"Fringe left," blah, blah ...

jones/bhandari djones at uclink.berkeley.edu
Fri Nov 10 00:38:31 MST 1995


I'm going to be quick here.  First, I would like to agree with Tom's
remarkable overview of UCBerkeley politics.  

Second, the 'ultra-left Trots' were neither very effective nor much of a
problem during the Gulf War--the problem was the 'progressive' faculty
which got involved and tried to stop us from doing anything but teach-ins
once the war commenced, though the teach-in before the war organized by
June Jordan was pretty effective.  To this day, some of these faculty
members pride themselves on the 'risks' they took. 

Third, the recent affirmative action 'spectacle' turned out to be a
joke--nothing happened.  The analysis never went beyond the idea that
perhaps Wilson's attack was a form of scapegoating, and no attempt at civil
disobedience was even attempted (oh, yes, I forgot the rousing rhymes of
Jesse Jackson).  This is in sharp contrast to previous attacks on
affirmative action and financial aid, say, five years ago when the main
administration building was occupied; it is even in sharp contrast to
University-bankrolled Graduate Assembly's attempt in the past to have
two-day walk-outs over 'diversity' in order to defuse student tension so
that business-as-usual can resume, though all the demands advanced were put
in the circular file.    It was pathetic to see 5,000 people organized to
listen to insubstantial speeches and the platform organized by tepid third
worlists. In this context, it is easy to understand the frustration of
ultra-lefts, and as I observed the whole ultra-left conflict, it was really
not that big of a deal.  Maybe there were 30 people involved in it and it
lasted for about 15 minutes; as for the freshwomen of color Nathan is so
chivalrously defending, they will get over it, I am sure.  

And fourth,   Tom is absolutely correct about the nature of the third
worldist leadership on the campus, going back to the anti-apartheid
protests during which massive protests were defused into a divestment
compromise which was then totally circumvented, as even Noguera himself
later recognized.  But then who was to blame?  

And Nathan concludes:

>  People  of color are attacked much more visiously for their nationalism (as
>>Tom does in a soft attack on "ill-formed third worldism").  An attack on the 
>actions of a self-styled vanguard group is not "red-baiting." It's an 
>attack on behavior.

Here, here for attacks on ill-formed third world nationalism.

Rakesh Narpat Bhandari
Ph.D. Candidate
Group for the Comparative Study of Ethnicities
UC Berkeley 




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