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Hometown: New England, The South, Midwest
Home country: USA
Current location: Chicago
Member since: Sat Mar 5, 2011, 12:32 PM
Number of posts: 22,684

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Human. Being.

Journal Archives

Get Ready, DU: Cornel West Speaking in the "Prophetic Tradition"

Highlights on "Niggerization," Revolution, Unity, Honesty, Leadership, Poverty

DU must recognize.

Please take the time to understand the underpinnings of both black and white Democratic Socialism that brings Bernie Sanders and Cornel West together.

For the brothers who spoke so eloquently...resilience, resistance...I could see Nat Turner and John Brown...and 220 rebellions the night that Martin Luther King was shot down like a dog one year after he gave his Beyond Vietnam speech to bring poor people together, to bring a critique to bear on the viciousness of American imperialism.

Forty years later we come back to commemorate this struggle against the historical backdrop of a people who've been so terrorized, traumatized and stigmatized that we've been taught to be scared, intimidated, always afraid, distrustful ... and disrespectful of one anothe

But the Atticus rebellion was a countermove of that direction...I call it the "niggerization" of a people -- not just black people because America been niggerized since 9/11. When you're niggerized, you're unsafe, unprotected, subject to random violence, hated for who you are. You become so scared that you defer to the powers that be and you're willing to consent to your own domination.

And that's the history of black people in America... Anytime you look the terror in the face and you deal with the trauma -- even if all you could do was sing a song... in 1971 you had a whole context ... that same year... but the counterrevolution is winning!....

...it started on the chocolate side of town but it spilled over into the vanilla side and the yellow side and the brown side, too...oh yes, you got to have the unity but you got to be honest about how the powers that be dividing and conquering.

In this revolutionary moment when the counterrevolution is winning...now it's coming back...and the young people are hungry and thirsty but the young people are thirsty for truth...and the problem is that most of our leaders have either sold out, caved in, gave up; they don't want to tell people the truth. They're too concerned about their careers. They're too concerned about success. Too concerned about just winning the next election. Or their status.

In l971 the Attica brothers told the truth. But they weren't the only ones. You had a whole cacophony of voices telling the truth! ... the condition of Truth is to allow suffering to speak! You don't talk about poverty, you're not telling the truth. You're not talking about working people you can push against the wall when corporate profit's high, you're not telling the truth. If you're not talking about the criminal activity on Wall St. and not one person gone to jail yet, you're not telling the truth!

The only thing that will keep you going is you better have some love in your heart for The People...the long distance runner got enough love in their hearts to talk about The People, about poverty, about suffering, about struggle and be able to look...not just presidents...to tell their truth

We gone have a New Wave...of truth telling...witness bearing...we gone teach the younger generation that these brothers didn't struggle in vain just like John Brown, Nat Turner, Marcus Garvey and Martin King...and we shall see what happens...we might get crushed, too, but you know what? Then you just go down swinging like Ella Fitzgerald and Muhammed Ali!

Bottom Line on Trump: Sizable Number of Whites Don't Want to Face the Future as a Minority.

I've been reading The New Yorker for thirty years, and as far as I can remember, this is the first time in many years that I've seen TNY attempt to tap into right wing thinking in the present. Sure, it's examined past right wing activity, but not present.

Putting my mocking of Trump's campaign slogan aside, this article represents, to me, a sitting up and taking notice by the East Coast intelligentsia. ( I hope my excerpts below don't exceed the allowable.)

More to the content: Donald Trump has tapped into not only racist sentiments within his party, but also deep dissatisfaction in the base over Republican neglect of their interests. This article opens up ideas held by conservatives about what a future America might look like. While the title hints at the "fearful and the frustrated," there is a signal optimism presented about conservative politics that bears examining.

Trump’s constant talk of his money, his peering down on the one per cent (not to mention the ninety-nine), has helped him to a surprising degree. “I love the fact that he wouldn’t be owing anybody,” Nancy Merz, a fifty-two-year-old Hampton Republican, told me.

Trump’s fans project onto him a vast range of imaginings—about toughness, business acumen, honesty—from a continuum that ranges from economic and libertarian conservatives to the far-right fringe. In partisan terms, his ideas are riven by contradiction—he calls for mass deportations but opposes cuts to Medicare and Social Security; he vows to expand the military but criticizes free trade—and yet that is a reflection of voters’ often incoherent sets of convictions.

Trump became the top choice among Tea Party voters, supplanting (and opening a large lead over) Senator Ted Cruz, of Texas, and Governor Scott Walker, of Wisconsin, both Tea Party stalwarts. According to a Washington Post /ABC News poll conducted last month, the “broad majority” of Trump’s supporters hailed from two groups: voters with no college degree, and voters who say that immigrants weaken America. By mid-August, Trump was even closing in on Hillary Clinton. CNN reported that, when voters were asked to choose between the two, Clinton was leading fifty-one per cent to forty-five.

On July 20th, three days before his trip to Texas, Ann Coulter, whose most recent book is “¡Adios, America! The Left’s Plan to Turn Our Country Into a Third World Hellhole,” appeared on Sean Hannity’s show and urged fellow-Republicans to see Trump’s summer as a harbinger. “The new litmus test for real conservatives is immigration,” she said. “They used to say the same thing about the pro-life Republicans and the pro-gun Republicans, and, ‘Oh, they’re fringe and they’re tacky, and we’re so embarrassed to be associated with them.’ Now every one of them comes along and pretends they’d be Reagan”...

Ordinarily, the white-nationalist Web sites mock Republicans as Zionist stooges and corporate puppets who have opened the borders in order to keep wages low. But, on July 9th, VDARE, an opinion site founded to “push back the plans of pro-Amnesty/Immigration Surge politicians, ethnic activists and corrupt Big Business,” hailed Trump as “the first figure with the financial, cultural, and economic resources to openly defy elite consensus. If he can mobilize Republicans behind him and make a credible run for the Presidency, he can create a whole new media environment for patriots to openly speak their mind without fear of losing their jobs.” The piece was headlined “WE ARE ALL DONALD TRUMP NOW.”...

Griffin, a thirty-four-year-old who writes an influential blog under the name Hunter Wallace... told me that he embraced white nationalism after reading Patrick Buchanan’s “Death of the West,” which argued, in Griffin’s words, that “all of the European peoples were dying out, their birthrates were low, and you had mass immigration and multiculturalism.” Griffin once had high hopes for the Tea Party. “They channelled all that rage into electing an impressive number of Republicans in the South, but then all they did was try to cut rich Republicans’ taxes and make life easier for billionaires!” he said. “It was all hijacked, and a classic example of how these right-wing movements emerge, and they’re misdirected into supporting the status quo.”

Griffin had recently told his readers that his opinion of Donald Trump was “soaring.” He sees Trump’s surge as a “hostile takeover of the Republican Party. He’s blowing up their stage-managed dog-and-pony show.” Griffin is repelled by big-money politics, so I asked why he spoke highly of Trump. “He’s a billionaire, but all of these other little candidates are owned by their own little billionaires.” He mentioned Sheldon Adelson and the Koch brothers. “So I think Trump is independent.”


Cornel West on Thomas Paine, Greatest Revolutionary In American History, Our Political Forebear

On the occasion of Cornel West's endorsement of Bernie Sanders, here is a basic understanding of why West endorses our guy. Thomas Paine is not only Bernie's but our forebear, too.

West's understanding of Paine's views of religious and ideological dogma clarifies the best of America's revolutionary sensibility for The People. As they all indicate, we have an uphill struggle before us.

I highly recommend the rest of the video, but want to foreground West's words here for Bernie supporters.

Attempted transcript of Cornel West's thoughts on Paine. Watch from the 3:19 minute mark to the 9:29 minute mark:

"...his conception of himself at 37 was that he was willing to die to endure that he would act honorably, think critically...

...that was revolution in form...spoken in The People's colloquial style... we don't have today are intellectuals who haven't been seduced by the professional managerial (?) as a subculture of the university who are fundamentally committed to the plight and predicament of ...everyday people... poor people...and who view their calling, not their career as an organic connection with their struggles...no matter how strong...or weak... Now there are some intellectuals who do that...fewer and fewer.

Why? Because what Thomas Paine didn't have to deal with is the backdrop of impending ecological catastrophe, the backdrop of possible nuclear catastrophe, the fashionable character of being cynical and despairing even as you are highly, professionally approved and recognized...no willingness to pay a cost, no willingness to take a risk, no willingness to cut radically against the grain.

And of course he suffered the consequences... He died...six people at his funeral, two of them black because of that critique of African slavery, the first piece he wrote...it was fundamentally committed to a critique of white supremacy, very rare among highly visible white intellectuals...

Brother Chris is rare, Rick Wolff is rare...I'm not just talking about a symbolic gesture, I'm talking about fundamentally committed to your analysis where white supremacy is an integral factor among other crucial factors and then you make the connection among your organic connections.

That's the kind of brother Thomas Paine was. And it is very, very difficult to build on his legacy even though we have to acknowledge just how crucial that challenge is.

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