This week you discussed the Biden-Harris ticket and the country’s political prisoners. We share your letters for “Freedom Rider: ‘Feet to the Fire’ and Other Lies” and “US Lies About Political Prisoners - And Almost Everything Else.”
“Freedom Rider: ‘Feet to the Fire’ and Other Lies” by Margaret Kimberley challenges the notion that activists should once again elect the Democratic presidential ticket and “hold their feet to the fire.”
Reg Callaway writes:
“Several Black digital media personalities are also dutifully gaslighting their followers in selling us on Kamala Harris. Kinda like a messiah moment in time. Prior to her VP nod, they spent quite a bit of digital capital telling us our (Black) votes should not be taken for granted. They inferred ‘they owe us’ since Black women were able to organize to get several legislators elected. And if Biden didn’t install a Black woman, there would be hell to pay.
“Once Harris got the nod, the same Black media types told us she was ‘qualified’ and was the reasonable choice. Case closed. Let's move along. Leaving aside Biden/Harris and the Black media types in their camp, Americans have a very decrepit political process that guarantees misery for millions. The infrastructure gaslights citizens into thinking their vote really matters, but which only bamboozles them in very bad ways. Politicians are not accountable to their voters.
“Citizens in other countries such as in the Netherlands can start political parties based on shared beliefs, something Americans can only dream about. During the last Dutch election cycle a Black Guyanese woman started her own party since the other party she was involved in weren’t addressing Black issues. Surprisingly, she had the backing of Dutch prisoner of war Jews in Indonesia from WWII. As expected, her platform got about 1% of the vote. However, she was able to demonstrate what was possible in a ‘free’ country that believed in electoral rights.
“Americans, on the other hand, seem to acknowledge the two-party political machinery is wedded to neoliberal capitalism which is reinforced after every gaslighting election cycle. The whole process carefully selects those who can gaslight the best. Any candidate not towing the line will experience the wrath of party leaders. Most troubling is how blatant politicians become once they are in office. Once in they make no bones they view the very well off as their constituents and the rest of us as losers to be scorned. They see lack of healthcare, crummy education, poisoned water, homelessness, etc., as our own bad choices.
“Americans are just not up to the task of making their lives better via politics. They seem to believe the two-party system and the institutions they lord over are Natural Law where they can’t be changed. This is, of course, fortified by Black digital media figures steering their followers' views into thinking the system is bad but anointing Democrats like Harris is our only shot at beating back those mean Republicans. At the end of the day, and is uniquely American, the neoliberal order wins every time. Americans are the most regulated people in the world.”
Richard Kidd writes:
“Margaret Kimberly is right. There will be no ‘fundamental change’ under Biden-Harris. Four years of Obama-style neoliberal governance will do nothing to solve the problems facing the human race and the planet. Trump is a cancer, but the Democrats are no cure. A few bandaid innovations, even universal Medicare, wouldn’t make any difference to the tragic destiny about to unfold. Despite my respect for Noam Chomsky, there is only one viable path forward. All progressives should reject Biden and vote for Howie Hawkins and the Green Party in November, while also working to elect as many down ballot representatives as possible. Sure, that will ensure Trump’s re-election, and the country will continue its present trajectory to rock bottom. But Hawkins could get 10-20 percent of the vote and thereby fuel the formation of a new progressive party (now under way) to contest the elections in 2022 and 2024. That would be our best hope, even if it’s a long shot. Continuing to have faith in the Democratic Party is a fool’s errand.”
In radio segment “US Lies About Political Prisoners - And Almost Everything Else” Nyle Fort argues that the official US position, that this country holds no political prisoners, is part of “the lie and the founding mythology of US ‘democracy.’”
Wallace Nixon writes:
“Political prisoners have done much more than political office holders to promote freedom and other interests. They have made big sacrifices with no thought of gain or fame. In fact we deliberately ignore people like Geronimo Pratt, who spent 27 years in prison due to lies in court by a black sheriff's deputy. On the other hand we lionize sheep like the Obamas because the establishment promotes and pays them very well.”
The carceral state and its architects work to erase the memory of political prisoners from the masses. We must educate the people about them and the struggles they engaged in.
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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