Resistance is Not Futile: Fighting Back in an Age of Manufactured Ignorance

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    • #434004
      ZimInSeattle
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      • Total Posts: 2,199

       

      Photograph by Nathaniel St. Clair

      The genocide inflicted on Native Americans, slavery, the horrors of Jim Crow, the incarceration of Japanese Americans, the rise of the carceral state, the My Lai massacre and George W. Bush’s torture chambers and black sites, among other historical events, now disappear into a disavowal of past events made even more unethical with the emergence of a right-wing political and pedagogical language of erasure. For example, the Republican Party’s attack on the teaching of “critical race theory” — labeled as “ideological or faddish” — denies both the history of racism as well as the ways in which it is enforced through policy, laws and institutions.

      For many Republicans, racial hatred takes on the ludicrous claim of protecting students from learning about the diverse ways in which racism persists in American society. For instance, Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida stated that “There is no room in our classrooms for things like critical race theory. Teaching kids to hate their country and to hate each other is not worth one red cent of taxpayer money.” In this updated version of historical and racial cleansing, the call for racial justice is equated to a form of racial hatred, leaving intact the refusal to acknowledge, condemn and confront in the public imagination the history and tenacity of racism in American society.

      ~big snip~

      There is also a need to develop a more comprehensive view of oppression, political struggle and ongoing efforts to align progressive movements. Such movements must be willing to embrace an alternative vision for change that includes the destruction of the ideological and structural foundations of neoliberal capitalism. At stake here is not only the recognition that capitalism and democracy are at odds with each other, but also that neoliberal capitalism has morphed into an updated form of fascist politics. In this instance, any viable notion of resistance must address specific crises ranging from mass poverty and staggering inequality to the destruction of the environment and systemic racism as strands of a larger general crisis threatening society as a whole.

      As democratic socialist congressional candidate Nina Turner makes clear, “good ideas are not enough — we need to marry our ideas to power.” Radicalizing the public imagination suggests viewing democracy as part of a project that can be both recovered and radicalized through the combined struggles for emancipation, social justice, economic equality and minority rights. Central to such a challenge would be adopting a common agenda dedicated to developing a vast educational movement in defense of public goods. Any struggle against the dictatorship of ignorance will not only have to take matters of education seriously in the effort to address the current crisis of consciousness but will also have to bring diverse movements together to build a common agenda under the rubric of creating a critically engaged populace willing to fight for a democratic socialist society.

      More: https://www.counterpunch.org/2021/07/08/resistance-is-not-futile-fighting-back-in-an-age-of-manufactured-ignorance/

      "Poverty is the parent of revolution and crime" - Aristotle "The more I see of the moneyed peoples, the more I understand the guillotine" - George Bernard Shaw "Those who make peaceful revolution impossible, will make violent revolution inevitable" - JFK "If wars can be started by lies, they can be stopped by truth." ~ Julian Assange #SurviveAndRevolt

    • #434007
      Ohio Barbarian
      Moderator
      • Total Posts: 21,760

      It’s neoliberal capitalist all the way. It is one thing to study and teach the effects of racism, primarily to teach children that racism is total bullshit and should not be tolerated in society writ large. Fortunately, most younger Americans already know that in their bones.

      Critical race theory teaches that all white people, consciously or unconsciously, use their race to gain privilege and power over nonwhite people, which is absolute nonsense. That’s why it’s fanning such a backlash, because Republicans see it as a way to inflame the culture war, which is their only political trick. Unfortunately, it is also the only political trick for most Democrats as well, and most definitely the Biden Administration and the Democrat establishment.

      It also teaches that racism is the cause of racism, and that is simply factually and historically false.

      I find it oddly ignorant of the author to talk about CRT as part of the struggle of democracy against capitalism, and democratic socialism against the oligarchy. It’s not. CRT is a tool of the oligarchy, not the working class.

      It is better to vote for what you want and not get it than to vote for what you don't want and get it.--Eugene Debs

      You can jail a revolutionary, but you can't jail the revolution.--Fred Hampton

      • #434113
        eridani
        Participant
        • Total Posts: 9,978

        Just what is critical race theory anyway?

        https://www.edweek.org/leadership/what-is-critical-race-theory-and-why-is-it-under-attack/2021/05

        Critical race theory is an academic concept that is more than 40 years old. The core idea is that race is a social construct, and that racism is not merely the product of individual bias or prejudice, but also something embedded in legal systems and policies.

        The basic tenets of critical race theory, or CRT, emerged out of a framework for legal analysis in the late 1970s and early 1980s created by legal scholars Derrick Bell, Kimberlé Crenshaw, and Richard Delgado, among others.

        A good example is when, in the 1930s, government officials literally drew lines around areas deemed poor financial risks, often explicitly due to the racial composition of inhabitants. Banks subsequently refused to offer mortgages to Black people in those areas.

        All these different ideas grow out of longstanding, tenacious intellectual debates. Critical race theory emerged out of postmodernist thought, which tends to be skeptical of the idea of universal values, objective knowledge, individual merit, Enlightenment rationalism, and liberalism—tenets that conservatives tend to hold dear.

        Jesus: Hey, Dad? God: Yes, Son? Jesus: Western civilization followed me home. Can I keep it? God: Certainly not! And put it down this minute--you don't know where it's been! Tom Robbins in Another Roadside Attraction

        • #434145
          ZimInSeattle
          Participant
          • Total Posts: 2,199

          I think Henry Giroux has a pretty good handle on it.

          "Poverty is the parent of revolution and crime" - Aristotle "The more I see of the moneyed peoples, the more I understand the guillotine" - George Bernard Shaw "Those who make peaceful revolution impossible, will make violent revolution inevitable" - JFK "If wars can be started by lies, they can be stopped by truth." ~ Julian Assange #SurviveAndRevolt

        • #434146
          Ohio Barbarian
          Moderator
          • Total Posts: 21,760

          If you have the wrong answer to those questions, which this grifter who came up with CRT does(she recently got a $20 million chair at Howard University thanks to a grant from the Ford Foundation and some anonymous billionaire, so yes, she’s a grifter), you will never come up with the right answers.

          Promoting racism and division, which CRT does, is counterproductive and not leftist at all. Historically, race theories have been pushed by the right. Liberals and neoliberals are right-wing. They just convince themselves they are on the left, and tell the rest of us they are, but they’re not. Look at who is promoting this shit–corporate media and comfortable upper middle class academics–who are part of the establishment.

          You bring up “post-modernism,” which rejects objective truth as a tool for analyzing history. That’s pure bullshit, too.

          It is better to vote for what you want and not get it than to vote for what you don't want and get it.--Eugene Debs

          You can jail a revolutionary, but you can't jail the revolution.--Fred Hampton

          • #434310
            eridani
            Participant
            • Total Posts: 9,978

            The core idea is that race is a social construct, and that racism is not merely the product of individual bias or prejudice, but also something embedded in legal systems and policies.

            Explain why you think that this promotes division.

            Jesus: Hey, Dad? God: Yes, Son? Jesus: Western civilization followed me home. Can I keep it? God: Certainly not! And put it down this minute--you don't know where it's been! Tom Robbins in Another Roadside Attraction

            • #434366
              Ohio Barbarian
              Moderator
              • Total Posts: 21,760

              I don’t disagree with that particular statement in and of itself. I do disagree with the premise that the Europeans were inherently racist when they first arrived. No one is inherently racist. It’s learned behavior, and was created out of whole cloth in Virginia and the Carolinas in the 1630s and 40s in order to advance the interests of one small class of people. That’s just a fact, but the grifter who invented CRT will never, ever admit its veracity.

              Even though the historian who meticulously documented the hard, written evidence of the time to prove that the concept of the white race was created for material reasons is a Black man.

              Because CRT really isn’t about the past, it’s about the present. It’s whole purpose is to distract people’s attention away from what created the idea of the white race in the first place, which was a form of capitalism. CRT is a distraction away from the real causes of our current problems. That’s it very raison d’ etre. That’s why the foundations of the oligarchy are supporting this woman and pushing this theory, and that’s why I call bullshit.

              It is better to vote for what you want and not get it than to vote for what you don't want and get it.--Eugene Debs

              You can jail a revolutionary, but you can't jail the revolution.--Fred Hampton

              • #434454
                eridani
                Participant
                • Total Posts: 9,978

                CRT is certainly not about the present–it is only conservatives who say that it is.  You’d think no one knows that it has been around for 40 years.  (Though I am certainly not thrilled with anything that is “postmodern.”)  If you care about it now, why didn’t you care about it 40 years ago?

                Jesus: Hey, Dad? God: Yes, Son? Jesus: Western civilization followed me home. Can I keep it? God: Certainly not! And put it down this minute--you don't know where it's been! Tom Robbins in Another Roadside Attraction

                • #434673
                  Ohio Barbarian
                  Moderator
                  • Total Posts: 21,760

                  Any white person who critiques this stuff is automatically called a racist by its supporters, or in my case, some kind of a hypocrite, by you. Where was I 40 years ago? What does that even mean? I don’t know, but it clearly implies there’s something morally wrong with me.

                  This is what liberals do all the time–they insult people, either up front or in some squirmy passive aggressive manner, and then wonder why they are despised.

                  It is better to vote for what you want and not get it than to vote for what you don't want and get it.--Eugene Debs

                  You can jail a revolutionary, but you can't jail the revolution.--Fred Hampton

                  • #434800
                    eridani
                    Participant
                    • Total Posts: 9,978

                    It’s been around for 40 years, and only just being critiqued by some white folks right now.  So what took everyone so long to notice it?

                    Jesus: Hey, Dad? God: Yes, Son? Jesus: Western civilization followed me home. Can I keep it? God: Certainly not! And put it down this minute--you don't know where it's been! Tom Robbins in Another Roadside Attraction

                    • #434833
                      Ohio Barbarian
                      Moderator
                      • Total Posts: 21,760

                      For good, solid historical and modern political reasons. Yet you just painted me as a racist, conservative Republican by saying that only white conservatives are criticizing CRT. It’s all you’ve got. You have no answer to my historical critique. You have no answer to my critique on why it is a divisive political tactic that will only inflame the culture war and fail to address any real problem. So you smear me.

                      Typical liberal tactic.

                      However old this theory is, we only started hearing about it recently because it was pushed by the New York Times and other establishment media. Do you really think there is no real-time, ulterior motive for this when it’s as plain as day. Go ahead and have the last word. There’s no further point in beating this dead horse.

                      It is better to vote for what you want and not get it than to vote for what you don't want and get it.--Eugene Debs

                      You can jail a revolutionary, but you can't jail the revolution.--Fred Hampton

    • #434089
      David the Gnome
      Participant
      • Total Posts: 3,230

      And experienced, I am inclined to agree with @ohiobarbarian.

      This is slowly becoming one of those issues where if someone argues with critical race theory, they are immediately labelled a racist.  Much like those who criticise some aspects of feminism (or at least its more radical practitioners) automatically get a misogynist label.

      Only an idiot thinks such things as misogyny and racism aren’t real issues – of course they are.  But it takes a special kind of idiot to believe that everyone (or, at least, everyone male and white) is a racist misogynist.

      So, no.  I don’t think anyone is racist for being born white.  I think the notion of white privilege is ridiculous – as its assumptions only really apply to the well off or very wealthy.

      If we are going to talk about critical theories about race – it is best to be critical of them.

      It seems like the usual suspects in the media are all over this one.  Having known plenty of that sort over at a place which shall not be named….

      I find their assumptions and half baked notions to be just as bigoted as those proclaimed by the proud boys.

    • #434167
      Average Gazoo
      Participant
      • Total Posts: 563

      It is a political strategy and part of that strategy is to never give a real example. Similar to a horror movie where they never show the monster, it is scarier because they tell you to imagine the worst so you do.

      Yes real CRT is a graduate level college study about how laws have codified racism but that isn’t even close to what is being tossed around by FOX and the GOP strategists. They are talking about an imaginary world where there is a textbook in the USA that comes anywhere near talking about race or racism. A textbook that does NOT declare John Brown “crazy” or that tells the truth about Woodrow Wilson does not exist.

      Likely the GOP knew how this would play out:

      1. They make a stink about non-existent K-12 ciricuulum and claim that ‘white children will be forced to apologize for being white’ etc.
      2. They get the true believers to go to PTA and school boards and demand that this non-existent stuff be banned, and then
      3. This provokes a knee-jerk reaction from well-meaning Dems who never ask to see the evidence but rather proceed with their defense as if such course materials exist. They say things like “we should apologize for being white” and THAT makes charges stick.

      I read as much of “Caste: The origins of our discontents (sic)” as I could stand and it does everything Barbarian mentions above:

      • Claims that the cause of racism is…racism
      • Ignore the economic basis of racism
      • Proposes no real solutions and how could it since it does not deal with the real dynamics. In fact, she proposes that the solution is “radical empathy” — in other words ‘feel bad about it, really bad about it.’

      The big problem as usual is that the DNC has no real agenda to end racism. They are ALSO not willing to talk about how racism was created to justify slavery.  The practice of slavery created a need for white Protestants to justify this specific evil to themselves. When most slavery ended, racism took its place. For poor whites it provides a way to feel better about their status but for large employers the incentive is money. Racism, like sexism and other discrimination, allows them to pay less for labor, pay EVERYONE less.

      The GOP is likely anticipating a future where Biden retires or dies and Harris becomes the nominee. In that scenario, 2024 sets up in a way that will expose again how cynical and insincere the DNC’s identity politics are. The DNC views Harris as an “African American” and will therefore demand that all POC vote for her without question or else as Biden said “you ain’t black.”  Given that Harris is not African American, is unlikable and just lies or laughs when confronted with serious questions, 2024 will be a disaster.

       

      Be the Change

      • #434367
        Ohio Barbarian
        Moderator
        • Total Posts: 21,760

        I also believe that the promoters of CRT were perfectly aware of exactly how the Republicans would react, and how liberals would react in response, and that’s why they are promoting it. If racism causes all of our problems, then there’s no need to change the economic and justice systems. We only have to get rid of the bad apples.

        It is better to vote for what you want and not get it than to vote for what you don't want and get it.--Eugene Debs

        You can jail a revolutionary, but you can't jail the revolution.--Fred Hampton

    • #434550
      closeupready
      Participant
      • Total Posts: 2,588

      Critical race theory does not get out there for discussion, because any and every white person who critiques it is fired, canceled, shouted down, whatever by the theory’s supporters (much as post-feminist’s critics are labeled as misogynist, same with most other identity politics supporters). So it doesn’t get discussed; thus people have no idea what it is, they just know it’s another “racial thing” and they want nothing to do with it.

      Basically, @ohiobarbarian and @davidthegnome win the thread. Congratulations!

      The opinions and personal views expressed herein are solely those of the author, and should never be taken seriously.

    • #434597
      jerry611
      Participant
      • Total Posts: 1,306

      The problem with CRT, or at least it’s current interpretation in the mainstream today, is divides people based on skin color. It suggests that all white people are privileged or at least beneficiaries of racial injustice throughout American history. And all black people are oppressed and have no chance of success or advancement under the current social, political, and economic systems that are plagued with systemic racism. But this is much too broad to be applied the way that it is. This is a macro-level social concept that is not meant to be applied to individual people.

      The target seems to be the white male Trump supporter. However, the majority of white people who support Donald Trump are lower and middle class. The majority of them do not have a college degree. These aren’t rich people and most aren’t really living a privileged lifestyle. Even many that happen to live in well-off neighborhoods are likely living paycheck to paycheck with a lot of debt hidden under the hood of their SUVs and cookie-cutter suburban houses. They spent most of their life working 50-60 hour work weeks and feel the little wealth they have is due to their own hard work, or their parent’s hard work. Yet, many supporters of CRT claim these people are “privileged” due to the nation’s institution of slavery 160 years ago and only have what they have because they are white. This creates a political flash grenade that ignites racial tensions. And that seems to be the intention of instigators on both sides.

      This is the inherent flaw in CRT, and the larger racial/economic justice conversation, as it currently exists in the mainstream media. It doesn’t specially target the right people. If you notice, some of the biggest supporters this conversation are rich, educated whites…..the truly privileged people of our society. These people claim they support racial justice, economic justice, and equality but then go home to their all-white country clubs and pay their housekeepers, nannies, and gardeners (who are largely minorities) minimum wage. These people are frauds and hypocrites. Many of these people are also running the corporations that take advantage of the economic inequality that continues to perpetuate the true racial problems. These companies claim to support racial justice by giving some donations to BLM and other groups that are essentially a drop in the bucket to them without doing any actual real changes. But they think by doing this is dissolves them of responsibility and guilt.

      Nobody who is alive today had anything to do with slavery 160 years ago. The majority of Americans today are decedents of immigrants that came to this country well after the civil war ended. These people don’t feel they or their families had anything to do with slavery or the past sins of this country. So by suggesting they pay for these sins or benefited from it once again creates a flashpoint with the wrong people. But that might be the ultimate intention of the establishment class.

      • #434602
        eridani
        Participant
        • Total Posts: 9,978

        –that racism is institutionalized, not a matter of personal beliefs.

        Jesus: Hey, Dad? God: Yes, Son? Jesus: Western civilization followed me home. Can I keep it? God: Certainly not! And put it down this minute--you don't know where it's been! Tom Robbins in Another Roadside Attraction

      • #434637
        Average Gazoo
        Participant
        • Total Posts: 563

        >The problem with CRT, or at least it’s current interpretation in the mainstream today…<

        If you accept a Strawman and argue against it you are going to lose. That is the reason people use a strawman — they can’t argue with the real facts so they pretend you said something they CAN debunk instead. The win is made all the easier by those who accept the strawman as their position and that is how this bogus CRT debate is playing out.

        Steven Bannon said “every time they (Dems) talk about identity politics we (GOP) win.”  THAT’s what this is about — free media, lots of it, designed to capitalize on the backlash to BLM and statue removals.

        “160 years ago”  — Slavery still exists in the US and remains legal under the 13th Amendment. Slave labor, as defined by that Constitutional Amendment, is used by companies like See’s Candy and the State of California (firefighting). There is also illegal slavery being practiced in the garment industry and in wealthy households with domestic laborers who cannot leave the premises.

         

        Be the Change

        • #434640
          jerry611
          Participant
          • Total Posts: 1,306

          That’s a big part of the problem. Both the Dems and GOP see the racial debate as a winning issue. Democrats fully 100% believe identity politics helps them at the ballot box. And the GOP feels it helps them with their base when the Dems do this.

          Regardless of who it helps more is beside the point. The problem is the motivation is political gain rather than actually fixing the problem itself.

    • #434645
      closeupready
      Participant
      • Total Posts: 2,588

      Let it go.

      The opinions and personal views expressed herein are solely those of the author, and should never be taken seriously.

    • #434684
      MizzGrizz
      Participant
      • Total Posts: 3,526

      @ohiobarbarian ,@davidthegnome.

      CRT was one of those intrinsically stupid ideas dreamed up by the upper middle class professionals to distract people from their part in this rotten system..

    • #434697
      sadoldgirl
      Participant
      • Total Posts: 1,349
    • #434818
      MizzGrizz
      Participant
      • Total Posts: 3,526

      ..that there are racist practices built in to parts of the system—redlining in real estate and zoning,for example.

      I also have no problem with the idea that you could be a racist and perhaps not even know it.

      But I just don’t buy the idea that every white person is an automatic racist and that every white person is privileged.

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