This week there was much discussion on the Sanders campaign, the black misleadership class, and the Covid-19. We share your letters for “Can Bernie Save the Left,” “Black Misleaders Put Their Own Class Interests Above Black Health,” and “Freedom Rider: Corona Virus and the Failed American State.”
In “Can Bernie Save the Left” Andy Thayer questions whether a Sanders presidency could overcome the enormous repressive forces of the US government.
Elle Vander Schuur writes:
“Come on people, he says over and over and over, #NotMeUs, I've got it, we're going to have to call and write and protest but he is willing to put forth all the legislation he promises and we just have to shame congress into passing it.”
Salim Morgan writes:
“Not alone, of course not. He says that all the time. But getting a foot in that door certainly has a chance of helping.”
Bud Nevada writes:
“If -- or if you'd like -- when Sanders wins and is prohibited from affecting substantial change, it should be made clear that the DNC will only ever promote a candidate they can control. ‘New party or bust’ is likely it; or just ‘Bust.’”
John Dom writes:
Yes. One would need other principled, non corrupt folks who give a dang about something other than preserving their power, status and benefits.
Tom Johnson writes:
“I have just read Andy Thayer's excellent article of March 11 as I mourn the coup de grace of last night's Dim primaries.There's not a single thing to disagree with that I can see; however, there is not a single thing that he writes that is new.
“To me, that gets to the heart of the problem: In the absence of vital and viable national and international true left movements in the U.S. (that are actually connected with and derive their energy, directions and leadership from the 99%), how do leftists (of all stripes and tendencies) deal with the ongoing co-optations and distractions of the Kabuki Theatre known as the (s)electoral process?
“Like the permanent wars of the U.S.-based capitalist neoliberal empire, the (s)electoral process is indeed endless and ubiquitous. And it is wildly successful -- as we see in the crushing of the moderate social democratic Bernie Sanders Campaign.
“After the brutal and violent capitalist war against the left in the U.S. that ran from the end of WW1 to the dawn of WW2 (with both violent and less-violent mopping-up "operations" from about 1945-1970), we have seen decade after decade of successful propaganda, mass-produced ignorance and co-optation suppressing a rebirth of any kind of collective/national/global leftist imagination in the souls, hearts and minds of the 99%.
“The word ‘solidarity’ has become a distant echo without much of a living source. So we always get back to the eternal question: what can "we" do?
“First, we have to understand that ‘we’ is always a moving object. In the present, our communities have become extremely limited because our (leftist) power is extremely limited. We must both nurture and protect it. We have become pre-industrial agrarians planting seeds. Despite the fact that we realistically don't have time.
“Second, we have to be strategically and tactically smart in using what power we do have. BAR is one immediate example. The languages and images here are generally written/spoken/shown in ways that many people can understand -- without dumbing down energy and substance. More importantly, IMO, the words and images of BAR only have authenticity because they are continually connected with organizing for power - left power - of various kinds. So BAR gives us a bit of light in the foggy darkness of a seemingly endless night.
“In terms of the biosphere (the ultimate regulatory agency), Spring is coming upon us again in the Northern Hemisphere. It is a time of rebirth and creating new abundances with our continued hard labor.
“And we only have to look to the ‘Global South’ (of whatever hemisphere) where eco socialist uprisings and political-economic creations of all sorts rave on full-tilt-boogie 365-days-per-year (with many fewer ‘resources’ than in the U.S.).
“So, to answer Thayer's question: Of course Bernie Sanders can't ‘save’ the U.S. left. In fact, there is very little U.S. left, left to save.
“But there is a world to reimagine. A world that is, in fact, reimagining itself. A world fit for human beings and other species.
“As Bernie goes through months more of humiliation and genuflection at the Altar of Capital before a formal capitulation (that could come sooner than the Milwaukee DimCon), we should salute his martyrdom and not mourn his defeat. He did a lot to clarify the work and struggles before all of us. That is no small or mean thing. It, like all births, is hellaciously pain-filled.
“The results of the (s)electoral Kabuki were called long ago by the oligarchs, plutocrats and corporatists who are Capital. They will never change.
“We must. We must look South with clear eyes directly into the warm Spring Sun (without shades), burning all illusions and delusions from our hearts, minds and souls. Only then can we see clearly. Thanks to Thayer for his work -- and to Bernie for taking on a historical moment that pretty much nobody expected.”
In radio segment “Black Misleaders Put Their Own Class Interests Above Black Health” Ajamu Baraka argues that “the Black Misleadership Class is concealing class contradictions, not only in the broader US society, but within Black America. They know that Black people would benefit if there were Medicare for All, but because of short-term class interest, they choose to mobilize Black opinion behind Biden.”
Alvin D. Hoffer writes:
I think Black leaders, such as James Clyburn, have more responsibility for the "circling of the wagons" by Blacks around less-than-Trump racists such as Joe Biden. Whip Clyburn is third in rank among Democrats in the House, behind Hoyer and Pelosi. He must have enormous influence on Black voters and not only in S.C. Yet, he gets a pass from the Left. I don't read or hear his name mentioned adversely on the net. Maybe the Whites on the Left do not want to single out a Black man. Maybe the Blacks on the left hesitate to call a Black to account - as was the case with Barack Obama. The only safe guide, I would suggest, is to put race completely aside and criticize equally anyone who sacrifices the interests of all Americans who are not oligarchs for the few who are
In “Freedom Rider: Corona Virus and the Failed American State” Margaret Kimberley examines the failures of the US government in containing the health crisis.
Dave Peterson writes:
“Margaret Kimberly is the breath of fresh air that we need in these troubling times. While even so-called liberal commentators talk about “draconian” measures in China to fight the virus, the United States uses prison slave labor to produce products that capitalist industry cannot produce in quantities sufficient to meet the challenge of the virus Draconian is the best way to describe the failure of our entire society/culture to acknowledge the dysfunction of the current healthcare system. Only when you are behind the proverbial 8 ball is the reality clear that the U.S. has no answers other than more of the same. Black Agenda Report always provides the antidote to the mainstream poison.”
The antidote to mainstream media poison will keep running and your letters only make our platform strogner.
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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