International Socialist Tendency Split

Jose G. Perez jgperez at
Mon Mar 12 21:46:15 MST 2001

>>Part of the heritage, is resentment against 'outsiders' coming into the
region on the coattails of the federal government.     These
carpetbaggers come with their positions given to them through the
national government.

>>The way to break this historical heritage, is to build a native cadre of
multi-racial Leftists, instead of continuing the tradition of
importation of radical ideas, and radical organizers.<<

Well, "southern exceptionalism" rides again.

There was, in the late 1960s, a southern variant of SDS called the Southern
Students Organizing Committee. They were well meaning, and a lot of the
impetus for setting it up, I think, came both from the specific role of the
south in the civil rights struggle as well as a desire to avoid the madness
then gripping the northern SDS. But, of course, setting up such a (white)
student organization has a logic of its own, and it found expression in a
theory that went in the direction of saying that the white Southerners were,
in effect an oppressed people, oppressed by the North.

This little footnote in American radical hsitory played a certain role in my
own development, for I had been, as a high schooler, attracted by SDS-SSOC
(as the Florida supporters of the group tended to style themselves). A year
or two later, at the time of the May 1970 student strike, I think it was, I
ran across "Radical Jack" Lieberman and some other YSAers at some sort of
and got some copies of the Young Socialist, including one with an article by
Nelson Blackstock, who is as real an honest-to-goodness southerner as you
can get, as anyone whose ever exchanged two words with him can testify: he
has a Southern drawl so slow it makes watching paint dry look like Indi 500.
And in the article, Nelson completely demolished the "theory" of southern
exceptionalism, quite thoroughly impressing one 18-year-old college freshman
student strike leader, and drawing me towards the YSA. The southern
exceptionalism boomlet lasted I guess a year or two, because the obvious
answer to it is, "Oh, white folks in the south getting together against
their northern oppressors. Now, where have I heard THAT before?

Let's cut to the chase. All this stuff about "resentment" against
"outsiders" represents an adapatation to the racists. Pure and simple. All
that Gone-With-The-Wind and Daughters-of-the-Confederacy crap was, at least
in the 60's, brainwashed into kids all the way down to Miami, and in many
(white) schools the quickest way to get into hot water was to call the civil
war the civil war instead of the war between the states. This was a HUGE
propaganda campaign beginning in the late 50s, after the Montgomery bus
boycott, and that reached absurd heights during the centennial comemorations
of various events during the Slaveowner's Rebellion, of which there were
about two a week. This was when, for example, a bunch of cracker politicians
decided to add the confederate battle flag to the state flags of the old

I've NEVER, EVER heard a Black person complaining about carpetbaggers or
scalawags, or pining for the days when there weren't so many "damn yankees"
in town.


----- Original Message -----
From: "Tony Abdo" <aabdo at>
To: <marxism at>
Sent: Sunday, March 11, 2001 12:05 AM
Subject: Re: International Socialist Tendency Split

Forgive me my 'haughty attitude' towards carpetbaggers, Lou.

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