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Monday, Sep. 15, 2003 at 8:06 PM
Inevitably, some black radical groups work on issues that many anarchists are opposed to. For instance, most anarchists are just as opposed to black capitalism as they are to white capitalism. Most anarcho-activists recognize the danger of entering different communities and evangelizing there. This is elitist and can also be interpreted as being racist, since so many anarchists are white.
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Anarchy in black and white
By Rob Los Ricos
There is no homogeneous group or community of black radicals or anarchists. I’ll not belabor this point – I’m sure most leftist pundits are aware of the diversity which exists within American society. Inevitably, some black radical groups work on issues that many anarchists are opposed to. For instance, most anarchists are just as opposed to black capitalism as they are to white capitalism. Most anarcho-activists recognize the danger of entering different communities and evangelizing there. This is elitist and can also be interpreted as being racist, since so many anarchists are white.
But there were plenty of black and brown faces in the labor marches during the WTO protests in Seattle. So why were there so few black people involved in the street battles? I think the main reason is that if there had been a large, vocal visible presence of black radicals occupying streets and fighting against the police, the SPD would have fired real bullets instead of the rubber, plastic, and wooden ones they used. As the white cop I’m in prison for assaulting is fond of pointing out, during the Rodney King riots in L.A. he “finally got a chance to shoot some of those motherfuckers.” In addition, black arrested for the same crimes as whites during the Seattle riots would likely be facing serious jail time, whereas most of the charges against the white folk are being dismissed.
Yet even with the threat of this heightened level of repression hanging over them, accounts of the WTO protests indicate that there were many black and other and other non-whites involved in the fighting from the day and on through the week. I find it quite indicative of the racist, elitist attitudes which need to be challenged and overcome by lefty activoids that white middle-class “pacifist” demonstrators beat back black and latino youth who attempted to loot Niketown, and even grabbed one or two of them to hold until police arrived to arrest them. Luckily, the liberal assholes got what they deserved and the kids escaped.
From an anarchist perspective, the “leftists movement suffers from tunnel vision. The main focus of the current white leftist movement seems to be inclusion, but the latest advancement in anarchist critique describes civilization as a global death camp. Would equal opportunities in hiring and promotion within a death camp make its continued existence acceptable? To some people it would.
The sad thing about most American “leftist” groups is that they do not even attempt to address this argument. The result of inclusion into the mainstream of industrial civilization puts black radicals in the heinous position of being responsible for the obliteration of the few remaining village community societies left on the planet – mostly in sub-Saharan Africa. Not only should these societies be preserved at all cost, they should be recognized as being the ultimate achievement of human existence.
Despite the differences inherent in reaching out to and struggling alongside of people who have very different perspectives concerning their priorities in life, anarchists are coming rejecting the privileges their middle-class backgrounds offer in order to pursue a much simpler way of life. This has put anarchists into places they’ve been missing from for too long – seasonal farm-labor camps, urban drug-war zones, impoverished rural communities, and jails, right alongside their new-found neighbors.
With resources and do-it-yourself skills to share with the other downsized folks, anarchists are developing alliances with prisoner support groups, police monitoring organizations, people awakening to the concept of environmental racism, and are taking advantage of excess food production to feed hungry people. Slowly the barriers are being overcome and strong ties are being made to communities who have previously seen anarchists as just “white kids slumming.”
One thing the leftist” and anarchists do have in common is their need to get away from campuses and put their ideas into action. We could also do well by avoiding making sweeping generalizations about people, whatever community they identify with. For instance, I am an anarchist, but I am not white. I’m Mexican – not Spanish, Mexican.
Other writings and zines by Rob Los Ricos available at:
311 W. Hastings St.
Coast Salish Territory
Canada, V6B 1H8
Email: s p a r t a c u @ v c n . b c . c a
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