Sunday, August 19, 2018



August 19, 2018


MY CORNER by Boyd Cathey

John HOOD of the John Locke Foundation, Confederate Monuments, and the Battle for Western Civilization

Friends,
All across the nation—and not just in the Old South—there is an insistent effort to take down, remove, and, at times, destroy the monuments that represent our history and heritage. It has been the statues honoring Robert E. Lee, P. G. T. de Beauregard, and Confederate veterans that have been highlighted most specifically as targets by this movement and featured in the Mainstream Media. Indeed, very likely a majority of American citizens not familiar with this advancing campaign probably believe that it is only those Confederate symbols that are the object of this frenzied attack, and that once those monuments are disposed of, further demands for “cultural cleansing” can be blunted and contained, or will just go away.
In many ways, this temporizing approach appears to be the view of much of the establishment “conservative movement,” and as well, of many leaders of the Republican Party.
An excellent example of this pusillanimous position came recently in an article by John Hood, chairman of the board of the supposedly-conservative John Locke Foundation, in Raleigh, North Carolina [https://www.johnlocke.org/person/john-hood/]. In what was supposedly a “defense” of the three monuments now standing on Capitol Square in Raleigh currently being challenged by the administration of Democratic Governor Roy Cooper, Hood demonstrated obvious discomfort at having to defend symbols admittedly of his own Tar Heel heritage, declaring [Winston-Salem Journal, August 18, 2018]:    
Why not erect more monuments and public art to commemorate a broader range of individuals, movements, and events? That’s a noble enterprise that could unify North Carolinians across the political spectrum…. There has to be a better way. [https://www.journalnow.com/opinion/columnists/john-hood-monument-protests-marred-by-illegality/article_eba5fd41-52ae-5447-90e8-36769d462a01.html]

Hood, be it remembered, was a vigorous and very vocal Never Trumper (and continues to be), whose positions on most issues mirror standard establishment Republican boilerplate. And like them he answers accusations of racism, bigotry, and white supremacy from the Farther Left, as a dog answers the dog whistle of his owner...and like how most Neoconservatives respond in fearful fright of their Farther Left critics.
What actually bothers him are not the ideologically-motivated attacks on the monuments as symbols of Southern heritage and history, but, as he makes clear, the physical attacks on them—that, and that alone. And to prove his bona fides to the Farther Left, he adds his own exculpatory mea culpas for his state’s and region’s “history of hate,” and points proudly to his own record of tearful reparations (of the financial kind) for slavery, racism, and white supremacy:
“Although my love of state history is broad and deep, it does not extend to the Confederacy itself, the founding principles of which I view with contempt. Not only do I celebrate the abolition of slavery, the destruction of Jim Crow, and the expansion of freedom, but I also believe these events deserve far more official commemoration than North Carolina has yet erected…. I admire the planned North Carolina Freedom Park, for example. To be constructed in Raleigh on land between the General Assembly complex and the Executive Mansion, the park would “celebrate the enduring contributions of African Americans in North Carolina who struggled to gain freedom and enjoy full citizenship.” Similarly, the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation has just announced its Inclusive Public Arts Initiative, which will fund up to 10 new projects across the state with grants of up to $50,000 each. The intent is to “share stories of diversity, equality, inclusion and equity as they relate to the people and places of North Carolina, especially those whose stories have not been or are often untold,” the Foundation stated….. Indeed, the grant maker for which I serve as president, the John William Pope Foundation, helped pay for a mural painted several years ago at North Carolina Central University’s law school.”
Hood, like the other epigones of the establishment “conservative movement”—the “Big Con” as my friend Dr. Jack Kerwick terms them—is unwilling to engage in the intellectual battle required because, essentially, he agrees with Farther Left historically and philosophically, and he is willing to temporize: just don’t damage the monuments physically, and, somehow we can all do a “Rodney King” and get along—“There has to be a better way.”
This defeatist approach—which is the stance of Neoconservatives generally facing the cultural war we find ourselves in—puts me in mind of a quote I first read used by my mentor Russell Kirk; it is from Hilaire Belloc’s This and That and the Other (1912) (p. 282):

“[T]he Barbarian is discoverable everywhere in this that he cannot make; that he can befog or destroy, but that he cannot sustain; and of every Barbarian in the decline or peril of every civilisation exactly that has been true.  We sit by and watch the Barbarian, we tolerate him; in the long stretches of peace we are not afraid. We are tickled by his irreverence, his comic inversion of our old certitudes and our fixed creeds refreshes us: we laugh. But as we laugh we are watched by large and awful faces from beyond: and on these faces there is no smile.”


Is this not the very essence of modern Neoconservatism’s—and of John Hood’s--craven compliance in what is, in fact, an ignominious retreat, an insouciant giving way to the enemies of our civilization?
The standard template employed by the self-denominated “social justice warriors” is that those monuments to the Confederate dead represent “racism,” “a defense of slavery,” and “white supremacy.”  Yet, as is apparent from reports from across the nation (and in Canada and Western Europe: see, for instance: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/ontario-wants-john-a-macdonald-statue-1.4783329),  Confederate monuments are only a first step. After them—indeed, now concurrently with the attacks on them—are assaults on symbols memorializing Christopher Columbus, Franciscan Junipero Serra (who founded so many of the early Spanish missions in California), Andrew Jackson, Woodrow Wilson, George Washington, the politically-incorrect names of cities, towns, streets, and even colleges—the list is enlarged almost daily.
What John Hood and his Neoconservative associates do not understand…or, refuse to understand…is that their praxis leads to the imminent peril that Belloc wrote about in 1912, and to the triumphant return of the “rough beast” determined to destroy and replace Western Christian civilization that poet William Butler Yeats foresaw at the cataclysmic end of the World War I in his poem "The Second Coming" (1919): that “rough beast” held at bay for twenty centuries “vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle” in Bethlehem,  which now “slouches” as the Demon Serpent of the Old Testament to be (re)born.
The John Hoods of this world wish to have it both ways: unwilling to antagonize the dominant and vociferous voices on the Farther Left, while giving the deceptive appearance of opposition to the Barbarians.
Such allies in the civilizational war in which we find ourselves are no allies at all: like the chicken in the middle of the road, they will be ground down by the cultural Marxist “semi” that comes hurtling down the freeway.
Who are some of those who have largely inspired and motivated this latest multifaceted campaign of cultural destruction? And who have injected fear and fright into the hearts of not just the leadership of the Democratic Party, but increasingly have neutered real opposition from “conservatives”? Who are they—the proverbial tails that wag the establishment dog?
Let me give just a couple of local examples in reference to the destruction of the Confederate veterans’ memorial in Durham, NC, and the frenzied efforts to take down the “Silent Sam” monument on the grounds of the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill: the Democratic Socialists of America and the Communist Workers World Party.
These groups have been spearheading the efforts, and they hold the state Democratic Party in subinfeudated bondage to their rhetoric and demands. They set a linguistic narrative and policy template which has captured not just major portions of our politics, but is fawned over by the near totality of our media, and taught as unchallenged truth by our educational system and in our colleges. To dissent is to risk an organized and rowdy demonstration, demands for censorship, and, at a minimum, the smearing of one’s reputation (and possibly career).
Unlike John Hood and those like him, these groups and individuals only understand one thing: stouthearted and fierce opposition…to a final verdict. Either they win, or we do. The options are that simple…and that stark. Our civilization and culture are at stake.
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DEMOCRATIC SOCIALISTS OF AMERICA


We Stand with Maya Little




North Carolina Piedmont DSA stands with UNC Chapel Hill graduate student worker Maya Little, who was arrested last week for demonstrating the true meaning of UNC’s monument to white supremacy, Silent Sam. By contextualizing this racist statue with red paint and her own blood, Little sent a clear message to UNC’s moderate liberal leadership and reactionary Board of Governors, who have chosen to ignore students and community members, appease neoconfederate and racist groups, and mobilize the police to surveil, infiltrate, and disrupt protesters. Silent Sam must fall.

NCPDSA calls for any judicial or UNC Honor Court charges against Little to be dropped. Fighting against white supremacy is not a crime; it models the utmost honorable character. Additionally, we call for Chancellor Carol Folt to acknowledge the harm her leadership has caused students and the community and to accept responsibility for the racists threats against Little’s life which Folt’s inaction has permitted. Silent Sam must be removed from campus immediately.

– NC Piedmont DSA Steering Committee

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COMMUNIST WORKERS WORLD PARTY (Durham, NC, and Chapel Hill)


Home » Coast to coast » Victory in Durham over white supremacy

Victory in Durham over white supremacy


By Workers World Durham, N.C., bureau posted on February 20, 2018

UPDATE: On Feb. 20, the Durham district attorney announced that all charges have been dropped against all the Durham defendants, including five who were to have gone to trial on April 2.

People power won the day here on Feb. 19, as three anti-racist activists went to trial on charges stemming from the toppling of a Confederate monument on Aug. 14. The three beat the charges.

The trial was held six months after righteous action by the people of Durham brought down the monument. After months of political pressure, the state decided to break the trials against the eight freedom fighters into separate proceedings. Felony riot charges the eight had faced were dropped last month, thanks to pressure and solidarity from the anti-racist movement around the country.

The state’s presumptive motivation may have been their estimation that they had a better chance of convicting the activists on the three misdemeanor charges each faced: defacing a public building or monument, conspiracy to deface a public building or monument, and injury to real property. Instead, the people’s movement against white supremacy and in support of these anti-racist fighters emerged victorious. Raul Jimenez was acquitted of all charges. The charges against Dante Strobino and Peter Gilbert were dismissed outright.

“Today is a small victory,” said Raul Jimenez at the rally after the trials ended. “Two of us had our charges dismissed, and I was found not guilty. This is a reminder that tearing down monuments to white supremacy is not a crime! It shows that the whole world is watching. It’s a reminder that there are people who not only support what happened here in Durham, but support their communities doing the same thing we did here. White supremacy is not welcome anywhere. We will continue to fight.” Strobino added, “The judge thought this was going to be an easy conviction. Today showed that the power of the people can overcome the state.”

Courts packed, streets filled against white supremacy

Throughout the day, dozens packed the courtroom to support those facing trial. Later hundreds filled the streets for a solidarity march against white supremacy — which turned into a victory rally after the day’s proceedings. Nearly 75 people showed up for an early morning press conference at the courthouse before the trials began. The crowd included not only many from Durham, but also solidarity delegations that had traveled from New York, Chicago, Detroit, Baltimore, Philadelphia, San Diego, Indiana, Ohio and elsewhere.

A statement issued by arrestees and read at the press conference noted: “As we head to court, we are buoyed by the strength and determination of being part of an unrelenting people’s movement for justice. We are walking in the legacy of many freedom fighters who have come before us.” The statement uplifted the 50th anniversary of the Orangeburg Massacre in South Carolina and the 39th anniversary of the Greensboro Massacre [Communist Workers’ Party] in North Carolina.

It continued: “They give us the strength and determination to continue to fight racist jails, racist courts, the racism of Durham’s eviction crisis, brought on by gentrification. We will not stop until white supremacy and all forms of oppression and exploitation are defeated.  No matter the outcome of the trial, our movements will push forward with more resolve than ever.”

Throughout the day, the courtroom was filled with supporters as the state suffered defeat after defeat. In the evening, upwards of 200 people gathered at the site where the toppled monument had once stood for a march to the courthouse to join the freedom fighters as court ended for the day. As the march prepared to step off, word reached the crowd that another victory had been secured by the people’s movement: Raul Jimenez was found not guilty of all charges. The response from the crowd was electric. Cheers and chants broke out as the demonstration hit the streets heading to the courthouse, taking over all lanes and snarling downtown traffic.

“People all over the world know about what happened in Durham. Freedom-loving people, anti-racist people, oppressed people, they know about what you did,” Larry Holmes, first secretary of Workers World Party, told the rally at the courthouse. “Black people passed that statue going to that court; that statue was there to tell them you may not have physical chains on, but they’re still there, and that you’ll never get justice under this white supremacist system. It was a statue of terror. … The statue was put up at the height of the KKK’s national strength and membership. But [Black people] won’t have to pass by that reminder anymore because we liberated it. Statues are symbolic of systems. When you tear down a statue, you remind everyone that someday we’ll tear down things that are bigger than statues and build something that’s about freedom and liberation.”

Takiyah Thompson, one of the five freedom fighters whose charges remain, said, “We’re fighting white supremacy and hatred and a system that keeps its foot on our necks. Around the corner [at the Durham County jail] there are people in jail with bail as little as $50 who can’t pay for their freedom. A few weeks ago, a Black Lives Matter activist was shot and killed in New Orleans. It’s important that we come out and build real community as we continue to fight.”

Thompson added, “I’m looking forward to not justice but a push toward liberation. Because even though we’re in court and we’re doing all this organizing around this issue, we know that this is a protracted battle.”

#DefendDurham struggle continues

When white supremacists marched on Charlottesville, Va., in August, they were met with militant opposition by anti-fascist and anti-racist protesters. Heather Heyer, an anti-fascist [Antifa extremist] who marched that day, was murdered by a member of the fascist American Vanguard Party.

Two days later, the people of Durham continued that opposition by tearing down the Confederate Soldiers Monument, erected 93 years ago to terrorize the Black community. “After the events in Charlottesville, which were meant to revive racist terror in the ugliest form, those who stood up and refused to be pushed back were also fearful of what it meant,” said Sara Flounders, co-director of the International Action Center. “And then two days later, the liberating act in Durham changed the climate and was felt all over the world.”

After the toppling of the Confederate statue, Sheriff Mike Andrews opened a witch hunt against anti-racist activists and issued charges against nearly a dozen people. When the initial defendants went to turn themselves in, hundreds of Durham community members came forward in solidarity, claiming responsibility for the action. Support for the defendants in the community and across the country has only grown since. “I think the support has been great,” said Thompson. “It’s just been steadily growing instead of waning, as the courts and the legal system would want it to.”

More analysis and reporting on the Durham court proceedings and the ongoing anti-racist struggle will appear in future issues of WW.

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Our Program - WWP



We’re talking about the real issues facing workers and oppressed people – and organizing for the real solutions. Revolutionary solutions. Join us in the struggle to demand:

Abolish Capitalism
Disarm the Police & ICE Agents
Fight for Socialist Revolution
Defend Black Lives Matter

Mass struggle is the way forward. Read our full 10 points program:



1. End the war on Black and Brown people. Reparations now. Stand with and defend the Black Lives Matter Movement.

We stand in solidarity with and support the demands of the Black Lives Matter uprising, including jailing killer cops, abolishing the police and the historic necessity of reparations for Black people here and worldwide. Black, Brown and Indigenous peoples have the right to fight racist oppression by any means necessary. The rebellions in Baltimore and Ferguson were righteous acts of indignation and should be defended by the working-class movement.

2. End racism. Support self-determination for Black, Latinx, Indigenous, Asian and Arab peoples.

The U.S. has a long history of violating the rights of the oppressed. The southwest part of this country was stolen from Mexico, creating an internal colony of Mexican/Chicano people. Genocide and robbery of the lands of Native people are part and parcel of the brutal history of the U.S. Japanese Americans experienced criminal intern-
ment camps, and Filipinos in the U.S. suffer tremendous exploitation here and in their homeland. Chinese people were made indentured servants to build this country’s railroads. And Puerto Rico and Hawaii were overthrown and lost their sovereignty.

3. Abolish capitalism – fight for a socialist revolution.

Capitalism cannot be reformed. We need revolutionary socialism – a system of people’s power, where the worker and oppressed peoples, not the banks and corporations, own and control everything, where the needs of the 99% are filled, not profit for the 1%. Although progressive changes should be supported, they do not go far enough; the whole rotten system must be overturned. With the profit drive eliminated and the power in the hands of the masses of people who create society’s wealth, great advances are possible. Everyone can have a job at a living wage or guaranteed income for those who can’t work. Everyone can have free, quality health care, free, quality education through college, affordable housing, and the infrastructure can be repaired. All the ills created by capitalism can finally begin to be dismantled once human needs, not corporate greed, are society’s central organizing principle.

4. Stop the deportations and raids. Full rights for all migrants. End Islamophobia. Open the borders for people; close the borders for profiteers and warmongers.

No worker is illegal, whether they are from Mexico, Honduras, Syria, Haiti or anywhere. What must be illegal is the role of U.S. corporations and the military in provoking instability and imposing misery, causing people from those countries to seek refuge. No racist attacks on immigrants and Muslims. Every migrant should be accorded full civil and human rights. Shut down U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Instead of building walls on the U.S./Mexican border, open the borders for free and safe travel. Stop the so-called drug war that creates horrific conditions of incarceration and violence and fills the bankers’ coffers.

5. Food, water, housing, clothing, health care, education and childcare for all. Solidarity with homeless people. Moratorium NOW! to stop all foreclosures, evictions, utility shut-offs. Justice for the people of Flint, Mich. Free education for all, full funding for public schools. Job training with a stipend. Cancel student debt. Defend the right of student athletes to strike for a living wage.

No one in the world’s wealthiest country should be hungry. Restore and expand all food programs. Free, clean water is a human right. Capitalist housing creates wealthy landlords and gentrification, a new form of colonialism. We want permanent, quality, affordable housing for all. Abolish health-care-for-profit and replace it with a publicly owned health care system with free medical and dental care. Jail the pharmaceutical profiteers. Quality public education is being systematically eliminated via forced testing, Common Core and charter schools. Young people, especially youth of color, are denied education and sent to prison in ever increasing numbers. College should be free. Student debt, the trillions of dollars the federal government and banks are robbing from millions of workers, should be immediately cancelled.

6. Women need full liberation in all facets of society. Equal pay for comparable work. Reproductive justice, including the right to abortion. Restore all welfare programs. Lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans*, queer liberation now. Stop the murders of trans women. Full rights for all queer people.

We demand equal pay for equivalent work. Women’s control of their own bodies requires full reproductive rights: free, legal, accessible abortion, birth control, no forced sterilization and full support needed to raise healthy children. Abuse, rape, incest and violence must end. Fully funded safe houses are needed. Stop the objectification and commodification of women. Federal law banning anti-LGBTQ discrimination is urgent. End the murders of transgender women of color; support the calls for LGBTQ people to leave the military and for LGBTQ communities fighting displacement and gentrification. Demand access to employment and health care that is sensitive to LGBTQ people; resources devoted to eliminating LGBTQ youth homelessness; and the right of all LGBTQ people to define their families. We support LGBTQ people in the fight for self-determination, trans and gender liberation, and against co-optation of LGBTQ issues such as “pinkwashing” by Israel.

7. Change the system, not the climate. Make the Pentagon and oil corporations pay for the destruction of the planet. Reparations for climate victims of Hurricane Katrina and elsewhere. Immediate support for climate refugees. Free the land!

Global warming and its destruction fueled by profit-driven corporations is not a future problem; it’s here now. Millions of people are affected by loss of homes and livelihoods. And poor communities – already exposed to racial and class exploitation – are the most affected in the U.S. and worldwide. The banks, multinational corporations and the Pentagon– the world’s worst polluter – must be held accountable. But we can’t wait for them to stop climate change. We need socialism. Only a socialist system can handle the worldwide crisis of rising sea levels, droughts, extreme weather, lack of food and water, etc. The number one sustainable country in the world is a socialist one: Cuba. All of humanity, including non-human species, is at risk, and only extreme measures can save us and other species. Socialism is the only system capable of taking those measures.

8. Defeat imperialism. Shut down the Pentagon. U.S. hands off Latin America, the Caribbean, Asia, Africa and the Middle East. Build international solidarity!

U.S. imperialism has 1,000 military bases and the largest military budget in history- all to impose capitalist domination globally. We oppose all U.S. wars, invasions, occupations and drone attacks, regardless of the media lies and justifications. We oppose sanctions, economic destabilizations and all U.S. “free trade” agreements such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which breaks unions, wrecks the environment and violates national sovereignty. We demand independence, reparations for countries like Haiti and canceling the debt from Puerto Rico to Africa to Greece. We oppose NATO, the war on Syria and the encirclement of Russia and China, threats against People’s Korea and the revolutionary movement in Venezuela. We demand justice for the Ayotzinapa 43 and an end to the drug war in Mexico and everywhere. We support the Palestinian people’s full national liberation, sovereignty and right to return. We call for an end to all U.S. aid to Israel and all reactionary governments worldwide.

9. Full employment and decent jobs or income for all regardless of race, religion, age, gender, disability or arrest history. End all forms of austerity worldwide. Support the movement for $15 and a union. Abolish “right to work” (for less) laws. Repeal Taft Hartley. Stop killing disabled people, especially those with emotional disabilities.

Wall Street owes the people for the destruction the 1% has caused. Stop privatization and defend pensions. A trillion dollar plan is needed to rebuild cities like Detroit and Baltimore that have been destroyed by criminal predatory lending and capitalist restructuring that eliminated millions of union jobs. Workers produce all of society’s wealth, yet only get back a small fraction in wages. A fighting union for every worker. All workers have the right to strike. Equal opportunity in transportation, housing, education and employment for people with disabilities, and accessible wheelchair ramps, elevators and buses to provide equal access. Minimum wage laws must include disabled people, who sometimes earn only 22 cents an hour. Cops who kill with impunity disabled people of color and disabled LGBTQ people, particularly the emotionally and psychologically disabled, must be brought to justice. We demand a system where all contribute according to their abilities and receive according to their needs.

10. End the prison-industrial complex and mass incarcerations of Black and Latinx youth. Abolish solitary confinement and the death penalty. Free Mumia Abu-Jamal, Ana Belen Montes, Leonard Peltier, Oscar L√≥pez Rivera, Rev. Edward Pinkney, Aafia Siddiqui, Rasmea Odeh and all political prisoners. Stop FBI harassment of activists.

Prisons are internment camps for working-class people, especially Black, Brown and Indigenous peoples. Tear down the prison walls! People who are incarcerated need housing, job training, health care, and social services, none of which are offered in prison camps or the probation system. The GEO Group, Corrections Corporation of America and detention centers for immigrants should be shut down. Dismantle ICE and release all immigrant detainees. Meanwhile, prisoner demands for decent food, an end to solitary confinement, minimum wage for labor, etc., must be met. The U.S. government has systematically attacked freedom fighters who organize and fight for a more just society. Free them all! Stop FBI harassment of activists. Stop NSA spying programs, government surveillance and sabotage of political movements.

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