As the U.S. pivots further into a new Cold War against China and starts cracking down on dissent in the U.S., it’s imperative that peace activists and all organizers learn the historical origins and modern incarnation of the political weaponry of McCarthyism (shorthand for the U.S.’s historical political suppression of Black, communist, and anti-imperialist activists). In this video, which was part of the launch event for Carlos Martinez’s excellent book, The East is Still Red: Chinese Socialism in the 21st Century and hosted by the International Manifesto Group, Amanda Yee provides us with a timely introductory overview of the the contemporary iteration of the “Red Scare” and “Yellow Scare.”
Importantly, the presentation highlights a particularly important weapon yielded by the U.S. state to suppress dissent: the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA). Fara has been selectively utilized to punitively restrict and punish individuals and organizations, including anti-war organizers and researchers.
This has devastating impacts right here in Indiana, such as the attacks on freedom of access to information. Indiana Attorney General, Todd Rokita, said he would launch a “civil investigation” into Valparaiso University’s Confucius Institute, spuriously alleging the Institute functions “to spread propaganda and circulate the mantra of the CCP.” It is a weapon they wield against the oppressed to this day. In fact, the Department of Justice is using FARA to repress Black liberation organizations. As such, it is crucial that peace activists and all organizers arm ourselves with the state’s strategies so we can better defend ourselves and advance the struggle.
– Cambria York
“McCarthyism in America’s New Cold War”
Amanda Yee is a writer and organizer based out of Brooklyn. She is an editor of Liberation News, and her writing has appeared in Monthly Review Online, the Real News Network, and Peoples Dispatch.
Featured image: “The guided-missile destroyer USS Wayne E. Meyer (DDG 108) is underway in the South China Sea.” Source: Wikimedia Commons.