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Creating and Maintaining Interracial Coalitions (From Impacts of Racism on White Americans, P 217-244, 1981, Benjamin P Bowser and Raymond G Hunt, eds. -- See NCJ-121103)

NCJ Number
M A Chesler
Date Published
28 pages
Institutional racism in America can be countered by establishing interracial coalitions to achieve social justice throughout society.
In general, a coalition refers to the organization of more than one party or unit, typically in prior conflict with another, into a collaborative effort to influence another party or situational outcome. Interracial coalitions represent an important strategy for combating racism and for acting on other issues relevant to achieving social justice and social change. With regard to potential coalitions between minorities and white elites, one must assume the effectiveness of an appeal to whites' values or cultural commitments to racial and social justice and to democratic traditions. To the extent that minorities can appeal to white elite interests, or can threaten the peace and prosperity elites wish to protect, they may be able to gain new resources on their own. Coalitions between minorities and white liberal groups represent the classic case in American experience. Coalitions between minorities and working class whites are also common and involve many more people on both sides than liberal and/or elite coalitions. Coalitions between minorities and radical whites are relatively rare in practice, primarily because of the minimal occurrence, low visiblity, and low resource base of radical white groups. Coalitions between different minority groups, separated by race or class, represent an additional pattern of collective action. Specific guidelines to facilitate the establishment and operation of interracial coalitions to achieve genuine power and resource redistribution are offered. 3 tables.


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