IMAGINE CRUISING DOWN THE AUTOBAHN WITH 256 HP UNDER THE HOOD, TOP DOWN, FIFTH GEAR, ENGINE WIDE OPEN, SCENERY A BLUR. THAT’S THE FEEL OF INTERNET ACCESS THROUGH THE NEW EDEN MATRIX. 1.4/47 u/a.it? taiGt Q ttet ,efiv4e. DIAL-UP ISDN ACCESS FOR JUST $18.50/MONTH FULLY DIGITAL PRI PHONE LINES WIDE OPEN CAPACITY TECH SUPPORT WITH A PULSE The Eden Matrix www.eden.com 106 E. SIXTH STREET, SUITE 210 AUSTIN, TX 78701 VOICE: 512.478.9900 FAX: 512.478.9934 jected Johnson’s civil rights and social welfare programs, the MFDP supported Johnson’s national platform. They had the support of many in the solidly liberal wing of the Democratic Party, as well as its liberal allies, such as the United Auto Workers and the Americans for Democratic Action. Ultimately, however, the national Party, heavily influenced by a reactionary core of powerful Southerners, proved to be beyond persuasion. Despite his rhetoric of change and modernization, Johnson was unwilling to take on the standard-bearers of the Solid South, who chaired a number of key committees in the House and Senate. With the support of Bayard Rustin and Hubert Humphrey, the president attempted to force a compromise on the MFDP. To the disgust of the young activists, the nation’s leading liberals and civil rights leaders advised them to accept token representation as a part of the racist regular delegationthe very organization they had sought to replace altogether. The national party had sold them out for a group of reactionary racists, many of whom ended up supporting the Republican candidate, Barry Goldwater, that November. WHAT GOES AROUND… Clinton’s signing of the Republican welfare “reform” bill, just prior to last November’s election, completed the thirty-year retreat initiated by Johnson’s abandonment of the MFDP in Atlantic City. Yet it was not until Jesse Jackson’s subsequent endorsement of Clinton’s second term candidacy that the circle closed completely. In a pathological pursuit of reciprocity, Jackson followed in the footsteps of Rustin and King, relentlessly repeating the mantra of coalition. Yet as Stokely Carmichael and company had understood in King’s time, no meaningful coalition can exist between unequal partners, whose confluence of interests becomes less and less evident with each successive election cycle. It is the recognition of the futility of this effortnot, as Moses suggests, a misunderstanding of pacifism, or alternately, a failure to appreciate the intricacies of King’s strategythat has fueled the most salient critique of “the logic of nonviolence,” both then and now. By giving short shrift to the Black Power program, Moses has effectively removed himself from the potentially most productive debate within black politics, with the ironic result that Moses does not even do justice to King’s true position on the issue of Black Power. King understood the source of SNCC’s frustration, and he accepted many of its critiques. When the leaders of the mainstream civil rights groups authored a full page advertisement in The New York Times condemning the use of the new refused to sign. In fact, although Moses does not identify them as such, several of the strategies listed by the author as elements of the “logic of nonviolence” \(such as building power at the local level through self-sustainborrowed by King from the Black Power program, as he acknowledged at the time. King’s disillusionment with Johnson’s escalation of the war in Vietnam in the face of continuing poverty at home drove him to question the fundamental underpinnings of American society. His rhetoric grew more militant, at times seeming to mimic that of Carmichael and other Black Power advocates. Were he living today, would King have endorsed the president who signed the largest rollback in social services since the New Deal? Or would he have pursued an independent course, more reminiscent of an Angela Davis or Ron Daniels, than a Jesse Jackson? Consider, from 1967, King’s own words: Something is wrong with capitalism as it now stands in the United States. We are not interested in being integrated into this value structure. Power must be relocated, a radical redistribution of power must take place. Nate Blakeslee is an Austin freelance writer and activist. ANDERSON & COMPANY COFFEE TEA SPICES TWO JEFFERSON SQUARE AUSTIN, TEXAS 78731 512-453-1533 Send me your list. Name Street City Zip Subscribe to The Texas Observer 307 W. 7th St., Austin, TX 78701 [email protected] 28 THE TEXAS OBSERVER AUGUST 1, 1997
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