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It seems to be in the nature of plundering packs to reveal their true intentions just before going in for the kill. Something in the character of hyenas compels them to yelp involuntarily as they gather near the wounded prey. They pace and salivate, hyperventilating, hearts pounding in anticipation of the final evisceration. As if already tasting the victim’s entrails, they noisily celebrate the as yet uncompleted act – sometimes prematurely.
Thus, the Bush men telegraphed – yelped – their intention to first remake Iraq and then proceed to dominate the region and the globe – long before the first American tank crossed the Kuwaiti border. The Pirates could not resist telling the entire planet that Iraq was to become a laboratory for loony U.S. corporate think tanks – Texas on the Tigris and Euphrates. As should have been expected, all sectors of Iraqi society recoiled from the prospect. Consequently, the Pirates have no significant Iraqi allies other than the ones they imported for the occasion, and an alarmed world determinedly seeks ways to circumvent and, ultimately, free itself from American power. (See "The Pirates' Blunt, Useless Instruments,” in this issue.) The hyenas yelped too soon.
Domestically, the Democratic Leadership Council (DLC) reveals its corporate-Republican nature by shamelessly reveling in George Bush’s political victories. It becomes increasingly clear to the rest of the Democratic Party that the DLC considers Bush’s successes to be their own. Every Pirate legislative and battlefield victory, each rise in the President’s poll ratings, is used as a stick to beat progressives about the head. “Don’t you see, this is a conservative country,” the DLCers snarl. “We need to be more like our President,” they hector, visibly enjoying the idea. Involuntarily, the “New Democrat” snarl turns to an ugly, spit-dripping smile. Confident that total corporate triumph is inevitable, these hyenas are laughing inappropriately, giving away the game, and provoking the current mobilization among progressive, “real” Democrats.
It’s still an open question as to who will have the last laugh. The “New Democrat” plague threatens to destroy political cohesion among African Americans, the only dependable mass base for progressive politics in America. A growing number of Black Democrats are baring their butts for branding as DLC property. In exchange for inclusion on DLC corporate contributions lists, Black “New Democrats” are displayed as evidence of a fractured Black Consensus, the subject of Associate Editor Bruce A. Dixon’s June 12 Cover Story, “Muzzling the African American Agenda – with Black Help: The DLC’s corporate dollars of destruction.”
The DLC formula for defeating the GOP, hatched in the party’s dwindling white, southern ranks, is, essentially, to become faux Republicans – a losing as well as treacherous proposition. Rowan Kaiser sees the dark humor.
Thank you for the fascinating profile of the DLC. Before reading it, I hadn't been certain what their role in Democratic politics was. After reading it, I'm wondering if DLC should perhaps stand for “Dixiecrat Losership Cabal?”
Unfortunately, most Democrats don’t know the difference between the DLC and the DNC – the Democratic National Committee. (Often, there isn’t any.) However, as their yelping gets louder, the DLC’s true nature becomes more apparent. Gertrude F. Treadway is – shocked.
Yours was a great article on the DLC. I could not believe my ears when I listened to one of their panels on C-span awhile ago. They are surely a divisive element in the Democratic Party.
Tom Johnson writes from Washington, DC.
Thank you for Bruce Dixon's timely and absolutely accurate analysis of
the DLC, and especially its negative effects on African-Americans. We
need the same critique from a labor writer, but we don't seem to have
one as smart and gutsy as Bruce Dixon, so I will send this around as
broadly as possible. .
The DLC is, as Bruce Dixon has written, “the Mother of All Trojan Horses” inside the Democratic Party. Vampire metaphors are also apt. From Texas, Denothra Rose writes:
Bruce Dixon’s article on the DLC was very informative and well written. Now I understand why the Democratic candidates have been so fleshless and bloodless. I now also better understand what was going on in his article from the previous week.
Ms. Rose is referring to Dixon’s June 5 commentary, “In Search of the Real Barack Obama: Can a Black Senate candidate resist the DLC?” (For the full and updated story, see "Not 'Corrupted' by DLC, Says Obama,” in this issue.)
Marc Brammer is a New York investment analyst:
I don’t know how many times I’ve had discussions with other Democrats and we’ll look at each other and say why are they (the leadership) doing that?!? Now it’s beginning to make sense. Let’s hope you gain readership because everyone who depends on the Democratic Party needs to understand the basic thesis that you’ve outlined.
We are happy to inform Mr. Brammer that our readership is expanding quite nicely. Brammer also remarked on Dixon’s use of a quote from Robert Dreyfuss’ excellent 2001 American Prospect article, “How the DLC Does It”:
Anthony Kennerson, of Lafayette, Louisiana, can hear the auctioneer
at work .
Roger L. Chapman is a Black Howard Dean supporter from Montclair, New Jersey. Dean, the former governor of Vermont, is rising rapidly in the polls and is not (currently) connected to the DLC. Mr. Chapman pitches his candidate:
Due to their statements about Dean and the "elites", the DLC received over 10,000 emails as a direct request from Dean to his supporters telling the DLC that they are wrong about Dean, they are wrong about the Democratic Party and they are wrong about America. Dean states that he is from the "Democratic wing of the Democratic party". Dean states that he "wants his country back", but before he can have it back, he has to get his Democratic Party back. I believe the African American community, of which I am a proud member, has to pick a "political horse" in this election that can get to the finish line while also maintaining a progressive message. Dean fits that description. Besides Kucinich, Sharpton and Braun, the other democratic contenders are all tainted by the DLC and have already sided with Bush on key issues of great concern to the African American community, in particular the Iraq war.
Sharpton has past baggage as well as never holding political office, which raises serious liabilities. Kucinich has flip-flopped on many issues now that he is running for President, in particular abortion rights. Brawn is only in it to keep Sharpton from getting too large a political voice for the DNC convention. I believe African Americans cannot afford a "new millennium Jackson run" from Sharpton and we must be in it to win it. Dean readily admits that he cannot win the Democratic nomination without African American and Latino support and he says it unabashedly….
I am not an official representative of his campaign, but I am an enthusiastic Dean supporter, financial contributor and volunteer. Keep up the good work, and the excellent journalism.
The McKinney Factor
Former Georgia Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney is assuring local supporters that she will attempt to take back the suburban Atlanta seat won by Denise Majette with overwhelming white Democratic and Republican crossover support, last year. In our July 12 commentary, “McKinney Seems Set for Comeback Bid,” we noted that many Green Party activists seemed to be counting on McKinney to join their ticket in 2004.
The Greens should find someone else to carry their banner. McKinney has unfinished business to take care of in the majority Black 4th Congressional District, now represented by the white people's choice, Majette, whose presence in the Congressional Black Caucus is an affront to African Americans, nationally. Majette rode to victory in an open primary tidal wave of commingled white Democratic and Republican votes. McKinney supporters sued, charging that Democrats were effectively disenfranchised by GOP crossovers - a case that is still pending but should not figure into the five-term lawmaker's plans. Majette must be removed, and there is no one but McKinney on the horizon.
Vic Chaubey just wants Cynthia McKinney back in the game, whatever office she chooses to pursue
Thanks for the article on McKinney. It was very informative. I agree with your analysis on what happened to McKinney. I believe she can beat Majette. Let us also not forget that Majette was supporting Keyes in the Republican primary for President, this is a fact that the mainstream media is not going to tell you neither will AJC. Majette was a creation of the media just like the Lieberman campaign for president for 2004. Let us support McKinney in 2004 as much as possible. To be honest with you, I wish she were running for president instead of Sharpton. I believe her honesty is very impressive. Her support for so many progressive causes needs to be highlighted. I believe people like her and [California Black Congresswoman] Barbara Lee proves that Black progressives are putting up a vision for the future. Let us support McKinney in 2004.
On the face of it, Cynthia may be a more attractive candidate than Al Sharpton. But history does not deal us the cards we want, and there is a specific task for McKinney to finish in DeKalb County, Georgia. The Right is attempting to shut down Black politics as such, and without a coherent Black politics there is no such thing as progressive politics in the U.S. McKinney’s defeat last August was a national blow to African Americans that can and must be reversed, to demonstrate to everyone that the Black Consensus does, in fact, exist. The most important audience for this demonstration is Black people, themselves. We hope she is up to it.
Sharpton has a somewhat different task - to demonstrate that the Black electorate cannot be chopped in little pieces.
McKinney’s defeat was falsely trumpeted by all of the national corporate media as evidence that Black voters were split along age and income lines. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution published the unverifiable results of a fraudulent “study” to prove that Majette had won with the support of a “biracial coalition” including a third to a quarter of the Black vote. Bruce Dixon exposed the lie in the November 4 issue of , “The Atlanta Journal-Constitution's Bogus Election 'Study,'” which showed that Majette could not have garnered more than 19 percent of the Black vote. Later, University of Georgia political science professor Charles Bullock – no fan of McKinney – concluded that Majette received just 17 percent African American support. Bullock urged Majette to begin getting out into “the black community, trying to broaden her coalition because she did so poorly in her community."
McKinney’s comeback prospects are also buoyed by the fact that, in 2004, Georgia Republicans will be holding hotly contested, statewide primary races, making a huge crossover vote less likely.
Loretta L. Renford, CCAPA, from Buffalo, New York, is a non-stop community activist. She knows how to lead, how to follow, and how to cheer.
Go Girl! Cynthia McKinney is a strong Black Woman and one who rides out the storm with tenacity and determination to right injustice. She is moving past the racial injustice and the obvious attempt to obscure the Black Voters. A woman and political representative that is well deserving of our support and admiration.
McKinney gets moral support from Ron Chandler, a scientist of limnology in Gainesville, Florida.
I appreciate Black Commentator – excellent articles, wonderful political cartoons. I met Ms. McKinney a few months ago at the "Town Hall Meeting" for peace and the reclaiming of government by the people. I was thoroughly impressed with her professionalism, intellect and genuine personhood, thank you for supporting her.
Under the rather aggressive title, “Right Hook at the Bell! Bell Hooks’ Black Male Bashing,” Joseph Anderson struck a counterblow against author bell hooks (she eschews capital letters) in his June 12 Guest Commentary. Hooks, white feminists and others, wrote Anderson, routinely engage in the “pundit sport” of Black male pathologizing.
This is precisely because the rules of analysis - and white acceptance - set forth by the establishment and media require acceptance of the premise that Black males - albeit with "the good Black" provisional exceptions - are fundamentally different than other human beings. Under this analysis, Black males are, at root, not only fundamentally different, but uniquely pathological, uniquely predatory (especially sexually) and misogynist - in Hooks' words, sexually immature, traumatized and dysfunctional. Those white and Black feminists who at least implicitly accept this general premise get rewarded. They are awarded, fęted and, most importantly, regularly invited back to white highbrow social and media forums. They are well paid for such service.
reader CD Goodison was very disappointed with us.
I'm sorry if I didn't read the entire Joseph Anderson essay on bell hooks. I believe it's the first time I didn't read 100% of my BC. I have to say though, as a "black feminist", that I'm in shock and awe that someone out there actually takes the prolific, egoistic, powder puff ding dong hooks (lower case letters) seriously. I mean, really, guys, let's get back to business, eh?
The publishers of , who have no interest in bell hooks, were also initially put off by the often-trivialized subject matter of Mr. Anderson’s piece. However, after reading three or four sentences we decided that Anderson was not engaging in “barbershop” conversation, and that he correctly identifies the essentially murderous premises embedded in what he calls "Black male-bashing."
The widespread insistence on the supposed peculiar and unique (usually predatory) characteristics of Black males is actually a justification for casual murder and perpetual imprisonment - just another variation on the ancient theme. Anderson seems most concerned that these conversations occur in white forums. However, is also alarmed that intra-Black barbershop-type discourse often mimics this white racist construct.
We are confident that Ms. Goodison will forgive us whatever lapses in rigor she found in our June 12 issue.
Another angle on Jayson Blair
It seems that the Jayson Blair-New York Times discussion has more wrinkles than the human brain, touching as it does on the nature of objectivity, the endless permutations of white supremacy in America, and Black people’s responses to racism.
Having quoted ourselves at great length in previous e-Mailbox columns, we will go straight to Lawrence Watson’s thoughtful letter.
Jason Blair like many in our
current society has opted to indulge himself at the expense of all around
him. There is no particular need to single him out. He shares this space
with a myriad of opportunists, Black, White and "other" who
have trampled over the backs and legacy of civil rights activists and
workers who made the ultimate sacrifice so that we could experience
full humanity in America.
Lawrence "Larry" Watson (www.lawrencewatson.com) is a performing artist and faculty member at Boston College and The Art Institute of Boston at Lesley University.
Double-overdose of Powells
In the process of describing the near-death of local news on Black radio (“Who Killed Black Radio News?” May 29), we referred to the current FCC chairman as “Colin Powell's totally corrupted son, Michael.” Leutisha Stills, from Oakland, California, likes that kind of talk:
you, Black Commentator, for keeping our media REAL! I notice no
one else is calling Colin Powell or Condoleezza Rice to task for being
the "lackeys" under the current administration being run by
a Sock Puppet! Did anyone else notice that now that the Administration
is under pressure to produce those WMDs (since we were told that was
the reason for the war), they didn't send Rumsfeld, Cheney, or any others
of those who authored that PNAC [Project
for a New American Century] document, but good ol' Condi and Colin
were sent on the talk show circuit to explain and put spin on the fact
that this country was pimped in order to start a war in their quest
for global domination and wealth to the few.
Poisoning the atmosphere
The phantom WMDs Ms. Stills writes about are also of dubious practical use, according to last week’s Guest Commentary by Dwight Welch, “The Weapons of Mass Destruction Hoax.”
First, the only true WMDs are nuclear weapons. On this front, the leaders of Russia, the USA, France, and England are the four aces of mass destruction. Unfortunately, nerve gas and pathogens also get grouped into this categorization. But examine the facts: the atomic bombs of WWII instantly killed hundreds of thousands of people. The Sarin gas attack on the Tokyo subway system killed only 12 while sickening more than 5,000. Hardly a comparison.
Second, nerve gas and pathogens are tricky to work with. They may wind up killing the user….
Another disingenuous complaint is about Saddam using poison gas against the Iranians and Kurds. Hello, this nerve gas was supplied by the USA (the world's largest producer of nerve gas) under the Reagan Administration. After Saddam gassed the Iranians Donald Rumsfeld, now Secretary of Defense, recommended diplomatic recognition of Saddam's regime, something he doesn't care to discuss these days.
From Tampa, Florida, Alicia Adrian gives big props to the author:
Stephanie Luce, of the University of Massachusetts at Amherst Labor Center, dropped us a nice note, which we greatly appreciate.
I've been receiving your emails for awhile now, and been meaning to write and say thanks. I think the Black Commentator is great. It is sorely needed in these horrible times. Please keep up the good work.
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