[guest post by Dana]
Given that I’m wearied by that faction of the Republican party these days, I thought it would be a good distraction to look at the crazy happenings on the dark side of the aisle. Because it can always be worse!
Earlier today, Joe Biden gave the world’s longest and most convoluted “no” to the question of whether he would run for the presidency. But there was also another bit of DNC news:
The Democratic National Committee on Wednesday gave its blessing to two of the most prominent activist groups associated with the Black Lives Matter protest movement — the #BlackLivesMatter network and Campaign Zero — to host a presidential town hall focused on issues of racial justice, but stood firm in its stance that there will be no additional debates on the 2016 campaign schedule.
In letters addressed to leaders of the #BlackLivesMatter network and prominent activist DeRay Mckesson, the DNC invited the activist groups to coordinate and host a presidential town hall similar to those currently being planned by other liberal groups including MoveOn.org.
“We believe that your organization would be an ideal host for a presidential candidate forum — where all of the Democratic candidates can showcase their ideas and policy positions that will expand opportunity for all, strengthen the middle class and address racism in America,” wrote Amy K. Dacey, chief executive officer of the DNC, in the letters which were obtained by The Post. “The DNC would be happy to help promote the event.”
An “ideal” host?? Hm… Would this be the same #BlackLivesMatter protest group and supporters that bullied Bernie Sanders into submission, boo’d Martin O’Malley off the stage and shamed Hillary Clinton for claiming all lives matter instead of just black lives?
And would this be the same DeRay McKesson who recently lectured at Yale Divinity School, and whose lecture included a defense of looting?:
The mystifying ideological claim that looting is violent and non-political is one that has been carefully produced by the ruling class because it is precisely the violent maintenance of property which is both the basis and end of their power. Looting is extremely dangerous to the rich (and most white people) because it reveals, with an immediacy that has to be moralized away, that the idea of private property is just that: an idea, a tenuous and contingent structure of consent, backed up by the lethal force of the state. When rioters take territory and loot, they are revealing precisely how, in a space without cops, property relations can be destroyed and things can be had for free.
On a less abstract level there is a practical and tactical benefit to looting. Whenever people worry about looting, there is an implicit sense that the looter must necessarily be acting selfishly, “opportunistically,” and in excess. But why is it bad to grab an opportunity to improve well-being, to make life better, easier, or more comfortable? Or, as Hannah Black put it on Twitter: “Cops exist so people can’t loot ie have nice things for free so idk why it’s so confusing that people loot when they protest against cops” [sic]. Only if you believe that having nice things for free is amoral, if you believe, in short, that the current (white-supremacist, settler-colonialist) regime of property is just, can you believe that looting is amoral in itself.
Modern American police forces evolved out of fugitive slave patrols, working to literally keep property from escaping its owners. The history of the police in America is the history of black people being violently prevented from threatening white people’s property rights. When, in the midst of an anti-police protest movement, people loot, they aren’t acting non-politically, they aren’t distracting from the issue of police violence and domination, nor are they fanning the flames of an always-already racist media discourse. Instead, they are getting straight to the heart of the problem of the police, property, and white supremacy.
And would this be the same #BlackLivesMatter protest group whose members have called for the lynching and hanging of white people and cops??
Why, it’s all a resounding “Yes!”
And there you have it. The modern Democratic party in all its bullied, boot-licking, spineless glory.
Darned if those Republicans aren’t starting to look better every minute.