This week the presidential election and the legacy of Paul Robeson were on your minds. We share your letters for “Freedom Rider: Black People Lose in 2020,” “Corporate Democrats Want to Run Against Trump-like Republicans Forever,”and “Paul Robeson’s American Ballad.”
“Freedom Rider: Black People Lose in 2020” by Margaret Kimberley argues that Black people will get nothing from a Joe Biden administration except fiscal austerity and the precarity that comes with it.
Ronald Ewalt writes:
“Nothing or at least too little has changed about the American condition. As stated here none of the dysfunctions of our society are repaired or eliminated because of a Biden/Harris administration alone. However, the most critical independent variable to the advances of the American Cerberus, the Fascist-in-Chief, will be replaced by a man who is demonstrably less dangerous and potentially more sympathetic to a Progressive agenda. Voices of the ‘Revolution’ are heard and have had impact. Now we must ‘up the game,’ engage an enlightening national dialogue, including provocative thought agents from BAR, and build the coalition that includes all of us Americans of conscience and courage. Honestly, as a 73 year old white male, I am looking to leaders from outside my demographic. I don’t have the temperament and definitely none of the energy to work for White Liberal Bull****.”
Tre Tre writes:
“The issue is that we need to stop focusing on these binaries that this white supremacists capitalism systems are giving us. We don't have to choose Democrats or Republicans, we can build our party working class African party that fights for a country that wants the economic model to be socialism. A country where everyone eats.”
Huitzopochtli Maestas writes:
“As always, they'll hire a few misleaders from conservative States to appease the rest. Extreme Austerity Measures will be on the CBC to sell to people of color.”
“Corporate Democrats Want to Run Against Trump-like Republicans Forever” by Glen Ford argues that no matter who wins this year’s presidential election a race-based politics will allow the corporate elite to ignore demands for economic relief or stopping endless wars.
Mario Golden writes:
“I just have one comment on this article. It feels divisive that you pointed out that "The election data show that Trump’s supporters now include surprisingly large numbers of non-Cuban Hispanics, an indication that the politically white (supremacist) base has new sources to tap and will not be shrinking any time soon" without also pointing out Trump's support has grown among both Hispanics and Blacks aged 18-44 (notwithstanding the problems with these categorizations). It seems to me that the growing support towards Trump among Blacks is worthy of discussion and analysis in your news site in the current political context. It seems the increase in support for Trump among both Blacks and Latinos is reflected in the numbers that voted for him.”
Reg Callaway writes:
“White supremacy is an omnipresent force that has stood the test of time. Resisting is nearly futile. Anyone or group willing to take a stand against it will confront a fight they never imagined because the white supremacy establishment comes in many shades to keep order.
“For example, the Congressional Black Congress (CBC) is one of those shades of white supremacy establishment that protect white supremacy from Left flanking moves. Recall the '94 Crime Bill signed onto by many CBC misfits stiffened the penalties for many types of societal ills that targeted the Black community in the most severe ways possible. The CBC demonstrated their value recently when Joe Biden claimed the Bill was backed by them during an interview, giving an air of logic to an explicitly racist law.
“The CBC also lent a black hand towards white supremacy when they backed the 1033 federal program which increased the amount of deadly military hardware for racist town police forces throughout the country. These stylized soldiers of fortune (SOF) have never wavered in pulling the gear out of the depot to suppress Black expressions of street anger. Never let their potential use pass by is their motto. Naturally, many CBC members are always eager to sign onto an ever-expanding white supremacist war budget every year which disproportionately harms people of color around the world. The CBC is doing God's work as intended.
“To make up for potential public backlash against obvious police abuses, white supremacy guidance gives SOF qualified immunity to make it nearly impossible to hold killer cops accountable. To add salt to gaping wounds the CBC further helped white supremacy strategy when they signed onto the Protect And Serve Act which makes it a federal crime to harm invading police forces in any way.
“the Congressional Black Congress protect white supremacy from Left flanking moves.”
“No story about CBC aiding and abetting white supremacy would be complete without mentioning their role in taking Black wealth and giving it to their rich donors. To protect Wall Street criminality post-2008 the CBC backed federal efforts to bailout the fraudsters while allowing the same crooks to confiscate Black homes. While several communities recovered from the Great Financial Crises (GFC), the Black community stayed underwater. Then came COVID. Without batting an eye the CBC ensured white supremacy would be inoculated against the virus by helping pass legislation that shoveled a greater share of the fiscal response towards -- you guessed it -- their rich Wall Street friends. Think of the booty as a vaccine for the rich. If Blacks were lucky, they got a measly $1200 to assist them through the pandemic. Recall the CBC signed onto the legislation ensuring it would be means-tested so few could qualify to receive the funds.
“Then there is the CBC self-serving member, Rep James Clyburn. When Joe ‘Strom Thurmond was my friend’ Biden was on the ropes during the presidential campaign, Clyburn publicly threw him a life-saving raft and backed him to ward off Bernie Sanders afflictions. In his mind, it was like spraying OFF on your skin to preemptively ward off mosquitoes. Assisting Blacks was tantamount to getting a case of spreading malaria. Clyburn's endorsement of Biden sunk Sanders chances to the presidency and with it any potential Black redress.
“However, now we are discovering Black men, in particular, are finding a home in the Trump anti-Black camp. Anecdotal evidence is emerging many of us made a pact with the portly devil by casting our vote towards the Orange Satan because ‘he shows strength.’ Even after a long hot summer of street protests against state-sanctioned violence against Black lives, our testosterone count must have collectively moved up a few notches in recent years. At the end of the day, millions love a ballsy white guy who is responsible for sending hundreds of thousands of people to their grave during a pandemic because he sounds tough. The allure of patriarchal white supremacy is intoxicating like a splash of AXE for some even when it is killing us.”
“Paul Robeson’s American Ballad” by Gregory N. Heires reviews a new graphic biography of the multitalented revolutionary illustrated and written by Sharon Rudahl.
Stuart L. Cipinko writes:
“Wonderful man, a true socialist and he had the most beautiful bass voice. My mother introduced me to his singing (on the highbrow BBC station of the 1950s, the Third Network). Unparalleled in voice and political perspective. But a tragic last few years (Stephen Kinzer's book on MK ULTRA revealed that for me).”
David Aplin writes:
“My parents admired Paul Robeson for his unflinching political views and loved him for his musical talent. We had an LP entitled ‘Paul Robeson Sings Negro Spirituals,’ the playing of which was reserved for special joyful occasions such as Sunday dinner with family, or more solemn occasions such as the assassination of President Kennedy. My favorite was (and still is) Jacobs Ladder. Robeson sang that song with great feeling wringing palpable emotion from every phrase. So much so that I choke up at the memory! There was so much hope placed in the struggles of the Left and indeed, much disappointment in its defeats. Being mortal we often cannot see the progress made through many decades of effort but in the long sweep of history it is there. Despite the many setbacks and serious challenges ahead, the world is a better place because of people like Paul Robeson.”
Jackie DiSalvo writes:
“One of the greatest persons in US history: a genius, a Red hero, superlative singer, actor, athlete, statesman, ambassador of the Black people to Africa. I tried to get renamed after him Livingston College, the inter-racial, proletarian, progressive branch of Rutgers University, where he had been their great football star, whose trophies they had removed during McCarthyism. Instead they dissolved the College. Isn’t it time with all the attention to statues to have, as others have also thought, a statue of Robeson in Harlem? Even if we don’t succeed, the campaign will bring many to know about him.”
The memory of revolutionaries such as Paul Robeson is invaluable in a time of such crisis. We must struggle to keep this history alive.
Jahan Choudhry is Comments Editor for Black Agenda Report. He is an organizer with the Saturday Free School based in Philadelphia, PA.
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