[Marxism] Grappling With the Racism of the DSA?s Founders

Andrew Stewart hasc.warrior.stew at gmail.com
Mon Sep 10 20:13:51 MDT 2018

a) There is nothing bizarre or even radical in describing Bayard Rustin as
a cis-gendered man, which he was. He did not present himself as trans in
public and I have not encountered anything saying otherwise. He was cis, he
was a man who had sex with men (MSM), and he was Black. Ergo "*they all are
cis men and, except for Rustin, white heterosexuals*" is the proper
description. What, is there some juicy gossip about Harrington sodomizing
Howe that I missed out on? ;)

b) Two matters to discuss here:

You might want to check when bombing of North Vietnam began (hint: JFK was
out of office;) he was criticized on the right for *not* trying to invade

i) American bombing of North Vietnam

We can go back and forth for days about what exactly qualifies as "American
bombing", which to me strikes me as being equivalent to arguing how many
Angels of Death can dance on the head of a pin. In the hindsight provided
by the Pentagon Papers, the National Archives disclosures, the Kennedy
administration papers being declassified, and Wikileaks, there is a cogent
and logical case for American provision of arms and bombs to the forces
opposing the North Vietnamese as early as 1946 as a response to Ho's
election in January of that year. Some might argue the French were not
acting as our proxies in that instance (something I fundamentally beg to
differ on). However, since Chomsky and his blush response is being brought
up, here is what Noam wrote in his polemic RETHINKING CAMELOT <
https://zcomm.org/rethinking-camelot/> and particularly <

*On October 11, 1961, Kennedy ordered dispatch of a US Air Force Farmgate
squadron to South Vietnam, 12 planes especially equipped for
counterinsurgency warfare, soon authorized “to fly coordinated missions
with Vietnamese personnel in support of Vietnamese ground forces.” On
December 16, Defense Secretary Robert McNamara, whom JFK had put in charge
of running the war, authorized their participation in combat operations
against southerners resisting the violence of the US-imposed terror state
or living in villages out of government control. These were the first steps
in engaging US forces directly in bombing and other combat operations in
South Vietnam from 1962, along with sabotage missions in the North. These
1961-1962 actions laid the groundwork for the huge expansion of the war in
later years, with its awesome toll...*

Certainly we can ask about when the public knew about bombing or when they
became cognizant of the war. But the record indicates, after 50 years, that
we had our hands in that cookie jar during the Truman administration with
an air war component as late as the first Eisenhower term.

ii) he was criticized on the right for *not* trying to invade Cuba

We sent a CIA-backed invasion force into the Bay of Pigs. That was an
American operation. JFK was criticized for not sending in the cavalry

---to re-enforce ground troops we had already put into action---.

That whole episode would have been little more than a failed fireworks
display had it not been for the CIA's role in training and provision of

As for the matter of parking lots, I don't think that is hyperbolic at all.
Where are you going to put all the dump trucks as they steal the pillaged
natural resources and other booty from our piratical imperialist
operations, Ho Chi Minh's bungalow? We were trying to ransack the place and
make room for highways by which the expropriation might be streamlined.

I invite you to take a second look at my analysis here:

Best regards,

Andrew Stewart

from: Matt Harvey <mattharveyt at gmail.com>
to: hasc.warrior.stew at gmail.com
cc: marxism at lists.csbs.utah.edu
date: Sep 10, 2018, 8:00 PM
subject: [Marxism] Grappling With the Racism of the DSA?s Founders


I really wanted to give your piece on DSA a chance. It starts off well and
I think the legacy of Cold War era Pentagon--CIA or DC think tank, pick
your description--socialists as represented first by the *Encounter* then
*Dissent*, Irving Howe and late-period Schactman is fertile ground for
repertorial spade work. Shanker's destructive cleaving the old NYC liberal
coalition is an extremely interesting footnote if nothing else. I even
tried to choke down this bizarre line, "*(and they all are cis men and,
except for Rustin, white heterosexuals)"  *[Cis?] in the hopes that you
were attempting irony or it was an unfortunate editorial addition.

Unfortunately the ahistoricism continues apace with an anti-Kennedy
rant--climaxing with, "[JFK] was in the midst of the genocidal effort to
turn Vietnam into a parking lot"--that would make Chomsky or Alexander
Cockburn blush. (You might want to check when bombing of North Vietnam
began (hint: JFK was out of office;) he was criticized on the right for
*not* trying to invade Cuba, btw.)

So I alas I didn't find out if the overhyped DSA is doomed by original sin.

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