Black Radical Congress and "the Left"

Tom Waters twaters at
Tue Jun 23 06:31:19 PDT 1998

On Mon, 22 Jun 1998, Michael Eisenscher wrote:

> 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?

All the evidence we've seen on this list suggests that the decision to admit people who aren't black was made at the last minute. Here in Knoxville, the advance word was that it was for black people only. It's very likely that some other radicals stayed home just for this reason. So in fact they were excluded.

> 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).

So now staying away from congresses isn't enough, non-black people have to refrain from talking about them as well. I've never worked on a dock, is it OK if I question the correctness of MUA's settlement? I happen to think that the strategy and tactics adopted by other workers is a matter of concern to me. If BRC raises the prominence of explicit anti-capitalism in black people's struggles in the US, that will benefit all of us. If it deflects radicals into supporting a bouregoises that they perceive to be their own because of nationalism, as Rakesh seems to suggest it might, that's bad. No?


Thomas Waters 1021 East Oak Hill Avenue Knoxville, Tennessee 37917 In the morning glad I see / My foe outstretched beneath the tree

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