From the Department of Useless, Counter-Productive and Downright Harmful Criticism

September 27, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper |


Count on the New York Times to criticize a progressive work of art or a broad protest from the so-called left. Such was the case on September 26, when they ran “Protests Start a Dialogue, But About What, Exactly?”

The Times consulted all sorts of people who they only quote for such occasions to run out all kinds of reasons why the taking of a knee by hundreds of football players wasn’t such a much after all.

And, according to the Times at least, they ran the table. “It’s the kind of thing white people who think they’re not white supremacists like to do.” (Really? Seemed that most of the players kneeling were Black, and what would be wrong anyway if more white athletes and fans joined in?) “It takes the focus off police brutality.” (How so? We mean, really, wasn’t that what the original protest was about and what Trump was attacking?) “The NFL is capitalist anyways and these owners are just doing this to protect their investments.” (Uh, yeah—but is it bad that owners and others, like former coach and now-announcer Rex Ryan, who supported Trump now feel for whatever reason that they have to publicly range themselves against the Trump regime on what is clearly an important issue to the fascists?) “This is making the issue the flag and free speech instead of police brutality.” (And? Isn’t the American flag intimately and integrally connected with murder by police and every other aspect of white supremacy in this society? So what is wrong if the flag also becomes part of the fight? And isn’t the right to take political stands something that athletes have had to fight for, at cost to their careers—as Colin Kaepernick, John Carlos or Muhammad Ali show—and something that Trump was directly threatening?) “This is nothing new; and it calls attention away from how white supremacy permeates every aspect of society and has done so for a long time.”

Let’s take that last criticism a little deeper. It’s true—and it isn’t. What’s true is that white supremacy has permeated America from Day One, still permeates America and will continue to permeate America unless and until there is a revolution to bring in a whole new society, a socialist society on the road to the emancipation of ALL humanity.

What is missed though is profound. What these “leftists” all ignore—at least insofar as they are quoted in this article—is that Donald Trump took the stage in Alabama and assumed the persona of a modern-day lynch-mob leader, agitating his followers against what everyone watching knew was “uppity Blacks” (who else was “taking a knee during the anthem”?), and acting out that character with a passion and venom that was all too real. Listen to the second time he says “Fired!”—listen to the venom and hatred oozing out of his voice—and then watch him preen for his audience, if you can keep from barfing. Trump not only sanctions, he acts out and gives leadership to the vilest strands and forces in American society. He is preparing for something. Yes, he is taking what has existed all along—and he is moving it to a new level. It is good—it is imperative—it is absolutely necessary for people to oppose this and keep opposing this. Would silence and acquiescence have been better?

An analogy: anti-Jewish hatred existed in Europe for hundreds of years. And you can read more than one history of the Nazi Holocaust of the Jews where German Jews told themselves that “this was nothing new.” It wasn’t; and it was. And the latter aspect proved horribly more profound.

So with Trump. He’s nothing new; and he IS. What’s new is that there is both a severe escalation of the attacks on the rights and humanity of Black people in every sphere of American life, and there is a logic that ultimately leads to where Hitler’s did.

And here is where we can “agree” with some of the critics. Protesting this outrage is not enough; this must go further. One thing that’s different with this American fascism is that it is still consolidating, still taking form and shape even as it has seized the reins of state power. There is still a brief window of time in which to stop it. But that depends on people who see the threat acting against it—it depends on people seizing the opportunity that’s been posed to come into the streets in mass nonviolent protest on November 4 and to stay in the streets until this regime is history.

We don’t want to see the result if we don’t.



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