|Reviews for Love Me, I'm a Liberal (2017 Redux)|
| Obluda chapter 1 . 9/29/2017
You are correct that MLK did condemn the people this song is about (i.e. the moderate "who is more devoted to “order” than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says: “I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I cannot agree with your methods of direct action”; who paternalistically believes he can set the timetable for another man’s freedom; who lives by a mythical concept of time and who constantly advises the Negro to wait for a “more convenient season.”" However, the people this song is about are the ones who are so fond of invoking a whitewashed version of MLK, drawing upon his advocacy of nonviolence while ignoring his writings about why violence still ought not necessarily be condemned.
As far as advocating violence, you make mention of retaltion. What you and others who say that must understand is that the nature of violent direct action is not primarily retaliatory. Of course you will sometimes have individuals who lash out violently due to simple rage, but organized direct action efforts like Antifa and the Black Panthers in the 60s are not doing what they do for retaliation, but in order to defend the vulnerable against the strong. The philosophy of Antifa, which many Americans have failed to grasp recently in favor of the media panic narrative, is not to beat up nazis because it is fun or satisfying (although I imagine it is). Their philosophy is that the prospect of a waiting resistance that is not bound by respectability or a moral absolute against all violence serves as a deterrent to these people's organizing efforts. It turns conspiring to commit genocide and rallying for the cause into an activity that comes with a cost, with a danger. It is also meant to send an unequivocal message that the resistance is not bringing a bong to a gun fight, and if these people try to seize power, a world of pain will be waiting for them at the other end of it.
I disagree vehemently with the claim that violence itself is fascist - by definition, violence becomes fascist when it is committed *wantonly* in the name of nationalistic, traditionalistic, and hierarchical beliefs. However, violence is a language that fascists understand. Civil debate is not. Nonviolent resistance can be very effective in some cases, but it relies on a compassionate audience to eventually take action in its stead. Stokely Carmichael put it succinctly: "In order for nonviolence to work, your opponent must have a conscience." Fascists reject all philosophies of compassion. No appeals can be made to them this way. Our lawmakers have lost their spines. No appeals can be made to them either, at least none that will take effect before many people are killed (and the fascists have been killing people. The two men in Portland and Heather Heyer are just a few instances). I hear a lot of people saying that we can't do anything until the fascists have gained any real power or until they have actually committed serious violence. To the first point, I say: just look, they already have the tacit support of the Executive Branch. Donald Trump and Jeff Sessions are helping these people every step of the way. To the second point, I say: if you wait until the gas chambers are built to take action, it will be far too late. If you insist on waiting for a Kristallnacht to occur before you give your OK on by-any-means-necessary resistance, what you are essentially saying is that the lives of people of color, LGBT, Jews, Muslims, immigrants, and disabled are expendable to you. People who say this are like the cops who shrug their shoulders at someone reporting immediate death threats because they "can't do anything about it" and only take action once the murder has taken place.
| Marina x Machina chapter 1 . 9/28/2017
I don't know if I entirely understand the poem (sorry...I'm a little woozy feeling right now) but as a liberal myself, while I do not advocate retaliating with violence, I thought MLK himself talked about problems with respectability politics in his Birmingham Jail letters where he talked about the black man's greatest stumbling block not being the KKK but rather white allies who claimed to support his cause but were perfectly fine with waiting at African Americans' expense until the government kindly and nicely handed over equality of its own accord, on some indeterminate date in the future.