Friday, April 16, 2021

Does Nikole Hannah-Jones Channel Ronald McDonald Or Pennywise?

wsws |  The wealth and privilege of the leading proponents of racialism demonstrate the reactionary character of identity politics. It is entirely divorced from the real concerns and experiences of the working class. Fearful of a unified workers’ movement, the ruling class seeks to sow artificial racial divisions among workers through the promotion of identity politics. Additionally, middle class layers seeking a bigger slice of the pie see identity as a means of advancing their own wealth and social position.

The American ruling class is terrified of the growth of a working-class movement. The fight against police violence, racism, and poverty can only be waged through the building of a socialist movement, independent of the capitalist parties, that unifies workers on their common class interests.

New York Times journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones, lead author of the Times’s “1619 Project,” was paid $25,000 for an online Zoom lecture given to the University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communication.

Through a Freedom of Information request, the right-wing news outlet Campus Reform obtained documentation detailing Hannah-Jones’s terms of compensation for the February 19 lecture. Additionally, the documents revealed that Hannah-Jones was partnered with the Lavin Agency, a talent agency that is “the world’s largest intellectual talent agency, representing leading thinkers for speaking engagements personal appearances, consulting, and endorsements,” according to its website. Hannah-Jones’s relationship with the agency suggests she regularly schedules events and is paid for them.

Part of the agreement between Hannah-Jones and the University of Oregon dictated that the lecture, titled “1619 and the Legacy That Built a Nation,” could not be recorded and redistributed. However, a promotional flyer advertised a discussion on “the lasting legacy of Black enslavement on the nation—specifically, how Black Americans pushed for the democracy we have today.”

News of the lecture came days after Hulu announced that it partnered with production studio Lionsgate and billionaire Oprah Winfrey to create a docuseries based on the 1619 Project. In a statement, Hulu said the project was a “landmark undertaking…of the brutal racism that endures in so many aspects of American life today.”