Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Decolonize Seattle vs. Occupy, or, now that it's over here are my thoughts

Personally, I think that the move to rename and rebrand Occupy Seattle "Decolonize/Occupy Seattle" was a bad idea put together by a bunch of activists who saw themselves as a Vanguard, and wanted to push it through no matter what people staying there actually thought. The idea of a "Decolonization" is not something that the 99%, whether they be white, black, or hispanic, either understand or give a shit about. It's the product of college radical theory courses and is not reflective of the on the ground reality that folks face. How ironic, then, that the people pushing it were people of color, who tried to guilt trip the white Occupiers with accusations of racism and white privilege when their pet proposal didn't get passed.
My guess is that if you go down to the Central District in Seattle and ask any regular black folks living normal life what they think about the concept of Decolonization they'll look at you and ask what the heck you're talking about. The same could be said, to a lesser extent, about Latinos. Although the idea of colonization is more real, a woman who works as a maid at a hotel is most likely more concerned with getting through the day and supporting her family than with having a metaphysical discussion about Decolonization.

The point is, these were just folks who had very strong ideas of their own who claimied to represent all racial and ethnic minorities in Seattle, the U.S., and the world. Literally in the world:they declared they were standing in solidarity with global struggles of people of color. Based on those claims of representation, made without any sort of verification about who they actually stood for beyond the organized hip hop community, they tried to push their dogma onto what should have been a dogma-less movement. It was no different than when Marxist-Leninist groups try to co-opt democratically organized protests and actions. It had nothing to do with the color of their skin, except that their skin color was a useful tool they were willing to press into action in the service of advancing their goals, thereby completely abusing the trust of white Seattleites who just wanted to be respectful to them. It's a sad fact, one that may have caused folks to look at activists who are people of color with more suspicion, unforunately.

Truth be told, egoism was the actor here, just like in any situation where a self declared vanguard tries to seize power. Not coincidentally, one of the Occupiers I'm referring to got a few gigs making commentary on local public radio station KBCS. There,on World AIDS Day, he enlightened us about how AIDS was a U.S. government conspiracy to kill Africans. How nice. But then, I'm sure I'm just being a racist for questioning it.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

OMG, the fear in your voice is palpable...
i'm so sorry this is so hard for you to deal with. all these damn people of color and their problems. do you think you'll be ok? :)

Anonymous said...

good try tho, a little psychological warfare? turn people's internalized racism into a weapon. brilliant!

John Madziarczyk said...

Is that the best you can do? I was expecting an actual argument or criticism. Surely you have more than that to throw at me.

Dave Fryett said...

AIDS was developed as a genocidal weapon. read AIDS, A Crime Beyond Belief, by Dr Scott

John Madziarczyk said...

A question, though, is on top of whether AIDS could plausibly have been manufactured, did a group of politicians or corporate persons plan to kill off the population of Africa through the virus? From the point of view of evidence, to me at least there has to be a whole lot more than is out there for it to be believed.

There certainly were, and are, a lot of people who are concerned about strange things like overpopulation, which is kind of a red herring, and there were bioweapons programs in places like South Africa, but showing that a plan like that happened would take quite a bit of evidence.

Dave Fryett said...

To answer yr questions in order:

Scott convinced me that AIDS (or HIV) was created. I found his evidence conmpelling. The argument that it was developed by US and for Africa is less so but only slightly. Read the book and decide for yrself.

The weapon was developed in the 70s. At that tme the Cold War is still underway and most of the world's known uranium came from there. This is also the period of African decolonization (?) where the US feared both the USSR's encroachment and the effect African liberation might have in radicalizing African Americans. By a policy of targeted assassination the US had kept the civil rights movement from becoming radical. HIV was never intended to eliminate all Africans--that would dry up the cheap labor syupply--but to cull the population to keep it within manageable limits. And to reduce Africa demand for African resources so more could be lucratively exported.

With all due respect John you have a lot to learn about the history of biological warfare. Let's not forget that according to US gov', the anthrax that was sent around after 9/11 was domestic, and was a psy-op/false-flag program designed to kill Americans and blame Muslims. According to them it was a rogue DoD employee who harched the plot on his own in order to save his department's budget from cuts (you cannot make this shit up), but nevertheless that's your government admitting to an illegal bio-warfare program.

Genocides and mass culls are nothing new. What the US did to Africa the Brits twice did to Ireland. Stalin did this to a handful of ethnic minoities, and there are a million other examples ancient and modern.

Anonymous said...

I understand some of what you have said but I don't believe it had anything to do with race.

For those of you who have never confronted the tactic of "stacking" it is part of an overall strategy used by Trotskite groups such as the ISO and SEP and Maoist groups such as the RCP and now by neo anarchist. Although the vast majority of members of these organizations are white youth who are the sons and daughters of the wealthy and upper middle class who are bored and lack any ethnic identity. They exploit minorities as a tool to manipulate white liberals who usually come from the same economic social group.

Groups such as these have very little public support. Their ideology is more based in a dream world where unicorns exist than having anything to do with America in the twenty first century.

These folks take a group such as Occupy and implement a process to facilitate hegemonistic control of the body which they then use to promote their positions. You can't argue with them because they are simply delusional. If you look at the Seattle Decolonize/Occupy movement to day it is dominated by these crazies. This is not so because they have won anybody over but have driven people away.

Many of those in Occupy had not dealt with these knuckleheads before. Their liberal guilt allowed these groups to manipulate any opposition. Now they have driven any people who honestly were there to address issues of income disparity. They have focused first on those with strong opinions that truly represent and want to address the issue of economic justice. Now they are free to frame the message and claim some sort of institutional purity while throwing flairs and rebarr at cops.

Now that the group is Decolonize participation has dwindled. This is one of the reasons why the UW was recently the target of a working group. In the DS group's mind they are attempting to push students into revolutionary action which they would then lead. Like I said it is as believable as unicorns but this is what their agenda is.

John Madziarczyk said...

@David Fryett.

I think that the U.S. has done a good job of controlling other parts of the world without resorting to genocide, and I don't know why that would be needed in Africa.

The idea of Africa being overpopulated is a red herring because the population of Africa is much lower than that of Asia. Instead, there have unfortunately been many highly visible famines that have created an image that Africa is overpopulated.

Biowarfare has happened in the past, been developed by the United States, but I don't see why a massive population reduction in Africa would be necessary for the U.S. to gain control.

John Madziarczyk said...

@Anonymous,

I don't think that it's about race either, at its core. You're right in that the strategies used are the same ones used by authoritarian groups. Combine that with a very highly ideological frame of reference, that sees that ideology as being more important than truly getting a consensus, and you get some of what has unfortunately happened.

John Madziarczyk said...

@Anonymous again,

To clarify, I don't think that people of color have any sort of extra tendency to things like that compared to other people. I see it as part of human nature, but that it's manifested through race in this instance, which is also not to play down the essential role that racism plays in our society.

Dave Fryett said...

@john, Let's not be coy about this. They either did or they didn't, and it doesn't depend on whether you can see it or not. The evidence is put forth in the book, and it is just silly to argue the case based on sweeping generalities. Read the book, and evaluate the evidence.

There r now two more books on the subject but I haven't read them.

You say US did a good job controlling other areas without genocide. Could you name one please. Certainly the US genocided the indigenous here. They genocided N. Korea [read Target North Korea]. They genocided Laos and Vietnam. They genocided German civilians during ww2 and POWs immediately after [read Other Losses]. They nuked the Japanese. They genocided [or at least were complicit] Guatamalan Mayans.

Need I go on? As I said, these culls are nothing new.

And again, they were not just worried about Foreign Africans, they were concerned with domestic ones as well. If you had lived through the 60s you would understand. How many riots? How many cities burned?

Nobody has said Africa is overcrowded. Just that they wanted to test their new weapon and keep the African population from expanding--or worse, going Soviet.

re yr last point: Again, you seemed obsessed with numbers, and there hasn't been a 'massive' population reduction. It was about controlling politics and resources. And remember AIDS appears during decolonization of Africa. If African resources went to the USSR it would have affected the balance of power, and maybe history.

It either happened or it didn't, theorizing about it while refusing to look at the evidence doesn't make much sense does it!