Marching To And Fro

This is a commentary I did on KBOO Radio station yesterday. If you wanna hear the jazzy backbeat of it go to the news archive at, Max Julian commentary.

Peace and Love

Marching To And Fro

There are those who claim that our American Democracy has been hijacked, that our government is an illegal junta, twice UN-elected, voters racially profiled and disenfranchised, computers used to create voters out of thin air, a citizenry defrauded by an administration indivisible from its corporate pimps and their media mouthpieces. There are also those too who believe the war in Iraq is a monumental war crime, a murderous assault launched under false pretenses. 2 YEARS later:

The Left marches.

If the above indictment of the government is true:

How does walking in circles aid the cause of freedom in the United States, let alone Iraq?
Is marching effective? What is it designed to produce? Is the Left willing to sacrifice more than toe jam, willing to forfeit any of its sweet white privilege to combat imperialist aggression by its government? When will people on the Left admit that their tactics, rather than leading to a solution, are actually prolonging the misery of Iraqis and other colonized people?

Just as Dixieland Jazz in the 20’s gave way to Bebop in the 40’s, which gave way to Cool Jazz in the 50’s, the tactical palette of those claiming to seek true justice must change with the times. But to quote the Notorious B-I-G, “ya’ll don’t hear me though!”

Thus far, few on the Left are willing to analyze the sorry state of the movement for social change in this country. Like the Moldy Figs who couldn’t let go of Dixieland or emotionally assimilate the more sophisticated, technically advanced Bebop, leftwing activists of today throttle anything that departs from their tried and now, UNTRUE, methods. The effect of this moral cowardice is that most content themselves with pruning the branches of oppression, but never daring touch the root. The motive is putting on a “show” of opposition rather than putting in work: the work being the replacement of an unjust system with a just system.

The proof in the delusional pudding is the Left’s “religious” faith that their representatives in Washington or Salem, the President, the media, the general public – SOMEBODY will be moved by the monotonous, tired spectacle of clownish pickets, begging anybody other than themselves to stop a war that only they can stop. That would require more sacrifice than the Left; fat, happy, white and comfortable is willing to make. No, far better, goes the rationalization, to put the brainpower and creativity of the faux opposition into witty slogans and hardcore chants. Meanwhile, Iraqis are being fed a rifle diet courtesy of the imperial thugs in Washington and their vicious war machine.

So these fakers march, they disrupt traffic, they affix edgy bumper stickers to their Subarus –symbolic baubles designed to conceal the Left’s shallow attachment to justice for all. Why, there are oppressed people right here in Portland, Oregon – how many Birkenstock wearing, dreadlock flipping zealots snarl traffic in “protest” of the regular police ‘target-shooting’ of black and brown in this community? Neither Kendra James nor James Jahar Perez received the mass mobilization they deserved around their murders. Who remembers the anniversary of their shootings? Who is planning to attend the commemorative march on their ‘deadly days,’ replete with solemn vows and chants of “Never Again?”

How many lefties have marched down Alberta Street to prevent the local black folks from being bamboozled, redlined and harassed out of Northeast Portland into the Bantustans of Gresham and beyond? No, it is LEFTIES who are moving IN as people of color are being chased out. Small wonder, then, that barely a peep is heard from the Left about issues confronting the brown people that live, work and die right next-door.

Marching and protesting were effective, in the past, as a means to an end, not as an end in and of themselves. The power structure of the past was caught off guard by this new methodology of resistance. But what worked during the Montgomery Bus Boycott of 1955 doesn’t work today; the enemy is far more sophisticated and evolved. Unfortunately, progressives are not. And today, reality has been turned on its head as lefties congratulate themselves on organizing ‘cotton candy marches’ that melt in your mouth but change nothing, resolve nothing, affect NOTHING! Power becomes more entrenched as the Left’s time, energy and resources are committed to keeping up appearances, rather than stopping the criminal regime from operating at will.

In the 1960’s, Malcolm X spoke of the white man’s pretty sounding words that needed to be judged and measured in relation to his deeds. In 2005, we hear much talk of resistance yet see little concerted action and NO action that seeks to destroy the oppressive system and the white privilege at its root. Until our ‘Milquetoast Marchers’ follow the example of John Brown and Rachel Corrie, brown people’s lives across the globe will continue to be traded for oil, diamonds and real estate underwritten by racism/white supremacy.

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