Narrow Nationalism

In McDuffie’s article, “Black and Red: Black Liberation, the Cold War, and the Horne Thesis”, one of the recurring points is that the suppression of black leftists left an ideological vacuum that lead to “narrow nationalism”. I had to look this term up (it turns out to mean what it sounds like – narrow-minded, uninclusive nationalism), but what struck me is how well it fits with the pattern of containment culture. Similarly to the actions of the 1950s U.S. government, movements such as the Black Panthers emphasized an “us vs. them” mindset, along with male chauvinism and, to an extent, crowdsourcing societal problems.

Ironically, by attempting to contain communism internally, the U.S. government created a force that seemed “un-American”, but much more difficult to contain. And just as ironically, perhaps as a reaction to the essence of the time, this narrow nationalism seemed to be its own containing force.


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