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The Idol Smasher

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Posted on Dec 30, 2012
Illustration by Mr. Fish

By Chris Hedges

(Page 3)

Reed defies easy labels. “I don’t join movements,” he said at one point in the interview. He is deeply critical of black power movements that glorify violence, including the Black Panthers, but, he said, after “watching the Oakland police for a few decades I can understand what they [the Panthers] were up against, originally. They were organized to oppose police brutality, which in those days meant cops who were recruited from the South and who had a proven track record of handling niggers; the same reason that Southern officers were chosen to command black troops in Italy during World War II. When the Panthers turned to electoral politics, they elected a mayor, congresspeople, and filled local positions with blacks. The Panthers, unfortunately, were caught in a lovers’ quarrel between the white left and right. The right [and] the FBI destroyed the Panthers by using informants, including one who supplied them with weapons. The white left used them as proxies in a war against the establishment, their mothers and fathers. Some of them married movie stars or became well-paid gurus or made millions by being race baiters like David Horowitz. The white left was treated differently from the black left, just as the Black Bloc is treated differently from black kids.”

“The Bloc’s latest rampage through Oakland resulted in no arrests,” he said of one of the Black Bloc protests that occurred in that city in 2012. “When I interviewed Mark Rudd of the Weather Underground, he described his experience underground as ‘cozy.’ He was supported by rich progressives and though he participated in an armed robbery, a jail break and other crimes, when he surrendered the prosecutor testified on his behalf! He didn’t serve a day in jail, while some members of the Black Panthers still languish in prison.” 

Reed attacks and explicates the institutional racism that keeps the poor trapped in internal colonies such as Oakland, but he has also mounted protracted campaigns to get the police to shut down crack houses and bring a semblance of safety to city streets. He confesses to being “very law and order” when it comes to criminal activity in inner-city neighborhoods. He calls the drug dealers, gang leaders and pimps in Oakland and other inner cities “neighborhood fascists.” But he ultimately blames “white pathology” for creating the violence and disorder. He points out that not only do most of the guns in Oakland and other cities come from the suburbs, but so do the customers for the drugs and prostitutes. The vast majority of the absentee landlords who rent properties to criminal enterprises in Oakland are, he notes, white or Asian-American. Nearly all live outside the city.

He said that the news and entertainment industry, while ignoring the crimes of the big banks and corporations, focuses instead on blacks in the inner city whom he describes as “the underpaid mules in urban vice.” He cites “The Wire” and what he calls “the pro-NYPD series ‘NYC 22.’ ” [Neither of the TV shows are in production now.]


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“Indians of subcontinent ancestry run the hotels where the lucrative prostitution business takes place, and immigrant Muslims run the liquor stores, the front of which are outdoor offices for gangs, and the Chinese and Mexicans deliver the drugs to our neighborhood,” he said.

“I’ve lived in Oakland for over 30 years,” he said. “I have seen a steady stream of whites coming to the city for vice. The police and the white power structure look the other way. They are tacitly involved. Also unnoticed by the Yale and Harvard graduates who have made a good living writing columns about black failure is the sorry record of the police in solving ‘urban’ homicides. In Oakland, it’s below 40 percent. Eighty-five percent of the police force in Oakland are white and from the suburbs and probably view black-on-black homicide as a form of sunocide—my term for fraternal extermination—as a form of population control. They permit these urban centers of vice to operate. But don’t expect to read about this in The New York Times or see it on CNN, this huge contribution of the white power structure to black pathology. Black people, when they do appear in the media, are usually dressed in orange jump suits while whites are shown doing altruistic deeds. We often get these racist stereotypes handed to us by colored mind doubles. And these colored mind doubles, like Barack Obama or [Henry Louis] Gates, never mention the white complicity in sustaining the black underclass, especially when they give their ‘tough love’ talks. The Talented Tenth, which includes the president, have made gains by distancing themselves from the less fortunate blacks.”

Reed said that in researching his novel “Reckless Eyeballing” it became shockingly clear that Nazi stereotypes of Jews paralleled U.S. stereotypes of American blacks.

“Jewish men were portrayed in the Nazi press as sexual predators,” he said. “They raped Aryan women. They were sexual deviants. They were violent. They engaged in criminal behavior. They were a force for vice, contamination and corruption. They could not be trusted. They were disloyal. Even Jewish schoolchildren were a problem because they supposedly disrupted classrooms. Now look at how Jewish writers like Philip Roth, Saul Bellow depict black men as flashers. I have a cartoon in which the Nazis depicted Jewish males as exposing themselves. David Mamet’s ‘Edmond,’ about black sexual predators, and which kind of endorses vigilante action against them, is consistent with the portrayals of Jewish men by the Nazi media. David Simon, Steven Spielberg, Richard Price and David Mamet in his play ‘Race’ have profited from refereeing the conflict between black men and women.”

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