BLM and Abolition of Nuclear Weapons

BLM and Abolition of Nuclear Weapons

I was stunned to learn about the long history of the mobilization of African-Americans  against nuclear weapons. In my White-ness, I shrugged my shoulders at the idea that Black Americans took any interest in nuclear weapons. I am embarrassed by this stance. I was wrong.

Apparently I am not alone in assuming our Black brothers and sisters were too busy struggling against the barriers and dangers they face every day to stay alive, get an education and health care, better housing and better jobs. Black Americans see nuclear weapons as instruments of colonialism and racist. The bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki killed people of color. President Truman was a racist and was overjoyed by the mass killing, something we White people don’t know about him.

Thanks to Professor Vincent Intondi of Montgomery College in Takoma Park, Maryland, I have been set straight. Intondi is Associate Professor of History and Director of the Institute for Race, Justice, and Community Engagement. He has also been the  Director of Research for American University’s Nuclear Studies Institute in Washington, DC. His research focuses on the intersection of race and nuclear weapons. He is the author of the book, “African Americans Against the Bomb: Nuclear Weapons, Colonialism, and the Black Freedom Movement” with Stanford University Press, 2015.

I invite you to take a few minutes to listen to his talk at Harvard when he launched his book in 2015. What we are experiencing across this country, and across the world, is White recognition of our part in perpetuating the crushing subjugation of people of color all over the world from as far back as the eleven-hundreds. Nuclear weapons are a modern day tool of dominance, supplanting the sword.

You will be stunned as I was when you watch.



If this inspires you to take action, join a Physicians for Social Responsibility chapter near you and engage with their program. In Washington, I am a member of the Washington Physicians for Social Responsibility Task Force on Nuclear Weapon Abolition. I am also on the Washington Against Nuclear Weapons Coalition of 55 organizations whose members take action against nuclear weapon spending, testing, expansion. If you are part of an organization that might see the intersectionality of your mission and the abolition of nuclear weapons, please consider asking your organization to join our coalition. There is strength in numbers.



I have a few copies of Open Borders: A Personal Story of Love, Loss and Anti-war Activism left. If you want a signed copy, let me know. I send one to you. $15 plus postage. Read it and donate to your local library.

Working together for a nuclear free world, Betsy