mea culpa

The George Floyd hoax, whether viewed as a perversion of the “promise” of “civil rights” or a deliberate or inevitable phase, an endgame entered–that is if you think the civil rights movement was fundamentally a mistake or not, and some of us are beginning to think–runs on the same perverse psychological dynamic inspiring young whites a half century ago to take up the cause of blacks.  Then as now demagogy on behalf of black Americans elbows out all other concerns by virtue of its visceral appeal.
From adolescence-to-senescence the romance of black misery held for the baby boomers. We brought the credulous fascination. Blacks brought the suffering, which they do with the same self-aggrandizing panache they bring to music, entertainment, street crime–and which they are more than happy to fake, with their curious aptitude for mimicry of things they don’t understand. Here we are.

Bryan Burrough’s book on the radical underground of the sixties and seventies, Days of Rage:

What the underground movement was truly about–what it was always about–was the plight of black Americans. Every single underground group of the 1970s, with the notable exception of the Puerto Rican FALN, was concerned first and foremost with the struggle of blacks against police brutality, racism, and government repression. While late in the decade several groups expanded their worldview to protest events in South Africa and Central America, the black cause remained the core motivation of almost every significant radical who engaged in violent activities during the 1970s.

“Helping out the blacks, fighting alongside them, that was the whole kit and caboodle” says [Weatherman Howard] Machtlinger. “That was all we were about.”

“Race comes first, always first,” says Elizabeth Fink, a radical attorney in Brooklyn who represented scores of underground figures. “Everything started out with the Black Panthers. The whole thrill of being with them. When you heard Huey Newton, you were blown away. The civil right movement had turned bad, and these people were ready to fight. And yeah, the war. The country was turning into Nazi Germany, that’s how we saw it…And oh the glamour of it. The glamour of dealing with the underground. They were my heroes…We were so, so deluded.”

plus ça change

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