Looking Historically at the White Working Class in the U.S. | David Gilbert

by David Gilbert, political prisoner

The bizarre and dangerous rise of Donald Trump did not just pop up out of the thin air. The very foundation of the U.S. is white supremacy. This country is, at its core, imperialist, patriarchal and based in a range of ways human beings are delimited and demeaned. Nor are the specific and terribly virulent politics of racial scapegoating brand new. Always a part of U.S. culture, that approach became more central in mainstream politics, with various ups and downs in the rhetoric, since the end of the 1960s. A stable imperialism prefers to rule by keeping the population passive, with large sectors at home placated by relative prosperity. But when the system is in crisis, those running the economy often resort to diverting anger by scapegoating the racial “other.” The sectors of the population who buy into that get the “satisfaction” of stomping on their “inferiors,” which is a lot easier than confronting the mega-powerful ruling class.

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Aggrieved Whiteness: White Identity Politics and Modern American Racial Formation

by Mike King

Recent social psychological research, opinion polls, and political movements, such as the Tea Party and the candidacy and election of Donald Trump, have highlighted an increasingly widespread sentiment among white Americans that they are a structurally oppressed racial group. In spite of persistent socio-cultural and political economic structures of white supremacy, real racial inequalities that serve to privilege rather than oppress white people as a group, a politics of aggrieved whiteness has become increasingly prevalent. Aggrieved whiteness is a white identity politics aimed at maintaining white socio-political hegemony through challenging efforts to combat actual material racial inequality, while supporting heavily racialized investments in policing, prisons, and the military, and positing a narrative of antiwhite racial oppression loosely rooted in an assortment of racialized threats. This political manifestation of white supremacy does not deviate from previous incarnations; it lacks a legitimate grounding in reason and fact, but still produces very real social consequences. This article will sketch how W.E.B. Du Bois’s concept of socio-psychological wages of whiteness, Paula Ioanide’s discussion of modern racial affect, and Wendy Brown’s application of ressentiment to modern political conceptions of identity can help provide a contextualized understanding of aggrieved whiteness and the challenges it poses to pursuits for genuine racial justice.

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Abolish Border Imperialism! – Seeking Proposals for a Convergence

Call for Proposals:

Abolish Border Imperialism!

a weekend convergence for working towards abolition and decolonization

October 6-8, 2017 – Minneapolis-Saint Paul, Minnesota

Resurgent border imperialism is producing a new round of repressions, deportations, and bans. It is emboldening white fascism and militarizing walls. From the reservation to the city, Indigenous peoples, immigrants, women, workers, queer and trans folks, Black and brown communities are facing criminalization, exploitation, deportation, incarceration, harassment, and violence. The organizing collective of Abolition: a journal of insurgent politics invites your proposals for a multi-faceted, multi-group convergence in the Twin Cities this fall!

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Breaking bricks with George Ciccariello-Maher’s Decolonizing Dialectics: Some friendly engagements and reflections

by Matt Evans

What is to be done? This question centers George Ciccariello-Maher’s new book, Decolonizing Dialectics, which addresses racism and colonialism through the works of Georges Sorel, Frantz Fanon, and Enrique Dussel, channelling Marxism in a praxis grounded in explaining colonialism and local conditions of the non-Western world.

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All of Durham is a Checkpoint for Black and Brown People

by Durham Beyond Policing

We have been told over and over again that there are “good cops”. Everyday Black people in Durham are targeted by police. Nearly 80% of people held at the Durham County Jail are Black while Durham is only 40% Black. Is that the role of “good cops”? To fill our jails with Black people? Is the role of a “good cop” to disproportionately stop and search Black drivers in Durham? Is the role of a “good cop” to detain and deport family members? Is the role of a “good cop” to murder Black people in Durham without any consequences? Kenny Bailey, Levante Biggs, Frank Clark, these people are not disposable. None of us are disposable.

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Refusing to Be Broken: Hartwick College Criminalizes Black Female Self-Defense against Racist White Male Assaults

– by Jallicia Jolly –

… Black female resistance is always greeted with punishment as young Black women are forced to accept both the apology and justification for their violation. Viewed as a bearer of an incurable immorality, Black girls and women remain culpable for the suffering caused by their dynamic dehumanization. Ask Marissa Alexander – a Black woman from Florida charged with firing a warning shot at her abusive ex-husband.

Yet, Black women continue to fight against murderous embodiments of racist patriarchy. It is this context that makes the use of their own bodies as weapons of resistance revolutionary. It is in the battlefield of legal visibility, public recognition, and personal safety that their self-defense asserts their right to life, protection, care, and dignity. …

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Nazi-Punching Praxis: Against the Liberal Theology of Reason & Non-Violence

[George Ciccariello-Maher interviewed by Daniel Denvir – Part 2]

I think what is being missed is the fact that [punching Nazis] is a praxis, that this is not simply a performance—it’s not an expression of frustration. It’s an actual political practice that is constructive and creative. The effects that punching Nazis creates include, first, as Richard Spencer through his own absurd inability to think strategically has admitted, it has made his life a living hell already. He admitted that it’s making it very difficult for them to organize. He’s admitted, in other words, everything that many of us have said about how Nazis need to be treated and about this famous apocryphal quote from Hitler that says, “If someone had recognized early on and crushed our movement with the utmost brutality of violence, then we would never have been able to grow.”

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“White Genocide” and the Myth of White Victimhood

[George Ciccariello-Maher interviewed by Daniel Denvir – Part 1]

White genocide is a paranoid conspiracy theory held by white supremacists who, on the one hand, believe in race as a biological reality and believe that whites are under existential threat by multicultural policies and intermarriage and every time a mixed baby is born, that the white race suffers a fatal blow. These are really the kind of people that traffic in this idea of white genocide and these are the kind of people who at the same time, wanted to take my tweet which sought to mock white genocide, and to interpret it literally as though I were actually wishing for the death of all white people.

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The Travel Ban: A Legal Extra-legality

In this article, Kathleen Arnold explores the historical roots of President Trump’s legal and yet unjust travel ban. Were Trump’s moves illegal? Not really—Trump merely used the legal and yet extra-constitutional powers in the immigration system. The closed system of authority over matters of immigration requires revolution and not reform—protest is truly the only way to effect change.

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For Antifa, No Platform for Fascism

– by Mark Bray –

Germany has a prohibition against advocating for Nazis publicly. That doesn’t mean that Germany is a closed society where people can’t say whatever they want to say. You can have some prohibitions against speech without going all the way. In the context of an increasing number of hate crimes — the Southern Poverty Law Center cited over 800 such crimes immediately following the election of President Trump — the idea is that the people who carry out these crimes are listening to Richard Spencer speeches, going on Stormfront websites, imbibing this hateful doctrine, and that, to the degree that we can shut it down, we will have fewer people copy-catting them into attacking vulnerable populations. Most people would agree that it was acceptable in the 1930s and 1940s to organize armed resistance to the Nazi regime. The question is: how terrible does it have to be before that becomes legitimate? And the anti-fascist answer is: you need to nip it in the bud from the beginning.

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In the Time of Trump: Housing, Whiteness, and Abolition

– by Manissa M Maharawal and Erin McElroy (The Anti-Eviction Mapping Project) –

How is Trump the landlord connected to Trump the president? How can we think about the rise of Trump’s reign through a lens critical of the US’s racist and colonial histories of private property? Focused on the geography of the San Francisco Bay Area and the analysis of the Anti-Eviction Mapping Project, this piece shows the relationships between luxury development, public housing, gentrification, liberalism, and racialized dispossession. For understanding the data and building an intersectional movement, this piece argues that we need an abolitionist approach to private property.

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Is Marxism Relevant? Some Uses and Misuses – Part 2: Revolutionary Vision

– by David Gilbert, political prisoner –
Many of the examples of Marxist-Leninist formations make it tempting to echo Marx in saying, “I’m not a Marxist.” I’m not if Marxism is understood as a pat dogma, as small sects vying to claim leadership of the movement and carrying out political debates by citing opposing quotes from old texts, and especially when it’s used as a “revolutionary” rationale for continuing white and male domination. At the same time, I would encourage today’s activists not to lose a treasure trove in both method and many specifics of analysis by dismissing Marxism out of hand.

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Is Marxism Relevant? Some Uses and Misuses – by David Gilbert, political prisoner

A blanket dismissal of Marxism runs the risk of losing some important building blocks for analyzing the nature and vulnerabilities of capitalism. In addition, my experience during more than 50 years in the struggle has shown that those who were able to sustain activism over the long and difficult haul often had some foundation in theory and in a sense of history.

What follows is not an argument for or against Marxism as the defining framework, and it certainly isn’t an attempt to provide an overall or in-depth explanation. Instead I want to talk about a few broad concepts which I found very useful and still seem very relevant today. Often these ideas are markedly different from the more visible versions put forward by various predominantly white and male Marxists.

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