|by Gabriel Kilpatrick||Summer 2015|
"Someone threw a rock, and like monkeys in a zoo, they all started throwing rocks.” This remark was not made in the wake of the Michael Brown grand jury verdict. It was the account of Chief William Parker, spoken decades before and 1,500 miles away, on the unrest of the 1965 Watts Riots.
|by Femi Agbabiaka||Summer 2015|
Anyone who has participated in direct action can tell you that your first time is going to be scary, but it comes more naturally after that.
|by Francis Shor||Summer 2015|
Raising the slogan of “Black Lives Matter,” protests have erupted across the United States. Behind this slogan is a proliferation of new organizations and networks composed of engaged millennial activists of color. On one level, it might appear that what is being constructed is an effort to address the lack of civil rights protections for African Americans.
|by Peter Drucker July 13, 2015|
In the summer of 1994, my partner and I happened to be on vacation in Stockholm for the Pride celebration, so we joined in. I remember it as a rather modest, subdued affair compared to the ebullient marches I remembered from New York and San Francisco. But what struck me most was the lesbian/gay federation’s emphasis on legal recognition for same-sex partnerships, at a time when Sweden banned sex in gay bathhouses. I thought these were upside-down priorities. Swedish same-sex couples would win in fact the right to register for partnership benefits in 1995, while the ban on bathhouse sex stayed on the books until 2004. What a curious country this is, I remember thinking.
|by Michael Hirsch July 11, 2015|
A review of The Bigot: Why Prejudice Persists, by Stephen Eric Bronner, Yale University Press, 2014.
|by Saulo Colón July 9, 2015|
In this TeleSur interview with Rafael Bernabe, the spokesperson for the Puerto Rican Working Peoples Party advocates for a moratorium on the debt. Bernabe has written an extensive article in the current Summer 2015 issue of New Politics.
|by Bryant Sculos July 9, 2015|
“Rich people are the fucking worst.” This is the premise and title of Sean Illing’s recent Salon.com article (June 22, 2015). While I agree with his sentiment, the argument that follows this provocative title leaves a lot—too much—to be desired. Illing is a self-professed progressive, and the purpose of his article was to discuss the various “new” ways the rich are expressing disgust for the poor or anyone who isn’t rich, in the context of the on-going drought in California. While I completely agree that “rich people are the fucking worst,” Illing misses the proper target of critique. Rich people do indeed suck. However, progressivism itself sucks, and here’s why: it misses the systemic root problem. The rich suck, because capitalism encourages them to suck.
|by Joanne Landy July 6, 2015|
I find it odd that my friend and fellow New Politics board member Riad Azar should center his criticism of Bernie Sanders’ foreign policy on Sanders’ supposed “irresponsible” “isolationism.”
It seems to me that a critique of Bernie’s foreign policy should begin by criticizing him for voting for the Authorization for Use of Military Force resolution that paved the way for U.S. military intervention in Afghanistan, and for refusing to unequivocally condemn Israel’s shameful 2014 war on the people of Gaza. These positions might or might not be sufficient to preclude support for Bernie if he or someone like him ran as an independent -- to my mind that would depend on the overall dynamic and trajectory of the campaign -- but in any case they represent Bernie’s deep failure to consistently break with U.S. global imperialism and Israeli repression, and should form the central part of a critical assessment of his foreign policy stance.
|by Charles Post July 6, 2015|
Steve Fraser, The Age of Acquiescence: The Life and Death of American Resistance to Organized Wealth and Power (New York: Little, Brown and Company, 2015)
All of us on the left are all too familiar with the capitalist offensive of the past forty years. Under the banner of “neo-liberalism” capital has rolled back almost every gain working people across the world have made since the 1930s. All sorts of public industries, services and institutions have been privatized, social welfare programs that protected workers from the worst insecurities of the labor-market have been rolled back or simply abolished and unions and working class political parties that had traditionally organized and represented working people have been severely weakened.
|by Riad Azar July 3, 2015|
Regardless of one's views on whether or not the socialist left should support Bernie Sanders in his race for the White House, the momentum behind the self-described “democratic socialist” has been impressive. Beginning at 2% in April, his popularity grew to 14% in May and at last check was 32% in New Hampshire.
|by Rafael Bernabe||Summer 2015|
The Partido del Pueblo Trabajador—the Party of the Working People (PPT)—is a political project of the Puerto Rican left addressed to working people in the context of the island’s deep economic crisis.
|by Raven Rakia interviewed by Amber A'Lee Frost and Saulo Colón||Summer 2015|
Raven Rakia is a journalist based in New York City. Her work is usually focused on cities, police, and prisons, and she has been published in the Nation magazine, VICE, Gothamist, Truth-Out, Medium.com’s MATTER, and The New Inquiry. You can follow her work at @aintacrow. She was interviewed by email by Amber A'Lee Frost and Saulo Colón.
|by Kali Akuno interviewed by Riad Azar and Saulo Colón||Summer 2015|
Kali Akuno served as the coordinator of special projects and external funding for Jackson Mississippi’s late Mayor Chokwe Lumumba. He is co-founder and director of Cooperation Jackson as well as an organizer with the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement. He was interviewed by email by Riad Azar and Saulo Colón, both members of the New Politics editorial board.
Police Violence, Domestic Warfare, and the Genesis of a National Movement Against State-Sanctioned Violence
|by Donna Murch||Summer 2015|
Each generation has a moment when its members share an instance of collective experience that is forever etched into their memory. For the Civil Rights and Black Power generation, it was unquestionably the open-casket funeral of Emmett Till. The disfigured remains of this fourteen-year-old boy became a mirror in which black youth witnessed their most vulnerable selves. The sight was so excruciating that it helped catalyze direct action protest from rural Alabama to the streets of Oakland for nearly a decade and a half.
|by Stephen R. Shalom June 29, 2015|
How are we to assess the Bernie Sanders presidential campaign?
There are three reasons that one runs a candidate for president. One is the hope of winning, second is to influence other candidates to modify their views, and third is to use the campaign to build for the future, either educationally or organizationally.