This week readers discuss Trump and Syria, Obama’s presidency, and the return of McCarthyism. We share your letters for “The Robbers Have Come Home to Roost,” “Obama Condemns ‘Call Out’ Culture Despite Being Its Biggest Beneficiary,” and “McCarthyism Redux.”
In “The Robbers Have Come Home to Roost” Dr Kweli Nzito reviews the hypocritical responses from the mainstream media to Trump’s declared policy of seizing Syria’s oil.
Stuart L. Cipinko writes:
“What we visit on other peoples will, sooner or later, be visited upon us in one way or another. And we have no right to cry ‘unfair.’ One problem is that the US has avoided signing some very important international rights treaties as well as abrogating others it finds inconvenient to its corporate-capitalist-imperialist ends”
In “Obama Condemns ‘Call Out’ Culture Despite Being Its Biggest Beneficiary” Danny Haiphong interprets Obama’s recent critique of youth activism as a dog whistle aimed at pleasing his wealthy, white supporters.
James Pitts writes:
“Though Obama may go down in history as one of the most so called ‘trouble free, clean cut presidents’ of our times, he will also have to struggle with having a legacy that failed miserably to address the most prominent issues that were problematic among so-called black people.”
Dawn Gibson writes:
“Black folks suffered under Obama. What is the point of representation if it's merely symbolic as conditions for Black folks as a whole deteriorated at home and on the African continent? We shouldn't seek to align ourselves with the very State that seeks to destroy us.”
“McCarthyism Redux” by Riva Enteen discusses the hesitancy to confront anti-Russia hysteria by progressive organizations like the National Lawyers Guild.
Larry Pinkney writes:
“This article should serve as a chilling wake-up call to everyone in this nation. The reality of the current self-imposed McCarthyism among so-called progressives is exposed front and center in this article. Read the article! Ignoring this hideous and dangerous reality will not make it go away. Thanks to Ms. Enteen for writing this incredibly thought-provoking and urgent article, and Black Agenda Report for having the unabashed courage to publish it.”
Carolina Cositore Sitrin writes:
“Yes, I too recognize this recurrence of McCarthyism among too many self-labelled progressives that one would hope knew better and it frightens me. When I returned from the citizen diplomat trip to Russia, the same CCI group Riva traveled with and one I both immensely enjoyed and learned immensely from, I laughed at Hillary's reaction to Tulsi Gabbard's antiwar stance. My immediate memory connection was mockingly humorous and musical: The Chad Mitchell Trio in the early 60s sang of the anti-socialist/communist rantings of the John Birch Society:
Norman Vincent Peale may think he's kidding us along
But the John Birch Society knows he spilled the beans
He keeps on preaching brotherhood, but we know what he means
“Any semblance of humor was rapidly removed by hearing from some very intelligent, well-educated people that ‘of course Tulsi and Jill are Russian agents’ and ‘Russia wants us to have a third party.’
“Just as the anti Soviet keepers of the gate at that time might condemn a minister for preaching equality, today's condemnation is for anyone against war. Doesn't it raise a question that to be antiwar is to be pro-Russia? It is sad to me that, for all the objectionable actions and positions of Donald Trump, he is the only likely possible presidential candidate who is remotely antiwar.
“And, as Riva writes of her nephew, there are too many friends and family who refrain in fear from commenting or even ‘liking’ some Facebook posts. This calls up another quote, not musical this time: ‘Society develops a type of self-censorship, with the knowledge that surveillance exists -- a self-censorship that is even expressed when people communicate with each other privately.’ Not surprisingly, this quote is from Julian Assange.”
The new McCarthyism is meant to stifle critical thinking among activists. We will continue to fight with this forum.
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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