[Marxism] "Tolerating racism"

Jeff meisner at xs4all.nl
Thu Mar 29 14:38:38 MDT 2018

On 2018-03-29 21:42, David McDonald via Marxism wrote:
> Hard to know what planet Jeff lives on. It certainly isn't the one 
> where
> 100% of all Stalinists, most Maoists and many Trotskyists -- especially 
> the
> supposedly sane clone of the 1980's SWP, Socialist Action -- exhibit
> Islamophobia openly.

I agree with that, up to the word "openly". The influence of 
Islamophobic ideas on leftists is a problem which leads to bad 
positions. That is totally different from consciously embracing 
Islamophobia, saying and THINKING TO YOURSELF that you don't like 
Muslims. If it were just that, then things would be simple, since 
Islamophobes would identify themselves and they would be shunned from 
the left.

I'm interested in uniting the revolutionary left, which sometimes means 
convincing others why their positions are wrong, and in some cases could 
even be classified as Islamophobic for instance. I believe in people's 
good intentions (why else would anyone work for revolution?) and I know 
leftists have the same ideals as me which is always against all racism. 
Where people have blind spots, we should discuss it out, and sometimes 
even discover our own blind spots. I'm on this list to win people over, 
not to drive them away when we have a disagreement. And that's what I 
think we are all here for. When I tell someone that their positions have 
Islamophobic implications or were subconsciously motivated by such 
prejudices, it is in order to lead them to views MORE in conformity with 
their anti-racist values. These people WANT to be anti-racist, as we all 
do, and I cherish that intention.

So when I say that I don't think the left ever "tolerates racism," I'm 
talking about people's good intentions, not the unintended consequences 
or subconscious sources of their mistaken positions. I do not think that 
anyone on this list is consciously racist or antisemitic. In fact I'm 
quite sure that if anyone did express conscious racist feelings, they'd 
be kicked off the list, because that is so clearly antithetical to 
everything that we are about.

- Jeff

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