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Kamala Harris Embodies the Most Dangerous Myth of Amerikan Exceptionalism

Kamala Harris Embodies the Most Dangerous Myth of American Exceptionalism 
Kamala Harris Embodies the Most Dangerous Myth of American Exceptionalism

Harris loves apartheid Israel and throwing Black people in prison, which makes her a perfect Black corporate Democrat.

“Diversity preserves the architecture of empire by painting it with an ebony hue.”

Recent developments in the Democratic Party’s ongoing effort to neutralize its left-leaning base have exposed the most dangerous myth of American Exceptionalism. This myth is embodied in the electoral campaign of Kamala Harris and assumes that the Democratic Party is the engine of diversity and inclusion in America. Diversity and inclusion are prominent buzz words in the Democratic Party milieu, especially within major universities and non-profits organizations. They preserve the architecture of empire by painting it with an ebony hue or the hue of whichever oppressed and exploited sector of society requires “representation” within the existing structures of the system. Such representation, however, comes without the power necessary for oppressed people, especially Black America, to determine their own destinies and transform the miserable conditions imposed upon them by the very forces directing the diversity regime.

The politics of diversity and inclusion were a response to the Black liberation movement and the radical movements of the 1960s and 70s. As a counterinsurgency measure, diversity fights racism not by fighting for political and economic power but by legitimizing the institutions of oppression through the development of “inclusive” leaders servile to corporate power. The presence of such leaders, we are told, makes the U.S. an exceptional nation capable of correcting the most heinous examples of racism and oppression, mainly on a rhetorical basis. Kamala Harris is the most dangerous example of the con of diversity in the 2020 Democratic Party primary race. Her record as a committed servant to Wall Street and the mass incarceration state is well-documented yet her opportunistic references to diversity have only strengthened her position within the Democratic Party establishment.

“Diversity fights racism by legitimizing the institutions of oppression.”

According to Black Agenda Report executive editor Glen Ford, the con of diversity began after the wholesale dismantling of affirmative action in the Bakke supreme court case of1978. This case established that institutions of higher education could no longer institute “quotas” for Black admission and essentially stripped the federal government of the power to enforce affirmative action toward Black uplift. Diversity replaced affirmative action as a corporate-led movement to legitimize the careers of individuals such as Kamala Harris, leaving the majority of Black America behind.

Diversity and inclusion have been employed by the ruling elite to erase history and steer leftists to an ideology devoid of class struggle. The mission is to make U.S. imperialism aesthetically pleasing and ensure that the masses will forgo any demand for socially transformative justice. Diversity and inclusion should not be conflated with progressive efforts to defend Black teachers from layoffs and privatization. It is also no antidote for existing discrimination, especially of the racial variety. Rather, the con of diversity perfects white imperial power and makes the U.S. “exceptional” in its ability to concede “safe spaces” for a minority of Black Americans and other oppressed sections of society within the halls of power. But these halls not only maintain their oppressive character but also become more effective in the oppression and exploitation that they doll out to the masses of people.

Diversity replaced affirmative action as a corporate-led movement to legitimize the careers of individuals such as Kamala Harris.”

Kamala Harris is the most dangerous example of diversity and inclusion at work. This was made explicitly clear in the recent dust-up between House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the “gang of four:” Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ayana Pressley, Rashida Tlaib, and Ilhan Omar. Pelosiattacked the four and AOC in particular, claiming their numerical weakness and unwillingness to toe the party line on Twitter were offenses worth condemning. After Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez rightfully criticized the attack, Kamala Harris immediately came to Pelosi’s defense. Harris stated on The Breakfast Club radio program that Pelosi supported and respected women of color without question and denied the legitimacy of any claims to the contrary.

Harris and the rest of the Black misleadership class, as the beacons of diversity, are always ready to defend the corporate oligarchs who provide the patronage for their existence. The Republican Party and president Donald Trump make their lives easier by throwing racist red meat into the fire whenever a crisis arises. This time, Pelosi’s attack threatened to further expose the real policy fissures within the Democratic Party. These fissures are based upon the fact that over eighty percent of the Democratic Party base want a Green New Deal, Medicare for All, and living wage jobs to become the priority of the Democratic Party. Nancy Pelosi, who has made a fortune busting unions, supporting privatization, and peddling wars, has no interest in improving the conditions of poor people, especially the Black poor, in the United States.

“Harris immediately came to Pelosi’s defense.”

Kamala Harris and Nancy Pelosi are two sides of the same corporate coin, yet Donald Trump’s racism gives them a pass whenever they run into real political trouble. The same week that Trump came to Pelosi’s defense by demanding that the “gang of four” go back where they came from, Kamala Harris attempted to match the xenophobia of the president by stating that Colin Kaepernick’s protest against racist policing “wasn’t a thing.”According to Harris, Russian bots spread the Kaepernick story to Black Americans to undermine the Democratic Party. To Harris, Black America is nothing but a dupe of Russiaand anti-racist protest a conniving project of the Russians to implant Trump in the White House. Both Pelosi and Harris’ political behavior should be enough to raise popular objection. Yet all that occurred was a symbolic vote in the House condemning Trump’s comments as racist. Pelosi and Harris were taken off the hook for attacking the left-leaning representatives of their party.

Diversity is an anti-Black political project of the ruling elite designed to revive the exceptional character of the U.S. imperial nation-state. The project is mainly governed by the Democrats to reproduce the class relations of an empire in decline in a more effective manner than Trump and the Republicans. Kamala Harris embodies the dangers of the diversity trap better than any political candidate in the 2020 election race. While understandable critique should be leveled on the Trump administration’s Justice Department for failing to bring federal charges to Eric Garner’s murderer in blue, few have mentioned that it was District Attorneys and Attorney Generals such as Harris who have worked hard to ensure that police murders of Black Americans are not properly investigated and punished. On the international front, Harris has exploited the Civil Rights movement in a pledge of her undying loyalty to the apartheid state of Israel.In 2018, a transcript of Kamala Harris’ remarks to AIPAC revealed that the California Senator and presidential hopeful equated the struggle for Zionist supremacy in Palestine to the Black struggle against the Klan and white supremacy, despite the fact that Israel has imposed a racist system of colonialism on the Palestinian people for well over half a century.

“To Harris, Black America is nothing but a dupe of Russia.

The ruling class hopes to use diversity and inclusion to kill the Black left’s influence in the 2020 election. Either Kamala Harris will be anointed the Democratic Party nominee or Joe Biden will use his connections on Wall Street and with the Black political class to secure it for himself. Either way, the bankrupt leadership that the con of diversity has helped create will play a decisive factor in who gets to challenge Donald Trump for the next term in the oval office. The legacies and politics of Black liberation movement leaders such as Mumia Abu-Jamal; who is currently going blind in prison due to medical neglect, and the exiled Assata Shakur will be drowned out by the Democratic Party. Democratic Party elites claim to be the engine of diversity in America yet refuse to allow democratic socialists such as Bernie Sanders and AOC to implement policies popular with over eighty percent of the voting base of the party.

Diversity is a sham, and a murderous one at that. Legitimate criticism does not need to fall into the trap of “identity politics” or other right-wing screeds. What is most important to expose is how the so-called enlightened ruling class aligned with the Democratic Party has used diversity to promote a more exceptional America, one where the questions of class, empire, and white supremacy must never be uttered or addressed. As diversity has become more prominent, so too have the conditions of mass Black incarceration, endless war, and permanent austerity. Leaders like Kamala Harris have exploited the contradictions of capitalism and imperialism to further their careers and can only survive so long as the Black left is neutralized, both ideologically and politically. And no matter how unpopular they may be, the likes of Harris will continue to feast on the blood of the oppressed until we let go of the narrative of diversity and begin developing a movement that makes internationalism and class struggle a priority instead of an afterthought.


Amerikan Crime: #89 120,000 People of Japanese Descent Put in U.S. Concentration Camps During World War 2

Editors note: February 19, 2017 marks the 75th anniversary of Executive Order 9066 signed by U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt, which led to the rounding up and imprisonment in concentration camps of 120,000 people of Japanese descent during World War 2. This is one of the major crimes of the U.S. rulers—and this history is very relevant today, when the fascist Trump-Pence regime is ramping up extreme repression against Muslims, Mexican immigrants, and other sections of the people. In this light, we are reposting this piece from the American Crime series.

People of Japnese descent lined up at a train that will take them to the concentration camp at Gila River, Ariz., 1942.
People of Japanese descent lined up to be taken to the concentration camp at Gila River, Ariz., 1942. (Photo: Clem Albers/National Archives)


THE CRIME: During World War 2, 120,000 people of Japanese descent, nearly the entire Japanese population living in the continental U.S., were rounded up and imprisoned in concentration camps throughout the western states within months of Japan’s December 7, 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor, the U.S. naval base in Hawai‘i. Sixty-two percent of those imprisoned were U.S. citizens; and more than half were children. They were never charged with a crime; never given a hearing; but summarily rounded up and held for more than two years in remote locations, solely on the basis of their nationality.

When people were rounded up, they could only take what they could carry and people were forced to quickly sell almost all of their possessions. Before the war, Japanese Americans farmed 40 percent of the total acreage in California. Their land—as well as $40 million of crops in the ground and over $100 million in investments—was virtually stolen from them when they were forced to sell very cheaply. And because of the evacuation, people lost more than $4 million in businesses—mostly small businesses.

Any resistance was quickly dealt with. When three men, Minoru Yasui in Oregon, Fred Korematsu in California, and Gordon Hirabayashi in Washington state—refused to report for evacuation and insisted the orders were unconstitutional, they were arrested, convicted, and sent to prison. This was later upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court on the basis that the evacuation was based on military necessity.

Part of a contingent of 664 people of Japanese descent, the first to be removed from San Francisco, April 16, 1942.
Some of a group of 664 people of Japanese descent, the first to be removed from San Francisco, April 16, 1942. (Photo: Dorothea Lange/National Archives)


Families found themselves surrounded by soldiers with rifles with bayonets; packed into filthy “assembly centers” where animals had been kept, with no beds. They were put on trains, not knowing where they were going—taken to 10 internment camps in desolate, desert areas. The camps were surrounded by barbed wire with guard towers, and patrolled by soldiers armed with rifles and bayonets. Guards had orders to shoot anyone trying to leave without a pass or refusing orders to halt. After rebellions in some of the camps, “troublemakers” were rounded up and put in one maximum security camp at Tule Lake, where tear gas was used against continuing resistance.

At the same time, over 2,000 people of Japanese descent living in 13 Latin American countries, 80 percent of them from Peru, were taken to Panama, and eventually to the U.S. camps. Five hundred or more of these Latin American prisoners were traded by the U.S. in exchange for prisoners of war (POWs) being held by Japan.

There were an additional 150,000 people of Japanese ancestry living in Hawai‘i —nearly a third of the entire population of the islands. Fearful of the economic and political impact of imprisoning so many professionals, small businesspeople, religious leaders, and agricultural workers, the government imprisoned only 2,000 of them. But all of Hawai’i was placed under martial law for the duration of World War 2.

THE CRIMINALS: President Franklin Roosevelt issued Executive Order 9066 on February 19, 1942, allowing regional military commanders to designate “military areas” from which any or all persons were excluded. One month before Pearl Harbor, Roosevelt received a report saying Japanese in the U.S. did not pose any security danger. But this did not stop the U.S. from using Executive Order 9066 to “exclude all people of Japanese ancestry” from living anywhere on the West Coast—all of California, and large parts of Washington, Oregon, and Arizona.

The FBI was able to act quickly because the Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI) had already compiled lists identifying key community leaders. By 1939, lists of “dangerous” citizens and non-citizens were being compiled by the FBI, special intelligence agencies of the Justice Department, the Office of Naval Intelligence, and the army’s Military Intelligence Division. The U.S. Census Bureau was forced to admit decades later that it had provided information on people living in the U.S. of Japanese ancestry

This enabled the FBI to arrest more than 1,200 Japanese immigrant men within hours of the Pearl Harbor attack—targeted as “potential threats to national security.” These were in fact community leaders, Buddhist priests, Japanese language teachers, and others who might be able to mobilize an outcry and political resistance to these roundups.

Major U.S. newspapers played a crucial role in creating the conditions and setting the stage for targeting U.S. citizens and children as well as immigrants by whipping up ugly, racist attacks on anyone of Japanese descent. The Los Angeles Times ran the following:

A viper is nonetheless a viper wherever the egg is hatched. So, a Japanese American born of Japanese parents, nurtured upon Japanese traditions, living in a transplanted Japanese atmosphere… grows up to be a Japanese, and not an American… Thus, while it might cause injustice to a few to treat them all as potential enemies, I cannot escape the conclusions… that such treatment… should be accorded to each and all of them while we are at war with their race.

THE ALIBI: The excuse for these crimes against humanity was the alleged “danger” to the country posed by these “enemy aliens.” The military’s reach included everyone who was at least one-sixteenth “Japanese”—the equivalent of having one Japanese great grandparent. And this was done despite the conclusion based on numerous military, FBI, and CIA investigations of the Japanese population in the U.S. conducted before and after Pearl Harbor—that the “Japanese problem” was non-existent.

THE ACTUAL MOTIVE: This massive crime against a whole people inside the U.S., with ominous implications, played an important role in cohering the country around the “necessity” to support a war of worldwide slaughter—including the massive U.S. war crimes committed against hundreds of thousands of Japanese civilians when the U.S. dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. For those who rule this country, World War 2 was waged in the interests of U.S. capitalism-imperialism—to defend and expand its control and domination of whole areas of the world, including Asia, Southeast Asia, North Africa, and more against their imperialist rivals—Germany, Italy, and Japan.

REPEAT OFFENDERS: Long before the Japanese internment, the U.S. forced all the surviving Native American tribes into concentration camps—called “reservations.” This was the final stage in the genocidal destruction of the great majority of Native Americans, who had once numbered in the millions on the continent, and the theft of their lands across the country in the name of “Manifest Destiny.” The survivors were forced to find a way to survive and make a living in some of the most desolate parts of the country.

When it came time to find places to imprison over 100,000 Japanese descendants, the great majority were relocated to Native American reservations in the most remote, desolate areas of seven Western states.

Today the same racist justifications used against people of Japanese descent in the U.S. are being put out against immigrants from Mexico, Central and Latin America, and against any Muslims. And Donald Trump—one of two candidates to be president of the United States—is whipping up people with the same kind of arguments used to justify the American Crime of U.S. concentration camps during World War 2.