Friday, 29 March 2013 16:23 Published in Eric Mann
On Tuesday, March 5, 2013 two events happened of diametrically opposed moral and historical significance—the end of the life of the great world leader Hugo Chavez and the death of the Los Angeles mayoral elections.
In between yawns and "oh, was there some kind of election in the news that I missed?" 8 candidates ran in the "fight for the soul-less city" mayor race. The results: City Controller Wendy Greuel and City Council member Eric Garcetti will run in another soul-less run-off on Tuesday May 21 to see who will carry out the bidding of Eli Broad, the downtown business elite, the transnational capitalists, and the LAPD for the next four years—the job officially called "Mayor of Los Angeles." This election was met with such a yawn that even the "voting class" -- the group of middle-class people with no power and the illusion that they have some, forgot to vote. ("Hey, did you know that my brother-in-law knows Wendy's nanny who knows Eric Garcetti's mechanic and they said...blah blah blah.") L.A. like most urban center is a city of color—of the 4 million residents 12 percent are Black and 46 percent Latino. But you wouldn't know it by listening to the candidates. Police brutality, low-wage and no wage jobs, choking air pollution, police and ICE suppression of immigrants, deteriorating social services, were not on the agenda—but all the candidates, including Jan Perry, a Black city councilperson, debated how many more police they wanted. These are the "free elections" that are so free that nobody gives a damn, only 16 percent of eligible voters showed up at the polls and the rest just stayed home and debated whether Justin Bieber, Selena Gomez, or Rihanna should be number one.
Saturday, 23 February 2013 00:00 Published in Eric Mann
My work on the Lincoln Film has been transformative. I have gone back to read W.E. B DuBois Black Reconstruction in America, Doris Kearns Goodman Band of Rivals, and Fawn Brodie's Thaddeus Stevens: Scourge of the South, about one of the true, anti-racist warriors. I have been studying and learning from Black teachers and Black history since I was 17, and yet the process of knowledge is perpetual. Prompted by my anger at and strong disagreement with the writing of Tony Kushner in the Lincoln screenplay, I have been studying, studying, and studying more and more about the civil war and Reconstruction and the treachery of white imperialism and how it works, and the profound beyond-words amazing role of Black people in their struggle not just for their own liberation but for the liberation of all oppressed people. In this review, I was clearly influenced by my conversation with Mumia Abu Jamal on my radio show, Voices from the Frontlines about what he called "menticide" inflicted on Black youth by the system's systematic campaign to eradice and deny them their people's revolutionary History. I am continuing the interrogation of the film Lincoln to teach how many elements of white chauvinism permeated the entire film to raise awareness of the profound racism of white liberal thought and how we can learn categories to identify and expose them—beginning in our own minds. I wrote the book, Katrina's Legacy: White Racism and Black Reconstruction in New Orleans and the Gulf Coast as another weapon in this struggle. It would mean a lot if you would circulate this review to friends as we await the "spectacle" of the White Oscars in which Black People, great historical actors, are treated as invisible women and men. I hope we can use this review as a small contribution to the ongoing struggle to elevate Black revolutionary political thought and denigrate white chauvinist ideology.
Friday, 11 January 2013 23:22 Published in Culture
Long Distance Revolutionary: a Journey with Mumia Abu-Jamal, is a compelling documentary about a riveting historical figure—a passionate, partisan, and persuasive intervention in the not at all "free marketplace of ideas." Mumia Abu Jamal is the most famous political prisoner in the United States--Black revolutionary, author, philosopher, speaker, radio personality, and superhero for a lost generation that urgently needs to see one in the flesh.