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<nettime> BACKTRACKINGS {AT} LOCAL NEWS
Azanya Prophetes on Tue, 3 Aug 1999 08:46:17 +0200 (CEST)


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<nettime> BACKTRACKINGS {AT} LOCAL NEWS


R A C E

______


LAW WOULD BAN KKK BUT NOT WAHOO
The Plain Dealer.  May 6, 1999.  Donna Robb.

"The fliers found in February on cars parked at two local shopping plazas
. . . urged white people to 'start taking back the country' from black and
Jewish people." 

KLAN PLANS RALLY AT COURTHOUSE
The Plain Dealer.  May 11, 1999.  No byline.

"James Hogg, a KKK chapter leader: 'This is not about race,' he said from
his home in Old Washington, Ohio.  'We will talk about the problems we see
in Cleveland; the drug dealers, the prostitutes, the crack dealers.  It's
not fair that honest people have to live around them." 

Comment:  Hogg lives in rural Ohio.  Who is speaking when he says, "we
see"?  The people who see the inner city are the ones who live there;  the
ones keep it under surveillance are the police who raid sites in the inner
city, and terrorize the people who live there.  Are the Cleveland police
speaking through Hogg? 

NAACP BRANCH PLANS PEACEFUL RESPONSE TO POSSIBLE KKK RALLY
The Plain Dealer.  May 14, 1999.  No byline.

"The Klan wants to hold a rally to address its concerns that drug dealers
and prostitutes are destroying the fabric of life in Cleveland." 

"'I am a peaceful man,' [Cleveland NAACP president] Forbes said.  'I do
not advocate violence.  I do not want blood to fall on the streets.'" 

Comment:  Forbes forgot he was a peaceful man on July 28 when he sent a
memo typed on the letterhead from his law firm to Mayor Michael White
telling the mayor to "please go fuck yourself . . . You really don't want
to get into a fight with me, trust me you really don't."  The Thursday
edition of the Cleveland Plain Dealer carried this on the front page in a
headline as large if not larger than the one for the April 15 NATO bombing
of a civilian convoy in Kosovo. The headline?  NOW, IT'S WAR. 

WHITE MAY LET KLAN USE POLICE GARAGE FORBES SAYS CLEVELAND NAACP OPPOSES PLAN
The Plain Dealer.  July 8, 1999.  Karin Scholz.

--transfer interrupted--

WHITE SHEEP IN RACIST CLOTHING:  DOES MAYOR WHITE HAVE A CONSTITUTIONAL
OBLIGATION TO PROVIDE KLAN A DRESSING ROOM.
The City News.  July 14-27.  Michael Oatman.

"Mayor Michael R. White is considering allowing the Klan to use a City of
Cleveland Police garage to change into their Klan robes, a move that has
NAACP president George Forbes enraged.  According to Forbes the only
reason that the response to the Mayor White's [sic] proposed plan has not
been more ferocious from the community is because White is an African
American mayor.  'If it was a white mayor all of Cleveland would be down
there,' said Forbes. 

Comment:  What is Race Baiting and how is it used by both black and
white bourgeois politicians to maintain power.

BOTH WHITE, FORBES SAY THEY DETEST KLAN RALLY, BUT WILL CARRY OUT ROLES.
The Plain Dealer.  July 9, 1999.  Alison Grant and Karin Scholz.

"'Black people have always been told to be calm, be cool,' Forbes said. 
'I'm not going to do that' . . . 'I'm going to protest what's going to
happen,' he said.  'But I'm telling you, in doing that, we're not going to
wreck the town.'" 

Comment:  Who is Forbes speaking to, or, who is speaking through Forbes?
 What does he mean by "we"?  On what authority does he say "we"--the NAACP?

FORBES WANTS TO GET NATIONAL ATTENTION FOR DISPUTE OVER KLAN'S USE OF GARAGE
The Plain Dealer.  July 10, 1999.  Alison Grant.

"'We can't allow this hate to run rampant,'" he said [James Daniel, Ohio
NAACP president].  '"If you're not opposed to it, you must be in favor of
it.  There's no happy medium when it comes to that.'" 

Comment:  The problem is how to oppose it.  Who speaks for the people who
are the target of "this hate"--the "hood" which the white supremacy of the
suburbs fears, and whose hatred is hooded by the demand for more police
and more prisons. 

THE KLAN SHOULD GET NO COMFORT FROM CLEVELAND
The Plain Dealer.  July 11, 1999.  Elizabeth Auster.

"But there is more to this story than the motives of George Forbes.  And
George Forbes knows it.  That is why he is getting away, at least for now,
with a public posture that proudly defies the conventional wisdom that it
is better to starve the Klan with inattention than to feed it with
attention. 

The Klan may be weak, but it is not dead.  And as long as it is alive and
marching in a uniform that will forever be a quintessential symbol of
racism, it will pose a challenge to its opponents.  The challenge of
figuring out how to walk the fine line between standing up to the Klansmen
and sitting down for them." 

Comment:  It is the people who live on the East Side of Cleveland who are
being starved with inattention.  The schoolchildren at Empire Computech on
Euclid Ave. don't even have air conditioning during summer school, and
there are no computers in sight.  What are symbols of racism and what is
institutional racism. Where do private property relations come in as a
social determinant.

THE KKK'S ADVANCE MAN, GEORGE FORBES
The Plain Dealer.  July 11.  Dick Feagler.

"The big nonstory of the weak is that, on August 21, a couple of
mush-brainers plan to hold some kind of KKK rally downtown--on the same
day the Browns play their pre-season opener.  The wackos are trying to
take advantage of the crowd. . . . Stiff the dumbos.  Forbes is playing .
. . right into the hands of the cretins in bed sheets.  Without his mouth,
they would have been ignored like grubby laundry flapping on a
clothesline." 

Comment:  Feagler sounds a lot like Pat Buchanan here, cross-dressing in
an exaggerated working class vernacular.  The laundry image brings to mind
Kevin Everson's installation at the Cleveland Museum of Art: prison guard
uniforms "flapping" in a black working class neighborhood. 

NAACP WON'T SEEK NATIONAL SUPPORT:  LOCAL GROUP ALTERS PLANS ON KKK RALLY
The Plain Dealer.  July 11.  Karl Turner.  Dateline:  New York.

"The Cleveland branch of the NAACP yesterday withdrew a request to the
organization's national leaders for support in opposing a plan by the city
to let the KKK use the Justice Center garage as a dressing area before a
planned August 21 rally downtown. 

'The national position is that we support the First Amendment right to
assemble, and we cannot counter the Klan on that right,' said national
board member Fred Humphrey.  NAACP officials from around the country said
they have found it more effective not to get in public shouting matches
with the KKK."

Comment:  The national convention is the NAACP's biggest event.  Scheduled
speakers this week included Al Gore, Madeline Albright and Jesse Jackson. 
"The message is the military." 

KLAN'S CLAIM IS LAUGHABLE, WOMAN SAYS SLAIN OFFICER'S MOM STUNNED THAT
KKK NAMED HIM MARTYR.
The Plain Dealer.  July 13, 1999.  Karin Scholz and April McClellan-Copeland.

"Police Detective Robert J. Clark . . . killed trying to stop a drug
dealer in July 1998, has been named a martyr by the KKK, according to a
speaker on a local 'Aryan Power' hot line." 

"Clark, a white 1st District vice detective, was shot by Correy Major who
was black.  Major was killed in return by one of Clark's partners.  Devan
was white.  A 12-year-old black boy was found guilty of juvenile
delinquency by reason of murder for her stabbing." 

Comment:  This account of the crime scene makes no sense.  It must be
quoting verbatim from one of those traditional fictions of wrong-doing
used to fill prisons, the Police Report. 

AUGUST 21:  A DAY TO TAKE THE FIELD AGAINST HATRED AND DIVISION.
Margot James Copeland.  President of the Greater Cleveland Roundtable.

"The planned Klan rally has excited a torrent of heated rhetoric as well
as constructive dialogue on how best to counter this malignant presence. 
 Like many who have spoken out, I believe we have an opportunity to come
together in an honest attempt to bridge the chasms that persist in
separating us simply because we are not the homogenous nation of the
Klan's twisted dreams. 

The question of how to build a just, inclusive society is hurtful because
we never have resolved it.  We need to discuss the issues openly, without
fear.  The ecumenical, multicultural programs that community groups, area
pastors and others are organizing as alternatives to the Klan rally will
provide forums for that discussion. 

As effective as group action can be, there is a unique power in the
individual gesture that springs from a sense of what is right and just. To
this day, the clear, defining moment of the civil rights movement--the one
that still inspires awe, even reverence--is the simple refusal of a weary
black seamstress to yield her seat to a white man. Few of us will be
tapped on the shoulder of history, as Rosa Parks was. Nor will most of us
be civic leaders, using the podium or pulpit to move large groups with our
oratory. 

The furor that has preceded the Klan's arrival will ensure it coverage,
but if just the Klan and the cameras show up on August 21, the story will
be that they held a hatefest and nobody came." 

Comment:  The eloquence of multiculturalist rhetoric disguises the class
bias against ordinary people making history with the power of their
collective action.  Margot wants me to light a candle, and socialize with
someone who is different, i.e., "When somebody 'different' moves on to
your block."  The weary black seamstress is a moving image, and there are
hundreds of her riding the buses in Cleveland every day.  But it was an
angry ex-'gansta' turned New Internationalist that moved audiences across
the United States with the beauty and truth of his oratory. 

WITH WHITE AND FORBES AT WAR, THE WHOLE CITY HAS REASON TO SWEAT.
The Plain Dealer.  July 25, 1999.  Dick Feagler.

"[R]ace politics hangs heavy in the air.  It is in the ink of the
headlines that bake in the ovens of the street-corner newspaper boxes. The
heat and the headlines are a recipe for trouble. 

The odds are great that the forthcoming Klan rally will be a bust--fifteen
pudgy white guys in sheets, spewing speeches of idiocy and hate to a
disinterested crowd on its way to the Browns game. 

He [Mayor White] kindled a blaze on the front page of this newspaper. 
'White alleges police racism,' the headline read.  'Mayor promises
investigation of Nazi graffitti, racist pins.'

All of this in the parched heat of a long, hot summer where tempers are
easily frayed and emotions tend to be armed and cocked and on a
hair-trigger. 

I've covered this town for 36 years and seen it set ablaze twice because
of racial tension.  But that was a long time ago. 

The problem is the collateral damage.  Forbes has already pumped up the
stupid Klan rally to ridiculous proportions.  In his attempt to retaliate,
White may poison the image of the cops.'" 

Comment:  Feagler-Buchanan is writing for the middle class.  The
authoritarian (proto-fascist) edge to his language is far more threatening
than two bourgeois black city "leaders."  Feagler-Buchanan writes for the
cops and their constituency, Lukacs' "strong, simple blondes striding
confidently along." 

JOKING ABOUT THE KLAN JUST DOESN'T FLY
The Plain Dealer.  August 2, 1999.  Afi-Odelia E. Scruggs.

"On July 13, the afternoon of baseball's All-Star game, about 14 folks
boarded [Cleveland Indians' Owner] Dick Jacobs' private jet and headed
toward Boston.  The lucky few included some of Cleveland's top sports and
community leaders [including Cleveland NAACP president, George Forbes].
Sometime during the trip east, Jacobs disappeared into the cockpit.  He
came out wearing a white hood, with cut-out holes for eyes.  Jacobs even
held a sign saying, 'How do we get to the Justice Center?'

There was no offense meant, there was no offense taken," Forbes told a
reported.  Forbes hung up on me when I called to ask him about the joke. 
Jacobs couldn't be reached for comment.  The clearest clue to the mind-set
of the airplane came from Larkin [Scrugg's source for the story, a Plain
Dealer editor who was also on board].  'Forbes and Jacobs happen to be
very close friends.'" 

Comment:  Afi-Odelia E. Scruggs is a young journalist who writes a regular
column dealing with social and educational 'youth' issues.  Hers is the
latest voice to enter the pages of Cleveland only major daily paper.  She
makes a point of mentioning that George Forbes was working for Shell Oil
as a consultant "when the company was accused of charging a higer
wholesale gasoline price to stations in predominantly black
neighborhoods." 


C L A S S

_______


Malcolm, the self-educated man.  What Trotsky's orientation would have
been toward Malcolm and what he represented.  Jim Cannon:  "The special
problems of discrimination and inequality this side of socialism." 

Trotsky from Turkey in April 1929 ("Tasks of the American Opposition"): 
"We must not only reject and condemn these prejudices; we must burn them
out of our consciousness to the last trace.  We must find a road to the
most unprivileged and downtrodden strata of the proletariat . . . whom
capitalist society has converted into pariahs . . . [The Militant, May 1,
1929, reprinted in Writings of Leon Trotsky (1929) Pathfinder, 1975]. 

See Lenin's "Preliminary Draft of Theses on the National and Colonial
Questions" written for the 2nd Congress of the Communist International in
1920.  For example, Ireland, the American Negroes, etc., and in the
colonies [Collected Works, vol. 31, p. 148].  Lenin was unambiguous when
he said in 1917 that Blacks in the U.S. "should be classed as an oppressed
nation."  (Collected Works, vol 23, p. 275). 

"A question of their conciousness, what they desire and what they strive
for." Self-determination implies the right of an oppressed group to decide
for themselves what they want, and how, and when.  The discussion was held
in German on February 28, 1933.  See History of the Russian Revolution,
vol. 3, chapter 2, "The Problem of Nationalities." 

Trotsky "denounced the prejudiced white workers in more scathing, more
bitter terms than any American Marxist, black or white, had ever done; 
even in his Black Muslim days Malcolm X never used harsher language." 
[Breitman, p. 18, editor's introduction].  LT:  The Black Middle Class
"who play more or a public role (businessmen, intellectuals, lawyers,
etc.) are more active and react more actively against inequality." 

LT:  I am not sure if the Blacks in the South do not speak their own Black
language.  Now, at a time when they are being lynched just because of
being Blacks they naturally fear to speak their Black language; but when
they are set free their Black language will come alive again.  I would
advise the American comrades to study this question very seriously,
including the language in the Southern States. 

LT:  Far more decisive is the historical consciousness of a group, their
feelings, their impulses . . . not determined accidentally but rather by
the situation and all the attendant circumstances.  That is what we always
heard in Russia.  The Russian experience has shown us that the groups
which live a peasant existence retain peculiarities--their customs, their
language, etc. 

LT:  Those American workers who say "we will defend them against our
American police"--those are revolutionists, I have confidence in them. (LT
equates Black uneasiness at the demand for self-determination to white
workers uneasiness at the demand for a dictatorship of the proletariat). 
"There is another alternative to the successful revolutionary one.  It is
possible that fascism will come to power with its racial delirium and
oppression, and the reaction of the Blacks will be toward racial
independence.  Fascism in the U.S. will be directed against the Jews and
the Blacks, but against the Blacks particularly, and in a most terrible
manner." 

CLR James in conversation with Trotsky, April 4, 1939:  "Note that in
Chicago [in 1919], where a race riot took place, the riot was deliberately
provoked by the employers.  Some time before it actually broke out, the
black and white meatpackers had struck and had paraded .  . . with the
black population cheering the whites in the same way that they cheered the
blacks.  For the capitalists this was a dangerous thing and they set
themselves to creating race friction." 

LT:  It is one thing to present a general socialist program; and another
thing to be very attentive to the concrete questions of Black life and to
oppose socialism to capitalism in these questions . . . [and] go even so
far as to have every speaker end their speaking by saying, "My name is the
New International." 

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