Paul Street's blog

Revolution Beyond Blue Bubbles

by Paul Street

BLM co-founder Patrisse Cullors Iowa City speech, according to Paul Street, fell short of any class analysis of the Trump victory, how to fight facism, or the road ahead. While the Movement For Black Lives declined to endorse presidential candidates, its vision still does not reach beyond the confines of the two ruling parties.  And socialism, despite Bernie Sanders, is a word the BLM leaders never mention. 

The Roots are in the System: Charlotte and Beyond

by Paul Street

Police violence provides the “spark” that draws crowds instantly to the streets, but apartheid and inequality are the “underlying tinder that fuels the fires of rage across Black America today.” It may also have “sunk in with millions of Black Americans that the symbolic election of a technically First Black President is nothing compared to the deep structurally and institutionally entrenched racism of the American System.”

Micah Xavier Johnson and Gavin Long: Seventeen Reasons

by Paul Street

After having for centuries treated Black people, especially young Black men, as existential dangers to the (white) nation, U.S. rulers act surprised that the day of the Black American Sniper has dawned. There’s nothing complex about Gavin Long and Micah Johnson’s actions. They wanted to “exact Black revenge on, and to set limits to, racist police violence.” If racist police violence continues, expect similar responses.

Bernie, Black, and Blue: Reflections on Race in the Democratic Primaries

by Paul Street

If Black people are the most left-leaning constituency in the United States, why have they been voting for right-wing Democrat Hillary Clinton in the primaries? It is true that Bernie Sanders’ economic program is far better than Clinton’s. However, rising New Deal-type tides do not equally lift all boats, and Black folks have little historical reason to believe that white leftists are automatically on their side. Sanders has yet to convince them.

“All Lives Matter”: More Stupid White Noise

by Paul Street

Mountains of statistics testify to the national disregard for Black lives. But white supremacists fire back that Blacks have “brought it on themselves” and victimize their own people through “Black-on-Black” crime, ignoring the core reality that “intra-Back violence takes places within a White-Imposed context of racially concentrated poverty, joblessness and hyper-segregation that White America simply refuses to acknowledge.”

A Sacrificial Rahm? Mayor 1%, Racist Policing, and Metropolitan Disorder

by Paul Street

Black Chicago is fired up – which means that Corporate Chicago may be in a mood to fire Mayor Rahm Emanuel, whom they trusted to “keep ghetto residents pacified.” Protesters ruined Black Friday for Magnificent Mile merchants, teachers are threatening to strike again, and a mayoral recall is possible. Militant youth declared that “Task forces, press releases, symbolic replacements of one crony for another are no longer enough to mollify the masses.”

What Color is Your T-Shirt? Race, Class, Empire, and White Democrats in a Liberal Campus Town

by Paul Street

Bernie Sanders is beloved among the “white middle class campus town progressive Democrats” in places like Iowa City, Iowa, who live quite different lives than the largely Sudanese and Congolese workers at the county’s major factory. “Both Sudan and the Congo are countries in which the United States has instigated long wars, consistent with its broader program of destabilization across Africa” – policies that Sanders would continue, as president.

Why Bernie Sanders is No Great White Hope for Black America

by Paul Street

It should not be surprising that Blacks are uninspired by Bernie Sanders. He has been “remarkably slow to put racial justice anywhere near the center of his campaign,” or to articulate “the very specific racial oppression experienced by Black Americans.” Like many other “liberals,” the Vermont senator is deeply implicated in mass Black incarceration, imperial foreign policy, and a “trickle-down” approach to Black economic misery.

Posing as the Great Emancipator: Obama’s Prison-Posturing is Nothing New

by Paul Street

President Obama likes to give the impression that he is shocked and surprised by the horrors of the U.S. penal system. But the author knew the president back in the day, in Chicago, and can vouch that State Senator Obama “was fully up on the facts of the U.S. racist prison state in the fall of 2002.” Paul Street attests that “the deeply conservative Obama’s Republican-friendly record in the Illinois legislature was far less liberal and progressive than his subsequent liberal and progressive fans imagined.”

Bernie Sanders’ Top Five Race Problems: The Unbearable Whiteness of Nominal Nordic Socialism

by Paul Street

Bernie Sanders doesn’t understand the history and contemporary workings of race in the United States, and cannot, therefore, grasp the economics of race, either. His campaign lacks “a forthright acknowledgement of the special, vicious super-exploitation, torture and oppression experienced by Black America.” He virtually ignores housing apartheid and mass Black incarceration, and lets U.S. militarism off the hook for stealing resources.

Bernie Out of the Closet: Sanders’ Longstanding Deal with the Democrats

by Paul Street

Bernie may call himself a socialist, but since his terms as mayor of Burlington VT in the 1980s, the state's Democrats have never run anybody against him.  In return "socialist" Bernie Sanders has supported every war and military intervention since the 1980s, just like every other good Democrat.

False Flag Change: History, the Confederate Flag, Obama and the Deeper American Racism

by Paul Street

The Confederate flag comes down at the capital of South Carolina, and smug white smiles go up all over America. “Meanwhile,” writes the author, “savage racial disparities persist and even deepen thanks to the underlying societal, institutional, historical, and political-economic racism that churns on behind the curtain of an officially color blind and, yes, politically correct media and politics culture.”

How Poor Black Lives Matter to U.S. Capitalism Today: Reflections on “The New Jim Crow”

by Paul Street

The U.S. mass incarceration regime measures Black lives by the value that can be derived from their imprisonment. “The ‘new Jim Crow’ is about disciplining a deindustrialized Black lumpen proletariat and turning it into a largely inert, deindustrialized profit-source whose 'value added' comes mainly from the mere fact of its captive existence.”

Feeding the Frenzy: The Sanders Syndrome Hits Home Court

by Paul Street

Attending an Iowa event for Bernie Sanders, Paul Street notes that his crowd is mostly aging left white Democrats who shunned the 2012 Occupy movement, that Bernie Sanders denounces only Republican plutocrats, never Democratic ones or the military budget, and that Sanders' presence ultimately legitimizes Hillary as victor in some kind of "democratic" process.

A Racially Blind Night in the Life of the “P”BS Newshour

by Paul Street

The rich son of the owner of a major league baseball team seems to have a better understanding of race and class in America than the Black co-anchor of Public Television’s premier news show. John Angelos “placed the real and underlying blame” for unrest in Baltimore “on the investor class’s globetrotting thirst for cheap labor.” Gwen Ifill only wanted to know when the next Orioles home game was scheduled.

Beyond Twelve Years a Slave

by Paul Street

At the heart of American history lies an essential truth: the U.S. became an economic superpower based on the super-exploitation of Black slaves, to whom it owes reparations. In his new book, Edward Baptist calculates that “nearly half the nation’s economy activity derived directly and indirectly from the roughly one million Black slaves.” There was nothing quaint or “peculiar” about the system. America became “great” through “a highly cost-efficient method for extracting surplus value from human beings.”

Capitalist Cotton Slavery and a Case (One Would Think) for Reparations

by Paul Street

Black chattel slavery made the United States an economic powerhouse and a beacon to European immigrants. “By 1836 nearly half the nation’s economic activity derived directly and indirectly from the roughly 1 million Black slaves. The descendants of that cauldron of torture and death deserve “a massive federal program of reparations in partial and belated compensation for the massive horror and theft.”

Mass Killings of Blacks by Cops: An Absence of Outrage

by Paul Street

After two generations of mass Black incarceration, hyper-surveillance and police militarization as national policy, a nascent movement has finally arisen to demand that Black Lives Matter. But most whites feel no compassion for the victims of state carnage in the ghetto. “Where is the outrage outside the Black community over such atrocious police killings of Black people in the US?”

Nutty Professor Dyson’s Ridiculous Apology for Eric Holder

by Paul Street

Shameless Obama apologist Michael Eric Dyson claims it was too politically dangerous for a Black attorney general to prosecute white Wall Street executives. “But the basic Too Big to Prosecute idea was clearly in Holder’s head long before Dyson’s ‘racial realpolitik’ might have come into play. Holder put forth the doctrine of executive immunity when he worked for Bill Clinton. “Running dog Dyson is barking up the wrong bourgeois tree.”

And Then Came Sharpton: Helping Keep Blacks in Their Place

by Paul Street

Al Sharpton polluted the air of Ferguson, Missouri, on a mission to restore peace and tranquility, i.e., the racist order. He castigated Blacks for indulging in self-pity, “as if engaging in days and nights of street battle with the forces of white supremacist order and marching in the street under the banner ‘No Justice, No Peace’ is ‘sitting around feeling sorry for ourselves.’”

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