Left Racism vs Million Man March

Louis N Proyect lnp3 at columbia.edu
Fri Oct 20 11:29:31 MDT 1995

On Fri, 20 Oct 1995, Doug Henwood wrote:

> An ideology of racial essentialism, sexism, and homophobia, combined with a
> paramilitary force make militia/KKK analogies seem pretty apt to me.

Louis: When I moved to Houston in 1973 to work with the SWP branch, I did
so with some trepidation since the city had attracted national press
attention with the picture of a cop wearing a klan hood sitting in the
front seat of a police-car. Just a few months earlier, Fred Brode, an
older branch member who was a socialist in Germany during the rise of
Hitler, was the target of 60 rounds of machine-gun bullets fired into his
kitchen. The party members then put sand-bags up around all of his
windows. The local Pacifica station's transmitter had been there had
already been blown up. In 1974, on a saturday afternoon, I and other SWPers
were confronted by the sight of about ten men in military fatigues and klan
robes toting M-16's standing silently outside our hq. We called the
police and 5 minutes before they arrived, the klan was gone.

Houston was also the site of a major Nation of Islam mosque. They had
restaurants all through the 3rd ward. I used to stop in from time to time
to pick up a bean-pie. Delicious, really. The Nation of Islam has been
around for nearly as long as I have been. They have never attacked a
single socialist or black civil rights organization. The only violence
they were behind apparently was the murder of Malcolm X. But there's lots
of evidence that the dirty hand of the CIA was behind this, stirring
things up.

The Nation of Islam is not a fascist, or even a proto-fascist
organization. What it is is a self-help group with much in common with
Booker T. Washington that is overlaid with heavy layers of religious and
nationalist obscurantism. In my next post, I will outline a syllabus which
includes 2 key works dealing with them: Eric Lincon's "The Black Muslims in
America" and the Autobiography of Malcom X.

Let's have a little patience and wait until we get to that topic.

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