Against the Current, No. 32, May/June 1991

The Editors

THIS ISSUE OF ATC is dedicated to the memory of Tommy Myatt (1981-1991), the son of Arthur Myatt and Linda Manning Myatt Linda produced ATC from 1985-87, leaving our staff in order to care for Tommy, who developed leukemia. We shall miss his curiosity, his music, his smile.

Reports of racist violence and intimidation have grown recently in the context of a decaying capitalist society—the unbelievable, but not uncommon, beating of African-American motorist Rodney King by the Los Angeles police being the most highly publicized horror.

University campuses have not been immune: Not only violence but various forms of intimidation, particularly against students of color, have sparked outrage and controversy. The editors of Against the Current asked Alan Wald to draft an article that we hope will contribute to a discussion among activists in the anti-racist movement.

Wald’s focus is on combining the principles of a “liberation-from-below” strategy, which requires the fullest freedom of speech and reliance on mass mobilizing, with the demands of victims of racist verbal abuse for immediate relief from the damage of, for example, hate epithets. We have circulated Wald’s article to a number of participants in struggles against racism, inside and outside the university context. We present two responses, by Elizabeth Anderson and John Salter, additional contributions will appear in future issues.

Comments by Ernest Mandel and Tom Smith continue the dialogue on “Socialism and Rights” begun by Harry Brighouse and Milton Fisk in ATC 29. Further contributions, and rejoinders, are forthcoming.

May-June 1991, ATC 32