Filed under: Uncategorized
Over 500 people have been killed by police in the United States so far just this year. The numbers are increasingly lopsided. Fewer police officers dying, more civilians, mostly brown and black, ending up in body bags at the hands of the police. As police officers jobs get safer annually, the terror they inflict upon communities, mostly communities of color, grows exponentially.
We can only guess at this moment as to the motivations, or even most of the facts on the ground of what happened tonight in Dallas. But one thing must be very clear to everyone: It was only a matter of time before someone would carry the torch left by Christopher Dorner or Christopher Monfort. The communities are on the edge of breaking. Rage fills the hearts of many. And as we enter an era of loved ones livestreaming the death of their family members at the hands of the police, many will start to find themselves on the verge of snapping.
How are we to continue to excuse the bloody reign of terror that U.S. law enforcement not only has embarked on, but exists to embark on, while not understanding that some people may finally feel pushed into a corner and feel the need to respond in kind? How are we to continue to make excuses for trained police officers acting “emotionally and impulsively” with no regard for human life, but then attack those who may have also finally been driven to emotional and impulsive actions because they are fighting for their lives?
The country is on the verge of mass civil strife. No one can debate that. As people’s political, social, and economic realities become more and more divergent from one another, and the country splits and stratifies… As the gap between rich and poor grows at the same time as the split between those seeking freedom and justice on one side, and reactionary responses to complex issues on the other… As we watch this country come to grips with its racist, horrific, genocidal past as it plays out night after night in continued attacks on brown and black communities… How can we not understand why the actions in Dallas of tonight were inevitable?
Even now, at this moment, the same right wing reactionaries who call on people to arm themselves against their despotic government will rush to the defense of law and order and the state, and the police who serve these ends. They will vilify, attack, condemn, anyone who would just happen to be black or brown or left wing or gay or Muslim or not a white reactionary who may have engaged in the actions they claim are justified against villainous tyrants.
But the real question is: Will those of us who profess a love of liberty, justice, and a world of freedom and equity for all peoples also fall in line with this logic? Will we turn our back on marginalized people and allow ourselves to become mouthpieces for the monopolization of violence in the hands of the racist enforcers of the state? Or will we attempt to make sense of the violent responses, understand that John Brown and Nat Turner are heroes because they did stand up violently to oppression? Will we understand that resistance and rebellion don’t fit into pretty little boxes that will always make us comfortable and fit our sensibilities?
Will we stand on the side of those who are tired of being mere victims of state sanctioned terrorism? Or will we fall in line with those condemning those who would have the audacity to finally fight back on the terms that have been written by the state?
Oppressed and marginalized people did not choose the rules of engagement. They did not choose centuries of genocide, slavery, Jim Crow, reservation lives, militarized borders, ICE raids, deportations, overcrowded prison cells, malnourished babies, and racist police murders. They did not choose the violence that has been made a daily reality of their lives. These conditions, these rules of engagement have been written by those who engage in and support the terror plaguing these communities and peoples.
We must always stand with those who have had enough of their oppression and who fight back. It is our role to aid in that process, to help fight for liberation for all working class and marginalized people, not to condemn them or take the enemy’s side in this conflict.
Four Dallas law enforcement officers were shot and killed, and seven others and one civilian wounded by two snipers at the end of a rally in downtown Dallas, where hundreds were protesting police shootings in other parts of the country earlier this week. The Dallas Police Department reported late Thursday that one suspect had been apprehended, and that a suspicious package is being secured by the city’s bomb squad.
A person of interest whose photo was distributed by police has turned himself in, the department said.
Brown said law enforcement appeared to have been intentionally targeted by the shooters, who were trying to triangulate their fire on officers. Some officers were shot in the back, Brown said.
Filed under: Opinion | Tags: Border Security, Libertarianism, Patriot Movement, White Supremacy
I used to identify with words like “libertarian,” “minarchist,” “constitutionalist,” “state’s rightsman,” “conservative.” I was a patriot and a believer in the free market. For me, the path to being a believer in true liberty and freedom was largely a matter of looking at the world through the eyes of people outside of the United States, or the west. It was about developing a social conscience, and about realizing that we are the only people that can save us, and we need each other to do that. It was about love.
There is a disturbing independent right movement in the United States. It’s made up of 9/11 truthers, Ron Paul and Alex Jones followers, white nationalists, “anarcho”-capitalists, tea baggers, “libertarians,” etc. The movement is based in free market capitalism and isolationist nationalism and private property. I have heard this movement refer to itself as the liberty movement. Since liberty and authority are antonyms, I can’t help but notice the hypocrisy in this movement touting liberty while espousing authoritarian rhetoric and running candidates to hold powerful offices, such a President of the United States. There is also a frightening glorification of the indigenous slaughtering, slave owning, misogynist founding fathers of the US as champions of liberty.
To say “this isn’t capitalism anymore, but corporatism” not only bogs us down in semantics, but ignores room problems. Even if this were true, that if it is so easily and seamlessly commandeered by criminals and conspirators, one would have to concede that such vulnerability and volatility are inherent flaws that leave the system open to tyranny. To claim that capitalism has been overtaken is to ignore the necessity of capitalism to spread and morph to be able to maintain itself. It also neglects the fact that corporatism or fascism is a natural progression of capitalism. If one doesn’t start with capitalism, one does not progress to corporatism or fascism. There isn’t a flaw within the way the system is, run, the system is inherently and profoundly flawed. Rather than focusing on methods of regulation and deregulation and their degrees, we need to focus on create local sustainable economies.
We also need to set straight the idea of what redistribution of wealth is. In a capitalist system, profits are a redistribution of wealth from labor to capital. The wealth is redistributed up the hierarchy from those who create it to those who own capital. To send it back down the hierarchy is not to “redistribute” but to put it back in the hands of the people who created it in the first place, hands it should never leave to begin with.
Capitalism is based on growth and is unsustainable both in theory and in practice. To leave such a system unregulated leads to unfettered accumulation of wealth by a few at the expense of the many. To regulate it by the state is to bring about tyranny of another form. You essentially end up with the government functioning as a giant corporation. Rather than focusing on methods of regulation and deregulation and their degrees, we need to focus on meeting people’s needs sustainably.
The only way to enforce accumulation of wealth and property. That way is violence. Whether this is enforced through private or state police forces or armies, is remains true that the only way to protect wealth, property, and markets is through force, coercion, and violence. The idea of private property (not to be confused with private possessions) is inherently at odds with the ideas of liberty. If one person “owns” a piece of land, they violate everyone else on the planet’s “right” to own that piece of land as well. In doing so, anyone who owns property is violation the right of every other person on the planet to “own” that property.
Many in the independent right claim to be revolutionaries. If this is the case, one who identifies as a revolutionary should be willing to challenge the system itself, not just the way in which it’s implemented. This would be akin to slave abolitionists asking for better working conditions and gentler masters for slaves. What we need is not different rulers, but to rule ourselves.
As an anarchist, I can’t help but become indignant, when so called “libertarians” speak of liberty. Liberty for who? Liberty for the immigrant worker? Borders and states only serve to divide people and demarcate physical boundaries of political power. If one is willing to defend one’s property with violence, then how can you deny some who takes the non-violent action of crossing an imaginary line the right to protect their family from poverty and starvation? Liberty for women? Much of the independent right movement is anti-choice. Liberty for the poor? The independent right is against a non-profit healthcare system that would be accessible to everyone free of charge. If we start off with the understanding that some people will have plenty and others will go without, if we start out with the understanding that some people die because they are not able to purchase the commodities to keep the alive, if we start with the understanding that some will be rulers, and others will be ruled, we fail from the very start.
Do we really want to leave the human lives to market forces? Do we let economic theory determine who starves or who receives health care. Do we really turn everything including human rights into a commodity?
Let me ask you, independent right, tea partiers, 9/11 truthers, Ron Paul and Alex Jones followers… is your revolution about justice for all people regardless of race or nationality? Is it about taking away state power and building up people power? It is about tearing down borders to allow for the free movement of people? Is it about equality? Is it about direct democracy? It is about the abolition of private wealth and property? Is it about alleviating suffering and making sure that people’s needs are met sustainably? If it’s not, then it’s time to determine if you are seeking liberty and justice, or if you just want YOUR tyrants in power. “Tyranny is tyranny! Let if come from whom it may!” Liberty is only liberty when it extends to all people in equal portion. Otherwise it is merely privilege extended to a lower class by an upper class. We will not serve an upper class, nor will we oppress a lower class. We will however, take back control of our lives, and live as equals. All power to the people!
Peace, Love, and Anarchy,
Filed under: Analysis, Opinion | Tags: Border Security, Migrants, Patriot Movement, White Supremacy
By Phoenix Insurgent
Phoenix Class War Council
Everywhere the right to free movement is under attack. Cameras now track our travels from our workplaces to our roads to our neighborhoods to our schools, stretching all the way from the border to the county jail. The cameras on public transportation and outside private businesses increasingly make free, anonymous travel – a fundamental ingredient to a free society – very difficult if not impossible.
Had these conditions prevailed in Revolutionary times, would the war have turned in Britain’s favor instead? Would revolutionaries like Tom Paine have been able to agitate and organize? In slavery days, would such a surveillance state have prevented the Underground Railroad? If the Dixieland border had been as well spied on would the Abolitionists have been able to stage their anti-slavery raids into the authoritarian slavocracy? Whither then, John Brown and Harriet Tubman? What about Frederick Douglass and his daring escape to freedom in the North? If the border had been so well watched, would indigenous resistance have been able to hold out so long against white settlement? Where would Geronimo have gone when escaping the swords and bullets of the US Cavalry? Where would Ricardo Flores Magón have planned his Mexican insurrection?
At the same time an increasingly unaccountable and sophisticated (and automated) computer/police network accumulates and analyzes the data collected, without even the need for a human to directly oversee the emerging Panopticon. Computerization, generally immune from criticism in popular dialog, has shifted immense power into the hands of the elite under the cover of friends and family plans, YouTube hits and MySpace friend requests. This network increasingly permeates even our very social circles, using our cell phones, GPS systems and internet searches to compile vast amounts of data on our movements, our politics, our interests and our friends. The integration of police and elite power increases daily. As it grows, our ability to project our own autonomous power against their tyranny diminishes. And we become less free.
Filed under: Analysis | Tags: Crips, Denver, Gangster Disciples, Rob the rich!
On November 19th, Denver police arrested 32 young black men in the Denver area during what was dubbed a “24 hour roundup” by local media. Those arrested are alleged to have been involved with a series of muggings and robberies of mostly upper middle class white bar goers in the LODO area that have been an ongoing phenomenon since July.
As of the time of this writing, 35 young black people now sit in jail cells, most facing multiple felonies and over $1 million in bail each. Opportunists like Tom Tancredo have joined with the local media to decry the suspects as having perpetuated “hate crimes” against whites in the downtown entertainment district.
As headlines such as “Black Gangs Vented Hatred For Whites In Downtown Attacks” start to lay the foundation for a reactionary analysis of the events, it becomes clear that the suspects in custody have already been tried in the minds of many.
What the police say
Police allege that dozens of young black men and women active in the Rolling 60s Crips and Black Gangster Disciples street gangs created a “confederation” with a conspiracy to attack and rob bar-goers in the upscale LODO entertainment district.
The suspects allegedly would send one member of the gang to identify a victim, follow them out of the bar, and than confront them. Police and victims have stated repeatedly that the attackers would say such anti-white epithets as “I hate you white crackers,” and “I want all white people to die,” before beating the victim and robbing them.
Police allege that there was no one leader to the conspiracy, and instead the gang members worked in a cooperative manner “fueled by racism against whites.”
Police claim that the suspects robbed victims of Ipods, cellphones, credit cards, and sometimes hundreds of dollars of cash.
Some media reports are even alleging that members of the gangs videotaped the beatings with an intention to later sell the footage on the internet. Despite these claims, police have made no claims that they have uncovered these videos.
If we take the allegations of the police as fact, then several dozen young poor and working class black people self-organized to rob upper class “yuppies” in an affluent part of downtown Denver.
These assailants were often armed, and were affiliated with street gangs that have been active on a national scale.
Street gangs as militias
Street gangs have a long and sordid history in the United States. Most street level gangs share similar roots and tend to stem from poor and working class communities, and encompass members of the population that are racially or ethnically marginalized by the political and economic elite.
Most street gangs initially formed to protect communities from police or rival organizations. However, through many factors, both internal and external, gangs typically become organizations that victimize their own communities, robbing neighbors, peddling drugs and other poisons in their own neighborhoods, and generally ensuring that community members are not safe in their own environs.
However, during the events in question, gangmembers are not alleged to have victimized people in their own neighborhoods or even in their own economic or political situation. These suspects are accused of attacking affluent white people, in a part of town that has been gentrified and taken over by affluent and monied youth (yuppies).
If we start to look at our society as one torn between two competing classes of people, the muggings of rich whites by poor blacks starts to take a different meaning than the current media provided analysis.
When armed groups of people start to no longer victimize their own neighborhoods and instead attack those have in fact profited and gained by victimizing the assailant’s communities, we can only call these actions self defense.
Armed groups that act in self defense of a neighborhood are no longer gangs, but should rightfully be labeled as militias: volunteer organizations of armed people who are not professional soldiers that are acting to defend their interests and the interests of their communities.
In fact, instead of calling these actions hate crimes, working class and poor whites should be praising these alleged actions as acts of a legitimate militia working to defend a community under attack.
LODO as occupied territory
Lower Downtown Denver (LODO) has become a safehaven for yuppies and the children of the economic and political elite since the efforts to gentrify the area succeeded fairly recently. Rundown warehouses have been replaced with expensive condos and “live, work, and play” new urbanism.
The stranglehold of upper class development has been threatening all working class and poor people in Denver. No community however, has felt this squeeze more than the black community.
The nearby Five Points Neighborhood, a historically black neighborhood, has been feeling the squeeze of the gentrification and redevelopment of LODO. Black residents have been pushed from their neighborhoods and sent further East and South, to other neighborhoods and even to the surrounding suburbs.
So, as poor and working class blacks get pushed further and further from the downtown core, LODO represents a bastion of freedom for those that have done the pushing, a safehaven for the young elite to play and drink the night away.
This is class war not race war
While political opportunists like Tom Tancredo rail about racially motivated “hate crimes”, a quick look at the real commonality of all the victims will reveal the most likely motive for the robberies.
As one suspect allegedly told police, the victims were mugged “because they got a lot of money.” When you’re poor and you are trying to survive, robbing the folks with the money makes sense. It just happens that it’s not a coincidence that the folks with the money in LODO are almost all white.
Poor and working class people don’t usually frequent LODO bars and clubs. The area is affluent, with trendy upscale eateries and establishments that don’t cater to those within certain income brackets. If you want to mug someone with money on a Friday or Saturday night in Denver, LODO just makes sense. It really can be as simple as that.
As far as the comments allegedly made by the suspects, several factors could describe such “anti-white” comments. The first, most logical explanation (if these comments were indeed made), could be that it’s easy for someone who has been on the receiving end of racism by whites for their entire lives to have a natural animosity toward rich white people. That this animosity would translate into anti-white epithets is just common sense. If you see people taking away your neighborhoods, enjoying an expensive bar scene and having secure jobs while you have to hustle just to survive, you’re going to be angry. If those people are mainly white, then you’re going to start to identify those that benefit at your expense by their skin color.
To me, as a white working class man, this just makes sense. I can’t in anyway fault folks that have grown angry at white people. Hell, even those of us that aren’t rich have profited from racism. And we tend to defend racism everyday. Especially in the comments sections of news articles about poor blacks robbing rich whites.
White working class solidarity
Now, more than ever before, it becomes important for white working class people, not only in Denver, but everywhere, to remain critical of any allegations made by the police or other institutions that are used to protect the economic and political elite. We don’t know the full story, we have no idea what the individual motivations for these muggings were. This is not the time to jump to the conclusions being offered by those that exploit us like Tom Tancredo.
Even if the allegations are correct, can we at all blame these suspects? As the official unemployment rate creeps toward 11% and hundreds of families lose their homes everyday, how can we condemn these actions?
How can we condemn poor blacks attacking rich people even as white working class people across the country form militias and call for a second civil war against these same economic elites?
It will always be in the best interests of poor and working class whites to support class based attacks against the rich. We must look at armed poor and working class blacks not as enemies, but as comrades in arms. We have the same enemy. And maybe, if we working class whites start to ally ourselves with our black and latino counterparts, we can actually earn the right to not be distrusted based on our skin color.
We must earn this respect. And we surely won’t earn it by continuing to uphold and defend the same power structure that we purportedly are also trying to combat.
Poor and working class whites should be storming the jails to free these people, not praising the police and calling for their imprisonment.
Beyond romance and heroes
Far from trying to romanticize the actions that have been alleged to have taken place, this essay is instead intended to try to create a critical framing of the events in question. Why would poor and working class blacks organize into street gangs, and then systemically attack and rob upper class whites? There can be hundreds of different answers to these questions, of course, and the above analysis is just one of many possibilities. The truth is probably far more nuanced than any analysis that one person can offer.
However, without a concrete understanding and dissection of the political and economic reality that all poor and working class people face, especially those that are marginalized by racism, any analysis being offered by the mainstream media and scum like Tom Tancredo is merely self serving.
The media, police, and wealthy politicians will continue to use this situation to their advantage, and attempt to “otherize” young poor blacks. It in the interests, then, of those fighting for a world of real liberty against exploitation by political and economic elites (as the mostly white Liberty Movement claims to be), to start to offer a conflicting analysis that can start to take the power away from those that only seek to maintain these systems of inequity. If we take the bait of the media and Tancredo, and further divide ourselves from these people, then we’re really harming our own struggle toward liberty.
Thoughts of support and solidarity to these 35 defendants. No matter what your intentions, this redneck won’t shed a tear when rich people get robbed.
Sources and media coverage that serves the interests of the elites:
Filed under: History | Tags: Anti-racism, White Supremacy, Young Patriot Party
Forty years ago today, two young black men were killed in Chicago. Members of the Black Panther Party, they were murdered by the police as they slept.
Fred Hampton had proved to be a prolific organizer in the southside of Chicago. His skills were not just relegated to the black community, however. Through a long and arduous process, he had succeeded in building a “Rainbow Coalition” of working class blacks, latinos, and whites.
Black Panther Bobby Lee recalls his work with the white members of the “Young Patriots:”
First of all, the Patriots’ leader William “Preacherman” Fesperman was one of the best human beings I have ever met. He was originally from North Carolina before he moved to Chicago. However, many of the Panthers left the group when we built alliances. Some didn’t like the Patriots, some just didn’t like white people in general. They were heavy into nationalism. To tell the truth, it was a necessary purging, except for these niggers took themselves out of the organization. The Rainbow Coalition was just a code word for class struggle. Preacherman would have stopped a bullet for me, and nearly tried. Once, I was in a meeting up in Uptown, and I decided to leave by myself. I immediately determined that the police were following me. I made the mistake of leaving alone. The cop called out “You know what to do,” and I put my hands up against the wall. Preacherman came outside and saw what was going on, and in the cold of winter brought the men, women and the children outside. The cops put me in the car and they totally surrounded it, demanding my release. The cop called someone and they must have told him to let me go. I’ll never forget looking at all those brave motherfuckers standing in the light of the police car, but staring in the face of death. Looking back, was there enough basis for unity? Hell, yeah! When I went to Uptown Chicago, I saw some of the worst slums imaginable. Horrible slums, and poor white people lived there. However, two organizations prepared the way for the Rainbow Coalition, without them there wouldn’t have been a chance of forming one. Rising Up Angry (rua) and join Community Union. The uptown neighborhood was prime recruiting zone for white supremacists. Most of the cats who were in the Patriots also had at least one family member in the Klan. Cats like Mike James and Jewnbug, and Tappis worked hard to fight that mentality. Mike James and rua drove a wedge in that bullshit, that white supremacist bullshit, their groundwork was just amazing, out of this world. When did I first meet the Young Patriots? It was at the Church of the Three Crosses. There was a meeting, and it was the one recorded in the movie American Revolution II. After the crowd left, the Patriots were still there. We asked the Minister if he could let us have his office. We asked the Patriots if they could work with the Panthers and they said yes. I didn’t even tell Fred for the first three weeks of meeting with these cats. It wasn’t easy to build an alliance. I advised them on how to set up “serve the people” programs—free breakfasts, people’s health clinics, all that. I had to run with those cats, break bread with them, hang out at the pool hall. I had to lay down on their couch, in their neighborhood. Then I had to invite them into mine. That was how the Rainbow Coalition was built, real slow.
The coalition built by Fred Hampton brought leather clad Black Panthers together with white working class youth that dressed in jean jackets and Confederate Flags. Alliances were built along class lines, with a common enemy: the political and economic elite of Chicago.
The modern day “Patriot” Movement should be learning from the Young Patriot Party of the 1960’s. Only by building a cross-racial alliance of working class and poor people can we affect any real change. While the Young Patriot Party fought against the efforts of the Klan and white supremacists to attack blacks and latinos struggling for self determination, the modern Patriot Movement has allied itself with these racists and neo-fascists.
And that’s the reason Fred had to be murdered. The threat of a multi-racial movement of working class brown, black, and white people was an actual threat to political and economic hegemony. There’s probably a reason why the state isn’t murdering leaders of the new “Patriot Movement”. In the end, that movement is not a threat to the state. On the contrary, the movement merely acts to reinforce the state’s power and control.
Filed under: Analysis, Opinion | Tags: Conspiracy theories, Denver, Patriot Movement, Skull and Bones, Zionist World Conspiracy
I appreciate you sending me the forwards and other messages. Thanks. Please keep me updated if there are any events, etc, that I can attend or come support.
I do have some things I want to start to dialogue with you about, though.
I feel like I have a lot in common with what your end goals and desires are. We want a safe and secure future. We want an end to a meddling government. We don’t want to have to scrape together pennies just to survive. We want liberty.
However, I think we have far different takes on who the enemy is that we should be fighting. Your literature is filled with comments about Jews and other types of secretive quasi-religious groupings that are trying to control us.
I feel that this analysis misses many key concepts and points about what is really going on here. The world is divided between rich and poor. Those who control property relationships, and those that work to maintain those property relationships. This is something we can see everyday at play in our communities, neighborhoods, workplaces, schools, etc.
I would argue that the rich are not made up of any one demographic. They are made up of those that have exploited the rest of us for centuries. You call them Jews. I call them bosses, politicians, and the ruling elite. Most Jews I know are poor and working class. They’ve been hunted down and destroyed for centuries.
If anything, the ruling class created a buffer middle class and managerial class of Jewish people over the last several centuries, so that we, as working people, would fight the Jews, not the real people pulling the strings and controlling our lives.
I understand your want to do something, to confront the people who are merely parasites who ruin the lives of the vast majority of us. However, labeling them Jews or trying to associate them with some mythical cultish organizations does nothing to help this struggle.
First, it marginalizes allies in this struggle. Let’s be real. Jewish folks have historically been a people that struggled against ruling elites. The movements of Jewish workers in this country and others created a base for confrontation with the rich and business owners at the turn of the last century that we can only dream of today. By labeling Jews as the enemy, not only are we adding to the oppressive power of the state structure by helping in the oppression of a people based merely on their ethnicity/religious identity, but we’re also pushing away natural allies in a struggle for a world of liberty and freedom against tyrannical rule. We are harming our own struggle while we also harm other people who are struggling against the same conditions that we are.
Secondly, by pinpointing that cause of our problems on secretive cult-like groups such as the Skulls and Bones, we are creating a mythology that prevents us from strategically understanding the situation we find ourselves in. The Patriot movement’s focus on these types of conspiracy theories only undermines any goals of liberty or freedom it may have. These theories prevent us from having a concrete analysis of our social conditions. We ignore the relationships between those in power and those without power. We ignore the plain realities we see of predatory economic, social, and political models within our own communities. We fictionalize the enemy. If we keep chasing after these cults, then we don’t chase after the power relationships that cause these conditions in the first place.
We chase the Skull and Bones cloak and dagger types. But we don’t chase our own bosses. We chase the NWO but ignore the internal contradictions of global empire. We can never strategically change our social conditions by creating a mythological enemy and trying to fight it.
Lastly, the insistence by the Patriot Movement that immigrants are also an enemy in this struggle will ensure that yet again, our movement is not only marginal and ineffective at creating actual freedom and liberty, but that we are denying that same liberty and freedom to other people engaged in similar struggles as us. If we continue to be the foot soldiers of the state’s form of oppression, especially when it comes to issues on the border, then we must immediately strike the word liberty from our websites, pamphlets, and dvds. We are not fighting for liberty. We are helping destroy it.
I want to work with you and other folks who are genuinely concerned about our futures and who want to build a real movement for freedom and liberty, that is why I opened up this dialogue the way that I have. Let’s work together, because that is what will make us strong. And let’s start fighting the real enemy. The time to take sides is far overdue, and unfortunately, the vast majority of us have chosen the wrong side for our entire lives. I just recently have come to understand how my role in similar Patriot style movements back in Kansas has been a part of strengthening our enemies. I hope more folks will join me in this critical analysis.
In the end, deep down, I cling to the idea that we want similar things, but we’ve been duped into thinking that the current strategy of the Patriot Movement will get us those things, when in reality, it has only kept them even further away from us.
Filed under: Analysis, Opinion | Tags: Class, Class Traitors, Patriot Movement, Race, Tea Party, White Supremacy
As town hall meetings on health care become the targets for disruptive protest and a growing “pro-liberty” movement gains traction and headlines, a full analysis of the situations we are facing as white working class people and an analysis of the strategies of the new “pro-liberty” movement is necessary.
I am authoring this piece as a white working class male that comes from a military family background, and identifies to some extent as being a libertarian. This description of myself is important as it helps color the perspective I am writing from, as any differences in my background, race, or socio-economic status would ultimately change the entire nature of this essay.
This piece is also mainly directed at white working class people that are active within this new movement. The reasons for this are many, as will become obvious as this piece progresses.
The Liberty Movement resembles the broader Libertarian Movement in a myriad of ways. One of these ways is in racial composition. To be plain and up front, the U.S. Right is mostly comprised of white people. These giant Tea Parties, our demonstrations and meetings are seas of white faces, with small sprinklings of nonwhite faces.
Whiteness is defined in many different ways by many different people. To many, Jews are not white. Up until the mid 1900’s, white skinned people of Irish and Italian descent were not considered white. Some folks still think this way.
I identify, for the benefit of this essay, a white person as any person with pale skin pigmentation that would commonly pass as white in this society. We don’t need to break this down any further. We know whether we’re white or not.
Most whites immediately become defensive when the word race is even brought up. We don’t want to admit we think in these terms. We don’t want to admit that race has anything to do with our lives or what’s going on in this country. We’d rather pretend it doesn’t exist and not talk about it.
We can act like Ostriches all we want. It doesn’t change that our movement is nearly completely white. Let’s admit that, understand that, and move on to understanding what that means for us.
When people bring up the term “class”, many white working people start to snicker. The calls of “leftist” or “socialist” or “pinko” come to the lips of many at the mere indication that someone may be conscious of class in America. Despite this tendency, especially within the ranks of poor and working whites, most white working people naturally view the world in terms of class, whether they’d admit it or not.
Our realities are shaped by where we stand socially, economically, and politically. The vast majority of whites, like people of all other races, live in precarious social, political, and economic realities. We live paycheck to paycheck. We live off over-extended credit. We live in debt. We don’t own much, if at all, in real estate. We live in stressful situations, where if one part of the chain breaks, we lose everything. Our very existence is one of insecurity and economic disaster.
Most people in the middle and upper classes of white society try to stifle this talk amongst us in the working or lower classes. Political, social, and church leaders try to erase the class line. But for those of us going home at night to trailers, slumlord owned apartments, or dilapidated houses, we tend to not forget the large suburban homes and mansions that these leaders sleep in.
Class exists. Just like race, we can’t make it go away by ignoring it. But why would we even want to ignore it? Our situation as working whites boils down directly to the idea of class.
Our class interests…
I start with the idea that most white working class people want similar things. We, as most people do, want security, freedom, prosperity, comfort, and safety. We don’t want to have to worry about where our next meal is coming from, how we’re going to be able to afford school supplies for our children, or whether or not we will fall victims to a “terrorist” attack. We don’t want to constantly fear losing our jobs or living the rest of our lives in precarious economic situations.
We now live in a country with a huge division between rich and poor. We live with a failed economy. We live in a nearly failed state. The government of the United States has systemically become a monstrous giant of bureaucrats and neo-tyrants. The whole government, every single politician, is part of this corrupt system.
Back home, in our communities, both rural and urban, we are losing our jobs. We are watching our sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, dying in deserts and mountains halfway across the world. Our police forces are growing larger, just as our prison populations. We, as working people, are losing everything.
But, there may still be hope for us. White working class people are starting to organize on a national level for what we believe are our interests as a class, as physically manifested with the wave of “Tea Parties” and protests against what many feel to be an impending socialist nightmare in Washington, D.C.
Thousands have mobilized in past months to send clear messages to the politicians in charge of this mess that we won’t take it anymore. And now, we’re mobilizing to shut down what many see as a socialist attempt to take away our health care options and build even more government power.
But what do these mobilizations really mean? And what have we gained by disruptively protesting these town hall meetings on health care reform? Are we gaining ground? Or are we merely paving the way for further future losses?
Typically, political scientists have defined the concept of liberty as a political idea that identifies that a person has the right to act according to their own will and desires. This is how many Americans would like to think about liberty.
At Tea Parties, political meetings, and other gatherings, most white working people keep this image of liberty, of true freedom, deep in their hearts. It tends to motivate how we view the rest of the world and our relationship to it. We see liberty manifested here in the U.S., and the founders of this country dying to ensure it existed.
The other liberty…
Let’s be clear, however about the concept of liberty. We’ve all been duped, plainly and simply. On this land, the concept of liberty as defined in the previous context has never existed. In fact, we’ve had the wool pulled over our eyes so tightly, that we can’t even see how the word has changed meaning and been used against us.
Historically, because of the conditions in the United States, the concept of liberty in this country has taken on a much different connotation than the one previously stated. Liberty, in the United States, has become synonymous with the protection of rights to own property.
To many within the white working class, this doesn’t seem like a contradiction. Part of being able to determine our own wills and act in true freedom is being able to own property. We define freedom by the ability to own objects, to own land, to own cars, to own firearms. And we defend this right to own private property to the death.
However, the right to own property is the right that allows for the rich and elites to own everything that we produce. The right to property has become the legal and social basis for the rise in power of those that directly exploit us. Because it’s a protected right to own water resources, because it’s a protected right to own land that you will never live on or work on your own, because it’s a protected right to own a house and price gouge your tenants for rent, because it’s a protected right to own a business and pay your workers next to nothing, because we as white working people have helped protect these rights, we’ve laid the foundation for our own misery.
The concepts of freedom and private property, then, are at direct odds with each other. How can we be free when a corporation owns the rights to our water? How can we be free when a bank owns the land that our houses sit on? How can we be free when all of our food is owned by a field boss? How can freedom exist when a small minority own the very means of our survival?
We’ve become casualties of this way of thinking for centuries. The idea that property protection and liberty are one and the same has allowed for the rich, the political and economic elite, to swindle the rest of us.
In the name of freedom and liberty, we protect the right of 5% of the residents of this country to maintain ownership over 90% of the property and means of survival in this country. Modern liberty has become the freedom to starve, the freedom to lose our jobs without notice, and the freedom to have a bank take back its property from underneath us.
While the rich in this country pillage our paychecks, destroy our retirement funds, and take away our livelihoods, we gladly hand our resources to them. After all, liberty doesn’t exist without the protection of these rich people to own that property. They have the right to even own us, in fact.
By its very nature, the concept of private property has destroyed us and allowed the rich to ride all over us.
And it’s this thinking that has created and shaped our current “Liberty” Movement.
The Liberty Movement
The Liberty Movement, this new manifestation of centuries old U.S. patriotism, has spread across the country like a wild fire. Tea Parties, large mobilizations denouncing a rising “socialism” in this country, were held in cities across the U.S. in the Spring and early Summer.
New organizations on college campuses and within communities have sprung up to continue the organizing efforts. The main enemy is President Barack Obama. His policies resemble a socialist attack on the American way of life, and they must be stopped.
Led mostly by rich politically ambitious organizers these rallies have brought together thousands of mostly white working class participants to start to fight back against this onslaught from the left.
However, many contradictions appear within this framework. Thousands of white working people, people who rely on foodstamps, unemployment payments, and even welfare checks, fill the ranks at demonstrations calling for an end to social services. White working people, full of fear about socialism and an attack on “liberty” (in this case, an attack on the property rights of the rich) turn against their own interests and sell out their own needs to fight the new socialism.
The unpleasant reality for working class and poor people who have participated and still participate in this new movement, is that we’re being used by these rich leaders within the movement to protect their interests, not ours. But that’s nothing new.
A history of playing for the wrong team
The history of the white working class has been a history of being an exploited people. However, we’ve been an exploited people that further exploits other exploited people. While we’ve been living in tenements and slums for centuries, we’ve also been used by the rich to attack our neighbors, co-workers, and friends of different colors, religions, and nationalities.
Since the colonization of the Americas in the late 1400’s, white working people have been the footsoldiers of political and economic elites seeking to dominate and control land, resources, and wealth, all at our own expense.
We have enlisted in armies to slaughter indigenous peoples. We’ve been slave catchers to trap and enslave Africans. We’ve been police officers to terrorize communities of color. We’ve been prison guards to keep other working people locked up. We’ve been settlers, occupiers, colonizers, and conquerors. These roles have done very little to benefit us, on the whole. We’ve been used to benefit a small minority of politicians, bosses, and aristocrats.
The blunt reality is that for the last five hundred years on this continent, white working class people have been used by mostly white rich people to colonize for, kill for, work for, and then better the living standards of those same white rich people, all the while sacrificing our own needs, wants, aspirations, and even lives. It really is as simple as that. No one denies the history of what has happened at working people’s expenses. Wars, poverty, homelessness, wage slavery… these are all ills created by someone, and perpetuated by us… the same workers who suffer these ills.
For some five centuries we’ve been used by the rich among our own race to promote their agenda and suffered because of it. Yet, somehow, we’ve still been convinced that it is in our interests to protect the rights of the rich to own as much property as they can, to protect the right of the rich to even exist, to protect these same rich people who would just as soon see us die for their benefit.
The heart of the matter is that for these five centuries, we’ve been too busy fighting the people who should naturally be our allies against these injustices. The rich whites have used our skin color against us, have used our human nature of fearing living beings different than us against us… they’ve used us against us. They’ve blinded us with these racialist ideas of “white supremacy” and “white pride” and “white nationalism” into fighting other working people of other races, while they sit on the sideline and laugh.
The new Liberty Movement plays directly into this situation, and turns us, as white working class people, against our natural interests as working class people, and against our natural allies. We’re still being used by rich whites to advance their causes, and lose everything that we desire and need.
Of socialism and healthcare
Let’s be plain. Obama is not a socialist. His reforms and the reforms of other politicians are not socialist. They’re not even radical. They’re truly reformist. And they’re truly state-capitalist.
Obama’s policies have not threatened the power structures of this country in anyway. The rich will stay rich. The poor will stay poor. Property will still be just as protected as it is now. Wars will still be waged on multiple continents. The systemic inequities that have created a mess for all working people will still exist.
But while these reforms, like public option healthcare, are not radical and do not fundamentally change any power relationships in this country, they still remain important bread and butter survival policies for poor and working people.
Just like people of all races and backgrounds, most white working and poor people have no healthcare. We’ve seen it disappear. We don’t have access to medical care when we need it. While national healthcare is not the answer to all of our problems, and shouldn’t be our ultimate end goal, it is a short term fix that we, as working class people, could probably use.
However, the red flag of socialism has been waved in front of our faces. We can’t see anything but the closet communist Obama taunting us and attacking our very way of life with these reforms.
And it’s this mentality that divides us from nonwhite working people even more. The vast majority of nonwhite working people are in support of this healthcare reform. They are in support of social service spending. They are in support of legislation that affects their survival as working class people.
We’re divided in a way that is fairly predictable. White working class people, people who have been bought off by the rich, would rather protect property rights that are used against us and our interests than work for healthcare and social services that we don’t like to admit that we utilize and need.
In our class based, capitalist society, white working class people protect property, while nonwhite working people struggle for social services necessary for survival. And thus, we as white working people play for the wrong team. And in the end, everyone besides the rich and the politicians ends up losing.
Let’s be honest. I don’t want the government to control healthcare. But I also don’t want to live in a property based society where I’m denied healthcare because I don’t make enough money. Until we get rid of that property based economic relationship, then I’ll gladly take social services from the state, just to level the playing field a bit between me and the rich boss that steals money from my paycheck, or the rich politician who guts money from our schools to fund occupations of other countries that benefit corporations he owns stock in.
Migrants and other scapegoats
Perhaps the most glaring example of how white working people are playing for the wrong team, and how the new Liberty Movement actively works against the liberty of all people, especially nonwhite people, is the role that the movement plays within the debate on immigration.
One of the attacks leveled at the government by the Liberty Movement is the government’s failure to secure the border. The white populist logic of the movement becomes quite clear at these times.
We have bought into the ridiculous notion that mostly brown skinned immigrants from Mexico or other countries are our enemy, that they are somehow stealing our jobs, that they somehow really threaten us. Let’s get real. Who’s really stealing our jobs?
Even with a generous estimate of the number of illegal immigrants working in the U.S. at 6 million (notice I said working, not living), this stands in stark contrast to the conservative estimate that nearly 50 million jobs will have been lost to outsourcing by 2015 since NAFTA came into affect in 1994. Well, let’s ask ourselves, who’s really stealing our jobs? Poor Mexicans? Or Rich White CEOs?
Leaders of the new Liberty Movement feed us ridiculous ideas of the “invading” brown hordes, and the rich whites that make up the upper echelons of organizations like the Minutemen and other similar groups salivate over our reactions. If we’re busy fighting the Mexicans at the border, and busy trying to round up all the “illegals” then we’re too busy to fight that real enemy, that one that keeps eluding us, the rich and political elite.
Most of us that keep falling for these lines initially might mean well. Heck, we only want to defend our families and our communities… but in reality, we’re weakening them even more, by fighting our real potential allies and diverting our attention from the real enemy.
And why are all these brown skinned immigrants coming here in the first place? Why is there this sudden rush in the last thirteen years to get into this country? 80% of all illegal immigrants have entered since 1994. Why is that? What happened in 1994 that affected working people in Mexico just as it affected us? The passage of NAFTA, a free trade program that benefits nobody but the rich people on both sides of the border!
The new Liberty Movement defends the liberty of rich people to own property, while attacking the liberty of movement of brown working class people. The new Liberty Movement doesn’t protect liberty, it actively attacks it and defends a system that makes liberty for all people impossible.
We’re failing and being used
The new Liberty Movement is not a failure. It’s highly successful for accomplishing what the leaders of this movement want. If our interests as white working class people mirror those of other working people, the interests of the rich and political elite within our own movement mirror those of the rich and political elite within the government. The leaders of our own movement seek to keep the infighting amongst working people of all backgrounds and colors alive. Again, if we’re too busy fighting each other, then we can’t fight them.
We as white working class people are being used at these mobilizations. We’re fulfilling our old role of being foot soldiers for the political elite, for keeping other poor and working people in line. We’ve blinded ourselves again.
How else can we explain the willingness of hundreds of people without healthcare to actively work against legislation that would provide them with that healthcare?
And the worst part is, we don’t really gain anything from this situation. We’re failing ourselves. All of our work within the new Liberty movement, all of our energy, money, and talents are going to reinforce the same predatory economic, political, and social systems that keep us, as white working people, exploited and living in misery as well.
Our allegiances to these leaders, to people like Ron Paul, to people like Alex Jones, our acceptance of their white populist talk, our willingness to attack migrants, to disrupt attempts to provide healthcare to working class people, our willingness to cling to these ideas of the “other” liberty, the protection of property and not of people, are the biggest reasons that we are doomed to continue to live this way. We will continue to live paycheck to paycheck (at least those of us that have jobs) and in constant fear of eviction or foreclosure. We will continue to have to choose between new schoolbooks for our kids or dinner for the whole family. We will continue to see our retirement funds looted, our world destroyed, and our family members being killed in wars. And we will continue to not be able to do anything about it, unless we change our strategy and direction.
If we as white working people envision a world of safe, free, and economically secure communities, then we must act now. We have to start to identify our allegiances to that of our class, and not our race. We must create a revolutionary white identity that can actively work against all forms of domination that ensure that we will never enjoy true liberty.
Migrants and blacks are not our enemies. White rich people are not our friends. We must reverse this paradigm and start to work alongside movements of nonwhite working people against all predatory political, economic, and social systems. This means not just working against the state, but also working against capitalism. The state and capitalism are two faces of the same coin, a coin that must be thrown away.
We also must work actively against white supremacy in all its incarnations. Our future depends on this. If we as white working people want to enjoy freedom, then we must not be used by the rich to deny it to others and ourselves. The more we act as footsoldiers for the rich, the more we ensure that our freedom is also unattainable.
Historically, we as white working people have seen our allegiance become an allegiance to whiteness, to being white. We can relate to other white people, no matter how poor or rich. They’re white like us, and that’s something we can identify with, come to terms with. So of course, our natural enemies become nonwhite peoples.
The only problem with this idea is that we’ve had it wrong for centuries. We’ve been kept blind to the true nature of what is afoot here, as to what’s really going on. Look around us. Who fills the trailer parks with us? Who works in the factories or fast food restaurants with us? Who is beside us working in the fields, picking produce that we’ll never really be able to afford? Is it rich people, especially rich white people? Hell no, it isn’t. It’s brown people, black people, yellow people. It’s people who have different shades of skin than us. They are the people that are in similar situations to us, living paycheck to paycheck, suffering like we do. So why then would we view them as our enemy?
Allegiances, traditionally, are made amongst people who have common interests. In an historical sense, white skinned working people have overwhelmingly believed that our interests are based on skin color. We have to work for the betterment of the race, for our culture, for our identity. The truth, however, could never be further away. Whose interests do these beliefs really serve? White workers? In some sense, the answer may be “yes”. Working for the advancement of the white race at the cost of other races does buy us relative privileges and even some luxuries. In the end, however, we’re still poor, we’re still being used to make other people money. And those people aren’t non-white working people.
We have a stake in creating a new social paradigm and movement that goes beyond the idea of liberty being a protection for property ownership. We have a direct interest in fighting white supremacy, the state, and capitalism. Our freedom is intimately woven into the freedom of all working people. Until we are free as a working class, we will never be free as individuals, no matter what skin color we are.
I don’t want to end on an abstract note. I want to end with a couple concrete steps that white working class people can take to work to build a movement for real liberty.
1) Actively work against groups like the Minutemen, the Klan, the Christian Identity Movement, and others that seek to divide us as working class people from other working class people based on their race, gender, sexuality, nationality or religion. These people are class traitors and ensure that we will never see freedom for ourselves or our families, as they keep us fighting other working class people and not the real enemy: the rich. Disrupt their attempts to organize and to recruit. Make it known they are not welcome at gun shows or other events where you are present. Not joining their organizations isn’t enough, we must actively stop them from organizing at all.
2) Actively work against leaders of the new Liberty movement that organize against nonwhite working class people. Alex Jones, Ron Paul, David Duke, and others are trying to ensure that we will turn on migrants and other people of color rather than turn on rich people, most of whom happen to be white.
3) Organize debtor’s unions and tenants unions in your neighborhood. We must come together with our neighbors to defend each other from foreclosures and evictions. Create networks of people in your neighborhood that can show up and help defend each other and prevent evictions.
4) Refuse to pay any debts you have and organize rent strikes. Don’t pay your hospital bills, your credit card bills, or any other debts you have. Don’t give these people that have been exploiting us any more of your money.
5) Support GI resistance to war and occupation. Many working class people are refusing orders to deploy, and resisting the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan in other ways. Lend them your support at couragetoresist.org
6) Don’t join the military, help prevent your family members from joining the military. This institution has robbed too many working people of their lives by convincing them it’s their patriotic duty. We must stop falling for this line, and fight for our class, not for the political elites.
7) Follow the examples of other working class people and occupy your workplace if threatened with layoffs or terminations. There have been occupations of workplaces in the U.S. and across other countries as the economic crisis has broadened. These reclamations of workplaces have ended with workers receiving back and severance pay, and sometimes even preventing their workplaces from closing
8 Organize with your neighbors to grow food for your communities. Don’t rely on the economic elites for your food any longer. Starting a personal garden is a good first step, but community gardens can provide more food for more people, and create important community ties and working relationships.
9) Be ready to actively defend your neighborhoods, workplaces, and communities from the police and state forces. Take whatever measures you deem necessary to do so.
10) Don’t get a job as a cop or prison guard. These jobs also reinforce racial divisions within our class, as well as create domestic armies to use against us when we do work toward our own power. Cops are not our friends. The police systemically exist to protect the rich and their property. Prison guards are not any better. Especially with the expansion of the war on drugs to include a war against Meth, many white working class people are finding themselves in prison and on the other side of the bars from their neighbors in guard’s uniforms.
11) Do anything you can to take back resources from the rich. We’ll keep this suggestion intentionally vague. The rich have all the food, all the money, all the wealth, and all the power. Let’s take it back. Any way we can.