From the March-April 2015 issue of News & Letters
I saw the “60 years” banner and how about that as a great legacy to Raya Dunayevskaya and her vision all of those years ago! How much has changed and how much has remained the same. Racism and sexism may have evolved to not be as out in the open as the issues were in the 1950s, but I feel that the subtlety (or attempts thereof) of today’s racial and gender issues is more of a slap in the face. As much as things changed for people of color and women, so much remains the same if not worse.
Black River Falls, Wisc.
I hope in your looking back and forward in your 60th year of publication you run articles by founding editor Charles Denby. He really was an excellent writer. I read his pieces in American Civilization on Trial and the man could really get down to basics and at the same time probe deep into all the forms of racism in America.
Terry Moon’s essay on the Women’s Liberation Movement and its history with News and Letters Committees (“60 years of News & Letters,” Jan.-Feb. N&L) shows how different N&L was from the rest of the Left even back in the mid-1960s. When I was hanging around Colorado University in 1969-70, the male Left’s sexism was rampant. The WLM was considered to be a joke, except by the women who took a stand and said “No more!” When one of them offered me the WLM button with the clenched fist inside the women’s symbol, I began wearing it immediately.
Moon talked about how the Left treated the early Women’s Liberation Movement. Many on the Left today are no better. When I discovered News and Letters in the 1980s, I had become disgusted by the fact that many so-called Left groups thought they could get away with calling themselves “revolutionaries” while ignoring the WLM. Marxist-Humanism was and remains a “breath of fresh air” to me. Its philosophy of human liberation depends on the idea of woman as reason. Women are not just “included” in the organization but are inseparable from it and its philosophy.
“The leap to freedom is from necessity….” Thank you, Terry Moon.
New York City