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During This Economic Crisis, Capitalism’s Three Point Political Program: 1. Austerity, 2. Scapegoating Blacks, Minorities, and ‘Illegal Immigrants’ for Unemployment, and 3. The Iron Heel.
Democracy?: As the Capitalist Robber Barons Steal from the 99% — Only the 1% Voted For Austerity — The 99% Should Decide On Austerity — Not Just The 1% Who Profit From Austerity!
Images of the Day:
A human rights movement, King believed, held revolutionary potential. Speaking at a Southern Christian Leadership Conference staff retreat in May 1967, he told SCLC staff, who were concerned that the Civil Rights Movement had lost its steam and its direction, “It is necessary for us to realize that we have moved from the era of civil rights to the era of human rights.” Political reform efforts were no longer adequate to the task at hand, he said. “For the last 12 years, we have been in a reform movement…. [But] after Selma and the voting rights bill, we moved into a new era, which must be an era of revolution. We must see the great distinction between a reform movement and a revolutionary movement. We are called upon to raise certain basic questions about the whole society.” 63 More than forty years later, civil rights advocacy is stuck in a model of advocacy King was determined to leave behind. Rather than challenging the basic structure of society and doing the hard work of movement building —the work to which King was still committed at the end of his life — we have been tempted too often by the opportunity for people of color to be included within the political and economic structure as-is, even if it means alienating those who are necessary allies. We have allowed ourselves to be willfully blind to the emergence of a new caste system—a system of social excommunication that has denied millions of African Americans basic human dignity. The significance of this cannot be overstated, for the failure to acknowledge the humanity and dignity of all persons has lurked at the root of every racial caste system. This common thread explains why, in the 1780s, the British Society for the Abolition of Slavery adopted as its official seal a woodcut of a kneeling slave above a banner that read, “AM I NOT A MAN AND A BROTHER?” That symbol was followed more than a hundred years later by signs worn around the necks of black sanitation workers during the Poor People’s Campaign answering the slave’s question with the simple statement, I AM A MAN. The fact that black men could wear the same sign today in protest of the new caste system suggests that the model of civil rights advocacy that has been employed for the past several decades is, as King predicted, inadequate to the task at hand. If we can agree that what is needed now, at this critical juncture, is not more tinkering or tokenism, but as King insisted forty years ago, a “radical restructuring of our society,” then perhaps we can also agree that a radical restructuring of our approach to racial justice advocacy is in order as well. All of this is easier said than done, of course. Change in civil rights organizations, like change in society as a whole, will not come easy. Fully committing to a vision of racial justice that includes grassroots, bottom-up advocacy on behalf of “all of us” will require a major reconsideration of priorities, staffing, strategies, and messages. Egos, competing agendas, career goals, and inertia may get in the way. It may be that traditional civil rights organizations simply cannot, or will not, change. To this it can only be said, without a hint of disrespect: adapt or die. If Martin Luther King Jr. is right that the arc of history is long, but it bends toward justice, a new movement will arise; and if civil rights organizations fail to keep up with the times, they will pushed to the side as another generation of advocates comes to the fore. Hopefully the new generation will be led by those who know best the brutality of the new caste system — a group with greater vision, courage, and determination than the old guard can muster, trapped as they may be in an outdated paradigm. This new generation of activists should not disrespect their elders or disparage their contributions or achievements; to the contrary, they should bow their heads in respect, for their forerunners have expended untold hours and made great sacrifices in an elusive quest for justice. But once respects have been paid, they should march right past them, emboldened, as King once said, by the fierce urgency of now. — Michelle Alexander, Chapter 5, The New Jim Crow: Obama—the Promise and the Peril
“The warehouse (that was bombed) was used to both produce and store shells containing toxic gas…The shells were delivered to Iraq and repeatedly used there… Both Iraq and international organizations have confirmed the use of such weapons by militants.” (RT) — Trump’s War Whoop: a Gulf of Tonkin Moment?
Videos of the Day:
President of Richmond Fed Leaks Insider Information and Gets to Walk Free According to Bill Black, the investigation into leaking of inside information shows how banks and the Federal Reserve are riddled with conflicts of interest
Washington’s Supreme Hypocrisy on Chemical Weapons and Civilian Deaths The use of chemical weapons by the Syrian Army in Idlib is an atrocity, but the outrage of American politicians draws on the myths of American exceptionalism and Alzheimer’s of the political memory. By Juan Cole
Scapegoating Blacks and Minorities for 23% unemployment rate: Top Democrats Are Wrong: Trump Supporters Were More Motivated by Racism Than Economic Issues It isn’t only Republicans, it seems, who traffic in alternative facts. Since Donald Trump’s shock election victory, leading Democrats have worked hard to convince themselves, and the rest of us, that his triumph had less to do with racism and much more to do with economic anxiety — despite almost all of the available evidence suggesting otherwise. By Mehdi Hasan
MLK and Obama: Two Diametrically Opposed Legacies Dr. King spoke of the Triple Evils: racism, militarism and materialism – “meaning, in contemporary society, capitalism.” However, “the decisive blow to the Black movement for self-determination and against U.S. imperialism was delivered by forces internal to the Black community”: the Black Misleadership Class. The question confronts us: “Have Black people shed their anti-imperialism and embraced war?” by BAR executive editor Glen FordEnvironment:
The Billion Dollar Whitehouse: The Rich Line Up at the White House ATM The wealthiest administration in American history is primed to make even more money for its already well-to-do staff. By Michael Winship
Defend Livingstone! Kick out the Blairites! Ken Livingstone’s suspension from standing for office or representing the Labour Party for a further year for “bringing the party into disrepute” has provoked a cacophony of protests from the party’s right wing, all demanding his immediate expulsion. By Rob Sewell Health, Science, Education, and Welfare: