IDENTITY POLITICS AGAIN

Justin Schwartz jschwart at freenet.columbus.oh.us
Thu Apr 20 19:52:05 MDT 1995


Was it Wilhelm Liebknecht or August Bebel who said, "ANtisemitism is the
socialism of fools"? (I'd actually like the bibliographical reference.)

One reason Farrakhan commands respect and wins an ear among a lot of
Blacks who wouldn't truck with his craziness for a minute is that he
cannot be intimidated. Incidentally, he's a bang-on preacher, really first
rate. As long as he stays off the Jews.

I report an old incident, two, actually, connected, one scary, one sort of
pathetic in a touching way. Durung the Gulf War I was invited to speak at
a teach-in at the Black Extension Center of Ohio State University. I was
at the time representing a (largely white) Middle East Peace Group. The
Black speakers talked about various aspects of the issue, and I briefly
told the entirely Black audience about our group and aims--we called for
"a just settlement of all territorial disputes"--language the socialists,
including me, in the MEPG had insisted on to take in the Israeli
Palestinean issue. Some asked about the Occupied Territories. I said the
MEPG had not taken an official position on that issue, but my own view was
the PLO's then-official position, a two-state solution, and in the long
run I hoped for a democratic secular socialist republic of all peoples inn
Palestine. A Black nationalist social work prof at OSU then got up and
asked whether my group wasn't some sort of "Jew front," and proceeded to
berate my for Zionism since I did not call for the military annihiltaion
of the Zionist entity. I was speechless. I mumbled something to the effect
that the MEPG had no religious commitments and sat down. Several people in
the audience came to me defense. Afterwards a Black Christian minister
apologized for the anti-semitic outburst--and proceeded to tell me he had
great admiration for "your people--the way they stuck together and work
hard to make all that money." I choked and thanked him politely. Ah well.

--Justin Schwartz

On Thu, 20 Apr 1995, boddhisatva wrote:
> 	
> 	I'd like to add something to the discussion (although something not,
> perhaps, completely apropos) concerning Louis Farakhan and Black leadership.
> Minister Farakhan highlights the need for socialist consciousness in the
> political discussion in the US.  Were one to substitute the word "capitalist"
> for the word "Jew" in Mr. Farakhan's and other elements of the Nation of
> Islam's more unfortunate proclaimations, those proclaimations would (but for
> their religio-historical ranting - not terribly relevant to average Americans
> , I hope) would take a Quantum leap towards truth.  Anti-semitism is the
> process of dangling a pinyata in front of an angry, and blinded, proletariat.
>  Bigotry demands targets both bas and haut.
>
>
> 	As one white leftie not prone to anti-Farakhan politics, I find I
> cannot decry the Nation of Islam because they describe the reality of racism
> truest to its real ugliness.
>
>
>
>
>
>
> 	peace
>
>
>
>
>
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