19 Jan 2008

Mumia on the Presidential race plus a blog war

It's virtually forgotten now that Rev. Jesse Jackson got over 7
million votes, won 13 primaries and caucuses, and controlled almost a
third (29%) of the party delegates in his second run in 1988.

My USA correspondent writes about the Presidential campaign so far....it is interesting piece on the success of black candidates in previous elections.

Well we all know political party people can get a bit tetchy but it takes the blosphere to have a real row....three socialist blogs that I like seem to be punching each other...Dave Osler has described Andy Newman of Socialist Unity as 'seemingly reinventing himself as some sort of Stalinist'...and somehow Lenin's Tomb has been drawn in.

I find all three of these blogs good sources of information and comment and they have all kindly linked here....and I have linked to them.

Lenin has suggested:
I just want to point out that in terms of readership, neither Socialist Knitting Network nor Dave's Spare Part is even in the same league as yours truly. They aren't even barking up the same tree, although they bark very loudly. I'm insulted at being placed next to these sad, sad people.

I suppose next I'll be categorised alongside Oliver Kamm simply to satisfy your blog-lust, you weirdo.

He wasn't attacking me but having a go At a Very Public Sociologist...which is yet another interesting left blog from a social movement phd student at Keele.

Be nice if peace broke out....however why is it that none of them run stuff from my US correspondent....we need to free Mumia Abu-Jamal from jail and we need to read his journalism...and I would like to see it on more blogs and sites than mine.

So I would say a gentle 'feck off' to left bloggers who ignore Mumia...anyway on to the man himself....I guess in prison they don't let you blog?

* The 'Oops!' Factor *
* {col. writ. 1/10/08} (c) '08 Mumia Abu-Jamal *
* *
* *
As the race for presidential primaries and caucuses gains in speed
and tempo, this current campaign has taught me at least one important
lesson: "You can't rely on polls!"

Talking heads are sounding sillier by the day trying to explain how
the junior senator from Illinois went from a double digit lead a day
before the New Hampshire primaries, to losing by 2 percentage points by
night's end.

I wrote a piece, but just like those talking heads, I got it wrong,
and wrote as much. If I'm lucky, you'll never get to hear it.


I, too, was shocked by Sen. Hillary Clinton's win over Barack Obama
(I bet you so was she!), but it doesn't take a rocket scientist to
figure out what happened. In my view, it had absolutely nothing to do
with Hillary's tears, nor any such nonsense.

It had everything to do with people walking into the booth, pulling
a curtain, /and having second thoughts./

It had everything to do with what, to some, is still unimaginable: a
Black president of the United States of America.

I don't think people consciously lied to pollsters. I think they
really believed what they said; but belief and action are two separate

Blacks have dreamed of the idea for more than 1/2 a century (if not
longer), and past nominees, more often than not ran on third parties, or
were 'favorite sons' of certain regions; yet, almost always, they were
protest votes, safe alternatives, votes meant to show support, but not
to elect.

Some of the names will doubtless ring a bell, but many won't elicit
a bare ripple of recognition.

Rev. Channing Phillips of Washington, D.C., was nominated for
President at the raucous Chicago Democratic National Convention on
August 28, 1968, and received 67 1/2 votes from delegates. Throughout
that year, two other Black men, Eldridge Cleaver (then Minister of
Information of the Black Panther Party), and comedian turned civil
rights activist, Dick Gregory, shared the presidential nominations of
the Peace & Freedom Party. Cleaver was on the ballot in at least 5
states, while Gregory polled in at least 9 states. When the votes were
tallied, Cleaver took roughly 10,000 votes, while Gregory garnered
nearly 50,000.

In July , 1972, Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm (N.Y.-Dem) received
151.95 votes on her presidential nomination at the Democratic National
Convention in Miami, out of 2,000 delegates' votes.

By 1988, Independent (New Alliance Party) Dr. Lenora Fulani, on the
ballot in at least 35 states (and Washington, D.C.) netted over 218,159
votes. While seemingly impressive, it pales when one considers that
91.5 million people voted in the 1988 presidential elections (her share
of the vote was thus 0.24%). Four years later (1992), with new laws in
place restricting ballot access, she would pull perhaps a fourth of that
number, as she had considerably fewer states (about 20) in which to find
her party represented on the ballot.

It's virtually forgotten now that Rev. Jesse Jackson got over 7
million votes, won 13 primaries and caucuses, and controlled almost a
third (29%) of the party delegates in his second run in 1988. Though
Rev. Al Sharpton would try his hand in the 2000 and 2004 races, his
campaign was widely regarded (at least by the corporate media, and
through them, the predominantly white electorate), as a symbolic run, in
the long tradition of protest candidacies. Indeed, one observer, law
professor Kimerle W. Crenshaw has opined that Sharpton's July 2004
Democratic convention speech "electrified" the place, with his critique
of the Bush administration's penchant for appointing right wing judges
to the U.S. Supreme Court would whittle away rights won over long, hard
struggles. Crenshaw noted:

Not only did journalists such as Wolf Blitzer and others perform a
questionable disciplinary role in denouncing Sharpton as being "off message" -- CNN's Jeff Greenfield went further to declare that Sharpton delivered the most incendiary comment of the entire convention. [Fr.: Crenshaw, K.W., "Sharpton Sharpens the Challenge with an Overtime Victory," CommonDreams.org (July 30, 2004).]

In this context, the apparent fawning over Obama by many of these
same media figures may owe more to his seeming nonracial presentation,
than any real concern for Black political empowerment.

Politics is about more than strange bedfellows. It's ultimately
about power, and that's why there are second thoughts.

--(c) '08 maj


Anonymous said...

Osler is intermittently good but it's weird he's rejoined the Labour Party, which indicates a serious loss of judgement. 'Soialist Unity' is also intermittently good but is pretty much for people who write in capital letters in green ink. The obsession with the SWP gets a bit wearisome. The Tomb is by far the best of all the Left blogs. I think len was being ironic in the comment you cite. It's not accurate to say that len has entirely ignored Mumia:

"There are, of course, perfectly good reasons to criticise Moore. Some have been put off by his claim that Gen Wesley Clarkson is "antiwar" and would therefore make a good Democrat candidate for President. Others don't like him saying that Mumia Abu Jamal "probably killed that guy". These are differences of judgment as much as they are of fact"


andy newman said...

Derek we have posted an interview with Mumia:

and a video made by him:

Derek Wall said...

thanks for the comments, nice to hear of a bit of Mumia on Lenin and SU, it would be good to see more people blogging Mumia more often, in can write after all...I have personally nagged Andy Newman and Dave Osler to do so...and given the huge number of posts on SU it would be good to have some more.

You have to be careful using the term 'green ink' on this blog!

I think everyone's obssession with the SWP is getting a bit wearisome....I am into as much tolerance as pos at present, radicals in Britain are in lots of bits....surely there is plenty of action we can take together despite our differences....

Like blogging Mumia!

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