Martin Luther King calls for Reparations

Now would be a good time to aggressively raise the demand for reparations. HR 40 calling for a Commission to Study and Develop Reparation Proposals for African-Americans Act has been introduced in the house and could well pass in the next year. The California Assembly has passed a similar resolution and is currently putting together such a commission for the state. The Oakland, California school board has passed a resolution calling for Reparations for Black Students. Reasserting the demand for reparations is the best response to the hysteria over Critical Race Theory (AKA history). The debate over reparations will force […]

Winter in America?

“There’s nobody fighting because nobody knows what to say.” Gil Scott Heron If it’s winter in America like Gil Scott says, maybe we’re all suffering from SAD – seasonal affective disorder. There are many reasons to feel discouraged — from Kyle, to COVID, to climate — even as we know in our heart of hearts that our discouragement serves the capitalist class.  But let’s look at what there is to be hopeful about.  Sixteen months ago, in the midst of the pandemic, we had 25 million people in the streets for Black Lives Matter, and police killings of unarmed Blacks […]

We’re in Deep Shit!

We’re in deep shit. This is the succinct conclusion from Nina Turner’s ignominious defeat in Cleveland this month 50-44%, The progressive wing of the party can’t be faulted for going all out for her in a bloody campaign. We pulled out all the stops. But so did our adversaries in both the Democratic and Republican parties, the neoliberal movement led by Barack Obama. He appears to have facilitated an elegant replay of the day before Super Tuesday when he convinced the neoliberal allies ganged up on Bernie to oust him from the race. It worked in the sense that despite […]

The Zone of Proximal Development and Political Organizing

It might be useful to those of us on the left who are sincere about implementing our vision of a human-centered society to think of ourselves as teachers and learners. One tool that teachers use is the zone of proximal development, a pedagogical concept developed by Soviet psychologist Lev Vigotsky in the 1920s. The way to teach a student is to learn from that student what they already know then help them to understand the next step. If you give them work that’s too easy, they won’t learn anything useful. If you give them work which is too hard, they […]

Oakland Black Student Reparations

On Wednesday, February 24, 2021, at 5:30 PM the Oakland Board of Education will be voting on a proposal for Reparations for Black Students. You can get the link to the meeting here. Brought forth by a broad coalition of groups including the teachers union, Parent Voices, Black Organizing Project, and many others, this is an enormous step forward. It is likely to pass in some form, but two things to watch for: (1) Some board members may oppose and separate the critical provision to STOP ALL SCHOOL CLOSINGS, a racial justice issue. OUSD has closed 16 historically Black schools […]

Election Post Mortem

Here’s the deal. Black people elected Joe Biden, and he owes them big time. It’s time to once again raise the one demand that fully challenges white supremacy: reparations. The constitution has reproduced what it was written to produce: a white supremacist republic. Leftists have tended to extol the virtues of the American Revolution, Tom Paine, Jefferson at least rhetorically. I think we need to revise our view. 1776 was a slave owners revolt. As well as a revolt of the land pirate Native genociders. They could see the writing on the wall from London, which abolished slavery in 1831, […]

Dismantling Systemic Racism in the Schools

DISMANTLING SYSTEMIC RACISM IN THE SCHOOLS: A Grassroots Strategy Thanks to Black Lives Matter – the New York Times estimated that up to 25 million people were in the streets worldwide in the months of May and June, 2020 – the issue of systemic racism and how to dismantle it has risen to the fore of the political discourse. Clearly, the police represent the front line of systemic racism, as indicated by the fact that although Blacks represent 13% of the population, they comprise 36% of police killings. Defunding the Police as a demand raised by BLM effectively addresses this […]

The OWG Brigade

NOTICE TO ANY SPOOKS WHO MIGHT BE LISTENING: THIS IS SATIRE It is possible that something approaching civil war is imminent in the United States. Already five people have died in confrontations between antiracists and white supremacists, beyond those killed by the police. The situation may escalate quickly, particularly if the election is as inconclusive as many expect. I would like to propose that we form the OWG Brigade, a group of Old White Guys over the age of 70 to assume the front lines in the upcoming battles. Why is it always the youth that are killed in wars? […]

Will we need to make the country “ungovernable?”

I watched some of both conventions, especially the final acceptance speeches. I’m voting for Biden as a strategy to better maintain democratic spaces in order to organize the working class for fundamental change. But I don’t remember a single thing he said in his acceptance speech. Trump was brilliant. I know that’s not an adjective usually associated with this seriously disturbed man. What was most brilliant was giving the speech at the White House in front of an enthusiastic crowd. Yeah, they weren’t social distancing nor were many wearing masks. Some of them may die. Doesn’t change the effect of […]

Top 13 Movies Celebrating Black Liberation

These are my personal choices. There are doubtlessly more, some I may not know about. Please contribute your own suggestions in the comments. Malcolm X (1992): Spike Lee’s masterful bio pic which rivals Citizen Kane as best movie ever IMHO. Chi-Raq (2015): A musical comedy about urban/gang – and worldwide – violence based on Aeschylus’ Lysistrata told in hip-hop verse (think sex strike)! And it works! Deacons for Defense (2003): Forest Whittaker and Ossie Davis in a drama about armed resistance among Alabama Blacks in the Civil Rights Movement. Freedom Road (1979): Muhammed Ali (!) stars in this Reconstruction story about armed resistance to […]