[lbo-talk] the beating heart of oakland commune: the kitchen

Carrol Cox cbcox at ilstu.edu
Sun Dec 11 09:32:18 PST 2011

shag carpet bomb

i read a book about Weather a few years ago, Outlaws of America. The Weather's argument was that they wanted to take seriously the argument that white people should stop trying to insinuate themselves into black nationalist organizations. Instead, they should form their own organisations and support their political struggles.

The author of that book probably wasn't merely a bad historian; he or she was an outright liar. I debated Jeff Joens, one of the top Weatherman leaders, from 110m to 2am one night, & he never mentioned _anything_ remotely like that.

No one, absolutely no one, was " trying to insinuate themselves into black nationalist organizations." Moreover, black nationalist organizastyions" ismeaningless in this context. Usually (not always) the phrase referred to such groups as the Los Anglelus US organization, members of which murdered two Panthers. I believe the Republic of New Africa was an actual left group which favored (as did most of the New Communist Movement groups) a Black Nation in the South -- an idea that goes back to the 3d International. If my memory is correct it was a member of that gropu who was an observer at the RYM II Thanksgiving conference in Atlanta.

What almost _all_ white revolutionaries of the time held in common was the legitimacy and need for independent black organizations. Did the book name any "black nationalist organizations" and describe the whites who were insinuating themselves. It's so far from reality it's a bit creepy.

Ted Morgan & I begin corresponding about his book after I sent a post to the '60s list which bgan by saying that one could know that any artivcle on the '60s that mentioned either Hippies or Weatherman in the first paragraph could be assumed to be a pack of lies. Over the last 20 or so years Weatherman has functioned as a very effective barrier to historical understanding of the '60s.


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