This week you had Joe Biden’s electability, Russiagate, and the challenges of building a new peace movement on your minds. We share your letters for “Is Joe Biden Really More Electable?,” “Freedom Rider: Bernie Sanders’ Foreign Policy Trap,” “Building the New Antiwar Movement,” and “Black America, Endless War, and the Evil Genius of Russiagate.”
Thad Baltimore’s “Is Joe Biden Really More Electable?” proposes that the electability argument pushed by Biden supporters is actually a dog whistle referring to his racist record in national politics.
John Grant writes:
“I'm a 72-year-old white guy and just read your piece on Biden on The Black Agenda Report. While I can be a bit leery of some of the stuff I read on BAR -- like criticisms of Bernie Sanders that don't make sense to me -- I liked what you wrote about Biden and Strom Thurmond’s crime bills. After Reagan's demoralizing win in 1980, Biden went to the depressed Dems and said he could ‘get the Democrats back in the game.’ How? Crime bills. They said, cool, so as a senator half his age, he went to Strom and said he wanted to work with him and promised he would never do anything politically sneaky. He spoke long and eloquently at Thurmond's funeral. Of course, he worked with Strom on getting Clarence Thomas onto the Supreme Court. He's a corrupt hack who'd sell his own mom for power. His win in South Carolina is perplexing. I've written about his working with Thurmond on crime bills in the early 80s and can't figure out why it's never raised, other than that it must be a classic wink-wink agreement among the big boys and girls to not go there. So it's only marginalized writers like us who worry about this stuff. You're probably right that Biden's appeal is, as I think you're suggesting, a corrupt appeal to S.C. blacks who may be conservative, not very aware of this stuff and seeking stability rather than "revolution" with Bernie, blinded by Biden as Obama's VP and feeling that Biden somehow represents The Liberal State of JFK and Lyndon Johnson's Great society that has the reputation for protecting blacks through the Civil Rights period. But, then, there's the other side, the guy who protected White People by working behind the scenes with Thurmond to help design and build Michelle Alexander's New Jim Crow world that put so many black men in jail. (I teach some of them writing in a PA state prison.) I tend to avoid the conspiracy theories, since reality provides plenty of damnation for people like Biden. So keep at Biden; he deserves everything you can throw at him.”
In “Freedom Rider: Bernie Sanders’ Foreign Policy Trap” Margaret Kimberley argues that it is time for leftists to stop giving Sanders and other candidates a pass on their reactionary positions on US foreign policy.
Edward Gillespie Amos writes:
“Problem is he is stuck with the mainstream media and moderators. There is only so far he can go while running for office when he is trying to win over liberals and not scare the hell out of them. But I say sure complain, I just would not expect him to go further left right now. The article makes really good points, but the pressure from the right is just so heavy right now. I want to see what he does once he gets in office. Then I will protest.”
Alvin D. Hoffer writes:
“I applaud Ms Kimberley's article on the Left's folly: to think they can have real domestic social progress and an imperial President too. The Left should have supported Tulsi Gabbard months ago. It is more important for social democracy to have a President who is for cutting the Military Industrial Complex and ending regime change wars than one who espouses great leaps forward socially while continuing imperialism, as Sanders does.
“The latter is ‘mission impossible.’ Sanders joined with the late Sen John McCain in repudiating the Helsinki meeting. Sanders urged President Maduro to resign. Sanders is not to be trusted!”
“Building the New Antiwar Movement” by Russell Rickford examines the tasks required to construct a new movement for peace in the aftermath of the killing of Qasem Suleimani.
Wesley Gray writes:
“Rome wasn't built in a day, and it wasn't destroyed in a day either. We have to have a movement before its aims can be realized. Most Sanders supporters are antiwar. It would be useful to make allies of them and their extensive grassroots network-- separate of any individual movement building. Keep in mind that he and his supporters are attempting to seriously reform many areas of domestic policy already. The only thing that could prevent his possible capture by the MIC is a prolific activist base pushing him to to use his ‘Authorization for Use of Military Power Act’ presidential authority to end war and imperialism.”
“Black America, Endless War, and the Evil Genius of Russiagate” by Glen Ford exposes the Russiagate narrative as a ploy by the Democratic Party to discredit all opposition to US wars and calls for a renewed struggle for peace, especially among African-Americans.
Paul Cianfrocca writes:
“Conservative Republicans started opposing endless war throughout Obummer's second term, especially in August, 2013 when he tried to invade Syria. It was guys like Rand Paul and Mike Lee who led the way in Congress to shut down that war before it started while Pelosi and Schumer were 100% in favor of war with Syria. So it should have come as no surprise when Trump voters embraced his vision of peace with Russia and China. Maureen Dowd wrote in 2013, ‘Joe Sixpack is now a peacenik.’”
A renewed debate on the challenges of building a peace movement is a necessity at this moment. Your comments are an important contribution.
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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