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Identity Politics

Ghost Stories Of Capitalism: Racism Is Real, And It’s A Class Struggle

In today’s political climate, the word racism has become taboo. Some on the “Left” take issue with the term because of how it has been co-opted by the neoliberal elite. This is understandable, since the neoliberal Democratic Party has indeed exploited race relations in the United States to forward a “lesser evil” but no less dangerous brand of U.S. imperialism. Racism is thus increasingly viewed as an ideological weapon of liberalism rather than a material force of oppression. So-called “conservatives” have pounced on the limitations of neoliberal racial politics to strengthen their own brand as crusaders against the “woke” politics of the Democrats. The problem with all of this is that racism is a very real manifestation of class struggle. Racism isn’t merely the hateful words and behaviors acted out by individuals. It isn’t simply a set of “institutional” problems that can be reformed away at the workplace or the criminal justice system, either. Some on the liberal “left” say that racism is “systemic,” but even this is misleading. Failing to name the system, U.S. imperialism, decontextualizes racism from its roots in class and power.

The War Against Us

As some readers may have noticed, Antony Blinken has the State Department festooning its embassies around the world with “BLM” banners and the rainbow flag of the sexual identity movement known commonly as LGBTQI+. As our virtuous secretary of state explained in April, when he authorized these advertisements for America’s splendidly raised consciousness, the BLM pennant commemorates the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis last year; the familiar LGBTQI+ colors will fly on our flagpoles in foreign capitals “for the duration of the 2021 Pride season.” So our guitar-strumming chief diplomat put it when announcing this… this policy, I suppose we are to call it. Taking the very serious cause for equal rights and turning it into cover for an extremely aggressive foreign policy, it makes for a pretty weird sight, if you have seen any of the pictures. Then again, so does our Tony as he flits around the world on the wings of an angel.

The Woke CIA PsyOp

Abby Martin explains what's behind the cringe ‘Humans of CIA’ recruitment ad promoting themselves as a place of ‘intersectional’ social progress. "Recently the CUA released a video that was pretty shocking, embracing a radical inclusivity in the agency. It's now known as the "woke CIA ad." Ad; "I am a woman of color. I am a mom. I am a cis-gender millennial who has been diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder. I am intersectional. I refuse to internalize misguided patriarchal ideas of what a woman can or should be."

On Contact: Wrecking The left

On the show this week, Chris Hedges talks to journalist Diana Johnstone about the betrayal of the left with its historical role as the champion of social justice and peace now replaced with the boutique activism of identity politics, political correctness and what has become known as humanitarian intervention, the justification of US and NATO adventurism and wars on the specious belief it would liberate the women of Afghanistan or the peoples of Iraq. Diana Johnstone’s memoir is ‘Circle in the Darkness: Memoir of a World Watcher’. Johnstone was the European editor of In The Times from 1979 to 1990, and her work has appeared in New Left Review, Counterpunch and Covert Action Quarterly.

Secretary Of Defense Lloyd Austin: A Certain Kind Of Diversity

America’s first black presumptive secretary of defense grew up in the same town — Thomasville, GA — as the first black West Point graduate, Henry O. Flipper.  I actually took select cadets from my civil rights history class to visit the southwest Georgia city on an academic trip in the summer of 2016.  In fact, I vaguely remember the owner and namesake of the local Jack Hadley Black History Museum mentioning that President-elect Biden’s somewhat surprising nominee for Pentagon chief, retired General Lloyd Austin, also hailed from Thomasville.  But whereas Flipper was unfairly cashiered out of the U.S. Army in the 1880s — his name finally cleared by Bill Clinton’s 1999 pardon — his fellow West Pointer, Austin, rose to nearly the highest of military heights.

Fear Pervades Black Politics, And Makes Us Agents Of Our Own Oppression

Many Black voters recoiled in abject terror at the very thought that the Democratic Party – “our” party, in many Black folks’ minds – might fracture under the challenge of the Sandernistas. “The screechingly raucous, out-of-control Democratic debate in Columbia just days before the South Carolina primary appears to have scared the hell out of Black voters.” Black voters in South Carolina kicked off Joe Biden’s political resurrection last Saturday, and stuck with the worthless corporate hack through Super Tuesday’s primary contests.

Race Is Central To Both Revolution And Reaction In Latin American

The events in Bolivia lay bare the central role that racial subjugation has always played in the “New World,” a hemisphere whose “discovery” by Europeans resulted -- within the span of only 50 years -- in the death by genocide and pandemic of fully a fifth of the Earth’s human population. The Conquistadors frenzied “primitive accumulation” of precious metals, mined by enslaved Natives who died quicker than they could be replenished, created a demand for the capture and importation of millions of Africans with immunities to both European and tropical disease.

These Activists-in-Training Are Scouting For Social Justice

Anayvette Martinez wanted to start a different kind of girl scout troop after her then fourth-grade daughter expressed her desire to join one. What Martinez found, however, was that her daughter Lupita would have been one out of two Brown girls to join. She knew this statistic had to change. “The traditional scouting model wouldn’t center her experience as a woman of color, and it would have been a watered-down version of what she could be exposed to,” says Martinez (who identifies herself as Queer) of the idea of starting the Radical Monarchs. She wanted the troop to truly center women of color’s identity.

The Danger Of Identity Politics In Climate Change + The Truth About Iran

Good news from the Grand Canyon and the problem with conflating environmental protection with indigenous issues. Next, updates from the fight against the Mountain Valley Pipeline and new research that shows just how vital stopping the fracking industry is. Finally, Iranian-American peace activist Leila Zand joins us to talk about the situation in Iran and recent developments.

Afrofuturism, Indigenous People And Intersectional Spaces: These Jackson Artists Hope Their Creations Inspire A Community

Empty spray paint cans lie on the pavement, paint rollers and brushes with vibrant colors resting at his feet, Kwame Braxton, a 29-year-old artist and Jackson native, takes a moment to look at his nearly completed mural. Wearing paint splattered clothes, Braxton analyzes his approach in appropriately conveying the meaning of his piece. “What is inside of you, you can create, and what you create is also inside of you,” Braxton said of his piece covering part of the Center for Community Production building near downtown Jackson.

The Bankruptcy Of The American Left

There will be no economic or political justice for the poor, people of color, women or workers within the framework of global, corporate capitalism. Corporate capitalism, which uses identity politics, multiculturalism and racial justice to masquerade as politics, will never halt the rising social inequality, unchecked militarism, evisceration of civil liberties and omnipotence of the organs of security and surveillance. Corporate capitalism cannot be reformed, despite its continually rebranding itself. The longer the self-identified left and liberal class seek to work within a system that the political philosopher Sheldon Wolin calls “inverted totalitarianism,” the more the noose will be tightened around our necks. If we do not rise up to bring government and financial systems under public control—which includes nationalizing banks, the fossil fuel industry and the arms industry—we will continue to be victims.

Black Women Challenge ‘White Feminism’ of Women’s March

“Black women’s issues need to be at the forefront in order for this country to move forward,” said Brittany Oliver, founding director of Not Without Black Women (NWBW), to many cheers from the crowd gathered at the Lincoln Memorial. About 10,000 people wrapped around the Reflecting Pool and stretched up the Memorial’s steps. Oliver said she was there to “challenge white feminism” and stress “how important our voices are.” “Since we were here a year ago, there has been a seismic shift in the way women are dealing with the symptoms of gender bias, including the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements,” she said. She reminded them that #MeToo was founded a decade ago—by a black woman. “You saw #MeToo and Tawana Burke for over ten years, and [she] didn’t get recognition for it until recently,” Oliver said.

Ta-Nehisi Coates: Neoliberal Face Of Black Freedom Struggle

The disagreement between Coates and me is clear: his view of black America is narrow and dangerously misleading. Ta-Nehisi Coates’ We Were Eight Years in Power, a book about Barack Obama’s presidency and the tenacity of white supremacy, has captured the attention of many of us. One crucial question is why now in this moment has his apolitical pessimism gained such wide acceptance? Coates and I come from a great tradition of the black freedom struggle. He represents the neoliberal wing that sounds militant about white supremacy but renders black fightback invisible. This wing reaps the benefits of the neoliberal establishment that rewards silences on issues such as Wall Street greed or Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands and people.

Not A Liberal: Can A Black Mayor Bring Change To Mississippi?

By Jamiles Lartey for The Guardian - 34-year-old attorney Chokwe Lumumba sees his election win as proof that even in a red state in the age of Trump, many people are ready to be progressive. The day Chokwe Lumumba’s father died in 2014, he asked for a moment to be alone in the room with the man he’d long considered his best friend. He told his dad, Chokwe Sr, then the mayor of Jackson, Mississippi, all the last things he had to tell him. He prayed and asked god to put his father’s spirit into him. Then, he said, his next move became immediately apparent. “I decided at that moment, though I shared it with nobody, that I was going to run for mayor,” Lumumba said. “There were a lot of people who were hopeful under his administration, and there was a lot of fear surrounding his loss, so I wanted to restore hope for people.” The 34-year-old attorney who had “never run for junior class president, let alone mayor” now holds the keys to the state’s most populous city. He brings with him a progressive agenda and much of the leftover to-do list of his father’s administration. He sees his victory – collecting 93% of the vote in Jackson’s 6 June election – as proof that even in a deep red Republican state, and even in the age of Trump, the city’s residents are ready to move in a new progressive direction. “The citizens of Jackson have demonstrated overwhelmingly a readiness to be a progressive city and not only to correct the ills as we see them, but to be a model for the nation of what progressive leadership and collective genius can accomplish.”

Black America Is “Pro-Peace,” But Its Politicians Work For The War Party

By Glen Ford for Black Agenda Report - The United States is at war with the very concept of the rule of law among nations, and constitutes the most imminent threat to the survival of the human species. Washington’s outlaw doctrine of “humanitarian” military intervention, championed by Bill Clinton and elevated to a defining national principle under Barack Obama, marks the U.S. as “a rogue state, a state that is completely rejecting international norms,” says Ajamu Baraka, of the Black Alliance for Peace. “There is no legal right for the United States to be in Syria, but yet they are in Syria with no domestic opposition." Instead, much of what should constitute the “domestic opposition” to Washington’s flagrant crimes against peace is consumed with an obsession to punish Russia for imaginary offenses against a fictitious American “democracy.” Ajamu Baraka calls for “a restoration of the commitment to the rule of law on the part of the US authorities" -- a minimal demand that should resonate with all civilized peoples, most especially Black Americans, for whom U.S. law has always been riddled with “exceptionalisms.” However, the Black political (Misleadership) class now takes its cues from the CIA, NSA, FBI and other spook agencies currently allied with the Democratic Party -- the most abject capitulation to evil imaginable.
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