PRA Political Research Associates 1310 Broadway, Suite 201 Somerville, MA 02144-1731 www.publiceye.org Understanding the Right: a Prerequisite for Reproductive Justice If you choose “Normal” or “Notes Page” in the View dropdown menu, you will be able to read the notes that accompany each slide. Feedback welcome. Version 1.0 Copyright 2007, PRA Political Research Associates www.publiceye.org Incisive Research for Social Change since 1981 – Focus: on Right-wing social movements – Publish: Public Eye Magazine, Activist Resource Kits, and Special Reports – Website: www.publiceye.org – Audience: activists, journalists, and the general public Reproductive Justice • Designed and led by women of color to address their concerns • Comprehensive approach: including health care, legal, and social justice issues • Has potential to address the reality of multilayered attacks by Right Where does the “vast right-wing conspiracy” live? No one place: The Right is no Monolith The U.S. Political Right: No Simple Answers • No one organization “controls” the Right. No single funder is “behind” the Right. • Some large organizations are important, but many others appear to be more influential than they really are. • Recognize that there are multiple networks of organizations and funders with differing and sometimes competing agendas. THE RIGHT’S “CULTURE OF LIFE” TEXT / SUBTEXT HETEROSEXISM Sectors of the Right: Submovements Secular Right Corporate Internationalists Business Nationalists Economic Libertarians National Security Militarists Neoconservatives Condoleezza Rice Pat Buchanan Virginia I. Postrel Donald Rumsfeld William Kristol Religious Right Christian Right Religious Conservatives Christian Nationalists Billy Graham Jerry Falwell Christians – Jews - Muslims Christian Theocrats R.J. Rushdoony Xenophobic Right Paleoconservatives Patriots White Nationalists Extreme Right Samuel Francis Militia of Montana John Tanton Timothy McVeigh Different Primary Targets While issues of race, gender, and class are intertwined in all social movements, each sector of the Right will frame its arguments in a way that highlights a narrower primary target. Religious Right Xenophobic Right Secular Right Gender & Sexuality Race & “Elites” Various targets: Preserve Economic privilege The Right did not invent: •Racism •Sexism •Heterosexism •Classism •You name it… But sectors of the Right know how to use these attitudes and mobilize people who hold them… Intersections of targets gender sexuality race class Keys to the Right’s Interactivity • They can mobilize multiple bigotries in a single project • One frame can be modified to fit new targets • Our diverse multiple identities create opportunities for different targets or wedges. Daniel Patrick Moynihan, author of the 1965 The Negro Family: The Case for National Action “A community that allows a large number of young men to grow up in broken families, dominated by women, never acquiring any stable relationship to male authority, never acquiring any set of rational expectations about the future -- that community asks for and gets chaos... And it is richly deserved.” “Save our welfare system and the world from the exorbitant cost to the taxpayer for each drug addicted birth.” Project Prevention (C.R.A.C.K.) Targets • • • • Class Gender Race Sexuality Mobilized Base • Resentful taxpayers • Fearful whites • “Pro-lifers” Response from CWPE and INCITE! Immigrant Health Care Challenges Illustrate Multiple Targets Targets – – – – Race Gender Class Sexuality Mobilizes – Population control advocates – Angry taxpayers – Nativists Marriage Promotion Letter reads: “Honey, Why don’t you find someone to marry you. Have a nice life. See you around. W.” WELFARE MOMS Marriage Promotion Targets • Young women • Single mothers • Communities of color Mobilized base • Resentful taxpayers • Faith communities • Fearful whites Silver Ring Thing: Abstinence Until Marriage • Targets: – Sexuality – Age • Mobilizes: -Parents -Anti-abortion folks -Sex-phobic folks www.silverringthing.com Intersections of Sectors Secular Right Religious Right Xenophobic Right Opposition to HPV Vaccine began years ago • Targets – Age – Sexuality – Gender “Abstinence is the best way to prevent HPV. Giving the HPV vaccine to young women could be potentially harmful, because they may see it as a license to engage in premarital sex.” Bridget Maher Family Research Council, 2005 • Mobilizes: -Libertarians -Christian Right -Secular Right Why do we need to understand the Right? •Its success can teach us lessons •Its movements listened carefully to the resentments of people not achieving the American Dream •Then they targeted many of us based on various combinations of vulnerable identities in order to achieve their goals •That complexity gives right added political power •The Right scapegoats and demonizes groups to focus energy away from real issues Our concerns mirror their attacks Building blocks of the Right’s attacks on women Building blocks of Reproductive Justice Freedom to decide to have children Sterilization programs Ending Abortion Erasing social safety net Limiting health benefits Marriage Promotion Abstinence only education Full access to abortion and contraception Support for low income families Access to quality health care Defining our own families Comp. sexuality ed Why is understanding the right a prerequisite for achieving RJ? •Exposes the structural pervasiveness of Right’s success •Empowers vulnerable communities to understand how we are viewed and used •Highlights that strategic designs require strategic responses Reproductive Justice Frame Individual attitudes Community values Institutional policies and practices Cracks in the U.S. Right Paleoconservatives vs. Neoconservatives Culture Warriors vs. Economic Libertarians Neoconservatives vs. Theoconservatives Purists vs. Pragmatists Biological Racists vs. Cultural Supremacists Challenges to RJ Movement How can we coordinate diverse agendas of our various groups? How do we develop strong coalitions with other social justice movements? How do we keep to a vision of wellbeing of all women and children?