher profits.

Our grower consulting programs, based on 30 years of our own organic farm research, will assist farmers in restoring the essential minerals, organic material and biological lifeforms to depleted soils and result in increased production and nutrient-dense food. We will facilitate the introduction and implementation of advanced organic soil science technology to stop the loss of topsoil, restore and remediate the soil, and assure growers’ ability to produce high value nutrient-dense food.