I recently in these pages decried what I have seen as a chasm between the white male-dominated Left and other politically leftist groups. ... Perhaps advocating integration and unity is not such a good idea, because the strength and power of the non-white-male left might be forced to compromise beliefs and programs/policies that are essential to a radical revolution. Barak Obama, I venture, is an exceptionally noticeable result of such integration. Colin Powell and Condi “They Named a Damn Oil Tanker After Me” Rice are the most egregious and nauseating outcomes.
This is the Big Issue, as far as I'm concerned, that the left in the United States has been unable to resolve since its inception. Whether you find that birth in the abolitionist movement or the labor movement or the suffrage struggle or the farm workers struggles or the civil rights era or women's liberation or the fight for gay rights, the question has always been, "How much can a member of the ruling elite, that is, white males, be counted upon to further the struggle of those outside that demographic?" Can we credibly work together? Or is there something innately limiting about a "movement" dominated by a group of people who have a choice about it?
Is there strength in separatism of some amount? The answer would seem to be an unequivocal "yes." No recent struggle for equality in American society would have begun or succeeded without the exclusive impetus of the group oppressed. Blacks, women, gays, latinos, workers. Of the major social upheavals of the last 150 years, I believe you can only make a case for abolition being dominated from the beginning by members of the majority. And my history may be fuzzy on that. (Note: I'm not saying freedmen or escaped slaves were not a part of the genesis; I'm only saying that it was a white movement in structure and majority from the beginning.)
But the question I raised (or tried to, in my roundabout, overly wordy way) in the "comments" section is, "Can we work together?" ddjango's position seems to be that no progressive effort will ever be progressive enough, so long as it is dominated by white males. Now, I'm not totally convinced that the progressive movement in America is essentially white-male. But that might be because I am one. This likely looks a lot different to anyone who isn't me. So that's why I responded and that's why I'm posting.
Surely, no matter what you think about the respective role of white-male and non-(white male) leftists, in the end we're stronger together than we are apart. Unless you believe that no matter what we do together, it will unavoidably fail to meet the requirements of a truly Liberal Society. I posed a lot of questions to ddjango in my comments (I don't know if they'll make it to post--I've been blocked by Corrente before), and I encourage you to go look at the Corrente post and think it through. But to me, the most crucial one is this:
What does a more perfect future look like to you, so that a white male leftist would be incapable of advocating for it at all?So what of it, people? What are your thoughts on this, most important meta-question of the Progressive Left?