“The real challenge is the creation of a realistic social program that can actively unify blue

“The real challenge is the creation of a realistic social program that can actively unify blue-collar employees, semi-skilled workers, the unemployed, and other disadvantaged sectors across the color line. In March 1985, the principal organizers of the Rainbow Coalition met in Gary, Indiana to create a permanent national formation. [Jesse] Jackson’s new thirteen point program, which includes demands for ‘fair immigration policies, revitalization of cities, aid to small farmers, and revamping the tax structure,’ has the potential for reaching oppressed white and Latinos who resisted participation in the 1984 primary campaign. The paradox of American social history is that the activism of people of color has been the decisive component in moving the boundaries of politics further to the left for the entire society; yet ‘race politics’ is also the central component for the far right to discipline the working class. Whether the Rainbow’s progressive utilization of race is able to transcend the conservative racist social movement and the white working class’s tendency to affirm their racial identity rather than material interests at the polls is a political question of such decisive importance for the future of democratic politics in the USA that progressives of all races and classes ignore it at their peril.” Manning Marable, from “Race and Realignment in American Politics,” (originally published in 1985)
In this essay, written in 1985, Marable predicts and deduces our current moment–the move toward a type of American fascism, class warfare, and the continued rise of white nationalism couched in less aggressive terms like ‘conservative,’ ‘the right,’ and, to be added to this list, alt-right. Many of us are seeking not only wise words and comfort but also words that might direct us toward action and wise action. Manning Marable might be such a source.

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