MEDIA ROOTS — On Friday, December 2, 2011, at 7pm, at the Pauley Ballroom on the UC Berkeley campus, a dialogue will take place between Cornel West and Carl Dix. This upcoming event open to the public free of charge is being organised by the University of California, Center for Race & Gender, which notes:
“Carl Dix is a longtime revolutionary and a founding member of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA. In 1970 Carl was one of the Fort Lewis 6, six GIs who refused orders to go to Vietnam. He served 2 years in Leavenworth Military Penitentiary for his stand. In 1985 Carl initiated the Draw The Line statement, a powerful condemnation of the bombing of the MOVE house in Philadelphia. In 1996, Carl was a founder of the October 22nd Coalition to Stop Police Brutality. Carl coordinated the Katrina hearings of the 2006 Bush Crimes Commission.”
Yesterday, Davey D broadcast an interview with longtime activist Carl Dix on The Morning Mix out of KPFA radio in Berkeley, CA.
Some will take issue with the Revolutionary Communist Party, yet acclimate to extremes on the Right. Some will stay open-minded and employ critical thinking. Others take issue with the RCP’s reclusive figurehead, Bob Avakian. Yet, it’s hard to dismiss RCP spokesperson Carl Dix’s cogent, radical analysis of U.S. imperialism, hegemony, and domestic repression, which, following Obama’s nationwide militarised assaults against peaceful Occupy Movement encampments, is timely and logical.
And, whatever one may hold against Cornel West, such as his support for Obama in 2008, one must appreciate his dogged celebration of the Socratic Method, as he welcomes dialogue with thinkers from diverse schools of thought, even those of the RCP taxon. And Carl Dix is certainly a worthy dialectician.
Among the sundry topics Carl Dix discusses in conversation with Davey D (below) is the role of Obama as the Commander in chief of the U.S. global empire; police state repression and its dimensions of White supremacy, as manifested through racist policies like Stop and Frisk and racial profiling; apathy among the masses and how we can wake the folk up; the pretext of national security to stifle dissent, S.1867 (passed by the two-party Senate today) granting the Executive the use of the Military and arbitrary indefinite detention against U.S. citizens, or anyone, in today’s U.S. global empire, and the titanic lurch toward fascism in the wake of coordinated Federalised assaults against the Occupy Movement; police brutality and repression; mass incarceration and the prisoner hunger strikes; the 1% versus the 99%; and what we can do about all of this.
The absurdity of militarised platoons of riot cops brutalising and repressing peaceful demonstrators, First Amendment activity, and even journalists covering it all makes this a timely discussion.
Davey D (7:10): “Listenin’ to a little James Brown right here on The Morning Mix, Davey D hangin’ out wit’ you. And there is big doings in the City of Berkeley in the [S.F.] Bay Area, come this Friday. Pauley Ballroom, my old stomping ground, is going to feature an incredible dialogue between Cornel West and Mr. Carl Dix. Carl Dix, of course, one of the founders of the Revolutionary Communist Party here in the U.S. He is also the founder of the October 22nd Coalition Against Police Brutality. And there are so many other things that we could talk to Carl about. But he’s outspoken. He’s an activist, a freedom fighter. And he’s on the phone lines wit’ us this morning. Carl, how you doin’?”
Carl Dix (7:52): “I’m doing good, Davey. How you doin’?”
Davey D (7:55): “Good. So, you and Cornel [West] have been kicking up a lot of dust. That’s what we’re hearing. And you’re bringin’ a lot of heat to some issues that many like to sweep under the carpet, in particular, police terror, incarceration, no jobs, miseducation, all in the age of Obama. Let me start off with my first question. Are you surprised that these issues are as problematic as they are with our first Black President?”
Carl Dix (8:21): “No, it didn’t surprise me at all. Because I peeped that when Obama was running for President, he was basically applying for the job of Commander in chief of the U.S. global empire and he was basically sayin’ I’m the best guy to meet the needs of the empire at this point. And if you gon’ meet the needs of the U.S.’s global empire, that does not include getting jobs for the youth, ending police terror, correcting the way the education system works because all of that is built into the fabric of U.S. capitalism, historically and currently.
“We’ve been doing this campaign to stop ‘Stop and Frisk’ here in New York City, which is a policy of the New York Police Department, under which they stop more than 700,000 people. That’s the pace they’re on this year. That’s 1,900 people each and every day. And five out six of those people stopped are Black or Latino. And over 92% of them are doing nothing wrong. But this ain’t a mistake or an error in judgment. This is a system based upon exploitation that has no future for the youth. So, rather than allow them to get roused up and rise up the way that youth did in the 1960s, they have criminalized them and tried to lock ‘em down. And whatever colour the President is, he’s going to preside over that and see that that’s carried out.”
Davey D (10:04): “Let me ask you. When you just mentioned that figure of the ‘Stop and Frisk,’ 700,000 people being stopped, mostly Black and Brown folks in New York City. How does this happen with 8 million people in a city and we just sit back and there’s no outrage. We don’t see people, you know, bat an eye and say, ‘This is wrong. Let’s stop this.’ Have we been dumbed down that much?”
Carl Dix (10:32): “There is some growing outrage. But, on the other side, yes, most people buy into this. And they’re told that this is done in order to protect them from crime and there’s a certain ignorance of the reality because, if it’s about crime, why is that 92-plus-percent of the people that the police stop, they can’t find the reason to even write ‘em a ticket? And of the seven-plus-percent who do get violations or arrested, some of them weren’t doing anything wrong. They just looked the wrong way at a cop, gave ‘em a little too much lip or were carrying a non-criminal amount of marijuana in their pockets. But they were told by the cop to empty their pockets and when they took the marijuana out a cop arrested them for displaying marijuana in public. Because in New York state it is not a criminal offence to have less than 25 grams of marijuana as long as you don’t display it.”
Davey D (11:33): “Wow.”
Carl Dix (11:34): “But then there’s a certain trick-bag for Black or Latino youth where the cop will tell you to empty your pockets. If you refuse they arrest you for violating his order. If you comply with his order they arrest you if you have that non-criminal amount of marijuana because it then becomes public. That’s kinda how they go at this and how they go at criminalizing our youth. But people accept it because they’re told it has to do with safety against crime. And the police chief even goes to Black and Latino churches and talks about how he does what he does to protect their communities against criminals when, actually, they’re criminalizing the youth of that community. And, you know, Cornel and I wanna bring that to light, including that he and I collaborated on launching a campaign of non-violent civil disobedience aimed at bringing mass resistance [and] opposition to stop ‘Stop and Frisk.’”
Davey D (12:33): “You know, a lot of people listening would probably say this doesn’t apply to me because it’s in New York City. And others will say this doesn’t apply to me because the old adage, ‘If they have nothing to hide then they should just go along with the programme and expose themselves,’ you know. ‘We’re in extraordinary times and this requires extraordinary measures in order to protect our population.’ I bring this up because yesterday [11/28/11] in the Senate they started debating a bill that was drawn in secret, the National Defense Authorization Act, which would give the President as well as the Military great powers in terms of stopping people and holding them as ‘detainees’ for an indefinite amount of time. And to me, this is brought up by John McCain as well as Democrat Carl Levin, I wanna see if you can connect the dots between the two in terms of, you know, we let the kids get stopped and frisked in New York and now it could apply to anybody on a national level and we don’t seem to be outraged. We were all eating turkey and enjoying the football games, myself included, and not really having our attention focused on these types of bills that are going through the House and Senate.”
Carl Dix (13:52): “Yeah, all of this does come together because ‘Stop and Frisk’ is a policy that’s applied in New York City and a couple of other cities across the country. But most cities don’t have that explicit policy. But there is probably no city across the country where the racial profiling that underlay ‘Stop and Frisk’ doesn’t get applied and isn’t spoken of, perhaps not explicitly, but as the way you go at crime. What’s really happened is that Black and Latino youth have been made a criminalized group of society. And they basically treat ‘em all like criminals, guilty until proven innocent, if they can survive their encounter with police to prove their innocence. And we have to bring that into the picture because we remember Oscar Grant and the many other young Black and Latino people who did not survive those encounters.
“But it also goes to this national security point because they have expanded that racial profiling. I mean, we’ve talked about driving while Black or Latino, but we also gotta talk about flying while Muslim or Arab because that is also something that has become criminal. And now with a bill like this, they are granting the Executive the power to determine for whatever reason that someone could be arrested, held, interrogated, treated as a national security threat, and not have to give them the ability to challenge that to have it heard in open court and to say, ‘Show and prove.’ Now, when Bush talked about grabbing that kind of power there was a lot of opposition. But Obama came in as the anti-Bush and he has actually consecrated some of the things that were controversial under Bush because you look at the fact that they explicitly executed a U.S. citizen with a drone strike in North-East Africa and there wasn’t a [huge outcry] about that, similar to this [S.1867] bill that you’re talking about. And people need to deal with that.
“This dialogue that Cornel and I are having is happening in a different situation because you’ve got this spreading Occupy Movement. And that’s a very good development. But we also have to deal with the fact that there were coordinated national assaults on the Occupy Movement. You know, there were conference calls that the Mayor of Oakland was on with 15 to 18 other mayors and there was participation in that conference call from the Department of Homeland Security. Now, people need to deal with the fact that protesting has become something that there will be national military security conference calls and coordinated assaults on. And the assault that happened in Oakland was nothing short, on the Occupy Movement, was nothing short of a military assault. I mean, we just gotta call it what it is. When they start throwing flash-bang grenades and comin’ in the way that they came in, that was a military assault on people who were protesting. Or the UC Davis thing where students sitting down with their arms linked were hit with pepper spray. And we gotta deal with the pepper spray that the police routinely use is actually banned in warfare according to international law. That’s what that came down to. And you watch that cop very calmly spray those students and then shake his can, so he could spray ‘em some more. They’re actually telling us something about what future they have in store for us. And we need to be talking about how we’re gonna seize a different future because the future that they have is: ‘If you go with the programme and don’t rock the boat, you can be a functionary in their oppressive, exploitative worldwide system. If you rock the boat or if you don’t fit into that, which is the case for huge numbers of Black and Latino youth, then they got a different future.’ They got prisons. They got police. You know? They got all of this or being in their Military and going around the world and killing people for ‘em.”
Davey D (18:24): “Right. If you’re just tuning in, we have Carl Dix on the phone line wit’ us. Carl Dix, well-known freedom fighter, activist, founder of the October 22nd Coalition Against Police Brutality, member of the Revolutionary Communist Party USA, founding member of that. Let me ask you this, Carl. You and Cornel are having this conversation Friday, UC Berkeley, Pauley Ballroom. We’re gonna hear all this information, you know; some of the stuff you’re saying is gettin’ people riled up. But now, at that point, what do we do to change that and can we have a change that, you know, or at least start to see change that’s immediate, understanding that ‘I don’t wanna wait seven generations; I’m not trying to get involved with something where we have to wait for, you know, my great-great-grandkids to receive the benefits. I wanna hear, now, some sort of solution that I can see.’ What’s the prescription at this point?”
Carl Dix (19:21): “Well, the prescription, and this is going to be a dialogue, so we’ll have two people who’ll come at it with some unity and with some differences. You know? And I really respect and love my brother Cornel. And we work together a lot. Like I said, we started this campaign to stop Stop and Frisk together in addition to having these dialogues. But I’m gonna come from the revolutionary communist perspective and I’m gonna put two things to people. One is building a movement for revolution, which we gotta do right now. Okay? And I’m gonna develop that, bring out what that revolution would be like, what it aims to do, why it could bring a whole different and far better world into being. And I’m also gonna say to people, ‘Whether or not you’re with that, that’s something that I want people to dig into and check out.’ And I’m gonna bring source material that I can encourage people to get into on that front. I’m also gonna say, ‘We have to stop things like mass incarceration, 2.4 million people in jail in prisons all across the country, many of them held in torture-like conditions; policies like Stop and Frisk and racial profiling that serve as a pipeline to prison; the way in which prisoners are treated like less-than-human when they get out, denied access to government loans, public housing, even denied the right to vote.’ We have to actually build a fight around that right now and beat back some of this. That’s what we’re engaged in doing in New York around Stop and Frisk.
“The prisoners, themselves, in California stood up; and people need to relate to that struggle, support it, things like the hunger strikes that the prisoners in the California Special Housing Units waged, as well as other forms to, both, bring to light these horrors, but also to fight, now, to change them because they’re moving in a way that they wanna have us so locked down that there’s nothing we could do about it. And, at the same time, I’m gonna engage some of the questions that are posed by the Occupy Movement because it has accomplished quite a bit. It has moved people to resist the outrageous inequality in society, to stand up and fight back, but also to question why it is like this and what could be done about it. And, like I said, I’m gonna engage why it’s like this because it’s like this because of capitalism in its very nature, what it functions based on. And we need revolution to get rid of it. And I’m gonna bring to them the kind of revolution that we need and the work that Bob Avakian, the leader of the Revolutionary Communist Party has done on that revolution, how to make it, what kind of world we could bring into being and how we could go farther and do better than the previous revolutions that have occurred.”
Davey D (22:27): “Okay. You know, let me just see if we can just get a couple of calls in with you—”
Carl Dix (22:32): “Okay.”
Davey D (22:32): “—before we let you go. The phone number here, we’re talking with Carl Dix, he will be speaking with Cornel West this Friday at Pauley Ballroom, UC Berkeley Campus, in the age of Obama. Him and Cornel [West] will have a conversation about police terror, incarceration, no jobs, and miseducation. The subtitle: ‘What Is the Future for Our Youth?’ He’s on the phone line wit’ us and you could give us a call. 510.848-4425. Once again, 510.848-4425. Carl, while we wait for some of those calls, when you say ‘revolution,’ two questions come to mind. Under the P.A.T.R.I.O.T. Act and the proposed new laws that they’re trying to push through and all that, that, kind of, makes you an enemy. Are you concerned that all of a sudden before, you know, when you’re talking about this and you’re using words like ‘revolution’ and you are a member of the Communist Party, that all of a sudden you won’t find yourself locked up? You know, because we have to, you know, you might be deemed a quote-unquote ‘terrorist’ in this day and age. And, also, when we’re talking about ‘revolution,’ are we talking about, you know, goin’ to the rifle range and gettin’ a gun? Or is there another approach towards this?”
Carl Dix (23:45): “Okay.”
Davey D (23:45): “I mean can we have a ‘revolution’ at the voting booth?”
Carl Dix (23:48): “Alright. Let me start with the second question and then move to the first question. When we talk about ‘revolution,’ we’re talking about meeting and defeating the violent attempts at suppression that this governmental structure will undoubtedly launch at a revolutionary people. Now, it is not yet time for the all-out move to revolution. The society is not yet deep enough in crisis. There’s not yet the revolutionary people numbering in the millions who are ready to put everything on the line and don’t wanna live another day under this system. So, it would be in very much different conditions. That’s what ‘revolution’ means. And it’s about dismantling the repressive apparatus that keeps capitalism and its exploitative relations in effect here in this country and around the world and putting in its place a whole different society with a different economic programme that’s not based on exploitation, a socialist economic programme, that would be in transition to an end to exploitation and oppression once and for all. That’s what ‘revolution’ is about. That’s what we’re talking about. And that’s what it would take to pull it off.
“Now, when I talk about building a movement for ‘revolution,’ I’m talkin’ about a couple things. One is bringing to people that things don’t have to be this way, that it isn’t like this is the best possible of all societies. Revolution has been made. It could be done again and we could go farther and we could do much better. I’m also talking about an approach that we call fighting the power and transforming the people for revolution because we know people ain’t ready for revolution right now. But they do need to resist these attacks and through the course of the resistance we try to bring out: Where do these attacks come from? Why do they continually come down? And where do we need to go to end them?”
Davey D (25:45): “Okay.”
Carl Dix (25:45): “So, that’s what I mean when I talk about ‘revolution.’ And as far as this thing of, ‘Am I on some enemies list?’ I wouldn’t be surprised if I were. I mean, I do know that at the time of the first Gulf War there were debates at the highest level of Government, as to whether people who were saying what I was saying should be arrested for it. And this was like the early 1990s, we’re talkin’ about, because they were like, people who were criticising this move towards war before it happened were maybe ‘treasonous’ and should be gone after. They decided not to do it at that point. But I don’t hold back on what I say and say, ‘Well, I can’t say that because They may not like it and They may criminalize it.’ I have to say what I think is true because while the truth won’t set you free, in and of itself, if you ain’t basin’ yourself on truth, you ain’t gon’ get free. If you’ based on a lie, you ain’t gon’ get free and humanity’s not gon’ get free.
Davey D (26:44): “That’s real.”
Carl Dix (26:44): “So, that’s how we go at it. And we try to expose to people the ways in which all of this repressive apparatus is geared not towards their safety, but towards keeping the current status quo in effect.”
Davey D (27:00): “Okay.”
Carl Dix (27:00): “You know, and if you like this set-up with 1%, actually less than 1%, owning and controlling and dominating everything then go with it. But if you’re against that then you have to talk about the mechanisms that they have that keep that in effect.”
KPFA FREE SPEECH PHONE LINES OPEN
Davey D (27:15): “That’s the voice of Carl Dix. It is 8:27 in the morning on The Morning Mix and we’re gonna take a couple of calls. We’re gonna kick it off with Sharif in El Sobrante. You’re on the Morning Mix. How are you doing, Sharif?”
Sharif in El Sobrante (27:25): “Alright. As-Salamu `Alaykum.”
Davey D (27:27): “Good. What’s happenin’?
Sharif in El Sobrante (27:28): “Alright. Listen, I love this. I’ve never heard of this brotha befo’, but he is well-spoken. And he can certainly explain to me what the heck he’s talkin’ about. I can dig it. I also, are you there?”
Davey D (27:41): “Yeah. We’re listenin’.”
Sharif in El Sobrante (27:42): “Okay. Well, I would tend more towards socialism, which means a society of men or a group of men with one common cause. Have him to deal with that, would you, please?”
Davey D (27:52): “Okay. Let me, before you hit that, Carl, let me just get another call in and then I’ll let you hit ‘em both—”
Carl Dix (27:57): “Okay.”
Davey D (27:57): “—at the same time. Alright, so he asked a question about socialism. Let’s go to Ayana in Oakland.”
Ayana in Oakland (28:02): “Hello.”
Davey D (28:04): “Hey, Ayana, you’re on the air. What’s your question or comment?”
Ayana in Oakland (28:06): “Hi, yeah, question, kind of comment, maybe both. Um, White Skin Privilege, White Supremacy: During this Occupy Movement it just seemed like folks love having conversations about class and economy absent of that. And I feel like that very basis is what has a lot of the structures be the way that they are today, just in terms of how they affect people of colour. And, so, I’m just wondering where do you stand on that just in terms of [basic] conversation in terms of race constructed in that way—”
Davey D (28:46): “Okay.”
Ayana in Oakland (28:47): “—because that’s, essentially, what it is that we’re dealing with.”
Davey D (28:49): “Okay. We appreciate that. So, Sharif wanted to know, you know, ‘socialism’—”
Carl Dix (28:52): “Okay. Socialism and White supremacy.
Davey D (28:54): “Yes.”
Carl Dix (28:55): “Okay. Let me start with the second question first. And those are both very good questions and, both, things I’m gonna get into more this Friday when I dialogue with Cornel. And I really encourage people to come out. I believe it’s going to be at seven o’clock. I mean, on this question of ‘White supremacy,’ that is something that was built into the fabric of U.S. society from the very beginning, from when they dragged the first African here in slave chains and carried out genocide against the Native inhabitants. And, literally, every bit of wealth in this country is based on that foundation. And that is something that you ain’t supposed to talk about. And, in fact, given that I’m gon’ be in California, one of the things that we got to address is the banning of affirmative action in the UC system. It’s kind of like, ‘Oh, well, a couple of decades ago we ended Jim Crow segregation. So, of course, there’s no reason for any remediative action to be taken about the centuries of oppression that Black people, in particular, suffered. So, that is a very important point. Now, how do you go at it at this point?
“And one of the things I’m gonna get into is the way we went at the struggle to build, bring dramatic mass resistance around ‘Stop and Frisk’ here in New York City. And one of the things that we decided to do is we had to go down to Occupy Wall Street. And we had some discussion and even some argument over whether that would be a wise thing to do, since this was mostly White young people who did not experience Stop and Frisk and the viewpoint that went out was, ‘Okay, they don’t experience Stop and Frisk, but if they’re talking about the 99% and they really mean that then they need to know what happens to part of that 99%, which is part of what is used to keep all of us down. So, we went down there and we started telling people. We did mic checks and started doing speak-outs around Stop and Frisk. And, initially, only a few people responded, but as it developed, so far, each time that we have done, we’ve done three civil disobedience actions, each time a good section of the people who went and got arrested to stop Stop and Frisk were activists from Occupy Wall Street. And they were people, they included a few Black or Latino people, but mostly they were White people, who were like, ‘I did not know this happened, but I can’t stand by and let it happen, you know, so-called, in my name. I have to register my opposition.’ And see that’s the kind of struggle we gotta take to people. Be real about this thing about 99% ‘cos the 99% does not just suffer economic inequality across the board. There is oppression aimed at whole groupings of people based on race or nationality within that 99%. There’s oppression aimed at women within that 99%. And a movement that’s really about addressing that has to be about addressing all of that. And I would bring to that a view that it will take revolution to end all of that.
“That’s what I bring to that, which brings me to the so the socialism question. That’s why I wanted to go at it this way. Socialism is an economic way to run a society. It is also a political approach. And for us, it’s a transition to a full classless communist world and that all of that needs to be in the mix because when you talk about meeting revolution one part of that is that you have to go up against a repressive structure that is aiming to keep capitalism in effect. And you see that in the attacks on Occupy because even though people were merely protesting and raising questions about the nature of society, the people that the run the show decided that was a danger to them and needed to be repressed. So, that’s part of it, but then even after you make the revolution, you have to deal with the fact that there are a lot of differences that are left over from capitalism ‘cos you can’t deal with all instantly right away. One we’ve talked about, the oppression that’s aimed at Black people and Latino people, the White supremacy that’s in society. You can take big steps on that, but the ideas that people have taken on behind that are something that you gotta work to get people out of. And you gotta figure out the ways to do that, the same on the oppression of women, also, the fact that some people do mental work while other people do back-breaking labour. You have to work to end all of those differences.”
Davey D (34:00): “Right.”
Carl Dix (34:01): “And doing that actually requires a transitional period. And that’s why for us socialism is a transition to that full classless communist [world] where exploitation has been ended once and for all. And Bob Avakian, the leader of the Revolutionary Communist Party, has done a lot of work on that. And I’m gonna address some of it and I’ll also tell people about some of the sources like the recent book Basics, quotations and short essays from his work that get more deeply into that.”
Davey D (34:31): “Okay. You know, let me see if I can squeeze one more call in—”
Carl Dix (34:34): “Okay.”
Davey D (34:34): “—before we get to our other guest who’s here on The Morning Mix. I believe we have Beverly out of Petaluma. How you doing? You’re on The Morning Mix, Beverly.”
Beverly in Petaluma (34:43): “Good morning. I found this a very interesting dialogue. But I had a thought, which is that the word ‘revolution,’ in itself, is like a red flag to a lot of people. And I was thinking that what about using the term evolution, which doesn’t have the same threatening connotations, and focusing more, rather than on how we can’t stand the way things are, on really creating a vision for how we would like things to be and doing that in a way that inspires people because simply fighting against something that’s wrong is not necessarily gonna lead to something that’s right.”
Davey D (35:35): “Okay.”
Beverly in Petaluma (35:36): “So, I wanted to suggest some way to inspire people so that the wrongness becomes intolerable, but they have a good feeling about the direction they’re moving in and making sure that happens.”
Davey D (35:56): “Okay. Let me let him get to that. Carl: evolution versus revolution.”
Carl Dix (35:58): “Again, a very good question, a very good point. And the way that we go at this, we feel, we have to lay bare what’s wrong about this set-up. But at the same time we bring forward what the world could be like. And, in fact, the Revolutionary Communist Party produced a draft Constitution for a future socialist republic in North America. We produced that because we wanted to give people an idea of the kind of society that we are aiming to bring into being, how the government would work in that society, where elections would fit in, how education would be handled, how the rights of the people would be respected, how we would deal with international relations, how the economy would be run. And we wanted people to know that, one, because we thought it would inspire people, but also we wanted people to be able to say, ‘This is what you’re supposed to be going for; now let’s look at how you’re going at it, whether it’s in line with what you’ve laid out there.
“Now, on this question about revolution and the connotations that go with it, we’re actually aware of the connotations. The reason we feel like we need to use that term is that it actually describes the kind of transformation that’s needed. You know? And I know there are a lot of views of, ‘Can we just organise at a distance from the state and its repressive apparatus?’ We think that that is not a winning approach. And you even see something like the Occupy Movement, which on one level was not directly challenging the state, but was protesting inequality and all that and the state violently came at it because it saw even people protesting and questioning as dangerous. And I mean that’s what we’re up against. That’s what we gotta deal with. And we do need the kind of transformation that revolution represents, so that’s why we take that approach. And I can further go into that when Cornel [West] and I talk this Friday up at the Pauley Ballroom at seven o’clock on UC Berkeley’s campus. I also wanted to give people a phone number and a way to get programme information if they’re interested in more information.”
Davey D (38:22): “Sure, what’s the number?”
Carl Dix (38:24): “The number is 510.848-1196; I believe that’s the number for Revolution Books. But also get programme information by going to the Center for Race and Gender at UC Berkeley’s website. I believe that’s CRG.Berkeley.edu.”
Davey D (38:58): “Well, the Center for Race and Gender, they can find out if they Google.”
Carl Dix (39:02): “They can Google it.”
Davey D (39:04): “Okay. And, again, the number 510.848-1196. Carl, we’re gonna have to wrap up. We appreciate it. We look forward to seeing you on Friday at Pauley Ballroom and so thank you for hangin’ out.”
Carl Dix (39:12): “Yeah, I look forward to getting out to the [S.F.] Bay Area.”
Davey D (39:15): “Thank you for hangin’ out with us this mornin’.”
Carl Dix (39:17): “Thank you.”
Transcript by Felipe Messina
Race, Inequality, and Student Activism (video of C-SPAN’s broadcast): http://www.c-spanvideo.org/program/RaceIne
“Cornel West and Carl Dix, a founding member of the Revolutionary Communist Party spoke about race, social injustice and student activism. Other topics included “Occupy” protests movement, racial discrimination and the Middle East peace process. They responded to questions from the audience.”
Thousands Turn Out For Unprecedented, Transformative Evening by the Bay Area Revolution Writers Group
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“Fantastic, the best event ever at UCB. It was well-timed with what’s happened, it was intellectually challenging, emotionally touched people and relevant.” —UC Administrator
“Students emailed their lives will never be the same.” —UC Professor
Word had spread throughout the University of California, Berkeley campus and among many in the Bay Area—via leaflets at Occupy rallies, emails on department and student organization list serves, class announcements, and word of mouth—in the weeks leading up to the December 2 dialogue between Carl Dix and Cornel West—In the Age of Obama… Police Terror, Incarceration, No Jobs, Mis-Education: What Future for Our Youth? So the students, faculty, Revolution Books supporters and others organizing the event expected a full house of 1,000 in Pauley Ballroom, and had reserved two overflow rooms seating another 800. But in the hours leading up to the event it became clear something else—new and extraordinary—was happening.
In October and November, UC had been the scene of an awakening and uprising unlike anything the campus had seen since the 1960s—a national focal point of student struggle against budget cuts, the Occupy movement, outrage over police abuse, and racism on campus—with students, faculty, and people from the community gathering in the thousands and waging sharp, uncompromising struggle against the administration and police—and weeks earlier against a racist campus Republican “bake sale” against affirmative action. So a lot of different kinds of people—from the Occupy movement, African-American student groups, students studying mass incarceration and police violence, and others had been working in various ways to bring the dialogue to UC. Twenty UC Berkeley academic departments, centers, and student and student government organizations, as well as several community groups, were sponsoring the dialogue.
One administrator emailed that the dialogue would bring unique voices to campus and enrich the discussion about “the criminal justice system, structural racism, economic justice.” A Black student told Revolution, “There’s been no other event at UCB that even came close to this one: an important whole evening with two Black intellectuals speaking to a very large crowd, let alone speaking about things like revolution.”
On December 2, people were lining up hours before the event to get in, with the line stretching as far as the eye could see. Some said it went from Pauley halfway across campus past the library, others that it went all the way across to Hearst—probably a half mile. People had come from campus and around the Bay Area. Some came in organized groups—like 30 high school students and teachers from San Francisco. There were students from Mills, Laney, SF State, Cal. State East Bay, and San Jose State. There were activists and prominent figures from the community, and many who’d been active in the Occupy movement. Folks came from LA and even Las Vegas.
“Holy cow! A HUGE line of people for CARL DIX, CORNEL WEST—WHAT FUTURE FOR OUR YOUTH, mind blowing,” one person tweeted. Hundreds and hundreds were still lined up after more than 1,800 people packed into Pauley and two overflow rooms.
Pauley Ballroom was charged. After a welcome by an Associated Students UC Senator, two spoken-word performances by UC students, and introductions by the two moderators—one a UC faculty member, the other a UC graduate student—Carl Dix took the stage.
Read more about The Cornel West-Carl Dix Dialogue at UC Berkeley: http://revcom.us/a/253/west-dix_at_berkeley-en.html