Thursday, March 22, 2007

Two minutes hate

Illiterate commie rag (anti-semitic, too!) Counterpunch has a large-spirited piece by California ethnic studies professor Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz: "Hating the Rich--Go Ahead, Hate Them, It's Good for You":
"The rich are not like you and me." "The poor will always be with us." Get real and accept it we are told. You've heard it all, and maybe even believe it in your heart. But, it's toxic thinking.
Not hating constitutes "toxic thinking." Got it.
I have a suggestion for clarifying our consciousness: learn to hate the rich. Hate, yes. You can dress up the language and call it rage. But, hate is a concept underrated.

And, lucidity is a concept overrated:

Everyone does it, but no one wants to admit it, usually hating the wrong person. Hate is the opposite of love. Do you love the rich? Like the rich? If not, than [sic] maybe you can learn to hate the rich.
I did send the rich a Valentine's Day card. Is that love?
I don't mean shame the rich in order to get money out of their guilt, as has been a long practice on the left and among non-profits [it has?--ed.] I mean NOT taking money from the rich,
Not taking m-m-m--
isolate the rich, make them build tall walls around their estates and corporate headquarters as the people force the rich to do in Latin America. How dare they have plate glass windows!

Plate glass windows? ¡Ya Basta!

We are held back and diminished by the claim that hating is bad for us, bad for everyone. You can hate the act but not hate the person. You can hate wealth or capitalism but not the rich. It's a ridiculous logic that keeps us hating and blaming ourselves for not being rich and powerful.
Why, she's just like Jesus.

Anyway, it's not consistent; it's all right to hate slavery and slaveowners, fascism and Hitler, etc. Why not hate the rich, the individual rich, not an abstract concept?

Notice how I've resisted (so far) linking to a picture of Paris Hilton? Not easy.
We have to be careful about that, living in a country that does not admit to class relations, and class is subject to little analysis even on the left.
The left is bored to suicide by it, too, dear. But just who are the rich?

It's not a matter of income per se. And it's essential in hating to target the enemy and not some front for the enemy. High income can certainly make a person full of herself, and most US citizens who live on high fixed or hourly incomes due to circumstances of a good trade union or a professional degree have no idea that they aren't rich. In polls they say they are in the top fifth of the income ladder, and they aren't.

We use polls to determine that stuff now?

A majority of US citizens don't want to tax the rich more, because they think they will be rich one day. They won't. The rich own not just a mortgaged house and a car, maybe a boat or a cabin in the woods or a beach house to boot; rather they own you. Even the cash and luxury soaked entertainment and sports stars are not the rich; they certainly deserve contempt and disgust, but not hatred. Don't go for scapegoats--Jews, Oprah, Martha Stewart.
Oprah's cool, anyway.
Hatred should be reserved for those who own us, that is, those who own the banks, the oil companies, the war industry, the land (for corporate agriculture), the private universities and prep schools, and who own the foundations that dole out worthy projects for the poor, for public institutions-their opera, their ballet, their symphony, that you are allowed to attend after opening night.
Only after opening night? Now, we hate!
My oldest brother, who like me grew up dirt poor in rural Oklahoma, landless farmers and farm workers, rebuts my arguments by saying that no poor man ever gave him a job. That says it all. The rich own you and me.
These rich are your rich, these rich are my rich . . .

In all the arguments about the crimes of the Judeo-Christian-Muslim religions, rarely is their greatest crime ever discussed--the leveling of class, rich and poor are the same in god's sight. What a handy ideology for the rich! The same with US democracy with its "equal opportunity" and "level playing fields," absurd claims under capitalism, but ones held dear but [sic] liberals. Hating the rich means also hating the state, the United States of America that is the ruling corporate body of the rich. . . .

Well, duh.
Passionate, organized hatred is the element missing in all that we do to try to change the world.
Huh. I'd have said that's the one thing they've got plenty of (baby). Nail it down, Roxie:
Now is the time to spread hate, hatred for the rich.

Check out Roxanne's website, too. She's like the female Ward Churchill:

Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz grew up in rural Oklahoma, daughter of a landless farmer and half-Indian mother. Her paternal grandfather, a white settler, farmer, and veterinarian, had been a labor activist and Socialist in Oklahoma with the Industrial Workers of the World in the first two decades of the twentieth century. The stories of her grandfather inspired her to lifelong social justice activism . . . .

Roxanne took a position teaching in a newly established Native American Studies program at California State University at Hayward, near San Francisco, and helped develop the Department of Ethnic Studies, as well as Women's Studies. In 1974, she became active in the American Indian Movement (AIM) and the International Indian Treaty Council, beginning a lifelong commitment to international human rights.

Except that she and Ward apparently went their separate ways--as, in a classic commie schism, did so many AIMers--over the treatment of the Miskito Indians in Neek-ah-rah-wah. From the illiterate commie rag (anti-semitic, too!) Monthly Review:

Dunbar-Ortiz writes about this aspect of the US contra war, too [in her book Blood on the Border]. She details the attempts by various elements of the American Indian Movement (AIM) to discredit her by repeating propaganda contrived in the CIA counterintelligence offices or just by calling her a leftist. Other attempts -- including one signed onto (rather ironically) by Ward Churchill that called her "Indianness" into question and another by Nation writer Penny Lernoux that attacked the Sandinistas with as much vehemence as Ronald Reagan ever mustered -- kept her in a state of regular re-examination. This would usually express itself in excessive alcohol consumption -- a demon with which Dunbar-Ortiz had battled before.

Another woman Ward drove to drink.

Update: Roxanne has three photos of herself (the young man in glasses on the left in the last pic is her, I think) on the main page of her website.

Update II: And an autobiography (apparently part of an envisioned trilogy) called Outlaw Woman. Read the blurb. Uck.

Update III: "In 1968, Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz became a founding member of the early women's liberation movement. Along with a small group of dedicated women, she produced the seminal journal series, No More Fun and Games."

Update IV: Pirate Ballerina in comments asks just how I got the idea Dunbar-Ortiz is gay (since in this post I originally called her the "lesbian Ward Churchill"). And I realized: I had no bloody clue, except the physical mannishness she exhibits in her pictures. She herself says nothing about being gay. So, I changed that line to "female Ward Churchill." I have no idea whether Dunbar-Ortiz is gay.

Update V: Now it's Snapple's turn to give me shit for my temporarily intemperate phraseology (via the wonders of e(lectronic)-mail): "Wow, you sure got corrected today [see comments]! We will have to give you time out! I have room on the Grassy Knoll."

And I have the perfect outfit!

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