The Plutocrats are Laughing at You #5 – Black and Prison Activists Epically Fail to see the Elephant in the Room – the One on their Side!
Backdrop: I’ve long been fascinated and dismayed (less fascinated, these last few years; more dismayed) about how ineffective activists are when opposing plutocratic agendas. And, it has occurred to me that the plutocrats probably view hapless activists with condescension, if not ridicule.
What is important, of course, is not whether a group of people are laughing at you, or not, but rather do they have any justification for their condescension, or not? Are activists setting themselves up for failure, or not? If so, is their incompetence readily discerned by the plutocratic class, or not? (If it is, that implies that the activists could learn to become strategically competent, comparitively easily.)
I believe the plutocratic class most certainly does have justification for their condescension wrt activists – they are whupping your asses, to put it bluntly – and hope that people will be sufficiently goaded by this ‘revelation’ to do whatever is necessary to not be strategic fools, no matter how well intentioned they may be. Good intentions and being a clever, resourceful political “guerrilla” are two different things. (“Guerrilla war” being my favored analogy for the struggle with the plutocratic class.)
On July 29, 2013, FDL carried a diary called Exposed: Stratfor’s 3-Step Plan To Conquer & Divide Activists which contained this quote:
Duchin and Mongoven were ruthless, and I think they were often amused by the naivete, egotism, antics and failures of activists they routinely fooled and defeated. Ultimately, this is war, and the best warriors will win.”
Whether their “amusement” rises to the level of audible laughter is also irrelevant. what is important is: are American activists ‘easy marks’, or not? Are they strategically foolish, or not?
It’s bad enough when activists, who are at a disadvantage on many fronts with respect to their plutocratic class foes, fail to capitalize on what advantages they do have. Even if the advantage is ‘simply’ to disrupt business as usual, for the other side, and therefore drive up the cost of them doing business. (A business which necessitates relegating you, and even moreso, your children, to a kind of serfdom.)
However, it’s even more mind boggling when activists on a particular issue have – potentially, anyway – a huge advantage, and do nothing with that advantage. Such is the case with the primary victim of draconian drug laws – America’s black population. There’s upwards of 2 million people in America’s federal and state prisons; something like 24% are for non-violent drug offenses.
So, roughly 500,000 Americans are doing time for nonviolent drug offenses, and their records will likely follow them around, for life. Most of them are black.
WELL, most of the National Basketball Association players are black – almost 80%. Blacks are over-represented in the National Football League, also – to the tune of about 55%. THESE ARE BOTH HIGHLY VISIBLE SPORTS
Eric Holder has informed the world that, when he was a federal prosecutor, he was racially profiled. No doubt, in spite of his position, his relatives are also at differentially at risk (compared to whites, e.g.) for getting incarcerated for non-violent drug offenses.
So are the relatives of NBA greats LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, and Michael Jordan. So are the relatives of NFL greats Emmitt Smith and Mercury Morris. (Sorry, have kept up with football even less than basketball). So are the relatives of non-great NBA’ers and NFL’ers.
I certainly can’t speak for anybody who has a pro sports career, but I can’t believe that the vast majority don’t care. Furthermore, I don’t believe that most of them would let the fear of loss of lucrative endorsements inhibit their signing on to a joint effort to reverse draconian drug laws. (Michael Jordan is probably an exception, since it’s claimed he said “Republican buy shoes, too”). Hopefully, the self-interested exception will prove the public-spirited rule.
One thing is for sure – activists can find out if the NBA and NFL players, past and present, will lend their considerable visibility to their cause, by ASKING them.
During the Trayvon Martin protests, Miami Heat players (including LeBron James) put their visibility to political use. There is nothing radical in what I’m looking for, but don’t see.
My working conclusion, thus, is that activists are asleep at the wheel, blind not only to the elephant in the room, but the elephant in the room which, most likely, is on their side.
Not good. Tragic, actually.