The extremist Black nationalist blog ‘BermyOnionPatch’ (BOP) seems to have taken offence to some positions taken by both this blog and that of Comrade Rowland.
They in particular seem to have been offended by a post of mine back in January (2008) where I discussed my reasons for not previously publicly recognising their site even though I had known about it since at least February 2007, when I wrote a piece regarding the ‘Bermuda Revolutionary People’s Front.’
I will allow readers to view for themselves the Onion Patches perspective in regards to this issue.
I do find it curious that they have only decided now to discuss this topic, some three months after the fact, but this in itself is insignificant.
There are some common positions that Rowland, the Onion Patch and myself; essentially on what the existing PLP represents as regards a truly emancipatory social movement. Also we share some common positions in regards to imperialist war and combatting white supremacy. Admittedly we have some rather different styles, but thats fine.
I cannot speak for Rowland, but I’m sure he will be airing his own thoughts on this issue, either here or on his own blog, but I believe there are some very real differences between our positions as well.
Namely, both Rowland and I are very much pro-feminist and anti-homophobic. From readings of the BOP comes across as quite homophobic. Additionally the BOP has some very strong leanings towards seeing the world solely through a prism of Black nationalism. Black nationalism in and of itself is fine in counterbalancing the prevailing White supremacy, but taken to an extreme it becomes counter-productive; indeed, it becomes the very mirror of what it seeks to combat, White supremacy. This division was a tension within the Black Panther Party itself, where one wing, led by Huey Newton and Bobby Seale, stressed coalition, internationalism and socialism, while another wing, led by Stokely Carmicheal and Eldridge Cleaver, stressed a much more cruder, crasser and vulgar version of Black nationalism. It is to the latter that I personally view much of the BOP’s ideology.
While I cannot be sure of the connection between the ‘Bermuda Revolutionary People’s Front’ and the BOP, their ideological positions certainly seem to converge.
One project I have been working on is transferring some of the passages from the now out of print book ‘Bermudian Politics in Transition’ by Mr. F. Manning. I have almost completed the first chapter ‘A System in Transition’ and will hopefully have it up here once I have the time to type it all up. But there is a passage, the second last one in the Chapter that is of some relevance to this particular issue. It goes:
“The riots that punctuate the political process are ritualistic recognitions that the process at its deepest level does more to preserve the social order than to remodel it”
In context it is seen that Manning here is alluding to the “…Bermuda’s real ‘minority’ group – the poor and alienated from the back of town.’
BOP and their ideology stem from the very real failing of the progressive labour movement to act as a truly emancipatory actor in the Bdian political process. As Orde Coombs wrote in his collection of essays (including an important one by our very own Dr. Eva Hodgson) collectively titles ‘Is Massa Day Dead’ – and I don’t have access to my copy right now, so I’m going off memory here – Massa day in the West Indies has not died, but only become progressively Blacker. Immediately prior to this part of his foreword he discussed how much of the Black West Indians (I believe he was referring in particular to the 1970 Black Power Revolution in Trinidad) would use the most revolutionary of slogans but only with the intention of swapping places with the Whites and the foreigners, how the change to the system was more superficial than anything else. To a degree this was also echoed in Fanon’s important chapter in the Wretched of the Earth, ‘On the Pitfalls of National Consciousness.’
As such the reactionary and xenophobic ideology of the BOP/BPRF, albeit clothed in psuedo-revolutionary rhetoric, stems from the legitimate disillusionment with the progressive labour movement and the PLP. But just as Huey Newton wrote of other ‘radical’ groups, one must judge them not by what revolutionary rhetoric they espouse, but rather by their actions, what they support, and what they actually say beyond their rhetoric.
BOP/BPRF and the disillusionment that they are symptomatic of do have the potential for radical and revolutionary change; and as stated, their are some common positions. Their ideology, as far as I have seen so far, however is largely reactionary. I welcome the ideological polemics between our sites, just as I welcome the polemics between this site and the more UBP oriented ones. It allows for the development of the ideas, for clarification and corrections.
I am sure there is more I can write here, but I will leave it for the discussion section below for the timebeing.
Endangered Starling/bolshevik sea turtle signing out for now.