My initial comment was to say that while I had heard these criticisms, my main issues with him were more about the heavy-handedness of his writing style (doesn't reach anyone but the true believers) and that he almost never engages in talking about actual solutions.
That - as you can imagine - brought on a flurry of response from his fan club at Daily Kos. Some of them were really ridiculous...like the person who equated solutions with "selling out." Others seemed to indicate that people are so caught up in yelling about the problem that they don't even understand the definition of "solution." But the one that really caught my attention was when someone tried to make the case that Greenwald is an open and ardent believer in radical politics. My response was that its hard for me to consider someone a believer in radical politics who spends his time sitting behind a computer writing missives where he shakes his figurative fist at the powerful.
The perfect counterweight to the Greenwald style of radical politics was written yesterday by Charles Blow when he talked about the real Rosa Parks - not the one we tend to venerate in our white-washed history books.
As Theoharis points out, “Rosa’s family sought to teach her a controlled anger, a survival strategy that balanced compliance with militancy.”...There are times when I'm reading online that I can tend to think that kind of "radical politics" no longer exists on the left. But then I have to remind myself of this quote from Sonia Sotomayor.
She spent nearly two decades before the bus incident struggling, organizing and agitating for civil rights, mostly as the secretary of the Montgomery, Ala., branch of the N.A.A.C.P.
Quiet pragmatism, of course, lacks the romance of vocal militancy.Ms. Parks day in the spotlight came BECAUSE of that teaching from her family about balancing compliance with militancy and her two decades of quiet pragmatism.
And so I think of all the people I know personally who are busy doing exactly what Ms. Parks did. Like the young activist I recently met with who has decided that his cause is the school to prison pipeline that is affecting so may black and brown young people these days. He's struggling, organizing and agitating about that one just as Ms. Parks did over 60 years ago.
Just as no one noticed all that work Ms. Parks did that led up to the day on the bus, no one in the media is paying attention to folks like this young man and he doesn't have a vocal fan club like the one Glenn Greenwald has developed. But in my mind, he - and thousands of people like him - are her true heirs, demonstrating every day their real commitment to radical politics.