Settler News and the Racist Creep:
The Question of Whiteness in the North Amerikan Left
The Facebook page ‘Anti-Fascist News’ recently published a review drenched in anti-black, anti-brown, anti-indigenous, anti-Asian sentiment from a purely Eurocentric perspective. Now, thankfully taken down and apologized for by AF News, the erosive piece is filled with clear-as-day racism and colonial-apologetics, tinged with a shade of transparent tokenism. The text being discussed (read invalidated) by author Ross Wolfe is “Settlers: The Mythology of the white Proletariat”. It has been respected by many a far left-leaning majority as one of the most complete, Marxist and historical piece on white settlers and their interactions with indigenous, Brown, and Black peoples they colonized. By posting this article, they support the avoidance, isolation, and thereby erasure of a text that chronicles the struggles, massacres, and revolts people of color have experienced on Amerikan soil.
An excerpt from the review posted by Wolfe states
As an aside, why limit the category of “settler” to those from Europe? People from Africa were imported to the western hemisphere to produce surplus-value, which was subsequently transformed into capital. Were they “settlers” too? And what about Mexicans and Indians already here, and Chinese imported later? They also produced wealth used to dominate others.
The blatant class reductionism portrayed here obscures the reality of settlers arriving on the shores of North America out of their own volition. A settler is defined as someone who settles in an area, typically one with few inhabitants. North America bursting with human life and culture was not only settled, but colonized. As a result, settler-colonialism is the nomination we use to describe the tactics of genocide and chattel slavery that came with European settlers.
Who did the genociding? Some academics argue that because both African American slaves and indigenous peoples were contracted by militias to clear the land, via mass murder, to produce surplus labor, that they were complicit in imposing the settler movement on Amerikan soil. Again, blatant victim-blaming is apparent as the situation both victims (indigenous and African) were forced to perform these acts of violence. How accountable in genocide are oppressed populations in their own settler-colonialism if they are threatened with death and starvation for refusing to people of color off? I would hope the answer to this question is not at all; even as a basic biological concept, the desire to remain alive is unescapable.
The review goes on to make light of the job opportunities available to Europeans settlers versus the Chinese, African, and indigenous proletariat upon Amerika’s colonizing. Chinese workers being massacred by Irish union workers, labeled as coolies in typical fascistic manner to justify genocide sent a clear message to people of color, the vast majority who did not own land of their own and were no more than slaves. Surprisingly, there was not a single mention of Irish servants during this foundational point in Amerikan history. Often times, these Irish servants are portrayed as slaves alongside the many Black and Brown workers of the time. However, unlike institutionalized chattel slavery, indentured servitude was neither hereditary nor lifelong; unlike black slaves, white indentured servants had legal rights; unlike black slaves, indentured servants weren’t considered property.
The review by Noel Ignatiev concludes
For European-Americans who think that revolution is necessary, what better use could there be of their time, intelligence, and energy than the effort to crack open white society? To do that, they need a theory that will point out the fissures in it, not deny their existence.
To crack open a white society bent on turning Amerika into a homogenous utopia where whites are the only population considered people with any claim to well-being, they need to consider that they are all complicit in white supremacy, not be coddled into believing they have any claim to as drudging and horrifying a past as any population victim to genocide has been. This is where Ignatiev falls short of realizing his own internalized racism — not a single Black, Brown, or Asian person would dare to compare the plight of a chattel slave with even a servant during Amerika’s colonization.
The name-dropping of writers Wolfe indulges in is testament to the very weak-minded, racist, and class reductionist propaganda many see as a true, monolithic Marxism. Not a single original thought of his own is presented to the audience, where quote for quote references alleged “inaccurate”representations of slavery without a single citation.
Wolfe goes even further to tokenize Rashid Johnson of the New Afrikan Black Panther Party in order to further his white supremacist outlook on settler-colonialism in an attempt to create an erasure of the obvious inequalities between settlers escaping an early capitalism, and slaves forced against their will to work and die for them. Speaking of ‘affectual’ minds, his clear misrepresentation of Johnson’s fair critique projects an innocent feat of ‘simply being realistic’, as if every person of color could agree with Johnson simply because he is a Black Panther, as if the New Black Panthers haven’t been critiqued by members of the original, Marxist-Leninist-Maoist party we all know nand love, as frauds (more erasure of Black history). EDIT: This was a huge, albeit accidental, misrepresentation on my part. I totally confused NABPP WITH NBPP and didn’t realize this was the same Rashid Johnson I had been reading all along. I understand why he would say that white people are oppressed too, though I would definitely like to have a conversation with him on why it matters when working class, and sometes even upper classed Black folks are still being killed by white working class because their victims are Black…My point still stands however… Mr. Wolfe’s tolkenizing of Mr. Johnson is a shameless example of cherry picking and exemplifies the racism with which he rejects our history. In other words, Mr. Wolfe should stay in his lane when it comes to deciding who is racist, and who isn’t, not to mention defenders of whiteness are racist. It’s a slogan of the alt-right as well as many the white supremacist group. And now that that’s been made clear, let’s talk about unfounded claims that haven’t been redacted. ☺
Worst of all is Wolfe’s uncited claim that “Sakai himself no longer seems to think the central thesis of Settlers holds with respect to the contemporary US.” Mr. Wolfe, how dare you cite Sakai’s claim that fascism somehow transcends race and religion, and therefore is explicitly class oriented in its design. Have you not read this essay in its entirety? What you claim is the exact opposite of Sakai’s thesis, and is a prime example of not only your academic dishonesty, but exposes your true intentions to downplay the importance of race and anti-racist movements in Amerika:
J. Sakai explicitly states his main thesis as follows:
Why do we insist that some religious fundamentalist movements can only be understood as fascists? It isn’t that the Taliban or Egyptian Jihad aren’t religious groups. They clearly are, in the sense that their ideology and program are couched in an islamic framework. And they are part of broader islamic rightist currents that contain people of differing political programs. Just as the German Nazi Party was part of broader nationalistic currents in Germany in the 1920-30s that shared many of the same racialist views. People have tried to shallowly explain away the Nazis by saying that they were only extreme racists. They were that (which they shared with many other Germans) but they also had far-reaching fascist politics beyond that. In the same way, the hindu far right in India, for example – which contains perhaps the largest fascist movement in the world right now – is not only a religious movement in form but one which has far-reaching fascist politics in essence. There is no natural law saying that men’s religions have to be benign or humane or non-political. And they seldom are.
But what the West calls “islamic fundamentalism” is not that at all. First off, like its brother “christian fundamentalism” there’s some kind of relationship to religion but there’s nothing fundamental about it. There’s no similar vibe between white racist abortion clinic bombers today and some outcast Jewish carpenter with illegal anti-ruling class ideas in the Middle East 2000 years ago. And the Prophet Mohammad’s youngest wife wasn’t wearing a burka and hiding indoors, she was riding the desert alongside male warriors and disputing doctrine with male preachers as the head of her own religious school.
To summarize the above, J. Sakai makes the statement that Westerners view Islamic ‘extremists’ through a Eurocentric lense and thus label them as fascists. In other words, fascism is a white construction.
In a world where Nazis kill Black men in broad daylight, in midtown Manhattan, in the middle of busy thoroughfare… In a world where a fascist president is building a wall to fend off starving and violated children from entering and acquiring work, albeit slave labor… A reality in which immigrants are being detained based on the color of their skin, and their ancestral roots... A reality in which indigenous peoples across the world are being isolated and suppressed by reservations… In a world where Asian doctors are dragged off airplanes and bloodied in the process… In a world where supremacists massacre children and families while they worship peacefully, this is an act of pure, unfiltered racism.
They, then are complicit in the genocidal campaign of US imperialism both domestic and abroad. We need to act. The Eurocentric tenets of ‘white radicalism’ need to be obliterated. By the graces of Mao, Touissant l’ouverture, and Zapata before us, we need to overcome this obstacle within the decolonial movement. We need to start working, organizing, supporting our communities, and ensuring our future as an autonomous people.
The 55,000+ followers this page has is too much to present this racialized violence towards. Following multiple responses to the article in question, and the decision of a popular ‘anti-fascist’ news outlet, multiple people of color were blocked by Anti-Fascist News for voicing their frustrations and concerns. People were gaslit and told which of their histories were valid. Black women were told that they didn’t even read the article, written by a white person invalidating a history all people of color know. And why should they? We experience enough racism on a day to day basis. It must then be a request born of furthering the violence towards those who are non-white. This is an act of racial aggression by none other than a white man.
Many arguments on how Anti-Fascist News has neglecting the needs of people of color, after having my comments deleted multiple times. Goddess forbid they posted it because they see my featured photo on my pages: the inner title page to Settlers SIGNED BY CECE MCDONALD, the only Leftist I know in Amerika who has killed more Nazis than the recent Antifa movement has. We need to protect our kind. Do not let our history get lost! We don’t deserve it. All we want is a history, the same as white people… Why is that a problem?
As for the working class as a whole, it is our absolute duty to come to our best senses and to understand how we oppress each other so that we are no longer divided under capitalism. To do so, we must not only become anti-fascist, but anti-racist, anti-sexist, anti-ableist, anti-transphobic…
To do this, we must not censor works hailed by the subaltern as masterful pieces of our history, but instead celebrate them if the subaltern says it should be so. J. Sakai’s Settlers is one of these books, cataloguing a history of suffering, pain, and intergenerational suppression still existent today. Most of these tools are lost to us Black, Brown, and indigenous peoples in Amerika…
First, I propose a preventative measure: beware of the Fascist Creep. Beware of the Racist Creep in dual regard, the white supremacist in Red cloth of the October Revolution et al that pretends to have the answer to our salvation as a working class people of many ethnic backgrounds: class-reductionist theory.
The answer is available to you. It has always been a problem, albeit a problem well suppressed by Amerikan mass media and settler’s educational systems. That is why you need to read the Marxist historical piece by J. Sakai. Unlearn all you know by considering the plight and perspectives of subaltern peoples.
The problem is not simply that Wolfe’s publication has critiqued J. Sakai’s piece, but that it attempts at burying it under unwarranted and poorly cited suspicion, and quite literally tells people to not read it. Why is that necessary? These are questions to ask our white allies (or as the original Black Panthers demanded, race traitors) and of their intentions.
If you own a page and support the decolonial movement, if you support the destruction of white supremacy and fascism,
if you want to prevent the erasure of Black, Brown, and Asian history from evolving any further —
make sure you share this. Even if you would rather copy and paste.
This isn’t about me. It is about the future of people of color internationally
As this article is not being hailed as a testimony to the imagined illegitimacy of the history of people of color by many white activists, I draw inspiration from Baldwin’s words: the future of America, and life’s potential to be better for all of us (people of color and white people alike) depends on defending our movement.
We need to make an example of this to expose racism that white people inject into "Leftist" movements in North America. Once the racism is dealt with perhaps we can discuss what we expect of one another and unify to reverse settler colonialism. This is the strategy and we need to build a movement off of this.
We need Anti-Racist Action to organize more than ever; in a country so heterogeneous in ethnicity and race, built and sustained on settler colonialism and imperialism, racism is inherently tied into the destruction of capitalism. But saying so is only an untruth. The truth is that all anti-racist movements in Amerika are anti-capitalist.
It is necessary to mention the importance of this event in building our movement against racism and all its tenets (white supremacy, capitalist oppression, imperialism, etc.), Anti-Racist and Decolonial movements that are each individually infinitely more comprehensive that a anti-fascism and the mere application of Marxist thought (all fascists are racists).
Time after time the question of why Amerika hasn’t fallen by the hands of Amerikan revolutionaries is asked without consideration of the racism many people of color experience from Leftists who participate in bad politics, who are too naive and self-righteous to understand their position within the white supremacist system of oppression and imperialisn. As our companeros and comrades overseas beg of us to put a halt on the socialist and communist governances the CIA seeks to destroy, they need us more than ever to strengthen our working class for proper revolution by coming together abd understanding what it means to be an honest, non-racist, and genuinely altruistic human being who seeks to understand comrades of color.
Make an example and don’t let your friends fall victim to racism in white-dominated Leftist spaces.
“The future of the negro in this country is precisely as bright or as dark as the future of the country.” —James Baldwin
Ross Wolfe has been effectively and is currently still being outted as a racist— a condemnation beyond simple class reduction. This article has been shared with multiple Anti-Racist Action chapters. We are demanding a public apology, and reparations to all those censored on Anti-Fascist News. We are demanding justice for the damage done to our communities by giving racists a platform.
Anti-Fascist news has published an apology for their disregard of our history as people of color as something ‘divisive’ after recognizing Mr. Wolfe has divided the Left between class reductionist, and comprehensive Leftists.
Demands of Mr. Wolfe’s are currently being made:
After Wolfe apologizes, they will also make a public statement denouncing the piece and critiquing themselves. This will be published to their site and within their portfolio permanently. This will serve as semi-reparation to the history being erased by Marxists™ who believe they have a say in the autonomy of subaltern populations.
After that is posted, monetary reparations will be made to the multiple Black and indigenous people who have had to defend their history from the devaluation of a white person for their labor.
Multiple dormant racists within multiple Leftist™ groups have consumed this article and are also being addressed because this article has been shared. It has done damage to the working class by further erasing the oppression that both whitesupremacy and capitalism have endorsed on the working classes across the globe, particularly of the colonized peoples of the world. That is damage that must be undone before it propagates exponentially.
We conclude that no longer will a cracker (racist white person) propagate such racist trash again.