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The white-Left Part 1: The two meanings of white

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

The white-Left Part 2: Why that is the best name for it

Continued from The white-Left Part 1: The two meanings of white

Features of the white-Left

African Americans and other people of color have been oppressed more by imperialism, and generally have less delusions about capitalism and its bourgeois institutions, than people who see themselves as white. If you haven't figured that out on your own, and the 2016 election didn't give you a clue, there are numerous studies on political, social, and international questions from which you can draw that conclusion. Given this relative support for left-leaning views from people of color, as compared to the other, one should expect their percentage participation in the organized Left would also predominant, but quite the opposite is the case. People of color aren't even represented in proposition to their percentage in the US population in the US Left. This is the first indication that we are dealing with a white-Left.

Veterans for Peace marching with Assad supporters in LA
This contradiction is well represented in Veterans for Peace. It emerged from the anti-war movement among soldiers during the Vietnam War, African American soldiers played an outsized role in anti-war sentiment among the troops and they continue to be in the front lines of progressive veterans today; still, Veterans for Peace remains an overwhelmingly white organization in spite of being headed by a black executive director, Michael T. McPhearson.

One reason it attracts so few colored veterans is that most VFP members are there for a kind of self-flagellation that is less necessary for veterans that have to fight racism every day.

An observer interested in revolution might say "We have a problem here!" Let us explore further.

The white-Left and the 2016 US Presidential election

The 2016 US Presidential election presented the white-Left with its most crucial test to date. That year a white supremacist cabal, in the name of the Trump campaign, had pretty much won control of one of the two major parties, and was attempting to install a pro-fascist/white supremacist regime in the White House. That didn't concern the white-Left. They hated Clinton. Voting for her, even to stop Trump was a bitter pill they weren't willing to swallow. Green Party activist, and Marxist, Louis Proyect spoke for many on the white-Left when he said supporting Clinton "would make me feel irreparably damaged," so they gave license to liberals to cast a "feel good" vote for Jill Stein, or just sit this one out. Their mantra was "don't vote for the lesser of two evils," by which they meant don't vote for Clinton.

A decade before the 2016 election, Roger White addressed Green Party challenges in the black community. He began by explaining why their "don't vote for the lesser of two evils" position wasn't winning black votes for the Green Party:
Black voters in the US are like all other voters here with one exception. Many of our ancestors had to die for the right to vote for the lesser of two evils. Naturally, we want our votes not only to count (no slam dunk) we want them to make a difference. Because Blacks are not an electoral majority in any state or nationally, maximizing the worth of our choices by being a part of an electoral coalition that has a real chance to win power is a priority.
He traced the largely white composition of the Green Party to its cultural history:
The environmental, peace, and third world solidarity movements from the 1970s and 80s, the grassroots of the US Green Party, has always represented a policy majority and a cultural minority—a minority that Black activists found it difficult to relate to. We agreed with and worked with white progressives on some issues (South Africa, nuclear freeze) but never developed the kind of cultural and social affinities that nurture and sustain movements from one campaign to the next. A political consequence has been that the organizations that were created out of these progressive movements—Global Exchange, Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth—lack the levels of Black participation that could sustain critical mass organizing in our communities.
Almost nothing about the composition of the Green Party has changed in the decade since he wrote this. Apparently, they learned nothing from his essay. So, what he said in 2006 needed no amendment in 2016 because these are among the classic methods by which the white-Left insures its overwhelmingly white identity:
What do white activists do when there aren’t enough dark people in the room? Outreach.

Set up a table at the public university in town. Pass out flyers for the next meeting at the Saturday morning flea market. Email blasts to activist-of-color list-serves. Whatever works. Problem is—that shit don’t work. Moreover, white activists know that shit don’t work. But they get a double bonus. They can pretend to be doing something “pro-active” to bring in colored folks with the knowledge that few if any colored folks are coming in—at least not to stay (they’ve been known to slip out right before the vegan potluck). Multiracial organizing is not easy. Doing it in bad faith makes it harder.
What's behind this bad faith? Since many on the white-Left live relatively comfortable lives, the immediate overthrow of the current social order may not be what they are shooting for. They are comfortable, but they know the situation is terrible for others. If they fight to change that, they will feel better, but maybe not, if it really changes. By fighting for change that never comes, they can have the best of both worlds. This goes along ways towards explaining why it has made so little progress in the half-century since Students for a Democratic Society [SDS].

The solution Roger White proposed back then is still the correct one. It hasn't worked because it hasn't been tried:
Organizational inclusiveness can not be achieved by reaching out. It can only be achieved by getting up, going to where the struggles for human dignity and justice are being waged and fighting with the marginalized.
That's not the way Louis Proyect sees it. If the Greens have a mostly white membership, that's not their problem:
[S]ometimes Black people make mistakes.... If the Greens have a mostly white membership, it is not because of its program. For example, Jill Stein favors reparations for slavery as opposed to Hillary Clinton supporter Adolph Reed... [who doesn't.]
When I suggested that African Americans had good reasons for supporting Clinton over Trump, Proyect went off:
So Clinton is "better" for Blacks. Well, she says so. Does it matter that her husband put an end to Aid to Families with Dependent Children that according to researchers reduced the average lifespan of a mother by a half a year? Probably not since the Black church, the Black political class, Black celebrities, every white liberal and most Black radicals are in agreement that she is "better" than Trump.
In my response, I summed up my basic stand on the election in one paragraph. This was 10 August 2016:
The problem is, that while Hillary Clinton may be just another Democrat, Donald Trump is the leader of a white supremacist movement of birthers and more that has hijacked the Republican party. While it is true that Hillary Clinton, like Barack Obama, supports the fundamental policies that support the white supremacist system, Donald Trump represents a much more aggressive form of white supremacy and if he is elected, it will be almost exclusively by white voters who supported this campaign that is making white chauvinism its center piece. These are critical realities of election year 2016 in the United States that Jill Stein's campaign is seeking to obscure in its very dangerous claim that it really doesn't matter if Donald Trump becomes our next POTUS.
He called my response "demagogic race-baiting bullshit."

Proyect did like the handful of black people who made the mistake of supporting Jill Stein. Groups, like the Black Agenda Report, that show the white-Left isn't a "whites only" club. As Rev. William Barber said "you can be black and be a white supremacist." BAR even had the audacity to claim that the racist Trump was the lesser of the two evils:
Trump Way to the Left of Clinton on Foreign Policy
In Fact, He’s Damn Near Anti-Empire

“Trump has rejected the whole gamut of U.S. imperial war rationales, from FDR straight through to the present.”

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford
31 March 2016
If the Bernie Sanders campaign has propelled the word “socialism” – if not its actual meaning – into common, benign American usage, Donald Trump may have done the world an even greater service,.. More...
Of course, BAR did have a dog in this fight, Jill Stein running mate Ajamu Baraka. He is a strident supporter of the big cheese of white nationalism internationally, Vladimir Putin. The Green Party platform was also careful not to offend Putin. While it had a long section on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, it had nothing to say about Syria's half-million dead.

The white-Left has a US/Western [ i.e. white ] centric view of the world, and in this view all the critical plays are among a western elite. It shares a "We are the World" mentality with its own ruling class, and it positions itself as its loyal opposition. The underlying reason the white-Left has tunnel vision allowing it to see the crimes of the US imperialist exclusively, is that they are acting out displaced guilt/shame. They are in it for absolution, not liberation from oppression. The confusion this has caused led to an election year where even Code Pink could be found promoting Donald Trump as the "peace candidate."

Here is how former Sanders supporter Cassandra Fairbanks explained why she was boarding the Trump train:
Unlike Clinton, who has exhibited poor judgement by consistently rolling the dice with the lives of our military as well as civilians in other nations, Trump acknowledges that there could be unintended consequences of shipping our families off to fight. If you take a look at his foreign policy plans, they are far more logical than he is given credit for - despite his sometimes kooky and often offensive delivery methods.
Donald Trump is a con man, everybody knows that, but before the election these members of the white-Left suggest that we should just look at what he is saying and take him at his word. Except, course, when he is building a white supremacist base by talking about Mexican rapist, Muslim terrorists, and building a wall; we are advised to write that off as simply "kooky and then offensive delivery methods."

Likewise, Julian Assange made no mention of the racist nature of the Trump cabal when he expressed his preference for a Trump presidency:
"Hillary Clinton’s election would have been a consolidation of power in the existing ruling class of the United States. Donald Trump is not a D.C. insider, he is part of the wealthy ruling elite of the United States, and he is gathering around him a spectrum of other rich people and several idiosyncratic personalities. They do not by themselves form an existing structure, so it is a weak structure which is displacing and destabilizing the pre-existing central power network within D.C. It is a new patronage structure which will evolve rapidly, but at the moment its looseness means there are opportunities for change in the United States."
Apparently, Trump's promises to deny refugees, expel immigrants, or institute a national stop and frisk program weren't a problem, or even consideration, for him. Donald Trump, known long to be a racist by his black employees, has appointed known white supremacists, people like Jeff Sessions, to the highest positions in his administration, and Julian Assange excuses them as "idiosyncratic personalities." He calls the Trump cabal "a weak structure," while refusing to even mention the enormous reactionary strength it draws from a US history in which white supremacy has ruled. This is a kindness indeed!

Ask them why they hate the Clintons so much and the topic of neoliberalism is bound to come up. They like to replace the critique of capitalism with a critique of neoliberalism that their Alt-Right buddies who love capitalism can agree on.

What is neoliberalism?

I would argue that broadly speaking neoliberalism arose from the US ruling class' decided response to the challenge from the working class in the wake of the economic crisis known as the Great Depression, a response then doubled down on with the concessions they made to national minorities, particularly African Americans, in the post-World War Two period. This model was also exported to Europe and the rest of the world.

Given the relative strength and ascendancy of US imperialism, the ruling class, first under the leadership of FDR, and in policies continued or expanded by subsequent administrations from both parties, made concessions to the popular demands of the times - for labor protections, minimum wage, retirement income, i.e. social reforms. They also made significant concessions in the direction of justice to maintain social peace in response to the civil rights struggle . They knew the empire was on a run, and they could afford it. In addition, modern global capitalism favors homogeneity in both producers and consumers, so the capitalists, for these reasons, also wanted to put racial differences in the past.

In many cases, bourgeois elements took the lead in the fight for racial equality, and other areas of social justice (women's rights, LGBT, climate change, etc.), even as compared to some sections of the working class, particular those workers that self-identified as white. They were forced to accept this new reality. In some cases, they were forced to accept it against their will. This was okay with the neoliberal bourgeoisie, in fact, it was part of their plan, because this left in place a white resentment they could unleash at a later time.

The core of that rage is the lost status and relative advantage that white Americans had in that glorious period between the end of WWII, when their domination was at its peak, and the rollback of white privilege that was forced by the civil rights movement et al. [ Especially the 3rd world liberation struggles that shrunk imperialist super-profits.] That was when America was Great Before, before those struggles for social justice shifted things, and that's what Trump's MAGA leadership was promising them again.

At a deep psychological level their rage is safely directed downward at colored people, who they blame for their lost fantasy, but the neoliberal taboo against overt racism has become so dominant that they can could no longer (this is changing very fast!) express it openly against non-whites. They probably aren't even willing to admit this to themselves. So, through a method of transference, they direct that rage at a currently acceptable target. That target is those bourgeois elements they most blame for their lost - the neoliberals, with the Clintons as their iconic embodiment. That is why the white supremacist right loves to hate the Clintons so much. [ That is also reason they focus on illegal immigrants as their first more or less direct target; because they can claim their opposition is based on law, not race. They can even believe it themselves.] Why the white-Left hates the Clintons so much is a bit more complicated, but of the same origins.

The humanitarian concerns of the white-Left

One feature that flows from this laser-like focus on the crimes of "their own" bourgeoisie is that they show little humanitarian interest in the plight of people whose story doesn't support their narrative.

Unlike humanitarian organizations like Amnesty International or Médecins Sans Frontières, the suffering of the masses plays little role in their thinking or actions. Syria is a good example of that, few members of the white-Left have been moved to re-examine their bankrupt position, or even support humanitarian efforts, as the body count grew from a few thousand to over half a million.

The Syrian conflict also showed how situational their support could be. Palestinians slaughtered by the Israeli Army are met with cries of "bloody murder," while Palestinians slaughtered by the Syrian Army are met with raised eyebrows.

When the history of the Syrian Civil War is written, the assault on the Palestinian refugee camp in Yarmouk will be noted as one of its most shameful chapters. So why was the international pro-Palestinian community silent?
This gives reason to believe the white-Left's long tradition of support for the Palestinian cause has more to do with opposition to Israel [ us ], than support for Palestinians. The sad truth is they generally don't see colored lives as having much value. The white Left tends to only publicize massacres for which it has an axe to grind. They also avoid offending white supremacist/anti-Semitic sensibilities, not that any in the white-Left share them.

They had little sympathy for the way Africans were slaughtered by Gaddafi, and failed to report all the terrible things he did to Libya. They were willing to overlook clear signs of his racism and misogyny, and sing his praises for years. They loved him. Even now, they mourn him more than any other Libyan lost in the civil war. Now they happily report about any bad things happening in Libya because they can use them as object lessons about what can happen to the natives if they stray off the reservation.

The white-Left treats non-white people in a paternalistic way. They see the colored masses as children, easily led and manipulated, especially by people of no color. That is why they support native "socialist-aligned" strongman rule for such people as justified by the international fight against [US] imperialism, their chosen adversary. They happily support restrictions on freedoms for people ruled by these dictators that they would never accept for themselves.

But I digress...

One characteristic of the white-Left is that it can be counted upon to minimize, if not discount entirely, the influence of white supremacy. This flaw was on full display during the 2016 US presidential election when they failed to accurately predict the outcome of the election because they denied the strength of white supremacist influences in the US, and actually helped Trump win by burying that lead.

During the 2016 election year coverage on that premier white-Left outlet, Democracy Now, the racist nature of the Trump campaign was buried so deep that when Emma Thompson called Donald Trump a white nationalist, Amy Goodman responded: "And what do you mean by “white nationalist”?...When you say "white nationalist," what do you mean?"

When Glenn Greenwald was on Democracy Now, he claimed Breitbart News has views he "vehemently disagree with and sometimes find repellent," but never called them racist. It was the same for a "part of the Republican Party" that was coalescing around Trump. Whenever possible, they avoided calling out white supremacy. It made their "don't vote" argument harder.

On the whole, the white-Left exudes an air of righteousness, or even more so, self-righteousness. Even with all the changes in political line, this "white attitude" that the white-Left is the embodiment of truth remains. Just ask Truthout or Truthdig if that isn't so. Trump is the caricature of this attitude. It is based on the history slavery:

To maintain his position, the master had to maintain the illusion that he was always right, always in control. This attitude affected not only this response to other people, but also to nature. For those trying to maintain an oppressive dominance, it is important not to back down, or admit to being wrong. Who knows where that might end! Slavery made this axiomatic in white culture, and while it is on full display with Donald Trump, it has also had a big impact on the Left. It's why so few are willing to re-evaluate their line on Syria, even after a half-million souls have been lost, or suggest their 2016 election strategy could have been better after the result turned out so radically different than what they predicted.

Although Democracy Now didn't have much to say about the white supremacy that was at the core of the Trump campaign, or the danger a Trump win would present especially to minorities, they never seemed to tire of presenting black personalities with messages designed to suppress the vote for the only candidate that could defeat Trump, Hillary Clinton.

They brought on Princeton professor Eddie Glaude who thought both Trump and Clinton equally bad on the question of racial justice so "we should just leave the ballot blank.” Fortunately, most African-Americans remember what a struggle it was to get that ballot in the first place and weren't about to throw it away to please the Green Party. They knew there was a difference, and the stakes were huge.

Democracy Now's favorite diversion was the Green Party candidate Jill Stein. During the election season they undoubtedly gave her more air time than any non-Russian outlet, even while she admitted "We look to RT for access to the American public." Ajamu Baraka was her running mate. He said that he understood the Trump campaign "was basically an appeal to neofascism...So, we understand his game. And he won’t be successful." He then went on to pontificate:
But, as Dr. Stein just said, you know, we can—we’re not afraid of Donald Trump or anybody else, because, you know what, we believe in the ability of the American people to resist, to defend democracy.
This was in August, and already he sounded like he was preparing us for a Trump victory. Wouldn't it have been easier to defeat him then, before he got elected?

They also brought Professor Cornel West on to discourage progressives from voting to stop Trump. He saw in Hillary Clinton one "who generates a mass incarceration regime, who deregulates banks and markets, who promotes chaos of regime change in Libya."

They all so hate that the racist Gaddafi regime was overthrown in Libya, and they all blame Hillary Clinton for it because Hollywood taught us long ago that an Arab revolt has to be led by a blonde.
But they hit a wall when they brought former NAACP president Ben Jealous on. He was having none of it:
BEN JEALOUS: Well, you know, we came through a primary, and now we have 105 days to keep a madman out of the White House.
JUAN GONZÁLEZ: But what do you say to those Sanders supporters who feel that, in many respects, Hillary Clinton is more hawkish when it comes to issues of foreign policy and war even than Donald Trump, in some respects?
BEN JEALOUS: If you look at the utter racism that Trump has directed towards people in this country, there is no reason to think that he will not do the same thing when he actually, you know, has his finger on the button.
Yes, and now we have a racist president in a conflict over nuclear weapons with what he likely considers a "shit-hole country."

While Bhaskar Sunkara in Jacobin Magazine was accusing people like Jealous of "inflating the faint chances of a Donald Trump presidency," and Proyect was disarming activists by saying "isn't it time to recognize that the Trump campaign is toast? The numbers are devastating," in August, others argued that a Trump victory wouldn't really be that bad.

These arguments made by H. A. Goodman in the HuffPost were typical of the misdirection voters received from the white-Left. Even if it meant Trump would win, he advised you to: Vote Your Conscience And Vote Dr. Jill Stein. Congress Would Block Donald Trump’s Policies:
On war and Wall Street, Clinton and Trump have similar policies.
Ultimately, Trump’s major policies would never get passed Congress.
None of Donald Trump’s major policy objectives­, at least the ones that frighten progressives the most, will get passed the Senate, even if they possibly get through (and even this is a stretch) the House of Representatives.
This is how the Green Party tried to put people to sleep before the election. They told progressives that it was okay to cast a "feel good" vote even if they thought Trump would win because Congress would keep him toothless. In their policy comparison, they left out the one thing that mattered most, Trump's virulent white supremacy. They also failed to mention the fearsome executive and police powers not controlled by Congress. RT.com couldn't have done it better. If they weren't on Putin's payroll, they were missing a paycheck. The white-Left is corrupt; the white-Left is bankrupt; the white-Left is racist!

In explaining how Trump won, Steve Phillips, from Democracy in Color, told Amy Goodman on Democracy Now, "you had a splintering of the progressive white vote." That is how he won. If the Jill Stein voters in these three key states had voted for Clinton instead of Stein, Trump wouldn't be president now.
This data is from Politico [updated 22 Nov. 2016 - PA updated 2 Dec from http://www.electionreturns.pa.gov/]:

Candidate Count % Michigan [16] Wisconsin [10] Pennsylvania [20]
Donald Trump 61,201,031 47% 2,279,805 1,409,467 2,955,671
Hillary Clinton 62,523,126 48% 2,268,193 1,382,210 2,906,128
Difference 11,612 27,257 49,543
Jill Stein 802,119 0.7% 50,700 30,980 49,678

The white-Left played an indispensable role in putting Trump into the White House. The white supremacist vote alone was not enough to put him over the top. The progressive vote had to be neutralized. The Jill Stein campaign was the main vehicle for doing that. There was only so much Russia could do to support her campaign without making her look like a foreign agent, and Trump campaign support for Jill Stein was necessarily even more timid. Only "independent" white-Left organs, like Democracy Now, could convince enough progressives to waste their ballots to do the job.

There are many reasons why Trump won, and his margin of victory was so narrow that he loses if you take any one away. One reason for his victory is the decision of the US Left to stand down in this important struggle against white supremacy. This should be the people's force, the one element they control, a force that fights for their interests, but it is so dominated by the white-Left, that it effectively "recused" itself from the struggle against this white supremacist takeover until after Trump won, except for popping back in now and again to suggest a preference for Trump of course. Without this white-Left assistance, Trump never would have gotten to the position where he can ban Muslims, wage war all over Africa, and take children away from parents of color.

Standing down at Standing Rock

Once members of the white-Left decided they would stand down in the fight against Trump, many couldn't just sit at home, and do nothing. Atonement requires action. So, what did they do? They went to Summer camp at Standing Rock!

The white-Left is not dominated by the working class, and certainly not by those with nothing to lose but their chains, it is dominated by people that are already managing to live quite comfortably in today's economy. They own homes and businesses and have quite a bit to lose. Some white-Left leaders are part of the 1%, so picking up and moving to North Dakota was something thousands were able to do.

Socially conscious people that are relatively comfortable are sometimes plagued by guilt. Guilt is a way of resolving internal contradictions that was raised to a high-art by the Church in its efforts to "light the way," as the bourgeois baby was maturing into the slave-owning colonialist. It is supported by the twin pillars of atonement and absolution, both methods of "purification" practiced by Europeans who wanted to see themselves as white. The white-Left is filled with people who not only mistakenly believe that they are white; they are seeking absolution for being white!

Amy Goodman at Standing Rock
Standing Rock was the location of protests against the Dakota Access Pipeline [DAPL], which is a 1,172-mile-long underground oil pipeline that crosses the Missouri river perilously close to tribal lands of the Standing Rock Sioux. By June of 2016 Donald Trump had become the presumptive Republican nominee, and protesters were already at Standing Rock to greet Energy Transfer Partners, L.P. when they began construction on the $3.78 billion project. Construction had been delayed by demands for an Environmental Impact Assessment from Obama's EPA, but by June that bridge had been crossed. It would continue to deny it an easement under the Missouri River through December 2016, but in January there was a new sheriff in town. Before the election Standing Rock was the newest cause célèbre for the white-Left.

Going to Standing Rock became all the rage as the election year ground on; prominent white-Leftists like Jill Stein and Amy Goodman went there. Arrest warrants were issued for both of them, and actor Shailene Woodley actually was arrested. She later told Democracy Now:
[I]t sort of became a trend. It became a trend to say, "I stand with Standing Rock." It became cool to say, "I fight against the Dakota Access pipeline," became something that was hip to talk about or to retweet.
Jill Stein at Standing Rock
It wasn't just the white supremacist White House takeover attempt that was being ignored by the activists at Standing Rock, it was also the massacre of another brown people in a part of the world that didn't concern them. While they were preoccupied with stopping this pipeline, and the rest of America was distracted by the election, Russia and Assad were carrying out a murderous assault on any Syrians that resisted them. In December 2016, The Atlantic reported:
As the offensive reached its final stages this week, the United Nations received reports of massacres of civilians; a spokesman for the UN high commissioner for human rights said women and children had been shot trying to flee.
The activists at Standing Rock were too self-centered to protest that.

On 20 November 2016, after the election was over, and the struggle at Standing Rock was already winding down, the New York Times reported:
Aleppo Bombs Leave Quarter Million ‘Living in Hell’ and Without Hospital Care

By Alissa J. Rubin and Hwaida Saadnov
20 November 2016
BEIRUT, Lebanon — The remaining hospitals on the rebel-held side of Aleppo, Syria, have been badly damaged and forced to stop providing care amid an intensifying bombardment, according to the World Health Organization. More...
Aleppo Nov 2016 Abdalrhman Ismail / Reuters
That had been the story of the siege of Aleppo for months, as the Russian and Syrian air forces Blitzkrieged the civilians of Aleppo with nary a protest from the white-Left.

The next day the Russian backed RT.com, the same outfit that had so generously backed the Jill Stein campaign that put Trump over the top, also ignored the Aleppo story, but did run this sympathetic headline:
RT: 400 DAPL protesters ‘trapped on bridge’ as police fire tear gas, water cannon (VIDEO)
21 November 2016
Demonstrators protesting against Dakota Access Pipeline say they are trapped on a bridge as North Dakota police fire tear gas, water cannon and concussion grenades at them, according to live reports on social media. More...
No one should be surprised that Russian propaganda sources were very big on #NoDAPL. For them it was like winning the trifecta:
  1. It gave US progressives an alternative to fighting against the Trump victory they favored.
  2. It distracted Media and Left attention from the slaughter they were carrying out in Syria.
  3. If they did succeed in stopping the pipeline, Russian oil would be worth more on the market.
Putin may oppose pipelines in the US, but he is very big on them in Russia, and he doesn't look kindly on any protests. After Woodley was arrested at Standing Rock, 10 October 2016, she said:
"Never did it cross my mind that while trying to protect clean water, trying to ensure a future where our children have access to an element essential for human survival, would I be strip-searched. I was just shocked."
I'm sure she would be "shocked, shocked" to learn that arrested protesters are treated much worth in Putin's Russia. She would also be shocked to learn even for most ordinary Americans, getting strip searched is not the worst thing about getting arrested.

Lorena Jasis-Wallace was one of thousands of social justice activists who rallied to Standing Rock in the Fall of 2016 with what she called "a hefty dose of white savior mentality." Originally from Kentucky, she lives in Portland, Oregon. She took a week off from work in November 2016 and headed to Standing Rock with a friend, and $5,000 worth of winter tents, clothing, food, and gear. She was a little too perceptive for her own good, and the experience left her in tears. This is what she recounted:
Like any indigenous and overwhelmingly powerful place, white people had decided to take it. White people, like me, were arriving to SR in droves, some of us even dressed like it was Burning Man, forcing our way to seats right next to the sacred fire, putting our pasty faces too close to elders and demanding that they teach us their culture, clumsily mimicking centuries old dance traditions, jostling for position in the lines for free food, taking up so much space that the medicine tent had to be guarded 24/7, and young Dakota men were placing themselves in front of elders to protect them from the onslaught of questions and poking and consumption an[sic] demands for emotional labor and reliving centuries of trauma. By the time we arrived, SR elder organizers had begun holding twice a day orientations, where each of these things was addressed, and indigenous folks were demanding that white people stop colonizing their space. Yes, colonizing their space.
A lot of documentary footage was shot at Standing Rock and some of it was to show up at Sundance, and why not, James Redford, Robert Redford's son, was an executive producer of one. In another, Myron Dewey, President/Owner of Digital Smoke Signal, interviews Dean Dedman, Jr, a Standing Rock Sioux. The narrator explains how they acted when a herd of buffalo was spotted:
"The buffalo is a sacred animal for the Sioux nation and the water protectors went wild with their presence. [17:05]"
Dean tells us:
"When the buffalo nation shows itself like that, on a day like this. They feel our pain; they hear our cries. [17:22]"
If not for paternalism, this sort of religion mysticism would never be accepted without protest. Most on the white-Left will brand Libyan or Syrian revolutionaries as jihadist fanatics if they so much as shout "Allah Akbar" as they go into battle, but at Standing Rock, the most fantastic beliefs went unchallenged. Likewise, the white-Left tends to be uncritical of the errors and faults of "black heroes" such as MLK Jr, Malcolm X, Black Panthers, etc., and while they tend to be uncritical of religious or nationalist influences in the movements of colored people, they have a big Islamophobic exception for the Arab revolts.

The white-Left didn't just use Standing Rock as a distraction from other struggles, they actually used it to go after Trump's opponent, Hillary Clinton.

Since Donald Trump personally had more than $500,000 invested in ETP, the company building the pipeline, another $500,000 staked with Phillips 66, which owns a quarter of the pipeline, and stood to make another $50,000 off of interest, dividends and capital gains, you might think they would play that up, and use it to go after him. Instead, they were quiet about his ownership, while they used the Standing Rock struggle to put his opponent in a no-win situation.

They did this by publicly campaigning for Hillary Clinton to support their cause in a way that gave her no options that wouldn't cost her votes. If she pleased them by publicly opposing DAPL, it would cost her votes Trump was winning by promising to bring back jobs in coal and oil, but as long as she remained silent, they could use it as another argument to stay home, or vote Stein; that's the way they rolled, all over the white-Leftisphere.

In one stunt, 11 Native American youths flew from North Dakota to Brooklyn, and "flooded into Clinton’s campaign headquarters" and built a tipi, according to Amy Goodman. It was less than two weeks before an election that was still a tossup, and they were in her campaign headquarters demanding that she take a position on DAPL whether it cost her votes or not.

Democracy Now covered this protest occupation. Amy Goodman even interviewed one of the Native American youth, Daniel Grassrope of the Lower Brule Sioux Nation in South Dakota. Just before the interview was ended, she asked him how they organized the protest:
AMY GOODMAN: And how did you organize to come out here, to come to the national headquarters of Hillary Clinton from North Dakota, from Standing Rock? And you came to North Dakota from South Dakota.

DANIEL GRASSROPE: There’s actually organizers beyond us that had that idea and brought it to us. And we are just, you know, happy to be a part of it.
If I was a cynical fellow, I might think Daniel was being manipulated the way the white-Left says that Libyan or Syrian activists have been played by the Pentagon. In an election year with so much money, both foreign and domestic, betting against Clinton, one really has to wonder who paid for this trip? Who exactly were these "organizers beyond us?" Too bad Democracy Now didn't elect to explore that a little more.

The encampments at Standing Rock dwindled quickly after the election. Protesters precipitated a final showdown 12 days after the election by trying to clear a bridge the police had blocked.

Some of the protesters were happy that Trump had won, Shailene Woodley told Amy Goodman on Democracy Now, 25 January 2017:
This fight has always been far from over. We knew that there was a huge opportunity with President Trump’s administration to come in and change what President Obama decided to do.
But Trump revived DAPL on his fourth day in office, and by the end of May 2017, they were pumping oil.

This aerial photo shows the Oceti Sakowin camp, where people had gathered to protest the Dakota Access pipeline on federal land, Monday, Feb. 13, 2017, in Cannon Ball, N.D. (Tom Stromme / Bismarck Tribune)
And here's the final JOKE of it. It's estimated that the "Water Protectors" camps left behind 250 truckloads of garbage that had to be cleaned up before the Spring floods washed it all into the Missouri River and the water system! Some were calling it a "trashpocalypse."

Little Feather
The punchline was received by Michael “Little Feather” Giron, who got 36 months in federal prison for the charge of civil disorder for his part in the DAPL pipeline resistance. As for the charges against Amy Goodman and Jill Stein; the charges against Goodman were rejected by the judge; as for Jill Stein, she reached a plea deal that avoided any jail time, but she did have to pay a $250 fine and pick up the garbage. Actually, I just made that last bit up, although I wish it was true. She didn't have to pick up any garbage, but she did have to pay a $250 fine.

Little Feather was just the first of the Water Protectors to receive a long sentence from the Trump justice department. Red Fawn Fallis and Dion Ortiz have since joined him, and Michael “Rattler” Markus is still out awaiting sentencing to his 36-month term on 8 August 2018. If you have a moment you might want to send them some love. The crowds have all gone home.

Michael “Little Feather” Giron
PO Box 2499
Bismarck, ND 58502

Dion Ortiz
New Moon Lodge
PO Box 969
Ohkay Owingeh, NM 87566

Red Fawn Fallis
PO Box 2499
Bismarck, ND 58502

In Conclusion

White supremacy, and its construction in the creation of the white race, became one of the defining features of capitalist development on this planet from its earliest days. The technological advances that allowed colonization and mass propaganda made it possible, the decision to resolve a "labor shortage" in the colonies through the creation of a the once-profitable system of racial slavery gave it the economic might to build a deeply-ingrained racist culture.

As technological, and other developmental, forces pushed towards modern imperialism, certain tools and methods became inconvenient. Slavery declined in profitability as the requirements for a proletarian workforce grew, even in the South. Eventually, neoliberalism emerged as the preferred method of containing the masses, while fascist methods were largely held in reserve. This worked well, especially for those countries riding imperialism's ascendancy.

Now technology is again forcing radical change. Artificial Intelligence [AI] will replace tens of millions of jobs in the coming decade. It has replaced many already. This is just the beginning. AI will change the world, and in the hands of those that currently run things, not for the better.

Ultimately hundreds of millions of jobs will be eliminated. That means many people will have to be eliminated. In the meantime, they have to be controlled. White racism has always been the goto tool for social control under capitalism. There should be no doubt that it won't mobilize the most extreme reserves of racism to control the masses before it finally dies, and it is dying. The logic of white supremacy also goes to extermination, which can be made to serve their population reduction agenda, as well as their death wish.

At this crucial time in human history, this white-Left continues to dominate the progressive movement in the United States and it must be overthrown because by claiming the mantles of the Left it is occupying our fighting positions.

Syria is the Paris Commune of the 21st Century!

Click here for our posts on the 2016 US Election
Click here for a list of our other blogs on Syria
Click here for a list of our other blogs on Libya


  1. Brilliant work. The people you identify as the "white-Left" seem to be the same people as the people I identified as the "conservative left" (https://fightback.org.nz/2016/02/15/against-conservative-leftism/) and Idrees Ahmad identified as the "alt-Left" (https://www.alaraby.co.uk/english/comment/2017/8/25/the-alt-left-is-real-and-its-helping-fascists). The phenomenon manifests differently in the USA, in the UK and in New Zealand but I think it's all the same thing. We need international cooperation against it.

  2. They are indeed the same thing. They are the wolves in sheep's clothing.