During tumultuous times in history, left-wing icons have stood up against injustice globally. May it be Martin Luther King Jr. during the American Civil Rights movement, or may it be Bhagat Singh during the Indian independence struggle. Due to the right’s failure in either participating in, or suppressing these movements, they now label leftist heroes as rightist icons.
An article in the Washington Post labelled Martin Luther King Jr. as a Conservative. Except he wasn’t.
The Right argues that “Dr. King did a lot to preserve, protect and defend the best of our principles and values.”
That does not, in any way, constitute Conservatism.
The Right does not have the sole authority on freedom. Freedoms and rights are ends, and the Right and Left have different means of achieving those ends.
King was, in fact, a democratic socialist. In a letter he wrote to his wife Coretta Scott King in 1952, he said, “I am much more socialistic in my economic theory than capitalistic.”
He further added that capitalism had “outlived its usefulness” because it had “brought about a system that takes necessities from the masses to give luxuries to the classes.”
While King was a Christian in all rights and regards, his beliefs fell well within the Social Gospel tradition, which began as a critique of American capitalism and its industrial conditions of poor and working-class Americans.
Martin Luther King Jr. was a socialist and will remain one for eternity.
The right’s inability to be on “the right side of history” haunts its past, and may continue to hamper its future with their countless wars and other social malpractices.
The most blisteringly evident case of appropriation occurs in India, where far-right members of the RSS, BJP’s ideological paramilitary wing, try to idolize freedom-fighters Bhagat Singh and Subash Chandra Bose.
Singh was a communist; Bose was a socialist.
The far-right in India highlights the lack of support these historical figures received from the Congress party which was dominated by Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru. Gandhi and Nehru are both opposed by the RSS for causing the partition and, in the case of Nehru, starting a political dynasty that controlled India for most of its independent history.
While some of their criticisms may be debatable, one thing certainly isn’t: Singh and Bose were NOT right-wing icons.
Bhagat Singh was part of the Hindustan Socialist Republican Association and was involved in numerous protests. He and his comrades entered the British-Indian parliament and dropped propaganda leaflets with non-harming bombs, resulting in his subsequent arrest and hanging by the British colonialists at the meager age of 23.
Subash Chandra Bose was a Socialist who believed in a temporary authoritarian system somewhere between the Soviet Union and Turkey’s Atatürk on towards a path to democracy.
He was part of the radical leftist segment of the Congress party, and became its president, but resigned due to differences with Gandhi. His attempt to create the Indian National Army to fight the British in the second World War left an inspiring yet troubling legacy, and it is believed he died in a plane crash in 1945.
The Right, meanwhile, was headed by V.D. Savarkar who, while he initially attempted agitation against the British, became a stooge that begged his way out of prison in exchange for non-participation in the freedom struggle.
Savarkar founded the far-right RSS, the group from which Gandhi’s assassin and India’s current Prime Minister Narendra Modi stem. He even regarded Adolf Hitler has an inspiration.
It is clear that globally, the right hasn’t been a great champion for the cause of freedom they so claim. Their horrid attempt at trying to cover up their inadequacy comes in the form of using actual Socialists and trying to pose them as right-wingers.
Right-wingers didn’t work against the system historically; their attempt to edit this comes at a cost to their own ideological beliefs. The left must increase their educational visibility to tackle this erasure of progressive narrative that helps their cause.
Leftist heroes will never be rightist icons, no matter how much the right will try to appropriate our successes to fit their own definition.
Hazel McCallion has expressed her support for Don Cherry stating that “I want Don back on Hockey Night in Canada.” McCallion has also encouraged a rally to support Cherry outside Sportsnet’s studio, according to the Toronto Sun.
McCallion, who is 98-years-old, became a Canadian icon after being the much-loved mayor of Mississauga from 1978 until 1997. Despite McCallion supporting the rally and encouraging Canadians to attend, she will not be attending herself as she has a board meeting.
Over 200 people were expected to turn up to the rally already, however, McCallion’s encouragement may spur a greater turn-out.
Speaking to Newstalk 1010, McCallion said that “I hope many people go … Don Cherry deserves a chance to explain himself.”
McCallion went on to say that “I feel I have to say something because all of this has been blown way out of proportion over the interpretation of what he said.”
Cherry’s firing has created an outrage across Canada. A petition that was created immediately after Cherry’s firing has reached close to 200 thousand signatures.
South of the border, Tucker Carlson also expressed his support for Don Cherry, calling those who went after him “fascists who have no feelings.”
#MeToo had rules. At least we thought so. Culturally, societally, politically, we all tried to learn them, to internalize them, to understand just what types of incidents could get a person ejected from their life, tossed out of their social group, ostracized from friends, unemployable, unpersoned. The rules seemed almost clear—until suddenly those who seem to be in charge of them don’t even follow their own logic anymore.
Katie Hill had an affair with a junior staffer, another woman, who feels that she was victimized. By the rules of #MeToo, that would dictate that Hill loses it all, right? Only somehow, it’s being spun the other way, by the same publications that brought us diatribes against Al Franken. Hill, it turns out, can also claim victim status at the hands of her ex, who was the one who released the information about the affair. In her resignation speech, Hill echoed Franken’s sentiments, that it seems absurd that she should be resigning when a guy like Trump is in the White House.
To recap: the wronged party is not the spouse, not the junior staffer, but the powerful person at the center of it. While it is true that Hill was the victim of revenge porn, and that is not acceptable, the same principle did not apply to Anthony Weiner or Joe Barton. It does not immunize her from her own wrongdoing.
“The squad” of freshmen congresswomen supported her during her recent tribulation. Nancy Pelosi, and other senior members of Congress, apparently wished that “Hill had been more careful in transmitting her private photos.”
Hill was given far more leeway in terms of the vocal and press lashing that other members of Congress who have found themselves exposed for sexual misconduct have faced. It turns out that she is being supported, not harassed and harangued. A staffer for Rep Sylvia Garcia (D-TX 29th), said, “A lot of the show of support was done intimately and privately with Hill, out of respect for her. … People didn’t want to be adding to the noise. We didn’t want to make press out of the pain and suffering she’s been through. She had private images published without her consent that have caused incredible pain.” Weiner did too, but no one had any sympathy for him at all.
The thing is, and yeah, we hate to be those people, but we can so easily imagine the reverse scenario. Here it is: a dashing young first-term congressman has an affair with a staffer years younger. He takes drugs, advertises his sexual availability on dating apps, and drags his wife into a threesome with the junior staffer. When the marriage breaks up—perhaps as a result of this kind of rampant infidelity, after all, they weren’t openly poly or ethically non-monogamous—the wife releases the dirt on the congressman to the world. She wants people to know just what kind of guy this is, how he is a liar and a cheater, a womanizer, and abuser, unfit to be in Congress. What then? Why she’s a hero, of course, and he’s a villainous letch.
Haven’t we heard this story before? Why is it so different now? Is Hill really a victim of her own sexual dalliances? Are we to believe that a woman who is strong enough to run and win a congressional campaign is so easy to bully? Perhaps we’re looking at it all wrong, readers, perhaps we don’t truly understand the nature of abuse or something, but what we do understand, what is perfectly clear, is that we’re supposed to believe all women, even when she is the abuser. We’re supposed to imagine that there is some substantive difference in how the rules are to be applied to men and women in the same deleterious circumstances.
Now, we’re the first to admit that the rules are stupid. That this game of pointing fingers and shaming people is nonsensical and barbaric is not something we doubt. But if there are going to be rules that we are all expected to play by, ought they not be, well, adhered to?
If #MeToo is meant to be the new standard that we all must bow down to, and it’s a given that men and women are equal, then we must apply the rules fairly, and everyone who has a complicated sexual relationship that leads to grievances must be punished. Or, maybe, just maybe, we could do away with this nonsense and start to see the human beings for what they are: flawed, complicated, and capable of cruelty and kindness.
#MeToo may have been an effective corrective in some situations, but it should never have risen to the level of an era. As it stands now, we are living through a “cultural context where common vengeance writes the law,” and the hypocrisy is destroying us. If the rules don’t apply the same way for everyone, perhaps the rules are the problem.
A teacher who wore a blackface costume to Halloween has been suspended from the school he teaches at in California. The teacher, who was attempting to impersonate the rapper Common, was soon captured on video by his students.
In the video, the teacher raps about artificial intelligence, saying: “Opportunities limitless, possibilities senseless, what will you do? Millions of people, not enough to eat, what will we do? With AI, Microsoft technology, the future is up to you.”
The teacher, who worked for Milpitas High School, was condemned by his principal and the greater school community. The principal, in particular, labeled the teacher’s actions as “dispersing.” The teacher is now under investigation by the district’s school board.
In a statement, the school board’s president also called the teacher’s action “inappropriate, unprofessional and insensitive.”
The president, who is an Africa-American man, went on to say that “the history of Blackface reminds me of the cruelty, hatred and fear my parents and people of African Ancestry have dealt with in the past and still experience today around the world.”
One of Canada’s largest oil companies, Encana Corp., has announced its plans to move its headquarters to the U.S. and drop links to Canada from its name, rebranding as Ovintiv Inc.
According to the Financial Post, this latest announcement will surely intensify uncertainty surrounding Canada’s energy sector, which has been “choked off [of] prospects for growth, prompting foreign companies to ditch more than US$30 billion of assets in the past three years.”
In a conference call, CEO Doug Suttles said that he does not believe that the move to the U.S. will impact the Canadian workforce, as the company will continue to do business in Canada.
Following the announcement, shares of the company fell as low as 9.2 percent in Toronto.
Sonya Savage, the Minster of Energy for Alberta, says she’s “troubled” by Encana’s decision to relocate to the U.S., but “cannot say [she’s] surprised” by the move or that they waited until after the federal election to make the announcement.
Savage says that the company has been progressively shifting its efforts towards the U.S. in large part due to harmful climate policies which make it more difficult for oil companies to operate in Canada. She says that she hopes that this company’s decision to leave the country for greener pastures in the U.S. serves as a wake-up call for politicians in Ottawa.
Indeed, few are shocked by the decision, and many have justified it as entirely logical after Texan Doug Suttles took over as Chief Executive Officer for the company in 2013. Upon acquiring the position, Suttles aggressively began selling Canadian assets and building up the company’s position in the U.S. by purchasing Permian driller Athlon Energy and Freeport-McMoRan Inc.’s Eagle Ford shale assets.
Last December, Suttles relocated to Denver and announced that the company would be “headquarterless”, a move indicative of his determination to distance himself from the toxic Canadian climate besieging the energy sector in the country.
“A domicile in the United States will expose our company to increasingly larger pools of investment in U.S. index funds and passively managed accounts, as well as better align us with our U.S. peers,” Suttles said in a statement Thursday.