Legitimation Crisis in the ‘Hood: Will 2015 be like 1968?

The recent protests of the deaths of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, and Eric Garner in New York City, both black males, at the hands of police, ignited what some believe to be a new movement in the vein of the historic black Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s. Little did Messrs. Brown and Garner know that their tragic deaths would breathe new life into a near-dead progressive Left.

New groupings of Gen Xers and Millennials, networking through the Internet, have now displaced older activist groups led by the Rev. Jesse Jackson and the Rev. Al Sharpton. Other groups, like organized labor (especially SEIU), and perennial malcontents of Marxian legacy, such as the ANSWER coalition and the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA, have appeared in protests, alongside shadowy cadres of white anarchists, who in some cities have thrown firebombs and damaged property during protest actions. Unlike Occupy Wall Street and its derivatives, the new protest groups have an identifiable leadership, appear regularly in news media, and are building the road as they travel, that is, working out tactics and strategies based on their reading (or misreading) of past protest movements, as they go.

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