Regional Differences and the US Left

Tony Abdo aabdo at
Sat Mar 17 06:41:02 MST 2001

Well, I agree with Jay and Louis to this degree, the Confederacy has no
heroes for us.       Instead, the Left has a long tradition of
alternative heroes.....
As Lou stated... <Our heroes are John Brown, Thaddeus Stevens, William
Lloyd Garrison and Frederick Douglass.>

And this is not to mention any of the latest Southern heroes, those of
the Civil Rights Movement that occurred in the '50s and '60s.     And
also not to mention those brave communists of the '30s, that tried to
build (and did build) the Movement in the South.

The problem for the Left, is that the Civil Rights Movement left little
Left structure in the South.     It was unsuccessful in building either
the Labor Movement as a whole, or any multi-national Left organization
that endured.

The South that the Civil Rights Movement had to confront, has changed
considerably.    For two things, it is no longer a region that is Black
and White, or principally rural in predominant character.

The Latin influence is an undercurrent that floats South from New York
City, north from Southern Florida, and east from Mexico.     It is
destroying the entire duality of the traditional Southern conflict
between THE 2 races.     Oops, there are now 3, and even 4 races living
in the South (and that is still an undercount of the racial census,

So Carrol's ...the Whites have to accept Black leadership... view, is
quite a mistatement of what has to be mobilized ahead.    Leadership has
to come from ALL ethnic commuities living in the South.    This is
precisely identical with the situation as in the country as a whole.
But the problem is, that in the South, the White worker is even more
conservative than the White worker in the North.

Carrol is most definitely absolutely right in his view, that the Black
community will undoubtably be the most militant sector of the working
class in fighting for change.      In this sense he is correct, that the
leadership will come from the Black community to do something more
than.... just submit to the bosses abuse.

In some sense, how to relate to the White worker, is just as much a
dilemma, as how to relate to the deeply religious worker???      What
success would Lou, Jose, Carrol, Mark, and some of the other
'hardliners' have, if they started talking to the Christian worker,
about how the Christians deserved to be thrown to the lions?     That
the Christian inquisition and collaboration with the Nazis demonstrated
that the Christian religion was a totally worthless and despicable
delusion of scoundrels  and murderers (which it is)?

We don't want to cater to backwardness, but should we cater to
tactlessness, instead?    And this is the key to why it is important to
construct an indigenous multi-racial Movement in the South.
'Outsiders' are inherently tactless to locals, when it is they that have
control in the centers of power.

In fact, I believe that the Southern Black community also finds itself
at odds with Northern Black leadership circles at times (and
vice-versa).      Traditionally, the Black community in the South, has
also been much more conservative, in certain ways, than the Black
community in Northern cities.

The Black Panther Party was of Oakland, MLK of the South, and Malcolm of
New York City.     So even within the Black community, regional
differences have played an important role.

In regards to this...
<This is something I (Louis Proyect) received offlist from an African

Closer to home, I'm wondering what mental gymnastics must be required to
lament the south, the south of oligarchs and slave owners no less, being
treated as a defeated enemy--- and all this on your list of all

The South was home in all its bitterness to the slave also.     The cool
breeze that arrives in a Southern night has no slave owner or
'oligarch'.      Nobody on this list has done the 'mental gymnastics' to
lament the downfall of slave ownership.
Black and White, we're just looking for a breeze to return to the
Southern night.     (And note.... this breeze can't be much found in
Houston today.    Too damn smoggy.)


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