Monday, October 24, 2011

The Progressive Plantation: Racism Inside White Radical Social Change Movements

by Lorenzo Kom'boa Ervin on Sunday, October 23, 2011

Besides just the current issues around Occupy Wall Street, the white radical Left
itself is riddled with racism, opportunism, class treachery, and internal
oppression which must be recognized and smashed, if it is to be any force for
radical change of society. I went back and reviewed the stuff from my earlier book,
part of which is a critique of internal racism and racist exclusion in Anarchism
specifically, but socialism generally, and it is pretty much the same criticism I
am making now against that current tendency. I had done this as part of the
research for "The Political Plantation". Since we know this is a deep seated
problem inside White radical social justice organizations, this leads us to the
unmistakable conclusion that white Left-led tendencies cannot lead us to
revolution, just political reform benefiting themselves as a class primarily. They
are the Left wing of the white middle class, no matter what rhetoric they use to
describe themselves and their goals. The OWS is a perfect example, but before that,
the anti-globalization movement, and even further back Socialist and Communist
parties have all succumbed to racism and white supremacy. More specifically, it all
raises this question: after a new society is created will it be another unjust
white-dominated one, with only political or economic differences from the previous
capitalist society, but still maintaining white supremacy? After we have shed
blood, sweat and tears in response to this white-led revolution, will Black/POCs
have to fight all over again for their liberation, because we will have once again
been betrayed? We are not fighting to replace one white master for another, nor to
be put back into the ghetto. There is only one possible conclusion to be reached:
we need a social revolution with Black/POC leadership to destroy this system
entirely and thoroughly, leaving no traces of racism or capitalism, rather than
have the very classes and peoples who have historically oppressed us in charge of
our fate. I do not believe or argue that white people are inherently evil, rather
that if we do not organize for our own freedom, nobody else will. The only question
is how many white people will unite with us in genuine unity, mutual aid, and with
the same fervor for total change?

So, that is why it is important that we raise class and political fights over these
issues now. We should not tolerate or give poitical cover for white supremacy inside
Left formations. It is the worst form of treachery and sellout in a nation based on
a history of racial slavery and the super-exploitation of peoples of color. It was
always assumed by many, even Blacks/POC activists, that the white Left tendencies
were one of the few groupings of white people in American society that would stand
with the Black Liberation movement and other tendencies of POC, but that is every
day being proven not to be true. In fact, what is being proven is that they will
sell out to retrograde forces in the Progressive wing, just to be part of a popular
movement of the moment, rather than wage an internal anti-racist fight to end
internal racism and other oppressions inside the movement. This is a decisive
moment, one that tests white people especially, to break away from conformity to
whiteness. White radical vanguardism is just another form of opportunism iin this
period. At a time when Black workers and poor peoples are literally being wiped out
by massive unemployment, poverty, homelessness, and oppression more than any other
group in society, the white Left has not built any fightback movement in support,
and has proven to be unwilling to force the Occupy Wall Street mass movement to
raise this as a major issues for them to struggle against in support of the Black
community. This treachery, as well as political and idological failings will be
noted by all activists of color, and propel them to launch autonomous movements in
their own defense and for their own liberation. History, and the current period
prove that white radicals simply do not make good political or anti-racist allies.

Yet, we can use the support of white activists who are willing to humble themseves
and recognize the fact that they are not the vanguard, and yet are willing to work
with to build a new type of revolutionary political entity. Further, we need to
politically educate and challenge others to join with us that we can reach. That is
why a conference is being planned to deal with the issues of internal racism and
colonialism in North America. That conference tentatively called "The Progressive
Plantation: Racism inside white radical movments, and the way forward!" is being
planned by myself and other activists now, and is expected to be held sometime in
mid-to-late 2012. More information will be provided when available. It will follow
the conference of Black/POC activists being prepared for the first quarter of 2012.
More details as available.


Anonymous said...

If race is not indicative of intelligence, why the Black/POC "leadership" nonsense?

Anonymous said...

If race is not indicative of intellect, why the nonsense about "Black/POC" "leadership"???