screwy Louey F, prime Minister of the cult of phallic

Lisa Rogers eqwq.lrogers at
Mon Oct 16 15:14:09 MDT 1995

------------------- SLAVERY follows --------------------
I am dismayed by the "analysis" in the Workers World article by Larry
Holmes, which was posted to this list.  I was surprised that so much initially
reasonable discussion in the article was followed by a call to "support the
march" because of the "right to self-determination" of blacks - no matter what
kind of crap that screwy Louey spouts.

I don't see a good reason for regarding the phallo-centric promotion of
"traditional family values" and welfare bashing as supportable when blacks do
it, but condemned when whites do it.  I think that to regard the march as a
"rally against racism" that white-lefts should support, one must not only hold
one's nose, but have it removed entirely.

The call for "atonement" is not just a "religious term", it has a specific
meaning, that contradicts and guts [meaning to remove the guts of] any anti-racist tendency.  Atonement means making reparations, _black men_ making
reparations, for _their_ offenses!!!  Atonement clearly requires guilt, it is a
one-word summary of much of Farrakhan's rhetoric.  As Ralph summarized
Farrakhan's "message" with "straighten up and fly right", or so-called "self-reliance", it sounds the same as white capitalist blame-the-victim poor-bashing:
"get a job," "it's your own fault."

[Of course, his blame of black men for their own problems is tempered by his
blame of black women for black men's problems...]

But if the march is "anti-racist", how is that compatible with Farrakhan
blaming blacks for their own problems?

I'm sure there is a "hunger for struggle", but how can the march be a step
forward in the struggle when it is just as right-wing as it can get?  Holmes
cites "problems" with the march, says "The movement needs to go forward, not
backward."  But then advocates supporting it anyway?  What is wrong with
this picture?

I'm sure that many participants are intending to support good things, that they
are not all buying the whole anNOIing agenda.  But I find the right-wing, male
supremacy, bash the poor, blame the victim, reactionary agenda so extremely
odious, such a direct opposition to every left goal that I hold dear, such a step
in the wrong direction in nearly every way, that this march is unsupportable.

Even though others may bring an agenda to the march that is not just NOI, the
whole thing is still set up for the glory of the NOI.  I bet they are recruiting
intensively during the march and rally, hoping to gain much publicity and
membership from the whole event.

Is Holmes pandering to the populace, as I suspect some "black leaders" who
have signed on to "support" the march are doing, in order to curry favor with
[some] blacks?  In order to avoid Farrakhan calling them traitors and coconuts?
Then it looks more mainstream, allegedly representing "blacks" and anti-racism
in general, so we all must support it in order to appear non-racist?

Holmes makes a point "that some African American leaders feel compelled to
support and attend the march", but apparently Holmes and his ilk feel the same

Is the fact that the "capitalist establishment" is against Farrakhan a suffient
reason to support him?  Not for me.

If the black "conservative backlash ... is being imposed from the top down", I'd
like to know how and from where, but Holmes doesn't say, at all.

Is it "non-racist" or "anti-racist" to have black men simply replace the white
men, and continue the same capitalist/sexist oppression and abuse of the poor,
other skin-shades, women and non-heteros?  That's not good enough for me.
That's just a coup, not a revolution or reform.

A slave with a _black_ master is still a slave.


(The reproduction of a previous post below, for reference, is a partial one,
shortened for good reasons, all deletions marked and _not_ designed to mis-represent, only to condense and focus on the bits I am responding to.)

>Via Workers World News Service
>Reprinted from the Oct. 19, 1995
>issue of Workers World newspaper
>By Larry Holmes
>On Oct. 16 the "1 Million Man March," the ambitious initiative by the Nation
of Islam, its leader Minister Louis Farrakhan and others to rally Black men,
will take place in Washington.
>The march has picked up at least the nominal support of many African
American leaders ... [snip]  Among Black people in the United States, there
exists a powerful, even desperate hunger for struggle.
[snip] >Although the march's principal organizers have cast the appeal for the
event in religious terms--calling it "a day of atonement"--many of those who
come will do so in order to project a powerful demonstration of Black
solidarity against racism.
>The biggest problem with the march, of course, is that Black women have
been asked not to attend. Instead they're being asked to stay home and observe
a "day of absence"--not to go to work or shop.
> More than anything else, the exclusion of women exposes the march's
greatest weakness. It is one thing to make an appeal to Black men to take a
stand. [snip] >This crisis, however, is not generating an anti-woman,
conservative backlash among the Black masses. In the case of the Oct. 16
march, this is being imposed from the top down.

[snip] The movement needs to go forward, not backward. >Progressives,
socialists, and revolutionary Black political activists, especially women, are
asking: Why would anyone who wants to take on the racist establishment want
Black people to split themselves in half?
>Surely no one believes that the profit-hungry corporations behind the
Gingrich/Clinton assaults will feel threatened by a movement burdened with the
same sexist attitude as, say, the U.S. Senate.
>Again, conservatism is being artificially imposed on the masses. This is
possible because other more progressive and revolutionary currents in the
struggle have yet to assert themselves on the scale needed to reverse today's
anti-working class assault. But that will change.
The fact that some African American leaders feel compelled to support and
attend the march reflects the current political period, one in which the working
class and progressive movement--and all the struggles of the oppressed in
particular--are on the defensive.
>The central theme of the march--emphasizing self-reliance and "personal
responsibility" as opposed to attacking the capitalist government--adds to the
problem. In fact, this focus makes it possible for many right wingers to say that
they "share some of the march's goals."
>But mostly these forces attack the march, as they would any mass expression
that objectively targets the racist status quo. Indeed, workers of all nationalities
have been subjected to the capitalist media's endless, self-serving interpretations
of the march and Minister Farrakhan.
But what should white workers think and do as they face the barrage from the
airwaves? First and foremost, they should not be taken in by the attacks on the
march leadership.
>The capitalist establishment is not against Minister Farrakhan because he's
conservative. They are against him to the extent that he is a symbol of Black
struggle.  Make no mistake about it. When the bourgeoisie attacks Minister
Farrakhan, they are aiming their shots at the entire Black struggle. And they're
desperately trying to whip up white racism.

>African American people are going to Washington because they want to fight
racist oppression and uplift the Black community. This is why whites should
support them.
>If there's going to be unity among workers in the struggle against capitalist
exploitation, it is absolutely critical that white workers support--in words and in
deeds--the struggle of workers who suffer national oppression.
>This is what is called supporting the right to self-determination.
[snip, snip]

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