What can you say about a party that is not only callous and indifferent to the very lives of children and the young, but goes into overdrive after each of these horrrific killings of our young to shamelessly block, with the assist of right wing media, even the most modest legislative measures to curb mass violence. If its leaders shed tears, they are tears of duplicity, hypocricy, and artifice.
For sections of the peace movement here, the insistence that Russia unconditionally withdraw from Ukraine is a minor key in their analysis and politics. Nor do we hear any criticism of Putin’s insistence from these same peace activists that Russia’s claim to the eastern regions of Ukraine is non-negotiable.
Instead, we hear righteous calls for negotiations and peace. One would never know that one country in an invading power and the other isn’t. That one country is fighting for its right to political independence and independent development and the other isn’t. And that one country has a preponderance of military power over the other were it not for the assistance of the NATO countries.
What commands near singular attention is a “proxy” war between Russia and the U.S., in which Ukraine either goes unmentioned or is reduced to no more than a pawn in a chess game. What is more, the dangers that might lie ahead if Russia is successful in its illegal and immoral war are never considered. A strange kind of internationalism.
Joe Rogan is a vessel of racism and racist demagoguery. He twists and ignores historical and present day realities to peddle – and he is well paid for it – a racist narrative to white workers. In his telling, the interests of white workers are at loggerheads with workers of color. Progressives, the social justice movement, and especially the labor movement should challenge his narrative and the narrative of others like him.
White workers derive advantages from racism to be sure, but it also comes at a price, moral, cultural, and material. Thus in challenging racism, this side of the dialectic can’t be ignored or minimized. In fact, it should command systematic and creative attention, if we hope to move white workers from the MAGA camp to the camp of democratic, egalitarian, and social progress for all.And yet in too many instances this side of the dialectic is, like an orphan, who finds too few suiters.
I saw a dear friend of mine yesterday. She’s in a battle with cancer that she is fighting with every bit as much grace, honesty, and courage that has marked every day of her life. Upon leaving I told her that she’s not only a remarkable political activist, but also, and this counts a lot in my book, the best friend anyone could ever have. Since both of us are Bruce fans, I thought I would post one of his songs that I suspect she likes too.
(I presented this nearly 10 years ago to the National Board of the CPUSA, shortly before the party’s convention in 2014, where I stepped down. It wasn’t greated with great enthusiasm, I’m posting it because most of it holds up pretty well; some things not so much. It’s slightly edited here and there.)