How Americans’ Faith In Civilized Debate Is Fueling White Supremacy

Why deploy civility to mediate a dispute between ideas of unequal value?	(Reuters/Spencer Selvidge)

By Matthew Pratt Guterl for Quartz – The fall semester has kicked off and the annual tide of speakers now washes over our communities. Not surprisingly, colleges and universities are revisiting last year’s unresolved arguments about whether white supremacist speech deserves equal space and protection. Already, in the aftermath of the bloody white supremacist actions in Charlottesville, Texas A & M has cancelled a “White Lives Matter” event scheduled for early September. A “Free Speech Week” was taking shape in Berkeley, but then it all fell apart, a victim of giant egos with little capacity for event planning. A steady drumbeat of op-eds maintains that college minds are closed, that liberalism is a cult presided over by the professoriate, and that civility is endangered. In so many ways, of course, the argument over whether racism is protected speech has already been won. Hate speech legislation is stalled. Newspapers feature deeply conservative voices on their opinion pages. There is a white supremacist in the White House. Universities may strive for balance and inclusion, and tens of thousands of talks sponsored by student groups of all shapes and sizes go off without a hitch every year, but the general mood is grim. There will be a lot of right-wing anguish about the supposedly closed minds of college campuses…

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

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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.”

Liberalism, Ultraleftism Or Mass Action

Popular Resistance, Revolution, Rebellion, Capitalism

By Peter Camejo for The Militant – The purpose of this meeting is to have a discussion about the present political conjuncture in this country following the May events, how we have to relate to what is happening, and what we have to do to build the antiwar movement and the revolutionary movement. The main questions I want to deal with are some of the arguments being raised within the radical movement against the orientation projected by the Socialist Workers Party and the Young Socialist Alliance. I want to try to deal with these arguments in a theoretical way. That is, deal with what is basically behind the differences that now exist in the radical movement and what they represent in terms of the problems before the left in the United States. I want to start by talking about Cambodia. If you read the newspapers of the last few days you will notice that there’s a very interesting thing happening in Cambodia. The papers say that the guerrillas are winning ground. Now, you have to be very careful whenever the American papers say that the communists are winning, because sometimes that is done simply to justify sending more troops or more arms. But when the papers start saying it every day, over and over again, and then they start telling you what areas the communists have conquered, after a while you begin to suspect that it’s true.

Fork In The National Road: A New Progressive Supermajority Party Is Forming

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By Gail McGowan Mellor for The Huffington Post – The time is ripe. The Democratic and Republican parties, private political clubs, are not mentioned in the U.S. Constitution and do not represent the people who elect them, yet have a stranglehold on our electoral system. People are fed up. Hemorrhaging voters, the Dems and Reps are each down to around a fourth of the voters, already minority parties. Progressives — those who support minimum wage, social justice, strong environmental protection, 21st century infrastructure and universal healthcare and oppose corruption, invasive wars and corporate welfare — are meanwhile 66%, two-thirds of voters, the U.S. supermajority. We as a people therefore stand at a fork in the national road. The country’s Progressive supermajority could sweep every local, state and federal election if it united. Should we come together in the old Democratic Party or form a new one? The Democratic Party is in many states hollow below the federal level. Senator Bernie Sanders and a contingent of young Progressives have therefore been trying for a year to fill those levels with clean candidates, with some success but only to be repeatedly kneecapped by the party’s corrupt, deeply entrenched Neoliberal leadership.

Progressive Democrats: Resist And Submit, Retreat And Surrender

Hillary has blood on her hands protest DNC from PhillyMag

By James Petras for Information Clearing House – July 13, 2017 “Information Clearing House” – Over the past quarter century progressive writers, activists and academics have followed a trajectory from left to right – with each presidential campaign seeming to move them further to the right. Beginning in the 1990’s progressives mobilized millions in opposition to wars, voicing demands for the transformation of the US’s corporate for-profit medical system into a national ‘Medicare For All’ public program. They condemned the notorious Wall Street swindlers and denounced police state legislation and violence. But in the end, they always voted for Democratic Party Presidential candidates who pursued the exact opposite agenda. Over time this political contrast between program and practice led to the transformation of the Progressives. And what we see today are US progressives embracing and promoting the politics of the far right. To understand this transformation we will begin by identifying who and what the progressives are and describe their historical role. We will then proceed to identify their trajectory over the recent decades.

The Last Liberal

Popular Resistance, Revolution, Rebellion, Capitalism

By Zoltan Zigedy for ZZ’s Blog – The year 1989 marked the death of the independent journalist, Isidor Feinstein (I.F.) Stone, the last twentieth century US liberal. Liberalism in the last century combined the liberties of the original Bill of Rights with Roosevelt’s proposed Second Bill of Rights. By mid-century, US liberalism reached its greatest heights, supplementing the historic bourgeois rights that dismantled feudalism and enshrined the right to property with the promise of an entirely new set of economic rights– rights to employment, housing, medical care, social security, education, among others. The economic rights sought to codify the social democratic gains made in the New Deal era. By the time of I.F. Stone’s death in 1989, liberalism had nearly shed all of its commitment to the Rooseveltian social justice rights. The bearer of the liberal legacy, the Democratic Party, swiftly retreated from New Deal values in the face of the Reagan attack on social welfare programs. Consequently, the Democratic Party of Bill Clinton, the “third way,” market-obsessed Democrats, eschewed the term “liberal” and appropriated the once-meaningful term “progressive” in its place. Stone would have been appalled.

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

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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.

Fighting The McResistance: Exposing Democrats’ “Good Cop” As Judas

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By Patrick Walker for Nation of Change – In a recent, widely read article, I argued that any meaningful resistance to Donald Trump must take the form of a new, anti-duopoly Occupy-style movement. Given the gargantuan opportunity we now share – and the virtually certain catastrophe we’ll face if we blow that opportunity – the case that article makes needs to reach as wide an activist audience as possible. By an activist audience, I mean precisely the sort of progressive opinion leaders and political organizers who can form coalitions and bring an Occupy-style “movement of movements” into existence. Without such a movement, we’ll simply we see the triumph of Democrats’ utterly shallow, astroturf McResistance – a triumph that, unbeknownst to most (deliberately misinformed) U.S. citizens, could ultimately plunge humanity back into a new Stone Age. Provided, of course, humanity is lucky enough to survive climate Armageddon at all. For too long (as I’ll argue in this article), Democrats have gotten away with playing Good Cop to Republican’s increasingly nasty Bad Cop – to the extent voters have grown impatient with playing Democrats’ patsy and the Good Cop’s cover is almost blown.

Liberals Rally For 'Truth' On Trump And Russia

Mr Trump has said he needs more to time to decide whether to pull out of the Paris climate change agreement Evan Vucci/AP

By Staff of The Real News Network – We did not report on March for Truth rallies that occurred in many cities recently because we did not see them as real resistance. These rallies sought investigation, prosecution and impeachment for RussiaGate and seemed to us to be organized by the Democratic Party and allied partisan non-profits. They were about as real as the so-called resistance of which Hillary Clinton now claims participate in. We have warned since the beginning of the Trump presidency that the problems of the United States are bigger than Donald Trump and that he is a symptom of a failed economic and political system where a mirage democracy hides an oligarchy, which now is becoming a kleptocracy. Trump should be protested, but we need to recognize that replacing Trump with a mainstream Democrat (the only type the party will allow to be nominated) will not solve the problems the country is facing. We need to end US empire and Wall Street-dominated politics in order to create a government that puts the people’s interests first. That means challenging the bi-partisan Wall Street and war parties…

Donald Trump’s Greatest Allies Are The Liberal Elites

Donald Trump meeting with the Republican Leadership Initiative in New York, Aug. 25, 2016. Dr. Ben Carson is seated next to Trump at center. Source: Grandmother Africa.

By Chris Hedges For Truth Dig – The liberal elites, who bear significant responsibility for the death of our democracy, now hold themselves up as the saviors of the republic. They have embarked, despite their own corruption and their complicity in neoliberalism and the crimes of empire, on a self-righteous moral crusade to topple Donald Trump. It is quite a show. They attack Trump’s “lies,” denounce executive orders such as his travel ban as un-American and blame Trump’s election on Russia or FBI Director James Comey rather than the failed neoliberal policies they themselves advanced. Where was this moral outrage when our privacy was taken from us by the security and surveillance state, the criminals on Wall Street were bailed out…

Liberals Are Marching Right Past Their Democratic Leaders

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Clearly, protesters have some feelings about President Donald Trump.

By Jennifer Bendery and Ryan Grim for The Huffington Post – WASHINGTON ― On April 15, 2009, a wave of populist protests swept across the country, pegged to tax day. John Boehner, who was then-House minority leader, was curious how they’d play out, and joined one in Bakersfield, California with Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.). What he saw there stunned him, and he immediately knew that if Republicans could harness that energy, he’d become speaker of the House. As he told his staff in his typically salty manner, “They are fucking furious and we’re going to win.” Boehner was right on both points, and he vowed that day to make sure he channeled the rage he was witnessing into campaigns against Democrats the next fall.

Double Standards: Where Were Liberal Protestors During Obama’s Wars?

by Marc Nozell | CC BY 2.0

By Mike Whitney for Counter Punch – The election of Donald Trump has sent millions of people pouring out onto the streets to protest a man they think is a racist, misogynist, xenophobic bully who will destroy US democracy in his quest to establish himself as supreme fascist ruler of the country. Maybe they’re right. Maybe Trump is a fascist who will destroy America. But where were these people when Obama was bombing wedding parties in Kandahar, or training jihadist militants to fight in Syria, or abetting NATO’s destructive onslaught on Libya, or plunging Ukraine into fratricidal warfare, or collecting the phone records of innocent Americans, or deporting hundreds of thousands of undocumented workers, or force-feeding prisoners at Gitmo, or providing bombs and aircraft to the Saudis to continue their genocidal war against Yemen?

As We Protest Incoming President Trump, Let’s Not Play Political Ping Pong

Where incredulity begins and ends says much about what horrors we are willing to tolerate—or have tolerated thus far. (Photo: Jewel Samad/Getty Images)

By Thomas S. Harrington for Common Dreams – I would love to share, my liberal friend, in your sense of incredulity about the election of Donald Trump to the presidency of United States. I would love to stand with you in the sense of woundedness that, while certainly painful up front, carries with it the secondary compensation of a warm and nurturing solidarity. I would love to sit with you and fulminate in righteous anger about the unparalleled vulgarity and cruelty of Trump and his followers. As much as I’d like to do these things, I won’t. Why? Because I know you, perhaps better than you even dare to know yourself.

The Blind Spots Of Liberalism

A shuttered garage in Milton, IA. Pete Zarria / Flickr
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By Adam Fisher for Jacobin Magazine – I grew up in what could be called the California Appalachians. My town’s population was around a thousand, with a median household income of $37,000. The local public school consisted of a series of air-conditioned, double-wide trailers that served as classrooms for combined grades (first and second in one, third and fourth in another, and so on). The only permanent building was the administrative office. The town had multiple saloons and churches, and a movie theater that doubled as the performance space for Christmas plays. There was one doctor, with an office and an x-ray machine. Main Street was two blocks long, with false fronts on every building, a train platform with one Amtrak departure per day

Building A New Populism In The Era Of Trump

Reid Rosenberg / Flickr

By Chuck Collins for Other Words – Imagine you’re standing in line for the American Dream. You work hard, sometimes in dangerous jobs. You lead a moral life. But the line is stalling, even moving backwards. Yet you see newcomers up front — some of them immigrants and people of color. Maybe you’ve worked all your life alongside African Americans and Latinos — more than most northern liberals have — but when you complain about people cutting you, those liberals call you racist.