The Riots and the Radicals

The Riots and the Radicals

Within this issue we print some comments on the riots by Bayard Rustin, comments with which I agree. We shall also have before long the inevitable, and hopefully useful, studies by the sociologists. While awaiting their reports, however, we need not delay moving toward certain political conclusions, some of which bear heavily on the prospects of the democratic Left in America. These are what I want to consider in the following observations:

1) During the next period the political atmosphere in the country will be largely determined by the intensity and duration of three “backlashes.” First is the “white backlash” as conventionally defined—i.e., a shift to the Right among people at the Center and Right. Second is the “black backlash,” by which I mean a revolt within the Negro community against destructive rioting. Third is the “liberal backlash.” The first two I will discuss later.

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Wurgraft | University of California Press Lima