This week Ibram X. Kendi, Toussaint Louverture, community control of the police, and the trial of Julian Assange were on your minds. We share your comments for “The Invention of Ibram X Kendi and the Ideological Crises of Our Time,” “Black Spartacus: The Epic Life of Toussaint Louverture,” “Freedom Rider: The U.S. Is a Racist Militia,” “Sept 19: A Nationwide Day of Protest, and of Dialogue on Community Control of Police,” and “The Stalinist Trial of Julian Assange,”
In “The Invention of Ibram X Kendi and the Ideological Crises of Our Time” Anthony Monteiro argues that Kendi’s How to Be An Anti-Racist is an attack on the Black Radical Tradition and is being promoted by the ruling class.
Leonardo Legorreta writes:
“I cannot understate my appreciation to Anthony Monteiro for sparing me having to deal with the Kendi proposal. Thank You, Dr. Monteiro. Thanks to Monteiro, I no longer have to plow through whatever Kendi put together in what he calls his life's work.
“Such assertions are assaults that greedily demand attention. Kendi has appeared repeatedly on DemocracyNow! (DN!) with Amy Goodman tooting his virtues. Amy Goodman and DN! have lost my trust, because she and DN! have repeatedly proven (at least to me) that they have sold out to the establishment, albeit the ‘good’ establishment, the ‘liberal progressives’ in the upper classes. Goodman's enterprise has become an unabashed subsidiary of the DNC. Ever since the 2020 Democratic Convention, Goodman's programming has descended into an endless parade of DNC sheepdogs. This morning (Sept 2, 2020), for example, the guest sheepdog asserted that Kamala Harris will protect us from fracking. UGH.
“So when Kendi keeps popping up on DN!, I should've been on notice. Nope, I fell for his snake-oil pitch. I never dismiss Black voices as readily as I should because as a white Latino raised in the Che Guevara tradition, I always will stop, listen, and give my last buck to anyone Black. So Kendi had my attention, he had me in a headlock, leaving me unable to breath really. He was demanding I learn from him how to be an anti-racist. Monteiro's illuminating essay spared me the headache of breaking that headlock. Thank you.
“This is why I love BAR. I have been liberated by BAR to call out Black Mis-Leaders, which is something that is hard to do knowing the hardship Blacks have endured for centuries. BAR has empowered me to resent and call out the damage Black Mis-Leaders do to that history.”
Robert A. DeVillar writes:
“Great analytical comment by Anthony Monteiro on Ibram X. Kendi, his funding patrons, his and their common ideological foundation, and the implications for strengthening the status quo and thwarting substantive dialogue or movement toward equitable social change. Thomas Sowell and Shelby Steele are two earlier manifestations of this conservative perspective that find and mine the riches of the powerful and in exchange feed them language wrapped in faux-scholarship that absolves them of engaging in relevant break-throughs in consciousness and action, political or economic, regarding racism as a current systemic phenomenon in the US.”
In “Black Spartacus: The Epic Life of Toussaint Louverture” David A. Bell talks about the importance of Toussaint Louverture and how access to new archives in a book by Sudhir Hazareesingh contribute to our understanding of Toussaint.
Keith Brooks writes:
“Thanks for the review. The incredible Haitian revolution was marked by a series of incredible twists and turns, often difficult to follow. It still struggles to get its rightful place--if mentioned at all-- among the other major upheavals of the era--the American war of independence and the French revolution. Michel-Rolph Trouillot has two great chapters on Haiti in his Silencing the Past, where he helps put things in proper perspective, ‘The Haitian Revolution was the ultimate test of the universalist pretensions of both the French and American revolutions. And they both failed.’”
In “Freedom Rider: The U.S. Is a Racist Militia” Margaret Kimberly describes the collusion between white supremacist vigilantes and the police as something in the very ethos of this country.
Reg Callaway writes:
“Kimberly's assessment is spot on. The US has always been a bastion of free-wheeling white supremacy. It does not matter which president, Congress, or legislature is in office. Blacks can expect: officeholders will uphold white supremacist values.
“What is so profound about the African-Americans situation is their very existence is colonized from end-to-end. They may hold high office but they are surrounded by white supremacist infrastructure no matter where they live or work. There is no escape. True power rests elsewhere.
“It is no wonder the police passed Kyle Rittenhouse on by after his murdering spree so they could train their 1033 program hardware on peaceful Black Lives Matter protesters instead. He was ignored so the brutal state could enforce white supremacy. Naturally, Kyle is now the white supremacist darling.
“Changing course a bit. What I find most troubling is Dr. Cornel West using his high profile status to sell us political platforms that are not interested in Black lives. Recall he rallied extensively for Bernie Sanders twice only to be betrayed twice. As soon as Bernie lost this last time around he backed Joe Biden, the very man who railed in Congress his contempt for Black lives.
“It is hard to understand Dr. West's political strategy for it serves the white supremacist class interest. He has now fallen in line behind a white-run “movement” with questionable goals. The American Left is solidly outgunned. Unfortunately, it is also weak at creativity which keeps white supremacist forces’ talons in the backs of Black lives.”
In “Sept 19: A Nationwide Day of Protest, and of Dialogue on Community Control of Police” Glen Ford discusses why Black Lives Matter has refused to support community control of police.
Wallace Nixon writes:
“Black lives don't matter to the Ford Foundation which mysteriously and surprisingly financed the movement with promises of large amounts of money. Imperial and eugenicist groups like Ford can buy the innocent or others with an inclination to collaborate but we know they are not only part of the problem they epitomize it! if there are other reasons for BLM reluctance to participate it will eventually come to light.”
On “The Stalinist Trial of Julian Assange” John Pilger describes the ordeals faced by the WikiLeaks founder and the responsibility of activists to defend him.
Brian Souter writes:
“I can do without the ‘Stalinist!’ This is a very Anglo-American judicial kangaroo court. But people like to demonize Stalin and claim it’s him behind the system.”
Jennifer Wagner writes:
“What? It’s a collectivized trial? McCarthyite is a better description.”
We must continue the struggle of serious journalists like Assange against the disinformation of the ruling elite.
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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