[Marxism] A critical look at "Farenheit 911"

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Thu Jul 1 20:49:07 MDT 2004

The Problem is Bigger than the Bushes
Reviewing Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11

by Stephen Rosenthal and Junaid Ahmad, July 1, 2004


Fahrenheit 9/11 begins with an implicit indictment of both Republicans 
and Democrats and ends with an implicit indictment of the system of 
inequality in the U.S.  But in between, the film concentrates virtually 
all of its fire on the Bush crowd and the Republican Party.

Republicans stole the 2000 election with the spineless complicity of the 
Democrats.  Not one Democratic Senator is willing to sign the appeal 
demanded by African American members of the House of Representatives. 
But why did the Democrats passively accept the massive 
disenfranchisement of Black voters in Florida (and other states) in 
2000?  Moore does not attempt to explain the Democrat's spinelessness. 
The answer lies in the fact that the Democrats colluded extensively in 
Black disenfranchisement.  Democratic majorities in Congress and the 
Democratic president Bill Clinton repeatedly proposed and voted for 
legislation that resulted in the massive criminalization of African 
Americans.  Christian Parenti wrote in an article, "The 'New' Criminal 
Justice System: State Repression from 1968 to 2001," Monthly Review, 
July 2001:

During his presidency, Clinton signed the 1994 Violent Crime Control And 
Law Enforcement Act, which offered up a cop's cornucopia of $30.2 
billion in federal cash from which we got Clinton's one hundred thousand 
new police officers, scores of new prisons, and SWAT teams in even small 
New England towns…(In 1996) Clinton gave us the Anti-Terrorism and 
Effective Death Penalty Act, which massively expanded the use of the 
death penalty and eviscerated federal habeas corpus The sad election 
year of 1996 also delivered the ideologically named "Illegal Immigration 
Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act," which eliminated the 
undocumented person's right to due process and helped bring Immigration 
and Naturalization Service (INS) funding up to four billion annually. 
These were the Clinton administration's demolition devices, 
strategically placed to take out what little remained for prisoners in 
the Bill of Rights.

These acts contributed to the continuing rapid expansion of the prison 
system, to the disproportionate incarceration of African Americans, and 
to their disenfranchisement as convicted felons.  Whites make up over 
three-fourths of the violators of drug laws, but the criminal justice 
system has, for the past three decades, under both Republican and 
Democratic administrations, imprisoned millions of African Americans. 
Moreover, those prisoners have increasingly been subjected to the same 
kinds of torture that took place at Abu Ghraib, sometimes even by the 
very same guards!  Neither Al Gore nor the 100 white 
Senators-Republicans as well as Democrats-who themselves supported this 
repressive racist legislation, were going to put their signature on the 
appeal of black Representatives.  The Democrats were spineless because 
they were as guilty as the Republicans.

full: http://www.zmag.org/content/showarticle.cfm?SectionID=15&ItemID=5808

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