Everyone pretends to be down with the cause until you need something.
It’s crazy. A while back I circulated a post to raise money for a friend of a friend in a tough situation, and of the tens of thousands of people who had to have seen that call to arms (because assisting comrades meet their material needs is a fucking call to arms if there ever was one) only like two or three in the blogosphere helped out.
Now I get that most of us don’t really know each other, but damn I never knew we had to be tight to know this struggle is something we share, so we best start learning to share the burden of it together. But even this idea of collective security applied to our material shortcomings has an inherent pitfall, that is we must be vigilant not to become the first aid kit to the wounds capitalism inflicts upon us. If such comes to pass we act to further enable our oppressor by creating amongst ourselves the safety net which allows it to remain substantively unchallenged.
Simultaneously we have to build our own safety nets to keep us from falling into the chasm of poverty and let those transform into the foundations of new modes of living that directly displace capitalist power for the Power of the People.
Having worked out how to manage governments, political parties, elections, courts, the media and liberal opinion, the neoliberal establishment faced one more challenge: how to deal with the growing unrest, the threat of ’people’s power.’ How do you domesticate it? How do you turn protesters into pets? How do you vacuum up people’s fury and redirect it into a blind alley?
Here too, foundations and their allied organizations have a long and illustrious history. A revealing example is their role in defusing and deradicalizing the Black Civil Rights movement in the United States in the 1960s and the successful transformation of Black Power into Black Capitalism.
The Rockefeller Foundation, in keeping with J.D. Rockefeller’s ideals, had worked closely with Martin Luther King Sr. (father of Martin Luther King Jr). But his influence waned with the rise of the more militant organizations—the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and the Black Panthers. The Ford and Rockefeller Foundations moved in. In 1970, they donated $15 million to ‘moderate’ black organizations, giving people grants, fellowships, scholarships, job training programs for dropouts and seed money for black-owned businesses. Repression, infighting and the honey trap of funding led to the gradual atrophying of the radical black organizations.
Martin Luther King made the forbidden connections between Capitalism, Imperialism, Racism and the Vietnam War. As a result, after he was assassinated, even his memory became toxic to them, a threat to public order. Foundations and Corporations worked hard to remodel his legacy to fit a market-friendly format. The Martin Luther King Center for Nonviolent Social Change, with an operational grant of $2 million, was set up by, among others, the Ford Motor Company, General Motors, Mobil, Western Electric, Procter & Gamble, U.S. Steel and Monsanto. The Center maintains the King Library and Archives of the Civil Rights Movement. Among the many programs the King Center runs have been projects that work — quote, ‘work closely with the United States Department of Defense, the Armed Forces Chaplains Board and others,’ unquote. It co-sponsored the Martin Luther King Jr. Lecture Series called—and I quote — ’The Free Enterprise System: An Agent for Non-violent Social Change.’
Thank you for the compliments. Both are flattering. I rarely show my face on this blog anymore because I’d rather it be issue focused. Every now and then though I feel like reminding folks a human being runs it. Somebody who feels, is as complex, breathing, and sensitive as each of you.
Genes I suppose.
When people miss-identify me as white I’m not really outwardly offended or anything. I recognize less I have had enough time in the sun my skin-tone is hella passing. I have mastered code-switching and I benefit from white privilege, a lot too. I try to check that. But at the same time that shit eats at me sometimes because as I have grown and become more and more aware of white supremacy, have spoken so frequently against it, it has driven a chasm between my white family and I. I don’t really talk to any of them anymore because I can’t handle Southern racism.
My birthday was a couple weeks ago and my white Aunt called me. She has never once missed a birthday. I could not bring myself to answer because I had not spoken to my family in a year, save for my Grandmother and my Brother. So I let it ring and ring. On Sunday I finally talked myself into calling her back. Within five minutes or so she was belittling the work I do with disenfranchised youth, telling me I am wasting my education (which I almost totally paid for alone mind you). She kept at it having learned I have opted to use my maiden last name (Castro) instead of my father’s. She called it a “Slap in the face” to them. Nothing I say will ever make understandable to any of them why I can’t feel proud of the name on my birth certificate.
I wanted to punch a hole through a thousand walls when she hung up on me. Calling me white is nothing I could hold against anybody, but it’s an issue that runs deep into my childhood. My girlfriend always says we need to be accountable to each other in how we speak to one another. That is, we have to have care and come from a place of love if we want to build the relationships and foundations for us to struggle together, and to heal in the process.
When you feel tugged between culture and race, never quite knowing where you belong, remember your identity is unique and you are beautiful.
Half white half Latino. I’m more for praxis than skin tone though, so I won’t be too insulted with an ew or a few ;)
…[I]f we, who can scarcely be considered a white nation, persist in thinking of ourselves as one, we condemn ourselves, with the truly white nations, to sterility and decay, whereas if we could accept ourselves as we are, we might bring new life to the Western achievements, and transform them. The price of this transformation is the unconditional freedom of the Negro; it is not too much to say that he, who has been so long rejected, must now be embraced, and at no matter what psychic or social risk. He is the key figure in his country, and the American future is precisely as bright or as dark as his. And the Negro recognizes this, in a negative way. Hence the question: Do I really want to be integrated into a burning house?
White wealth is stolen wealth. White wealth is based on the use of the free labor of our great grandparents, and the parents before them; just completely stolen. Captive wealth, brutalized wealth, enslaved wealth. And somehow we still think they are deserving of the money. Amazing attitude. This wealth is based on the colonization of African countries. The industrial revolution of Europe based upon the molasses of Jamaica, based upon the sugar crops of Jamaica. The wealth of the white South Africans and Europeans today based upon the gold, diamond, oil, and minerals taken right out of the African country, and yet we have nerve enough to think that these people are deserving of that wealth. And we have nerve enough to think that we are undeserving and that it should not belong to us.
To begin by always thinking of love as an action rather than a feeling is one way in which anyone using the word in this manner automatically assumes accountability and responsibility.