What 1960s black nationalists believed

Charles Brown charlesb at CNCL.ci.detroit.mi.us
Mon Jun 29 14:45:52 PDT 1998

I don't recognize the words below as mine. I don't necessarily disagree with it , but I think we should keep who said what straight ,because I might have differently formulations from people who I essentially agree with.

Charles Brown

>>> Max Sawicky <sawicky at epinet.org> 06/29 5:35 PM >>>
> . . .
> >we view in reality 180 million racists. The radical who is
> fighting to bring about change is
> >conscious of this fact, but does not have the courage to admit this. When
> >he admits this reality, then he must also admit his involvement
> because he
> >is a part of the collective white America. It is only to the
> extent that he
> >recognizes this that he will be able to change this reality.

> This is just guilt-tripping rubbish. If all white people are
> intrinsicaly racist then any progressive project is doomed from the
> outset.

Quite right, though the statement itself is sufficiently broad and wide-ranging that one cannot dismiss every included assertion.

> . . .
> It is a shame that just when a number of young and working class people
> were distancing themselves from the outlook of the US establishment and
> the fictitious community of American nationalism, here is the SNCC
> insisting that, no on the contrary, all white people have a common
> interest in racial oppression.

It may not be obvious but my impression is that the SNCC statement is a good thirty years old. It has no current significance at all. SNCC no longer exists. It derives from Stokely Charmichael's move to expel whites from SNCC, which was a major, negative development in radical politics. Charmichael himself hasn't done anything positive since. A documentary on SNCC including archival footage showed SC as one jive turkey. I myself attended a speech by him many years ago (well after the SNCC turn) featuring explicit jew-baiting, a perfect example of the case of negative nationalism which can only have the effect of driving whites to the right.

JH again:
> . . .
> This is the classic difference between moralism and Marxism. The SNCC
> statement is a moral critique of racism, which appeals to guilty white
> liberals, to recognise their culpability, and hang their heads in shame.
> But it does not appeal to the working class to break from the ruling
> racial ideology on the basis of their material interests.

> It is an appeal addressed not to class interest but to middle class
> guilt.

In addition, it reflects an inept effort to claim leadership of that which it cannot win by force of positive persuasion. Otherwise known as selling wolf tickets.


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