Today, Retake offers thoughts on Super Tuesday and more on Tuesday’s post on Jack Forbes’ book, Columbus and Other Cannibals, that leads to a question for all of you: when is enough truly enough to trigger an outright rebellion?
Just four days before Super Tuesday, pundits from around the country felt that Biden was on the ropes and that without a stunning win in South Carolina, Super Tuesday could be the end of his campaign. Now we know just how quickly a campaign can do a u-turn.
But just as the predictions of imminent elimination were premature for Biden, so too for Sanders. Quite obviously, with Bloomberg, Buttigieg, Klobuchar and likely Warren bowing out, the race will suddenly pit Biden against Sanders one-on-one. Thus the next debate will be head-to-head and a weak performance by Biden could shift momentum.
That debate is March 15, after the next round of primaries on Tues., March 10, with Michigan, Idaho, Washington, Missouri and Mississippi. Sanders can ill afford to lose any of those races, but it’s hard to see Sanders winning in either Missouri or Mississippi. While the most recent polling showed Sanders leading in Michigan, Washington, and Idaho, those polls came before South Carolina. Besides, polls have been very poor indicators of primary results in the past two weeks. So who knows? I’m staying away from making predictions.
I doubt there is anyone who reads this post who was happy with Tuesday’s results. While I’ve had many Retake supporters write about their support for Warren and several for Mayor Pete, for Klobuchar ,and even Bloomberg, I’ve never actually had anyone write a comment, email or tell me in person that they were hoping Biden would be the nominee. As much as I hate the idea of Biden leading the ticket, if that should come to pass — and the path for Sanders is narrowing quickly — progressive Democrats will simply have to muster up the enthusiasm for Biden. You will see no attacks against Biden in this post, even if Bernie starts to regain traction. But I have to be honest, the thought of Biden debating Trump doesn’t inspire a great deal of optimism.
Tuesday, March 17, 6:30-8:30, Retake Our Democracy Community Meeting: Roundhouse Debrief and 2020 Primary and General Election Campaigns. We will begin with a debrief of the 2020 Legislative Session, but the majority of time will be devoted to planning for the 2020 elections. We believe the 2020 election is likely the most important election of our lives, so this is a critical meeting, even if you don’t care a whit about the legislative session. We will lay out plans for how you can be involved in the NM state primary and in the national election and our effort to depose the despot. This would be a good meeting for you to invite a couple friends and then coax them into getting active for June and November. Eric Griego will be on hand to help lay out how Working Families Party, NM is planning for the state primary.
To RSVP, please write to RetakeResponse@gmail.com
For information on New Energy Economy’s March 12 benefit for solarizing Casa Milagro, for Earth Care & YUCCA’s five-week planning series preparing for direct actions and a student strike on Earth Day, and an array of other actions and events, click here.
Retake on KSRF 101.1 FM this Saturday from 8-9 am. This week is pledge week, so Roxanne and I will co-host Richard Wolfe’s Economic Update from 8-8:30 and then the Retake show goes live from 8:30 – 9 am. Listen in and plan on making a contribution to KSFR during our show.
More On Columbus & Other Cannibals
Tuesday we published a review of what I feel is one of the most important books you could possibly read: Columbus and Other Cannibals by Jack Forbes. The post covered the first half of the book and so today I offer a few additional remarks on the second half of the book. Click here to review Tuesday’s post.
Recall that in Tuesday’s post I described how Forbes delineated the key differences between the world views of indigenous and European peoples. Forbes’ central premise is that Europeans’ thirst for greed and desire to conquer nature have roots in Christian concepts of original sin, good and evil, and Christian claims that nature is wild and needs to be tamed and bent to man’s will. This is contrasted with how indigenous cultures tend to view man and nature as inherently good, with man being nature’s steward and servant, not its conqueror. Forbes characterizes Western Civilization’s greed, racism, and imperialist behaviors as symptoms of a disease: Wetiko, a sickness that perverts human nature
The second half of the book offers Forbes’ thoughts on terrorism, misogyny, male violence, organized crime, and fundamentalist Christianity and how each is a consequence of Western Civilization being infected with Wetiko.
The discussion of terrorism is particularly compelling, as Forbes first describes how “terror” has been employed by corporations and nations –infected with Wetiko — that have terrorized indigenous peoples from the ancient Mayans to the Palestinians. It is fascinating to see how the sanctioned acts of corporate or European/US terror can somehow be justified and also how whenever indigenous resistance to that terror forms, that resistance is instantly labelled as terrorism. Forbes’ outlines how Israel in Palestine and Spanish Conquistadors in New Mexico employed similar terrorist tactics against the indigenous Palestinians and the New Mexican tribes. And then he ticks off a score of other examples that mirror the same dynamic.
But perhaps the most important point made in part two is Forbes’ questioning why some kind of massive resistance has not been mounted anywhere in the world. He views this, really, as our only hope.
He wonders what would happen if 500,000 unarmed Muslim refugees marched to the Israeli border and demanded entry into a liberated Palestine or if tens of thousands of Mayan people marched unarmed to Guatemala City to demand justice and restoration of their rights to land long since expropriated by the state. While he states that very likely the Israeli or Guatemalan military would react with brutal violence, he points out that Mayans and Palestinians are dying from oppression and violence already. He suggests that only through massive non-violent resistance is there any hope of liberation.
These passages triggered some interesting thinking. So much of what we take for granted, from our cars, to our phones, to our avocados, coffee, and rubber tires, comes with a severe human and/or climate impact. Why do we accept this?
We have children being housed in cages in NM, Texas, and Arizona and this is done in our name and with our tax dollars?
We have a genocidal war being perpetrated by Saudi Arabia with our tax dollars and weapons supporting the deaths of hundreds of thousands of innocent people.
We have seniors unable to pay for their medications and living in degrading poverty.
We have a deranged president whose moral offenses are too numerous to count.
And yet, we remain largely passive. What does it take for the thought of “enough is enough” to trigger our willingness to take risks?
Put another way, what will it take for us to take decisive and sustained action? Many privileged Americans understand the desperation of our situation, we recognize our proximity to extinction, and we can’t deny our complicity with worldwide imperialist oppression. When do we act? And by act, I do not mean show up for the Women’s March, Labor Day, or Earth Day and march for a couple hours.
What if activists from across the country descended on DC with a plan of shutting the capitol down by adopting the Extinction Rebellion (XR) protest model that throttled London for weeks?
What if activists organized around April 15 and millions of Americans withheld their tax returns and tax payments?
What if New Mexican activists began sitting outside the Governor’s office every Friday until she met a series of demands related to the treatment of immigrant children, the private prisons operated throughout the state, the obscene methane release, or the continued expansion of fracking operations in southeast NM?
It is asking a great deal for a Mayan to march to Guatemala City or for Muslim refugees to march on Israel. They would be putting their lives at stake before enemies with little reluctance to shed blood.
But we would face little repercussion by blocking the entry points to the national capital. We would face little consequence if millions file extensions without payments of our April 15 tax submissions. We would take minimal risk sitting outside the Governor’s office, with an increasing number of people sitting each week.
When is enough really and truly enough? After having benefited from the sacrifices of tens of millions who had no choice but to submit, when do we step up for them and shut it down? I very seriously want your comments on what a sincere, significant resistance might be.
If we are to fulfill our responsibility to protect nature and serve as nature’s stewards, that involves more than recycling, planting veggie gardens, and marching on Earth Day. It must involve taking a firm and unyielding stand against those afflicted with Wetiko, those who are defiling our land, water, and air, and polluting our relationships among each other. In 1920, Kate Lucki, a powerful doctor from the Wintu Nation, prophesied as to what awaits the white man if he doesn’t heal his relationship with Nature.
When the Indians all die, then God will let the water come down from the north. Everyone will drown. That is because the white people never cared for the land or deer or bear.”Columbus and Other Cannibals, P. 14.
I very seriously want your comments on what a sincere, significant resistance might be. What do we do? What are you willing to do? When is enough actually enough? Comment below, please.
Paul & Roxanne