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Everything posted by KENNETH

  1. I think it's both. In some places there is little or no activism and elected officials are not responsive to the masses. In some cases you have activism but no real mass organizing. Meanwhile elected officials are making an effort but they fail short for various reasons. I would say my local community fits into the former scenario. The next largest city in my native state with a much larger black population fits into the latter.
  2. I don't think it's about resignations or the curriculum. Diversity Equity Inclusion efforts impact recruitment, funding, and contracting. These things have a concrete impact on us. Nobody gets fired up to do anything if there is no agitation. That depends on leadership. I fear that is what we lack in many black communities.
  3. We as black people along with white supporters are caught up in symbolism or merely reacting to the most blatant racism like the killing of Tyre Nichols. By symbolism I mean protests over Confederate monuments or outrage over microaggressions like something said or posted on social media. We are focused on the 1619 Project and related controversies. Then there are the police killings whether it's George Floyd and Breonna Taylor or now Tyre Nichols. Of course we should be outraged and demanding justice We have to think and act more broadly than symbolic jestures or reacting to blatant racism. We must challenge public policies or the lack thereof. It is important to confront powerful corporations too. These political and economic institutions are what systemic racism is all about. They should be the targets of street protests, boycotts, civil disobedience, negative publicity, and lobbying by blacks and white supporters.
  4. You both are right on target to point these things out. We need a politics, mass struggle, and consciousness that doesn't tolerate this kind of situation.
  5. There is always an economic dimension to racism and Slavery was its manifestation from the 16th to late 19th century = Brazil abolished Slavery in 1888. But think of the ways in which black labor is overrepresented in low paying unskilled least desirable and dangerous work to benefit a white corporate elite. While I'm not a Socialist I strongly believe class matters. It is as important as race.
  6. You're absolutely right. There's no reason why a routine traffic stop should have ended with that man's death. What were those officers thinking if anything at all. American law enforcement has got to be the most violent in the Western world. But it goes to show that having black people in positions of power and authority doesn't guarantee justice or benefit black people individually or collectively. The Police Chief in Memphis is a black woman named C.J. Davis. Representation doesn't mean a thing.
  7. Thanks for posting this link regarding the Project for New American Century. It was as disturbing as it was insightful. We need to be concerned about foreign policy and politics. Black people cannot afford to disengage just focusing on self improvement and entrepreneurship alone. We need to be sophisticated in our advocacy and voting to challenge politicians and elites committed to endless war and regime change. Furthermore we need to challenge our young people to rethink the notion that the military is a means of self improvement and economic opportunity. The United States has ruined things in places like Iraq and Libiya through military intervention. We need to make sure that support for Ukraine against Russia doesn't escalate into a wider war that involves the US and NATO as well. Foreign policy is a black issue because the military is full of young black people who will be disproportionate casualties in any war. As for your initial concern about war with Iran we need black and progressive voices to call for change. I'm no expert but here's what I think : 1. Ease sanctions against Iran and revive the Obama era nuclear deal. 2. Encourage peace and reconciliation between Shiite Iran and its largely Sunni Arab neighbors like Saudi Arabia which will ease tensions and lessen conflict. 3. Make it clear to Israel that the US opposes preemptive force against Iran and that American financial and military aid will be adversely affected by attacking Iran. We need to speak out against heated rhetoric by politicians of both parties that exacerbates conflict.
  8. It was Communication with a minor in Pan African Studies. Thanks so much for the compliment its very encouraging.
  9. I married a sista who had two small children and we had two more together. Working in different jobs often low paid service positions and a couple of professional jobs making ends meet and having a family quickly pushed aside protest activism.
  10. Troy sorry I didn't get back to you earlier. I am 54 years old. I'm a factory worker. In college and as a young adult I was involved in activism and protest for racial and social justice.
  11. It wasn't really about self reliance or independence Booker T. Washington was trying help black people survive in a hostile violent social setting. He and his white audience knew most black people didn't own land or a business and never would. The lack of resources and violent white opposition prevented that. Washington helped himself and black people by stopping black protest and any criticism of Southern whites treatment of blacks by Northern whites. He knew that and white people did too. After the violent suppression of Reconstruction and its attempts at legal equality for blacks, whites in neither section of the country were supportive of racial justice. They wanted tranquility and commerce with each other. Any demand for black rights like the struggles by unions and agrarian populist for economic justice had to be repressed. Booker T. Washington was brilliant hard working former slave who built a successful black school. He was just what the white power establishment needed to shut blacks up about rights and equality. I can't get on board with his rhetoric, but I completely understand it. Survival and making the most of hopelessness is what we have always done. But regard Washington with a critical eye.
  12. More than anything I think she was being inconsiderate and unwise. I agree with you that we have to be strong and independent doing for ourselves I don't mean to imply here or in my post on unity that such efforts are not vital. However we should not be insular or so self absorbed that we become ignorant or indifferent. Being aware and cooperating with others can go a long way in benefitting us.
  13. I disagree for two reasons 1. You will have to go through the democratic process to get Reparations so we cannot be indifferent to issues and concerns of others if we are to build support for things we want. 2. A threat to anyone else's freedom and well-being in America is not good for our prospects either.
  14. It is a means to an end for black people as much as a goal. However nobody is perfect individually or collectively. We must aspire to help all black people not just certain ones. Moreover we have to engage and hold each other accountable while challenging systemic racism. I don't see any of this as a choice either or. We must be specific and broad to do both.
  15. Here's the thing about race and crime : When it comes to blacks and whites committing crime in large numbers we never focus solely on policing and punishment for whites. In their case that is only one component and people know it's limited. We focus on finding and eliminating root causes which often involves social, economic, and political reforms. However for black crime the response is foremost about policing and punishing. There's also an emphasis to some degree on moralizing with exhortations to self help and personal responsibility. What this systemically racist and economically unjust society doesn't do is remedy the social and economic conditions the poorest blacks inhabit. For us it's all about poliice and prison.
  16. Think about it this way black people learned about Anti Semitism from whites while Jews who are white adopted the anti black ideology of white gentiles. Nevermind that whites dominate an unjust social, economic, and political system that undermines both blacks and Jews in albeit different ways. Jews have are rightly concerned about Anti Semitism and we as black people experiencing racism should be more sensitive and aware not to play into this thing against Jews. Of course the same goes with racism on their part as well.
  17. If black unity and ultimately black liberation are only about securing power, privilege, and the well being of straight black cisgendered men than there's nothing to stop elite blacks from exploiting or being tyrants over other black people. Not to mention the injustices and mistreatment heaped on black women and black LGBTQ people. We are not perfect because of our blackness or experience of racial injustice. If we don't recognize that then we will replace white racism with black tyranny in any kind of liberated social, economic, or political setting. Look no further for proof of this than the all the authoritarianism that has characterized so much of sub Saharan Africa since the end of colonialism. Look at the strife and instability in Haiti.
  18. It never ceases to amaze me how black people talk bad about Jews and oppose immigrants yet we don't fight back nearly enough against the systemic racism and economic injustice presided over by rich white male Gentiles.
  19. Does that mean that conflict and unjust power relationships grow of the so called oppressor's own feelings of inadequacy?
  20. Thanks Delano for responding . I would like to hear more about your views regarding class warfare and racial unity.
  21. Systemic racism is a powerful force and lots of white individuals help keep it in place. I think we agree on that. However we shouldn't see racism as monolithic. American history is replete with examples of whites who opposed racism and worked with blacks to secure justice and equality. Think about the collective and individual progress we have made since the 1960s. White people doing the right thing including those activists and politicians who fought the system are numerous and important. I would go as far to say that present controversies over cancel culture, critical race theory, the Black Lives Matter Movement, and wokeness are as much disputes among whites themselves as between blacks and whites.
  22. I think you underestimate the ways in which black women and gay people face racism, sexism, and homophobia all at once by straight white men and even among black people too. These things intersect. Think about it this way.... In the late 19th and early twentieth century there were Black men who wanted racial barriers to the vote eliminated but opposed women's sufferage the same as most white men Black people have been vocal opponents in many localities of LGBTQ Rights ordinances. All this occurs within a wider social context of white male domination that is racist, sexist, and homophobic too.
  23. Thanks, Pioneer, for replying and your compliments. The emphasis on Black Unity to counter supposed White Unity can keep us from being pragmatic or dealing with problems among ourselves. This is especially true when talking about economic issues or class. Think about it. We wrongly think about economic development in terms of buying black through service and industrial firms. Such thinking is outdated. Blacks need to be involved in growth industries like technology and healthcare where we can get anybody and everybody's money. Moreover, we need to recognize that rich black people and Capitalism isn't always good for majority of black people who are workers. Secondly, black unity can blind us to sexism and homophobia within black communities. We often talk about liberation only to elevate black men to an equal place with white men while women of both races are subordinated and unjustly treated. How many of us in the name of black unity and opposing racism gave R Kelly a pass for raping and abusing young black women? The same thing is true with Culturally conservative Black Nationalist rhetoric that denigrates black LGBTQ people as acting white and being immoral at the expense of black families, manhood, and community. Lastly, we need to understand that white people are not all the same. Some of them past and present are allies in the fight for freedom and justice. Others can be persuaded if we are willing to make the effort. The idea of white or black unity can blind us to the possibilities for change.
  24. By no means am I underestimating white power or it's destructive impact. And we know how large numbers of whites can be galvanized by racist appeals, But the monolithic notion of white unity is a fallacy. Talking and thinking about whites as a unified group ignores whites' self-perception as individuals. It also fails to take class and gender inequality into consideration. More importantly, it disempowers black people fighting for positive social change by focusing on some kind of unattainable " black unity" to counter racism and economic injustice. Because white people are so numerous and relatively well off in most ways as a group compared to black people it's easy to think they are constantly motivated by some sense of racial consciousness. Of course, discrimination against us makes it seem that way. But whites think of themselves as individuals first and foremost. They come together only to the extent that certain individuals see mutual benefit in doing so. They compete and they conflict in all kinds of ways and whiteness is never a consideration unless or until black people come along. However not all whites are racist, nor have they ever supported it. White people do things for each other out of moral consideration or self-interest not whiteness. But it's important to recognize economic inequality and the class divide. Rich white capitalists past and present have often exploited and undermined all workers regardless of race. So radical and reform minded whites have fought to tame Capitalism or Socialists have called for its abolition. By reforming the socioeconomic system (think - center left liberalism) through the New Deal America became a better place mainly for white working people. None of this excludes male domination and sexism against women. White men felt justified as men denying women regardless of color the right to vote or do anything else in society until women mostly whites fought for social change. Even in that endeavor race complicated things. Black men and women fighting against racism also challenged gender inequality. But many white women fighting sexism past, and present are racist too. The challenge is for black people who oppose racism, sexism, and economic injustice to build mass support for social change among other blacks and non-blacks. It is important to recognize that black people differ among themselves too. Some oppose activist struggle for change. They believe in adaptation or accommodation. There are wealthy blacks who don't want the economy changed. Other blacks believe in male domination over women black or white. Black people have all kinds of views. We are Black Nationalists, Socialists, Conservatives, Moderates, Democrats, and Republicans. Some of us think improvement is collective while others are individualist. Ultimately unity in some monolithic sense is not possible.
  25. Everything in LA depends on how Bass uses her position to help the working and poorest people regardless of race or ethnicity. It's not all about Liberal, Conservative, Democrat, or Republican. Ultimately it doesn't matter if you have rich black people or blacks wielding political power if that power is not used to improve the material wellbeing of the least among us. Racial inequality that undermines us as a people is compounded by this current predator Capitalism that hurts all working people. Black Capitalism and self-help are fine. Electing blacks to public office is fine too. But all this is meaningless if we don't see concrete material change for the black masses. We need activists, thinkers, elected officials. and businesspeople who recognize this if we are going to rise collectively. Is former Congresswoman Karen Bass this kind of leader? We can only hope. Latinos are a large and diverse group that includes blacks, whites, indigenous, and multiracial peoples. But I'm not interested in working with white folks to hurt nobody. Yeah, some Latinos are white racists who don't give a damn about blacks. However non-Hispanic White male racists with money are still the power elite so I'll work with the most enlightened and forward-thinking Latinos and Asians any day to fight for positive social and economic change. And by the way there are plenty of well off and powerful black people who only care about themselves and other people like them. Don't be fooled. Not everyone different from you is the enemy, and not everyone like you is a friend.
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