Posted by: Doug Henwood | October 24, 2009

Fresh postings to LBO site

Just posted to the Left Business Observer website:

Adolph Reed, The limits of antiracism

and

samples from #122, just out: LBO current issue contents.

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Responses

  1. What the fuck is Reed going on about? This is a tired, vague, confused, and ultimately misdirected rant attacking something that is barely perceptible on the mainstream political landscape. And that lack of visibility is itself the result of a relentless effort by American conservatism who have sought to portray racial inequality as an anachronism and racism as vanquished in the overreach of the Great Society.

    Most Americans regard ‘not a racist’ as the sufficient opposite to racism; antiracism involves angry doom and gloomers who at best are stuck in the 1960s and at worse seeking to bring the country back to the bad old days.

    Reed’s critique is confused and tiresome; it’s a thirty year old tirade at events and arguments that are nearly fifty years old. The liberals who turned the civil rights movement away from social democracy weren’t the ones who spoke of racism. Rather, their enemies were prejudice and discrimination. And these liberals were precisely the ones who limited their aims to specific and concrete goals. But the specificity of the objectives betrayed a disinterest in connecting all the dots. The language of racism was introduced by those who rejected the limited vision of civil rights and integration. Racism has always pointed to the systemic nature of racial inequality, the way racism doesn’t live in just bigotry but in institutional and cultural practices that generates both racial advantage and disadvantage.

    Reed is still talking about Rodney King. I can’t quite pin the decade Reed in stuck in. 1973? 1983? 1993?

    Antiracism in the U.S. is on life support not that Reed is mournful of that state of affairs. In his own Manichean logic of class versus race, Reed would be just as likely to pull the plug as not. He probably would since antiracism is probably giving him the finger.

  2. I’ve not received a copy of this. Has my subscription run out, or some other problem

  3. Cian O’Connor would be how I’m subscribed, with a yahoo address maybe?

  4. Gatherdust…. wow

    You totally missed the point of the article, probably because your missing the context. Reed is talking about the specific phenomenon of “antiracism” as a neoliberal agenda SEPARATE from addressing inequality and capitalism itself.

    What you wrote in the 4th and 5th paragraphs of your post is extremely Ironic – those are pretty much exactly the points Reed makes in the article and in his career! He would probably agree with a lot of what you just wrote if he actually read it.

    Kin of like how you would probably agree with Reed if you actually read the article.

    Not “connecting the dots” as you say, is exactly what the neoliberal rhetoric on “racism” is guilty of – they use the term “racism” to mask and hide the causes and shift debate into personal attacks on moral character.

    Sometimes this rhetoric *IS* called for – see the black agenda report and the early black commentator (although there you will also find a thorough commitment to honesty in addressing the inequities of capitalism) – but most of the time it’s manipulation.

    And you might want to read that Rodney King quote again – he was bringing up and example of a situation the ideology of “anti-racism” could not address.

  5. Suggest you cover the jobs conference (see jobsconference.org) in NYC on Nov.13 and 14.09. Also check http://fullemployment.blogspot.com for best summation of job market dysfunction by Frank Stricker, author of Why America Lost the War on Poverty, and How to Win It. Interview him! Rutgers University study America’s New Post-Recession Employment Arithmetic says 1980 – 2000 economy generated 35 million private sector jobs, but 2000 – 2010 it will lose 1.7 million private sector jobs. I listened to your Bruce Bartlett interview this morning, (and In Cheap …) both were excellent. Also, Joe Persky, Univ. of Illinois, Chicago wrote “A Permanent Jobs Program for the U.S.” in Feb. 09. See njfac.org/articles for pdf. Thanks.


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