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For May Day and Beyond: White People Step Up for Immigrant Rights!
by Catalyst Project & Heads Up Collective
Tuesday Apr 25th, 2006 3:59 PM
Open Letter to White Communities
For May Day and Beyond: White People Step up for Immigrant Rights!

In the past month, five million people, mostly immigrants of color, have mobilized for justice and are making history, flooding the streets in unprecedented numbers. Meanwhile, the most visible participation by white people is coming from the racist and right wing leaders who are defining and dominating the debate in the Federal government and in the news, radio and opinion pages. Where are the voices of anti-racist white people in this crucial moment, when the worst anti-immigrant legislation in decades is still poised to drop?

We, white people who believe in justice and ending racism, have a responsibility and a historic opportunity to stand with immigrant communities and unite behind their demands. As white people, most of us with U.S. citizenship, we call out to our white communities to take to the streets for immigrant rights. We must demonstrate that the rightwing racists, from the Minutemen to in the Congress, do not represent us!

Anyone who has experienced this month’s electrifying, grassroots explosion feels the power and excitement growing. Working-class immigrants, with their crucial roles in the economy and culture of the U.S., have real power to reshape this country, as a vibrant part of broad multiracial movements for justice and equality. As anti-racist white people, we have a role to play in this struggle.

Immigrants are the direct targets of these policies, and we know enforcement will aim at immigrants of color. But we are all endangered by the accelerating drive of this country towards greater abuse of working people, more criminalization of poor/working-class people, and of all communities of color, particularly African-Americans. Our futures are tied together and now is the time to stand with immigrants fighting for their rights.

The ruling class in the United States has historically led anti-immigrant campaigns to divide working people, getting people to blame one another for stealing their jobs while corporations build their financial empires from all of our labor. Building from a foundation of enslaved African labor and mass land theft from indigenous nations, corporations used anti-immigrant campaigns against the Irish, Italian, Jews. Chinese, Japanese, Eastern Europeans and other immigrants, to deny them legal protections, attack unions and maintain cheap labor to under-cut better waged jobs. These campaigns intensified with the Chinese Exclusion Act in the 1880’s and as more and more European immigrants were assimilated into white society, immigrants of color from Asia and then Latin America were targeted to be a permanent low wage, legally unprotected, work force to drive wages down and corporate profits up.

White people have led and rallied behind anti-immigrant campaigns in the millions throughout the history of this country and today a new history for immigrant justice is being written and we have a responsibility to be part of it. We’re fighting two racist agendas: big businesses need to retain a vulnerable pool of exploitable labor, and the blatant organized racists want to preserve white political dominance and agitate for mass deportations. This divided right wing unites to dehumanize immigrants of color, working to strip them of any rights or protections. The small handful of mostly white billionaires backing and benefiting from these strategies depends on our complicity. Instead, let’s build upon the legacy of anti-racist white people who have refused to participate in divide and conquer strategies, where the ruling class historically uses race to pit us against each other.

White people need to take responsibility for countering the attacks generated by white racists, from the border to the White House.

If you’re a white person who stands for justice, we encourage you to step it up. How can you more actively support immigrants fighting for their rights, and encourage your families and friends to get more involved? What local organizing by immigrants can you support with your time, money, and resources? On April 23rd in the Bay Area, and throughout the country on May 1st (International Workers’ Day) immigrant communities around the country will again take the streets. Let’s be there in greater numbers: on the streets beside our friends and neighbors, raising our voices in the national debate, making a commitment to organizing more white people to stand up against attacks on immigrants.

This letter comes to you from two Bay Area-based white anti-racist organizations, Catalyst Project and the Heads Up Collective. Heads Up is a member organization of the Deporten a La Migra Coalition, which is primarily composed of organizations based in working-class immigrant communities. We ask you to act in solidarity with the principles generated by the Deporten a La Migra Coalition, Immigrants Fighting For Our Rights. They are:

ß The land is for those who work it!
ß No more displacement
ß The border is hypocritical
ß Unity makes us strong
ß Demand dignity and equality for all immigrants
ß In every neighborhood, organize!

(please read full text at http://www.liberationink.com/revised/navigator.php?s=2&a=deporten)

If you agree with these principles, we invite you to sign this letter and make your signature a commitment to putting them into action in your work and life.

In struggle,
Catalyst Project and the Heads Up Collective
immigrantjusticesolidarity [at] gmail.com

Endorsed by:
Carlos Mun~oz, Jr., professor, UC Berkeley, author, "Youth, Identity, Power: the Chicano Movement"
Elizabeth "Betita" Martinez, Institute for Multiracial Justice
Maria Poblet, St Peters Housing Committee
Eric Mar
Eunice Cho
Jose Palafox, professor, Stanford University
Kali Akuno, Malcolm X Grassroots Movement
Sheila Chung, Bay Area Immigrant Rights Coalition
Renee Saucedo, Day Labor Program/La Raza Centro Legal
Phil Hutchings, Institute for Multiracial Justice
(organizations for identification purposes only)

Catalyst Project and Heads Up Collective were inspired by the work of white anti-racists with Jews for Racial and Economic Justice in New York City, and Italian Americans for Immigrant Rights in the Bay Area, who put out similiar open letters to move white people to stand for immigrant rights. By signing here, we are also joining with the thousands of white people participating in those and other efforts.


Please sign on if you stand with the principles above. To add your signature to those below, go to this link:

http://www.petitiononline.com/mayday06/petition.html

**organizations listed for identification purposes only**

Adam Gilbert, Taiwan
Adam Welch, Industrial Workers of the World
Ailecia Ruscin, teacher/student, Lawrence KS
Alex Briscoe, Illinois Green Party/Green Alliance USA
Alexis Shotwell, UAW 2865, Long Road Collective
Amie Fishman, Catalyst Project
Amy Sonnie, Youth Media Council
Ananda Hopkins, San Antonio TX
Andrea Lee, Mujeres Unidas y Activas, San Francisco CA
Andrew Willis, Washington, D.C.
Annie Kane, Alameda CA
Amy Dudley, Rural Organizing Project, Portland OR
Andy Cornell, GSOC/UAW Local 2110, Brooklyn NY
April Rosenblum, author, The Past Didn’t Go Anywhere: Making Resistance to Antisemitism Part of All Our Movements
Ariel Lucky
Axeen, Childcare Collective
B Loewe, Latino Union of Chicago, Chicago, IL
Barbara Johnson Unitarian Universalist Church of Arlington, VA
Beth Applegate
Betty G. Robinson, Baltimore Education Network and Baltimore Algebra Project
Bill Quigley, Professor of Law, Loyola University New Orleans
Brandon Mau, Fort Collins, CO
Brooke Atherton
Brooke DuBose
Camilo Viveiros, community organizer, Fall River, Massachusetts
Cathy Rion, Heads Up Collective
Charlotte Albrecht, Louisville KY
Chris Crass, Catalyst Project
Chris Dixon, UAW 2865 Members for Quality Education and Democracy
Chris Ferlazzo, Portland Jobs with Justice, Oregan
Chuck Munson, infoshop.org, Kansas City
Claire Hobden, Immigrant Justice Solidarity Project
Clare Bayard, Catalyst Project/Heads Up Collective
Claude Marks, Freedom Archives
Clayton Dewey, Unitarian Universalist Young Adult Network, Laramie WY
cori schmanke parrish, North Star Fund
Chance Martin, editor Street Sheet Magazine
Dee Ouellette, mother
Diana Block, California Coalition for Women Prisoners
Dan Berger, Resistance in Brooklyn, co-editor "Letters from Young Activists"
Dara Silverman, Jews for Racial and Economic Justice
David Christian
David Schanoes
David Solnit, Courage to Resist
Deborah Morales, Labor Employment Services, Syracuse, NY
Dixie Block, Oakland
Drew Dellinger, Poets for Global Justice
Elizabeth Samuels, Bring the Ruckus
Ellen Chenoweth, D.C. resident
Elly Kugler, City at Peace D.C
Emma Gerould, SEIU 790
Emiliy Seabridge
Eric Romann, Generation Five
Fern Feto Spring,
Geoff McNamara, Portland OR
Giuliana Milanese
Gordon Kaupp
Harmony Goldberg
Heather Meader-McCausland
Heidi Reijm, Ruby Affinity Group, Brooklyn, NY
Hillary Ronen, Day Labor Program/ La Raza Centro Legal
Holmes Hummel, San Francisco
Hope Sanford, Houston TX
Ian McCleod, San Francisco Indymedia
Ian White-Maher
Ingrid Chapman, Catalyst Project
Isabell Moore, ESOL teacher & coordinator Anti-Racist Organizing Network of North Carolina
Jacob B, New School For Social Research
Jackie Downing
James Tracy, SF Community Land Trust
Jarrod Schwartz, National Conference on Community and Justice
Jeff Giaquinto, Heads Up Collective, teacher, Galileo High School
Jen Angel, Clamor, Toledo OH
Jen Collins, mother
Jene’ Despain
Jennica jey Born, IBEW local #3
Jennifer Jewell, Women In Transition, Louisville, KY
Jennifer Miller, Oakland, CA
Jennifer Morley, Athens, GA
Jeremy Louazo
Jerry Path, Sign Display LU 510, San Francisco Labor Council
Jessica Lehman, Emeryville CA
Jill Shenker,San Francisco Day Labor Program Women’s Collective/La Raza Centro Legal
Jim Ace
Jim McAsey, Director- Jobs with Justice, Farmingdale NY
John Crockford
John Wood, ABD, Oklahoma State University, Assistant Professor, Rose State College
Joseph Phelan , Miami FL
Jordan Flaherty, Left Turn Magazine
Josh Connor, Bay Area Childcare Collective
Josh Raisler Cohn, Washington D.C.
Josh Sonnenfeld, UC Santa Cruz Students Against War
Josh Warren-White, Catalyst Project and Just Cause Oakland
Joshu Asperry, AFSCHME
Judy Helfland, community educator and activist
Kate Berrigan, Critical Resistance
Kerry Levenberg, teacher
Kev L
Kevin D’Amato, Southern California Anarchist Federation, LA Chapter
Kristen Petroshius, Groundwork, Madison WI
Laura Close, SEIU Local 503, Child Care Campaign, Portland OR
Kusum Crimmel, Y-Step: Youth Step Towards Addressing Racism
Laura Price, Solidarity, Maine
Lauren O’Brien, Seattle WA
Dr. Laurence H. Shoup, UAW 1981, Oakland Green Party
Leah Jeannesdaughter Klerr
Leone Reinbold, Omak WI
Leslie Radford, Los Angeles CA
Libbey Goldberg, Jews for a Free Palestine, Oakland CA
Loren Finkelstein, San Francisco CA
Lydia Pelot-Hobbs, Oberlin, OH
Maggie Von Vogt
Marc Krupanski, Immigrant Justice Solidarity Project
Mari Spira, Justice Now and UC Santa Cruz
Mark Rudd, Albuquerque NM
Mary Miller, San Francisco CA
Matt Meyer, War Resisters League
Matthew Borus, Tekiah: A Jewish Call to Action Boston, MA
Matthew Smucker, Lancaster Coalition for Peace & Justice, Lancaster PA
Maureen Haver, Houston Global Awareness, Texas
Max Uhlenbeck, Left Turn Magazine
Meg Starr, Resistance in Brooklyn
Melody Mayer, Oakland
Mica Root, Philadelphia PA
Michael King, Vancouver WA
Michelle Foy, Freedom Road Socialist Organization
Michelle Gerster, Oakland CA
Molly McClure, Philadelphia PA
Mordecai Cohen Ettinger, TGI Justice Project
Nadia Winstead, San Francisco CA
Nancy Jodaitis, San Francisco CA
Nancy Lister, Wilbraham MA
Natasha Marsh, League of Young Voters
Nicole Solomon, Brooklyn NY
Nike Carstaphen, Washington D.C.
Noah Gaiser, Free Mind Media
Patrick Reinsborough, smartMeme Strategy and Training Project
Paul Kivel, educator and writer
Paul Platt, San Francisco
Rahula Janowski, mother, Heads Up, Justice In Palestine Coalition
Rebecca Johnson
Riva Pearson
Robin Reichhardt, México DF
Robinson Block, Houston TX
Roger Zimmerman, Los Angeles CA
Ruby Affinity Group, Brooklyn, NY
Ryan Emenaker, Democracy Unlimited of Humboldt County
Sailor J Lewis Wallace, Ann Arbor, Michigan
Samuel Goldberger, West Hartford CN
Sara Smith, UAW 2865 Members for Quality Education and Democracy
Sasha Costanza-Chock, Los Angeles Indymedia
Sasha Vodnik, Legal Services for Prisoners with Children
Scott Campbell
Scott Tucker, Los Angeles CA
Sean Sullivan, Ruby Affinity Group, Brooklyn
Seth Newton, AFSCME Local 3299
Sharon Martinas, Challenging White Supremacy Workshop
Steve Theberge, War Resisters League
Teresa Martyny
Thomas Fiori, Boston MA
Tom Wetzel
Tommi Avicolli Mecca
Trish Kerle
Vanessa Sacks, Childcare Collective
Walda Katz-Fishman, Project South





Comments  (Hide Comments)

by Magon
Wednesday Apr 26th, 2006 1:20 PM
The approach of this letter may be well-intentioned but it is wrong. We need to deal with racism within a class framework NOT A MORAL ONE. This letter is a moral appeal that will only reach some middle and upper class whites. We need to make an argument to working people of all races about why it is in their interest to stand with people of THEIR same class despite some real problems like competition at the lower skill levels, how blacks are discriminated against in favor of Latinos, and some very real income differences (within the working class).

Some things that pisses me off about some of the supporters here is that if you disagree with them 1. they misinterpret what you're actually saying by claiming you don't believe their is any such thing as racism 2. they immediately assume that your not doing anything 3. they squelch legitimate debate through their noxious race-baiting.

Is their racism against immigrants? Yes particularly latinos. But that really isn't the central point off opposition against immigrants. The central opposition is economic. The competition for jobs. When thepro-immigration people can make the argument why it is an an American workers interest to support immigrant rights that's when we can have a dangerous authentically oppositional movement. This letter isn't that. It's middle class moralizing along the lines of what the Catholic church is more or less saying.

PS Check out some african-american blogs and the debate on immigration. There is an intense debate around the econmic situation between blacks and immigrants. This letter does nothing to help win the debate in favor of immigrants. Think about it.





by uh, not really
Wednesday Apr 26th, 2006 1:34 PM
It's race, by and large, and general all-purpose xenophobia.

I don't see too many poor whites fighting for jobs at slaughterhouses and working in fields.

Now, you may be a little more accurate about the economics with native-born african-americans. There's still plenty of race and xenophobia issues there too.

This letter is not the be all and end all of the immigration debate, but it is an important component that needs to be examined.
by Bigbadwolf
(Littlemantheatrecompany) Wednesday Apr 26th, 2006 1:35 PM
The AND is what's at stake. Of course class is a place to locate contradictions. And so is race, religion, education, and other arenas. What we have here is a movement right now, not an organization which has one context. This might translate into that form, but then it might also be easier to discredit than when people march together under different motivations. Overspecialization killed several latent resistance movements in opposition to overweaning power just within my lifetime. Think bigger, more comprehensive.
by Magon
Wednesday Apr 26th, 2006 2:49 PM
Let me a little more clear about what I mean by competition for jobs. A large immigrant labor pool probably has a depressing effect on wages particularly at the lower end working class. Immigrants will also accept jobs at a lower wage rates, which whites and blacks would probably do if the wages were higher like slaughterhouse and field work. I believe this is accurate, though even it isn't, this is a strong perception of working class Americans of all races. There is some opposition to immigrant based on rank racism manifested in groups like the minutemen ( who really are quite small) but I think any sensible analysis will understand that the economic basis in the opposition to immigration.

If you want to bring the broader American working class into this movement you need to speak to their real economic fears of not being able to take care of their families. Dismissing white working class people as a bunch of racists is ignorant and a stupid strategy. Finally you need to articulate what they have to gain from supporting this movement-- moral arguments mainly play well for the overally privileged.





by still not right
Wednesday Apr 26th, 2006 4:45 PM
that's the republican line, hook, line, and sinker

funny thing is that repubicans have not raised the minimum wage in like 10 years. immigrants are not supressing wage increases. it's american corporations and their cronies in congress. no increases in minimum wage, exporting more jobs overseas, fighting for corporate tax cuts and against mandatory health insurance. the list goes on and on.

as for moral concerns being a privilege of the wealthy, I have to take issue with that as well. I have known and met plenty of people of lower economic status that are concerned with moral issues. feeding your family can definitely take precedent over action at times, but then the wealthy are inherently less moral for hoarding wealth as others go without. perhaps immorality is more of a luxury that the wealthy can more comfortably afford
I hope this comment remains as it is certainly on point and with clean language. I posted a similar statement last night and it is gone. I simply would like to state that there is no such thing as a whtie "community." This is a class society and it is a united workingclass, those of us who sell our labor for less than $76,000 a year, that puts an end to racism and xenophobia (anti-immigrant hysteria). Non-Hispanic whites who are workers have nothing in common with non-Hispanic whites who are rich, and the same is true for all other ethnic groups, and we all know it and act and vote accordingly. Most votes are by economic class divisions. The immigrants after WW2, and especially after the War against Vietnam, are overwhelmingly non-Europeans, mostly Latin Americans, especially from Mexico, and Asians, mostly from China. In ports of entry like San Francisco and New York, there is a wide variety of immigrants. Some 60% of the undocumented immigrants are Mexican, mostly as a result of the destruction of the economy of Mexico by NAFTA. Thus, this current immigrant protest is a labor protest by the workingclass immigrants. You can be sure the Chinese who fled Hong Kong when the British lease expired some 10 years ago or so are not marching as they were the rich. The appeal must always be to the entire workingclass, regardless of color, nationality or religion to unite as a class. The class struggle prevails.
you may be colorblind (as much as anyone can ever be), but our society is most definitely not

even poor whites enjoy many privileges poor people of other races do not

like it or not, race is a factor in today's america. only a white person could say it is not
by Sam Hastings
Wednesday Apr 26th, 2006 7:01 PM
I hope Indybay isn't engaging in some rather strange censorship . Earlier today i commented that not only Non -Latino Whites aren't participating out in large numbers in support of Immigrant rights but the neither are African -American workers. I also noted that i have heard many of the oft cited stereotypes about both Latino and Asian Immigrants ('' They're taking our jobs''. ''They refuse to learn English '' etc. ) from both Native Born Blacks as well as those of European descent . I also opioned that there should be calls for African-Americans to come out on May Day as well as the exhorting of Whites to hit the streets . Anyway within hours my comment has been taken off. Why ? Surely the Indybay editors couldn't possibly consider those observations to be in any way ''racist '' or '' insenstive '' ? I hope not . We have a real mass movement here but if we are to expand it we need frank discussion and debate on progressive venues like Indybay .
by radical
Wednesday Apr 26th, 2006 7:31 PM
This call was put out by the same group that enjoined anarchists and other like-minded folks to vote for John Kerry in '04.

These are people who have no strategic or tactical intelligence.

An appeal to self-ID'd anarchists to vote for John Kerry is stupid because self-ID'd anarchists don't constitute a numerical force that could change the outcome of a presidential election.

An appeal to white people *as white people* to resist reactionary immigration legislation is a similarly ineffectual exercise. Only whites who're schooled in post-Maoist PC rhetoric will be moved by an appeal such as this--in other words, it fails *by definition* to expand the movement by even one person.
by clare
Wednesday Apr 26th, 2006 7:45 PM
hey radical,

this is clare from heads up and the catalyst project, and i'm very confused about what i the world you're talking about... neither of these organizations endorsed voting for kerry in '04, or had any stance around the presidential race.

i'm frustrated by your making that up. would you mind explaining why you posted that, or where you heard that? i'd ask you directly, but since you posted anonymously i can't.

by radical
Wednesday Apr 26th, 2006 8:02 PM
My understanding is that Chris Crass is one of the main people behind the Catalyst Project, which initiated this appeal.

In October of '04 Crass came out in favor of radicals voting for John Kerry. On October 20, 2004 he wrote on Indymedia that "Starhawk and I are both strongly encouraging anarchists and left/radicals around the country to either decide to vote and vote Kerry or change their vote from Nader and vote Kerry."

Here's the link:

http://sf.indymedia.org/news/2004/10/1704530_comment.php


by radical
Wednesday Apr 26th, 2006 8:10 PM
I should have stated in my initial comment that this appeal emanates from *some of the same people*--instead of from *the same group*--that called for anarchist and other like-minded people to vote for Kerry.

by Magon
Wednesday Apr 26th, 2006 9:01 PM
Since your organization instigated this letter, I'd like to have a respectful (which may be admittely difficult) debate here on Indybay. I disagree with your approach and I've tried to explain some my criticisms above. I'm not an armchair commentator and in fact was doing a small bit of organizing on this issue before the big protests. So feel free to criticize my point of view.

To still not there-- Write something substansive and I'll I debate you. Otherwise pipe down.
by indybee
Wednesday Apr 26th, 2006 11:23 PM
Thanks for reposting your comments. Sometimes mistakes happen so it's good you tried again.
by Sam Hastings
Thursday Apr 27th, 2006 5:53 PM
Thanks for your comment Indybee. I should also note that like the previous poster i'm not a armchair commentator either . I have been trying to get my very multiracial, multi-national union to take a strong stand for Immigrant Workers rights . Many African-American, Latinos, and whites support the mass mobilizations . A fair number don't , from all racial_national groups including Latino Nationalized citizens ! Working class politics are a bit more complicated than i believe the very well meaning sisters and brothers of ''Catalyst '' think . Enough for now , all out for MAY DAY !
by uh
Thursday Apr 27th, 2006 5:57 PM
to be fair, the people writing this letter are white people, appealing to white people to get involved. there are certainly black people making similar appeals to black people to get involved.

also, i think that whoever wants to argue with clare and chris' politics around race... fine, but it seems you are just sniping when you bring in their views on electoral politics... .
by radical
Thursday Apr 27th, 2006 7:55 PM
If the Catalyst Project is catalyzing shit, more power to them.

by clare
Thursday Apr 27th, 2006 8:31 PM


http://www.advancementproject.org/openletter.html

The letter was prepared by Elizabeth Martinez, longtime activist, author and director of the Institute for MultiRacial Justice, in consultation with Phil Hutchings, last chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and co-founder of the Institute and currently an activist in Oakland.
by radical
Thursday Apr 27th, 2006 10:46 PM
were you unfamiliar with crass' support for kerry, clare?
by get over it
Thursday Apr 27th, 2006 11:01 PM
pick, pick, pick

and nothing constructive to offer while others try to do *something* to work for immigrant rights, however beneath you you think it is

how typical
by clare
Friday Apr 28th, 2006 3:47 PM
i appreciate the offer to engage in *respectful* debate. but honestly i am less interested in having a debate on indybay than i am in just hearing what your opinions are about useful work. if you have time to write out a debate then why not use that time to write out what kind of contributions you're making to this movement?

i believe you when you say you're involved, and since you are, you have more to offer than picking away at texts.

why not offer your strategic vision for what you're doing and why you think it's effective?

we all want this struggle to move forward, right? there is absolutely a place for debate in a thoughtful and effective movement, but i personally really don't think that place is in anonymous indybay comments pages, in a thread where no one is even talking about what they're actually *working* on. i'm a pretty firm believer in reflection based on action. i'm also pretty frickin busy right now, as i'm sure you are too if you're engaged in this fierce and freight-train-esque moment in the immigrant rights movement-- i'm just not convinced that debating anonymously on indybay is the best use of your time or mine. let's put that time into the actual work. and i would love it if you wanted to offer to folks what some of the ways you're doing that work look like. which offers your side of the "debate" in a different way.
clare




by radical
Friday Apr 28th, 2006 3:48 PM
i probably interact with more immigrants in a day than you do in a year.

i spent an hour today with middleschoolers discussing the issues of race and class and how they relate to this legislation and the history of latin american-US relations. many of these kids have participated in the recent actions.

as a *white person* i make clear to them that not all whites support this shit. they in turn amplified the fact that not all Latin Americans are against it.

so go suck an egg, picky.
by clare
Friday Apr 28th, 2006 4:14 PM
take a deep breath, radical.
my post was to magon, who had suggested engaging in a respectful debate. which clearly isn't what you're interested in.
and since i'm not interested in making a head count for you of how many immigrants i work alongside either at my dayjob or in my organizing work, i guess we don't have anything to talk about.
If you look through the archives Magon is clearly not to be taken at face value. He always enters the argument as a radical who just happens to disagree on a specific point but whether its on Israel, labor activism or antiwar activism he tends to side against the organizers of any sort of action in a way that suggests he is more likely a right-winger trying to undermine rather than someone trying to debate and build.

On this post he seems like a strong antiCommunit Anarchist
http://www.indybay.org/news/2005/02/1721548_comment.php

On this one he bad mouths the ISO but not for being too reformist but for supporting Tookie (it also is prtety strongly against the Iraqi resistance) :
http://www.indybay.org/news/2005/12/1790710_comment.php#1790737

But then here he sounds like a Marxist:
http://www.indybay.org/news/2005/10/1779013.php#1780027

Here he is mainstream baiting radicals in a very strange way:
http://www.indybay.org/news/2006/04/1816167.php

Here is comes out strongly against Muslims protesting racism (maybe just a European style leftist hiding their racism behind a veneer of Marxist secularism?):
http://www.indybay.org/news/2006/02/1801679_comment.php#1802113

Here he comes out against Chavez:
http://www.indybay.org/news/2005/05/1744882_comment.php#1746691

Here is a rather strange post by him; it claims to be about Jews against Zionism protesting an antiSemite but it is slightly misrepresenting who Gilad Atzmon is (since he is Jeiwsh and his politics is much more liike Ward Churchill than being openly antiSemitic):
http://www.indybay.org/news/2005/06/1748216_comment.php

Here is comes out against the death penlty against Tookie (maybe he disagrees with the detah penalty but still hates Tookie, the above post attacking the ISO for its stance of Tookie seem a bit strange considering this comment):
http://www.indybay.org/news/2005/12/1789566_comment.php#1789616

Here he again claims he thinks Tod supports Saddam Hussein for his opposition to the war in Iraq:
http://www.indybay.org/news/2006/04/1813879_comment.php#1814049

etc...


Magon really might be a post-Left Anarchist who feels more radical than the rest of the left for standing up for a dogmatic interpretation of exactly how radicals should think, but he also sounds a bit like Christopher Hitchens or Todd Gitlin.
I dont think it's bad for people to question how some radicals may apologize for fundamentalists who happen to be Muslim, but taking a strong line against the minority groups in Europe whenever they stand up for their rights (just because the message is mixed with a religious one) is a bit troubling. And of course Cuba really does abuse rights so its also easy to see how someone could be offended by ANSWER types always talking about Cuba... but take the sum total of the politics in the comments and you realize that even if Magon conciously thinks himself more radical than thow and a force for working-class change, he is much more in the line of a Gitlin or Hitchens (or even a Blair) who is trying to ballance radical identity (and years of reading Marxist analysis) with an internalization of conservative smears and mainstream chauvanisms.

I kinda hope Magon is a freeper or such pretending to be a leftist but I would suspect that in fact he is a former radical (probably Anarchist theorist type) who is integrating back into mainstream society and struggling to rationalize away a growing conservatism that is due to the same societal forces that make most middle-class intellectuals tilt to the right (and made many support the Iraq war and the like due to black and white thinking about good and evil and liberating the Iraqis from Saddam) There was something that always seemed elitist and snobish about the younger Hitechs and I think political theory tends to attract such types in a way that creates young uberradicals who pontificate on the evils of Capitalism and the righteouness of the working class before realizing that they hate the working class and really only value the company of other snobs ... and hence the eventual pull of the old aristocratic right.

So go ahead and discuss strategy with Magon and note that he does tend to be civil (to Anarchists at least) but dont hope for any major breakthroughs in strategy unless your strategy for change is to undermine the radical left in favor of a bland Blarish almost neocon self-righteousness.
by TW
Friday Apr 28th, 2006 7:10 PM
"a former radical ... struggling to rationalize away a growing [middle-class] conservatism ... due to the same psychology of privilege that makes most hipster "leftist" intellectuals slink off to the right"

Hallelujah, a voice in the wilderness!!

The only kind of leftist you can really count on is somebody who 1) got brutally reamed by the class order as a kid and is out to settle this score, 2) is bright enough to see past all the false enemies waved in his face by this culture (e.g. it's all because of black welfare moms, pinko liberals, those white assholes, etc.) so that 3) his mental riflescope stays locked on the REAL ENEMY for life. This is a rare animal. The social engineers have made sure of it.
by don't be fooled
Saturday Apr 29th, 2006 1:49 PM
Bringing this thread back to the initial topic... I think that any views of our currect society has to take into account racism and how racism isnt always 100% tied to class. That said I do feel a bit uncomfortible with lefty talk about "white people" doing things for poor people of color since it has a paternalistic sounds even though its not intentional. While I can understand how "white people" do have to understand how their lilves are piviledged, the danger of moevements that focus on white guilt isnt as much the scaring off of workingclass white people as much as scaring off actual peopel of color who get creeped out by the way they can get tokenized in environments where race is focused on in this way (and are excluded by the very topics in a group that focus inwardly on privledge). Another danger is segrated subcultures leading to conservatism; movements that focus one white guilt will obviously be mainly white (with token people of color who either like or can just deal with being singled out as special) and as such, as the groups age I fear they will tilt to the right much faster than integrated movements (since discussing other groups is very different from having an integrated movement and there is a big difference in long term political direction between those who have just read about oppression and those that have directly experienced it).
by sea
Sunday Apr 30th, 2006 12:09 PM
don't be fooled posted some real dangers to watch out for. but really what is the biggest danger? white supremacy continuing as it is, with the complicity of white people cross-class. the class interests of white working class people lie with the majority of the immigrants who are going to be out there tomorrow boycotting and striking and marching. white people got to know who we are...like someone posted above: know who you are and don't deny it to a hungry world. my friends who are people of color are much more hungry for white people acknowledging who we are and that if we aren't real active about moving against racism that we get sucked into it-- than they are for white people who are too scared that someone on indybay might tell them they're being a guilty white person to do anything about it.

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