Thursday, February 21, 2019

Recommended: Cedric Johnson’s Black Political Life and the Blue Lives Matter Presidency

Black Political Life and the Blue Lives Matter Presidency is the sequel to “The Panthers Can’t Save Us Now”. It's filled with smart observations for people who care about race and class. Here are a few:

“Many left activists and academics continue to abide the notion of black exceptionalism, that there is something unique and incommensurable about the experiences of blacks that prohibits any substantive discussion of class position and interests whenever the black population is concerned.”

“the myth that Trump rode into office on a wave of resurgent white supremacy has only entrenched liberal anti-racist posturing, over-generalizations about and demonization of white workers, and a prevailing sense that popular left politics are not only out of reach, but not even worth pursuing.”

“Of the ten cities with the highest per capita fatal police shootings of civilians, only one approaches a majority-black population — Baton Rouge (50.4 percent black), followed closely by St. Louis (49.2 percent) with Las Vegas trailing well behind (11.1 percent). Of the remaining cities, the black population constituted less than 3 percent: Kingman, Arizona (.04 percent black); Las Cruces, New Mexico (2.4 percent); Billings, Montana (.08 percent); Pueblo, Colorado (2.4 percent); Rapid City, South Dakota (1.1 percent); Westminster, Colorado (1.23 percent); and Casper, Wyoming (1 percent). Black Lives Matter protests have galvanized opposition to police abuse, but clearly, there are neighborhoods and communities in the US hinterlands that some on the Left have written off, that endure over-policing, violence, and precarity but fall out of the race-centric, metropolitan framing of these problems favored by activists and academics.”