If white radicals are serious about revolution, they are going to have to discard a lot of bullshit ideology created by and for educated white middle-class males. A good example of what has to go is the popular theory of consumerism.
First of all, there is nothing inherently wrong with consumption. Shopping and consuming are enjoyable human activities and the marketplace has been a center of social life for thousands of years.
The locus of the oppression resides in the production function: people have no control over which commodities are produced (or services performed), in what amounts, under what conditions, or how these commodities are distributed. Corporations make these decisions and base them solely on profit potential.
As it is, the profusion of commodities is a genuine and powerful compensation for oppression. It is a bribe, but like all bribes it offers concrete benefits—in the average American’s case, a degree of physical comfort unparalleled in history. Under present conditions, people are preoccupied with consumer goods not because they are brainwashed but because buying is the one pleasurable activity not only permitted but actively encouraged by our rulers. The pleasure of eating an ice cream cone may be minor compared to the pleasure of meaningful, autonomous work, but the former is easily available and the latter is not.”
what’s wrong with teach for america?
I. [verb] for [state], where “state” = poor people of color who cannot speak for themselves
II. TFA teachers (“teachers”) are 65% white, which is actually lower than the national average. That seems super liberal and shit until you account for the fact that students taught by TFA recruits are overwhelmingly nonwhite. This statistic, however, is not listed on their “diversity page.”
III. Racism, mostly. Racism, colonialism, classism.
IV. How many TFA applicants have you met who said they wanted something that’ll look good on their resume for law school? ‘Cause I’ve met a lot.
V. They were all white.
VI. Like, look at all of these white people teaching kids in Detroit. Don’t even get me started on the colonization of DPS over the past thirty years.
VII. Gateway to J.P. Morgan. Really.
VIII. Scab labor for our communities—in 2011, when the Kansas City program was founded, 87 local teachers were fired and 150 TFA recruits replaced them. The school didn’t have to pay them.
IX. Really, though, this is pretty straightforward:
a. entice white college graduates with Ivy Law prospects (literally). Pay them less than you can legally pay a person with a teaching certificate or a member of an educators’ union. Fire community members in the poorest, most racially segregated schools in the country. Send white University of Michigan Grads to teach said poor kids of color about Achievement. They will leave after two years.
b) entice non-white or poor college graduates with promises of Not Being Destroyed By Debt/Poverty. Repeat.
If you think the primary difference between you and people on welfare is that you are better than them… I don’t want to know you.