This week you discussed Thanksgiving, the George Floyd protests, and allegations about Russian involvement in Afghanistan. We share your letters for “No More American Thanksgivings,” “George Floyd Protests Were Result of Years of Organizing,” and “Freedom Rider: Russia, Afghanistan, and the Big Lie.”
In “No More American Thanksgivings” Glen Ford discusses the racist origins of Thanksgiving and the ways it continues to inform America’s occupations in the Third World.
Meg Hurley writes:
“I read and saved your excellent essay. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for telling more completely than anyone I've read, so far, the awful, gut wrenching truth about my ancestors, who came on the Mayflower -- religious, racist fanatics and murderers. I stand alone in my family -- no one will talk about our history, which also includes enslaving Africans. I am silenced by them. I wish that were not my family's history, but it is, which sickens and angers me.
“For many years I have not celebrated Thanksgiving and try to engage family in conversations about the fact that what we are thankful for came at great cost to others (the most horrible suffering beyond anything imaginable), including being slaughtered by our ancestors -- and that Thanksgiving is a white-washed celebration of racist murder and genocide. But instead, I receive emails from siblings telling me to stop sending lies and negativity and saying that I am delusional. When my own family became inter-racial through adoption, my grandmother told me I was ‘destroying the white race’ and that daughter Lili would never be part of the family. I did not speak to my grandmother again and did not attend her funeral. My parents had no pictures of my children in their house, only those of their blond grandchildren. Now I can say aloud that I do not love my parents, which involves so much more, and I stay away from them as much as possible.
“I tell you this not because I want you to feel sorry for me. That is my burden, not yours. I write because you see and speak the truth and I don't know Whites who can do that, so I reach out just to let you know the relief and gratitude and sanity I feel because of your work. I accept your writing as a gift and with humility.
Throughout the past 15 years, as I awaken to hard truths and accept the responsibility of righting wrongs of white supremacy and human hubris, I also strive every day of my new life at the intersection of social justice, Earth justice, and animal rights, because it is the same ‘power-over’ structure that oppresses, uses and destroys humans, raises animals for food and other human abuses, and is killing the planet. Living as an ethical vegan unites all my efforts with its central tenet of ‘do no harm.’ At last, I am learning and practicing compassion in all capacities, something that was not taught to us children, but then I think that is the case in most white families.
“Enough of me, I hope you are well and able to stay sane as we engage in what I hope is the life-saving struggle in the crucible of truth and anger and trauma and so much more. Again, thank you for all the heavy lifting you do to destroy dangerous national myths and white supremacy that ingrain and normalize harm and hatred and arrogance -- work that should be done by us Whites and not by people whom we have steadfastly tried to destroy and use for our pleasure, profit, and gain, which is M. Scott Peck's definition of evil.”
In radio segment “George Floyd Protests Were Result of Years of Organizing” Monifa Bandele discusses the work the Movement for Black Lives has done to set the stage for the current protests.
Yvonne King writes:
“I just finished listening to your interview with Monifa Bandele, and I am grateful for your questions. I have many more questions about M4BL, including: the 150 organizations in their ‘ecosystem’ and who funds them, the numerous hats Ms. Bandele wears and her/their affinity with Congresswoman Maxine Waters. Because she didn't address Community Control of Police, I'm not sure where they stand on that. I don't think she really understands Chokwe Lumumba’s long journey, beginning in the early 1970s, to running for office and being elected. Clearly, based on her response to your question about US imperialism, they have no position on war and peace and whether they even see those issues as relevant.
“Are the 16 chapters of BLM Global Network part of M4BL's 150 organizations?
What is M4BL's relationship with BLM Global Network?
Is Hawk Newsome's BLM Greater NY part of M4BL? Last week I learned that BLM Greater NY is not part of BLM Global Network.“There is too much unclarity and a whole lot of money floating around which these groups have access to.”
“Freedom Rider: Russia, Afghanistan, and the Big Lie” by Margaret Kimberley argues that recent claims by the New York Times of Russian support for the Taliban are the second round of the disastrous Russiagate scandal.
Reg Callaway writes:
“It is becoming clearer by the day the dubious NYT claims of Russians hiring Taliban fighters to pick off American soldiers in Afghanistan is a case of changing the narrative. (It is dubious because few American soldiers have died in Afghanistan in recent years.) Underlying this scheme was State operatives didn’t want legislative softies upsetting the apple cart. The Russia-Taliban bounty hunter leak was a preemption to test the waters against cries for ‘defunding the Pentagon.’ In reality, they had nothing to fear since Congress is run like a sweaty brothel that guarantees happiness to their best paying patrons.
“The George Floyd protests and the anemic federal response to the virus is forcing a reckoning among average Rip Van Winkle Americans in asking what is the purpose of government. The warmongers, on the other hand, have no plans on ceding ground to public sensitivities. It is broadly bipartisan. Folks realize their government hates them and acts against their interests at every opportunity. Equally understood is wealthy donors call the shots. Socialism for the rich and capitalism for the rest of us.
“Sustaining the ‘Russians did it’ model deflects attention away from societal ills. Unnamed State actors will keep juicing the Russia themes as long as possible no matter how much we’re falling apart as a society. But as former PM Margret Thatcher once callously said: ‘There is no such thing as society.’ In the big scheme of things, Floyd’s tragic murder sparked a rare US foreign policy win. His death has given space to oppressed people around the world to challenge conditions that deny them better outcomes.”
It seems that the mainstream media is becoming increasingly unhinged in promoting forever wars. We must challenge this war hysteria in every forum possible.
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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