For Today’s Left, Racial Self-Hatred is Bigger Than Class War

sharpton-clintonIN a new article for America’s most famous liberal journal The Nation, Tom Hayden endorses Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign — his reasons for doing so indicate how for the White Left worldwide, hatred of their own race has become the all-important issue, transcending any socialist or liberal ideology. (ILLUSTRATION: Presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton (seen here with the influential Rev. Al Sharpton) has overwhelming support from American blacks.)

Hayden (now 76) is one of the veteran leaders of the American Left, perhaps best known to the general public as the ex-husband of actress and anti-war activist Jane Fonda.

In his latest article he admits that he was an early supporter of the Bernie Sanders presidential campaign, and has criticised Hillary Clinton for her apparent eagerness to support American involvement in even more foreign wars, her closeness to the financial elite, and her ambiguous stand on environmental issues.

Yet all of these concerns are transcended for Hayden by one overriding issue: race. Whereas Sanders has addressed himself primarily to the concerns of White working-class voters, Clinton still enjoys overwhelming support among Blacks, and to a slightly lesser extent Hispanics.

Hayden confesses:

I intend to vote for Hillary Clinton in the California primary for one fundamental reason. It has to do with race. My life since 1960 has been committed to the causes of African Americans, the Chicano movement, the labor movement, and freedom struggles in Vietnam, Cuba and Latin America. In the environmental movement I start from the premise of environmental justice for the poor and communities of color. My wife is a descendant of the Oglala Sioux, and my whole family is inter-racial.

So White workers in America now have no excuse. They know where they stand. Even Tom Hayden — among the most celebrated semi-socialist, Marxist influenced activists of the 1960s Left — openly argues that his political choices are governed above all by racial self-hatred.

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Source: Heritage and Destiny

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  1. J.Biggs
    4 June, 2016 at 11:43 am — Reply

    AS a Leftist I agree with your core premise that identity politics have “trumped” our traditional commitment to class struggle – and given rise to Trump since we’ve failed to offer an alternative to the neoliberal globalization killing the working class.

    But I think your critique ultimately fails for two reasons:
    a.) the working class is not exclusively white, and your sole focus on the interests of the white working class is promoting racial self-LOVE at the expense of effective class struggle. Class consciousness requires abandoning the category of race and imposing a new universal frontier between exploiter and exploited. You seem to criticize Hayden for failing to grasp that, while making the same point yourself except from a position that you think privileges whites rather than nonwhites. How is that any less harmful to class solidarity?
    b.) Hayden says nothing about hating himself. Again, you assume that the interests of workers are automatically divided along racial lines, when Hayden makes it clear that “I start from the premise of environmental justice for the poor and communities of color.” In other words, he’s suggesting that these workers’ interests are actually universal, and we will all benefit from protecting them from exploitation. Promoting mutual benefit is not self-hatred. Besides, he adds, “My wife is a descendant of the Oglala Sioux, and my whole family is inter-racial” – if I were to accept your premise that racial struggle is primary to class struggle, then I would have to argue that solidarity among multiple races against oppressive economic power is clearly in his own racial interest as a member of an interracial family.

    You simply cannot improve the lot of the white working class exclusively; your commitment to racial identity politics undermines any effective action against global capital, since the white working class lacks the numbers to challenge these entrenched economic systems in isolation. Donald Trump’s tariffs will just send companies elsewhere, not revitalize our economy. Resistance to global capital must bring together the largest possible concentration of proletarian strength. You’re hurting the people you claim to represent with your equally-misguided obsession with the narrow ideal category of race over the broad, material category of class.

  2. quackademic
    4 June, 2016 at 1:51 pm — Reply

    Mr Biggs, please imagine for a moment a world where only two races exist, with one being small, ugly, violent, and uncreative, and the other, tall, beautiful, peaceful, and creative. Would it not matter to you if the former were allowed to replace the latter, just because they both bleed red and have common ancestry? Imagine another scenario, were you live in a post-apocalyptic world, and you are wondering alone through a desolte wasteland in desperate search of a settlement to trade with, when you spot with yor binoculars, two settlements far on the horizon, with one settlement entirely composed of people of your own race, and the other settlement entirely composed of people of another race. Which of the two settlements would you feel more comfortable entering? Best regards.

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