Black Panthers

Jamal Hannah jamal at bronze.lcs.mit.edu
Sat Sep 16 12:25:17 MDT 1995


> MIM replies: OK, I've seen enough of this on this Marxism List
> to call it out: why is it that every time I refer to Blacks apart
> from the white workers, people start saying the Black communists
> "didn't realize it"? Were "vague" and "misguided" etc. It's not
> just this one post, but this post echoing others.

You mis-interpret what I said.  First of all, you're putting me in the
same category as "labor aristocracy" who most likely are not so
very concerned for or connected with the black underclass in America.
(And this is not surprising, so I no longer go around complaining about
it so much as I used to)  Others may have said revolutionary blacks
were "misguided", but I do not say such a thing.

Poor blacks (revolutionaries) in America will use whatever resources
are useful to them at a given time, because they must.  So in 1966-68 of
course there was a lot of excitement about what was going on in China.
The fact that the BP might quote Mao or have seen the Red Book as
relevant still does not make the BP a "Maoist" group, though MIM may call
it one if it likes.  I see that MIM is going even further by calling
them "Black communists" now.  They were not Communists, they were
Black Panthers.  Call it "nit-picking" if you like, but the point
is, the road to emancipation for poor blacks in America is not
rigidly locked into Maoist predictions, but rather based on the
theory and praxis of the blacks themselves.

When I said "didn't realize it" I was paraphrasing MIM's apparent position:
"all relevant black revolutionaries are Maoist in nature (or must be) ...
even if they don't realize it."   This is different from "labor aristocracy"
or liberals who might say: "all black revolutionaries who listen to Maoists
are being duped".  I don't think one is wrong to listen to what Maoists
have to say.  However, taking Mao's advice, I would encourage people
to make it clear where they disagree with them.  That's dialectics, and
thats how ideas and theory evolves.

I apologize to MIM if this is all taken as some sort of personal slander.
I'm less concerned with MIM's prestige and public image than with determining
what is the best road for urban poor blacks to take.

 - JH



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