Re: [sixties-l] Fwd: * True colors

Date: Fri Mar 30 2001 - 18:28:10 EST

  • Next message: radman: "[sixties-l] California Dreamin'..."

    Ruben: What you write is true but not the whole truth. Look at the
    letters from Latino and Black prisoners to me and from me to them in my
    book, pp. 495, 499, and the rest of that chapter. The fact that a white
    kid was born to a higher living standard than you were is not his fault,
    and not necessarily his parents' fault. My son Bob, who went to
    Mississippi in 1963 and 1964, was tried as one of the Oakland Seven for
    attempting to shut down the Oakland Induction Center during Vietnam,
    spent years in the GI coffee house movement, got toxicosis on a
    warehouse job because he believed the future lay with the working class,
    used his union membership to get a resolution passed to stop the
    unloading of a South African cargo during apartheid, and a couple of
    years ago was the teacher who proposed and organized the unprecedented
    union-authorized teach-in for Mumia in the Oakland high schools, comes
    from a family undoubtedly living better than yours did.
            My daughter, the wife (now widow) and mother of longshoremen, did
    similar things. My other son, not a very political person, nonetheless
    showed up (as did my wife and I) that dawn on the San Francisco docks
    and physically stood against the hood of a semi to prevent that South
    African load from being moved.
            We lived pretty well only because I, after being blacklisted out of my
    profession by Sen. Joe McCarthy personally and two other witch-hunt
    committees, was able to become a goddam good translator and earn
    decently, although at the beginning I made dishwasher's wages. And if I,
    during the tough years, was able to turn for survival money to my wife's
    and my parents, it is because those immigrant parents, absolutely in the
    classical tradition, took any kind of job there was and went to college
    at night to acquire their professions. Incidentally, I don't have a
    college education. I taught in universities on what I learned on my own.
            There were even people from the very topmost stratum of wealth who
    served jail terms during the witch-hunt years rather than be
    stool-pigeons, Frederick Vanderbilt Field, for example.
            So don't put down idealism and decency and courage, no matter what kind
    of family an individual comes from, and what his/her ethnic or racial
    origin. As to people changing their minds during a lifetime, yes, there
    are those who sell out, and they come from the poor as well as the
    prosperous or even rich. But there are also those who, like myself, find
    that theories they believed in when younger turned out not to reflect
    the real world, so sticking to them would condemn such individuals to
    hollering into an echo chamber.
                                                    William Mandel
    radman wrote:
    > From: "Blazing Star" <>
    > Subject: * True colors
    Do you teach in the social sciences? Consider my SAYING NO TO POWER
    (Creative Arts, Berkeley, 1999), for course use. It was written as a
    social history of
    the U.S. for the past three-quarters of a century through the eyes of a
    observer in most progressive social movements (I'm 83), and of the USSR
    from the
    standpoint of a Sovietologist (five earlier books) knowing that country
    longer than any
    other in the profession. Therefore it is also a history of the Cold War.
    Positive reviews
    in The Black Scholar, American Studies in Scandinavia, San Francisco
    forthcoming in Tikkun, etc.

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