• $25
  • $50
  • $100
  • other
  • use Paypal

CALLING ALL COUNTERPUNCHERS! CounterPunch’s website is one of the last common spaces on the Internet. We are supported almost entirely by the subscribers to the print edition of our magazine and by one-out-of-every-1000 readers of the site. We aren’t on the receiving end of six-figure grants from big foundations. George Soros doesn’t have us on retainer. We don’t sell tickets on cruise liners to the “new” Cuba. We don’t clog our site with deceptive corporate ads or click bait. Unlike many other indy media sites, we don’t shake you down for money every month … or even every quarter. We ask only once a year. But when we ask, we mean it. So over the next few weeks we are requesting your financial support. Keep CounterPunch free, fierce and independent by donating today by credit card through our secure online server, via PayPal or by calling 1(800) 840-3683. Note: This annoying box will disappear once we reach our fund drive goal. Thank you for your support!


Of Black Men and White Middle-Class Feminists


During an interview with Chris Hedges carried at the site Truthdig, I cited Eve Ensler as the type of middle class white feminist who singles out black men as the leading culprits in the practice of cruelty to women, a theme that has earned hundreds of millions of dollars for Hollywood, publishing and outfits like CNN. Since these women have financial ties to the white men, who own these institutions, they have to tread lightly when criticizing them. For example, a number of on air feminists refer to those who are mostly likely to rape Native-American women as “non-indians” instead of white men. Ms.Ensler took exception to my comment about her prompting the following exchange.

Eve Ensler and Ishmael Reed Go At It

Ensler:  I was taken aback by this gross and inaccurate statement attributed to me. I have never said anything of the kind. To imply I am in some kind of financial relationship with white men? What kind of relationship is Ishmael Reed implying? I have spent the last 15 years fighting violence against women everywhere in the world, beginning with my own white middle class father who sexually molested and beat me. I have stood up to DSK and every other man be they white, black, yellow or brown who abuses women. As a matter of fact, my anti-violence work began for me in Bosnia. We have been supporting women in New Orleans and Haiti and Congo who have been violated, but then again we have supported women in the U.S. military and at thousands of organizations of all ethnic groups around the world. Local, grassroots V-Day activists are at work in over 179 countries worldwide.

Reed: On Sept. 01,2010,Ensler appeared on Amy Goodman’s show, “Democracy Now,” and singled out two black countries and the city of New Orleans as where all of the cruelty to women was happening. She said “The work, Eve told me [Amy Goodman] defines what she calls a ‘kind of three-way V between Haiti, the Congo and New Orleans.’ She’s the female Tarantino who forced herself on black women of New Orleans, when she proposed to write a play based upon their p.o.v.s. They rejected her, preferring to tell their own story. Nevertheless, she managed to direct a play about their experiences, “Swimming Upstream,” at the Apollo in Harlem, a place where one of  the great playwrights, Ed Bullins, who is now ailing, never had an opportunity to stage a play, nor have other great contemporary black playwrights, Amiri Baraka or Adrienne Kennedy. Is she denying that she has more clout with the owners of the Apollo theater than our great  black playwrights? Why can’t Thulani Davis or Aishah Rahman get a play done there? Among those who are responsible for the Apollo’s  annual season are:The Coca-Cola Company, JP Morgan Chase & Co., The Parsons Family Foundation, the Ronald O. Perelman Family Foundation, the Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone, Reginald Van Lee New Works Fund, the Ford Foundation Fund for Global Programs, Bloomberg Philanthropies, Folonari Wines, which explains why the hard-hitting social commentary of Baraka won’t be performed there and one which blames black men for sexual assault is; this is more acceptable to the patriarchal capitalists who run the place.  Amy Goodman was the perfect place for her appeal. Goodman worships “The Color Purple,” about a black man having sex with his daughter. She like Gloria Steinem use black men as surrogates because they are scared to tackle misogyny in their ethnic groups. They’re not the only ones. Ms. Steinem even said that “The Color Purple” told the truth about black men, in her Ms. review, which even outraged Toni Morrison, who blasted both Ms. Walker and Steinem in an interview with Cecil Brown in The Massachusetts Review. The kind of group libel implicit in Ms. Steinem’s generalization is of the sort that’s been aimed at her group from the time of the Romans. Black men can be cruel to women wherever they can be found in the world, but they ain’t the only ones and it’s unfair to unload the burden on them for world mysogyny. Here’s a fact that you’ll never hear from Amy Goodman, Eve Ensler and Terry Gross. Among all American males, Black men are the ones who are most likely to be murdered by women. I cite Natalie J. Sokoloff, and Christina Pratt’s 2005 book, Family & Relationships –where the authors wrote: “Black women are also more likely than their White counterparts to inflict lethal violence against their husbands.” So what do you suppose black men were doing, while, during the Katrina calamity, the women were swimming upstream? In Las Vegas partying with Tiger Woods and Mike Tyson?

Ishmael Reed’s latest book is “Going Too Far.” He is the publisher of Konch at http://ishmaelreed.net/. Konch goes monthly in January.

Ishmael Reed is the author of The Complete Muhammad Ali.

October 13, 2015
Dave Lindorff
US Dispatched a Murderous AC-130 Airborne Gunship to Attack a Hospital
Steve Martinot
The Politics of Prisons and Prisoners
Heidi Morrison
A Portrait of an Immigrant Named Millie, Drawn From Her Funeral
Andre Vltchek
Horrid Carcass of Indonesia – 50 Years After the Coup
Jeremy Malcolm
All Rights Reserved: Now We Know the Final TTP is Everything We Feared
Omar Kassem
Do You Want to See Turkey Falling Apart as Well?
Paul Craig Roberts
Recognizing Neocon Failure: Has Obama Finally Come to His Senses?
Theodoros Papadopoulos
The EU Has Lost the Plot in Ukraine
Roger Annis
Ukraine Threatened by Government Negligence Over Polio
Matthew Stanton
The Vapid Vote
Mel Gurtov
Manipulating Reality: Facebook is Listening to You
Louisa Willcox
Tracking the Grizzly’s Number One Killer
Binoy Kampmark
Assange and the Village Gossipers
Robert Koehler
Why Bombing a Hospital Is a War Crime
Jon Flanders
Railroad Workers Fight Proposed Job Consolidation
Mark Hand
Passion and Pain: Photographer Trains Human Trafficking Survivors
October 12, 2015
Ralph Nader
Imperial Failure: Lessons From Afghanistan and Iraq
Ishmael Reed
Want a Renewal? Rid Your City of Blacks
Thomas S. Harrington
US Caught Faking It in Syria
Victor Grossman
Scenes From a Wonderful Parade Against the TPP
Luciana Bohne
Where Are You When We Need You, Jean-Paul Sartre?
Kevin Zeese - Margaret Flowers
The US Way of War: From Columbus to Kunduz
Paul Craig Roberts
A Decisive Shift in the Balance of Power
Justus Links
Turkey’s Tiananmen in Context
Ray McGovern
Faux Neutrality: How CNN Shapes Political Debate
William Manson
Things R Us: How Venture Capitalists Feed the Fetishism of Technology
Norman Pollack
The “Apologies”: A Note On Usage
Steve Horn
Cops Called on Reporter Who Asked About Climate at Oil & Gas Convention
Javan Briggs
The Browning of California: the Water is Ours!
Dave Randle
The BBC and the Licence Fee
Andrew Stewart
Elvis Has Left the Building: a Reply to Slavoj Žižek
Nicolás Cabrera
Resisting Columbus: the Movement to Change October 12th Holiday is Rooted in History
Weekend Edition
October 9-11, 2015
David Price – Roberto J. González
The Use and Abuse of Culture (and Children): The Human Terrain System’s Rationalization of Pedophilia in Afghanistan
Mike Whitney
Putin’s “Endgame” in Syria
Jason Hribal
The Tilikum Effect and the Downfall of SeaWorld
Gary Leupp
The Six Most Disastrous Interventions of the 21st Century
Andrew Levine
In Syria, Obama is Playing a Losing Game
Louis Proyect
The End of Academic Freedom in America: the Case of Steven Salaita
Rob Urie
Democrats, Neoliberalism and the TPP
Ismael Hossein-Zadeh
The Bully Recalibrates: U.S. Signals Policy Shift in Syria
Brian Cloughley
Hospital Slaughter and the US/NATO Propaganda Machine
Paul Street
Hope in Abandonment: Cuba, Detroit, and Earth-Scientific Socialism
John Walsh
For Vietnam: Artemisinin From China, Agent Orange From America
Hadi Kobaysi
How The US Uses (Takfiri) Extremists
John Wight
No Moral High Ground for the West on Syria