Monday, February 29, 2016

Answering Zionists: the mini-FAQ #2: 1929 Palestine riots and the Hebron Massacre

Trying to decide who was Abel and who was Cain in the story of Zionists and Muslim Palestinians may be impossible, but in doing a little googling about the Hebron Massacre, I found something I hadn't known: it was sparked by the news of Jews murdering Arabs in Jerusalem in retaliation for the murder of a Jew. The facts as I have found them so far: On August 17, Avrahim Mizrachi, was killed. On the morning of the 23rd, several Arabs were killed. When news of that spread, violence erupted throughout Palestine, ending, as it had begun, with almost equal numbers of people killed on each side, 133 Jews and 116 Muslims. There were saints and sinners on both sides: both had people who slaughtered innocent men, women, and children; both had people who protected people on the other side.

From A History of Violence – By Arie Dubnov - The Marginalia Review of Books:
If Israel/Palestine is to be compared to a powder keg, Jerusalem/al-Quds, no doubt, is its igniting fuse. There are times, though, when the calendar itself is as combustible as the holy geography, as during the deadly weekend of August 16-17, 1929, which [began] a two-week long bloodbath. First frictions were felt on Thursday, Tisha B’Av, the Jewish fast commemorating the destruction of the Temple, as a procession from the Revisionist-Zionist Betar Youth movement, calling to redeem the Western Wall, walked through the narrow streets of the Old City. Heat and tension continued rising the following day, Friday the 16th, which was also Prophet Mohammad’s birthday. Some Muslims, who were celebrating the occasion on al-Haram al-Sharif (Noble Sanctuary) in front of al-Aqsa Mosque, staged their own demonstration. Descending to the Wall, they burned Jewish holy books. The following day, news about the blasphemous act sparked clashes between Arabs and Jews in Jerusalem’s Bukharan neighborhood, outside the Old City. One Jew, Avraham Mizrachi, was killed. A number of Arab homes were torched by Jews. Within a week violence spilled over. The lynching of Arabs and Jews along the margins of the Old City on the following Friday was followed by attacks on Jewish neighborhoods in the main mixed cities — Haifa, Jaffa, Safed — as well as on other Jewish villages and settlements across the country. The Arab Executive Committee reported that a body of a Muslim woman, ‘Aisha al-‘Atari, was found near the Jewish neighborhood of Me’ah She’arim in Jerusalem with two large stones lying on her crushed skull. With the tense atmosphere, rumors that the Jews were planning to demolish al-Aqsa in order to build their Temple in its place began to spread across the country. On Saturday, August 24, the Makleff family was brutally murdered in Motza by Arab villagers from nearby Qalunya. At the very same time a massacre of the Jews in Hebron took place: sixty-seven defenseless, mostly non-Zionist orthodox Jews affiliated with the local Lubavitcher Yeshiva, were killed, many in a grisly manner. Many others survived, sheltered in the homes of twenty-eight Arab families. The next day, Shiekh ‘Abd al-Ghani ‘Awn, the imam of the Abu Kabir neighborhood mosque, next to Tel Aviv, was slaughtered together with his family by a group of Jews led by Simha Hinkis, a Jewish policeman. Numerous acts of savagery continued until the end of the month. When quiet was restored in September, the body count was 133 Jews and 116 Arabs killed, and almost twice as many injured on both sides.
1929 Palestine riots - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:
The next Friday, 23 August, thousands of Arab villagers streamed into Jerusalem from the surrounding countryside to pray on the Temple Mount, many armed with sticks and knives. Harry Luke requested reinforcements from Amman. Towards 09:30 Jewish storekeepers began closing shop and at 11:00, 20–30 gunshots were heard on the Temple Mount, apparently to work up the crowd. Luke telephoned the Mufti to come and calm a mob that had gathered under his window near the Damascus Gate, but the commissioner's impression was that the religious leader's presence was having the opposite effect. By midday friction had spread to the Jewish neighborhood of Mea She'arim where two or three Arabs were killed. The American consulate documented the event in detail, reported that the killings had taken place between 12:00 and 12:30.[36] The Shaw report described the excited Arab crowds and that it was clear beyond all doubt that at 12:50 large sections of these crowds were bent on mischief if not on murder. At 13:15, the Arabs began a massacre of the Jews.[33][37]Reacting to rumors that two Arabs had been murdered by Jews, Arabs started an attack on Jews in Jerusalem's Old City. The violence quickly spread to other parts of Palestine. British authorities had fewer than 100 soldiers, six armoured cars, and five or six aircraft in country;Palestine Police had 1,500 men, but the majority were Arab, with a small number of Jews and 175 British officers. While awaiting reinforcements, many untrained administration officials were required to attach themselves to the police, though the Jews among them were sent back to their offices. Several English theology students visiting from the University of Oxford were deputized.[15] While a number of Jews were being killed at the Jaffa Gate, British policemen did not open fire. They reasoned that if they had shot into the Arab crowd, the mob would have turned their anger on the police.[15]
1929 Hebron massacre - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:
In mid-August 1929, hundreds of Jewish nationalists marched to the Western Wall in Jerusalem shouting slogans such as The Wall is Ours and raising the Jewish national flag.[19] Rumours spread that Jewish youths had also attacked Arabs and had cursed Muhammad.[25][26]Following an inflammatory sermon the next day, hundreds of Muslims converged on the Western Wall, burning prayer books and injuring the beadle. The rioting soon spread to the Jewish commercial area of town[27][28] and the next day, August 17, a young Jew was stabbed to death.[29] The authorities failed to quell the violence. On Friday, August 23, inflamed by rumors that Jews were planning to attack al-Aqsa Mosque, Arabs started to attack Jews in the Old City of Jerusalem. The first murders of the day took place when two or three Arabs passing by the Jewish Quarter of Mea Shearim were assassinated.[30] Rumours that Jews had massacred Arabs in Jerusalem arrived in Hebron by that evening.[17] Hillel Cohen frames his recent narrative of the incident in terms of the murder of the Jaffa Awan family by a Jewish police constable called Simcha Hinkis.[16]
Simha Hinkis (biographical details):
Simha Hinkis (1907-1988), born in Ukraine ... immigrated to Palestine in 1925 ... In 1927, he joined the police and served as traffic policeman at Abu Kebir. In the unrest of 1929, he and his friends killed at least five people (three men and two women) and injured two children when a Jewish mob broke into a house between Tel Aviv and Jaffa. He was arrested, tried, found guilty of the premeditated murder of an Arab family, the Awan family in Jaffa. On 5 February 1930, he was sentenced to death by hanging. He thus became the first Jew sentenced to death under the British mandate. However, is sentence was commuted to 15 years in prison and he was released in 1935.

Friday, February 26, 2016

A handy guide to white slavery—and, yes, Irish people were enslaved


As a general rule, the most vehement people are the most ignorant. That's certainly true of the people the internet calls social justice warriors (who should never be confused with social justice workers)—their outrage is invariably based on an unholy marriage of academic theory and Hollywood history. Consider last year's kerfuffle over T-shirts advertising a suffragist movie with this quote:
"I’d rather be a rebel than a slave." —Emmeline Pankhurst
The warriors claim this is racist, that "slave" is code for "black."

Short reply: tell it to Spartacus.

Or to the Slavs whose enslavement lies at the root of "slave".

Many people who have not studied history think the "one drop" rule was always the distinction between who was white and who was black, but it was a creation of Jim Crow. During the era of legal slavery, whiteness varied from state to state: in most, if you were 3/4 white, you were white. But to be a slave, the only requirement was that your mother was a slave, so there were slaves in the Old South who were legally white, and it's likely some of their owners were legally black.

As for the ongoing argument over whether the Irish were slaves, if you're not free, you're a slave. Indentured servants and prisoners of war who were forced to work were slaves, and if they died before they were free, they died as slaves. Being indentured was not necessarily better than being a slave; as noted at Were the Irish Slaves? | HistoryNet: "In practice, the masters sometimes extended the time of indenture; others, for whom the indentured servant was not the lifelong investment that a black or native American slave was, had no compunction about working the indentured servant to death in his last year."

Recommended:

White Slaves – The Multiracial Activist

The 'white' slave children of New Orleans: Images of pale mixed race slaves used to drum up sympathy and funds from wealthy donors in 1860s | Daily Mail Online

Related:

Appropriation alert: no one owns the metaphor of slavery

Poor whites in the USA

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Answering Zionists: the mini-FAQ - Bonus: Yes, Jews have always been white

Lest anyone claim this is written by someone who hates Israel, I do not. I completely agree Israel has a right to exist. It also has an obligation to acknowledge its history and give full citizenship to everyone within the land it controls. I take no position on whether the one-state or two-state solution is best, but I do think the US should stop giving Israel several billion dollars every year until it decides.


*

1. Do Palestinians have an ancient genetic connection to the land and to Jews?
2. Was the name "Palestine" used throughout history?
3. Did the Zionists practice ethnic cleansing?
Bonus: Are Jews white?


*

1. Do Palestinians have an ancient genetic connection to the land and to Jews?

"Jews break down into three genetic groups, all of which have Middle Eastern origins – which are shared with the Palestinians and Druze." Blood Brothers: Palestinians and Jews Share Genetic Roots - Haaretz

"Then there is the question of the exile of 70 AD. There has been no real research into this turning point in Jewish history, the cause of the diaspora. And for a simple reason: the Romans never exiled any nation from anywhere on the eastern seaboard of the Mediterranean. Apart from enslaved prisoners, the population of Judea continued to live on their lands, even after the destruction of the second temple. Some converted to Christianity in the 4th century, while the majority embraced Islam during the 7th century Arab conquest." -Schlomo Sand, Israel deliberately forgets its history

2. Was the name "Palestine" used throughout history?

“Palestine became a predominately Arab and Islamic country by the end of the seventh century. Almost immediately thereafter its boundaries and its characteristics — including its name in Arabic, Filastin — became known to the entire Islamic world, as much for its fertility and beauty as for its religious significance...In 1516, Palestine became a province of the Ottoman Empire, but this made it no less fertile, no less Arab or Islamic...Sixty percent of the population was in agriculture; the balance was divided between townspeople and a relatively small nomadic group. All these people believed themselves to belong in a land called Palestine, despite their feelings that they were also members of a large Arab nation...Despite the steady arrival in Palestine of Jewish colonists after 1882, it is important to realize that not until the few weeks immediately preceding the establishment of Israel in the spring of 1948 was there ever anything other than a huge Arab majority. For example, the Jewish population in 1931 was 174,606 against a total of 1,033,314.” Edward Said, “The Question of Palestine.”

Wikipedia can guide you through the different periods of Palestine's long history under its name:
  • Philistia, established c.1175 BC and existing in various forms until the Assyrian conquest
  • Palaistinê or Palaestina, names used during the Persian and Hellenic periods
  • Paralia (Palestine), the coastal eparchy of Palestine during Hellenistic and Roman times.
  • Syria Palaestina or Roman Palestine, a Roman province (135-390 CE) (135-330 CE)
  • Palaestina Prima, a Byzantine province in the Levant from 390 to 636, comprising the Galilee and northern Jordan Valley
  • Palaestina Secunda, a Byzantine province in the Levant from 390 to 636, comprising the shoreline and hills of the Southern Levant (Judea and Samaria)
  • Palaestina Salutaris alias Palestina Tertia, a Byzantine province established in 6th century, covering the Negev and Transjordan
  • Jund Filastin (638 – 10th century), one of the military districts of the Umayyad and Abbasid Caliphate province of Bilad al-Sham (Syria)
  • Ottoman Syria, divisions of the Ottoman Empire within the Levant
    • Mutasarrifate of Jerusalem (1872-1917), also known as the "Sanjak of Jerusalem", an Ottoman district commonly referred to as "Southern Syria" or "Palestine". The district encompassed Jerusalem, Gaza, Jaffa, Hebron, Bethlehem and Beersheba.
  • Mandatory Palestine (1920–1948), a geopolitical entity under British administration

3. Did the Zionists practice ethnic cleansing?

"Jewish villages were built in the place of Arab villages. You do not even know the names of these Arab villages, and I do not blame you because geography books no longer exist. Not only do the books not exist, the Arab villages are not there either. Nahlal arose in the place of Mahlul, Kibbutz Gvat in the place of Jibta, Kibbutz Sarid in the place of Huneifis, and Kefar Yehushua in the place of Tal al-Shuman. There is not a single place built in this country that did not have a former Arab population." —David Ben-Gurion, Israel's first Prime Minister

A Synopsis of the Israel/Palestine Conflict:
Arab armies entered the conflict only after Zionist forces had committed 16 massacres, including the grisly massacre of over 100 men, women, and children at Deir Yassin. Future Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin, head of one of the Jewish terrorist groups, described this as “splendid,” and stated: “As in Deir Yassin, so everywhere, we will attack and smite the enemy. God, God, Thou has chosen us for conquest.” Zionist forces committed 33 massacres altogether.[4]
More: Palestinian Refugees Right to Return and Repatriation by Mazin Qumsiyeh, PhD.

Bonus: Are Jews white?

Check the US's census and immigration rulings: Jews have always been white. During segregation, Jews went to white schools. I know because in my childhood, I went to a segregated school where I had two Jewish friends.


It's true the Ku Klux Klan hated Jews. They also hated Catholics. Religious bigotry has nothing to do with whiteness. Judah P. Benjamin was Jefferson Davis's Secretary of State—if the Confederate States of America thought you were white, you were white.

ETA: Census Bureau explores new Middle East North Africa ethnic category | Pew Research Center: "In the early 20th century, people from the Middle East argued in court to be counted as white instead of Asian."

Dept. of Justice Affirms Arab Race in 1909 | The Arab American Historical Foundation Home: "The courts of this nation, both state and federal, have, whenever called upon for more than a century, construed the term “white persons,” or members of the white race, to include Syrians."

Recommended:

A Synopsis of the Israel/Palestine Conflict. Zionists will fall back on ad hominem and claim the site is biased, which lets them evade the important question: is it accurate? Every claim is footnoted so you may check the source.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Malcolm X quotes for socialists, universalists (or anti-identitarians), and people who believe in civility

supporting socialism and opposing capitalism

"You and I have never seen democracy; all we've seen is hypocrisy." —Malcolm X

"We are today seeing a global rebellion of the oppressed against the oppressor, the exploited against the exploiter." —Malcolm X

"It is impossible for capitalism to survive, primarily because the system of capitalism needs some blood to suck." —Malcolm X

"You can’t have capitalism without racism." —Malcolm X

"Most of the countries that were colonial powers were capitalist countries, and the last bulwark of capitalism today is America. It’s impossible for a white person to believe in capitalism and not believe in racism. You can’t have capitalism without racism. And if you find one and you happen to get that person into conversation and they have a philosophy that makes you sure they don’t have this racism in their outlook, usually they’re socialists or their political philosophy is socialism." —Malcolm X

opposing identitarianism and supporting universalism

"I have made sweeping indictments of all white people. I will never be guilty of that again." —Malcolm X

"I totally reject Elijah Muhammad's racist philosophy, which he has labeled 'Islam' only to fool and misuse gullible people." —Malcolm X

"We must approach the problem as humans first, and whatever else we are second." —Malcolm X

"I believe in recognizing every human being as a human being, neither white, black, brown nor red." —Malcolm X

"The earth's most expensive and pernicious evil is racism, the inability of God's creatures to live as One." —Malcolm X

supporting civility

"Be peaceful, be courteous, obey the law, respect everyone; but if someone puts his hand on you, send him to the cemetery." —Malcolm X


These quotes are from Dear liberals, please stop appropriating Malcolm X.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Zoot suits, conformity, and misogyny

First, a short rant about conformity:

Conformists think nonconformists choose to be nonconformists, but that inverts reality: The natural social divide is between those who accept their society and those who question it. The middle ground is held by nonconformists who choose to conform so they won't be harassed by conformists.

Nonconformity usually manifests itself as an alternative conformity: all groups have styles to make its members recognizable to each other. In my youth, the main groups were hip and straight—"straight" only began to have a primarily sexual meaning after the gay liberation movement grew strong at the end of the '60s. Straight culture had recognizable variants like jocks, hip culture manifested differently in black and gay communities, but the subcultures were still clearly part of their greater alignment because, for the most part, subgroups supported their greater group. Even true outsider cultures such as the nerds who didn't know how to fit into the dominant groups were recognizable by choices they made with their hair and clothing—people who say clothes and hair aren't important to them tend to be lying to themselves, which you can test by offering to put them into the clothes and hairstyles of other groups.

That said, my point isn't that true nonconformity may be impossible. It's only that conformity manifests in many ways, some overlapping, some contradictory.

Conformists explain nonconformity in terms of their belief systems. Conservative religious people think nonconformists are influenced by Satan or Shaitan or Xenu, and conservative nationalists think nonconformists hate their country. To bring this to the reason I'm writing now, identitarians think people who don't conform to their values are racists or misogynists.

Last night, I came across a post on Facebook where a feminist insisted two women who thought her outfit was funny were suffering from "internalized misogyny." I commented,
Conformists laughing at nonconformists is an ancient tradition that has nothing to do with sexism. As a long-haired kid in the '60s who got this crap all the time, I know this too well.
The person who shared the post argued that women have been under more pressure to conform than men. I suppose I could've simply disagreed with that: men don't get a pass on conforming, as was literally beaten into me at the age of fourteen by a group of boys who called me a goddamn hippie. But I asked,
Was it internalized misandry when I was mocked and threatened by men for not conforming?
The OP didn't see I was joking a little and declared internalized misandry didn't exist, and that when men are mocked, the mockery includes the implication they are somehow feminine, so men mocking men is misogyny.

Now, what I didn't see clearly enough at that point was this: Yes, conformists often mock male nonconformists as being female somehow. This was especially true in my generation, which was the first to seriously blur gender roles: cool kids of all genders had the same hairstyles and wore nearly identical clothing, with a few optional exceptions like miniskirts for girls. But to gender reductionists, gender-based insults are all about gender, while to the rest of us, gender is only one of many ways conformists expect people to conform. When I was obviously an outsider as a long-haired boy in bell-bottoms and brightly colored shirts, I didn't just get gender-based insults—girl! faggot! I got race-based insults—nigger! nigger-lover!—and politically-based insults—commie! pinko! red!—and nationalistic insults—traitor! America-hater!

To put this in terms identitarians should understand, those insults were intersectional. Prioritizing gender misses the point. People like me were a threat to everything the conformists believed America should be, so they chose insults based on what didn't fit their vision. What underlay all the insults was "Nonconformist!"

But last night I only asked,
So it was misogyny when flappers were mocked? When zootsuiters were mocked? Is there any way for conformists to mock nonconformists that's not misogyny?

When someone drove by and threw a bottle at my head and yelled "Hippie!", was that misogyny too?
One commenter said mocking flappers was obviously misogyny, so I said,
The flappers were given the memorable name, but the men of the time also had styles that were mocked, just as the zootsuiters were given a name, but the women of the time had styles that were mocked.
The OP replied,
Zootsuiters were largely Hispanic, so that was racism. If you actually knew what you were talking about, you'd know that.
There's a strong relationship between ignorance and arrogance with cultists. I noted,
Zootsuiters in California included Hispanics, but people of all races wore zootsuits. A famous example: Cab Calloway. Not as well-known, but if you've read his autobiography you may remember it: Malcolm X. Here's a 1942 Life article that shows some white zootsuiters.
To save you googling that, here's a screen cap:

Then I asked a question that the OP never answered:
...if zoot suits were all about race, why isn't there a hint of that in the 1942 article?
The OP responded:
Yeah, cite two black men, and some pics of ostensibly white (possibly just passing) unnamed people. Completely ignore the fact that not only was it a trend *born of* Latin American communities, even at the height of its popularity, was still largely associated with racial minorities.
I replied,
Oh, we agree that conformity by definition includes gender roles—conformists used to say of the hippies that they couldn't tell which was the boy and which was the girl. The question is whether it's misogyistic for men to break gender roles; if so, you'd think it would be misandristic for women to break them. And even more specifically, why assume that two conformist women are being misogynistic when they think someone's outfit is amusing?
And I shared a couple of videos to show zoot suits weren't a primarily Hispanic phenomenon:





I added,
I did a little googling because you got me curious about the origin of the zoot suit, and there are a number of theories, but none of them claim it began in the Hispanic community. Most likely, it began in the black community and spread with the big bands, but there are white contenders for the originator too. The pachucos picked it up from whoever started it. You might like this: Pachuco - Wikipedia
Around then, I noticed that I had missed one of her comments:
Blanche Callow is the reason her brother had a career -- biggest influence in his life, but het little brother is the one who had the fame.
I answered,
Forgot to thank you for the mention of Blanche Calloway, whose work I hadn't heard. Yes, many famous people had less famous older siblings. Look at Michael Jackson's less-known older brothers.


And we left it there. But for anyone researching this, France's Zazou subculture, like the Pachucos, came from the hepcats in zoot suits. The Zazous got their name from Johnny Hess's "Je Suis Swing", which clearly owes a huge debt to Cab Calloway:

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Dueling intersectionalities, Hillary Clinton, and a little Racefail 09

I would love to write a big formal essay about this, but life's short, so you're getting the letter-from-a-friend version. I recently saw two articles with bits that struck me:

From Bernie Sanders Is Winning Feminists, Even at Hillary Clinton’s Alma Mater | TIME:
... younger feminists are more likely to eschew traditional feminism in favor of “intersectionality“– the idea that social identities like race, gender and class are so intertwined that it’s impossible to prioritize one lens over another. In other words, a middle-class straight white woman would have very different concerns than a poor trans woman of color, and it’s unfair to assume that both would have the same priorities just because they’re women. And some young feminists say that in this context, Clinton’s gender seems less important than all the other ways she is privileged.

...Over and over, Wellesley students reiterated that intersectionality, not feminism, is their priority. For Sanders supporters, the Senator’s policies on poverty and inequality are more important than the symbolic win of seeing a woman President. For Clinton supporters, her practical agenda and myriad accomplishments — which her supporters say have often benefited poor women and people of color — are more appealing than her gender.

Yet Sanders appears to have the upper hand so far. “The only person who’s addressing intersectionality is Bernie Sanders,” says Katherine Gao, a first-year, noting that she sees a “generational divide” about the future of feminism. “Women’s rights is an important issue to me, but it’s not the most important issue to me,” agreed first-year Netanya Perluss.
Pie-in-the-sky Sanders more realistic than Clinton: Kirsten Powers:
The New York Times reported that Clinton’s flailing campaign is trying out a new line: that Sanders is a “one-note” candidate who is captive to an obsession with Wall Street and campaign spending. Clinton is determined to prove that Sanders is not ready for office, but that she is. “If we broke up the big banks tomorrow,” Clinton asked a group of union members, “would that end racism? Would that end sexism? Would that end discrimination against the LGBT community?”

...  Just so we’re clear: Sanders is an unserious pie-in-the-sky candidate because he wants to rein in campaign spending and institute a health care system that is commonplace in Europe. Clinton, on the other hand, will eradicate sexism and racism in America. Who’s the dreamer here? After all, Clinton can’t even keep her own campaign surrogates —Gloria Steinem and Madeleine Albright— from taking sexist swipes at young female Bernie supporters.
Being a socialist, I've long been critical of "intersectionality"—see the links below. The word was originally coined by Kimberlé Crenshaw to explain the importance of race to feminists who prioritize gender. Unfortunately, Crenshaw was a Critical Race Theorist who studied with people who prioritize race, so intersectionality in its first incarnation had no room for class—it was only a way for privileged feminists and anti-racists to discuss the obstacles they faced within the upper class. But the word opened an important door at the expensive schools where it was taught: it acknowledged that when you are trying to decide what matters most, there are more factors than race or gender alone.

The identitarian reluctance to discuss class was still strong in 2009 when the flamewar called Racefail 09 broke out in scifi fandom—"class issue" was a square on their racist bingo card, and Coffeeandink, the Ivy League white woman who launched the war, reluctantly made what may have been her only comment about class:
"...I do think class is a significant axis of oppression separate from but interacting with race and gender. I just don't think it's the root oppression that is the basis of all other oppression, or that eliminating class injustice will magically cause other forms of prejudice and injustice to fade away."
Coffeeandink and Hillary Clinton love fighting strawmen: Socialists have never said sexism and racism will magically disappear by fighting for economic justice. Though identitarians dismiss them as "class reductionists", socialists have always been at the front of the battles against sexism and racism. A socialist, Charles Fourier, gave feminism its name. Karl Marx said, “Labor in the white skin can never free itself as long as labor in the black skin is branded.” At the height of Jim Crow, the Communist Party USA nominated a black man, James W. Ford, as their vice-presidential candidate. The USSR sent a woman into space two decades before the USA did.

Today, two schools of intersectionalists are fighting in places like Wellesley. For one, economic class trumps social identity. I love those feminists. I suspect I will start using "intersectionality" freely now.

Relevant: The problem with the middle-class feminist theory of intersectionality

The Man Who Changed Middle-Class Feminism, or Derrick Bell and Critical Race Theory, Where Racism and Anti-Racism Intersect

PS. Hillary Clinton's take reminds me of the conclusion of a short piece by Adolph Reed that I love to quote:
From this perspective even the “left” antiracist line that we must fight both economic inequality and racial inequality, which seems always in practice to give priority to “fighting racism” (often theorized as a necessary precondition for doing anything else), looks suspiciously like only another version of the evasive “we’ll come back for you” (after we do all the business-friendly stuff) politics that the Democrats have so successfully employed to avoid addressing economic injustice.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Three rules for readers

1. Read charitably.

2. Read skeptically.

I shared those first two online with a note that they are at odds; that's why there are two.

Then I realized I'd forgotten the third:

3. Read widely.

And that is what unites #1 and #2.

Friday, February 12, 2016

How privileged people rationalize supporting Clinton, or Answering Stephanie Zvan

I won't address the opening comments in Stephanie Zvan's Bernie Sanders and Revolution Betrayed. They're there to elicit sympathy, and I have sympathy for her. I suppose I could say a bit here about growing up in the civil rights struggle, being driven from my home by death threats from the Ku Klux Klan, and so on, but the important thing you should know about what follows is I was a Democrat until the 1990s. I voted for Bill Clinton in '94, knowing he was effectively a moderate Republican, then watched in disgust as he abandoned even the easiest promises he had made, like allowing gay people to serve openly in the military, a job the Democrats left to the Log Cabin Republicans.

So I became a socialist in a country where that was still a dirty word. I voted for Nader in '96 and 2000 and watched the Democrats blame him instead of the Republicans, the Electoral College, or the thousands of registered Democrats in Florida who voted for Bush. I thought I would never vote for a Democrat again, but the Iraq War came along and I was in Arizona, where my vote would matter, so I did a little volunteer work for Kerry and voted for him. In 2008, I knew Obama was just another neoliberal Democrat (see Adolph Reed's description of him in '96*), but I hadn't been able to vote for Shirley Chisholm when I was young and I was still in a state where a vote for a Democrat could affect the Electoral College, so I voted for a black guy for novelty's sake. In 2012, I was back in Minnesota, a safely blue state where my vote wouldn't matter, so I cast my ballot for Jill Stein.

Now, I should probably add one more important thing here: I've been a feminist since I was a boy in the '60s who admired Gloria Steinem and Angela Davis. My father didn't believe in dividing work between boys and girls, so I never had the chance to think my sister should do less or deserved less than I did. I've watched the different schools of feminism divide since then, each proclaiming itself to be the One True Feminism, and now it's true I'm not a bourgeois feminist. But I'm still a socialist feminist whose heart is with women like Eleanor Marx, Dora Montefiore, and Emma Goldman.

Enough preamble.

Stephanie opens with a pretense of objectivity by granting some small virtues to Sanders:
Sanders had some history of pragmatism as mayor and accomplishments using that approach.
Then she dives straight into the favorite argument of people who tell us to compromise ourselves, pragmatism, a code word for "don't think, just trust me":
...his reputation for choosing close advisers based on loyalty and ideological purity was bolstered by his choice of a campaign manager who’s never run a national campaign but has run his previous campaigns, as well as other major advisers who have worked for him but not on anything of this scale. (Clinton’s choices, by contrast, have much more experience.)
It is true that no one can accuse Clinton of having an ideology that she has stuck by (see her shifting positions on universal health care and gay marriage), but it's odd to complain about Sanders' choice of campaign manager when his campaign is doing well and hers is casting about wildly for a way to win without having to resort to the superdelegates. It is true that Clinton's managers have more experience, but one should ask, "Experience doing what?"

Stephanie's next complaint reveals astonishing obliviousness:
He was busy stirring up dissatisfaction, because that’s his best political strategy.
Does this mean Stephanie didn't notice Occupy Wall Street or Black Lives Matter or any of the many responses to the failures of the Obama administration? Or does it mean she thinks Sanders is responsible for #OWS and #BLM? It's clear she doesn't think Sanders' popularity has anything to do with inequality. To her, it's only about "stirring up dissatisfaction."

Her next charge:
Then the data breach happened. As bad as it was, the reaction from the Sanders campaign was worse.
She doesn't bring up the incompetence of Debbie Wasserman Schultz. She doesn't note that the Sanders campaign did not create the breach and in fact reported the breach, or that Sanders fired the people who may've tried to use the breach improperly or may've only been trying to verify the extent of the breach. Stephanie wants to smear Sanders, so she uses whatever she can. (If you'd like an impartial account of what happened, try Bernie Sanders Campaign Data Breach Controversy : snopes.com.)

Oddly, Stephanie then says she was "done" with Sanders because she was tired of scandal. Yet any comparison of Sanders' and Clinton's long careers make it clear who wins the scandal contest. Yes, the Clintons have been falsely accused of many things by their more-conservative opponents. But even if you ignore all those, the charges from the left remain. (For one example, see Why Elizabeth Warren can’t endorse Hillary Clinton.)

Stephanie then links to an astonishingly ignorant article that claims "Bernie Sanders’s single-payer plan isn’t a plan at all" as though single-payer hasn't already worked in many countries. There are many traits conservative Democrats share with conservative Republicans, and one is an unwillingness to look beyond the US's borders for solutions that have already worked for decades. (A decent place to start researching single-payer: 5 Myths About Canadian Health Care.)

She also complains that Sanders has not consulted often enough with the military in general or Larry Korb in particular. I don't understand this complaint, so I'll simply agree that Mrs. Clinton has always been the more hawklike of the two and move on. (ETA: Korb praises Sanders: Bernie Sanders Is More Serious on Foreign Policy Than You Think.)

Next she fails to notice that any Underwear Gnomes analogy calls for three points, not four, saying,
As far as I can tell, this is his plan for us:
Discover our economy has problems
Vote for me
????
Revolution!
Now, I think she had to add the line about discovering our economy has problems because the neoliberal Democrats she prefers do their best to avoid addressing economic inequality, and when they do, it's with vague expressions of sympathetic helplessness. I could play the Underwear Gnomes game like this:
1. Vote for Mrs. Clinton because she's a woman
2. ???
3. Glorious future in which the elite and the exploited look exactly alike in terms of race and gender!
It's a fun game, but I think we should both leave it to South Park.

Next she links to Shakesville: What Is Bernie Sanders Even Doing? I'm not a Shakesville fan so the spin on Sanders' use of campaign money doesn't affect me. But I do find it significant that they don't bother to note who Clinton gets her money from. (See Hillary Takes Millions in Campaign Cash From ‘Enemies’: Clinton named the drug and insurance industries among her “enemies,” but has accepted millions in donations from them.)

Stephanie then makes an argument that only makes sense to an opponent of universal health care by linking to 22 States Are Not Expanding Medicaid. Here's What That Means for Their Residents. This is one of the great failures of Obamacare. If Sanders succeeds, every resident of the US will finally be covered.

Stephanie is proud that the well-financed Clinton folks began organizing early in Minnesota and complains that Sanders should've gotten here sooner (I believe this is called concern-trolling). It's true that currently Hillary Clinton is crushing Bernie Sanders in new Minnesota poll, but anyone who cares about electing Democrats should not overlook this fact from that article about Democrats competing with Republicans here:
Sanders ... crushes Trump, 53 percent to 37 percent, 10 points better than Clinton does in the same matchup.
And frankly, anyone who bets on how Minnesota will go would do well to wait until we're closer to making our vote. I live in a multiracial blue-collar neighborhood where you can see Sanders yard signs, but there's nary a one for Mrs. Clinton.

Stephanie says one thing I agree with entirely:
Getting Millennials and people of color into the political system–not just to the voting booth–is the revolution we’re actually going to get.
She apparently hasn't read articles like Why Young Democrats Love Bernie Sanders | FiveThirtyEight or In South Carolina, Young Black Voters Could Put Holes In Clinton's Firewall : NPR or Why Are Millennial Women Gravitating to Bernie Sanders? | New Republic.

She ends by linking to a nice collection of religious quotes about justice, so I'll share my favorite, James 2:18:
Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds.
Both Clinton and Sanders have a long history of deeds. Sanders was arrested when he was young for protesting segregation; Clinton worked for Barry Goldwater, who voted against the Civil Rights Act. Sanders has supported gay rights for decades; Clinton has opposed them, and only changed her position a few years ago when polls showed most Americans supported gay marriage. Sanders has worked for universal health care; Clinton has worked to keep universal health care "off the table". Clinton only reluctantly agreed to support a $12 minimum wage; Sanders has been an enthusiastic supporter of the $15 minimum wage. Clinton talks vaguely about education; Sanders wants free public universites for everyone. And lest anyone say "pragmatism" again, there is nothing Sanders wants that has not been successfully implemented elsewhere.

The simplest division between Clinton supporters and Sanders supporters is not age or gender or race. It's the class divide: most Clinton supporters benefit from the status quo, and most Sanders supporters suffer under it. Clinton feminists ignore the consequences of Clinton's policies on working class women, perhaps because those women are invisible to them, perhaps because they care more about the symbol of a woman in power than helping the women who are struggling today. This may be why people whose primary concern is gender are sticking with Clinton, while people whose primary concern is race are turning away from her. (See Michele Alexander's Why Hillary Clinton Doesn’t Deserve the Black Vote and Ta-Nehisi Coates Is Voting for Bernie Sanders Despite the Senator's Opposition to Reparations.)

Having been The Class Guy for ages, I'm fascinated by this split. No matter how much the champions of privilege fight for Clinton, even if Clinton wins, this is true: Bernie Sanders is the future of the Democratic Party.

I will vote for Bernie Sanders in the Minnesota Caucus. If he is not defeated by his greatest obstacle, the Democratic Party leadership, I will then vote for him for President.

ETA: A Key Divide Between Clinton and Sanders Supporters: Income - The New York Times

*
* Adolph Reed on Obama in 1996: "In Chicago, for instance, we’ve gotten a foretaste of the new breed of foundation-hatched black communitarian voices: one of them, a smooth Harvard lawyer with impeccable credentials and vacuous-to-repressive neoliberal politics, has won a state senate seat on a base mainly in the liberal foundation and development worlds. His fundamentally bootstrap line was softened by a patina of the rhetoric of authentic community, talk about meeting in kitchens, small-scale solutions to social problems, and the predictable elevation of process over program—the point where identity politics converges with old-fashioned middle class reform in favoring form over substance. I suspect that his ilk is the wave of the future in U.S. black politics here, as in Haiti and wherever the International Monetary Fund has sway."

Related:

On Hillary Clinton, superdelegates, and how the Democrats shafted McGovern in '72

Sanders feminists versus Clinton feminists: illustrating the main schools of contemporary feminism

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Hey, John Lewis! Billy Shetterly says hi!

John, in case you're having any trouble remembering me, which I'm sure you're not, here's a picture of me and my little brother at a march for integration:


Re: John Lewis: 'I never saw' Sanders at civil rights events

On Hillary Clinton, superdelegates, and how the Democrats shafted McGovern in '72

We're seeing the white and the black bourgeoisie coming out in strength to prop up Hillary Clinton. One thing is very clear from the people supporting her with words and money: Hillary Clinton is the face of the party establishment. Don't expect any Clinton feminists to agree, but they should realize this is a sign of feminist success: Hillary Clinton is now The Man.

The Democrats created superdelegates in 1982 for a situation like the one we're facing today, when the Party elite wants one candidate and the people want another. Whether they will dare to use superdelegates to give the nomination to Sanders, I can't guess. The elite knows that doing that would be disastrous, but never underestimate the ability of the ruling class to be astonishingly stupid.

And do not doubt that the Democratic leadership will do everything they can to destroy Sanders before nomination day. If you think they wouldn't, remember what happened to George McGovern:
McGovern was probably the most radical candidate to run for president on a major party ticket in the 20th Century. Among other items, he called for an immediate end to the war in Vietnam, a guaranteed annual income for all Americans, and reproductive choice for women. He won the series of primaries and was nominated as the Democratic candidate. Before he even gave his acceptance speech, the Democratic leadership was at work sabotaging his campaign. The rules committee played around with floor activities ensuring that his speech would be delivered at 2:00 in the morning. News organizations were provided with unfavorable information regarding his vice presidential nominee’s health. Party conservatives like Henry “Scoop” Jackson (the first neocon) mounted a campaign within the party and in the press designed to prevent McGovern from winning. After the landslide victory of Richard Nixon in November 1972, the party leadership began implementing rules changes that would forever prevent someone like McGovern from gaining the nomination. As Selfa points out, it’s not that McGovern was a radical; it’s that the Democratic Party does not represent the people (who by 1972 wanted out of Vietnam no matter what), but the corporate class.
ETA:
 

ETA 2:

Monday, February 8, 2016

Dear anti-racists, please stop appropriating the Black Panthers

Liberal anti-racists, like many people, are more interested in symbols than substance, so they're fond of pictures of the Black Panthers but fail to see the Panthers wouldn't be so fond of them. A few quotes from Interview with Huey P. Newton (1968), co-founder of the Panthers (italics mine):
There are two kinds of nationalism, revolutionary nationalism and reactionary nationalism. Revolutionary nationalism is first dependent upon a people's revolution with the end goal being the people in power. Therefore to be a revolutionary nationalist you would by necessity have to be a socialist. It you are a reactionary nationalist you are not a socialist and your end goal is the oppression of the people.

Cultural nationalism, or pork chop nationalism, as I sometimes call it, is basically a problem of having the wrong political perspective. It seems to be a reaction instead of responding to political oppression. The cultural nationalists are concerned with returning to the old African culture and thereby regaining their identity and freedom. In other words, they feel that the African culture will automatically bring political freedom. Many times cultural nationalists fall into line as reactionary nationalists.

Papa Doc in Haiti is an excellent example of reactionary nationalism. He oppresses the people but he does promote the African culture. He's against anything other than black, which on the surface seems very good, but for him it is only to mislead the people. He merely kicked out the racists and replaced them with himself as the oppressor. Many of the nationalists in this country seem to desire the same ends.

...The Black Panther Party is a revolutionary Nationalist group and we see a major contradiction between capitalism in this country and our interests. We realize that this country became very rich upon slavery and that slavery is capitalism in the extreme. We have two evils to fight, capitalism and racism. We must destroy both racism and capitalism.

...The Black bourgeoisie seem to be acting in the role of the house Negro. They are pro-administration. They would like a few concessions made, but as far as the overall setup, they have a little more material goods, a little more advantage, a few more privileges than the black have-nots; the lower class. And so they identify with the power structure and they see their interests as the power structure's interest. In fact, it's against their interest.

...The [black] cultural nationalist doesn't understand the [white] revolutionaries because he can't see why anyone white would turn on the system So they think that maybe this is some more hypocrisy being planted by white people. I personally think that there are many young white revolutionaries who are sincere in attempting to realign themselves with mankind, and to make a reality out the high moral standards that their fathers and forefathers only expressed.
Yes, this was inspired by Beyoncé's performance at the Super Bowl:


ETA: Beyoncé Slays Black People | Orchestrated Pulse

ETA 2: Huey Newton writing in 1970: The Women's Liberation and Gay Liberation Movements

ETA 3: Beyonce and the Politics of Cultural Dominance

Diversity is realism, but diversity that ignores class is fantasy

Yesterday, Kate Elliott tweeted,
Diversity is realism.
I agree entirely; there's a reason the feministsf wiki said my “work features strong women characters and people of color”. It has nothing to do with ideology—I just write about the kinds of people I know.

But as anyone who has been paying attention to class in the US knows, many of the people who talk about diversity are only interested in diversity of race and gender. In the science fiction community, part of the diversity crowd hates discussing class so much that during the race reductionist uproar called Racefail 09, "class issue" was a square on a Racist Bingo card.

So I went to Ms. Elliott's twitter feed and saw the tweets she made leading up to her statement that diversity is realism:
I am more than happy if you, as an individual writer, don't want to include women characters. That's your choice. But it isn't realism.

Same for PoC, disabled, LGTBQ characters: Don't include them in your fiction if you don't want, but don't argue realism forced your hand.
And again, I agree entirely. If your reality is all white, male, and straight, there's no reason your fiction shouldn't reflect that. That wouldn't mean your fiction would be racist, sexist, and homophobic/transphobic—sometimes people write very powerfully about things by leaving them out, so we see what's important by seeing what's missing.

But the diversity crowd often overlooks their nannies and gardeners. They overlook the people who service their cars and sell their groceries. They overlook the people who ask for spare change in this world where there are not enough jobs for everyone who is capable of working and not enough help for everyone who is not.

So I tweeted back,
True. But "diversity" that insists class issues are "derailing" is pure neoliberal fantasy.
She responded,
Did I say that somewhere in that three word tweet?
Now, I probably should've simply said that "diversity" unclarified is meaningless. For decades, every business in the US has been trumpeting its diversity, and what they mean is "we want everyone to buy our products". Walter Benn Michaels examined this well in one of the best leftist critiques of identitarianism, The Trouble with Diversity: How We Learned to Love Identity and Ignore Inequality.

Instead, I tweeted,
In our field, privileged graduates of expensive private schools have said that.
She replied,
Well, I can't speak for others. In general I try to only speak for myself.
And that's a fair enough response, so I ended the discussion with
Emma says your work is good in that regard, so no worries.
When Emma saw the tweets, she pointed out that my comment, which I'd meant as clarifying, could easily be interpreted as criticizing. I should've responded to Elliott's tweet with something like "If your definition of diversity includes class, I couldn't agree more." Conveying tone is hard when all we have are written words, and friends invariably read more charitably than strangers and enemies do. I need to learn to avoid these discussions on Twitter.

But still, it's always good to have an excuse to examine different views of diversity. This post is effectively part two of Sanders feminists versus Clinton feminists: illustrating the main schools of contemporary feminism—Clinton feminists have a much narrower definition of diversity than Sanders feminists.

P.S. In The Limits of Antiracism, Adolph Reed addressed the difficulty race reductionists have regarding class and nuance:
Yes, racism exists, as a conceptual condensation of practices and ideas that reproduce, or seek to reproduce, hierarchy along lines defined by race. Apostles of antiracism frequently can’t hear this sort of statement, because in their exceedingly simplistic version of the nexus of race and injustice there can be only the Manichean dichotomy of those who admit racism’s existence and those who deny it.

...I remain curious why the “debate” over antiracism as a politics takes such indirect and evasive forms—like the analogizing and guilt by association, moralistic bombast in lieu of concrete argument—and why it persists in establishing, even often while denying the move, the terms of debate as race vs. class. I’m increasingly convinced that a likely reason is that the race line is itself a class line, one that is entirely consistent with the neoliberal redefinition of equality and democracy. It reflects the social position of those positioned to benefit from the view that the market is a just, effective, or even acceptable system for rewarding talent and virtue and punishing their opposites and that, therefore, removal of “artificial” impediments to its functioning like race and gender will make it even more efficient and just.

From this perspective even the “left” antiracist line that we must fight both economic inequality and racial inequality, which seems always in practice to give priority to “fighting racism” (often theorized as a necessary precondition for doing anything else), looks suspiciously like only another version of the evasive “we’ll come back for you” (after we do all the business-friendly stuff) politics that the Democrats have so successfully employed to avoid addressing economic injustice.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Sanders feminists versus Clinton feminists: illustrating the main schools of contemporary feminism

I'm watching the fight between Sanders feminists and Clinton feminists with fascination. If you're an identitarian feminist, or what Christina Hoff Sommers calls a gender feminist, you probably think this is presumptuous of a man. If you're an egalitarian feminist, or what Christina Hoff Sommers calls an equity feminist, you probably don't give a damn.

Clinton feminists can be divided into two overlapping groups:

1. Identitarian feminists who think what matters most is the success of a woman.

2. Neoliberal feminists who oppose a high minimum wage and universal health care while supporting the US's for-profit prison industry, even though all three disproportionately harm working class women.

Sanders feminists can also be divided into two overlapping groups:

1. Pragmatic feminists who may have an identitarian streak but recognize that Sanders' policies matter more than his identity.

2. Socialist feminists whose concern is with women of all hues in the working class.

I'm very encouraged by the fact younger feminists disproportionately prefer Sanders. The exceptions in that group tend to be very privileged young women (in the traditional sense of privilege) who prefer the woman who has their class interest at heart.

Regarding Madeline Albright's "special place in hell" for women who don't support Clinton, I'm confident there's a special place in hell for women like Albright. In 1996, when Albright served Bill Clinton, Leslie Stahl asked her this question about the deaths caused by the sanctions on Iraq: "We have heard that half a million children have died. I mean, that's more children than died in Hiroshima. And, you know, is the price worth it?" Albright answered, "I think this is a very hard choice, but the price — we think the price is worth it."

Perhaps as a reward for saying that, Clinton gave Albright the job that Obama gave Hillary Clinton.

ETA: "There's a special place in Hell for people who say there's a special place in Hell for other people" -John Podhoretz

ETA 2: Women for Bernie Sanders 2016

Saturday, February 6, 2016

How identitarianism erases the class war in the Democratic Party (and in general)

Pundits love to talk about the differences between Sanders and Clinton supporters in terms of age, race, and gender, but Corey Robin clarifies the uniting difference in On Electability:
Not only did the voters in 2008 cast their ballot for a black man—something many right-thinking people were sure was not possible in the United States (remember the Bradley Effect?)—but now, to an increasing and unanticipated degree, they are casting their ballots for a self-declared socialist from Brooklyn. And not only is it not the limousine liberal set that’s voting in this unexpected way, as was the case during the 2008 primaries when wealthier Democrats backed Obama and poorer Democrats voted for Clinton. This time around, Clinton’s main base of support seems to be coming from the upper-income brackets of the party, while lower-income voters are flocking to Sanders.

Friday, February 5, 2016

On the uselessness and arrogance of "stupid"

I left this comment at Heads Up: People are not stupid, and they don’t suck | The Dream Café:
Like many words used by elitists, “stupid” is ultimately meaningless. Does it mean ignorant? Does it mean mentally deficient? It seems to mean “Shut up. I know best.”

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Cornel West and Cedric Johnson on Ta-Nehisi Coates

From Dr. Cornel West - In Defense of James Baldwin :
Coates is a clever wordsmith with journalistic talent who avoids any critique of the Black president in power. Baldwin’s painful self-examination led to collective action and a focus on social movements. He reveled in the examples of Medgar, Martin, Malcolm, Fannie Lou Hamer and Angela Davis. Coates’s fear-driven self-absorption leads to individual escape and flight to safety – he is cowardly silent on the marvelous new militancy in Ferguson, Baltimore, New York, Oakland, Cleveland and other places. Coates can grow and mature, but without an analysis of capitalist wealth inequality, gender domination, homophobic degradation, Imperial occupation (all concrete forms of plunder) and collective fightback (not just personal struggle) Coates will remain a mere darling of White and Black Neo-liberals, paralyzed by their Obama worship and hence a distraction from the necessary courage and vision we need in our catastrophic times. How I wish the prophetic work of serious intellectuals like Robin DG Kelley, Imani Perry, Gerald Horne, Eddie Glaude commanded the attention the corporate media gives Coates. But in our age of superficial spectacle, even the great Morrison is seduced by the linguistic glitz and political silences of Coates as we all hunger for the literary genius and political engagement of Baldwin. As in jazz, we must teach our youth that immature imitation is suicide and premature elevation is death. Brother Coates continue to lift your gifted voice to your precious son and all of us, just beware of the white noise and become connected to the people’s movements!
From Cedric Johnson's An Open Letter to Ta-Nehisi Coates and the Liberals Who Love Him | Jacobin:
...towering mid-twentieth-century liberal and radical left intellectuals and activists such as A. Philip Randolph, John P. Davis, Esther Cooper Jackson, John Jackson, Bayard Rustin, and scores of others would have found themselves quite at odds with Coates’s liberal antiracist viewpoint that working-class-centered, anticapitalist political projects are patently inadequate for addressing the concerns of black voters.

The claim that social democracy and socialism are always and everywhere at odds with racial progress is simply false. It is not supported by the actual history of progressive struggles and the substantive ways they transformed black life.

Ultimately, Coates’s views about class and race — and this nation’s complex and tortured historical development — are well-meaning and at times poetic, but wrongheaded. The reparations argument is rooted in black nationalist politics, which traditionally elides class and neglects the way that race-first politics are often the means for advancing discrete, bourgeois class interests.

...had Coates widened his interpretive lens beyond Chicago’s West Side — which was settled by Southern black migrants after the Second World War — to include the city’s more well-established black South Side, a very different, and in some ways more complicated, set of political alliances and social relations would have troubled his narrative of racial conflict, where all the predators are white and all the prey are black.

In Racial Democracy and the Black Metropolis, Preston H. Smith II offers a critical account of postwar housing policy and African-American class politics on Chicago’s South Side. During the same period Satter discusses, the South Side was defined by a more class-diverse black population, and one where the interests of the black professional-managerial elite as landlords, administrators, politicians, shopkeepers, supervisors, and homeowners sometimes coincided with, and at other times grated and clashed with, the demands and needs of black workers, public housing tenants, and the poor.

Smith documents how the horizon of social democracy embodied in progressive New Deal reforms — the ideal that all citizens should have access to housing regardless of their ability to pay — was ultimately eclipsed within black public life by a focus on racial democracy: the guarantee of access and participation in the consumer society in a manner comparable to all others of equal class standing.

Coates’s reparations argument rests in the latter aspiration, demanding racial parity within a market society, rather than the decommodification of housing, education, health care, and other human needs.
ETA: Sorry Ta-Nehisi Coates, The NAACP’s Reparations Plan Looks Exactly Like What Bernie Sanders Is Proposing by Yvette Carnell.