Category: Race & Race Relations

Noel Ignatiev, 1940–2019

A Life Defined by Political Engagement

This article by John Garvey on the late Noel Ignatiev was originally posted by The Brooklyn Rail as an introduction to a piece by Ignatiev on Frederick Douglass. Given Ignatiev’s importance as a writer on race and class in the . . .

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New Film about the First Rainbow Coalition

Many young people are unaware that the Black Panthers sought out and formed alliances among Black and white, Puerto Rican and Native American working people. The first “Rainbow Coalition” was created in the 1960s in Chicago and became an example . . .

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How Should the U.S. Left Think about China?

Editors’ note: This is the second of three articles providing analysis of what’s happening now in China – and why.
[Interview with the author on Democracy Now.]
On the U.S. left, China is treated for the most part as an afterthought, an . . .

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Reflections on El Paso

The intense revulsion over the horrific slaughter in El Paso has shifted politics. But beware of ruling class solutions to crises caused by the ruling class.
The revulsion at white supremacy has even forced a temporary change in Trump’s rhetoric. On August . . .

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Sudanese and Algerian Uprisings: Vantage Points for Global Solidarity

Let’s build on all the new elements and openings created by the Sudanese and Algerian uprisings. Let’s create regional and international links on this basis to change the course of events in the Middle East and North Africa from endless wars, authoritarian capitalism, religious fundamentalism and imperialism to an emancipatory direction.

To Whoever Is Still Willing to Listen

President André Manuel López Obador has deployed several thousand troops of the newly created National Guard to the state of Chiapas to deter Central American immigrants from entering Mexico from Guatemala and in that way to please U.S. President Donald . . .

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The Road to Prison Abolition: A Practical Solution

Seemingly overnight, politicians are tripping over themselves as they clamor for prison reform in a climate where cases of police murder and prison abuses have drawn thousands in protests onto the streets. Today, few would doubt that America’s criminal justice . . .

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To the Arab Readers of “Marx at the Margins”

Published as “Letter to My Arab Readers” for the new translation into Arabic, Cairo: Arweqa Institution for Studies, Translation, and Publishing, 2019, translated by Hisham Rouhana.

The State of the Sudanese & Algerian Uprisings: Livestream Event, June 1

What sparked these latest uprisings, and what has made them so successful thus far? What are the balance of forces today in Algeria and Sudan? And what has changed since 2011 that may allow for a different outcome than the bleak reality we have seen across the Middle East for the past six years?

Coming to Terms with Actually-Existing Black Life

A Response to Mia White and Kim Moody

My central contention with both White and Moody lies in their reluctance to engage in meaningful class analysis of black political life.

Open Letter to Costas Lapavitsas and Grace Blakeley

Stories have a life of their own. Merriam-Webster describes a meme as “an idea, behavior, style, or usage that spreads from person to person within a culture”. It doesn’t matter who the carrier of the meme is or the way that they pass it on: all that matters is that the story is reproduced and given new life with each telling.

More on the Oakland Teachers’ Strike

Editor’s note: This article responds to analysis New Politics has already published on the Oakland teachers’ strike. In hosting different viewpoints on the strike, New Politics continues its tradition of opening its pages (and now its website) to debates about . . .

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Capitalism and the Reactionary Power of White Identity Politics

Momentum for building a post-neoliberal U.S. has been gaining strength with each passing day. However, despite the rise of new and exciting figures, such as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and the tide of striking teachers in even GOP dominated states, we must remain aware that whenever there has been potential for revolutionizing government and politics, there has always followed a reactionary and brutal backlash.

Cedric Johnson and the Other Sixties’ Nostalgia

There is something politically familiar in Cedric Johnson’s two essays in Catalyst (Vol. 1, No. 1, Spring 2017) and New Politics (No. 66, Winter 2019). Because his political conclusions are very general, even vague, ones that build “on broad solidarity . . .

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Trump Takes Another Step Toward Authoritarian Government

Socialists must organize a national movement against Trump’s national . . .

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In Defense of Black Sentiment

A Comment on Cedric Johnson’s Essay Re: Black Power Nostalgia

Johnson asks the reader not to pivot on certain ethnically motivated political affiliations lest we lose our class-conscious focus, and yet I find myself thinking about the ways Blackness is constructed in the arguments presented and how that matters.

Black Exceptionalism and the Militant Capitulation to Economic Inequality

Cedric G. Johnson’s “The Panthers Can’t Save Us Now” is a compelling, historically grounded critique of contemporary anti-racist campaigns against police brutality and mass incarceration. While Johnson is encouraged by the swell of organized opposition to the carceral state and . . .

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Only a Class Politics Can Save Us From Police Violence and Fascism

Lessons from Rosa Luxemburg and Cedric Johnson

How Johnson’s critique of the Black Lives Matter movement elaborates on Luxemburgist themes and provides a path to addressing not only police killings, but also the larger capitalist assault that drives them.

The American Left After Black Lives Matter

Historian Cedric Johnson’s essay “The Panthers Can’t Save Us Now,” published in 2017 in the new socialist journal Catalyst, generated a lot of discussion and won the Daniel Singer Memorial Prize. 
Addressing a historic discussion about the . . .

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Who’s Afraid of Left Populism?

Anti-Policing Struggles and the Frontiers of the American Left

My 2017 Catalyst article, “The Panthers Can’t Save Us Now,” was addressed to a specific conundrum within contemporary left politics and anti-policing struggles in particular: that is, the strategic problem of building a counterpower capable of winning in the context . . .

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White Supremacy and its Allies

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Perhaps the difficulty in capturing and defining the phenomenon of white supremacy lays in its ubiquity. Throughout American society (and more generally, across the Western world), ‘whiteness,’ symbolizes a status quo, a dominant set of norms and behaviors to which individuals are expected to adhere.

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