“Freedom Rider: Let the Movement Be Radical” by Margaret Kimberley calls for unity of the black activists with militant white protesters in places such as Portland and Minneapolis.
Patrick Walker writes:
“I'm a (white male) fan of Black Agenda Report and am proud as hell that I've been published twice at BAR. I'm a fan of BAR because you represent the underdogs--not just black ones, though of course the tragic history of black people is a special case--but ALL victims of capitalist ‘elites,’ whose ‘meritocratic superiority’ is rooted in the deepest moral shallowness. I consider being tuned in morally part of REAL intelligence, and in those terms what currently pass for meritocratic elites are far too often--indeed, generally--shallow and stupid. I found this shallow ‘meritocratic’ stupidity especially well embodied in Hillary Clinton.
“Anyway, I wanted to give you MAJOR kudos for your current BAR piece, which I find especially insightful. Not only do you reflect the insightful BAR editorial standpoint of underdog solidarity across racial lines, but you do it amidst a tricky, emotionally fraught Portland situation that requires lots of nuanced thinking. The current white activists of Portland are hardly to blame for Portland being a historically heavily white city, and I'm really pleased that you--in the face of the ‘black misleadership class,’ took their part. I share Adolph Reed, Jr.'s standpoint that race -- apart from (sadly grievous) social consequences based on perception -- has NO real scientific or intellectual significance, and that ‘elites,’ whether racist or ‘liberal,’ EXPLOIT it for their own selfish class advantage. BAR's principled leftist standpoint represents the REAL way forward, and your piece embodies that standpoint with principled consistency in really tricky circumstances, easy to get wrong.
“P.S. If only the Poor People's Campaign would, consistently with MLK, embrace the type of cross-racial radicalism you reflect in your important article!”
John Shea writes:
“In response to Margaret Kimberley’s recent article, I fundamentally disagree with her conclusion that the growing participation of whites in the marches represents a new radical left alliance or increased acceptance of either the goals of the original protests or the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement. On the contrary, the co opting of the movement by these white protesters, who (like Antifa, the faux-outraged yuppies and suburban soccer moms) come primarily from wealthy privileged backgrounds and who focus on their agenda for the November elections rather than Black lives or systemic racism (which they themselves created and benefit from) has destroyed the potential for change of the original movement.
“Destroying low-income and Black communities and the public infrastructure that services them only hurts the most vulnerable, while the wealthy whites go home to their gated neighborhoods every night. If it is sincere in wanting fundamental change, BLM should be leading protests in Harvard Yard, Georgetown, Pacific Heights, etc. The fact that the number of white protest-tourists is large and growing should not be misconstrued as buy-in of BLM or any Black empowerment movement, in fact just the opposite.”
Carl Shames writes:
“I (Jewish, Marxist) am a little confused and concerned by Margaret K’s current article. I have been saying for many years that the only way we can bring about radical change is through broad multi-racial coalitions. For instance not one of the goals of the Black is Back coalition can be achieved apart from a broad radical coalition capable of challenging the power structure of our society and beginning the long process of re-balancing power relations. Reform the police, the criminal justice system, the prisons, challenge the austerity programs, the extreme economic imbalances, all manifestations of racism -- all require the broadest possible radical coalition.
At first glance I welcomed Margaret Kimberley’s apparent recognition of this fact. But at second glance I was confused. While I certainly agree with BAR’s on-going critique of the ‘Black Misleadership Class,’ has Margaret Kimberley lost sight of what constitutes ‘radicalism’ in contrast to the BMC? Is setting a fire ‘radical’? Would throwing a grenade be even more ‘radical?’ Or planting a bomb more radical yet? In fact the white radicalism we are seeing is characterized by a lack of direction, of any program or analysis, discipline, organization. It’s what Lenin called ‘infantile leftism,’ actually hardly capable at all of pursuing a real radical agenda of restructuring our society. Are these the people Black radicals should be looking to for alliances?
This situation no doubt presents a challenge to more sophisticated radicals such as at BAR. The white youth, reflexively embracing anarchism because they have no political education, no real class consciousness, need to be guided and educated. Allies need to be sought among more disciplined groups whose ‘radicalism’ may not be so apparent as seen in setting fires and the like.”
In radio segment “Has Covid Initiated the Final, Fatal Crisis of Capitalism?” Dr. Anthony Monteiro argues that the health crisis is “a singular event in the history of world capitalism” from which it may not recover.
Paul Billings writes:
“Terrific interview with Anthony Monteiro. As you point out, Bill Clinton accelerated neoliberal economic policies with his crime bill, welfare bill and his repeal the Glass Steagall Act, contained within the Commodity Futures Modernization Act (CFMA) of 2000. As you are well aware, Joe Biden has been the ‘waterboy’ for the military, large banks and Wall St during his 5-decade long career in government. As my dad always used to state “a leopard does not change its spots.’”
The contradictions emerging from this crisis will lead to great social unrest. Our challenge is to develop the ideas that can guide the masses toward a new society.
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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