Open Thread on Racism and Propaganda II: Racial Justice Becomes Digestible

This was quoted in gjohnsit's recent diary on the new McCarthyism: "Is This the New Russia?"

If I believed that “white privilege” was a term meant to diminish my personal achievements... if I thought “white privilege” meant that I had to apologize for things that happened before I was born ... if I thought that “white privilege” meant that I need to be ashamed or embarrassed for being born white... if I thought that “white privilege” dismisses the very real hardships and challenges that I’ve had in my life.. if that was my understanding of white privilege, I’d probably be a little resentful about it, too.

But that is precisely what "white privilege" currently means.

And this comes from a woman who was one of only three white people protesting the new Jim Crow in Jacksonville, FL in Dec, 2000. It comes from a woman who continued to protest the new Jim Crow in 2004, along with a small percentage of white Democrats, while the other white Democrats did things like

1)Keep their asses in their chairs and sit on their hands (AGAIN!) up on Capitol Hill. This included Hillary herself. Yet we are now supposed to consider her the champion of Black rights.

2)Make it a banning offense on their website to say the 2004 election was stolen. Yet Markos Moulitsas is supposedly a stalwart ally of Black people, while I and others are called racist for opposing Social Security cuts and drone strikes.

3)Successfully gaslighting Bev Harris and others who asserted that the electronic voting machines were insecure and compromised.

4)Literally running away from me at a Dean event when I wouldn't just shrug and agree with the notion that we should let the racist 2004 election heist slide because "Well, they aren't going to re-do the election, so what does it matter?"

It comes from somebody who for a couple of decades occupied the position of being one of the few white people in the Black crowd at the Trayvon Martin vigil, the Michael Brown protest, and many other events--even the first MLK Day at the University of Pennsylvania! (of course, I went. I was shocked when I saw that the only white people there were basically me and the University officials.) Over those two decades, I got used to the fact that, if I wanted to meet a white friend at the rally, it would be really easy--just get up on something and scan the crowd, because there would be so few white people it'd be easy to find them.

From the early 90s to around 2006, I got used to being one of a handful of white people surrounded by Black people every time I just followed my own political beliefs--what I thought was right.

I have never claimed any credibility for these actions before, not because I didn't show up, not because I didn't do the work, but because I didn't think my actions were something to boast about. I was even confused when, in 2004, a Black woman threw her arms around me and thanked me for protesting in 2000.

It's not like it was charity or altruism. I was doing what was ordinarily right--fulfilling the basic obligations of citizenship. Showing up.

But now, apparently, Black leadership has decided to embrace all those white people who didn't show up, some of whom were actively on the other side in their time of need, endorsing those who were in the "Nothing to see here!" crowd and the gaslighters. They're even helping the gaslighters expand their gaslighting program to all those who don't fall in line with the gaslighters' cheap and superficial political goals. It's easy--just call dissidents racist. If they're white, it's a surefire way of silencing dissent. Black political leadership, Black people in the white corporate media, and some Black people online are actually providing cover to people like the Clintons. Even when members of the fraudulent, racist Bush administration, attempt to rehabilitate their reputations by the incredibly superficial gesture of saying something bad about Donald Trump, there seems to be little or no appreciation of the hypocrisy by Black leadership or Black media figures.

How the hell do you stay silent when the man who became President by climbing up on your disenfranchised backs says something like this:

Earlier this year, George W. Bush voiced his displeasure about both the political climate and some of the President's policies when peppered with questions about Trump's controversial actions on immigration and his targeted travel ban.
"I don't like the racism, and I don't like the name-calling, and I don't like the people feeling alienated," Bush told People Magazine. "Nobody likes that."

He liked the racism fine when it was his personal stepladder to power.

I don't need, or particularly want, Black people to be grateful to me for showing up. Like I said, it seems to me like a course of action that should just be what a person ordinarily does.

But am I mad when Black people decide to embrace a bunch of cowards who had the power to do something about the most racist events of the last twenty years, and did nothing? When they decide to embrace the white people who looked away--or ran away? Am I mad when they decide to embrace the white people who were actually doing what they could to make our work harder? The white people who were gaslighting the white people who were actually trying to fight the new, computerized Jim Crow? The ones who were engaged in doubt creation about Ohio?

It's odd that people so unbendable as to freak out over a picture of a white toddler or a misstated sentence that might be racist if you squint at it a little, are more than willing to let bygones be bygones with the Clintons, the Bushes, and their execrable political enterprise, which has been racist in multiple ways from the beginning. But this isn't just about forgiveness. This is an active alliance. Black politicians, Black people in the white corporate media, and some Black people online are actually, actively providing cover to the people who said things like this:

And used campaign tactics like this:

0225_obamaturban_460x276.jpg

And then there's this:

And I'm not even going to get into the moral abyss that opens up when George W. Bush and his administration get asked on TV for their ethical opinions on Trump's racism. Lots of Black people are apparently just fine with that. I guess rehabilitating the reputation of the man who climbed up into the Presidency on the backs of Black people purged off voter rolls, locked out of polling places, and harassed at police checkpoints on the way to vote is fine, while the ACLU posting a picture of a white toddler on Twitter is heinous.

Black leadership, Black media figures, and some ordinary Black people online, have decided to side with white people who have backstabbed Black people repeatedly, while helping those white people engage in an ongoing smear campaign against the white people who did right and showed up. And the smear campaign has the goal such things usually do: to silence dissent.

If you can't disprove somebody's points, do this:

Or this:

coulter.jpg

https://www.c-span.org/video/?177592-1/treason

These tactics used to be firmly in the wheelhouse of a certain portion of the right, what we might call the Lockstep Right: authoritarian, dogmatic, and anti-rational, they are a political machine which runs, nearly exclusively, on the politics of the smear. This was Lee Atwater politics, promoted at high levels by people who operated cynically to spread lies and sow doubt, lies which were obediently taken up and spread by the not at all cynical, loyal, dogmatic base. It was a politics of choosing a team and then adopting its talking points without question. It was a politics of follow-the-leader, where the leaders of one's side can never be wrong. Any conservative who broke faith was ripped to shreds:

Clarke has provided information that raises serious questions about Bush's role in fighting terrorism -- the centerpiece of his reelection campaign. For this reason, Clarke wisely braced himself for the worst. But the onslaught surprised even him.

"I'm told that the White House has decided to destroy me," he told CNN at the end of a week of being attacked. He added, "The issue is not about me. The issue is about the president's performance in the war on terrorism. And because I had the temerity to suggest he didn't do much of anything before 9/11, and by going into Iraq he's actually hurt the war on terrorism after 9/11, the White House has geared up this personal attack machine and is trying to undermine my credibility."

The most vicious public attack so far has come from the White House's representative in the Senate, Majority Leader William Frist...But the Majority Leader largely avoided substance, and opted instead to take cheap shots.

Frist questioned Clarke's ability by suggesting that he was responsible for not preventing terror attacks on his watch -- despite all Clarke's efforts to do just that. He also claimed that Clarke was now "pointing fingers" to shift blame from himself, when Clarke is the only official to acknowledge his failures.

Frist questioned Clarke's loyalty because he had spoken openly. And he called Clarke a liar without providing any specifics -- asserting that Clarke had "dissembled in front of the media," with no explanation of when or how.

http://www.cnn.com/2004/LAW/04/09/dean.clarke/

Tangentially, it's fascinating that 13 years ago, this sort of commentary was being produced by CNN. It's fascinating to see the extent of the transformation that's happened to the press in less than 15 years. But the real point here is that this sort of character attack is now as much a tactic of the so-called liberal Democrat as it was ten years ago of the Bush Republican. They differ only in their choice of target. Bush Republicans called their targets traitors, cowards, and terrorists; liberal Democrats call their targets racists, white elitists, and white supremacists.

This is the best reply I found to the above attack:
http://inthesetimes.com/article/18874/john-lewis-civil-rights-movement-b...

We are going to ignore the fact that Hillary Clinton was a “Goldwater Girl,” or that you once stated to a Clinton biographer that “[t]he first time I ever heard of Bill Clinton was the 1970s,” or that it has already been well-established that Sanders worked with the Congress for Racial Equality (CORE) at the University of Chicago in the 1960s. We are also going to leave aside the fact that every mention of Bill Clinton in your book Walking With the Wind described an instance that he opposed some policy that you cherished. Instead, we are going to talk about another person that you never saw or met...

Presidential politics might be the backdrop for this story, Representative Lewis, but this has nothing to do with Bernie Sanders. The hurtful nature of your comments has to do with your erasure of the people who worked outside of the spotlight and the national press to make sure that the Civil Rights Movement touched every corner of Black America. As I said earlier, you did not know or meet my grandmother. Your lack of acquaintance with her does not counterfeit the work she put in, like it does not counterfeit the work of any other person you did not know and yet sought to bring to birth a better world than the one they came into.

Here's another character attack, based on a lie, delivered by a liberal Democrat. As is usual with the Democrats, the charge is racism:

Dolores Huerta @DoloresHuerta
I offered to translate & Bernie supporters chanted English only! We fought too long & hard to be silenced Si Se Puede! #ImwithHer #NVcaucus

Here's the actual video footage:

As Susan Sarandon pointed out, there was no chant of English only from the floor, and the video proves it.

Susan Sarandon ✔ @SusanSarandon
Link to the entire vid. The translation ask starts at 53:30 & mod says English Only at 55:18. NO CHANTING. https://www.ustream.tv/embed/recorded/83452078?html5ui

Once the video proof that Sanders supporters had done nothing racist started circulating, the mainstream press, which had been promoting Huerta's lie at the speed of light, backtracked into the default defensive position of character assassins: both sides are a little wrong.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2016/02/21/why-neither-si...

Actually, both sides weren't a little wrong. One side told a lie. In fact, those of us on Twitter at the time received a tweet from America Ferrera saying "It doesn't matter what you chanted. You don't shout at Dolores Huerta." It doesn't matter? It doesn't matter whether people were making a racist attempt to silence a Latina activist? It doesn't matter whether that's true or not?

Those of us on Twitter at the time soon learned why it didn't matter. Another Hillary supporter tweeted smugly: "It doesn't matter if it's true. The story's out there now."

It's unclear how any politics capable of doing good could survive these methods. Any political movement or organization which relies fundamentally on hatchet jobs, in particular hatchet jobs based on lies, cannot but have a corroded moral core. I hope it goes without saying that such a reliance on character assassination does not suit, and will not serve, a revolutionary movement dedicated to fighting one of the most powerful and tyrannical mechanisms of social control that has ever existed in this hemisphere. Using charges of racism as a tool of habitual character assassination cannot but corrode the very meaning of racism, since racism will be redefined as necessary to suit each particular hatchet job. For racism is, in this political context, neither a problem to be solved nor a sin to be repented, but a tool with which you take down politically inconvenient people. Ending racism isn't the goal; headhunting is the goal and the idea of racism provides the means.

Simultaneously, the fight against racism has shifted its focus to images and words, rather than deeds and entrenched social structures. In other words, it's a staple of current anti-racist activity to swarm the ACLU for posting a picture of a white toddler with an American flag, just as it also is a staple of current anti-racist activity to take down statues and flags, and to wait for the next racist thing Trump posts on Twitter. These concerns take up the attention, the oxygen, and leave those who wish to investigate and challenge the actual white supremacist infiltration of the nation's police gasping:

https://theintercept.com/2017/01/31/the-fbi-has-quietly-investigated-whi...

These concerns also take attention off the connections between law enforcement and the War on Terror--and through the War on Terror, to imperialist forces outside the United States. The police, as an institution, isn't reliant solely on homegrown racism and its tactics anymore. It has also learned "counterterrorism tactics" from the army that has been practicing pacification techniques for decades on Palestinians.

http://blog.amnestyusa.org/middle-east/with-whom-are-many-u-s-police-dep...

Rather than examining either of these influences on the police, rather than bringing attention to the presence of actual white supremacists within law enforcement, the current tactic of anti-racist activists appears to be focusing on Nazis who are not police officers, those who are willing to protest in public. The few hundreds who march in support of the swastika are the problem, especially those working for minimum wage at a pizza chain. Not the white supremacists who are entrenched within the police nationally. If a brave SJW wanted to identify a white supremacist, perhaps identifying those among the police, who are hiding behind their badges, might be more to the point than identifying a Nazi pizza boy, but don't say so--you might get called racist.

We live in a time where statues of Confederate racists are focused on as a provocation to Black people, when this is happening:

We also live in a time where the idea that poverty and racism are connected has been nearly wholly abandoned. In fact, when Bernie Sanders mentioned it, he was attacked as stereotyping Black people as poor. In other words, talking about the connections between race and poverty is racist.

The economic aspect of anti-racist discourse is on the decline. The focus on the racist police is being replaced with a focus on a small group of racists marching for the swastika--instead of a deep analysis of how the groups that sponsor those marches are also infiltrating the cops. Racism is being used as a character attack on anyone who disagrees with the status quo, while Clintons and Bushes are getting a social justice makeover for their tattered reputations. Racism is even being used as an excuse why not to break up Wall St:

https://www.jacobinmag.com/2016/09/finance-wall-st-clinton-bernie-ubi-ba...

"If we broke up the big banks tomorrow . . . would that end racism? Would that end sexism?”

Hillary Clinton’s questions, and the resounding “No!” that came from her audience, are a distillation of some of her campaign’s most consistent attacks on Bernie Sanders in the recent Democratic primary. But for a moment, let’s set aside the ridiculous framing of the question — no piece of legislation enacted tomorrow would “end racism” — and let’s set aside the electoral context in which it took place.

Instead, let’s turn to a substantive issue at the core of Clinton’s neoliberal politics. Her goals are twofold: to drive a wedge between identity-focused organizing and anti–Wall Street politics; and to make financial reform seem niche, an elite topic that doesn’t register in the lives of Americans — particularly those who face oppression.

The Jacobin
is right. We are witnessing the transformation of anti-racist justice politics--its words and its organizations--into a digestible, usable form for the white establishment. Right-wing fringe groups, especially those dumb enough to come out in public, are easy sacrifices which the white establishment can make without changing one iota of its racist behavior toward Black people. It costs the white establishment little or nothing, and gains them a reputation for anti-racism while keeping the majority of Black people in the same rotten position they've been in pretty much since Reconstruction. The larger category of "deplorables" serves the same purpose. (So do the Confederate statues beloved of those same people.)

Too bad, right-wingers. Those politicians that you thought had your back for the last 35 years actually are willing to serve your head up on a platter. This is because they aren't actually conservative any more than they are liberal. They do not have ideological principles. When they want you to die for profit they will let you know.

Meantime, even though economic and legal conditions for the majority of Black people stay rotten, some percentage of the Black population in this country is enjoying its new status as the establishment's favorite sons and daughters. They are not favorites in the sense that they will get a better economic deal or get treated fairly by the legal system, but they are favorites in the sense that the media will lavish attention on them and a few of their concerns, and politicians will make a lot of speeches about them. Some, like a DKos author I used to follow, responded to this new political environment by writing a long, victorious diatribe about how it's Black people's turn in the sun now, how the rich establishment now favors Black people over white people, and now Black people are going to get jobs while white people languish in poverty. In other words, neener, neener, you're poor now. (I am not seeing this new economic prosperity getting extended to a majority of Black people. Just saying.) Some in the mainstream press, with greater subtlety, talk about how the failure of Bernie Sanders' campaign shows that you can't win a Democratic primary without the Black vote. In other words, enabling Hillary Clinton, a racist, to get what she wants, gives Black voters some kind of associative prestige that apparently derives from being able to smack down a white leftist who was the only white politician to attend John Conyers' 2004 meetings on the Ohio election fraud.

Apparently the schadenfreude is fun for everyone--and, of course, this politics requires an assortment of upper-middle-class Black people to be politicians, media figures, think tank consultants, the heads of big NGOs, and lawyers. So this tactic provides material benefits for that portion of the Black upper middle class that works in politics and media. But the rich, and mostly white, establishment only favors digestible Black concerns. It only supports those Black voices that are willing to lease their moral capital to the establishment in exchange for attention being paid to those digestible concerns. And if allowed to continue, the fight against racism will ultimately be whatever the white political establishment and corporate media wish it to be.

No matter who you are, you cannot let yourself be used at the same time that you accomplish your liberation.

The master's tools will never dismantle the master's house.

Share
up
0 users have voted.

Comments

riverlover's picture

I had trouble following your argument, but I have a TBI. Are you offended by Blacks siding with questionable politicians? Eyes on the Prize, yet. Calculated.

I did not feel like I grew up racist. It was only after my father's death that I kenned how racist my mother was. And I rejected her feelings entirely. She was born in a sundown town in IN, welcoming migrant workers to pick tomatoes. Who were all Texan. Right. And spoke Mexican Spanish. They only picked the fields, were not welcome in the canning factories. Those spots were reserved for white women. [Now it's all automated.]

up
0 users have voted.

Hey! my dear friends or soon-to-be's, JtC could use the donations to keep this site functioning for those of us who can still see the life preserver or flotsam in the water.

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@riverlover Sorry, riverlover, somehow that response did not stack up under your comment. Sad

up
0 users have voted.

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones." - Fiver

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

Steven D's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal Brilliant piece of honest and truthful writing.

up
0 users have voted.

"You can't just leave those who created the problem in charge of the solution."---Tyree Scott

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@Steven D Thanks, Steven.

up
0 users have voted.

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones." - Fiver

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@lotlizard Yeah, I get that. They're being offered a version of what was offered to right-wing working-class white people for a couple centuries. It's shocking how similar the terms of the deal are. It goes something like this:

Many or most of you live in grinding poverty. If there's any dispute legally between you and a rich white man, you will lose. No point in even trying. The rich white men control the politics and how things are run. But you get to feast on the sufferings of people of another skin color, whom you hate. And when political speeches are made, the rich white man making the speech will say things that make you feel included and special. The powerful will make sure you know how useful and important you are to them.

up
0 users have voted.

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones." - Fiver

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

mhagle's picture

Very well written and detailed IMO. Thanks.

Distractions. People are manipulated by distractions.

up
0 users have voted.

Marilyn

"Make dirt, not war." eyo

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@mhagle Thanks, Marilyn.

up
0 users have voted.

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones." - Fiver

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

I don't think you can get to the prize by supporting Clintons, who came up with the Crime Bill, and Bushes, who advanced to the presidency by denying Black people the right to vote.

It looks more to me like attacking one's former white allies in the service of a couple of backstabbers and some outright enemies.

up
0 users have voted.

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones." - Fiver

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

thanatokephaloides's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal

I don't think you can get to the prize by supporting Clintons, who came up with the Crime Bill, and Bushes, who advanced to the presidency by denying Black people the right to vote.

It looks more to me like attacking one's former white allies in the service of a couple of backstabbers and some outright enemies.

That's exactly what it is.

And Cat help you if you dare point that fact out.

An excellent Essay, CSTMS! And one which would have you bojo'd in an instant over at the other place.

up
0 users have voted.

"I say enough! If Israel wants to be the only superpower in the Middle East then they can put their own asses on the line and do it themselves. I want to continue to eat."
-- snoopydawg

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@thanatokephaloides

up
0 users have voted.

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones." - Fiver

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@thanatokephaloides Thanks, Than. It's not just the other place--a lot of people would immediately attack such an essay as racist.

up
0 users have voted.

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones." - Fiver

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal

You would be in an iron mask in a dungeon on dkos.

up
0 users have voted.

"Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@dkmich They could try.

up
0 users have voted.

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones." - Fiver

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

ggersh's picture

but the South won all of the battle's.

http://billmoyers.com/story/jeff-sessions-bringing-back-civil-forfeiture...

And here in Chicago where Rahm the terrible is mayor, I still
scratch my head as to how, but nevertheless he ignores the
travesty of Chicago's war zone to the delight of near north
white condo(plantation owner)country yet silence from the
black leaders of Chicago is everywhere. Yes racism is still
pervasive where O once resided.

But what gets to me is how quick this transformation of blacks
speaking up for themselves to once again being regulated back
to the back of the bus has taken. As our friends at the "Black
Agenda Report" say the CBC and most AA leaders for the most part
have sold their souls once again to the establishment, their
is no longer a voice that speaks for the black community.

Good essay, thanks.

EDIT: grammar, never was an english major or minor.

up
0 users have voted.

Buy a Bible don't read it and you'll be a Catholic
Buy a Bible read only what suits you and you'll be an Evangelical
Buy a Bible read it fully, analyze it, reason it and you will be
an Atheist

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@ggersh You're welcome. I should have said this during the first Obama administration. As soon as he made it clear that dissent was not tolerated (by calling up John Conyers and asking "Why are you disrespecting me?" when Conyers disagreed with him publicly), things went to hell. I thought it was an effect localized to Obama because he is the first Black president. I never imagined that unquestioning loyalty would be extended to white politicians like the Clintons, and I certainly never thought the rehabilitation of the Bushes' reputations was going to be on the menu.

up
0 users have voted.

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones." - Fiver

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

ggersh's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal one must bend the knee, or else.

up
0 users have voted.

Buy a Bible don't read it and you'll be a Catholic
Buy a Bible read only what suits you and you'll be an Evangelical
Buy a Bible read it fully, analyze it, reason it and you will be
an Atheist

riverlover's picture

@ggersh But true.

up
0 users have voted.

Hey! my dear friends or soon-to-be's, JtC could use the donations to keep this site functioning for those of us who can still see the life preserver or flotsam in the water.

lotlizard's picture

@ggersh  
Loyalty = not just selling your soul; you have to be, like Wormtail, willing to wipe the Dark Lord’s bottom and even cut off your right hand for him.

up
0 users have voted.
detroitmechworks's picture

They haven't called this one a "Dog Whistle" yet, so I'm going to keep saying it until they do. (Because if it gets any traction at all, they will. It's the "Fake News" bullshit of Racism.)

It's not about privilege, it's about everybody getting the same rights, which are NOT a privilege, but a RIGHT.

When any of us have our rights infringed on, including the right to speak, we all have our rights infringed on. The 1% profits when those that speak best and most eloquently on behalf of all are silenced. Those that speak poorly are elevated by the 1% for the sole purpose of spreading hatred and bigotry in order to foment those same emotions among the masses and keep them divided.

Remember how "All lives matter" was treated as an egregious sin against BLM. Thou shalt not agree with us in a manner that does not properly kowtow.

up
0 users have voted.

I do not pretend I know what I do not know.

ggersh's picture

@detroitmechworks

When any of us have our rights infringed on, including the right to speak, we all have our rights infringed on. The 1% profits when those that speak best and most eloquently on behalf of all are silenced. Those that speak poorly are elevated by the 1% for the sole purpose of spreading hatred and bigotry in order to foment those same emotions among the masses and keep them divided.
up
0 users have voted.

Buy a Bible don't read it and you'll be a Catholic
Buy a Bible read only what suits you and you'll be an Evangelical
Buy a Bible read it fully, analyze it, reason it and you will be
an Atheist

k9disc's picture

The discussion on White Privilege always seems to strike me as a least common denominator or crabs in a bucket argument.

The privilege that is being spoken about are basic and sound human rights. White Privilege is essentially having basic and sound human rights. Everyone should want that. I want basic and sound human rights for everyone.

Somehow "Check your basic and sound human rights" doesn't quite have that well framed ring to it.

It wouldn't be the first time that intellectuals coined a poorly framed phrase and trafficked it into ubiquity.

@detroitmechworks

up
0 users have voted.

“Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.” ~ Sun Tzu

dervish's picture

@k9disc in to oppression, rather than elevating the oppressed.

up
0 users have voted.

"Obama promised transparency, but Assange is the one who brought it."

Lily O Lady's picture

@dervish

up
0 users have voted.

"The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" ~Orwell, "1984"

Anja Geitz's picture

Using charges of racism as a tool of habitual character assassination cannot but corrode the very meaning of racism, since racism will be redefined as necessary to suit each particular hatchet job. For racism is, in this political context, neither a problem to be solved nor a sin to be repented, but a tool with which you take down politically inconvenient people. Ending racism isn't the goal; headhunting is the goal and the idea of racism provides the means.

The cesspool of this kind of politics hurts us all. And the most frusterating part of that is how denying others humanity is in fact denying your own.

Fiercely keen essay. Appreciate the time you spent getting your thoughts down in writing.

up
0 users have voted.

There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it. ~ Minnie Aumonier

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@Anja Geitz Thank you, zoebear.

up
0 users have voted.

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones." - Fiver

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

It's Black people's turn in the sun now, how the rich establishment now favors Black people over white people, and now Black people are going to get jobs while white people languish in poverty.

I agree with Detroit. It is about equal justice, opportunity and rights for all including the GD billionaires. Just because someone owns a billion dollars doesn't make them an expert on schools and poor people. It most likely just makes them an expert on fraud, bribery, and extortion.

If we look at the array of Dem candidates being put forth in the media by the Dem Party, we see Booker, Harris, and Patrick - all just black enough. The hook is Bernie and his bros as racists. The bait is Hillbamas 2.0. Since they can't fool the poor, white working class anymore and their demographic is history anyway, the Dems are moving on to bamboozle their next group of gullible slucks, POC.

The video below is long but worth the listen. She lays out why Bernie is the wrong person to rally around. Some will not appreciate what she has to say about Bernie, but what she says cannot be denied. What one thinks or feels about it is up to the each individual of course. Near the end, she gets to what is the crux of the issue and the problem. When you have a political system that has been hijacked and no longer functions, discussing which political candidates are going to be the sheep dogs to lead us right back into the broken system is like arguing over how to rearrange the deck chairs on the Titanic.

up
0 users have voted.

"Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

Anja Geitz's picture

@dkmich

up
0 users have voted.

There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it. ~ Minnie Aumonier

@Anja Geitz

It caught my attention in particular. We all know who, what, and where we've heard it before.

up
0 users have voted.

"Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@dkmich The awful thing is, it's not even true. Like I said, the economic goodies don't seem to be getting spread very far.

I guess it's good times for upper-middle-class Black people in politics and the media, though. As long as they stick to the establishment talking points.

up
0 users have voted.

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones." - Fiver

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

Anja Geitz's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal

There is so much to unpack in that one quote, it could be an essay in and of it self. But yes, typically employers hire to please their profit margin. Not usually their politics. And in the current and future technology workforce market that is requiring more skilled workers, they'll take who is qualified and who they can pay the least. Special visas anyone?

up
0 users have voted.

There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it. ~ Minnie Aumonier

Anja Geitz's picture

@dkmich

Those pearls of wisdom came from Denise Oliver Velez over at the insane asylum?

Hmmm... I wonder if she is referring to all whites when she looks forward to a future where they will wither away in punitive unemployment?

Or maybe she's merely referring to a subset of whites who have already been designated as racist? Pity she didn't clarify where on the sliding scale of racist held beliefs these deplorables are going to languish. I mean are we talking about the Archie Bunker kind of racist? Or the Grand Wizard of your local klan chapter kind of racist? And does that make me racist for asking?

Perhaps in her next diatribe diary she'll elaborate on the efficacy of force feeding young people a steady diet of her retributive acrimony where the ostensible goal is achieving the moral high ground. I may not have the "street creds" Ms. Velez does as a "cultural writer", but common sense tells me that if we want to foster capable young people to lead the way towards more inclusion then we should promote heart to heart dialogues instead of the vicious kind of political aggrandizement Ms. Velez is doing.

up
0 users have voted.

There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it. ~ Minnie Aumonier

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@Anja Geitz No, not Denise. I didn't really want to call out the author by name, but maybe that's being unnecessarily squeamish.

It came from a prominent diarist over at DK, well-known to everyone. It was somebody whose diaries I once enjoyed, though I didn't always agree with the diarist. Then s/he let down the mask, and that stuff came out. What was particularly horrifying to me was not so much the ill-wishing toward working people with white skin, but the alacrity with which the diarist embraced being favored by the rich white establishment, and crowed about how the rich white man now preferred Black workers to white. I'm not sure it's possible to get less revolutionary than this. It has no relationship to social justice, because the new prosperity is extended as a favor to Black people for the rich white establishment's own reasons. That looks like an unequal, racist relationship to me. Assuming it's even true, which I think probably only holds for a small portion of Black people in this country.

I'm not certain that "a few of us got ours cause the white boss likes us better than white workers" is the same as "Black people are finally getting justice."

up
0 users have voted.

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones." - Fiver

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

Anja Geitz's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal

I seem to remember reading things similarly outrageous in her diaries. I guess I'd owe her an apology if she were to ever call me out on it. Good thing no one from over there ever reads our stuff, eh? /snark

(Although, as far as calling other people out, I feel that once someone puts their words out there, they own them. And if they're going to poke someone in the eye, then they better be judicious about it. Otherwise, I personally have very little qualms of calling someone out over it)

I'm not certain that "a few of us got ours cause the white boss likes us better than white workers" is the same as "Black people are finally getting justice.

Boy, did you ever get that right. Like I said in a comment above; there is a lot to unpack in that original quote.

up
0 users have voted.

There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it. ~ Minnie Aumonier

Citizen Of Earth's picture

@dkmich That's a really good video

Considering Debbie (Sane Progressive) helped with Bernie's campaign makes her very credible in her criticism of him now. I knew he had been bitten by the Zombies as soon as he endorsed Hellery. And there were people here still sheep herding for that $$$ collecting Dem organization Bernie spun off (I forgot the name, oh well).

Screw both of the Neoliberal Corprocratic parties (Ds & Rs).

up
0 users have voted.

Donnie The #ShitHole Douchebag. Fake Friend to the Working Class. Real Asshole.

@Citizen Of Earth

where it leads. I admire that in her. Whatever Bernie's motives, he quit and is still refusing to run Third Party. Just said so at a rally when asked. Paraphrasing he said, lesser of evils, OMFG Trump, yada yada - NO!

I am not as washed of Bernie as she is. IF he or Warren happens to be the Dem candidate, I will vote for them and expect them to do nothing if they win. If they aren't, I will vote Green again.

up
0 users have voted.

"Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@dkmich Not after what Warren did last year. Cowardly custard.

up
0 users have voted.

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones." - Fiver

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal

Bernie wasn't supposed to win, so her part called for her to remain silent until the last minute. Given the expected lead Bernie was enjoying, the director moved her lines forward.

up
0 users have voted.

"Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@dkmich I'm just so done with both of them. With everybody like that, including the "progressive" Keith Ellison. There are still some decent people up there in DC that probably have trouble sleeping at night, but they're not gonna stand up and push back against this monstrous politics, so I've got no time for them.

As Cassiodorus pointed out the other day, the planet is dying, so incrementalism and lesser evilism wouldn't have any purchase on my mind now even if I were convinced that they were honest political philosophies. They obviously aren't, since 35 years of those philosophies have done nothing but incrementally move us to the right rather than to the left, so far to the right that even large swaths of the right wing in this country no longer like what's happening. They've managed to move so far to the right of the Reagan Republicans that some of them are joining with us now, even to the extent of supporting a social democrat. I guess that's what having a wrecking-ball politics will get you--eventually almost everyone will turn against you.

It's the Democrat ride at Disney!

This is actually a really good example of the kind of digestible anti-racism (and anti-sexism) that I'm talking about. Out of all the racism happening in this country right now, including actual murder, she's talking about...what somebody said about Maxine Waters' hair.

up
0 users have voted.

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones." - Fiver

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

Lily O Lady's picture

@dkmich

he continues to focus on. Those are the issues of the 99%. His example of sticking to the issues is what we should follow, rejecting ad hominem attacks. Name calling divides; issues unite.

I believe that is why he chose not to go after Hillary's "damn emails." It amounted to a negative personal attack rather than a positive issue that people could unite over. Sure it was about corruption, but it could only devolve into mud slinging--a plus for the Clintons. Remember, never wrestle with a pig. You just get muddy and the pig enjoys it.

up
0 users have voted.

"The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" ~Orwell, "1984"

SnappleBC's picture

... was the moment I decided she was both a racist and a sexist. Anyone who cared about those terms would not have been willing to use them in that way.

up
0 users have voted.

A lot of wanderers in the U.S. political desert recognize that all the duopoly has to offer is a choice of mirages. Come, let us trudge towards empty expanse of sand #1, littered with the bleached bones of Deaniacs and Hope and Changers.
-- lotlizard

The Aspie Corner's picture

@SnappleBC nothing she says on racism or sexism should be taken seriously. After all, this is a woman who campaigned with Goldwater against Civil Rights. And as a trial lawyer, she used the exact arguments against a victim of rape you'd expect to hear from so-called Mens' Rights Activists or MGTOW idiots to get a rapist acquitted.

Too bad many Americans have selectively short memory.

up
0 users have voted.

Modern education is little more than toeing the line for the capitalist pigs.

Guerrilla Liberalism won't liberate the US or the world from the iron fist of capital.

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@SnappleBC No kidding.

But I gotta say, the Rubicon for me was when she said she should stay in the primary because Robert Kennedy was assassinated in California in June 1968.

I can't even fucking believe she said that--twice!--when her primary opponent was a Black man.

up
0 users have voted.

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones." - Fiver

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal on the multiple passes Her gets regarding race, sexuality, sex, religion, etc. when Her has enough "misstatements" and actual deeds to make a hardcore right winger feel at home. Meanwhile, the self appointed social justice police have to invent things to slam progressives for. (And hey, truth is irrelevant once the story is out there, just like all the right wingers taught them.)

up
0 users have voted.

The only way Joe Biden is “going to be like FDR” is that he will die in office and leave a shitty vice president as a replacement.

Your writing here will be a source of inspiration and information for a long time. I kept copying parts to comment on, but realized the entire piece is gold.

This part means so much to me this week as I am sleepless, angry and confounded over the violence and duplicity in Berkeley CA last weekend.

Right-wing fringe groups, especially those dumb enough to come out in public, are easy sacrifices which the white establishment can make without changing one iota of its racist behavior toward Black people. It costs the white establishment little or nothing, and gains them a reputation for anti-racism while keeping the majority of Black people in the same rotten position they've been in pretty much since Reconstruction.

This is a perfect description of what I see in the irony of Berkeley having violent action against free speech. Berkeley is a city in which schools have been educationally segregated while they have been among the first racially integrated schools in the country. I say educationally segregated because there has been a persistent Achievement Gap. The issues of tracking and, I hate to quote George W. Bush but, low expectations have pervaded ongoing struggles for equity.

The leadership of an organization in Berkeley that advocates shutting down free speech by any means necessary if it questions Affirmative Action consists in part of public school teachers. I may be misrepresenting their advocacy, but from reading it and hearing it, that is what I see. You have stated so well how institutionalized racism shall not be questioned when it occurs at the hands of people who believe they are liberals. By any means necessary.

Thank you for doing so much to clear the air and open up the subjects we're struggling with.

up
0 users have voted.
The Aspie Corner's picture

@Linda Wood Both had different methods but it can't be denied that they knew a thing or two about stuff like this:

The Jacobin is right. We are witnessing the transformation of anti-racist justice politics--its words and its organizations--into a digestible, usable form for the white establishment. Right-wing fringe groups, especially those dumb enough to come out in public, are easy sacrifices which the white establishment can make without changing one iota of its racist behavior toward Black people. It costs the white establishment little or nothing, and gains them a reputation for anti-racism while keeping the majority of Black people in the same rotten position they've been in pretty much since Reconstruction. The larger category of "deplorables" serves the same purpose. (So do the Confederate statues beloved of those same people.)

Too bad, right-wingers. Those politicians that you thought had your back for the last 35 years actually are willing to serve your head up on a platter. This is because they aren't actually conservative any more than they are liberal. They do not have ideological principles. When they want you to die for profit they will let you know.

I think we could also use some in-depth history lessons on Bacon's Rebellion and how very similar tactics were used to prevent real change even back then.

up
0 users have voted.

Modern education is little more than toeing the line for the capitalist pigs.

Guerrilla Liberalism won't liberate the US or the world from the iron fist of capital.

@The Aspie Corner

the violent assault on free speech happened this week in Berkeley's Martin Luther King Jr. Civic Center Park just defines the irony. Dr. King gave his life for the principle of non-violence and peaceful protest. He didn't live that principle only because it was right but also because it was wise and ultimately the only road to success. Violence begets violence. Masked, bludgeoning gangs are the antithesis of what he gave his life for. The spectre of public school teachers advocating the shutting down of speech that questions Affirmative Action by any means, including violence, is keeping me awake at night with fear and frustration.

up
0 users have voted.

@Linda Wood There were several thousand people at Provo Park last Sunday, including around a couple hundred Antifa, black bloc and assorted militant anarchists. Of those couple hundred, a small fraction, maybe a dozen at the most, lost it and got into physical altercations where there wasn't any actual reason to. Jumping over a barrier, chanting, yelling or just being loud are not in my book violent acts, so we should not be characterizing the whole thing as violent.

That said, I do think Antifa needs to clean up its act and learn how to confront and defuse right-wing bullies without beating on them before the bullies start beating on others.

up
0 users have voted.
Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@Tak The problem is what it always is: infiltration. I disagree with Antifa tactically, because to me this whole Black people vs Nazis thing looks like a horrific homicidal puppet show, like what Punch and Judy would be if there were real people dying. I won't be played by the rich white people, so I won't play, even if I do hate fascism.

Maybe one way to put it is that I hate the establishment fascists more than the ones marching openly under the swastika.

But I don't assume Antifa are a bunch of violent people anymore than I believe the same thing about people doing black bloc tactics. And when there's a tiny fraction of people committing violent acts on the left, I tend to assume--maybe a little too quickly--that they are some kind of moles.

We know infiltrators were all over Occupy. There were actual cops who were identified!

Given that, we didn't do too bad, in retrospect.

up
0 users have voted.

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones." - Fiver

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@Linda Wood You're welcome.

We can no longer be dedicated to the truth and hang onto the idea that Black people are automatically and unquestionably doing right and should be immune to criticism or question.

up
0 users have voted.

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones." - Fiver

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

mimi's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal
world would make that statement of yours ridiculously clear. It's all in front of your eyes. You just need to want to look. One of the most difficult things for me to digest is the fact that people are in denial and don't want to see what doesn't fit their pov til they die. Yes, lifelong denial. All of the people all over the world. I wonder if one can say that's madness, if we all are mad, who is sane?

up
0 users have voted.
Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@mimi In the U.S., white people carry a great guilt. People respond to it in different ways, but those on the left have had a habit, at least since the 80s (which is when I came into this story) of assuming that the racism we all carry around with us makes us less able to be right or have a useful opinion than any Black people around.

Unfortunately, that makes Black people something more or less than human. You can only believe that if you believe that a Black person could never be corrupted and never be mistaken.

This got really bad under Obama, and the rich white establishment, happy to see it, put all manner of horrible ideas into his mouth, so they could use his moral authority to get their awful policies enshrined in our politics for all time.

I can't imagine it was like this in the 50s and 60s, though, when there was a functioning alliance between white leftists and Black people. You can't work together without sharing your real opinions about tactics, can you?

up
0 users have voted.

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones." - Fiver

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

lotlizard's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal  
always pushing themselves into the limelight that rightly should have been focused on woke entertainers of color. </snark>

up
0 users have voted.
mimi's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal (edited typos)

a greater guilt, I would say. As a German in the US I feel quite clearly that we are here in a competition of who carries more of that great guilt. The only difference between your white American guilt and my white German guilt, is that we Germans murdered in the millions our white brothers, whereas you Americans enslaved black Africans with great success, mentally and economically and for a long time physically. That means 'racism' in the American guilt was visible, whereas 'racism' in the German guilt was less visible, but religiously motivated hate way more undeniable than in the white American guilt. Let me say that I don't trust any American to believe that the Germans have not had to carry a greater guilt than the white Americans. Of course that's not talked about. Doesn't mean that those feelings are not in the back of most people's mind. And therefore it's harder for Americans to listen to a German criticizing Americans. That's just one of those unfortunate things we have to live with, I guess.

I happened to have been confronted with African black folk's feelings of being victims of colonialism, imperialism, racism, sexism and all the isms you can think of. All of these feelings are there, not all of them articulated or even admitted, most of them "glossed over" with "polite sweet talk". But they are de facto in the African (black African) people's mind. Those feelings are de facto justified and you can't de-justify them, just because it's hard to bare to be confrontet with those feeling as a member of "the other group" and therefore by default at "the other side".

Now, I also like to tell a story, I didn't forget. There is the Afro-American Henry Louis Gates, Jr, described in Wikipedia a "literary critic, teacher, historian, filmmaker and public intellectual". I remember a broadcast of his, in which he presented his journey to Africa and interviewed an African lady, who took care of a museum for a place, where African slaves were accumulated, sold and shipped to the Americas. I don't remember in which country that place was (but I believe it was in Benin), but that is not relevant enough right now to try to dig up the research for that episode).

Anyway, Gates expressed towards the Museum curator lady (I think that's what she was) some polite regret that his "black brothers in Africa" were involved with hunting, capturing and selling Africans from the interior of the continent to that "shipping" place (obviously the hunters got their 'commission' doing so) and handing the slaves over to the white merchand mariner overlords (of which some folks in my hometown in Hamburg, Germany, (a port city) were affiliated with in the past) to sell the slaves and ship them in the United States arrival ports. Gates managed to make the African Musuem curator lady to apologies for their involvement in that whole slave trade enterprise. For some reason I didn't forget this episode, but because I am a little people woman with no time, nerves and professional resaarch skills, I never followed up on Gates Jr.. Actually right now I read his Wikipage for the first time.

Why do I talk about this? First, apparently Gates Jr. was criticized for this. Which I think is bizarre. Second, I have some personal involvement with this. My son, a mixed race child of me and his African, francophone father, happened to accompany his father on a trip as a young teenager from Asia to some AFrican countries (among other his father's home country too) and they stopped over at that "slave shipping port or island as well).

Was my son confronted with both the "white people's guilt" AND the "black African people's involvement and guilt" directly, intimately and personally (- and not only in that slave trading place btw - )? You bet. Did my son's mental health suffered recognizing it? You bet. Do I suffer under it? You bet. I am his mom. The mental pain follows you silently your whole life til it pops up and is expressed.

Did anyone, on both sides, ever mention or discussed it? No. Would it have helped, discussing it?
I say, today, no, I don't believe it, it wouldn't have helped. With all the good intentioned research, intellectual discussions, books, films, blog conversations ... in the end it doesn't change anything.

No matter what you say about the issues, it hurts someone out there. You hurt those folks the most, who by self-identification and genes belong to both or several sides, either genetically, culturally or even religiously. Most of us do, but don't know it and wouldn't self-identify as 'mixed in the sense belonging to several sides'.

Some folks always are "the other side" by default, no matter on which side you think you are or imagine they are or should be. Because they have all sides in them. Some folks feel always torn apart between loyalties that is expected from them to have, which are incompatible to serve at the same time without gliding into self-destructive mental pains.

In that sense, I am tired and exhausted and wished that some here would rather concentrate on the humanity that is necessary to engage in for the sake of not making us gliding into mental health pains.

BTW. To this sentence of yours:

I can't imagine it was like this in the 50s and 60s, though, when there was a functioning alliance between white leftists and Black people. You can't work together without sharing your real opinions about tactics, can you?

I would say that when it comes to feelings, and that is what racism and sexism is based on first, before it becomes either legally or for other economic, or political reasons, 'sanctified' or 'digestible', there are no tactics that can change them. Sorry to say and to come to that conclusion after "watching" fifty years how people handle "racism" and "sexism" issues.

I ran into this story today and feel it touches something about similar mental health pain caused by our "online lives". Surviving This Summer On The Internet .

I feel that's all I have to say. I hope you don't mind and can understand. May be this Open Thread is of importance. May be. I am not so sure about it as most of the blogging participants here, though.

Peace.

up
0 users have voted.
Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@Linda Wood Thank you, by the way, Linda. You're very kind.

up
0 users have voted.

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones." - Fiver

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

Meteor Man's picture

Nancy Pelosi Releases a Statement Condemning Antifa Violence in Berkeley

Because Antifa Bernie Bros should just STFU!

Our democracy has no room for inciting violence or endangering the public, no matter the ideology of those who commit such acts,” she stated. “The violent actions of people calling themselves antifa in Berkeley this weekend deserve unequivocal condemnation, and the perpetrators should be arrested and prosecuted.”

https://www.mediaite.com/online/nancy-pelosi-releases-a-statement-condem...

The article links to this short clip:

As the video begins, the smaller, long-haired man runs up to the marching anarchists and anti-fascists and immediately–seemingly without provocation–blasts them with pepper spray at least twice. The larger man, hair closely-cropped, puts on a sour face and pleads:

“What are you guys beating us up for?”

Someone off-camera shouts, “He’s macing (inaudible)

I have no idea if this short clip is representative of preceding events. Were "Antifa thugs" beating up "peaceful" Trump protesters somewhere else or earlier that day?

Did I miss something? What was the provocation for the "smaller, long haired" man macing the anti-Trump protesters?

Story by Colin Kalbacher and video at Law Newz by Dan Abrams:

https://lawnewz.com/video/trump-supporters-beaten-at-berkeley-protests-v...

up
0 users have voted.

"They'll say we're disturbing the peace, but there is no peace. What really bothers them is that we are disturbing the war." Howard Zinn

@Meteor Man

in response to your question,

Did I miss something? What was the provocation for the "smaller, long haired" man macing the anti-Trump protesters?

that you probably missed something. I stayed up all night that night looking at online video of the chaos. One person pushes another, another person calls someone out, push comes to shove, pepper spray is blasted into eyes, people kick people who've been shoved to the ground, people of various ages, sizes and genders are slugging each other, and people are hit in the head with clubs and kicked after they fall down. Not OK.

But no one is arguing that Antifa/BlackBlock/BAMN did not chase people out of the park under threat of violence for being right wing, supporters of Trump, or perceived Nazis.

Here's a site that has a photograph from the reverse angle of the assault of the young guy and his Dad.

https://www.rt.com/usa/401119-berkeley-far-right-rally-protest-arrests/

Here's a site that illustrates the forcing of a right wing speaker from the park by a similarly clad group of thugs.

Here's a site in which the boy and his Dad say someone took the boy's Make America Great hat off and then someone clocked his Dad in the back of the head before the violence started.

I acknowledge the edit. There is no footage of the boy macing his accosters in this right wing version. But your question demonstrates the reality of all of this footage. It's all edited. It starts and ends somewhere. Unless you had a video of the entire day non-stop from every possible angle, you would miss something.

The preponderance of everything I have seen and heard and read about the chaos and the event, including public statements by black-clad disruptors, tells me Antifa/BlackBlock/BAMN forces showed up to SHUT DOWN a right wing rally, to force right wing speakers from the park, and to prevent them from speaking. By any means necessary.

up
0 users have voted.
lotlizard's picture

@Linda Wood  
because he was clever, with academic credentials in the field of ethics, he could get away with assault while still claiming the mantle of moral superiority for himself and his version of “anti-fascism”?

http://www.eastbaytimes.com/2017/05/26/professor-suspected-in-berkeley-b...

Folks seem to be falling into the same trap — “violence from our side is not only justified, it’s our duty” — and, believing it to be the solution, mounting an increasingly organized effort to get others to do the same.

Antifa as the NRA of the Left: progressives finally allowing themselves to revel in the same heady but dubious pleasures they’ve always accused rifle-toting right-wingers of getting off on?

up
0 users have voted.
Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@lotlizard And here's another place I disagree with Antifa, not tactically, but philosophically. My problem here is not the lack of pacifism. My problem is the assertion of automatic moral justification. We are supposed to fall in line with the idea that people "on our side" are automatically morally justified in what they do, because evil exists.

To quote John Kerry, when Bill Clinton advised him to make a homophobic speech in order to gain ground on George W. Bush in the 2004 election, "I will never do that."

up
0 users have voted.

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones." - Fiver

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

Dare to ask "in which ways have lives in Black communities improved during Obama's term?" in Dem websites if you want to find out how racist you are; you won't find out which ways, though.

up
0 users have voted.

Orwell: Where's the omelette?

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@jim p If you really want to get somebody mad, point out that Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown and Sandra Bland and Tamir Rice and Ferguson becoming a war zone and countless other racist murders happened before anybody had any idea Donald Trump was ever going to run for anything. Point out that all that happened under Obama and Eric Holder.

up
0 users have voted.

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones." - Fiver

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal

While Obama sat with his head up his sleeve, Trump is out there declaring it will be illegal for the sun to rise and threatening to cancel NAFTA. Trump is lawless and Obama was toothless.

up
0 users have voted.

"Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@dkmich Hey, he gave them a nice task force.

up
0 users have voted.

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones." - Fiver

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal
more prominent and more numerous since the Obama years. Including of course Obama himself. In general, I'd say this is probably a very good thing. It doesn't really help poor people all that much though, black or white.

up
0 users have voted.

native

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@native It's a good thing for those Black celebrities, I guess. Not sure I like what they're paying for admission, though.

up
0 users have voted.

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones." - Fiver

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

Lily O Lady's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal

up
0 users have voted.

"The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" ~Orwell, "1984"

enhydra lutris's picture

and blatantly sophist that it should be a face-plant grade fail, yet it is immensely successful The population needs to be better educated in spotting and ignoring all of these more sophisticated cons, but any attempt is sure to be stifled and upended, or else confined to the odd niche here and there.

up
0 users have voted.

That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@enhydra lutris It works because we had a soft underbelly: the idea that Black people and others who have been violently oppressed must always be right and should never be questioned; indeed, that nobody ever would question such people except a bigot.

Basically, all the establishment had to do was find enough Black people, including at least a few famous Black people, to play its game.

up
0 users have voted.

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones." - Fiver

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal

Do you remember all of the racial strife that was on dailykos? Kos announced during that time that only black people on the blog could decide what was racist. If someone white or brown said cheese and the BlackKos group decided it was racist, no challenge was permitted or accepted. If anyone wants to take the temperature of the Democratic Party, simply go to dailykos. One and the same.

up
0 users have voted.

"Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@dkmich Yeah, Markos' site is this tactic in concentrated form.

up
0 users have voted.

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones." - Fiver

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal ...and led to all sorts of absurdities, perhaps the most absurd being the SLA. At first most of us thought they must be government provocateurs, but no, they turned out to just be plain nutz.

The concept largely burned itself out after a few years, tho what we see today lingers on in a form that's much more useful to the plutocracy.

Anyway, fine essay!

up
0 users have voted.
Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@Tak Thanks!

up
0 users have voted.

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones." - Fiver

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal

in some circles in chicago in 60s it was wrong to ever challenge or contradict the politics of black person.

the only way was to begin - "I agree with everything Brother X has said, and furthermore..."

good times! sigh.

up
0 users have voted.
Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@irishking How do you actually work together toward a political goal if you can't be honest about strategy or tactics?

up
0 users have voted.

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones." - Fiver

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

mimi's picture

no, they want you to digest their 'soul food' and make it taste temptatious, but there is no way this stuff gets digested without slowly turning into madness.

I can't comment, too close an issue in my life. I can't find the one cartoon I wanted to post, it was the smiley guy wrapped in an US flag tied together to be a straight jacket. May be that smiley guy's face in this context should have a little more brownish face, but what the heck.

I just happened to read this:
Mad in America. From 2011.

I don't want to go mad. I want to sleep and wait til my system digests all the news food I happened to have read. I think fasting would be a good idea.

Sigh. What an essay. Wow, there is something burnling in your belly. Hugs. More hugs.

up
0 users have voted.
Mark from Queens's picture

@mimi
Author talks about losing Howard Zinn the year before. Then goes on to blast the radical left for not picking up the slack and there being an unsettling dearth of visionaries looking ahead.

In fact, losing Zinn only compounded the loss, over the last decade, of fellow radicals such as Vonnegut and Mailer and Terkel and Said, whose interpretations of the day’s events and predictions of future woes were often so relentlessly honest and thought-provoking and dead-on that our society can only become markedly less provocative and decidedly less thoughtful and increasingly more ill-prepared for whatever comes without them being here. Am I wrong? You tell me: Who are the public intellectuals whose social commentary and wry observations and very public self-examinations can be relied upon to advance the species and to deepen our collective and happy misunderstanding of why we’re all here? Who will be left once Chomsky and Sahl and Vidal and Ali and Allen and Lapham and Scheer and Krassner and Hitchens and Hedges disappear?

I can’t think of anybody. …

In fact, when one considers the unreaction from the so-called radical wing of the anti-establishmentarianism movement in this country to the current Egyptian civil unrest — not to mention to the Kyrgyzstan riots in April and the Freedom Flotilla massacre in May and the G-8 and G-20 protests in Ontario in June and the massive protests in Spain, Belgium, Greece, Portugal, Ireland, Slovenia and Lithuania against austerity measures in September and the huge demonstrations in France over pensions in October and the continuing Tunisian revolution that began in December — there appears to be no reason to believe that the world-famous, democracy-championing, radically confident and self-aggrandizing American Dream, like any other dream, can be substantiated outside of sleep. Awake, we snore. (And before you embarrass yourself by bringing up the vast number of people who attended both Glenn Beck’s Rally to Restore Honor and Jon Stewart’s Rally to Restore Sanity, you have to recognize that these were show business events designed to attract spectators, not participants, with both being exactly as significant to the preservation of our nation’s honor and sanity as a NASCAR race.)

I felt the same way as I watched riveted the Al Jazeera live coverage of the Tahrir Sq Uprising. Then the Wisconsin Uprising happened a month or so later and we watched farmers drive their tractors into Madison to support the striking teachers act the State Capitol. It was very exciting and inspiring. Wonder what he thought of Occupy when it emerged in September?

To me there was a magnificent global movement wave in 2011. All that energy is still there in the people who participated, supported and those who eventually came around to seeing those movements were right. What will it take to pop off again?

*Excellent piece CStMS. Haven't been around as much as I'd like to be but read when I could.

up
0 users have voted.

"If I should ever die, God forbid, let this be my epitaph:

THE ONLY PROOF HE NEEDED
FOR THE EXISTENCE OF GOD
WAS MUSIC"

- Kurt Vonnegut

I have little to add except I knew when they brought out Lewis and Huerta as they did, things were going to get even uglier. And they have.

Side note: there was an article I read during the campaign, after John Lewis sandbagged Bernie as I recall, that was the story of how the Clintons literally bought the approval of black leaders. I can't seem to find it now of course, but as usual, the gist of it was that money has a way of making people see or not see what the person with the wallet wants. Really depressing stuff.

up
0 users have voted.

The only way Joe Biden is “going to be like FDR” is that he will die in office and leave a shitty vice president as a replacement.

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@Dr. John Carpenter Watching that speech of John Lewis', rather than reading it, for the first time, I noticed that a woman standing behind him looks pretty damned unhappy. Might be something completely unrelated to Lewis' words, of course.

up
0 users have voted.

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones." - Fiver

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

Carol Joy's picture

Yeah let's blame the poor white working class idjuts, too dumb to get an education.
Let's get it cemented into everyone's kanoodle that if someone is white, and poor and working class, they are racists.

I keep thinking when I am on these boards that the others here are people who might at one point or another gone out and done door to door political campaigning. Has anyone here gone out camapigning?

And one thing I learned from that campaigning is that you cannot judge a book by its cover, nor can you judge a group of people by what the political meme about them is.

While out canvassing for Bernie last spring, I sometimes tried to avoid people on account of how they looked. I am ashamed to say it, but sometimes I have been "judgy" about someone who looks a bit over the top in terms of being a "red neck." And quite often it was those very people who were the most enthused about Bernie.
I also talked to a lot of men when I was out campaigning. The thing they liked the most about Trump was his pledge to return jobs to the USA. Had Hillary taken a different route and realized how very starved people are for jobs, then maybe she would have done better against Trump. But she thought that she was "the anointed one" and ran one god awful campaign, and that sure as heck ain't the fault of us trailer trash!

up
0 users have voted.

Believing in the improbable can make your life a miracle.

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@Carol Joy What you bring up is another key part of today's politics: ignore data in favor of preconceived notions.

It's all part of falling in line with the groupthink.

up
0 users have voted.

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones." - Fiver

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

Carol Joy's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal @Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal Specifically, the need for improved safety methods in the development of vaccines. After giving her 20 minutes of information including citations, all of which I had gleaned through my days and years as an activist, she concluded the discussion with "Well the thing is, I like to go with my gut. And my gut tells me that vaccines are perfectly safe the way that they are now."
Mind you, I wasn't saying "Never ever have a vaccine." I was pointing out various things that need to happen to make them safer. (which since they aren't the point of this particular discussion I won't go into.)
But America is the only nation wherein people are PROUD of themselves for going with their gut. Give the public a simple easy to understand meme, such as "Four legs good, two legs bad," or soMEthing like "Weapons of MAss DESTRUCTION" and one third of US public is totally convinced just on the simplicity of the statement. Add in a "scientific fact" or better yet, some false flag event, and odds are twice that number will then fall in line!

up
0 users have voted.

Believing in the improbable can make your life a miracle.

zett's picture

over at the other place when it came to anything related to race. I never felt comfortable visiting the "porch" and some of that was due to my redneck ass not knowing the unoffensive way to interact with AAs but it was also due to knowing no criticism of Obama was allowed.

It took me a while to figure out that charges of racism were being weaponized.

I try to stay away from anything that pings my radar as faux racial justice.

I also remember being almost stroke-out angry about BLM interrupting Bernie at Netroots. I suspected it as a trick by the Clinton campaign, especially with all the gloating about Bernie's inability to penetrate the black community in the South (according to DK "experts").

I couldn't figure for the life of me why sticking to the Dem party would be so important to black people. I knew NAFTA and other shit had made matters worse for my cohort (poor whites) so it had to be super worse for black people, right?. Looks like they'd want to hear anybody's ideas about making life better, but no, I was assured they'd never listen to Bernie because he was too white to ever relate.

I was pissed, and I admit I was pissed at those black people...I was all like god damn, you are ruining it for us all by knee jerk sticking with Clinton! Now I wonder...was that what day to day black people really thought, or was it just the viewpoint of black "leadership" who are getting their perks and walking around money from the party?

Anyway, thank you for this essay.

up
0 users have voted.

@zett I actually hung out a bit on the porch. Raised in Texas, but for many years in (ahem, white) Oregon, the porch had a "home" feel that a lot of other places didn't. And it was usually a pretty nice community. Kev was great. Usually. When he wasn't, he wasn't. Dee? Not worth discussing.

The funny thing is I've wondered how the hell those folks dealt with Nina Turner and Killer Mike and Danny Glover etc. I never cared enough to go find out. I imagine they stuck in their craw just a bit though. Might still.

up
0 users have voted.
Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@zett You're welcome!

One thing that's important to remember is that some Black leadership are Civil Rights heroes, and anybody from that time who did the work is going to be looked on with deep respect by much of the Black community (for obvious reasons). Also, Black people over 45 (Greatest Generation, Silent Generation, Boomers, and the older GenX-ers), tend to trust their leaders. There's a much greater trust between Black people and their political leaders than there is for white people.

Their old tactic was bloc voting, under the guidance of their leaders, and the older people have stuck to that tactic, and to that trust. Although, for some reason, it really fell apart in the general election, when you'd think it would have worked better, because Trump was the only other alternative.

I think maybe Obama pissed them off when he did this:

If he had just left it before he got into the stuff about how Black people not voting for Hillary was a "personal insult" to him, the speech would probably have worked. I'm still shocked that it didn't, actually; I didn't think anything could drive a wedge of any kind between Barack Obama and the Black community. But he made it sound like the Black community owed him something, and he would be insulted if they didn't pay up. That was a rare misstep for Obama. That's not how Black leaders are supposed to talk to the Black community.

Hillary, the Typhoid Mary of political capital.

up
0 users have voted.

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones." - Fiver

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal the girls,and Michelle esp. He seemed though to try to avoid any controversy in addressing race. He seemed cowed by the r's. Remember the lady who worked for the farm bureau and talked about her feelings when white farmers came in to ask for help, and there was an edited film of her speech released to make her sound racist? When she was telling the opposite? Obama couldn't throw her under the bus fast enough, and couldn't back track once the truth was shown. HRC was the say anything, do anything to get elected politician. Having that wall of "leadership" at her back didn't help because they were as far removed from the voters as she was.

up
0 users have voted.

@Snode

HRC was the say anything, do anything to get elected politician.

And it is so much of a part of everything we're struggling with on the left.

up
0 users have voted.
Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@Snode Same thing was true of Van Jones. Now an establishment talking head on TV.

up
0 users have voted.

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones." - Fiver

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

minefield of identity politics. I feel like it's deja vu all over again (sadly). In the 70's there was a whole shift after MLKs death into the Hyphenated-Americans. The African-American, the Italian-American, and on and on. MLK was a leader, the heads of the hyphenated groups weren't, and the sniping between groups, "the disrespect of your group was NOTHING like the disrespect of my group", the counting coup of victimization, dissipated most good will from people not identifying as a member of that group. That, and the hyphenated movement went on too long and accomplished too little. Radical feminism and other new concepts along with continuing poverty competed for political standing. Economically things worsened as Vietnam sucked down more and more resources, and people focused more on day to day survival. Meanwhile, our out of touch leaders and glitterati made fools of themselves, as pedestrian everyday matters didn't affect them. Tom Wolf wrote a couple of articles "Radical Chic" and "Mau Mauing the Flak Catchers" that gives you the flavor of the time. In the end we got Nixon and ultimately Reagan. I fear the next elections could be republican if the D's don't get their head out of their butt.

up
0 users have voted.
Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@Snode "the disrespect of your group was NOTHING like the disrespect of my group", the counting coup of victimization, dissipated most good will from people not identifying as a member of that group.

It also has a tendency to exhaust those identifying as members of that group--if they are people who want to accomplish change, rather than engaging in an oppression competition.

Have enough meetings dominated by such discussions, and you will notice a lot of people don't come back.

up
0 users have voted.

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones." - Fiver

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

also Mr. Lewis might remember that CORE, to which Bernie belonged, expelled all whites in !965. might explain his absence at some Chicago meetings.

sncc did same in 1966, iirc.

the treatment of James Peck was a bitter pill.

young political hippies found that there was not gonna be a grouphug with AA people who did not like or trust them.

the "white only" signs were now "black only".
a sense that past sins of "white race" would never be forgiven.

imo, some of the stupider white kids had a need to show blacks that they were ready
be violent. things got f***ed pretty quickly.

I don't think that racial split in the young left ever was mended.

personal note- I attended a speech by Bobby Seale in Houston. He was brought in by local radicals. speech was set up at Univ. of Houston. huge excitement.
the hippies were atwitter, the Black Panthers are coming to talk to us and take our money. how cool!

listened to the speech. usual stuff. as I remember Seale was pretty good speaker, funny. Made some joke about minnie & mickey mouse. all were warm & fuzzy as he wrapped it up.

And the very last-

"Thank you, thank you. There will be a Blacks-only event down the street at TSU in an hour. See you there."

eeewwww. talk about some sadlooking white kids.

"the real party is down there, and we're not invited." aawwww.
Seale gave us something to think about, all right.

up
0 users have voted.

Pages