Some Thoughts on the Normalization of Kelly-Trump Racism and the Problem of People Who “Get It” NOT Taking Up the Fight TO Drive Out the Regime

November 3, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper |


From a reader:

We have to lead people to grasp that John Kelly’s lauding of genocidal warriors as “honorable men” along with Trump’s consistent upholding of the openly Nazi demonstrations in Charlottesville as containing “good people” is the consistent and coherent position of a fascist regime. This is the overturning of norms, morals and very importantly laws to return to the days when Black people have no rights that a white man is bound to respect. This as an outgrowth of centuries and decades of Black people being dehumanized and criminalized as a means of hammering down the oppression of a whole people, an oppressed nation within a nation. These reactionary values—which Kelly obviously includes in his list of what was and should be made again “sacred”—were only begun to be overturned only as a result of the most heroic sacrifice and struggle of the oppressed themselves and those who joined them . This is now being plunged backward to a horrific future. Bob Avakian's points on how American fascism has a direct line to the Confederacy and slavery and a direct connection—which means not just more of the same but immeasurably worse if they are not stopped. It's just one reason this speech should be watched and spread.

I attended a Shaun King event this afternoon. He did some powerful exposure that connects with the experience of college students and went into how history does not mean the steady improvement of humanity. He spoke from his own heart about how hard it is to come to the realization that there is no one in power who is listening to us and how demoralizing the unanticipated election of Donald Trump has been. He had graphs with big dips in the history of humanity, with this being one of them. He showed the famous graphic of the slave ships to warn that such dips can last generations. Utilizing the same Harriet Tubman quote as BA does in his speech, he used this quote to tell people how much work it's going to be for humanity to climb its way out of this dip—citing the Tubman quote on how the slaves themselves often hold back from risking all to seek freedom, in a slightly different version—that went to people not knowing any life other than slavery for generation after generation. He said I've always wondered what kind of person I would have been in the ’60s—and came to the conclusion that if you are not doing anything now you wouldn’t have been doing anything then—and strongly urged people to get involved.

But there was no analysis as to why this is happening other than that the rights Black people win have always been followed by a backlash and Obama's election was creating a new low. No solutions other than a criticism that the Democrats have no plan (and upholding the NRA as an organized well-funded example of what we have to have). Some students as they were leaving told us they had come to hear solutions and did not get one. Shaun King is correctly appealing to people to not be silent—but it’s striking the lack of answers or hope coming from even the best of the Black intellectuals like Shaun King and Ta-Nehisi Coates who see no hope of this system ever being able to eliminate white supremacy, but see no way out or don't see beyond the confines of the present system of globalized capitalism. It’s not just that the slaves don’t know they are in a dip—the intellectuals can’t see that the dip they are in is a result of a political and economic system that is moribund and not only constraining what humanity could be living like but threatening to extinguish its very existence. A threat that is accelerating with the Trump/Pence Regime. It struck me that what they need most is some engagement with BA and that the real problem is in the mode of production. But as the leading edge of that, people like Shaun King—like everyone else, for that matter—most need to be challenged with what needs to be done NOW to stop this regime. This is not an abstract idea or a paper proposal—this is happening NOW.

After watching again Stanley Nelson’s film on the Freedom Riders (with a number of people in and around our local chapter of Refuse Fascism) and being reminded of the hideous hatred of those white people in the South and just how viciously they defended "their way of life"—you realize in the sweep of history, it IS just yesterday. It makes you think about what happened in places like Yugoslavia when the lid of the state is lifted and all the age-old but temporarily suppressed ugliness gets unleashed and the horrors that ensued. As horrified as we are already, we are just getting a taste of what a fascist regime whose reason for existence, celebration and purpose is white supremacy, male supremacy and American chauvinism will mean for the oppressed.

We know enough to know what it meant when Woodrow Wilson screened A Birth of a Nation in the White House—and the decades of lynching and its celebration that followed. We know the cost of people accepting the rampant murder of Black and Brown people by police and the mass incarceration of millions of people—including under Obama. We know we can be the people who said NOT THIS TIME—and made the sustained mobilization of millions to stop it possible.


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