Click amount to donate direct to CounterPunch
  • $25
  • $50
  • $100
  • $500
  • $other
  • use PayPal
Keep CounterPunch ad free. Support our annual fund drive today!

The Color Line is Black


For many months the right wing populist chatter box has been drumming up the spectre of a socialist radical president with no respect for civil liberties, due process, or property rights.  Then as soon as the president says it is stupid to arrest a man on his own property for speaking his mind, the right wing populist chatter box denounces the president for that.

Overnight, the fashion for denouncing the president is all the rage.  Nobody worries anymore about private property, due process, or civil liberties.  It is the uniformed officer who can do you no wrong.  And just like that, America’s post-racial presidency has come to a windshield-smashing end.  The color line is back.

One hardly knows how to defend the man who holds the most powerful office in the world.  His defeat already shows on his face.  Either one has already helped to defeat the president or one is already too late.

It is already too late to distinguish between racism as bigotry aforethought and racism as saturated cultural response.  It is already too late to point out that the president said, “Now, I don’t know, not having been there and not seeing all the facts, what role race played in that . . .”  It is already too late to ask how a career cop in Cambridge can approach the home of Skip Gates without already knowing who he is.  It is already too late to undo the swift victory that white supremacy has won, with all its well-known right wing populist momentum.

The choosing time has passed.  You already know which side you’re on.  And if you’re on the president’s side this time, you know what comes next.  The president will try to figure out how to appeal to the side that you and he are not on.  He’ll try to appease the right wing populist rest.  Say you’ve been on the president’s side before?  ‘Nuff said.

With another three years of hard work left in this presidency, I think the shape of things going forward will depend upon the internal struggle now at play between the bulls and bears.  As I’m working on that struggle internally in a fractal replay of things writ large, I have to think that the arrest of Skip Gates marks a bear market in the currency of respect.

By coincidence Skip Gates was returning home from the land of scholars when he encountered some difficulties at his own front door.  “Slight the learned,” warned Mozi in 400 BCE, “and you will neglect the ruler and injure the state.”  Even in Cambridge Massachusetts the learned are not respected.  Apparently they are not even well known.  The ruler has been neglected, the state injured.  Neat as a fortune cookie America, in the image of Skip Gates handcuffed, your future has just been read.

GREG MOSES is editor of the Texas Civil Rights Review and author of Revolution of Conscience: Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Philosophy of Nonviolence. He is a contributor to Red State Rebels: Tales of Grassroots Resistance in the Heartland, published by AK Press. He can be reached at:







Greg Moses writes about peace and Texas, but not always at the same time. He is author of Revolution of Conscience: Martin Luther King Jr. and the Philosophy of Nonviolence. As editor of the Texas Civil Rights Review he has written about racism faced by Black agriculturalists in Texas. He can be reached at

More articles by:

2016 Fund Drive
Smart. Fierce. Uncompromised. Support CounterPunch Now!

  • cp-store
  • donate paypal

CounterPunch Magazine


October 25, 2016
David Swanson
Halloween Is Coming, Vladimir Putin Isn’t
Hiroyuki Hamada
Fear Laundering: an Elaborate Psychological Diversion and Bid for Power
Priti Gulati Cox
President Obama: Before the Empire Falls, Free Leonard Peltier and Mumia Abu-Jamal
Kathy Deacon
Plus ça Change: Regime Change 1917-1920
Robin Goodman
Appetite for Destruction: America’s War Against Itself
Richard Moser
On Power, Privilege, and Passage: a Letter to My Nephew
Rev. William Alberts
The Epicenter of the Moral Universe is Our Common Humanity, Not Religion
Dan Bacher
Inspector General says Reclamation wasted $32.2 million on Klamath irrigators
David Mattson
A Recipe for Killing: the “Trust Us” Argument of State Grizzly Bear Managers
Derek Royden
The Tragedy in Yemen
Ralph Nader
Breaking Through Power: It’s Easier Than We Think
Norman Pollack
Centrist Fascism: Lurching Forward
Guillermo R. Gil
Cell to Cell Communication: On How to Become Governor of Puerto Rico
Mateo Pimentel
You, Me, and the Trolley Make Three
Cathy Breen
“Today Is One of the Heaviest Days of My Life”
October 24, 2016
John Steppling
The Unwoke: Sleepwalking into the Nightmare
Oscar Ortega
Clinton’s Troubling Silence on the Dakota Access Pipeline
Patrick Cockburn
Aleppo vs. Mosul: Media Biases
John Grant
Humanizing Our Militarized Border
Franklin Lamb
US-led Sanctions Targeting Syria Risk Adjudication as War Crimes
Paul Bentley
There Must Be Some Way Out of Here: the Silence of Dylan
Norman Pollack
Militarism: The Elephant in the Room
Patrick Bosold
Dakota Access Oil Pipeline: Invite CEO to Lunch, Go to Jail
Paul Craig Roberts
Was Russia’s Hesitation in Syria a Strategic Mistake?
David Swanson
Of All the Opinions I’ve Heard on Syria
Weekend Edition
October 21, 2016
Friday - Sunday
John Wight
Hillary Clinton and the Brutal Murder of Gaddafi
Diana Johnstone
Hillary Clinton’s Strategic Ambition in a Nutshell
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Trump’s Naked and Hillary’s Dead
John W. Whitehead
American Psycho: Sex, Lies and Politics Add Up to a Terrifying Election Season
Stephen Cooper
Hell on Earth in Alabama: Inside Holman Prison
Patrick Cockburn
13 Years of War: Mosul’s Frightening and Uncertain Future
Rob Urie
Name the Dangerous Candidate
Pepe Escobar
The Aleppo / Mosul Riddle
David Rosen
The War on Drugs is a Racket
Sami Siegelbaum
Once More, the Value of the Humanities
Cathy Breen
“Today Is One of the Heaviest Days of My Life”
Neve Gordon
Israel’s Boycott Hypocrisy
Mark Hand
Of Pipelines and Protest Pens: When the Press Loses Its Shield
Victor Wallis
On the Stealing of U.S. Elections
Michael Hudson
The Return of the Repressed Critique of Rentiers: Veblen in the 21st century Rentier Capitalism
Brian Cloughley
Drumbeats of Anti-Russia Confrontation From Washington to London
Howard Lisnoff
Still Licking Our Wounds and Hoping for Change
Brian Gruber
Iraq: There Is No State
Peter Lee
Trump: We Wish the Problem Was Fascism
Stanley L. Cohen
Equality and Justice for All, It Seems, But Palestinians