MLK: Fighting forms of racializing consciousness and the conditions of possibility

18 Jan

Continuing from my previous MLK rant…

In addition to being anti-racist, Dr. King was also anti-imperialist and anti-poverty.  His dream wasn’t simply changing racial consciousness: our ways of seeing, thinking and feeling on race.  He sought to change the conditions of possibility for racialization.  That is, he fought against structural conditions like unemployment and the imperialist war machine.

As I see it “I have Dream” speech is a broken record appropriated by liberal/conservative ruling forces.  I think we must understand that the dream is not simply electing one President, but collectively materializing that dream to change the social structures that allows racialization to take place.

I once saw Amiri Baraka speak and he told the crowd that he met Dr. King and Malcolm X on separate occasions just days/or weeks before their assassinations.  He said that both of them in their political development were beginning to understand the importance of united front work.  That the commonalities between progressive black activists needed to be accentuated and woven together over the minor differences.  Of course that applies for everyone as well.  Moreover, this is not a denial of social differences but a call to work through contradictions of those differences.

I think we should internalize and externalize this example of anti- racism, anti-poverty, anti-imperialism towards a united front of forces against the ideology of white supremacy which is fueled by structural conditions.

A kasama sister once called these things “Systems of Whiteness”.  In my mind I disagreed with that label but at the time I did not have the right language tools to respond to her accordingly.  But now I would probably say:

“You’re right, these structures produce white supremacy.  However, I think that’s one of its code words.  You’re talking about the articulation of what I am talking about.  You’re mentioning the surface appearance, the imagined concrete conditions.  What I am talking about is the concrete conditions that are the condition of possibility of for social difference.  I’m talking about class (not status), I’m talking about capitalism.”

Grasp reality at its roots.

Happy MLK Day

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