Farewell, Comrade Bruce


Farewell, Comrade Bruce

Bruce Dixon was anti-empire, anti-capitalist, and a champion of working-class Black America and the people at large.

“His organizing expertise is needed now more than ever in a period when leftist organizations are either non-existent, wed to the Democratic Party, or barely functioning.”

The year was 2013 and I was preparing to graduate from college. Like many in my age cohort, I was desperately seeking work that paid a living wage. My plan was to move back to my hometown of Cambridge, MA, support my father in retirement, and then move out. However, in the two years before my scramble for work, I had gone through a profound transformation of political consciousness. A combination of involvement in anti-racist activity, labor organizing, and Occupy Wall Street led me to wonder what exactly was missing from the fractured left. And Black Agenda Report was the only source that told the entire truth about the Obama era without pause or hesitation. 

During my scramble for a wage, I came up for an interview with my local police department for a social work liaison position. It was the era of Snowden and Manning and I held an opportunistic idea that I could work from within the police department and uncover what I was sure would be many dark secrets about policing in America. Yet after reading the likes of Huey P. Newton, seeing how the police came down on Occupy Wall Street, and remembering my own racist encounters with the cops as a young person raised unsettling feelings about whether working to take down the police-state from the inside was strategically correct or necessary. I needed help, to say the least.

“Bruce’s radio commentary and articles were clearly and explicitly written to move the masses in an independent, working-class direction.”

I first turned to who I thought was a fellow comrade and self-described Pan-African professor. His response was to promptly end communication with me and tell every one of our joint contacts that I was an extension of COINTELPRO. With communication rapidly severed with a key mentor, I reached out to Bruce Dixon knowing that he possessed a wealth of organizing experience. His radio commentary and articles in Black Agenda Reportwere clearly and explicitly written to move the masses in an independent, working-class direction. Bruce was eagerly interested in advising me in the matter. His answer was simple yet profound. He stated that he knew family and friends who took careers in the military and police state and that none of them came out of the experience unchanged. That was all I needed to hear to relinquish my idealistic hopes of struggling against the surveillance state from within. 

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