With California State Assembly in Sacramento passing a resolution that criticizing apartheid Israel is the same as anti Semitism, which emboldens university and college administrations in California to curb critical speeches against the Zionist settler state, we are reminded once again how deeply entrenched Zionism and pro-Israel politics is in the minds and culture of US politicians and how difficult it is to struggle against that reactionary and genocidal mindset. The struggle against apartheid South Africa which similarly took place on US campuses in the 1980’s and early 90’s was never and nowhere near this difficult. Nor it illicit this kind of shameless reaction which tries to criminalize free speech in order to maintain and continue the pro-Israel mindset and culture.
Although U.S. imperialism stubbornly and doggedly supported the racist white rule in Pretoria until its very end, it never fought as hard and as openly to keep the racist rule in South Africa as it is to maintain the status quo and brutal occupation and apartheid in Palestine. Basically, it sees Israel as an extension of itself in the heart of oil rich Middle East, politically, militarily and economically. US imperialism and its entire ruling class not only views Israel as a reliable and perennial ally in the region whose existence depends on US support, but it views the apartheid and settler state as vital for its success in maintaining and strengthening its control of and hegemony over the region and beyond. Without a strong footing in Middle East, aided by the occupation regime, the U.S. and its European allies could not be confident about maintaining their grip on Africa and Asia and make their provocations against Russia and threaten Iran and elsewhere.
But the very fact that the campus activism against the apartheid state and specifically the BDS (Boycott, Divest, Sanction) movement scares them is testiment to its efficacy in the fight against this two headed monster.
The cowardly reaction of the U.S. 1% to our activism against apartheid Israel must increase our resolve and our confidence that we are fighting the right battle and in the right manner. Freeing Palestine from the brutal US/Israeli occupation has become one and the same as freeing all the people of the world from the tyranny of the Empire, from the streets of South Central Los Angeles to Ferguson, from Baltimore to Sweatshops of Bangladesh, from Ukraine to Gaza and from Colombia to Greece.
Obama was proof – not that we needed one – that it’s not the skin color of the president (or any politician) that matters, but which class or group of the society he allies himself with and serves. In fact, a black president, due to the trust and loyalty afforded to him by the Black community, has a better opportunity to work against their interests than a white president with no similar pretense. President Obama proved this point beyond any doubt,
Just as the utter uselessness and treachery of Obama and, in fact, the entire Black political establishment who have embedded themselves within the Democratic Party, was being revealed to the Black community, videos surfaced and became public that revealed an unmistakable pattern of police brutality, including shooting, beating or choking to death of unarmed black men and women, at a staggering rate of about one every 28 hours, as if to prove to those still unsure that neither Obama, nor the rest of the Black leadership in Congress, nor Black preachers were on their side or could be counted on to do anything for them, either economically or for their physical safety. To make matters worse, after all the recent murders of unarmed black men that were publicized, President Obama signed into law the “Blue Alert System” designed to make it illegal and punishable to threaten police officers, supposedly to “protect their safety”.
People finally realized after keeping their hopes up in vain for over six years of having a black president that only they with their direct action on the streets could change things. The #BlackLivesMatter movement that raged across the nation from Ferguson to New York and from Cleveland to Baltimore in reaction to police brutality and murders was a reflection of such collective and spontaneous realization and political awareness. The sheepish and timid reaction at best and total indifference at the worst shown by these politicians to the carnage taking place against the poor Black community laid bare the class affiliation and treasonous nature of Black Democrats, just as the Occupy Wall Street movement did to that of the entire political establishment a few years earlier.
But, just as with the Occupy movement, which the Democrats tried to own, preempt, control and derail – some Democrats shamelessly began using the word “Occupy” in their literature and speeches while at the same time trying to diffuse it- so too the Black political establishment within the Democratic Party tried to catch up with people and redeem themselves by speaking up against the most egregious of police murders on the one hand, while asking for calm and defending “the good cops” who “put their lives on the line everyday to protect and serve (protect and serve whom and from whom?) on the other. But, their lame effort was too little too late. They had, by and large, lost credibility. The resignation of as many as six city officials, including the police chief in Ferguson, despite letting Michael Brown’s killer cop, Darrel Wilson, walk free, coupled with charging of six officers for the death of Freddie Gray in Baltimore – though there is little chance of conviction or prison term for any of them – was a small bread crumb thrown to calm people’s outrage.
Then, came a golden opportunity for these treasonous politicians to reclaim their lost credibility, when a white supremacist massacred nine blacks at Mother Emmanuel A.M.E. Church in Charleston, South Carolina. Contrary to media depictions, the killer, Dylann Roof, is not a “deranged” or “disturbed” or “mentally ill” person, but rather, by his own admission and racist rants, a white supremacist who hoped to start a race war which could, he hoped, end up killing many African Americans.
So, how did the Black political establishment react to this atrocity, which was by far much easier to condemn than racist cops killing blacks and poor on the streets everyday? They, along with their white allies in the Democratic Party, found the most useless and inconsequential concession to demand from the whites in the South, a “concession” which would make no difference in people’s lives whatsoever and that was the lowering of the Confederate flag that’s been flying at the Capitol of South Carolina. Instead of real and substantive issues that directly affect the lives of African Americans such as police brutality, mass incarceration, unfair sentencing, high unemployment, poverty and homelessness, the Confederate flag suddenly became the problem and the cause of everything that’s wrong or unjust. The lowering of the flag under which slave owners fought the abolitionists and has been flying on top of the state Capitol all these years as a reminder that the feelings of the Southern whites havn’t changed about the African Americans is now being touted as a sign of progress in “race relations”, just as the presidency of Obama has been. And just like the latter, this too is nothing but a tool of deception and distraction.
And, now, Hillary Clinton who has her hands in the blood of blacks and Browns in Asia and Africa, gets the opportunity to join the black politicians in her Party in calling for the removal of the flag and present herself as a champion of the Black Community whose votes she needs, just as Obama needed and got in the last two elections.
After raising the issue of the flag to win back the blacks they’ve lost after years of neglect and betrayal, the black politicians are quick to put a brake on the demands of their people by calling for “reconciliation”, as if they’re talking about two peoples who can’t get along, rather than an institutional and systemic racism that’s woven tightly into the very fabric of the economic system which they have become a part and servants of and by so becoming, they have lined up against their people and alongside the white supremacist ruling class and have become part of the problem, rather than the solution.
The corporate media and the politicians, from President Obama to presidential candidates and local politicians in Charleston, keep talking about the massacre at AME Church as if it’s just another case of a “deranged” and “disturbed” young man with easy access to guns going off the deep end and shooting at and killing some innocent random people, while on the side and as an afterthought, also mentioning that it was a “hate crime” and “racially motivated”, which is all nonsense and a big lie. What such disingenuous explanations do and are meant to do is to make us forget or ignore the role of the economic system and those at the top of the food chain who run and benefit from the system in creating an environment of racism and scapegoating of the racial minorities, presenting those who happen to be the biggest victims of the system as the ones responsible for its failure.
The young man who committed the massacre was asked by the judge yesterday if he was employed – which was possibly the most key question to ask of him – to which he replied “no”. Who do you think he blames for that? The corporations and their large shareholders Who also own the media and the propaganda machine? The multibillionaires and their lobbyists? The rigged and auction style elections where the highest bidder wins which guarantees the continuity of the system and prevents change? Those who ship jobs to where wages are a dollar a day, driving wages further down here? Of course not. He blames it on those who he thinks are the reason for the social and economic problems. He had lamented in a rant before the massacre that “he wanted to take his country back” from blacks who “have taken over our country”.
When the system and those who run it have no answer for why there are no jobs and why the already poor are getting poorer and young people see no hope for their future, they put the blame on the minorities. This is what happened in Nazi Germany in 1930’s, which gave rise to a government that thought just like Dylann Roof, except that their hatred was against the Jewish minority and the entire power of the government was at their disposal, which allowed them to kill a lot more innocent people than Dylann Roof. If conditions continue as they are, there probably will be more Dylann Roofs and more massacres of innocent people. Even without such white supremacist crazies, the government of the wealthy too has been gearing up and preparing for harsher suppression of dissent and acts of resistance which flare up occasionally as riots. That’s the reason for militarizing the police and giving them more rights over people.
Now, sell out demagogues like Rev. Al Sharpton, who has a whole hour on MSNBC to dedicate to praising Obama five days a week, want a national dialogue on race and racism. What are they going to tell young white people with no hope for future? Are they going to tell them not to hate blacks, while President Obama continues to betray his people and collude with white supremacist ruling class of billionaires to make them even richer than they are in total disregard and contempt for the poor and minorities? Or are they going to tell the truth as to where the real problem is? Of course, we all know the answer to that question. So, should we go back to discussing “the mental health” of people like Dylann Roof as some talking heads on TV want to do? Or should we continue to debate whether the massacre was a “hate crime” or “domestic terrorism”?
Since the massacre at Mother Emmanuel Church in Charleston, South Carolina by a white supremacist, several adjectives have been used by politicians and media personalities to describe the suspect, mostly along the lines of “sick”, “deranged” and “disturbed”. In stark contrast, the Tsarnaev brothers who committed the Boston Marathon bombing were described as “terrorists”. Senator and presidential candidate Lindsey Graham who frequently and angrily talks about “Muslim terrorists” and that we must wage multiple wars to kill them because they want to kill Americans, nonchalantly and casually and with no sign of his typical anger and frustration when discussing terrorism, described the suspect as “strange” and “deranged”, with no mention or concern that such white supremacist terrorists too want to kill Americans and have historically killed many Americans, unless one doesn’t consider blacks American. Chris Mathews of MSNBC verbalized that lack of anger, which Sen. Graham just exhibited, by saying: “Look at this kid. How can you be angry at him?”, referring to the mass murderer. That’s right: you can’t be angry because he’s white and one of “us”, rather than a person of color or a Muslim. President Obama, too, as expected, spoke like a typical white corporate politician and ignored the long history of acts of terrorism by white supremacists against blacks of this country and described the massacre as just another tragedy caused by a disturbed boy with easy access to guns. MSNBC host of “Morning Jo”, while admitting that this was an act of “racial terrorism”, cited and made comparisons with other massacres committed against random people and emphasized “the mental health”, putting this racist attack on the same level as those with random victims. Other reporters have been asking: “can it [the massacre] be described as an act of terrorism?”. No, of course not. What he did was just rude and inconsiderate. When asked that question, one MSNBC contributor said: “that’s a hard one. it doesn’t fit the normal definitions of terrorism” and went on to list some made up conditions a racially motivated massacre has to meet to be called terrorism. Apparently, he was picturing a dark-skinned Muslim in his mind, as he was pulling his list of conditions from his behind.
The suspect had hinted at his motive in a recent rant where he lamented that “blacks had taken over our country” and that he wanted to “take our country back”. This line of thinking and racist hate is neither new nor is it limited to those who openly talk about “white power” and killing blacks. While most police officers don’t talk about it – some do – they show it with their actions. This line of thinking and culture is in fact more common than the corporate media or politicians would admit. They won’t admit it because they’re complicit and part of the problem and in subtle and not so subtle ways propagate such racism and bigotry such as when they print or broadcast police lies without doing any fact checking or investigating on their own.
Such institutional racism is especially on display in regards to gross and total lack of concern or indignation about police violence and brutality against blacks which kills them at the rate of one every 28 hours. How unconcerned is the white political establishment about police killings of blacks? President Obama signed recently “the blue alert system to protect the safety of police officers”! That’s how concerned they are!
The massacre in Charleston, South Carolina, where 9 black churchgoers were shot and killed inside their church by a white supremacist, is the latest act of terror against and assassination of the black community, coming after a series of high profile assassinations of unarmed black men by the police that included the shooting of 12 year old Tamir Rice, shooting in the back of Walter Scott, choking to death of Eric Garner, shooting to death of Michael Brown when he had already surrendered, Freddie Grey who was falsely arrested and fatally injured when he was given a “rough ride” in police van and many others, not to mention a long history of massacres and violence against blacks in decades past. After most of such cold blooded assassination of innocent and unarmed black men and women, which are obviously driven by hate and racism, the officers are either not charged or, if they are charged, are acquitted, as was George Zimmerman after killing of unarmed Trayvon Martin. The state has been complicit and an enabler of such violence by refusing to prosecute the perpetrators in most cases. Every 28 hours, an African American is killed in the hands of the police in the U.S., without ever getting a chance in court; yet, President Obama, as the representative of the white supremacist corporate state, signs a bill called “the blue alert” system “to protect police officers” from threats made against them!
The massacre in Charleston was obviously committed by a deranged and racist individual, but occurred within a culture, context and a long history of persistent and institutionalized racism and violence, much of it perpetrated by the state and encouraged by corporate media. Notwithstanding assaults and massacres of blacks by white individuals, like the one just carried out, most of these racist assaults are carried out by the state, which also methodically and systematically sends thousands of black men and women to jail for long periods, on false and fabricated or minor charges. What is really taking place against the African American community is state terror, not just “hate crimes”, but terrorism, with the total complicity of the corporate media.
If there is one thing that’s clear here is that if this massacre were committed by a Muslim, it would have been called an act of terrorism and part of world terrorism being waged against the U.S., which supposedly justifies the “war on terror”. But, the truth is that non-Muslim white Americans have committed far more acts of terror, specifically against blacks ever since the first African slaves were brought over than Muslims in the U.S. against Americans in general. There is therefore much more reason to call such acts an act of terror than those by misguided and violent Muslims who in their minds think they’re taking revenge on the U.S. for its aggression in the Muslim world. The reason for the hypocrisy and double standard is that not only the government of the corporations benefits from the “war on terror” lie, which is meant to garner support for endless wars against Muslim nations, but also because the state itself is part and parcel of state violence and terrorism against African Americans, whom it considers a threat and potentially an enemy.
One of the many harms and ills that capitalism causes in people and in human societies is that it brings out, sharpens and encourages the very worst in many and puts the worst among us: selfish, self-centered, uncaring, unsympathetic, sociopathic narcissists and assholes – and I mean that literally, rather than to be facetious – with an infantile and overblown ego, in high places with big bank accounts. What’s more it also encourages and rewards ignorance, racism, sexism and oblivion about social and societal issues that affect them and others around them. What a combination, right?
Speaking of selfish, ignorant narcissist assholes, Donald Trump announced his candidacy for president in 2016, yesterday and immediately became the subject of discussions on network news. Think about it. He is a billionaire, while honest hard working people who work two or three jobs to raise a family, live on starvation wages, young African American men and women are wasted away in the prisons of the system – some of them private and for profit making sure they stay incarcerated as long as possible and return if released – and children of the poor never realize their potential, while crooks like Donald Trump who do nothing useful or productive and get rich off other people’s work, many of them immigrants whom he bashes, get to stand in front of national cameras and microphones to spew out sheer garbage and ignorance with a chance to participate in presidential debates, while so many good natured, honest, intelligent and thoughtful people never get a chance to be heard. That a society would naturally and organically, through its own laws of motion and functioning, produce such results is more than enough to see how rotten the system is and how urgently it’s in need of complete and total overhaul.
Now, I’m not suggesting that all billionaires are like him. Unfortunately, the vast majority of them are quite smart in addition to being crooks and know exactly how to ensure the system’s continuity. Most of them supported Obama and would probably support Hillary or Jeb Bush next time, instead of Donald Trump, which only goes to show their scrupulousness, which helps maintain the system’s existence. But that’s another story deserving its own space.
Evil and ignorant assholes aren’t only the product of capitalism, but capitalism by nature is a system that allows crooks, charlatans and parasites like Donald Trump to rise up in stature and accumulate wealth and power. In a non-capitalist system low life people like him would be doing actual work, probably manual work, instead of having a show on TV and then becoming a candidate for president and getting a chance at insulting the very people who work in “his” hotel-casino. Couldn’t we humans do better than this?
There are lies that are told to achieve a certain objective like the lie Bush and Cheney told to justify the war on Iraq. And then there are lies that are just stupid, like when Rachel Dolezar, the former president of Spokane, Washington NAACP misrepresented herself as a black woman, which she obviously isn’t, which then gave the corporate media something to fill their airtime and papers with for several days, discussing ad nauseam whether it was a lie, why she told the lie, even asking psychologists to discuss reasons why she would tell that lie, as if there is nothing happening in the world worth mentioning and it’s critical for us all to get to the bottom of why she lied.
The only thing that’s worth noting about this incident, aside from the uselessness of and waste of resources by the mainstream media, is how some white liberals view and misunderstand race and racism. In an attempt to be non-judgmental and accepting towards other races, they end up denying the existence of different and distinct races and differences between races, including such obvious things as the physique and appearance, which includes the color of skin. Ironically, this shows not only their foolishness, but actually their insensitivity towards what those differences mean for those of other races in the society. It’s easy for them to overlook or be oblivious about the real and actual consequences of being black, for example, and the real experiences that stem from being black because they themselves aren’t. Instead of acknowledging the existing racism and prejudices built upon those physical differences, they deny the reality of races which can then lead them to misunderstand and downplay or even deny racism. So, just as you can imagine there are no real distinguishing features between races that makes one person black and another white, you can choose to belong to any race you like. After all, in the minds of these liberals, “race isn’t real and is just a social construct”. This is actually and verbatim what Chris Hays of MSNBC said a few months ago, while discussing race and racism.
Races and physical differences between races aren’t imaginary or social or in the mind. What is social and in the mind is racism, the prejudices of the mind that are taught and passed down from person to person, the social classification of people based on their race, discrimination and different treatment of people based on race. Race or racial differences isn’t the problem. racism is. Denying physical and appearance differences between races is like denying that people come in different heights and that there is an actual height difference between them. What would be social is discrimination based on height. likewise, being a woman is not a social construct; sexism is.
In that MSNBC show that I mentioned above, Chris Hays had two guests to discuss race and racism with: a male rapper who did not in any way look black – not his color of skin or facial or hair features – and an African American woman who looked very much like she was black. The former had been invited apparently because he had made an educational video on how not to discriminate in which he was using hand and body moves and gestures typically exhibited by some black men, which the female guest teased him for, for pretending to be black when he wasn’t, to which he replied: “you’re assuming I’m not black”, which supposedly confirmed Chris Hays’ assertion that “blackness” is in the mind and not real, prompting him to say laughingly: “see?”.
The fact is: anyone may say he or she is black and may even identify with blacks and “their culture” where it MAY be different, but if he or she doesn’t look black, he or she isn’t going to face the discriminations and prejudices that blacks face everyday. So, naturally, his or her experiences will be different. We don’t need a psychologist to tell us why Rachel Dolezal lied about her race. She thought being black is something you can choose. What she didn’t realize is that if that were the case, racism could be wiped out instantly if all blacks suddenly decided not to be black anymore. And Affirmative Action would be unnecessary because people could choose not to be black and not need Affirmative Action. This is why I say: despite good intentions by such white liberals, their lack of understanding of race and racism can lead them to reactionary and at the very least insensitive positions on the subject. And, what’s quite telling is that you’ll never hear a black person say race isn’t real and is just in the mind,