[Marxism] New York Left (was The anti-Semitism workshop)

Walter Lippmann walterlx at earthlink.net
Mon Aug 7 08:58:56 MDT 2006

I find myself similarly confused by this. Just because oppressed
people say something stupid, doesn't mean they're not oppressed.
Anti-Semitism does exist within the Black community. Sometimes
Palestinians complain about what the "Jewish State" does. But
since Israel ADVERTISES itself as being "The Jewish State" and
demands obeisance by Jewish people everwhere, it's understanable
that some Palestinians react by talking about "Jews this" and
"Jews that". This kind of argument only helps the Zionists and
lets them off the hook. It's better to point to the numerous
Jews who've protested actively against what Israel has been
doing in their ("our", if you're Jewish) name: Chomsky, Zinn,
Israel Shahak, Lea Tsemel, Jeff Halper, Michael Warshofski,
Uri Avneri, Felicia Langer. Its best to split the Zionist
concensus as much as it can be split.

Just because the oppressed say stupid things, it doesn't
cancel out their oppression. Malcolm X spoke one way when
he was a leader of the Nation of Islam, and another as his
views and approach broadened out. Attacking Malcolm for some
alleged anti-Semitism didn't help broaden his outlook. That
was done by a mixture of travel, which broadned his scope,
and working with revolutionary minded people, including a
number of Jews from groups like the Socialist Workers Party
and others. Time, experience and friendly discussion helped
broaden his outlook and make it more nuanced and accurate.

Fidel Castro has grown and changed during his lifetime.

Minister Farrakhan doesn't speak today the way he used to,
just as Malcolm X didn't speak the same way at a later stage
of his life. People change. People grow. People adopt and
Marxists shouldn't refuse to accept and acknowledge reality.

Just as Cuba was the acid test as Joseph Hansen argued so 
cogently in the sixties, today Palestine and the defense of
the rights of Palestin and Lebanon are today's acid tests.

Walter Lippmann 

MARVIN GANDELL correctly observed.
The distinction between the racism of the oppressor and 
the racism of the oppressed is not that one is "justifiable" 
and the other is not, but whether the latter can be addressed 
in a tactful way - from within, by those recognized as supporters 
- so as not to reinforce similar claims being made from without, 
 by opponents with a hostile intent.

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