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Colonized Progressives

These past few years, there has been a tremendous increase in the expressions of white supremacy, not only in the US, but across the planet, in South America, Central America, Europe, even India, partly driven by fundamentalist Christians and Hindus. Time to step up our self critique and evolve a stronger response. Far too many progressive analyses about Brazil, Venezuela, Cuba, Colombia, the US, India and many others fail to mention the significant numbers of afrodescendants in those places and their impact on politics. This needs to stop.

White progressives shouldn't be smug about racism. We could be doing much more to end it.  11/29/2018 USA Today: "True, our mouths, hearts and votes are generally in the right place. But our “money” often isn’t — our decisions on where we live, worship and send our kids to school, whom we include in the communities we form, and how we leverage the advantages of our white majority status for the benefit of others."

White Anarchism: An Exploration into Characteristics and Colonialist Roots of White Anarchism  10/7/2018 Medium: "You either believe that Anarchism and it's formulations of anti authoritarianism and anti statism are the absolute ends goals and proceed to elevate the process above all else OR you believe that Anarchism and it's formulations are the best and most likely means to achieve the global liberation of all people's and proceed to elevate the actual liberation of people's above all other considerations."

Why White Liberals Are So Unwilling to Recognize Their Own Racism  8/2/2018 Slate: "We’re taught to think of racism as individual acts of intentional meanness across race. That it’s always an individual, it has to be conscious, and it must be intentional. That definition exempts virtually all white people from the system that we’re all in and that we’ve all been shaped by. It is the bedrock of our country. That changes the question from “If I’m racist,” [to] which most white people would answer “No,” to “How is this manifesting in my life?” Because it is. It’s on me to figure out how."

Progressives in Venezuela tend to be more aware of these dimensions than most, as discussed in The racial conflict in Venezuela.

Articles/Artículostop

White Supremacy and Progressives

No war but class warCapitalism and Race Redux  1/4/2019 Counterpunch: "Slaves weren’t enslaved based on identity, and neither was it the basis of genocide committed against the indigenous population. The concept of race didn’t exist until a half-century after the establishment of American slavery." [Profoundly wrong in every respect, as we know from antiquity and from the example of India. Why were Africans enslaved in the Americas and not the Irish? Why were indigenous people exterminated in the Americas when this was not a practice during wars in Europe?]

Growing up in a ‘progressive’ country that celebrates blackface  12/22/2018 gal-dem:  “The only people who think in a racist manner are the people who think Zwarte Piet is racist, because it’s not meant to be racist”

Do America’s Socialists Have a Race Problem?  12/20/2018 New Republic: "At one point, Tur-ha Ak, a black organizer with Brooks’s Anti-Police Terror Project, asked to speak. As his turn approached, the young man who was chairing the meeting asked if Ak was a member. A number of white people had spoken before him, including Forrest Schmidt, 42, who was attending his first DSA meeting. “None of us had our credentials called,” he said. “Nobody said, ‘Are you a DSA member?’” When Ak responded that he was not a member, the chair asked him to take a seat. The room erupted. The procedural rules were racist, Ak proclaimed, raising his voice over a cacophony of protests and chants. “The energy,” Brooks recalled, “turned into that of a white mob.” She decided to take the floor. “My name is Cat Brooks,” she said. “I’ve been organizing in this city longer than most of you have lived here.” In a brief, piercing speech, she accused the largely white crowd of being gentrifiers and then walked out, leaving members confused and outraged."

“To Live in France Means to Become French”: Fascism, Parasitism, and the Yellow Vests  12/9/2018 LOOP: "Against the wishful thinking of the “left” of the oppressor nations, the correct political orientation toward France’s “Yellows Vests” is decidedly not to see in them the seeds of an impending socialist revolution. In this, we will be proven correct: contradictions between the labor aristocracy and the haute bourgeoisie are not expressions of developing proletarian consciousness or a the development of a revolutionary situation. The fury of the French labor aristocracy over increased commodity prices, income taxes, and retirements are coupled to their rage over immigrants not speaking French, over the police not receiving high enough wages, and over what they perceive as insufficient economic nationalism."

White progressives shouldn't be smug about racism. We could be doing much more to end it.  11/29/2018 USA Today: "True, our mouths, hearts and votes are generally in the right place. But our “money” often isn’t — our decisions on where we live, worship and send our kids to school, whom we include in the communities we form, and how we leverage the advantages of our white majority status for the benefit of others."

Zwarte Piet, or: The Illusion of the Netherlands’ Progressive Image  10/21/2018 Medium: "Despite the fact that police in the Netherlands have repeatedly been shown to engage in ethnic profiling, despite the fact that various investigations have uncovered rampant discrimination in the housing market and the job market, despite the fact that the far-right populist Geert Wilders got the second most votes in the most recent election, despite the Minister of Foreign Affairs recently going on record saying multicultural societies are doomed to fail, and despite strongly objecting to having a figure that is wearing literal blackface be altered to a less stereotypical appearance, the Dutch still champion themselves as a land of progressive ideals, where race is all but an afterthought."

White Anarchism: An Exploration into Characteristics and Colonialist Roots of White Anarchism  10/7/2018 Medium: "You either believe that Anarchism and it's formulations of anti authoritarianism and anti statism are the absolute ends goals and proceed to elevate the process above all else OR you believe that Anarchism and it's formulations are the best and most likely means to achieve the global liberation of all people's and proceed to elevate the actual liberation of people's above all other considerations."

Before you accuse someone of racism, look in the mirror  10/2/2018 News & Observer: "Harvard political scientist Ryan Enos looked at how whites in Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s backyard behave when minorities appear in their homogeneous communities. As reported in The New York Times, Enos published a book titled “The Space Between Us,” suggesting that “the ideological commitment of liberals in these and other similar communities may waver, or fail entirely, when their white homogeneity is threatened….Enos demonstrates that the liberal resolve of affluent Democrats can disintegrate when racially or ethnically charged issues like neighborhood integration are at stake.”"

Even progressive academics can be racist. I’ve experienced it firsthand.  9/11/2018 WaPo: "Inevitably, their point of contention isn’t that I’m a civilian studying warfare; instead, they’re curious why I don’t study African cases or employ critical race or gender theories in my analysis. It’s as if they believe that just because I’m a black woman, I need to filter everything through the lens of my identity. It’s a presumption that disrespectfully disregards the full scope of my intelligence — and my ability to examine a world that exists beyond the borders of my own selfhood."

Why White Liberals Are So Unwilling to Recognize Their Own Racism  8/2/2018 Slate: "We’re taught to think of racism as individual acts of intentional meanness across race. That it’s always an individual, it has to be conscious, and it must be intentional. That definition exempts virtually all white people from the system that we’re all in and that we’ve all been shaped by. It is the bedrock of our country. That changes the question from “If I’m racist,” [to] which most white people would answer “No,” to “How is this manifesting in my life?” Because it is. It’s on me to figure out how."

I’m Tired of Enduring the Abuse and Pain That Makes Me a ‘Strong Black Woman’  5/24/2018 The Root: "Six years ago, a white male boss bullied me. He was the executive editor of AlterNet, a left-leaning magazine. He shot down any idea I had that explicitly discussed race, made me feel like I was incapable of doing my job, and that I should be grateful that he had even hired me. When he fired me, he did so over email. My co-workers accused him of sexual harassment in an article published in BuzzFeed in December 2017. I applauded their bravery, saw this as a victory. I had not been sexually harassed, I was fine. I quietly wondered why no one asked me if I had been harassed?"

The Progressive Racism of Margaret Sanger  4/16/2018 Abort73: "If by 'unfit' is meant the physical or mental defects of a human being," she wrote, "that is an admirable [position], but if 'unfit' refers to races or religions, then that is another matter which I frankly deplore."1 If Margaret Sanger had been the racist many of her detractor’s claim, it’s unlikely that Martin Luther King Jr. would have accepted the inaugural Margaret Sanger Award, bestowed on him the year Sanger died, or spoken of her in such glowing terms."

Bernie Sanders struggles with new path to black voters  4/6/2018 AP: "As with Sanders’ comments on Obama, some of the rub is as much about emphasis as substance. Seated with Lumumba, the senator was asked about the marginalization of black LGBTQ citizens. He shifted the question to people “you didn’t talk about” like “people working two or three jobs” and “people who spend 50 percent of their limited income on housing.” He repeatedly turned discussion of fighting racism to fighting poverty. “If all I hear about is ‘the working class,’ and it seems he’s talking to just one segment, then it’s easy to feel he’s not talking to me,” said Williams, the Georgia Democrat, explaining that she cannot “separate my blackness” from where she fits in the economy."

Smack a White Boy  3/18/2018 MerriCatherine: "All of us who have participated in this action have interacted with white anarchists for good amounts of time in our organizing and/or lives. Our relationships with these folks have varied. But let us tell you this, not one of us has been unaffected by the racism within the movement. Don’t think these are isolated instances. White supremacy plays a role in everything. The anarchist scene reproduces the same oppressive social relationships we face throughout society, and furthers the notion that oppression does not exist within the movement. This silences many."

A Marxist case for intersectionality  8/1/2017 Socialist Worker: "There are two quite distinct interpretations of intersectionality: one developed by Black feminists and the other by those from the "post-structural" wing of postmodernism. I want to try to make the differences clear in this article, and explain why the Black feminist tradition advances the project of building a unified movement to fight all forms of oppression, which is central to the socialist project--while post-structuralism does not."

The progressive movement’s horrible racist history  3/21/2016 NY Post: "An influential 1916 best-seller, ‘‘The Passing of the Great Race” — celebrating Nordic Europeans — was written by Madison Grant, a staunch activist for Progressive causes such as endangered species, municipal reform, conservation and the creation of national parks. He was a member of an exclusive social club founded by Republican Progressive Theodore Roosevelt, and Grant and Franklin D. Roosevelt became friends in the 1920s, addressing one another in letters as ‘‘My dear Frank” and ‘‘My dear Madison.’‘ Grant’s book was translated into German, and Adolf Hitler called it his Bible. Progressives spearheaded the eugenics movement, dedicated to reducing the reproduction of supposedly ‘‘inferior” individuals and races."

10 Ways White Liberals Perpetuate Racism  9/1/2015 Huff Post: "These are tough questions. It hurts to know that my words might have invalidated another, and that I may have contributed subtly to racism. For a 40-something White liberal, I’m acknowledging I have more to learn. Millennials seem know that in the smallest of words is where the greatest of pain lies. Only through continued growth, awareness and acknowledgement that #wordsmatter can something as ugly as racism be overcome."
 

Excellent progressive analyses that do not mention people of color even when they are a significant portion of the population

Invisible Man
Brazil

Welcome to the Jungle  10/29/2018 Consortium News: Another brilliant left analysis of Brazil that fails to even mention the existence of afrodescendientes, 51% of the population.

There’s a Growing International Alliance of Right-Wing Demagogues  10/23/2018 Alternet: "His targets are the poor and the social minorities—Afro-Brazilians, Gays, Leftists." [At least has some mention of attacks on AfroBrazilians, but fails to understand that they are 50% of the population and many are voting for Bolsonaro who will continue to attack them.]

Brasil, la Cultura y Bolsonaro  10/18/2018 Jiribilla: [Ningun tratamiento del hecho que la motivacion detras Bolsonaro es la supremacia blanca en un Brasil de 50% afro.]

Lula y el «crimen» de la izquierda  4/5/2018 Granma: [Seria importante incluir la dimension racial del conflicto en Brazil, donde la supremacia blanca escondita es un motor importante de la contrarrevolucion. Reconociendo esto, se mobiliza a mas gente.]


Cuba

topEl Partido de los Trabajadores y la extrema derecha en Brasil  10/20/2018 Cuba debate: [Otro análisis en el que la izquierda mantiene la invisibilidad de los afrodescendientes, esta vez en Brasil. ¿Cómo se puede hablar de la elección de un nazi sin mencionar que el país tiene 50% de afrodescendientes? Muchos de ellos votan por un hombre que aumentará las masacres policiales en las favelas, que ya se están ejecutando a un ritmo mayor que los asesinatos policiales en los Estados Unidos.]

¿Cómo EE. UU. diseñó imponer su hegemonía «sin hacer mucho ruido»?  8/27/2018 Granma: "El objetivo final de la estrategia a escala planetaria, es derrotar en el terreno de la idea las alternativas a nuestro dominio, mediante el deslumbramiento y la persuasión, la manipulación del inconsciente, la usurpación del imaginario colectivo y la recolonización de las utopías redentoras y libertarias, para lograr un producto paradójico e inquietante: que las víctimas lleguen a comprender y compartir la lógica de sus verdugos."


USA

topIceland's "Anti-Trump" Prime Minister Joins Sanders-Varoufakis Open Call for Global Progressive Alliance  12/5/2018 Common Dreams: "Icelandic Prime Minister Katrín Jakobsdóttir this week announced her support for Progressive International—the just-launched global movement calling for all progressives to fight together for a "shared vision of democracy, prosperity, sustainability, and solidarity." A brainchild of the U.S.-based Sanders Institute and Europe's DiEM25—groups founded by Jane O'Meara Sanders and former Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis, respectively—the Progressive International's open call was unveiled Friday at the inaugural Sanders Institute Gathering, a three-day congregation of hundreds of progressive leaders tackling issues including "full-throated economic populism," Medicare for All, and a vision "for a world that works for the children of this world, not for a handful of billionaires.""

Noam Chomsky Explains Exactly What Went Wrong in the 2016 Presidential Election in Brand New Interview  5/12/2018 Alternet: "There's an excellent study of these matters by two outstanding political scientists, Walter Dean Burnham and Thomas Ferguson. They focus in detail on the 2014 election, but the conclusions are general. As they point out, participation is reducing to the level of the days when voting was restricted to white males with property qualifications. The reasons are not hard to figure out. People don't have to read the academic work in political science (these authors, Gilens, Bartels, Page) to know that the large majority are essentially unrepresented, in that their opinions and choices are ignored by their own representatives, who, like others, listen to the voices of the ultra-rich and corporate sector, overwhelmingly. So why bother?"

Noam Chomsky: Donald Trump is a Distraction  3/3/2018 Noam Chomsky: "While Donald Trump works to distract the public, his administration is working to dismantle every aspect of government that benefits the people."


Venezuela

topThe Paranoid Drive for Military Intervention in Venezuela  9/6/2018 Counterpunch: "Previously, the warmongering “humanitarian” interveners went straight to looting but, over time, they refined their rhetoric and began to talk about trade and investment opportunities, increases in GDP and other more subtle forms of robbery."

Venezuela’s Narrowing Options  6/8/2018 Counterpunch: Another good progressive analysis that fails to mention white supremacy, one of the most important drivers of the Venezuela conflict.

The U.S. is Meddling in Venezuelan Election  5/18/2018 Consortium News: [No discussion of how white supremacy drives the conflict] "Far more blatant and frightening is the Plan to Overthrow the Venezuelan Dictatorship – Masterstroke, dated February 23, 2018. Masterstrokewas leaked on the website Voltairenet.org and picked up by Stella Calloni in the reliable and respected Resumen Latinoamericano. Although Masterstroke is unverified, the contents as reported by Calloni are entirely consistent with U.S. policy and pronouncements."

The “Masterstroke” of the United States Against Venezuela  5/9/2018 Resumen: [Another fine progressive analysis that makes no mention of white supremacy] - "One of the last paragraphs of the document is about “securing” or showing the use of violent means by the “dictatorship” to obtain international support, using “All the capabilities of the Psychological War of the United States Army.”"

Sabotaje a la democracia en Venezuela  2/9/2018 Cuba Debate: por Atilio Borón, economista y periodista argentino, quien dirigió Clacso.

 

Intersectionality

Intersectionality: A Marxist Critique  11/14/2018 Black Agenda Report: How to make Afrodescendants and women invisible in a Marxist context - "To assert the priority of a class analysis is not to claim that a worker is more important than a homemaker, or even that the worker primarily thinks of herself as a worker; indeed, based on her personal experience with spousal abuse or police brutality, she may well think of herself more as a woman, or a black person. It is to propose, however, that the ways in which productive human activity is organized—and, in class-based society, compels the mass of the population to be divided up into various categories in order to insure that the many will be divided from one another and will labor for the benefit of the few—this class-based organization constitutes the principal issue requiring investigation if we wish to understand the roots of social inequality."

On Embracing Intersectionality and Decolonization to Foment Personal and Societal Change  4/9/2018 Truth Out: "My choice of a complex identity as a Deaf Black Indigenous Womxn of Color (DBIWOC*) means that I equitably acknowledge and embrace the Afro-Cuban and Native aspects of myself along with the resilient experience of being a Deaf womxn. As a womxn, I am gender fluid when it comes to clothes, and I am a queer when it comes to relationships. It means I would be with a person because of the soul attraction and the way they carry themselves."

Before there was ‘intersectional feminism,’ there was the Combahee River Collective  3/1/2018 WaPo: "In a 1977 statement defining their goals, the women wrote: “The most general statement of our politics at the present time would be that we are actively committed to struggling against racial, sexual, heterosexual, and class oppression, and see as our particular task the development of integrated analysis and practice based upon the fact that the major systems of oppression are interlocking.” Today, the concept is called “intersectionality” and is the source of debate in the news media and on social media among women of color who say that mainstream feminism is still too centered on the experiences of privileged white women."

A Marxist case for intersectionality  8/1/2017 Socialist Worker: "There are two quite distinct interpretations of intersectionality: one developed by Black feminists and the other by those from the "post-structural" wing of postmodernism. I want to try to make the differences clear in this article, and explain why the Black feminist tradition advances the project of building a unified movement to fight all forms of oppression, which is central to the socialist project--while post-structuralism does not."

Will Conflict over the Centrality of LGBTQ Issues Drive a Wedge in the #BlackLivesMatter Movement?  8/14/2016 Atlanta Black Star: "However, for some Black activist groups, this poses a problem. Some, including Black nationalists and cultural nationalists, believe that the movement for Black liberation should place race first, and that LGBTQ issues have no place. And they disapprove of the intersectionality of race and sexual orientation that is promoted in the movement. The division was brought to the fore in Atlanta, where a man named Sir Maejor Page was booted from the official local Black Lives Matter chapter — Black Lives Matter Atlanta — and formed his own nonprofit organization called Black Lives Matter of Greater "

Black feminism and intersectionality  12/1/2013 ISR  

 

Links/Enlaces

theanarchistlibrary.org/library/roger-white-post-colonial-anarchism

What motivates Trump voters? A lot of progressives could not understand that it was patriarchalism and white supremacy.

Bernie Sanders and the Black Vote, 2016 Primaries  A tale of failure through adherence to progressive principles.

AfroBrazil

AfroVenezuela

News of the Racial Conflict in Venezuela

Noticias del conflicto racial en Venezuela

White Supremacy and Patriarchy in India: a neglected field of study that could give a much greater time depth to our work,

The Christian Right: driving the rise in white supremacy

White Supremacy Pages on AfroCubaWeb

 

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