Re: [sixties-l] Critique of Bruce Franklin >

Date: 11/05/00

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    In a message 11/3/00  6:23:04 PM EST, Bill Mandel 
    <> writes:
    <I have not the slightest doubt about the accuracy of 
    <the picture of political repression in Norman, 
    <Oklahoma presented by Michael Wright. The dates he 
    <covers finally explain to me his position on the 
    <matter of what is now called racial profiling, as 
    <it pertains to political repression.
     The phrase "racial profiling" is both emotionally-
     charged and inflammatory.  I don't know exactly
     what Mandel means by his attributing to me a
     "position" on "racial profiling."  I have never
     used the phrase in this dialogue.
     My statement which inspired objections from Mandel
     was that in this country repression against dissent
     has been color-blind.  In opening  his attack,
     Mandel, for his convenience, rephrased my statement
     by deleting the part about DISSENT.  Later I was
     accused of "white chauvinism."  Now I am told
     that I have a "position" on "racial profiling."
     All I can do to remedy this campaign of false
     attribution is to continue to cite historical
     A brief review of the decades-long campaign of
     violence and repression against labor activists
     in the U.S. makes the point. For this I rely 
     upon Robert Goldstein's excellent book Political
     Repression in Modern America
     On page 5 he writes that "American labor suffered
     governmental repression that was probably as severe
     or more severe than that suffered by any labor
     movement in any other Western industrialized 
     He quotes other historians who say that the U.S.
     has had the "bloodiest and most violent labor history
     of any industrial nation in the world," and says
     that there were over seven hundred deaths and 
     thousands of serious injuries in the 1973-1937 period.
     Although he admits that there was violence conducted
     on both sides, violence from labor generally involved
     attacks on property, rather than people.  Violence
     originating from business was often supported by
     police or government troops and was generally
     characterized by attacks on individuals.  The great
     majority of casualties in labor disputes were
     suffered by workers.
     Recently I wrote to Goldstein and asked him what
     percent of those victims would he estimate were
     black or other minority.  In reply, he offered
     only a guess, but said "perhaps 10-15%."  I think
     we would be on safe ground to assume that the
     majority were white.
     To pretend that whites who seriously oppose the
     system enjoy some special protection based upon
     race is, I believe, a grave error and arises not 
     from careful analysis but from knee-jerk, shallow
     political correctness.
     ~ Michael Wright
       Norman,  Oklahoma

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