This week we discuss Bernie Sanders political evolution, the role of Nancy Pelosi, and Trump’s conflict with the “squad.” Your letters are reproduced for “Bernie Sanders Fight against Corporate Rule vs the Bernie of 1989,” “Freedom Rider: Trump Pelosi Lovefest,” and “The ‘Squad’ Will Need to Realize that You Can’t Defeat White Supremacy with White Supremacy.”
In “Bernie Sanders Fight against Corporate Rule vs the Bernie of 1989” Stansfield Smith analyzes Sanders’ shift from independent to Democratic Party politics and the limitations it entails.
Guy Mika writes:
“I don’t think he’s trying to reform the party so much as he’s trying to use it. The sad reality is that US election rules pretty much make third parties nearly impossible unless they operate on the Vermont Progressive Party or Working Families Party model. The Greens waste a ton of time and resources doing pointless stuff just to maintain ballot access. Bernie, the ‘squad,’ Tiffany Caban and others show we can strategically seize the Democratic ballot line. We likely won’t always succeed (we’ll see what bs the machine in Queens pulls to have Katz win by a single vote) but it’s a much more viable strategy then anything else I’ve seen.”
Rebecca Martin writes:
“At the end of the day Bernie doesn't believe in equal rights for the Palestinian people because that would be the end of Israel. He supports Israel. That in itself should be the red flag.”
In “Freedom Rider: Trump Pelosi Lovefest” Margaret Kimberley argues that Trump’s support to Pelosi in her conflict with the “squad” indicates their ideological similarity.
“When the middle of the road Speaker of the house has conflict with the left, who rides to her aid? President Trump defends Speaker Pelosi. When the left flank continues to threaten Nancy, even alluding to her being racist herself, what happens next? Immediately, Trump promptly goes full on racist boogieman. He tells those pesky leftists to go back to Africa. (Even the ones that are from New York, just like he is.) So cui bono? Who benefits from Trump stepping in? Why is Trump lashing out to restore Dem unity in ‘the Resistance’ against him?”
In “The ‘Squad’ Will Need to Realize that You Can’t Defeat White Supremacy with White Supremacy” Ajamu Baraka argues that the congresswomen’s responses to Trump are limited by a Democratic Party politics based on liberal white supremacy.
Doug Mann writes:
“Who are the racists? Almost no one wants that label applied to them. And yet there is systemic racism, passage of the 1964 Civil Rights not-withstanding.
“Are not all whites and only whites racist, according to the dominant orthodoxy on the issue of racism as commonly taught at universities, at corporate seminars and by anti-racist activists in the Democratic Party? The curriculum about racism is curiously lacking in consideration of laws and public policy that established slavery and then a color coded caste system.
“Are there divisions of interest among whites that affect their attitude about systemic racism? Is it equally beneficial and harmful to the poor and to the rich, to the propertied and property-less? Do low income blacks and whites have more in common with each other than with rich people who look like them?
“I agree with Ajamu Baraka that a social revolution is needed, but on what basis? Race, class, gender or something else. I think that class identity is the primary basis of social division, political power and a majoritarian struggle against racism and sexism. The interests of a large majority of wage earners aligns with elimination of racism and sexism and conflicts with the interest of the exploiters, of the capitalist class.
“I disagree with Ajamu Baraka's assertion about slavery being followed by 100 years of apartheid and ‘benign neglect’ since then. American Apartheid was established in the 1890s, with Supreme Court decisions upholding laws that enforce racial segregation and race based discrimination. American Apartheid was ended, in theory in 1965. That adds up to no more than 75 years of Apartheid. And what followed was not ‘benign neglect,’ but Apartheid Lite. Ongoing race discrimination and segregation continued to be enforced through law and public policy. The Civil Rights Act provided token enforcement provisions at best, in order to insure that racial equality would not come about quickly. We saw racial integration of the public schools without equal access to a quality education. There were no provisions to detect and prosecute race discrimination in employment and housing. The government is racist, regardless of which major party is in power, and even with a black president. There is political power behind ‘whiteness’ and the Eurocentric world view. The Democratic Party is as much a white man's party as the Republican, the difference being that the Democrats can get black people to vote for them.”
The Democratic Party may be limited by their Eurocentric and pro-corporate ideology but on this page we will keep up the debate for a truly anti-racist vision forward. Please keep sharing your views in the week ahead.
Jahan Choudhryis Comments Editor for Black Agenda Report. He is an organizer with the Saturday Free School based in Philadelphia, PA.
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