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WHEN WILL PROGRESSIVES START TO FACE THE HARD TRUTH?

...and realize that it is the entire American system that is bankrupt to the core. Instead of focusing on Party politics or personalities, activists need to focus their energy on ISSUES. Make your activism an ISSUE-BASED activism rather than getting suckered into the scam of American Electoral politics or of wasting your time which Capitalist Politician and which Capitalist Political Party you should support..
This commentary is in response to the article "Dean vs. Kucinich" which many people here have responsed to. Judging from the comments made by some people, it seems that many so-called "progressives" still hold out the illusion that the "Democrats are the lesser Evil," that "Anybody but Bush" should be supported, that the entire charade called American Democracy is NOT a scam to begin with.

To repeat for the Trillionith time, the Democrats are part of the problem. The Democratic Party has ALWAYS HISTORICALLY PLAYED THE ROLE OF A POLITICAL GOOD COP--in opposition to the Right Wing Bad Cop. Regardless of the phony Populist rhetoric the Demo-rats like to spew, they represent the same bloodthirsty American interests that the Republicans represent, only in a more camoflaged form.

Anybody who suggests that the Democrats (or for that matter, some phony Second Party candidate like Ralph Nader) represents any real change or real challenge to the American system in general is a political fraud.

This is the reason why you see Democrat Party hacks, Liberals, and the some of the Media focus so much of their energy on George W. Bush and engage in Bush Bushing with such relish. This kind of Bush Bashing serves an important political function in that IT HELPS TO DIVERT ANGER AWAY FROM THE AMERICAN SYSTEM ITSELF onto the bogeyman of Puppet President Bush. This kind of Bush Bashing helps fosters the illusion that the American system is fundamentally OK, and that all we need to do is to replace a few corrupt officials when in fact it is the entire American Empire that is rotten to the core.

In fact, American electoral politics itself is a dead end, a waste of time, a political scam designed to siphon off energy and activism in order to neutralize and contain it in some kind of Domesticated Political form which only serves to American elites.

This is the Political game that American elites (and their phony Free Press) have always played in order to fool and dupe the people. Promote two Political Parties which are presented as two different choices when in fact they are merely controlled by the same American Political Establishment. The DEMOCRAT AND REPUBLICAN PARTIES ARE TWO HEADS OF THE SAME MONSTER: the American Capitalist system itself.

Regardless of which party and which political candidate wins the "election," the American Political Establishment is the only true winner.

Instead of focusing on Party politics or personalities, actiivists need to focus their energy on ISSUES. Make your activism an ISSUE-BASED activism rather than getting suckered into the scam of American Electoral politics or of wasting your time which Capitalist Politician and which Capitalist Political Party you should support.

It is the American Political Establishment and its lapdog instituions like the Media which are the true enemy. Instead of wasting your time focusing your anger on an individual Ruler (like George Bush) or an individual political party, direct you efforts against this American Establishment. These institutions are the real Evil-doers that should be exposed, targetted, and attacked without mercy.
don't divide the discussion 07.Jul.2003 00:35

james

you should have posted that inside the thread as there has been debate about your points already!

Hmm... 07.Jul.2003 00:47

scooter

So much ranting, so little substance. Maybe you can enlighten us by explaining what it is about the "American Political Establishment" that is "rotten to the core" and what we should do about it.

Issue based activism you say? Does this activism involve working with political figures -- who, at least for now, are the ones empowered to turn an issue into an on-the-books law -- or just frothing at the mouth online?

It wasn't so long ago I remember seeing plenty on PDXIMC about "respecting diversity of tactics" and the like as regards protests. And I'll respect your tactics -- as far as I can tell, that means leaving you free to dink around with swastikas in photoshop and holler about how everything's corrupt. Me, I'll be looking for a viable way of unseating the president 16 months from now.

See you in '04.

Sorry Scooter 07.Jul.2003 01:04

--

This is not about diversity of tactics. By stumping for Dean and the Democrats, it's more like you're working deep undercover for the forces you say you oppose. Commentary like this is necessary so you can't claim ignorance when your Anyone But Bush Candidate betrays you and your liberal causes over and over. That's one broad learning curve you've got.

GWB is the heart of the monster. 07.Jul.2003 01:52

PHH

Take him out and the monster dies.

Sure, there are other rotten ones,

so let's make an example of GWB for them.

This is not about *diversity of tactics* - this is about diversity of GOALS 07.Jul.2003 02:16

GRINGO STARS

The real problem is capitalism, not whoever is the figurehead of politics. The real fix is an alternative economic system. The real problem is electoral personality/celebrity politics. The real fix is DEMANDING power for yourself, not powerlessly begging for it. The current system respects only money and violence, sadly. The entire system needs a complete and total overhaul.

Keep the idiot box on if you like rooting for smiling mascots on the Every-Four-Years-Politics-Pageant-Show - and be sure and buy everything else they sell you on your Tell-A-Vision.

For those of you who prefer to face reality, here is a quick reminder;

Direct action gets the goods.

Pass it on.

A Dog and Pony Show Fronting as a Democracy 07.Jul.2003 02:21

.

"So much ranting, so little substance. Maybe you can enlighten us by explaining what it is about the "American Political Establishment" that is "rotten to the core" and what we should do about it. "

Gee, how about a stolen election in which thousands of African American voters were conveniently purged from Voter Registration lists in Florida right before the 2000 "election." Note that the American political establishment--both Democrats and Republicans--and its Lying Free Press have predictably still covered up this minor little issue, despite the fact that credible evidence exists of this stolen election in the public domain.

How about waging wars of aggression around the planet and murdering tens of thousands of people on the basis of fabrications and lies? And I'm not only talking about Iraq and the WMD issue but the phony "War on Terrorism" itself, including the curious events of 9-11 in which "terrorists" some of whom were trained at secure American military bases were involved.

How about the rampant corruption and financial fakery committed by the Enrons, Arthur Andersons, and Freddie Macs of this country? Note again, how the American political establishment--both Democrat and Republican--and its Lying Free Press have predictably attempted to minimize and downplay this issue with a fraudulent "independent" investigation and lotsa pseudo-populist rhetoric about "corporate responsibility" and "corporate reform."

"Issue based activism you say? Does this activism involve working with political figures -- who, at least for now, are the ones empowered to turn an issue into an on-the-books law -- or just frothing at the mouth online?"

It means building institutions and movements outside the American political system, not beholden to this or that political hack, and free from the control and manipulation of any political party. In short, it means grassroots political organizing and movement building--not wasting time following your lastest Lesser Evil Political Savior.

"It wasn't so long ago I remember seeing plenty on PDXIMC about "respecting diversity of tactics" and the like as regards protests. And I'll respect your tactics -- as far as I can tell, that means leaving you free to dink around with swastikas in photoshop and holler about how everything's corrupt. Me, I'll be looking for a viable way of unseating the president 16 months from now. "

Meet the Old Boss--same as the New Boss. This is what your politics--like that of "progressives" in general --is all about. The following is an good article from Mike Ruppert which exposes how the system really works. He makes a credible case that all of your ranting and raving about Bush the Anti-Christ is a waste of time, especially since it seems that the American Political Establishment is already moving to set up the Bush Regime for Regime Change itself, regardless of what happens with the 2004 sElection.

All of you people who want to get rid of Bush so badly most likely will get your wish. Too bad the people who will be installed in his place will implement the same fundamental policies and agenda--only with a more dangerous and deceptive Kinder, Gentler Facade.

But hey, the Democrats are the Lesser Evil, right?


American? 07.Jul.2003 02:58

Not American

D00dz, 1've t@ken the w0rd "american" 0ut 0f y0ur p0st and re-subbed 1t 0n the @ustralian newswire:

 http://sydney.indymedia.org/front.php3?article_id=33057&group=webcast

activism and activity 07.Jul.2003 03:45

Erik

While issue based activism is important, the cold hard fact is that politics matters, and that even though politics in this country is massively skewed towards the promotion of injustice, there are lesser evils. And a lesser evil is the best we are going to get, even in the best of worlds. Utopia isn't possible, so we do what we can do. The fact is that Bush is a monster who is commited to jeopardizing our saftey and rights in the name of security, and doing nothing but create problems. The fact is that Bush is more beholden to corporations in their war on normal humans than Dean, Kucinich or even Gephardt are (I can't speak for Lieberman). The fact is that if we want to improve things, rather than simply bitch about how america is a gigantic swastika of corporate greed covered in the fecal matter of brutalitity and totalitarianism and whatever else you want to inject in your diatribe, we need to act to make things better, to make progress in the political fronts and elsewhere. Look, I know Clintonian economic liberalism wasn't exactly a great thing, but compared to Bush? We won't get anything by rejecting politics for condemnation of capitalism, we just get marginalized and give carte blanche to the right. Why do you think the Radical Right has been able to hijack so much of politics? Because they CARE about Politics, and now all across America progressive laws and controls are being rolled back or deliberately undercut. To say that politics don't matter because we don't get everything we (and a very small we) want is the height of foolishness.


The fallacy of binary thinking 07.Jul.2003 05:46

Skwirl

Whenever I read a rant of this nature, it always just reeks of "you're either with us or you're against us" rhetoric.

There's absolutely no reason why we can't work within the system to try and make things a little less painful in the short-term and still hold long-term ideals and simultaneously build grassroots, apolitical communities while we're at it. Neither reform nor revolt has been proven yet. Hedging out bets just makes sense, not only from a risk maintenance point, but also when you consider that a partially reformed system will be more friendly to revolutionary ideas. If you except the revolution to just up and happen overnight, then I sure as heck hope you're hoarding ammunition, because until we soften up some of the currently existing institutions, that's the only item they'll answer to.

I also think there's something to be said for not throwing the baby out with the bathwater. For all of America's flaws, the Framers of the Constitution got a heck of a lot of stuff right and capitalist economics wouldn't have gotten to where it is today if there wasn't any truth to it at all.

2004 feels like a triage election to me. Maybe that means I'm sacrificing my ideals for pragmaticism, but I feel like Bush really has lived up to his billing as the worser of two evils. I certainly can imagine Gore going apeshit and invading Afghanistan following 9-11, but I'd be very hard pressed to imagine a mainstream democrat with the pure, unadulterated jingoism of the neocon chickenhawks.

That being said, I think the democrats are quickly turning themselves into a party of lame ducks. They've been following the Clintonian lead for so long and trying to emulate republicans that they've totally lost their liberal base of support, and they're not going to make up that base with republicans because, d'uh, republicans are going to vote for fucking republicans. Morons like Vera Katz and Gary Davis are being attacked from all sides of the political spectrum for a reason. It's just too bad that the Greens have yet to position themselves as a replacement for the democrats. I kinda expected to hear more from Nader during all those corporate scandals and whatnot.

Children 07.Jul.2003 07:06

Parent

People like the author of this article are like children presented with two food choices that they don't really want. Trouble is, right now, there's nothing else to eat! It's either going to be mac and cheese or baked beans. That's it! Those are the only two choices on the menu. The sensible thing to do is, of course, eat the least bad choice and then work on getting something better to eat in the future. But like children, radicals insist that what you really should do is throw a temper tantrum and try and prevent everyone else from eating too, throw all the food on the floor, jump up and down until you're red in the face, and insist that they be given a steak. It doesn't matter that there's nothing else to eat. No no: give me what I want right now and I won't take anything less.

In 2004, a new American president will be elected. Which would you prefer: GWB, or anyone else? I know what I would prefer. But no, no. The "revolution" is coming in the next two weeks, the whole system will be torn down, and then we'll all sail away to magical anarchist happy land, right? Your paranoid delusional rantings about the unity of the proleteriat may be a great substitute for medication, but they have no bearing on reality.

Issue based activism 07.Jul.2003 07:11

Craig Rosebraugh craig@arissa.org

Issue based activism mirrors the same senseless behavior as engaging in the electoral process. It is a reformist endeavor and reform has consistently stood in the way of substantial political and social change in this country. The author of the original post stated correctly that the entire rotten political system is the problem. Yet reformist politics, those most common in U.S. activist circles, have never posed any real challenge to that political system. The most reformist politics have accomplished are minute changes to a constantly growing and oppressive political disease known as the U.S. government. A revolutionary pursuit is urgently needed in this country to enable people to stop wasting time and energy on attempting to treat symptoms of the problem, while the primary root disease continues to grow. For the revolution...


the Soccer Mom from Hell 07.Jul.2003 07:26

not a Parent

"People like the author of this article are like children presented with two food choices that they don't really want. Trouble is, right now, there's nothing else to eat! It's either going to be mac and cheese or baked beans. That's it! Those are the only two choices on the menu. The sensible thing to do is, of course, eat the least bad choice and then work on getting something better to eat in the future. But like children, radicals insist that what you really should do is throw a temper tantrum and try and prevent everyone else from eating too, throw all the food on the floor, jump up and down until you're red in the face, and insist that they be given a steak. It doesn't matter that there's nothing else to eat. No no: give me what I want right now and I won't take anything less. "

Man, what an idiotic analogy. You sound like somebody who has been living in your Whitebread American world way too long. What are you, a fucking soccer mom/dad or something? Go back to your SUV and your White Middle Class world, and leave the thinking to other people. You don't know what you are talking about.

Hell, even your definition of "democracy" betrays a kind of fascistic Paternalism in which people are treated as childen who are given the wonderful democratic choice to decide between non-options not of their choosing.

I feel sorry for your children. They must really love your wonderful parenting skills.

It's the system stupid! 07.Jul.2003 07:43

StevetheGreenanarchist

I don't think it can be stated more simply or more accurately than Mr. Rosebraugh stated for us when he said.....

"Issue based activism mirrors the same senseless behavior as engaging in the electoral process. It is a reformist endeavor and reform has consistently stood in the way of substantial political and social change in this country."
This statement is a fact.

It may be a fact that many who consider themselves "political activists" don't want to hear (or as we have already seen during this virtual discussion), want to deny, but it is a fact nonetheless. We have to face facts regardless of what reality they present to us.
We can not hide behind what history has shown us will be "failed attempts at reform within a corrupt system", regardless of whether you think it gives your life meaning or purpose or regardless of whether you think your continual denial will give you a free pass for failing to engage in the "direct action" that all of know is and will be necessary.

If we can't even get people who are "politically aware" and who care about our future to approach our current situation with their eyes wide open, we will surely be doomed. Pretending that if we could only get Bush out of office, everything would be OK, is nothing more than a temporary feelgood victory that will only delay the massive awakening that is required for the inevitible revolution to come.

Instead of getting angry at this bit of truth, let that anger transcend into putting down your peacful protest sign and actually do something that will help to expedite the coming revolution.

when Will progress face Hard Truth 07.Jul.2003 08:00

david

"If you want to be slaves and pay for your own slavery, let the Banks create money''
"Let me control the isssue of a nation's money I care not who writes its laws''
The world is dominated by these statements,the Americans are slaves,just as every body else.
If you slaves want to free,let the government of the day create money, and control it..This money will be interest free and debt free.Unless you do that go on bring slaves into this world all you mother fuckers.

Clarification 07.Jul.2003 08:51

.

"I don't think it can be stated more simply or more accurately than Mr. Rosebraugh stated for us when he said.....

'Issue based activism mirrors the same senseless behavior as engaging in the electoral process. It is a reformist endeavor and reform has consistently stood in the way of substantial political and social change in this country.'

This statement is a fact."

I agree with what Rosebaugh said about "reformism" being a political dead end. I did not mean to suggest that Reformism (which is what "progressives" and Democrats like to peddle) will solve anything in any way.

Just to clarify what I meant when I mentioned "issue oriented" politics, I do not mean this in the narrow single issue politics tsense that Liberals and reformists in this country practice. I meant this in the broader sense of challenging the American Empire itself and its capitalist system. I brought up the idea of "issue oriented politics" in order to offer a *specific political alternative* to the scam of supporting or campaigning for this or that political candidate.

As for the comments by the others that Radical politics is not realistic, that you have to work within the system, etc... these comments are completely naieve and neglect the real history of resistance movements in this country.

Real political change has always happened IN SPITE OF THE AMERICAN POLITICAL SYSTEM NOT BECAUSE OF IT, For example, during the 1960s it was the Black Power Movements and the urban uprisings in Watts and Detroit(and NOT the integrationist Civil Rights Movement or god forbid Lyndon Baines Johnson) that forced the American Empire to grant whatever civil rights legislation and reforms it did.

Most of the people here who are trashing Radical politics or trying to dismiss it as "unrealistic" most likely believe in and defend this American system. What they want are "reforms" in order to buy off, coopt and contain any kind of radical rebellion. Beneath all of their condescending advice and well-honed "we have to support the Democratic Party" propaganda is a fear of rebellion itself and a desire to discredit EVEN THE THOUGHT OF REBELLION here in the belly of the American Beast.

Try again, Junior!! 07.Jul.2003 08:52

I like cheese

"Man, what an idiotic analogy. You sound like somebody who has been living in your Whitebread American world way too long. What are you, a fucking soccer mom/dad or something? Go back to your SUV and your White Middle Class world, and leave the thinking to other people. You don't know what you are talking about."

Wow, what an argument. You're really cutting me down to size with that sizzling intellect. I'm really put in my place by name-calling and Capital Letters. (FYI, I don't have any children, or own an SUV. Nice try though. News flash, though: it is possible for other types of people to disagree with you. No, really! I know it's scary. Take some deep breaths and sit down if you feel dizzy. )

"Hell, even your definition of "democracy" betrays a kind of fascistic Paternalism in which people are treated as childen who are given the wonderful democratic choice to decide between non-options not of their choosing."

Yeah, look at how I defined democracy. Oops, I never did any such thing!! I talked about the current situation in America. I never even tried to equate that to democracy. Way to build a strawman and then tear it down, though!!

So, so far we've learned that I'm a SUV-driving soccer parent who defines democracy as the choice between Shrub and faceless Democrat. Amazingly enough I didn't say any of these things; your powers of deduction are startling!! (ps - sometimes people choose titles/names that are tongue-in-cheek)

reform of pivotal issues means/takes a supply of them!! 07.Jul.2003 08:57

piet


trillions and trillion? 07.Jul.2003 09:35

carl reagan

"To repeat for the Trillionith time, the Democrats are part of the problem."

Come off it. As a registered Green, I don' t even need to know this, but this has little to do with the recommended "focus on issues". The comparison between Kucinch and Dean, however, because it cannot be debased into this kind of stuff, since they are both Democrats, consisted of nothing but focus on issues. That ought to be enough said right there, really.

I'm not going to repeat after you, "trillionth" time. I strongly suspect that "trillion" is a word that might really show someone's stripes. "Trillionth." How they love to talk of "trillions" in high places. Spoken like a true Democrat or Republican of the wrong kind.

For the umpteenth time, I registered to vote for the first time in my life to vote, all to vote against G.W. Bush, because I felt certain not only that he was by far the worse of two evils, but that, specificially, because of his dynastic record and the "R" that appeared after his name, he'd have us in two stupid wars before his first term was out.

Was I wrong?

(The reason I never voted before, btw, is because I had my head full of thoughts very much like those offered me here, thanks).

Surely it must be even cheaper for the Republicans to try to talk me into throwing my vote in the dumpster that to buy it, and it would even be amusing to watch them dress in drag and bash themselves as long as it meant they could bash Democrats, but this time, even more than last time, it will matter less who or what I am voting for, as it does who or what I am voting AGAINST. I can also be realistic and figure this vote will be at least as rigged as the last one, but that is yet one more way to make 100% sure my vote won't count for anything, and sorry, but my one vote is still about all I've got.

Political spectrum 07.Jul.2003 10:20

Ted

A bit of Perspective, for hat its worth. The political spectrum has a left end and a right end. The Dems represent the left half and the GOP represents the right end. Other parties are valid but ineffective and confuse the issue. Its like a football game. It gets a bit confusing and indeed absurd to have three teams playing. If a couple of the team members start playing for a third team their original team is doomed to lose the game. The Dems are trying to represent more of the Greens concerns so that they dont foolishly drain off votes again. Thats why the US System has a 2 party system in the senate and house. Usually one party systems are dictatorial and oppressive. Power corrupts absolute power absolutely corrupts. Its an extremely rare dictator or leader for life that can be benevolent or stay benevolent. These countries that have 10 or more parties all battling it out are basket cases and often end up with a MILITARY COUP, which also occursr if the one party dictator gets too ineffective.

The real way to go 07.Jul.2003 11:02

Sephiroth

I will be watching the polls next summer especially as the 2004 elections get near. If any chance arises to oust Bush then I'll vote for the "lesser evil," otherwise if Bush is obviously going to win (or if by some crazy fortune the Democrat gets way way ahead of Bush) then I'll vote third party. Remember that you can split your ticket and support Green (or Libertarian or Socialist) candidates at the local and state level. And making a compromise now doesn't mean you can't start barking for more next election. That's the way to win. Do it Fabian style, where your ideals are gradually realized through a series of incremental compromises in your direction.

Political Landscape 07.Jul.2003 11:37

me

We are taught to conceive of the landscape of political thought as represented by a number line, with most in the center and crazies at the left and right ends. This is the least intelligent possible conception (much like "They hate our freedom" is the least intelligent possible analysis of why 'terrorists' attack the U.S.A.) This conception hides far more than it illuminates. Political thought is best represented as a landscape, with many axes, not a single left-right axis. Centralized vs. Decentralized. Freedom vs. Authority. Security vs. Individual Liberty, etc.

I will post more on this in coming days.

Paging Dr. Johnson 07.Jul.2003 12:14

El Kabong

Or Ambrose Bierce. How I wish you guys were with us and compiling dictionaries, because this thread exemplifies a definition:

Ideological radical: A person who will reject a hammer because the handle isn't the right color and insist on driving nails with his forehead.

The Enemy is America 07.Jul.2003 13:01

Free Aztlan

The Enemy is not Bush, nor the Republicans, nor the Democrats, or Clinton only. The enemy of our freedom is America itself. This is the reality that citizens of the USA cannot stand to face. They will offer up one idiotic lie and half-truth, jackass attitude and characteristic American arrogance, all so they can convince themselves that their nation is not a plague on the rest of the planet.

You see it in the vast majority of comments by the people above. This is not surprising. Americanism is much like a Fundamentalist Religious dogma. Americans worship themselves and their diseased nation like the Nazis worshipped the Third Reich. Gringos and the Gringo world of course are the most guilty because they are the beneficiaries of this disease.

The only real change will have to come from without and from those few non-corrupted Americans that exist in order to destabilize and destroy the USA from within.

Put America and Americans out of their misery. If only for the rest of the human race...

The sooner the better.


Enough Already! 07.Jul.2003 13:52

Jumbo

Boooring. How many trillions of times will you repeat yourself and not wonder if maybe, just maybe, you're the one who's wasting your time. Okay lets think about this rationally. The American Empire is rotten to the core, the electoral process is a fixed sham, and national politics just distracts people from the real situation of capitalist oppression and police brutality which exists right here at home and the only way to solve this problem is to yell and scream and make scary pictures with swastikas in order to "wake up" the sleeping bourgeois populace so that they will "rise up" and end capitalism and prisons and environmental destruction and any other of the many and varied "single issues" which require these woken up people to push as "activists". Is this the plan? What's step 1? Or is it one of those quasi-mystical things that will just "happen" out of a pre-determined historical process, the last stages of which we are seeing now? Sounds kind of like...the Rapture, and you sir, sound like a Born Again Leftist! Born-agains, sophists, fundamentalists, and prosyletizers of ALL stripes are a pathetic and unfortunate form of humanity. You've awoken to the evils of the system and the self perpetuating nature of the system and you can't wait to tell everybody about it? Bully for you. I've read my Marx and my Chomsky so frankly your analyses are stale and unhelpful. Your anger and self-righteousness will not get you anywhere. People have been "talkin' bout a revolution" for a lot longer than you've been alive and most of them were a lot better organized than you and were more sucessful than you. And they still failed.

to 'Trollmeister'-- 07.Jul.2003 14:22

quizmaster

please tell us in detail about what you do at your 'job'.

i get it. 07.Jul.2003 14:22

this thing here

there's people who want to do something about the problems, and there's people who don't want to do anything about the problems. and then there's these other people who want to bitch about how and have everybody do exactly what they say.

after about 1 second of consideration, i've decided i want to be someone who's doing something about the problems.

if somebody has a problem with that, they can go fuck themselves.

Lessons from Marx, Lenin, Proudhon, and Gandhi 07.Jul.2003 14:30

Daniesha Laquandria

Yes, the capitalist system is rotten. Of course this is right. But this is no reason to argue that EVERYONE should refrain from political activity, or that everyone should decide whether to support the Greens or the Left Democrats, like Kucinich.

Everyone has a contribution to make. No less a radical anarcho-syndicalist than Proudhon said, any step forward, even gradualist steps within the system, is valuable in itself. Marx and Lenin both argued that imperative of revolution does not negate the usefulness of working to get leftists and progressives in office. Electoral politics, revolutionary acts, and Gandhi style non-violent direct action all play a role in the contruction of less exploitive and more just society. The work is long term.

Leftists, progressives, radicals, and revolutionaries all have the same long term goal in mind. Let us allow each to act in accordance with his or own convictions. Bashing fellow leftists and fellow radicals is often a waste of time.

it's actually the Corporate Media 07.Jul.2003 14:50

xx

people discuss all the things wrong with electoral, party politics . . .

but the Multi-Billion dollar mass media has just as much to do with the way that average Americans form their opinions about any issue,

or whether they even hear about it at all.

another example is the way in which Corporate Media actually *regulates coverage of opposition* to Bu$h (as was done during GIGANTIC demonstrations of hundreds of thousands before the invasion of Iraq)--here's a recent example:
------------

Associated Press originally reported presence of anti-Bush protestors in Philadelphia, but then silently removed the sentence around the web.

 http://www.indymedia.org/front.php3?article_id=330472&group=webcast

 http://www.underreported.com/modules.php?op=modload&name=News&file=article&sid=1056

Amen 07.Jul.2003 14:56

ranger

Daniesha! Good points. Also, lest we forget, during the French Revolution, the revolutionaries became the new government's moderates. No one has all the answers and we should not be so self righteous as to assume there is only one way. I think most of us can agree that the whole system is not working. Our tactics in changing that are an individual choice. The left needs to get their shit together. I've never seen so much bickering.

Atzlan 07.Jul.2003 15:12

America

All the little 5'08" barrio warriors are always talking about Atzlan. Why don't you take your uneducated gang-banger ass across the border and change that corrupt nation called Mexico. But of course you won't do that. Seditious speech isn't tolerated. You would disappear in Mexico. Much as you disappear in America when something needs to be accomplished. Your parents weren't lazy, just stupid. Unfortunately, you're lazy and stupid.

American Occupied Aztlan 07.Jul.2003 15:44

Free Aztlan

"All the little 5'08" barrio warriors are always talking about Atzlan. Why don't you take your uneducated gang-banger ass across the border and change that corrupt nation called Mexico. But of course you won't do that. Seditious speech isn't tolerated. You would disappear in Mexico. Much as you disappear in America when something needs to be accomplished. Your parents weren't lazy, just stupid. Unfortunately, you're lazy and stupid."

Classic Gringo rationalizations and justifications. Without La Raza on both sides of your phony "border" you will economy would collapse in a heartbeat. Who wash the clothes and pick up after your profligate asses? Who would you exploit for cheap labor in the American Maquiladoras and sweatshops? Like or your not your America will be driven out of Aztlan just as surely as you will be driven out of Iraq. Either case, the American occupation will be ended. And since you seem to have a fixation with gangbanging, how about you pay a visit to East LA and spew your rhetoric. It will be interesting to see how long it takes before you soil yourself in the process.

"The Enemy of Freedom is America itself? Yea, our country really sucks. That's why everyone wants to come here. What crawled up your ass, Free Aztlan? Did you get denied at the border? I don't know who this Aztlan is but I hope they don't free him. I hope he is getting a hot poker up the ass right now in fact. Have a nice day."

Americans--especially white Americans--can't stand to even consider the possibility that their Benevolent American Empire ain't even half as benevolent as American like to delude themselves. Sure America kills and murders hundred of thousands of people from Vietnam to Iraq but that's okay cuz it is done in the name of "freedom and democracy" so these American liars believe. Sorry to drop the truth on your head, but your Freedom and Democracy are lies. Always have been and they will always be.

And Aztlan ain't a person, you Gringo clown. Aztlan is the name of the land and nation you currently occupy from Texas to California. And make no mistake if anyone gets a hot poker up his ass it will be white bitches like yourself. White boys don't exacty last long outside of their gated communities and suburbans colonies.


watch 07.Jul.2003 16:03

just another "white bitch"

Dollars to doughnuts says Free Azatlan's racially-charged threats won't be composted by the indymedia moderators.

to 'watch white bitch'-- 07.Jul.2003 16:22

comments like THIS?

Aztlan is the name of the land and nation you currently occupy from Texas to California.

Racism and the progressive left 07.Jul.2003 16:26

Gentry Lange g@art13.com

I like the debate, it's great to read everyone's opinion, and to see that so many progressives are interested in politics again, this early in the game. My complaint is that I am sick and tired of everything "white" being bad. I'm a white guy, invovled with Seattle Indymedia, I volunteer for all sorts of things around my community, and do more for my community at large than many other people I know. However, the blatant racist bullshit that gets disseminated in the progressive community is starting to piss me off. Just cause I'm white doesn't mean that I'm a bad person, a Republican, that my parents got me into college, that I have a trust fund, or that I have money or come from money. Michael Moore's book "Stupid White Men" is a prime example of this double standard, a blatantly racist title that would be unacceptable with any other race but "white" being there. And I even bought the book and liked what he had to say, but it still doesn't excuse the title. And just cause you call yourself a progressive doesn't excuse the racist crap that comes out of your mouth or out of your computer.

Playing the Reverse Race Card 07.Jul.2003 16:32

Free Aztlan

"Dollars to doughnuts says Free Azatlan's racially-charged threats won't be composted by the indymedia moderators."

I was justing waiting for some white boy to play the reverse card. Looks like "just another white bitch" took the bait hook line and sinker. Its funny that white bitches...er excuse me People of No color can initiate, provoke and spew "racially-charged" threats about "uneducated gangbangers" and "hot pokers," yet still act all offended when they get a taste of their own medicine and even try to portray themselves as victims no less.

Yet another example of the Bubble world that the Gringo colonizers live in....

What's that old saying about reaping what you sow? That's what this is about. You want to dish it out, expect some in return. And don't try to play the role of the Great White Victim. Its unbecoming and people from Charles Stuart and the Central Park Jogger victim have milked it for all its worth.


From the mission statement of the Barrio Warriors 07.Jul.2003 16:40

just another white bitch"

As found in the mission statement on the barriowarriors.net homepage:

"Always demonstrate respect for others and ourselves."



And you know, Free Azatlan, to me that means it doesn't matter if someone started it first.

Even if it's a white bitch.

Feeling Threatened? 07.Jul.2003 16:42

Lars the Infidel

Is it racist to point out the power structure in this country is populated primarily by white men?

It's not surprising that some people may not use the most polite language and manners when identifying this fact. A rather unpleasant fact because you, Gentry Lange, are one of them--whether you like it or not.

Yes, it's admirable that you strive to live a good, decent life. But a real humanist would have enough common sense to not feel threatened by all the supposedly "racist" words and images you see and hear every day.

Work for the good,dear sir, and appreciate your advantages in life before you start whinning again.

Ironic 07.Jul.2003 19:18

Mother of Sam

It's very telling that anything approaching a discussion of the root cause(s) of "what's wrong with America" must inevitably turn to issues of empire, colonization, lies and theft. Why is it that any honest discussion of these fundamental wrongs is immediately called "racism"? Aztlan is right, and "White Bitch" reminds me of an old truth: "Assholes come in all colors". I'm white, but I don't freak out and cry "reverse racism" to avoid reality. A lot of you jerks are too lazy to respond meaningfully to any thing on here, you just wait for an excuse to snipe at anyone who doesn't fit your ideas. What's wrong with America is perfectly encapsulated in these posts: whiny racists who attack any person of color who tries to point the truth out. Free Aztlan's post was one of the best things I've ever read on here. It was intelligent, thought-provoking and true. I wish all of you knee-jerk Lars Larsen facists would kill yourselves. You're wasting air.

right way vs. your way 07.Jul.2003 20:45

mom

Just to be clear. I am a mom and a grandmom for that matter, and I am worried.
The right, whether the political right like the religious right is very well organized. They don't get into huge internal name calling fights to the extent that the "non-rights" do. Why? Because for the right wingers there is one right (correct) way to think and behave and everything else is by definition wrong. They need only discuss variations.
"Non rights" (definition=progressive, liberal, radical, anarchists etc. etc.)
are abundantly aware that there are more than two answers/two views/two ways to live etc. etc.
So there is much to talk about..
I find myself feeling frightened for this place we live in (not just america but the earth as well) because the folks who can do something about changing direction, derailing the bushite regime, and moving for the common good cannot decide what to do while the right wingers are gathering steam and laughing at the rest of us.
There is some great thought provoking discussion on this site. Maybe everyone has a bit of the truth.
Where/when/how do we get everyone together...?
I remember stumping for McCarthy ( yes I am that old) and then gathering with the Bobby K. folks and sharing ideas... WE collectively wanted change... and at least some of us knew we had to listen to each other...
Thanks to everyone who offers thoughtful insights and asks good questions.
I learn a lot by reading your posts.

The Bubble World of Imperialist America 07.Jul.2003 22:28

Free Aztlan

Check out the links below about the Bubble World that many mainstream Americans live in. Maybe it will help to explain "why they hate us." And no it has nothing to do with your self-proclaimed love of Freedom and Democracy. All the vitriol and venom on this thread can most likely be explained in terms of the fundamental clash of world views between those within the Bubble world and those of use outside of the Bubble world that many Proud Americans inhabit.

Dismiss it all you want but the perspective of those outside your Bubble world are the vast majority of people on this planet. No amount of your "in-bedded" media, your exportation of the Hollywood McLife style, or Donald Rumsfeld's Office of Strategic Influence change this bedrock fact.

I guess its not easy to have everything you believed in about America, your nation, your society, and ultimately yourselves challenged, but admitting that you have a problem--as all the armchair shrinks like to say--is the first step towards your recovery. ; )

 http://www.blackcommentator.com/49/49_email.html

 http://www.blackcommentator.com/33/33_cover_story.html

 http://www.blackcommentator.com/48/48_bubble.html

Free Aztlan 07.Jul.2003 23:55

HAW

Dollars to donuts "Free Aztlan" is the product of a middle to upper middle class household, a recent or current university student, and in desperate fear of losing his barrio pass.

His comments have provided me with the best laughs of the day. Congratulations, Free Aztlan! You should consider stand up comedy!

to 'HAW' 08.Jul.2003 00:11

hee

is that *really* the best you can do?

you don't even qualify for stand-up:

just pathetic, *sewer* comedy.

Marx, Lenin, Proudhon and Gandhi were all REVOLUTIONARIES - not reformists 08.Jul.2003 02:56

GRINGO STARS

Yes, learn something from all of these historical rebels, but also learn from their mistakes. Lenin's hypocrisy and Gandhi's landlord-protecting and caste-reinforcing were huge mistakes in my opinion yet they had very positive things to offer as well. But one thing is certain; these people all knew that corrupt, genocidal governments must be destroyed, not reformed within the framework of the corrupt system that they are fighting against.

Every vote cast is a vote of confidence in "our" disgusting political establishment. Imagine if only a few thousand people voted (asking for inaction in modern day US is no stretch) - then whatever actor/politician that got elected could not claim any kind of "mandate from the people."

It's sickening to see the most privileged, materially successful race on earth (white people) complaining of "racism" on this thread. Whatever "racism" that white folks "suffer" I assure you that ANY other race has it worse, usually MUCH worse. Quit with the whining - you are benefitting daily from being in the most dominant race in the world. I call myself GRINGO STARS here on IMC in part because I am a US citizen who works hard against capitalism, imperialism, sexism, colonialism, racism, and the media lies that keep US citizens so arrogantly in the happy dark.

The fact is... the powers-that-be WANT you to keep voting. Why? Because if voting worked, it would be illegal. Voting doesn't do anything real. It is a siphon, sucking your time and energy away from any real effective action. Voting keeps you from directly acting on your problems. I will continue to counsel against reformist tactics because I hate to see good people banging their head against a brick wall and wondering why they are bleeding. Contemplate this; the problem is our entire economic and political system; there are a million Bushes and half of them are democrats. Replace one and two more spring up. "Anyone But Bush" is absurd, given that many prominent democrats were annoyed that Bush took too long to attack the Middle east, like Senators Bob Graham and Joe Lieberman. "Anyone But Bush" is like changing the oil in an engine that DOES NOT WORK. It needs a complete overhaul; a cosmetic change-of-figurehead won't work.

BUSH REQUIRED AND GOT FULL DEMOCRATIC PARTY SUPPORT IN HIS ANTI-ABORTION ATTACKS HIS WAR AGAINST THE MIDDLE EAST, AND THE PATRIOT ACT. He couldn't have done it without them. Why vote for collaborators of your hated enemy?

Disgusting racists 08.Jul.2003 04:45

anonymous

Disgusting racists come in all colors, and offend all colors. Free Aztlan, you might be really thrilled with yourself that you get to spew your hate and insult all these white people here.

But you're just offending decent people, of all colors.

The comments of the two who attacked you were offensive too, but that's no excuse for you to attack everyone. They are hateful and so are you. Well I guess you are just a new kind of troll... or maybe just the same old thing.

You really prove that there's no difference between races... for those who need proof.

Atzlan 08.Jul.2003 07:03

America

Hey tough guy, I live in Pomona. Is that close enough to East LA for you? Of course I wouldn't say these things in the Barrio. I would be jumped by 10 cowards, or shot in the back or stabbed in the back. Gangbanging doesn't make you brave or tough. Just stupid. By the way, thanks for responding.

Why Is Atzlan Free? 08.Jul.2003 12:22

?

Because no one would ever pay anything for it - it's worthless

Racism is still racism no matter which direction it's going.


To Mom 08.Jul.2003 13:02

daughter

Glad to hear you're posting on here at your age . . . and are receptive to new thoughts and ideas. The point I pick up on in your dialog is that you are afraid. This is what they want. They will feed on your fear to keep corporations in control of the people for good. They don't really care if it's Dean or Bush or Dennis - as long as they can use them to run the world for their profit, it doesn't matter.

I was in Bodie CA this past weekend, the old Ghost Town where miners searched for gold until it ran out in the late 1800s. They showed a movie there. And in it, the real story got told - corporations paid miners $4/day to risk their lives and live in a hell hole until they died or fled.

One of those corporations, when you looked at the maps, was Bechtel.

Notice, they're doing just fine. The miners are long dead. Corporations will live on as long as they can keep us in fear of each other. As long as we're afraid and voting without looking at the larger picture, we're doomed to repeat these mistakes endlessly.

Your own life consists of working 40 hours a week, 5/7ths of all your time is in slave labor to keep you purchasing things you don't need, but think you do. It all deserves a lot of thinking, waking up, and being courageous.

Please ellaborate 08.Jul.2003 15:07

Gentry Lange

Ok, I've heard this same argument many times but still don't understand it, so maybe someone can explain to me how I benefit from the inherent racism of society as a white person. How do I benefit from other races being profiled by police? How do I benefit from white people controlling both houses of congress and the Presidency? You may think I am being naive, that's fine. But from my perspective the majority of white people have not been in power throughout history, even though white people have been the majority in power. Unless you conform to the stereotypes that "society" holds up as the models for upstanding citizens, then if your'e white, people will judge you for how you look.

To me what I would benefit from would be a society that was a loving and caring society that didn't fear or mistreat people based on their color or appearance. And for everyone who thinks that I as a white person benefit from not being racially profiled, not being followed by store security, or not being whatever it is that is happening to other people of other races, I counter that someone mistreating you doesn't benefit me, it doesn't involve me, and if we want to move forward as a society treating what amounts to "human rights" as "priveledges" or "benefits" is counterproductive.

Yo Daughter 08.Jul.2003 16:13

No Relation

About Bodie and contemporaneous mining towns

$4/day (the minimum wage of a mineworker), was, in terms of purchasing power, equivalent to something like $50-60,000/yr. today-better than quite a few college grads are doing.

The miners were organized, and their union was quite effective at representing their interests. It wasn't until later in the century that the owners hit on the idea of using state power to repress the miners violently.

Of course, it's not surprising that the official story wouldn't mention the Miners' Union, but it's not hard to find out more. do some research on the Comstock Lode, which boomed in the same time frame as Aurora and Bodie. Visit the Miners' Union hall in Virginia City. Read DeQuille's The Big Bonanza.

One reason that the union had some power to protect its members was that the miners didn't shy away from using the vote.

America's Bubble World dies hard. 08.Jul.2003 17:20

Free Aztlan

"Hey tough guy, I live in Pomona. Is that close enough to East LA for you? Of course I wouldn't say these things in the Barrio. I would be jumped by 10 cowards, or shot in the back or stabbed in the back. Gangbanging doesn't make you brave or tough. Just stupid. By the way, thanks for responding. "

Not close enough. You show your true colors with your weasel words. Like most American cowards you don't have the guts to back up what you say. Just like your ruler George Bush spews his rhetoric about "bringing it on" from the safety of the White House, you spew yours from the safety of your white middle class world.

"Disgusting racists come in all colors, and offend all colors. Free Aztlan, you might be really thrilled with yourself that you get to spew your hate and insult all these white people here.
But you're just offending decent people, of all colors.
The comments of the two who attacked you were offensive too, but that's no excuse for you to attack everyone. They are hateful and so are you. Well I guess you are just a new kind of troll... or maybe just the same old thing. "

This is another tired rationalization and diversion tactic. Its called muddying the waters. You try to lump together people of color with the White Majority, as if the latter were not the dominant race in this country with a disproprionate share of power, wealth, and institutional control. More importantly, you attempt to confuse and conflate those who *resist* White Supremacy with those who perpetrate it in one form or another. In fact, the very way you attempt to spin doctor the issue and manipulate the debate itself is revealing. You define the debate as a question of "racism" when the real issue is White Supremacy, and American Imperialist system upon which it is based.

"Ok, I've heard this same argument many times but still don't understand it, so maybe someone can explain to me how I benefit from the inherent racism of society as a white person. How do I benefit from other races being profiled by police? How do I benefit from white people controlling both houses of congress and the Presidency? You may think I am being naive, that's fine."

You're not naive. You're just in denial, living in the American Bubble World that the vast majority of (white) mainstream America lives in. Empty feel good rhetoric and lies will not change this fact, no matter how desperately you cling to them. How do you benefit? In general, you benefit by being a citizen of an Empire which control the levers of wealth, distribution of resources, and political and military power on this planet--all off the back of the Third World, which just so happens to be non-white. Within the Empire, the distribution of wealth, resources, and power is similarily racially stratified such that European Americans as a class and as a community dominate and control who reaps the ill-gotten fruits of this American Empire. You mention so-called racial profiling by police. The police don't racially profile for the hell of it. Their White Supremacist profiling is a product of an understanding that people of color--especially poor people of color--represent a threat to your way of life, to (white) American control and power, to the existing capitalist system of American power and privilege in which race and class are fundamentally intertwined. In short, what America defines as "Law and Order."

to *Gentry Lange* - read Jensen's explanation of white privilege 08.Jul.2003 19:16

GRINGO STARS rjensen@uts.cc.utexas.edu

first appeared in the Baltimore Sun, July 19, 1998

by Robert Jensen

Here's what white privilege sounds like:

I am sitting in my University of Texas office, talking to a very bright and very conservative white student about affirmative action in college admissions, which he opposes and I support.

The student says he wants a level playing field with no unearned advantages for anyone. I ask him whether he thinks that in the United States being white has advantages. Have either of us, I ask, ever benefited from being white in a world run mostly by white people? Yes, he concedes, there is something real and tangible we could call white privilege.

So, if we live in a world of white privilege--unearned white privilege--how does that affect your notion of a level playing field? I ask.

He paused for a moment and said, "That really doesn't matter."

That statement, I suggested to him, reveals the ultimate white privilege: the privilege to acknowledge you have unearned privilege but ignore what it means.

That exchange led me to rethink the way I talk about race and racism with students. It drove home to me the importance of confronting the dirty secret that we white people carry around with us everyday: In a world of white privilege, some of what we have is unearned. I think much of both the fear and anger that comes up around discussions of affirmative action has its roots in that secret. So these days, my goal is to talk openly and honestly about white supremacy and white privilege.

White privilege, like any social phenomenon, is complex. In a white supremacist culture, all white people have privilege, whether or not they are overtly racist themselves. There are general patterns, but such privilege plays out differently depending on context and other aspects of one's identity (in my case, being male gives me other kinds of privilege). Rather than try to tell others how white privilege has played out in their lives, I talk about how it has affected me.

I am as white as white gets in this country. I am of northern European heritage and I was raised in North Dakota, one of the whitest states in the country. I grew up in a virtually all-white world surrounded by racism, both personal and institutional. Because I didn't live near a reservation, I didn't even have exposure to the state's only numerically significant non-white population, American Indians.

I have struggled to resist that racist training and the ongoing racism of my culture. I like to think I have changed, even though I routinely trip over the lingering effects of that internalized racism and the institutional racism around me. But no matter how much I "fix" myself, one thing never changes--I walk through the world with white privilege.

What does that mean? Perhaps most importantly, when I seek admission to a university, apply for a job, or hunt for an apartment, I don't look threatening. Almost all of the people evaluating me for those things look like me--they are white. They see in me a reflection of themselves, and in a racist world that is an advantage. I smile. I am white. I am one of them. I am not dangerous. Even when I voice critical opinions, I am cut some slack. After all, I'm white.

My flaws also are more easily forgiven because I am white. Some complain that affirmative action has meant the university is saddled with mediocre minority professors. I have no doubt there are minority faculty who are mediocre, though I don't know very many. As Henry Louis Gates Jr. once pointed out, if affirmative action policies were in place for the next hundred years, it's possible that at the end of that time the university could have as many mediocre minority professors as it has mediocre white professors. That isn't meant as an insult to anyone, but is a simple observation that white privilege has meant that scores of second-rate white professors have slid through the system because their flaws were overlooked out of solidarity based on race, as well as on gender, class and ideology.

Some people resist the assertions that the United States is still a bitterly racist society and that the racism has real effects on real people. But white folks have long cut other white folks a break. I know, because I am one of them.

I am not a genius--as I like to say, I'm not the sharpest knife in the drawer. I have been teaching full-time for six years, and I've published a reasonable amount of scholarship. Some of it is the unexceptional stuff one churns out to get tenure, and some of it, I would argue, actually is worth reading. I work hard, and I like to think that I'm a fairly decent teacher. Every once in awhile, I leave my office at the end of the day feeling like I really accomplished something. When I cash my paycheck, I don't feel guilty.

But, all that said, I know I did not get where I am by merit alone. I benefited from, among other things, white privilege. That doesn't mean that I don't deserve my job, or that if I weren't white I would never have gotten the job. It means simply that all through my life, I have soaked up benefits for being white. I grew up in fertile farm country taken by force from non-white indigenous people. I was educated in a well-funded, virtually all-white public school system in which I learned that white people like me made this country great. There I also was taught a variety of skills, including how to take standardized tests written by and for white people.

All my life I have been hired for jobs by white people. I was accepted for graduate school by white people. And I was hired for a teaching position at the predominantly white University of Texas, which had a white president, in a college headed by a white dean and in a department with a white chairman that at the time had one non-white tenured professor.

There certainly is individual variation in experience. Some white people have had it easier than me, probably because they came from wealthy families that gave them even more privilege. Some white people have had it tougher than me because they came from poorer families. White women face discrimination I will never know. But, in the end, white people all have drawn on white privilege somewhere in their lives.

Like anyone, I have overcome certain hardships in my life. I have worked hard to get where I am, and I work hard to stay there. But to feel good about myself and my work, I do not have to believe that "merit," as defined by white people in a white country, alone got me here. I can acknowledge that in addition to all that hard work, I got a significant boost from white privilege, which continues to protect me every day of my life from certain hardships.

At one time in my life, I would not have been able to say that, because I needed to believe that my success in life was due solely to my individual talent and effort. I saw myself as the heroic American, the rugged individualist. I was so deeply seduced by the culture's mythology that I couldn't see the fear that was binding me to those myths. Like all white Americans, I was living with the fear that maybe I didn't really deserve my success, that maybe luck and privilege had more to do with it than brains and hard work. I was afraid I wasn't heroic or rugged, that I wasn't special.

I let go of some of that fear when I realized that, indeed, I wasn't special, but that I was still me. What I do well, I still can take pride in, even when I know that the rules under which I work in are stacked in my benefit. I believe that until we let go of the fiction that people have complete control over their fate--that we can will ourselves to be anything we choose--then we will live with that fear. Yes, we should all dream big and pursue our dreams and not let anyone or anything stop us. But we all are the product both of what we will ourselves to be and what the society in which we live lets us be.

White privilege is not something I get to decide whether or not I want to keep. Every time I walk into a store at the same time as a black man and the security guard follows him and leaves me alone to shop, I am benefiting from white privilege. There is not space here to list all the ways in which white privilege plays out in our daily lives, but it is clear that I will carry this privilege with me until the day white supremacy is erased from this society.

Frankly, I don't think I will live to see that day; I am realistic about the scope of the task. However, I continue to have hope, to believe in the creative power of human beings to engage the world honestly and act morally. A first step for white people, I think, is to not be afraid to admit that we have benefited from white privilege. It doesn't mean we are frauds who have no claim to our success. It means we face a choice about what we do with our success.


Jensen is a professor in the School of Journalism in the University of Texas at Austin.


That's smart 08.Jul.2003 22:50

anonymous

"This is another tired rationalization and diversion tactic. Its called muddying the waters. You try to lump together people of color with the White Majority, as if the latter were not the dominant race in this country with a disproprionate share of power, wealth, and institutional control. More importantly, you attempt to confuse and conflate those who *resist* White Supremacy with those who perpetrate it in one form or another. In fact, the very way you attempt to spin doctor the issue and manipulate the debate itself is revealing. You define the debate as a question of "racism" when the real issue is White Supremacy, and American Imperialist system upon which it is based."

Wow, that's smart. But it has nothing to do with me. You got me all wrong, and I'm beginning to get you a little better. I have no interest in diverting from the fact that Whites are dominant in this society. Why would I? I was just raising my objections to your racism, which is no different than that of any white... but now I am not so sure that you are not white... but that doesn't really matter.

I don't attempt anything but to point out my view. I'm not a part of a vast racist conspiracy to confuse the world into believing that this society isn't racist by pointing out that you are racist, so I can maintain the status quo of the white racist majority. That's just my take on your whacky analysis of my "spin" on things.

I don't need to spin. I am not a politician or a crusader. I'm not white either. I wish that didn't matter, but I'm sure that you assumed that I was and that affected your analysis of what I was "attempting" to do. I don't like it when white's say nasty racist things, and I don't like it when people of color say nasty racist things. I don't know what you are, but I don't like it when you say nasty racist things either. It's just an opinion.

do you think Kucinich is too "ethnic" to have a chance? 09.Jul.2003 00:11

mom

As long as everyone is ranting about privilege, do you think it is possible for someone with a name as ethnic as Kucinich to have a chance? it seems americans like to vote for one or two syllable names --- and blue eyes also seem to be helpful --- can this change?
i didn't know much about Kucinich until I began reading the sites posted here...
now I am ready to sign up for his campaign--- is there a local office?
PS i don't want lieberman even if he has a few extra syllables...

Mom 09.Jul.2003 00:41

anonymous

Mom, I'm glad you're here.

Kucinich has the cards stacked against him.

The ethnic name, the small stature, and independent nature are all qualities that aren't usually rewarded in national politics. But things can change. We got the vote, didn't we?

:)

Please remember Clinton 09.Jul.2003 05:22

Spanish guy

Hello,
I've read a lot about how bad is Bush and I'm agree but, please, remember Clinton!!

He killed a lot of people in Kosovo, Iraq, Sudan...

He supported WTO...

Sorry I can't write in english all that a would want to say. But, I want to ask you, YOU that can VOTE the President of the planet, that remember how Democrats are. If there is really a Democrat that is very different of Clinton, Carter, etc, OK, but, I think this is very difficult.

In solidarity
D.P.

dear snaggle 09.Jul.2003 09:27

mom

Yes, but....
my generation couldn't figure out how to build a broad based sustainable movement for change. remember "don't trust anyone over 30?" many of my partners in crime --- just got old and established --- you do know what I mean, they're out there driving SUV's and justifying the expense because they have to stock up when they go to Nature's or perhaps when they actually visit nature....
I do learn things on this site.... but now that you are reading, how can we build something sustainable?
I still want change, real change...
give me some thoughts, you've got to use that adrenalin for something.
now I've got to go to work
PS Does anyone know? is there a group actually working for Kucinich in this town or do I have to move to Ohio?

Yes, but... 09.Jul.2003 23:17

Snaggle

I love that: Yes, but...

By the way, I think "anonymous" is macking you...

All White People Are The Same 09.Jul.2003 23:37

Gentry Lange

Ok, I must quote here:

"Like anyone, I have overcome certain hardships in my life. I have worked hard to get where I am, and I work hard to stay there. But to feel good about myself and my work, I do not have to believe that "merit," as defined by white people in a white country, alone got me here. I can acknowledge that in addition to all that hard work, I got a significant boost from white privilege, which continues to protect me every day of my life from certain hardships.

At one time in my life, I would not have been able to say that, because I needed to believe that my success in life was due solely to my individual talent and effort. I saw myself as the heroic American, the rugged individualist. I was so deeply seduced by the culture's mythology that I couldn't see the fear that was binding me to those myths. Like all white Americans, I was living with the fear that maybe I didn't really deserve my success, that maybe luck and privilege had more to do with it than brains and hard work. I was afraid I wasn't heroic or rugged, that I wasn't special."

So Gringo Stars, this article, in particular, the line "like all White Americans"... is pretty blatantly racist.... if racism is "discriminatory behavior towards a member of another race", and "discrimination" is basically making distinctions based on race, then believing that all white Americans have the same motivations is a racist statement -- and coming from a self described white guy in this article no less. There should be a term for this like "self-hating white guy".

Anyway, so do I have certain priveledges based upon being white... sure I do. A lot of them are described in this article. But my key point in all of this debate is the term "benefit", and I don't believe that racism benefits me. It's a Occam's Razor type argument really, in that there are too many assumptions being made about what I believe and what others project upon my argument. I believe that to wrong someone hurts everyone, it hurts the person committing the act, it hurts the person being wronged, and it hurts society as a whole. Racism, though it may put whites "on top" inherently hurst us all. No that is not to say, as others have, that the racism that I suffer as a white person is equal to that of someone of another race (far from it), it is merely to say that racism does not truly benefit anyone, in that racism is bad for society as a whole. To compare and contrast who suffers the worst from racism is not the point, to confront racism and to challenge the legitamacy of that racism, ion whatever form, is the point. So whether it is a racist slur against black people, brown people, white people or whomever, I will ask questions, and counter the inherently illogical statements that surface in support of these racist arguments -- just like the quote at the beginning of this rebuttal.

Gentry Lange, your suffering must be horrendous - poor, poor white person 10.Jul.2003 00:55

GRINGO STARS

Gentry, I am amazed that you, a white person, can hold your head up high. All those black bosses not hiring you and firing you at the drop of a hat. How can you stay out of jail with all those racist black and brown cops? I'm amazed that you can survive in this white-hating world. the withering stares... (sob blubber)

All sarcasm aside, the racism that black people, brown people, any other color person BUT white as a matter of fact, is REAL. The "racism" you "suffer" from is a bruised ego. How sad for you. Boo fuckin hoo. Do white people as a whole suffer from a legacy of slavery? No. One out of three black men in the USA will spend some part of their life in prison. That is REAL - not a bruised, privileged ego.

When a white person "suffers" from a "racist" comment, it is impossible for a non-white person to feel any sympathy, because such "racist" comments have no power behind them. When a NON-white person hears a racist comment, that comment has the full weight of a truly racist society, an entire racist civilization behind it. The emotions YOU feel (as a "slighted" white person) have no connection to a flood of memories of REAL, BRUTAL racial oppression.

My message; suck it up. You have suffered not a damn thing. Not all racisms are the same. You still have a centuries-entrenched fiercely-pro-white civilization to fall back on, so dry your tears you weakling.

Is that the best you got? 11.Jul.2003 07:48

Free Aztlan

>>
Wow, that's smart. But it has nothing to do with me. You got me all wrong, and I'm beginning to get you a little better. I have no interest in diverting from the fact that Whites are dominant in this society. Why would I? I was just raising my objections to your racism, which is no different than that of any white... but now I am not so sure that you are not white... but that doesn't really matter.
>>

More mumbo jumbo. When you attempt to muddy the waters by suggesting that people of color are morally equivalent to White people in their supposed racism, when you ignore the issue of White institutional power, when you don't face the fact that it is White Supremacy--and not just some whiny liberal version of racism--that is the real issue, you are in fact attempting to divert attention from the fundamental and systematic issue of White domination and oppression. Period.

>>
"I don't attempt anything but to point out my view. I'm not a part of a vast racist conspiracy to confuse the world into believing that this society isn't racist by pointing out that you are racist, so I can maintain the status quo of the white racist majority. That's just my take on your whacky analysis of my "spin" on things.
>>

Is this the best argument you got, repeating empty catchphrase about "vast racist conspiracy" (a play of course on Hilary Clinton's term) ? No wonder Americans are so damn dumb. To repeat again, your arguments are the same boring tripe that mainstream America uses to ideologically (you know what this world means, don't you?) defend a nation that is based upon White domination and oppression past and present. This is true whether you consciously choose to do this or not. It is implicit in the logic of your assertions. Understand?

>>
I don't need to spin. I am not a politician or a crusader. I'm not white either. I wish that didn't matter, but I'm sure that you assumed that I was and that affected your analysis of what I was "attempting" to do. I don't like it when white's say nasty racist things, and I don't like it when people of color say nasty racist things. I don't know what you are, but I don't like it when you say nasty racist things either. It's just an opinion.
>>

Never said you were white. I said you arguments and "analysis" divert attention from the real issue of White Supremacy and White domination in the American Empire, that the way you define the debate--based upon essentially accusing anyone who opposes and resists White Supremacy of being racist--is politically deceptive. To me, you sound like a clueless Liberal in that you promote and believe in some wishy-washy nonsense that "we are all just the same," that "racism is just about stereotypes and some prejudice in our heads," and you wonder why "we just can't all get along." Its time for you to wake up to reality in this bloodthirsty America.

Ultimately, your comments are just another reason why Liberal and Conservatives--like Democrats and Republicans--are all the same. And one more good reason to throw all their asses to the curb.

Free Aztlan 11.Jul.2003 09:57

Snaggle

You scare me, dude. Really.

JUST THINK ABOUT THIS... 24.Jul.2003 21:12

- savi10@aol.com

The people who want to vote for nader say it's another step toward "the revolution" .You say "just imagine if ralph nader would win!! That would send Bush and his pals a message!" However, I offer you this: What if no one in the whole entire country voted. (not saying that would happen. But it's just as an extreme idea as Nader winning.) Now that, my friends, would send a message.

-Go against capitalism to destroy it, not with it-