Black Radical Congress and "the Left"

Michael Eisenscher meisenscher at
Mon Jun 22 20:49:08 PDT 1998


If you want to make an argument against the BRC, at least do so based on an honest presentation of facts. It has been observed by more than one person on this list (myself included based on direct familial participation) that no whites were excluded. Do you know otherwise? If not, why continue to set up this straw provocative and misleading argument?

I find it more than curious how much emotion is invested in this discussion on the part of whites who cannot come to accept that Blacks (of whatever political persuasion....and at the BRC that was wide-ranging indeed...would want to meet to discuss for themselves the issues, challenges, problems, and opportunities affecting their struggle for dignity, justice, equality, and equity in a society that has systematically denied them that for many centuries.

There is little likelihood that this gather would be able to produce a unified view, not to mention strategy, least of all one based on the caricature you present. It was not intended to do so. As I understand it, it was designed to advance a dialog between people who are the targets of a racist system. For white leftists (or non-leftists, for that matter) to question the "correctness" of their doing so is an expression of exactly the kind of insensitivity that caused them to call for a gathering for, by, and of Blacks (but not excluding those who are not). Lecturing these activists and scholars (whose views are as diverse as their credentials) on the appropriate "revolutionary" position with respect to how they choose to relate to one another and conduct their struggle against that racist system, is emblematic of the problem.

Michael E.

At 01:07 PM 6/22/98 -0400, Wojtek Sokolowski wrote:

>I reply (WS): Saying "we are primarily targeting white radicals, but
>non-whites may also join if they wish" may indeed be less than a steriling
>record of radical organizing. Saying "we are targeting black radicals,
>non-blacks please keep out" is not even 'less than sterling" - it is the
>testimony to the sorry state of what passes for 'radicalism' nowadays - the
>reactionary defence of entrenched identities.
>That, BTW, reminds me about the Rutgers President Lawrence making racist
>comments a few years ago. This sparked a massive protest action whose
>momentum has been utterly lost as soon as Black activists told the whites
>"it's a black issue, please stay out of it." Not only did Lawrence survive
> (even though the NJ Governor Whitman intially refused to defend him), but
>nothing was gained in terms of programs aimed at minorities at Rutgers.
>Yet another example of id politics serving as a career spingboard for the
>leaders while leaving everyone else behind.

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