My Story - Professor Bill V. Mullen

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Beyond the Academic Bio

I agree with those who say, after Gramsci, that we live in a time of “morbid symptoms,” caught between one stage of capitalist hegemony dying, and another unknown epoch struggling to be born. Against Margaret Thatcher and Donald Trump, I say there is an alternative to neoliberal capitalism and what Michelle Alexander calls the “New Jim Crow”: it is Socialism, and it must be fought for. I hope this site will help you get deeper into the fight.

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“Bill has been a leading force in organizing faculty, students and staff to fight fascism, Islamophobia, racism and antisemitism. Along with his sharp political analysis, Bill’s kindness; generosity of spirit; readiness not only to be visible in his leadership, but also to do work that is thankless and invisible; and his commitment to organizing that is democratic, anti-racist, and feminist make him one of my most beloved comrades and inspirations.” – Cynthia Franklin, Member, USACBI, Professor of English, University of Hawaii-Manoa

I am a native Californian who lived through Ronald Reagan’s governorship, and was a student at Occidental College in 1980 when the Dark Prince was elected President. That event was formative: shortly thereafter I moved to New York, a city I love, met the organized Left, lived on very little money, and experienced the 1980s as America’s second Gilded Age: an age of deep reaction, wealth-accumulation, class violence, virulent racism, and rampant police violence –everything that Spike Lee reported in Do The Right Thing was true.

In 1990, I moved to Youngstown, Ohio, to work at Youngstown State University. I loved my colleagues and friends at that unionized campus. I loved the tireless struggle of steel worker radicals and local activists like Staughton and Alice Lynd, who came to fight the steel mill closings, and stayed to fight for prisoner rights once private jails replaced the mills. I came to know class, class struggle, and class failure intimately. I began teaching courses on working-class history, film and literature. I viewed global capitalism from the belly of a dying industrial beast.

In 2000 I moved to Texas, where I learned very different things from Chicano/a studies scholars and students. I learned that Tejanos say “We didn’t cross the border, the border crossed us.” The U.S. attacked Iraq while I was in San Antonio. A Texan, George Bush, called the war a “crusade.” We formed a Worker-Student-Teacher alliance on campus and built an anti-war movement. Many families of soldiers in San Antonio who were summoned to fight joined us to march. Almost all were working-class, almost all were Black and Latino.

Since 2009 I have been active in organized Left politics, the campaign for Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions against Israel, and most recently, in building the Campus Antifascist Network. We are more than 450 students, faculty and staff determined to resist the creep of fascist ideas, fascist people – like Richard Spencer – and fascist organizations, like Identity Europa – on college campuses.

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Testimonial

“This site takes its impetus, its hope, from those pushing back collectively against all varieties of exploitation and oppression. It is motivated especially by exceptional struggles around the world to which its creator has been a part: anti-capitalist fights for socialism; the struggle for a Free Palestine and BDS; anti-racism; the fight against creeping fascism.”