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America Boils Over. A long hot summer for America

Many Americans are obviously appalled by the crass and inflammatory words of their president. But will their disapproval outweigh their fear of violent social unrest? Will age-old racial prejudices, often unspoken or even openly admitted, lead them to vote again for the deceptive security of an uncouth white tyrant? A lot will depend on how hot this summer gets. It is hard to imagine this hair-raising government in power for 4 years. But fear is the worst enemy of reason.
America Boils Over

George Floyd's death at the hands of a white police officer has triggered protests across the United States and laid bare the country's racial, economic, and political divisions. How, if at all, might America heal - and does history offer any guide?

In this Big Picture, Harvard's Khalil Gibran Muhammad traces today's crisis to the United States' founding and argues that overcoming it will require fundamental political and economic reforms. Above all, elected US officials should put racial justice at the center of their vision for a new America.

Focusing on America's long-standing problem of racist law enforcement, Jeffrey Sommers of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee says that a multi-pronged strategy is needed to reduce the pressures on both urban communities and the police. New York University's Jorge G. Castañeda, meanwhile, believes that today's multiple crises point - more than at any time since 1932 - to America's need for sound leadership and a full-fledged welfare state.
Hospital physician and human-rights advocate Akash Goel finds an example of the vision America needs in a 1968 US presidential campaign speech by Senator Robert F. Kennedy, and explains why Kennedy's diagnosis of America's cultural ills remains accurate today. But Ian Buruma draws a different lesson from that tumultuous year, and asks whether a Republican presidential candidate could again win in November by pledging to restore law and order. America Boils Over - Project Syndicate

America Boils Over - Project Syndicate

Mass protests over racial injustice, the COVID-19 pandemic, and a sharp economic downturn have plunged the Unite...

A long hot summer for America

Many Americans are appalled by the crass and inflammatory words of Donald Trump. But will their disapproval outweigh their fear of violent social unrest? Will age-old racial prejudices lead them to vote again for the deceptive security of an uncouth white tyrant? Some would suggest it's far from certain.

By Ian Buruma

The White House in Washington is in the dark.[Iam Buruma is a Dutch writer and essayist. Up to 2014, he was director of the renowned New York Review of Books.]
[This article published on 6/4/2020 is translated from the German on the Internet,  https://gegenblende.dgb.de/artikel/++co++0d3da178-a631-11ea-af2e-52540088cada.]

The lights are out in the White House, while outside there are protests against racism and police violence. Donald Trump has retreated to the basement. Maybe to avoid seeing the protesters, maybe because he's a coward.

Could the United States be facing a repeat of the summer of 1968? Even then, the world saw the wrath of angry Americans boiling over as predominantly African-American inner-city neighborhoods went up in flames and young people were shot at with tear gas, attacked and often brutally beaten by riot police and National Guard.

Despite two Obama terms in office, racism is virulent

The result of the civil unrest was what some liberals in America feared over the course of this year. Republican presidential candidate Richard Nixon promised the "silent majority", the "non-clamourers" and the "non-demonstrators" that he would restore law and order by force. Devastated, mostly African-American neighborhoods were stripped of federal funds and further isolated, white suburbanites bought more weapons, and police forces were armed as if they were a branch of the military.

Even the riots of 1968, like the protests today, began with anger at the oppression of the black population in America. The day after Martin Luther King Jr. declared that "the nation is sick," he was shot dead by a white racist criminal. The protests that followed were not only an expression of rage over King's assassination but also over the lack of economic and educational opportunities that were the result of a long and often violent racist history.

Despite the two terms of an African-American in the White House, conditions today are hardly any better - and in some respects worse. This year it is the death of George Floyd, the defenseless 46-year-old black man in Minneapolis, who was killed by a policeman kneeling on his neck for almost nine minutes, that recalls the murder of Martin Luther King.

On top of that, Covid-19 has hit African Americans particularly hard because many of them do not have financial savings and are forced to work in risky areas, as nurses and other "systemically important workers," often without proper medical care. Once the global recession has really hit, many will have nothing to cushion the impact.

Donald Trump is crossing a street, with armed police officers shielding him left and right.

The last appearance of the US president was particularly bizarre. He had demonstrators outside the White House driven away with tear gas to go to the nearby St. John's Church to hold up a Bible. It was all about a photograph.

And yet there are important differences between today and the summer of 1968, apart from the fact that the music was more interesting back then and there were more opportunities to have sex. The last point is quite serious. It may have increased the discontent of many young people to be locked up in relative isolation for several months, and they are only too willing to vent this displeasure in the streets.

In bad times the challenger has an advantage, as Joe Biden

The 1968 protests were not only about racial discrimination, but also about the Vietnam War. The two issues were related. President Lyndon B. Johnson, who was responsible for the escalation of this ruthless and cruel war, was a Democrat - the same man who passed civil rights laws. They did indeed improve the lives of African Americans, and therefore provoked the hatred of many voters in the southern United States who switched to the Republican Party and helped push it further to the right.

The "screamers" and "demonstrators" Nixon railed against were not only blacks, but also young whites who resisted having to fight in a war they considered immoral. Robert F. Kennedy, the candidate who promised to end the war and who visited the burning ghettos to appease the fears of African Americans, was murdered two months after King.

Nixon won the election in that November not only because he appeased the panicked "silent majority" with the promise of law and order, but also because Hubert Humphrey, a respectable mainstream Democrat, refused to condemn the Vietnam War. Joe Biden, the Democrats' likely candidate for this year's presidency, has shown, despite all his weaknesses, that he will not be another Hubert Humphrey. His sympathies are clearly with the protesters. Biden has publicly recalled many cases of police violence against unarmed blacks and promised to reform police work.

In bad times, the challenger has a certain advantage. Just as Johnson was blamed for the escalation of an increasingly unpopular war, the current incumbent in the White House will have to shoulder the sickness of today's America. Donald Trump cannot be blamed for the Covid 19 pandemic, but he can be held accountable for the bumbling response to the crisis.

Joe Biden sits next to Barack Obama and listens to him.

Joe Biden and Barack Obama - here both in a session during their term in office at the White House - have responded sympathetically to the demonstrations against police violence in speeches and have called for reforms to prevent incidents like the murder of George Floyd in the future.

Nor did the institutional racism that is once again setting America's streets ablaze begin with Trump. But he has deliberately poured oil on the fire by insulting dark-skinned immigrants as criminals and calling armed white racists decent, by disqualifying angry black demonstrators as "thugs" and by encouraging militias, guardsmen and police to use more violence with a growling, "Please don't be too nice".

Trump quotes racist police chiefs from the sixties to provoke a "race war

While some extreme right groups in the US are hopefully talking about a coming "race war", Trump is doing nothing to dampen their violent enthusiasm. On the contrary, he seems to revel in it. Trump's recent tweet "when the looting begins, the shooting begins" is a quote from the Miami police chief who in 1967 ordered his police officers to point their guns at demonstrators from his city's "black neighborhoods.

In the USA, this is called "stirring up the base". And much of Trump's base will certainly be stirring up. The big question in November will be what will the voters do who voted for him in 2016 but are not so fanatical in their support. How do white women in American suburbs, Midwest workers and older Southerners (who are among those most at risk of Covid 19 infection) think today?

Many Americans are obviously appalled by the crass and inflammatory words of their president. But will their disapproval outweigh their fear of violent social unrest? Will age-old racial prejudices, often unspoken or even openly admitted, lead them to vote again for the deceptive security of an uncouth white tyrant?

A lot will depend on how hot this summer gets. If people think sensibly in November, it is hard to imagine that they will cast enough votes to keep this hair-raising government in power for another four years. But fear is the worst enemy of reason.

homepage: homepage: http://www.freembtranslations.net
address: address: www.therealnews.com

Not until *class* precedes race/gender/Identity Politics/Intersectionality 06.Jun.2020 11:12


It's Class, Stupid, Not Race

Hope Against Despondency: Interpreting Class Post-Trump
Enclosing Trump as a solitary force for bigots, racists, misogynists would be politically tragic, as it is simplistic, in that it fails to recognize the manoeuvres of such narratives. There is a more imperative underscore of why and who elected this candidate that must be teased-out.

Today it is clear that much work needs/is to be done. An immediate and important aspect of this effort is to recognize how our contemporary class consciousness is currently being expressed. As evident, it is a class-identity channelled through an autonomous individuation associated with self-interest rather than a body correspondingly divorced from the means of production and consequentially exploited. It is essential that a clear understanding of where one sits in relation to the distal structures of power be grounded in a recognition of the State and the means of production. What then needs to be taken off the shelf is a class consciousness of shared-relation(s); a collective recognition of alienation as a class rather than a singular neoliberal by-product (or subject).

What It Means to Put Class First
author: Michael Schwalbe 04.Jan.2019 19:47

A Critical Analysis Of Some Left-Liberal Reaction To The Recent Election

Liberal Brains Pickled In The Formaldehyde Of Identity Politics
A "grab them by the pussy," racist, sexist white man has grabbed the White House, and the polite class is twirling in outrage like dervishes approaching oblivion.

This insult to the "dignity of the office" and the "nation" is more shocking than the action of the black man who took the Nobel Peace Prize and then proceeded to bomb seven countries.

Liberal brains pickled in the formaldehyde of identity politics are unwilling to recognize in the politically incorrect catastrophe of Donald Trump's victory the blowback to the ferocious economic plunder by the neoliberal order, backed by decades of wanton and unchecked military aggressions.

Strategic Extremism: How Republicans + Democrats Use Identity Politics To Divide And Rule
The Republican Party and the Democratic Party are bought, sold, and paid for by big business. For that reason, both have a history of avoiding the issues that are common to Americans of all political persuasions. Addressing such issues would undermine the profits of big business. They include free healthcare, living wages, quality work, secure pensions, unionization, etc.

In order to protect the profits of their business investors, both parties focus on the cultural differences between Americans.

Diversity Blues: Failure Of Democrats' Identity Politics To Catch Fire Among Electorate
The Democratic political class has failed to heed the message that those who live by identity politics often die by identity politics.

Fetishizing Of Identity Politics Could Cost Democrats in 2020
The divide between "team economic justice" and "team demographic destiny" now informs how different factions of the left, broadly defined, decipher the results of Democratic primaries and special election battles. And unfortunately, this has led to dangerously inaccurate and biased prescriptions for 2020.

Even the term "working class" has become racialized and is now assumed to signal that the user of said term has a greater commitment to white interests than to those of people of color. This is because, for years, Republicans and some Democratic centrists made "working class" their dog whistle of choice. The unfortunate result has been that messaging directly to working-class voters, who desperately need political advocacy and who were formerly a crucial part of the Democratic coalition, has become stigmatized. (One must ask whose interests that serves.)

Why I Don't Identify With Identity Politics
author: Michael Katz

Identity Politics Can't Fix Broken American System
Political identities are reinforced by a massive apparatus for defining, policing, and activating them. By practicing "identity mindfulness," individuals can recognize propaganda and slant and better manage their own emotional response to identity-based manipulation.

While such mindfulness might help individuals lead more examined political lives, it does little to address the gridlocked U.S. political system. Individualist solutions are no answer to intractable societal problems.

** __ " privilege checking " __ **

On Rhetoric And Strategy In Social Justice And Leftist Spaces
It is time to check privilege checking. D'Arcy discusses the concept of privilege throughout his piece and how the shift towards examining interpersonal communications and relationships has enhanced the visibility of checking people on their acquired privileges. This has its place without a doubt; people have to realize that humanity is more of an ongoing dialectic rather than particular blocks of time existing in one vacuum or the other, and the particular qualities about one's life is in many ways dependent on how that dialectic has shaken out for their community of origin. So yes, people should be made aware of how their privilege manifests in its various forms. But how do we do that? An article originally written for The Daily Mississippian that was reprinted for TIME's Ideas section seems to suggest one way that is growing in popularity: simply tell a person "check your privilege" and then wipe your hands of the situation. After all, it is now their problem, right? And you do not have time to educate anyone, because what do you look like? Google? That approach is cathartic, self-satisfying, and it even gets you pub in an international news outlet! But does it really do anything more than that? Do you remember the last time someone so harshly dismissed you? Did it make you any more likely to listen to anything that person had to say? Yeah, me neither. As D'Arcy puts it, "There is a certain optimism in the idea of 'consciousness-raising,' or the concept of 'the people,' that seems naive and unconvincing to many of today's activists. The shift from 'consciousness-raising' to 'calling out,' for instance, reflects (and encourages) a loss of confidence in the capacity of people to learn about, understand and oppose forms of inequality that do not adversely impact them as individuals." Ngoc Loan Tran suggested a different format of corrective suggestion that they termed as "calling in", where we approach those who transgress with the kind of humanity that we feel they lacked in their actions. While recognizing that calling out can still be of importance, Tran also recognizes the consequences of implementing that particular strategy in every situation. Tran, however, limits this practice to those we care about and share community with, since a rupture there can obviously have a profound effect on our efficacy as organizers (and if Tran did not make that clear, Mia McKenzie erases all doubt about the intended audience in a postscript). I love the concept, but disagree with the narrowness of scope: this should really be standard operating procedure amongst leftists. We have to recognize the difference between a mistake, a difference of opinion, and an action undertaken with harmful intent, and broadening the concept of "calling in" outside of our particular circles begins the process of doing that.

'Intersectionality': Set Theory of the Left
author: Haydar Khan 14.Sep.2018 03:00

The Blasey Ford Episode: State Feminism, The Worthless "Left," And Liberal Delusions
The Democratic Party's stunt has nothing to do with the foregoing, absolutely nothing. The Democratic Party's commitment to Identity Politics is not a commitment to the real issues and questions that are the basis for Identity Politics, it is a commitment to marshalling people's energy around these issues and questions to the imperatives of finance capital globalism and American imperialism. It's not an accident that the heroes of this Democratic Party/Identity Politics "feminism," such as Hillary Clinton and Rachel Maddow, are so open and bloodthirsty about their militarism.

What Is To Be Done? Looking Past Trump's Tyranny
author: David Rosen 04.Nov.2018 19:48

Donald Trump and the American Left
author: Rob Urie
August 3, 2018

The election of Donald Trump fractured the American Left. The abandonment of class analysis in response to Mr. Trump's racialized nationalism left identity politics to fill the void. This has facilitated the rise of neoliberal nationalism, an embrace of the national security state combined with neoliberal economic analysis put forward as a liberal / Left response to Mr. Trump's program. The result has been profoundly reactionary.

What had been unfocused consensus around issues of economic justice and ending militarism has been sharpened into a political program. A nascent, self-styled socialist movement is pushing domestic issues like single payer health care, strengthening the social safety net and reversing wildly unbalanced income and wealth distribution, forward. Left unaddressed is how this program will move forward without a revolutionary movement to act against countervailing forces.

As widely loathed as the Democratic establishment is, it has been remarkably adept at engineering a reactionary response in favor of establishment forces. Its demonization of Russia! has been approximately as effective at fomenting reactionary nationalism as Mr. Trump's racialized version. Lest this be overlooked, the strategy common to both is the use of oppositional logic through demonization of carefully selected 'others.'

This points to the most potent fracture on the Left, the question of which is the more effective reactionary force, the Democrats' neoliberal nationalism or Mr. Trump's racialized version? As self-evident as the answer apparently is to the liberal / Left, it is only so through abandonment of class analysis. Race, gender and immigration status are either subsets of class or the concept loses meaning.

Democrats, Racism, And The Future
author: Rob Urie

May 15, 2020

The visceral conception of racism that motivates parts of the Democrat's base, that of armed lynch mobs breaking down doors and burning black churches, is historical memory, not political analysis. This isn't to suggest that racism has disappeared. What is meant is that organized racial violence was migrated to the very levers of social control that the New Democrats dedicated their careers to re-racializing. How is the political party that promoted and passed the 1994 Crime Bill that increased the carceral population by 60% not racist? The answer, that incarceration is a class issue, requires understanding how its American incarnation evolved during and after slavery.

And this gets to how the New Democrats have been more insidious than out-and-out racists. The relation of race to crime has historically been tied to maintaining a hierarchical economic order. In the realm of economics, this is clearly a class issue. However, the liberal notion of merit depends on full employment. Had Bill Clinton actually believed in merit, he wouldn't have ended welfare for the sake of merit because doing so wouldn't have been necessary. Full employment would have made doing so redundant except in select cases.

That Mr. Clinton 'ended welfare as we know it' for political reasons— to triangulate Republicans from the right, both puts a lie to the concept of merit (the disabled and poor parents raising children merit assistance) and it demonstrated a willingness to benefit politically by throwing blacks under the bus. Ronald Reagan put forward the fraudulent caricature of the black 'welfare queen' (most people on welfare were white), and this is the reference made by Mr. Clinton's political gesture, else it wouldn't have 'worked' for him politically.

Establishment Politics Are For The Rich
author: Rob Urie

Portland Indymedia Jan 2014 vs Jan 2017, NAFTA and Trump

The Silent Death Of The American Left

Prospects For An Alt-Left
and excerpt —>  http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2016/11/433865.shtml#448976

The Pieties Of The Liberal Class

So, How's That Major-Party Election Madness Working For Us?

Prospects For An Alt-Left (again...) 07.Jun.2020 13:35

Elliot Murphy

29.Nov.2016 15:10  http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2016/11/433885.shtml
and excerpt —>  http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2016/11/433865.shtml#448976

• the *SOCIAL DISTANCE* is *ECONOMIC*, not "racial" —

Kathleen Geir continues with a number of lessons for prominent, middle-class white feminists:

"Class differences among women are an all but taboo subject. But scholars such as Leslie McCall have found that economic inequality among women is just as large, and has been growing just as fast, as economic inequality among men ... [P]rofessional-class women, who have reaped a disproportionate share of feminism's gains, have dominated the feminist movement, and the social distance between them and their less privileged sisters is wide and growing wider ... Yet mainstream feminist groups and pundits have consistently stressed the social and cultural issues that are most important to affluent women, while marginalizing the economic concerns of the female masses."

The same critiques can apply to virtually all strands of identity politics. Cultural problems far too often overshadow economic grievances. Cultural issues are more easily comprehensible and often come with a degree of emotional investment and relatability, unlike the cold, detached world of finance and the high courts. But when leftists care more about men sitting on tubes with their legs apart than harmful neoliberal [ *FINANCIALIZED* ] economic policies, we have undoubtedly reached a very peculiar moment in the political history.