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Response to marmar (Original post)

Sun Sep 2, 2012, 10:26 PM

9. Wypijewski's piece shows just how much analytical power the Left has lost, by abandoning

historical materialism in favor of smug rhetorical tricks

"The law" (Wypijewski smirks) "is no more capable of delivering justice in <Assange's> case today than it was for a black man alleged to have raped a white woman in the Jim Crow South." She adds: "I am not comparing the founder of WikiLeaks .. with black men on the other side of a lynch mob." But she does make exactly that comparison, at the same time she denies it: "The Scottsboro Boys might have been innocent or they might have been guilty; it didnít matter, because either way the result would be the same." This dishonest gambit is called apophasis -- and it never adds anything of value to a discussion

The Scottsboro defendants were nine black hobos, riding a freight through Alabama in the early spring of 1931. The youngest was twelve and none was as old as twenty. They were accused of rape and, going to trial within two weeks, all but the youngest was sentenced to death almost immediately by the jury

They were, in fact, lucky not to have been lynched soon after they disembarked the train, having been protected first by the sheriff and later by the National Guard. From 1921 to 1930, there were at least 275 lynchings in the US -- and 90% of the victims were black. It is sometimes tempting to gloss that long ugly thread of Americana, simply as the unkind treatment of a minority group by the majority -- but an examination of the class interests involved shows something else: Jim Crow was an economic system. Antebellum slavery had provided easily-identifiable underclass to exploit and had mystified the exploitation with an elaborate racial ideology. Jim Crow later retained both the underclass and the mythologies used to justify its exploitation, although legal slavery itself was replaced by other forms, such as share-cropping, debt-bondage, and prisoner chain-gang labor. Like slavery before it, Jim Crow depended on violence and unequal protection of the laws. The lynching of black Americans, always without consequence for the perpetrators, was not simply a matter of white people being unpleasant to blacks: it served a distinct purpose in the economic structure, conveying a message to the underclass that their lives simply did not count and that resistance could lead only to pain and death. The violence of the Jim Crow lynchings was a result of carefully-crafted hatred, but it was not merely a result of hatred: it was also an explosive result of the psychological tensions and contradictions required to maintain the irrational ideological views associated with the entire system of oppression

Comparisons with the Assange affair are ridiculous and become more distasteful each time Wypijewski makes such a comparison while simultaneously disavowing the comparison. If Assange's case had resembled in any way the experience of the Scottsboro Nine, he would already have been sentenced to death twice by now

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Arrow 9 replies Author Time Post
marmar Sep 2012 OP
xchrom Sep 2012 #1
Cleita Sep 2012 #2
bemildred Sep 2012 #4
leveymg Sep 2012 #3
snot Sep 2012 #5
struggle4progress Sep 2012 #6
polly7 Sep 2012 #7
idwiyo Sep 2012 #8
LineNew Reply Wypijewski's piece shows just how much analytical power the Left has lost, by abandoning
struggle4progress Sep 2012 #9
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