The danger facing academic scholars is the temptation of becoming intellectual elites, pontificating from ivy towers that are disconnected from the everyday lucha, the everyday struggle faced by the majority of the world’s inhabitants. If José Martí is correct in asserting that “to think is to serve,” then academia becomes bankrupt when it has little or no impact upon transforming the lives, for the better, of those living on the underside of power; or, fails to raise the consciousness of those for whom society is constructed to privilege. Those of us who claim to be scholar-activists, radically engage issues concerning social justice from the margins of society attempting to overcome this disconnect; not with the hubris of believing we are right and those who disagree are wrong; but with the humility that from the perspective of those who suffer political, economic, and social oppression we can commit, in solidarity, to seeing the abuse, searching for answers, and stressing action – praxis that can lead toward social and spiritual liberation. This blog is an attempt to struggle with dilemmas and concerns facing humanity, fully aware that simplistic answers to complex issues seldom exists. You are invited to join the dialogue with your comments as long as you commit to disagree without dishonoring, and critique without character assassination.
Meanwhile, if you wish to know more about the host of this blog, I encourage you to visit: www.drmigueldelatorre.com
Your words have challenged me and stretched me. I am grateful and gladly join you in the struggle.
Dr. De La Torre, Thank you for your guidance and particularly asking academia to be accountable to the suffering of real people living in real margins. It is my hope as a privileged white male to “do this work” of vacating the center and supporting justice in ways that grapple with the complicated issues you so elegantly dissect in all of your writings. I know I am a member of the choir but it is always good to share an amen.