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Tidbits - Feb. 17, 2022 - Reader Comments: Labor Law Reform; Art Spiegelman, Maus and Book Bans; Megadrought; Paul Robeson; Peekskill from One Who Was There; NFL, Brian Flores, Systemic Racism; U.S. and Russian Women Call for Peace; more....

Reader Comments: Labor Law Reform; Raising Interest Rates a Problem; Art Spiegelman, Maus and Book Bans; Megadrought; Paul Robeson; Peekskill from One Who Was There; NFL, Brian Flores, Systemic Racism; U.S. and Russian Women Call for Peace; more....

Tidbits - Reader Comments, Resources, Announcements, AND cartoons - Feb. 17, 2022,Portside

Re: ‘Homelessness is Lethal’: US Deaths Among Those Without Housing Are Surging (George Lessard)
Re: Memoirs of a Union Buster: Why Labor Law Reform is Necessary (Milton Tambor; Jeffrey P. Nieznanski)
Re: Economists Warn Against the Fed Raising Rates at Worst Possible Time (Kathe Karlson; Tom Renic)
Re: Bill Would Outlaw Bosses Cutting off Healthcare to Striking Workers (Erika Juhlin)
The Slavery Chapter  --  cartoon by Mike Luckovich
Re: Art Spiegelman on Maus and Free Speech: ‘Who’s the Snowflake Now?’ (David Marley; Felice Sage; Janet Bayer; Bill Hahn; Steven Wishnia; David Owens)
Re: Confronting the Right-Wing Attacks on Racial Justice Teaching (Roy Schulman; Christopher Peragine)
Re: Western Megadrought is Worst in 1,200 Years, Intensified by Climate Change (Kipp Dawson)
Re: Pessimism of the Intellect, Optimism of the Whale (J. R. Kerr-Ritchie)
Ramp Up to War  --  cartoon by Adam Zyglis
Re: We Are Long Overdue for a Paul Robeson Revival (Helen Hawk; Andrew Smith; Alan Warren; Norm Littlejohn; Ellen Dana Olian Bate; Ralph G. Brown; Reed Fromer; Jan Bauman; Esther Moroze; Leonard J. Lehrman; Robert Birt; Jan Horowitz; Jo Wilkinson; Ellen Broms)
Re: Peekskill, 1949: What Was Lost, What Remained, What It Means Today (Victor Grossman)
Re: The Marxist Who Antagonizes Liberals and the Left (David Ehrens)
The Moment Brian Flores Began to Smell a Rat  -- cartoon by Dr. James MacLeod
Re: New Evidence of Discrimination Against Black Coaches in the NFL Since 2018 (Andrew Tuthill; Henry Davis; Mike Herrera; Orel Jay Ferguson; James King Jr.; Nathan D Smith; Clint Agee; Kyle Hawes; Anthony Wright; Gary Tominack; Amadi Kojo)
Re: Kristallnacht in Tulsa (John Aldis)



Independent U.S. and Russian Women Call for Peace (Letter written by American and Russian women - Nadezhda Azhgikhina in The Nation)


Red Books Day Festival at The People's Forum - February 20
Solidarity with Striking Warrior Met Coal Mine Workers - February 22 - Live online
Angela Davis Reads Toni Morrison - A Public Reading of the Bluest Eye - February 23 and 24 (Literacy Partners)
Revolutionary Grounds - Starbucks Workers United - February 23 (DSA International Committee)
'Democracy in Chains': How Nancy MacLean's Book Helps Us in Fighting the Right - March 13 (Online University of the Left)


Re: ‘Homelessness is Lethal’: US Deaths Among Those Without Housing Are Surging

“… Untreated disease, violence, exposure, overdoses and car strikes are all added hazards of living on the streets. The number of Americans dying while homeless has surged dramatically in the past five years.…”

George Lessard
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


Re: Memoirs of a Union Buster: Why Labor Law Reform is Necessary

(posting on Portside Labor)

I read the book when it first came out and was struck by the vicious and cruel tactic used. So, it is crucial to put the spotlight on union busters and enact the PRO act.

Milton Tambor
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

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Last June, Julia Rock's excellent article, "Hiding The Union Busters" inspired labor activists in Rochester, NY to action. Working with the Education Committee of the Rochester, NY Labor Council, AFL-CIO, activists proposed that the Labor Council adopt a resolution calling for the restoration of the “Persuader Rule” by the U.S. Secretary of Labor as a means towards guaranteeing worker’s rights to a free and fair choice in union elections.

Such a resolution was adopted by the Labor Council and sent to Labor Secretary Walsh. Since then, the White House Task Force on Worker Organizing and Empowerment issued its report recommending that the Department of Labor "take all appropriate actions to strengthen its rules and enforcement to ensure maximum compliance and reporting of persuader activity."

Thank you for raising awareness on this important issue. We will continue to work to see that a new Persuader Rule is promulgated. As we do so both locally and nationally, I would welcome an opportunity to collaborate with Portside if you publish an updated article on this topic.

Jeffrey P. Nieznanski, Esq.


Re: Economists Warn Against the Fed Raising Rates at Worst Possible Time

Greed kills!!!

Kathe Karlson
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


Whether you’re on the left, the right or somewhere in the middle, economists of all stripes have formed a broad consensus — bringing down inflation will be painful.

Tom Renic
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


Re: Bill Would Outlaw Bosses Cutting off Healthcare to Striking Workers

(posting on Portside Labor)

Or, you know, we could have Medicare for All.

Erika Juhlin
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


The Slavery Chapter  --  cartoon by Mike Luckovich

Mike Luckovich
July 22, 2021
Atlanta Journal-Constitution


Re: Art Spiegelman on Maus and Free Speech: ‘Who’s the Snowflake Now?’

“It was saying the unsayable. There’s one big panel in the second or third installment of In The Shadow of No Towers where I’m trying to take a nap at my drawing table. Osama bin Laden is on my left with a scimitar, while George W Bush is on my right with a gun to my head,” he says. “I think one of the people at the New Yorker said that I was crazy, that I was talking about those two things as equal threats. When that got back to me I said, ‘No, you’re right. America is a much larger threat.’”

David Marley
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


Conservatives are the most cancel culture obsessed snowflakes on the planet. Always have been. You don't see liberals burning books or hiding from history. Apparently, conservatives have no more confidence that their ideas can prevail in a free exchange than they do that their place at the top of the voodoo economics food chain can be sustained without huge government subsidies funded by the little people taxpayers who must be kept ignorant, struggling, distracted and divided. They have ALWAYS been terrified of free speech and have ALWAYS insisted on replacing anything close to objective reality with tooth fairy narratives.

Felice Sage
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


What a wonderful article

Janet Bayer
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


So glad this wonderful piece was posted

Bill Hahn
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


I did not know that Art Spiegelman did Garbage Pail Kids! Back then I was working as a substitute elementary-school teacher on the Lower East Side, and I used Garbage Pail Kids to teach adjectives and nouns — "Spacey Stacy" and "Flat Pat." One day when there was a story in the paper about a school banning Garbage Pail Kids , I had fifth-graders write about whether they thought that was right or wrong. A kid named Lamont wrote that free speech was essential, because if people couldn't express themselves, they'd "burst with frustration."

Steven Wishnia


Good article but we forget that Maus isn’t allowed in our ‘middle schools’ either. Ours is a ban by omission. Not sure if it’s the equivalent of a middle school ban in Tennessee but it’s certainly ignored. Do we let Primary school kids read it or do we do as Tennessee has explicitly done?

David Owens
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


Re: Confronting the Right-Wing Attacks on Racial Justice Teaching

One of the most important reasons for this attack on Critical Race Theory is to chop the legs off of any movement that would be for a systematic approach to establishing and organizing a program to begin the process of Truth and Reconciliation in the United States. Using schools as the place to begin that dialog on how to dismantle institutional racism.

Roy Schulman
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


“ …This law would make it impossible to teach Thomas Jefferson’s letter proposing colonization of formerly enslaved people outside the United States or Andrew Jackson’s justification of the Indian Removal Act or Franklin Roosevelt’s “second bill of rights” speech. …”

Christopher Peragine
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


Re: Western Megadrought is Worst in 1,200 Years, Intensified by Climate Change

Isn't it amazing how long it takes for "major media" et al to catch up just a bit with what reality and so so many have been calling out for ever-so-long?!?! Yet, when it happens, and eyes begin to open, we can benefit from articles like this one, from the Los Angeles Times. Big gratitude to Portside for making this available to all of us to read.

From it:

"The extreme dryness that has ravaged the American West for more than two decades now ranks as the driest 22-year period in at least 1,200 years, and scientists have found that this megadrought is being intensified by humanity’s heating of the planet.

"In their research, the scientists examined major droughts in southwestern North America back to the year 800 and determined that the region’s desiccation so far this century has surpassed the severity of a megadrought in the late 1500s, making it the driest 22-year stretch on record. The authors of the study also concluded that dry conditions will likely continue through this year and, judging from the past, may persist for years.

"The researchers found the current drought wouldn’t be nearly as severe without global warming. They estimated that 42% of the drought’s severity is attributable to higher temperatures caused by greenhouse gases accumulating in the atmosphere."

Read on here

Kipp Dawson


Re: Pessimism of the Intellect, Optimism of the Whale

Chas Walker's piece on Herman Melville’s Moby Dick is right to evoke Trinidadian Marxist and Pan-Africanist C.L.R. James’ praise of the novel for explicating the theme of how people rationalize their subordination to tyranny. But he misses the opportunity to point out the particular relevance of the novel at certain historical moments. James felt that the fascist decades of the 1930s and 1940s made the theme particularly applicable

Toward the end of the latter decade, George Orwell made the same statement about Stalin’s Soviet Union in 1984. Today, people rationalize their support for tyrants and petty-dictators across Europe, Asia, North America, and Africa. Our task is to tear down these bogus rationales and stop the tyrants, otherwise we risk following Ahab strapped to Moby Dick into the abyss.

J. R. Kerr-Ritchie


Ramp Up to War  --  cartoon by Adam Zyglis

Adam Zyglis
February 4, 2022
The Buffalo News


Re: We Are Long Overdue for a Paul Robeson Revival

In the 1970s, Robeson’s admirers — boosted by the upsurge of black studies and black cultural projects, plus the waning of the Cold War — began to rehabilitate his reputation with various tributes, documentary films, books, concerts, exhibits, and a one-man play that Avery Brooks performed on Broadway and around the country (and which has been revived at the Ebony Repertory Theatre).

Paul Robeson (1898-1976) was the most talented person of the 20th century. He was an internationally renowned concert and opera singer, film star and stage actor, college football star and professional athlete, writer, linguist (he sang in 25 languages), scholar, orator, lawyer, and activist in the civil rights, labor, and peace movements. In the 1930s and 1940s, Robeson was one of the best-known, and most admired, Americans in the world. Today, however, he is almost a forgotten figure. Few Americans know his name or accomplishments.

Helen Hawk
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


Paul Robeson's testimony before the House Un-American Activities Committee. June 12, 1956.

Watch and listen here

Andrew Smith
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


Alan Warren
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


“... rehabilitate his reputation ...” — I guess some people just needed an accurate account of who Robeson was and what he stood for, after years of right-wing smear tactics.

Norm Littlejohn
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


Because he was so outspoken about injustice in this country, he was hounded by the HUAC and even had his passport revoked as being “unAmerican.” My family had an album of his songs called “ Songs of Free Men,”hidden in a drawer full of clothes so no one would know we had it. Books by Howard Fast and other authors deemed leftist in the 50s were also hidden in the “toy closet. “. Needless to say I found them all and listened to that brilliant bass baritone voice while reading “My Glorious Brothers” by Fast and “The Jungle” by Upton Sinclair while looking for my dolls. I still have the album! But no record player.

Ellen Dana Olian Bate
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


'...he was Phi Beta Kappa at Rutgers.

Ralph G. Brown
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


A close friend of my grandparents. This was my grandfather’s painting of him.

Reed Fromer
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


He was also a friend of my parents. One night when I was about 8 or 9 he sat by my bed after dinner and sang me to sleep.

Jan Bauman
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


I remember sitting at his feet at summer camp with a bunch of kids. He appeared to be a giant to me.

Esther Moroze
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


At his 1949 concert in Moscow, Robeson talked not just about his friend Itzik Feffer, but also dedicated his singing of "Zog nit keynmol" to the memory of their mutual friend, Solomon Michoels, whom (Feffer had just told him) Stalin had ordered murdered the year before. (Feffer and Michoels had toured the US together in 1943, raising millions for Russian War Relief; my mother was their Boston interpreter.) Robeson's concert was recorded; but his the recording of his speech about Michoels was erased. 

In 1985, when I attended a Moscow Festival of Youth and Students, I sang that song in a concert and announced that I had learned it in Paul Robeson's version.  A number of Russian Jews came up to me afterwards to tell me how much that song had meant to them in 1949 when Robeson sang it for them, and how much it still meant to them in 1985, when I sang it for them. We try to include that song, and that story, at our Seders and Yom Kippur Afternoon services every year.

Keep up the good work, Portside!

Leonard J. Lehrman


One of a few entertainers whom I highly regard for his progressive social consciousness, his COMMITMENT, and his surpassing excellence as an ARTIST

Robert Birt
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


We played his LP's at our house growing up so many times that I know every note and nuance and lyric...I woke up this morning thinking about "What Is America To Me"... so relevant at this moment, as is "Joe Hill"...

Jan Horowitz
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


I heard him sing several times when I was very young in L.A.  I also heard him sing at Carnegie Hall in 1958!  I was in the 6th grade.  Later, when I was a young teen, my mother and I attended a reception for him in a private home in L.A.  He was so gracious and shook lots of hands that afternoon.  Then he famously cupped one ear with his huge hand and sang Joe Hill.

Jo Wilkinson
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


I saw him play Othello in 1959 at Stratford upon Avon. Sam Wanamaker was Iago and Mary Ure was Desdemona.

Ellen Broms
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


Re: Peekskill, 1949: What Was Lost, What Remained, What It Means Today

I am grateful that Kurt Stand has recalled a dramatic, important episode in US history, the Peekskill concert in 1949, and that he expanded the story into a comprehensive  review of developments before and since.

While heartily agreeing with his review and his conclusions,I would like to add my two cents, based on my own presence at that historic concert, my active participation in the Henry Wallace campaign of 1948 and - as an ex-pat of the McCarran-McCarthy era - as a director of the Paul and Eslanda Robeson Archive in the GDR Academy of Arts in East Berlin.

First, a minor correction: Aside from Paul and Pete Seeger I recall a young Black singer from Connecticut, Hope Foye.

Secondly, the NY State Police blocked off the main road from the concert grounds, which we had arrived on, and purposefully directed all cars and buses down a wooded side road lined with about a dozen groups of young men next to piles of stones which they hurled at the buses, breaking windows of cars and buses – in my bus almost every one, including the windshield. To make matters worse, the drivers of all the rented buses had deserted during the concert, obviously by pre-arranged decision, forcing untrained passengers to risk the murderous gauntlet down the narrow unpaved road we were forced to use– all carefully planned by Governor Thomas Dewey’s State Police – and then immediately blamed by the USA media - on Robeson and the Reds.

I view all the developments of those years almost exactly likePaul Strand, with just a few varying  nuances. As he writes, the  working people of the USA again and again waged fights for their rights, often very dramatically: in the Reconstruction era, during the bloody general strike of 1887, the Populist movement of midwestern farmers in the 1890s, the battles of the Wobblies in the Northwest, in Lawrence and Paterson. Such struggles were often defeated when the millionaires were able to split white workers from Blacks or from recent immigrants. Both groups, often lacking experience with labor unions - which were too often riddled with racism and discrimination - could be misused as scapegoats among America-born white workers.

But then, around 1934, some unions, impelled by the giant Depression of the 1930s and led by leftists, very often committed Communists, infused new militancy in big all-inclusive industrial unions, also moving against the divisive traditions. They won big victories: in the San Francisco general strike, the GM sit-ins in Flint, the bloody Little Steel battles in the Midwest and the dangerous organizing of Black and white textile, iron and tobacco workers in the South. The United States was intensely shaken and altered, as Washington and a very wise Franklin Roosevelt were forced to pay attention.

After a general truce during World War Two the fight began again in 1945 and 1946 with a strike movement such as the USA had never seen, involving over 5 million workers in one industry after another, from Stamford, Connecticut to Oakland, California, and not only for higher wages but for better working conditions and more rights for the unions and their members..

The frightened millionaires fought back hard! And very successfully, too, now using as their main weapon that re-sharpened old sword, anti-Communism, most notably with the Taft-Hartley Act of 1947, barring Communists from leadership jobs. With its help, and willing upper levels of bureaucrats in a majority of unions, most importantly the steelworkers and the autoworkers, they wrecked the huge fight-back movement, abandoning militancy and unity in all but eleven unions – of which eight were soon destroyed, along with the daring attempts to organize in the South.

In 1948 the left started up a determined new battle to revive the movement and regain the momentum of the 1930s. In this desperate yet enthusiastic attempt to rebuild the unity of Communists and non-communist leftists which had once achieved so much, a new Progressive Party was founded – with Henry Wallace as presidential candidate, with Paul Robeson, Pete Seeger and thousands of others – including me. We put up a giant and courageous fight. But failed.Partly because its opponents could use world developments to frighten people away: the victory of Communists in China and Czechoslovakia, the carefully, cleverly provoked Berliner Airlift. Partly it was the old lesser of two evils syndrome, which caused even devoted Progressive Party enthusiasts, when they looked at the ballots, to choose Harry Truman just to keep Thomas Dewey out.

Here I disagree with Kurt; our bitter, crushing defeat at the polls in 1948 did not reflect ”a forgotten lesson of the 1930s: the strength of the left depended on being part of a much broader movement.

Indeed, it was rather an attempt to rescue that broader movement, but which was betrayed by those groups which preferred a respected, respectable, basically subservient “liberalism,” untouched by any trace of scarlet red taint.The dominant labor leaders were satisfied if the once aggressive CIO returned to the old AFL formula - a non-aggressive, polite little tug of war about small improvements and privileges, all well within the status quo. As for those unions expelled for their left wing militancy - Kurt Stand names them - they were far too occupied with fighting for self-preservation – which all but three failed at – than risk or afford support for the Progressive Party.

As for leftists in academia and the arts, many were either subdued, locked out or even locked up, like the Hollywood Ten. But here, too, there were all too many who rejoiced at the suppression of any red coloring, men like Prof.Arthur Schlesinger, Jr, Walter White of the NAACP, or an illustrious list of writers, painters and musicians who enlisted with the Congress for Cultural Freedom and were thus recruited, whether knowingly or naively, into the widespread world network of the young CIA.

The defeat of the Progressive Party signaled the end of the alliance, born in the 1930s, which had achieved so much. A final brave attempt to rescue it – a last gasp – was the Peekskill concert, whose stony police-led coda opened the era of Joseph McCarthy at home, a decade marked by the silencing of people like Paul and Pete and the imprisonment, ousting and ostracism of thousands, and of John Foster Dulles abroad, with regime changes and mass murder in Korea, Iran, Guatemala, Congo, all barely camouflaged by Marshall Plan assistance, plus the revival in West Germany of the war criminals largely responsible for Hitler and his wars, now with their crusader lances aimed once again eastward.

Resistance gradually grew up during the decade  that followed, for the rights of African-Americans and later against the war in Vietnam, the mercenary attacks in Central America and the never-ending campaign against Cuba.

This resistance was marked by some grandiose successes but also by counterattacks as brutal as those on the rocky road home from Peekskill, with the same naked hatred, armed with vicious dogs and water pressure  against the children of Birmingham in 1963, with clubs against the marchers at the bridge in Selma in 1965 and at the Democratic Convention in Chicago in 1968 and with bulldozers and pepper spry against the protest demonstrators of the OCCUPY movement.  Each advance was marked by the death of victims, some leaders like Malcolm X, Dr. King and Fred Hampton and many others less famous. Perhaps even John F. and Robert Kennedy were victims for similar reasons.

In examining the history of the past century, one factor has been especially distorted – the decade-long influence of the USSR and its supporters or admirers around the world. Despite its blunders and despite the crimes of Stalin, the very existence of the USSR, its rapid industrial and cultural-educational build-up and its gigantic defeat of fascist armies and, despite immense destruction by those armies and countless disadvantages, plus many social advances achieved by the Soviets and, after 1945, by the East Bloc, were models for poorer, severely exploited countries. The support for liberation struggles in the countries of the southern continents, against colonialists and apartheid, served as a constant challenge to the so-called western world and its system – a challenge it usually ignored officially but secretly combated wherever it could.

In addition, the existence of disciplined, centralized organizations- the Communist parties - while beset by many problems, had been the basis for many successes, especially in the 1930s. Their almost total disappearance, contradictory as they were, meant a loss of a form of magnetism, enthusiasm and organizing experience, leaving a noteworthy vacuum, internationally but especially within the USA. Too many unions, lacking this former source of militancy, of centrally-based coordination and solidarity, succumbed to a bureaucratic acceptance of the status quo, often strongly tainted by bribery and corruption. Similar developments, with too many people motivated more by financial than Utopian visions, also strongly affected the arts. Nerudas and Anderson Nexos, Picassos, Eislers and Eisensteins, even Steinbecks, Arthur Millers, Blitzsteins and Bernstein, became very hard to find.

They are all bitterly necessary today. As Kurt Stand warns, the danger of fascism is greater than in 1949. The concentrated  wealth and power of a small, increasingly tight group of millionaires - and now billionaires - probably multiplied  by the present Covid crisis, is frightening, even though their system shows more and more signs of sickness and decay. Such bumpy trends only increase the degree of the billionaires’ fears and their possible response, a link with a fascistic GOP, possibly headed by Trump, or perhaps a smarter substitute.

Three immense dangers are emerging; firstly, the destruction of the world environment, with terrible storms , droughts and rising oceans causing misery, mass migration and worsening famine, accelerating that second great menace, the possibility of a fascist answer. The third and greatest menace, also based on greed and desperation, is the path toward war – currently being promoted– and aiming at world hegemony in all fields by the pharma, seed and pesticide giants, the car makers, the fossil fuel diggers and flackers, mind conquerors like  Amazon, Facebook, Google and those most obscenely wealthy and obscenely greedy war makers - like Northrop-Grumman,Raytheon, Boeing and Airbus, Krupp and Rheinmetall.

But, as Kurt Stand also stresses, there are determined efforts to fight back and protect the rights – even the lives – of Blacks, Latinos, women, gays, environmentalists, and the millions in prison. There is a wide assortment  of organizations fighting on many issues – including DSA, BLM, Our Revolution, #Metoo feminists, Fridays for Future. One can find fault with one or the other, some people criticize their concentration on the rights of one sector of the population – their own. I see no basic contradiction in reaching out especially to their own constituents, but I do see a necessity to win them for a joint fight with the others, also with those bright new faces, young, vocal and courageous,  who are members of the Squad in Congress – still an important arena, though hopefully without illusions as to who pulls the strings – and the purse strings - in the Democratic Party leadership.

Even if sometimes on a partial or temporary basis, as many as possible must be won for the fight against our increasingly brutal adversaries and their drive for uncontrolled power at home, with a dangerous slide toward a bloodstained fascism, and world hegemony abroad, with its inevitable follow-up– war. Within these  efforts, however, I see it as vitally necessary to keep in mind – and pass on to others – one basic truth; the only genuine, lasting response to these growing dangers is the full removal from power and from unearned fortunes of the billionaires and their accomplices.Only then can we realistically hope to save, improve and basically beautify what still remains of our world environment. This fight- always keeping in mind this enduring goal for the future - must continue and grow - with those great slogans from the Spanish Civil War; La lucha continua. No pasarán! Pasaremos!

Victor Grossman
Berlin, February 11 2022


Re: The Marxist Who Antagonizes Liberals and the Left

There is of course some wisdom in Prof. Reed's pronouncements on class. However, I think he goes overboard in rejecting race. Marx may not have known much, or cared much, about racism, but it's clear to modern Marxists that neither colonialism nor Capitalism can be understood without understanding race and white supremacy. Marx didn't have all the answers, and by settling on a fundamentalist reading of him, Reed dons the same blinders.

David Ehrens


The Moment Brian Flores Began to Smell a Rat  -- cartoon by Dr. James MacLeod

Dr, James MacLeod
February 4, 2022


Re: New Evidence of Discrimination Against Black Coaches in the NFL Since 2018

However you decide to spin this, the bottom line is the money and with the amount of money on the line I have to believe that the owners and managers are hiring the folks they think will get the job done. I also believe that sometime they are mistaken.

Andrew Tuthill
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


Sad but he just doomed himself to coaching high school football. Blackballed in NFL and College!

Henry Davis
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


The evidence has always been there but nobody has had the courage to confront NFL owners...

Mike Herrera
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


The NFL needed a Rosa Parks. Just look back on how long it took to get comfortable with black quarter backs.

It's very hard to understand for some, if you are not a minority.

Orel Jay Ferguson
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


You have to know what your up against when you challenge a power house like the NFL…”You never send a foot soldier to challenge General.” This is systemic racism your dealing with and it’s been in

Existent for years and it’s complicated! Changes have to start from within!!!

James King Jr.
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


If I were Bienemy, I would just head to college to coach if the opportunity is there. I wouldn't do another fake blow up doll interview for one more NFL. The owners don't want you for whatever reason, so head to college. I know recruiting is a headache but at least it's a head coaching opportunity.

Nathan D Smith
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


The owners don’t care what color you are if your not winning your out period

Clint Agee
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


I was assuming Bienemy was turning down HC jobs because he was promised the keys to the Chiefs king down when Reid left. But just this morning I saw his contact is expiring. That took my theory right out of the mix.. that guy deserves a opportunity.

Kyle Hawes
Posted on Portside's Facebook page



Anthony Wright
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


White or Black ,,, who wins excels! Then creates money , simply put.

Gary Tominack
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


Without black athletes sports wouldn't even be what it is so the owners need the players more than the players need the owners

Amadi Kojo
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


Re: Kristallnacht in Tulsa

(posting on Portside Culture)

It is so much easier to see Kristallnacht in faraway Germany than it is to see it in Oklahoma.

John Aldis
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


Independent U.S. and Russian Women Call for Peace

Every voice has meaning.

By Nadezhda Azhgikhina
February 15, 2022
The Nation


Flags of Russia and the United Sates along Novinsky Boulevard in central Moscow. Vladimir Gerdo / TASS  //  The Nation

[Letter written by American and Russian women participating in a dialogue and peacebuilding initiative founded in 2021 by Women Transforming Our Nuclear Legacy and the American Committee for US-Russia Accord.]

We are women from the United States and Russia who are deeply concerned about the risk of possible war between our two countries, who together possess over 90 percent of the world’s nuclear weapons.

We are mothers, daughters, grandmothers, and we are sisters, one to another.

Today we stand with our sisters in Ukraine, East and West, whose families and country have been torn apart, have already suffered more than 14,000 deaths.

We stand together and we call for peace and diplomacy, with respect for all..

We are united in the belief that diplomacy, dialogue, engagement and exchange are urgently needed to end the current crisis and avert a catastrophic military conflict that could spiral out of control—even push the world to the precipice of nuclear war.

For the US and Russia, the only sane and humane course of action now is a principled commitment to clear, creative and persistent diplomacy—not military action.

At this perilous juncture, rather than allocate blame, we should be seeking 21st century alternatives to senseless military conflicts and wasteful spending on war. It is a time to redefine security so that women, families, and our children, can live in peace.

At a time when we find ourselves in perhaps the most dangerous moment since the Cuban missile crisis, we call on the media in both our countries to stop fueling the flames of war. We call on the media to fulfill their ethical responsibility as journalists to remind us of the price of war, the bloodshed and loss of human lives, to demand evidence when claims are made that can escalate tensions, and to have the courage to sound the alarm on the risk of escalation to a nuclear war that would mean the end of life as we know it.

At a time when poverty is increasing in the US, Ukraine and Russia, when the world collectively faces the existential threat of climate change, a pandemic that has taken 5.8 million lives and caused rising “deaths of despair,” declining life expectancy and extreme inequality, isn’t it time to think anew?

How might we seize the day and lay out a 21st-century vision—that not only advances peace and security, but can unite the world—essentially a new realism? What could creative, humane diplomacy look like? If done thoughtfully, it could do more than resolve the standoff in Ukraine—it could pave the way for broader cooperation between the US, Russia, and Europe and beyond on climate, disarmament and more. It could lay the seeds for a new, demilitarized and shared security architecture.

We independent women, seekers of peace and security, understand the vital importance of engaging minds and hearts. We call on you to share this call for peace and urge our governments to keep talking, to pursue clear, creative and persistent diplomacy.

These are times of fear but also of hope and possibility. The world is in motion, the future is not written. As Americans and Russians, we have a compelling stake in deescalating tensions between our countries. The approach we suggest surely is more realistic, more wise, than preparing for a military conflict that could lead to unthinkable nuclear war.

We stand together and we call for peace. Stand with us.

Full list of signers here


Red Books Day Festival at The People's Forum - February 20

Sunday, February 20 @ 12:00 pm - 9:00 pm

#RedBooksDay2022 Fest
February 20, 2022, In-person and online

Join 1804 Books and The People’s Forum for a celebration of leftist texts for Red Books Day, an annual holiday commemorating the publication of the Communist Manifesto in 1848. We’ll be open on a Sunday(!) so you can enjoy all the day will have to offer. Help us stand in solidarity with revolutionary thinkers and writers against fascism and right-wing repression! Some events will be livestreamed.

More details to come, so stay tuned! In the meantime, we invite you to think of your #RedBooksDay2022 picks and post them with the hashtag!

If you are participating in person, please bring proof of vaccination and ID and stay masked unless you are actively drinking or eating.

RSVP here

The People's Forum
320 West 37th Street
New York, NY 10018


Solidarity with Striking Warrior Met Coal Mine Workers - February 22 - Live online

Solidarity With Striking UMWA Mine Workers at Warrior Met Coal in Alabama

We're going to have music, talks, and fun while raising money to support the striking Warrior Met Coal mine workers.

In Brookwood, Alabama nearly a thousand striking coal miners - Black and white, women and men - have been walking the picket line for more than nine months. Their issues? Health care, 7-day work weeks, substandard wages and most of all the right to be treated with the dignity that every worker deserves.

To make a donation that goes directly to UMWA mine workers strike fund, please visit:

To register for this event, please go here.


Angela Davis Reads Toni Morrison - A Public Reading of the Bluest Eye - February 23 and 24 (Literacy Partners)

Toni Morrison & The Power of Story

Society continues to receive Morrison’s first novel with controversy. She is unapologetic in her depiction of the suffering and neglect of Black girls and women and the consequences of the psychological and physical violence they have endured for generations. Morrison is equally committed to lifting up their humanity and grace while interrogating the mechanisms by which oppression is internalized.

Literacy Partners is an adult literacy program. African American and immigrant parents come to our program to transform their lives and create a brighter future for their family. Access to stories and the ability to tell one’s own are essential to heal from trauma – individual and collective. Adult literacy has always been a tool for liberation and a means of organizing to end systemic oppression.

We present this public reading in solidarity with Black girls and women everywhere. Justice demands that we not look away.


  • Angela Davis
  • Edwidge Danticat
  • Glory Edim
  • Honorée Fanonne Jeffers
  • Jacqueline Woodson
  • Jesmyn Ward
  • Kimberlé Crenshaw
  • Leila Mottley
  • Mahogany L. Browne
  • Nikole Hannah-Jones
  • Tayari Jones

Get Free Tickets


Revolutionary Grounds - Starbucks Workers United - February 23 (DSA International Committee)

RSVP here


'Democracy in Chains': How Nancy MacLean's Book Helps Us in Fighting the Right - March 13 (Online University of the Left)

Sunday, March 13, 2022 AT 1 PM – 2:30 PM

We’re inviting you to join us on Sunday, March 13th for a presentation on Nancy MacLean's book "Democracy in Chains - The Deep History of the Radical Right's Stealth Plan for America." The book is an invaluable history showing the deep connections between neoliberalism, white supremacy and the neo-Confederate right.

After a PowerPoint presentation by Carl Davidson, we will engage in Q&A and group discussions on how to ‘break the chains.’ Carl is the founder of the Online University of the Left. He also works for left unity through CCDS, Leftroots, DSA, and Liberation Road. In earlier decades, he was a leader of the CPML and the LRS, and a writer and editor for the Guardian.

Please join us on Sunday, March 13th, (Note: Daylight Savings time starts) 10AM PST, 1PM EST.

RSVP here