It was a bright and sunny morning long ago. I woke up, wiped the crust out my eyes, and regrettably reached for my phone, only to find this picture on my twitter feed. Between that, this, and this, ya’ll knew DeRay was about to get a note.
DeRay Mckesson is the neoliberal “radical” par excellence. Radical is in quotations because DeRay is no radical at all. (One of my brilliant friends wrote a bit about structure and agency here, and I agree with the position that liberals actually don’t believe that people can govern themselves.) DeRay is no exception to what is in parentheses. What does put him to the right of Umi in the White House and in the camp of Shaun “privatize the police” King is his willingness to completely ride the waves of radical uprisings from Ferguson to Baltimore and all the way to a mufuggin run for mayor (which he lost, thank Jesus). Can any of this really be a surprise? DeRay isn’t a revolutionary, he has never sided with the least of these, and refuses to call for (or organize towards) fundamental transformation.
The above photo is not only misleading, but ahistorical. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was a democratic socialist. DeRay Mckesson is a neoliberal agent. One called for an elimination of poverty, an end to U.S. imperialism and argued that there is a moral imperative to break unjust laws. The other justifies neoliberalism, practices a philosophy of wielding power founded on anti-basebuilding politics and legitimizes celebrity pseudo-leftism.
Fuck neoliberalism, fuck privatization and fuck outta here with that DeRay Mckesson mess.