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I was listening to Peter Gabriel's inspirational song about Steven Biko, a black activist beaten to death in a South African jail. His death was part of what created the wave that eventually overthrew Apartheid rule. There are some lyrics that we should take to heart:

You can blow out a candle
But you can't blow out a fire
Once the flames begin to catch
The wind will blow it higher

And I realized that we are right now in a struggle much like that in South Africa, not so much in terms of race, but in terms of class. And the weird part is that almost half the nation has been willingly convinced that they're not black. This is part of the insanity we live in today; decades of hate, crafted phrasing, media control, and pride-fueled lockstep support have created the perfect Republican automaton. Cemented with religious piety without the core of caring, this new brand of conservative is in legion with the CORPservatives ruling the GOP. They have forgotten the human tenets of true conservatism, and latched onto the guns, God, and gays mantra excluding all else. Through their cloud of passion, they can’t see the ways they are oppressed by corporate and class rule. It’s like they’re black but don’t know it, cozying up to Apartheid rule because it feeds their ego and sense of superiority. Using another analogy, they are serfs who think they’re barons because they wear the colors.

But when you look at the structure of the struggle we’re all in, it does look like a version of Apartheid, only the violence is economic more than physical. It affects nearly everyone, yet the blame has been shifted through the right-wing spin machine.

Let's hope that our movement doesn't have a similar martyr, someone who is beaten to death simply because of their politics and their power.

Listen to Gabriel's "Biko," you'll understand that the roots of inspiration are the same. Hopefully the eventual outcome will be as well.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (10+ / 0-)

    Winner of the American Dream Scholarship by Democracy for America and Rebuild the Dream for the concept of miniprotesting. This unique approach to curbside activism is fleshed out at

    by ProgToddNorCal on Thu May 31, 2012 at 01:01:15 AM PDT

  •  The object of segregation is to isolate (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    an individual or group to make them easier to exploit. The physical comfort level of the segregated enclave is largely irrelevant. The observation that today's poor are more affluent than their ancestors is irrelevant, as are the people who self-segregate in gated communities. Material comforts are only meaningful to the extent that they are successful in keeping people where those looking to exploit them want them. People on the move are hard to control, unless where and when they move can be controlled.  That's what our cages on wheels are for.

    That humans migrate in response to material deprivation is a myth that's perpetrated by people who want to believe that, if they're well fed and curried, people will stay in their stables like mannerly horses. Of course, some humans don't mind being kept. But, keeping people tends to become obsessive and obsessed people can never get enough. So, there are never enough people willing to be kept--always somebody yearning to be free, to wander to their heart's content.

    People to Wall Street: "LET OUR MONEY GO"

    by hannah on Thu May 31, 2012 at 01:46:25 AM PDT

  •  Not a useful analogy (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Gooserock, erush1345, 1918

    Having witnessed apartheid first hand as an African American in the late 1980s, I have to say, no, what we're going through is nothing like apartheid.

    Writing stuff that is appropriately criticized pursuant to  Goodwin's law is not a very good way of making a point.

  •  Not only that, (0+ / 0-)

    but a large percentage of the 100 million hate "blacks"  as well.

    ",,, the Political whorehouse that is Fox News." Keith Olbermann

    by irate on Thu May 31, 2012 at 05:01:17 AM PDT

  •  What we are going through (0+ / 0-)

    is in some ways like what they are going to in South Africa today. There was no real difference between the racist white guy who lives in South Africa and his buddy the sovereign citizen from the US who I met at a conference recently. And both of them, hateful and spiteful toward "those people", were barely surviving themselves, not members of any sort of superior class.  

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