"With Allies Like These, You Don’t Need Enemies"

"Michael Moore and the Racism of the White Left"

Presented on November 12, 2003
American Friends Service Committee, Philadelphia, PA

Good Evening.

Its good to be here. I want to thank all of the sponsoring organizations for their support for this event, particularly Tanya and Brooke of the Criminal Justice Committee for their support.

Let me start off by saying, I’m going to say a lot of stuff that’s going to be troubling, but its for a reason or I would not be here. I hope that you can have an open mind to hear what I have to say and I will welcome your critiques and your comments. I think it’s high time we have a more honest conversation than what we have had about the state of the movement. That is what its called, right? A movement. But where is it going? And who is leading it there?

In the book, Black Anti-Ballistic Missives, the primary objective was to make two claims. The first being that in the so-called war against terrorism – talking domestically now – the most consistent target has been the African American people in this country. The second claim in the book is that, in the anti-war movement, the white left has rendered itself inoperable and irresponsible in providing leadership for the movement due to their own racism.

The definition of the anti-war movement as it has been articulated and practiced by those within the movement, has been that peace equals the absence of war. Meaning that once the bombs stop, the anti-war movement stops too. There has not been a consistent effort on the part of organizations such as A.N.S.W.E.R. and United for Justice and Peace or whatever its called, Peace and Justice, to actually practice their very name.

I believe that it was Dr. King who wrote and taught that peace is not the absence of tension or in this case the absence of war but in fact is the presence of justice. I come behind that and say that peace is not the absence of war, but the presence of social freedom, cultural respect, economic stability and political parity. When looking at the relationship of people of color in this country to the means of production or capital and to the system itself we can see clearly how there is not only a war raging in Iraq, but – even before the acts of September 11th – there has been a war here at home. And until those persons that are involved in the anti-war movement come to understand this and place their work within the context of this fact then their movement and those persons involved in it are not going to get to the place they would like for us to go.

by Ewuare Osayande (link)

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