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Mon Dec 4, 2017, 12:08 PM

Redneck Revolt Says Deal With Racism First, Then Economics

Addressing our systems of White supremacy cannot be dismissed as “identity politics.”

“Our entire capitalist system is built on a bedrock of White supremacy.”

Moved by the need for control, for an unchallenged top tier, the power elite in American history has thrived by placating the vulnerable and creating for them a false sense of identification—denying real class differences where possible.


—Nancy Isenberg, White Trash: The 400-Year Untold History of Class in America

There is no shortage of media commentary discrediting “identity politics,” particularly the focus on Black, Latinx, LGBTQ, and immigrant communities calling for justice and equity. Economics is our real problem, a counter argument goes, not race, sex, gender, citizenship. But as author Nancy Isenberg points out in White Trash, “identity has always been a part of politics.”

Laws have been written to oppress and exploit particular identities—Native Americans, Black Americans, Asians, homosexuals, transgender, and women—in a successful effort to maintain a system of White supremacy. Yet, members of these communities have worked for the rights and equality of everyone. In turn, White allies have joined in these anti-racism fights.


The Redneck Revolt is one such organization. The self-described anti-capitalist, anti-racist, anti-fascist group challenges working-class White people to stand against White supremacy.


I recently talked to Brett, one of the members who heads up the network’s Southeast Michigan Chapter. (Because of hostilities toward the organization, Redneck Revolt members use only their first names publicly.) There are about 40 chapters nationwide. He explained why the group focuses on anti-racism rather than economics even though it seeks out white working-class and poor people in economically struggling rural areas.

Jeffries: Can you give an example of what you mean by “changing hearts and minds.” What does that look like?

Brett: A really great example would be back in June. The ACT for America folks did an anti-sharia law march. Redneck Revolt was there. We were on one side of the barricades along with a slew of other leftist organizations. On the other side of the barricades were Proud Boys, Vanguard America, and a hodgepodge of other alt-right groups. But one of the most prominent was the Michigan Liberty Militia, which is famously racist and famously exclusionary.

Toward the end of the demonstration, this one older gentleman—he was an older White man up at the barricade with all the gear on, and armed—had his rifle. One of my members and I went up to this guy and were like, “I understand mixing state and religion is not good. Nobody here wants to mix state and religion, nobody is protesting that. it’s clearly anti-Muslim. This protest is against Muslims.

“Furthermore, it’s against all people of color because this neighborhood [is] first-generation Somali, first-generation people form sub-Saharan Africa who are fleeing abject poverty and warfare, starvation, disease. So how can you be in this neighborhood and be like, ‘This is what America stands for’?

“Not only that, if you look to your left and right, those kids with the sun wheel on their shields, and the eagle on their shirts, those guys are self-described, literal Nazis. We fought a war about this. I thought we were all in unanimous agreement that Nazis are bad.”
And this guy he kind of started tearing up, and he was like, “You know, I’ll tell you, my dad died in World War II in Europe fighting Nazis.” And he goes, “This really has given me [something to think about]. You know I may not agree with everything you say. But associating myself like this has really given me pause, and has really made me think about what I’m doing here.”


I get that economics in an important factor. I did not share this to start another economics vs identity debate, but to share a story of activists in the field, working on making the world a little better, doing the difficult task of persuading hearts and minds and the reasoning behind their approach and strategy.

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Reply Redneck Revolt Says Deal With Racism First, Then Economics (Original post)
JHan Dec 2017 OP
ehrnst Dec 2017 #1
JHan Dec 2017 #4
JI7 Dec 2017 #2
Caliman73 Dec 2017 #3
JHan Dec 2017 #7
fleabiscuit Dec 2017 #5
JHan Dec 2017 #6
fleabiscuit Dec 2017 #16
sheshe2 Dec 2017 #9
fleabiscuit Dec 2017 #17
Gothmog Dec 2017 #8
sheshe2 Dec 2017 #10
JHan Dec 2017 #15
NurseJackie Dec 2017 #11
Eliot Rosewater Dec 2017 #12
brer cat Dec 2017 #13
JHan Dec 2017 #14
Skittles Dec 2017 #18
lunamagica Dec 2017 #19
Gothmog Dec 2017 #20
JHan Dec 2017 #21
Alea Dec 2017 #22
JHan Dec 2017 #23
Alea Dec 2017 #24
JHan Dec 2017 #25
Alice11111 Dec 2017 #27
JHan Dec 2017 #28
Alice11111 Dec 2017 #29
JHan Dec 2017 #30
Alice11111 Dec 2017 #36
JHan Dec 2017 #37
Alice11111 Dec 2017 #38
JHan Dec 2017 #26
betsuni Dec 2017 #31
JustAnotherGen Dec 2017 #32
JHan Dec 2017 #33
betsuni Dec 2017 #34
JHan Dec 2017 #35
Me. Dec 2017 #39
The Polack MSgt Dec 2017 #40
Jamaal510 Dec 2017 #41
NCTraveler Dec 2017 #42
JHan Dec 2017 #43
Garrett78 Dec 2017 #44
JHan Dec 2017 #45

Response to JHan (Original post)

Mon Dec 4, 2017, 12:29 PM

1. Yes - racism was at the root of housing discrimination at the beginning

 

and it's at the root of keeping people of color out of schools and workplaces.

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Response to ehrnst (Reply #1)

Mon Dec 4, 2017, 12:50 PM

4. Yep, and it was seen in the compromises with the dixiecrats when the New Deal was being formulated.

But as a concept "identity politics"is nothing new. Conventional wisdom among the anti-identity politics brigade is that this is some kind of new cynical move by modern liberals to pander to groups when Truman himself recognized "identity politics" - and he followed FDR.

this memo from Clark Clifford “THE POLITICS OF 1948” (1947) about the re-election of Truman is revealing. http://personal.ashland.edu/~jmoser1/clifford.htm

"President Truman will be elected if the Administration will successfully concentrate on the traditional Democratic alliance between the South and West. It is inconceivable that any policies initiated by the Truman Administration no matter how "liberal" could so alienate the South in the next year that it would revolt. As always, the South can be considered safely Democratic. And in formulating national policy, it can be safely ignored.

The only pragmatic reason for conciliating the South in normal times is because of its tremendous strength in the Congress. Since the Congress is Republican and the Democratic President has, therefore, no real chance to get his own program approved by it, particularly in an election year, he has no real necessity for “getting along” with the Southern conservatives. He must, however, get along with the Westerners and with labor if he is to be reelected.

The Administration is, for practical purposes, politically free to concentrate on the winning of the West. If the Democrats carry the solid South and also those Western states carried in 1944, they will have 216 of the required 266 electoral votes. And if the Democratic Party is powerful enough to capture the pest, it will almost certainly pick up enough of the doubtful Middlewestern and Eastern states to get 50 more votes (e.g. Missouri's 14 votes). We could lose New York, Pennsylvania, Illinois, New Jersey, Ohio, Massachusetts -- all the "big" states -- and still win.

Therefore, political and program planning demands concentration upon the West and its problems, including reclamation, floods, and agriculture. It is the Number One Priority for the 1948 campaign, The Republican Congress has already done its share to give the West to the Administration."


He then goes on to assess the different demographic groups Democrats would have to reach out to: catholics, italians, jews, "negroes" etc etc.

The main reason people have such difficulty with this I believe is that Class has never really been acknowledged in America, because America is not ethnically homogeneous. America's founding was built on a racial caste system so you can't thread race and class separately . It always strikes me that in America , race is discussed the way class is discussed in other countries.

What compounds this problem is that the white working class -specifically white males - are seen as neutral (supposedly neither motivated by race nor gender) and without an identity of their own - and this is wrong, wrong in the present day and historically wrong.

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Response to JHan (Original post)

Mon Dec 4, 2017, 12:33 PM

2. The biggest reason for white opposition to a more fair economic system

Is because they don't want minorities and women to benefit.

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Response to JHan (Original post)

Mon Dec 4, 2017, 12:50 PM

3. You have to deal with them AT LEAST simultaneously.

I agree most with this view because built in, systemic racism has stopped truly wide reaching reform from happening on an economic level in this country. When Unions formed in the late 1800's and early 1900's, many of them barred membership by POC. The economic populism of the 1930's and 40's was discriminatory toward POC. That is not to say that economic reform for the poor and working class is not a good thing, but as stated, this country was built with a racial caste system and policies have RARELY if EVER been color blind. White working class voters were peeled away from the Democratic Party in the 1980's with an appeal to racial bias and hostility toward POC who were either lazy Black people on welfare, or Mexican immigrants stealing your jobs. Union members went with Reagan who was intent on destroying Unions, and the tribal appeal of us v them was a major component.

The us v them should be those who want to control all the wealth v those of us who just want our fair share, but for that to happen, there has to be recognition about how race, gender, etc... has been used to divide us.

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Response to Caliman73 (Reply #3)

Mon Dec 4, 2017, 12:56 PM

7. yes, and it's gonna take a lot of deprogramming to get this through..

as Brett says in the interview , using an old adage "get them before the klann does" , he wants to reach out to sensitize and create awareness. I really respect their approach.

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Response to JHan (Original post)

Mon Dec 4, 2017, 12:51 PM

5. The Conservative Moral Hierarchy

~George Lakoff
The Conservative Moral Hierarchy:
• God above Man
• Man above Nature
• The Disciplined (Strong) above the Undisciplined (Weak)
• The Rich above the Poor
• Employers above Employees
• Adults above Children
• Western culture above other cultures
• America above other countries
• Men above Women
• Whites above Nonwhites
• Christians above non-Christians
• Straights above Gays

https://georgelakoff.com/2017/07/01/two-questions-about-trump-and-republicans-that-stump-progressives/amp/

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Response to fleabiscuit (Reply #5)

Mon Dec 4, 2017, 12:54 PM

6. love lakoff.. great link fleabiscuit. thanks.

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Response to JHan (Reply #6)

Mon Dec 4, 2017, 04:57 PM

16. You're welcome. George Lakoff is more relevant as ever. nt

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Response to fleabiscuit (Reply #5)

Mon Dec 4, 2017, 01:37 PM

9. Yep...

That about covers it.

Thanks, fleabiscuit.

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Response to sheshe2 (Reply #9)

Mon Dec 4, 2017, 04:58 PM

17. Thank you sheshe2! nt

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Response to JHan (Original post)

Mon Dec 4, 2017, 01:05 PM

8. K&R

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Response to JHan (Original post)

Mon Dec 4, 2017, 01:38 PM

10. Yep.

Thanks JHan.

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Response to sheshe2 (Reply #10)

Mon Dec 4, 2017, 02:18 PM

15. ..

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Response to JHan (Original post)

Mon Dec 4, 2017, 01:44 PM

11. "Our entire capitalist system is built on a bedrock of White supremacy."

True.

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Response to JHan (Original post)

Mon Dec 4, 2017, 01:46 PM

12. Solve nothing until we have justice for all.

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Response to JHan (Original post)

Mon Dec 4, 2017, 01:49 PM

13. I haven't heard of Redneck Revolt before.

It will be interesting to see how successful they are at winning hearts and minds.

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Response to brer cat (Reply #13)

Mon Dec 4, 2017, 02:18 PM

14. They're worth a follow on FB :)

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Response to JHan (Original post)


Response to JHan (Original post)

Mon Dec 4, 2017, 06:00 PM

19. K&R. Good read, Jhan

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Response to JHan (Original post)

Mon Dec 4, 2017, 08:44 PM

20. Great editorial

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Response to Gothmog (Reply #20)

Mon Dec 4, 2017, 08:51 PM

21. Their site is a great resource as well:

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Response to JHan (Original post)

Mon Dec 4, 2017, 11:58 PM

22. These are not Democrats. They are far far left and they don't represent America

Unless you want to completely change America as we know it. For those of you salivating over them, read this page before you make up your mind. It won't work out the way you, or they want it to.

https://www.redneckrevolt.org/principles

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Response to Alea (Reply #22)

Tue Dec 5, 2017, 03:04 AM

23. I'm aware of their views

I know they are not democrats. Again I repeat, The reason I shared this was because of their strategy in combating racism and how they engage with whites who find alt right rhetoric appealing at this time. How they've prioritized social justice , and see social justic as the pathway towards change. In their view, things won't change until social justice is at the heart of economic arguments, I tend to agree.

EDIT: Also I'm not as anti-capitalist as they are, I've said often on this site that capitalism needs to be tempered with collectivism - where there's regard for quality of human of life and focus on human flourishing ( these are things which should be the bedrock of any civilization) For too long, vulture capitalism was seen as the key to liberty - growth unchecked ( further edit: And while there's collectivism in vulture capitalism, it's aimed at consolidating the power of the predatory capitalist). Where gains are privatized, costs externalized, and where there's the hoarding of profits. I see critiques like this often , even on this site. And everytime we talk about redistributing wealth, it's an attempt to address imbalances due to capitalist enterprise left unchecked.

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Response to JHan (Reply #23)

Tue Dec 5, 2017, 03:19 AM

24. No argument there, I agree. At least they're talking about it.

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Response to Alea (Reply #24)

Tue Dec 5, 2017, 03:21 AM

25. Yup, I see some benefit there even if I don't agree with them 100% on everything.

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Response to JHan (Reply #25)

Tue Dec 5, 2017, 03:35 AM

27. Hell of a lot better than the Trumpster Rednecks.

My brother is one, a fairly wealthy one, and he kisses up to become super wealthy at some point. Tense and angry, yet he does do volunteer work for several good organizations, and he can be funny as hell. He is also an angry Repub who hates the left.

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Response to Alice11111 (Reply #27)

Tue Dec 5, 2017, 03:42 AM

28. do you decide to just not talk politics with him?

to keep the peace?

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Response to JHan (Reply #28)

Tue Dec 5, 2017, 04:18 AM

29. I try to avoid it, but there is always tension, even though he

hugs me, kisses me goodbye, & tells me he loves me, as we leave family events. It is a love-hate relationship. I'm close to my niece, his daughter. We try to stick to communication about our kids. He is naturally high strung, and I'm usually not.

He had a meltdown on a family trip in Mexico. He said, for the first time in his life, he felt racially discriminated against, when our party, the only gringos, didn't get waited on, at a sort of country club, he insisted on. I said, it's the wall.
He had a fit, and he said, these people don't care about the wall...their economy is doing great. I said, it's insulting. They have a lot of pride. He got pissed and stormed out w his family, taking the vehicle we had ridden in, which wasn't a big deal, just an AH. The insensitivity to racism comes up a lot. They don't think they are racists, but they are! He has a briefcase with a gun. He rents miniature horses for his daughter's BDay, which goes on in various forms for three days. Private schools all of the way. True red blood Repub. My daughter and her family are very liberal. Our family is almost exactly half and half, so blow ups happen. After Charlottesville, his sister-in-law blew up, as she is married to a Palestinian (in film directing, does well & everyone adores him, but he says while opening Christmas gifts, he is celebrating Ramadan. Everyone shows respect). Her kids are of course very Middle Eastern, beautiful, in appearance. She rightfully lost it with her mother, but the trigger was Charlottesville,
not a comment, how can you support this monster, who would mow down my children.

It's not black or white, complex. It's like the divided civil war families. There is love, but tension, and it can, and does, explode easily. His daughter, age 10, sharp, tries to trigger it. She will ask questions to the table. She's exploring reality and her values.

Sorry. A little question, and you got more than you wanted to hear.

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Response to Alice11111 (Reply #29)

Tue Dec 5, 2017, 05:00 AM

30. thanks for sharing.

I have friends who have just severed ties with some family members. Modern conservatism is toxic.

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Response to JHan (Reply #30)

Tue Dec 5, 2017, 02:21 PM

36. It is, and it makes me angry at those in my family.

If it continues, it will eventually lead to civil war, 15 years?, or the breakup of the US, which is better, IMO.

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Response to Alice11111 (Reply #36)

Tue Dec 5, 2017, 02:24 PM

37. I hope it doesn't lead to a civil war situation.

I hope it doesn't, but there are agitators who want that though. I am afraid though, i never thought liberal democracy itself would be under threat in 2017 but here we are.

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Response to JHan (Reply #37)

Tue Dec 5, 2017, 02:30 PM

38. Truly, it is being dismantled. RW attacks on the press, CNN, NYT,

haven't worked so well. Finally, they have fought back hard, but with integrity.

Maybe, there will be a turn around. We are more polarized than ever before. I believe they hate us in an uncivil way and are willing to hurt us to weaken us and strengthen them. If this continues to grow,

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Response to Alea (Reply #24)

Tue Dec 5, 2017, 03:27 AM

26. it just occured to me their approach is fascinating for another reason..

hyper individualism is part of the American DNA, so how they're reaching out to alt righters/nazies by imploring them to not just focus on their own concerns but others as well, and as corny as it sounds, showing how we're "all in this together" is interesting. If they could persuade these folks that they have far more in common with americans who may not look like them, but share their concerns for the future and their families, that's a step forward ( instead of being duped by rich conmen)

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Response to JHan (Original post)

Tue Dec 5, 2017, 05:11 AM

31. K&R

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Response to JHan (Original post)

Tue Dec 5, 2017, 05:13 AM

32. Fascinating

It takes all kinds to set America on the right course.

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Response to JustAnotherGen (Reply #32)

Tue Dec 5, 2017, 05:37 AM

33. yep.

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Response to JHan (Original post)

Tue Dec 5, 2017, 06:38 AM

34. By the way, thank you for mentioning Isenberg's "White Trash."

When that book first came out I wanted to read it but then forgot. On my list now.

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Response to betsuni (Reply #34)

Tue Dec 5, 2017, 07:28 AM

35. yeah I can't recommend it enough although..

I felt that she could have fleshed out her thesis a little more and analyzed the provincialism of Appalachia whites vis a vis southern whites ( Hillbilly Elegy, by Jd Vance, is the only book I've read which addresses the Appalachian white demographic , based on the author's own experience )

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Response to JHan (Original post)

Tue Dec 5, 2017, 02:35 PM

39. Excellent Post

I don't think of it as one or the other but you can't have one without the other, at least not if you want a successful society.

+1

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Response to JHan (Original post)

Tue Dec 5, 2017, 04:45 PM

40. I like these folks when they talk about race relations.

I respect their willingness to stand tall against the worst of us (us being rural whites) as well...

I also agree that until the great reservoir of racist bullshit is drained, we can't move forward as a nation.

But I am a Democrat, by definition a capitalist, of an age where any Marxist jargon grates at me

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Response to JHan (Original post)

Tue Dec 5, 2017, 10:59 PM

41. K&R

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Response to JHan (Original post)

Tue Dec 5, 2017, 11:09 PM

42. Healthcare as a right should appeal to all of their senses.

 

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Response to NCTraveler (Reply #42)

Wed Dec 6, 2017, 01:52 AM

43. If only, their messed up values prevent them seeing the light on that one.

If they were the only ones to benefit from it , they've been told for so long that government services are "handouts" because other people get them too.

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Response to JHan (Original post)

Fri Dec 8, 2017, 12:36 AM

44. This is one of the most important truths to convey to folks. Racism enables crony capitalism.

This is in sync with what I was getting across in the following thread a little while back: "A fundamental misunderstanding of the relationship between economic and social justice."

As for how Redneck Revolt responds to bogus accusations of so-called "reverse racism," I offer up Robin DiAngelo's definition of racism. Racism, she said, is "an act or a dynamic that is backed by the weight of history, legal authority and institutional control." In other words, there is no such thing as "reverse racism." It's nothing more than a tool used to obfuscate.

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Response to Garrett78 (Reply #44)

Fri Dec 8, 2017, 07:07 AM

45. thx Garrett, that is a great post.

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