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Dear Kropotkin,
How dare Michael Eric Dyson criticize Michael Jordan!
Sports fan, Carrboro

Dear Fan,
In "Space Jam," Jordan, with an assist from Bugs Bunny, overcame fierce hoopsters from another planet. But not even the wascally wabbit can protect him from the sharp lens of Dyson's criticism.

Dyson challenged Jordan to direct some of his umpteen millions toward those who "loved him before he became a star." Jordan seems to think that what black youth need is not help with education, but help in honing their desire for Nike shoes and Big Macs.

Will Jordan make the connection between 40% unemployment in US inner cities and Indonesians working under oppressive conditions for Nike? Or between the fast food diet and the epidemic of heart disease afflicting black Americans? Don't hold your breath.

Some parents of graduates walked out of Dyson's speech, horrified to be exposed to the lyrics of rap artist Snoop Doggy Dogg. They demand an uplifting commencement message that sends graduates off to a world of inspiration, opportunity, and happiness. To them, Kropotkin can only offer the words of rapper Ice-T: "shit ain't like that!"

Dear Kropotkin,
Now that the UNC housekeepers have won a victory, what's next?
Curious, Durham

Dear Curious,
The housekeepers have waged and won an epic struggle: perhaps like the "Ten Commandments," with attorney Al McSurely in the Charlton Heston role and former chancellor Paul Hardin as Pharaoh... or perhaps like "Star Wars" with McSurely filling in for Alec Guinness. Of course, the Hollywood heroic model can never do justice to the self-organization of working people for their own betterment.

Unfortunately, the housekeepers have not yet reached the Promised Land nor yet overthrown the evil empire of wage slavery. The specter of privatization still hangs over them. Only continued vigilance and solidarity by the housekeepers and their supporters will build on their victory rather than let it be eroded.

Meanwhile, who will wage the next protracted struggle to gain a slice of justice from a stonewalling institution? Inspired by the housekeepers' victory, some area socialists are calling for the final overthrow of capitalism. Others will be content to work in support of the Chapel Hill's Black Public Workers Association or the housekeepers now organizing at ECU.

Lest anyone think such victories will be sufficient without transforming relations of power, Kropotkin offers readers the words of Georges Bernanos: "Justice in the hands of the powerful is merely a governing system like any other. Why call it justice? Let us rather call it injustice, but of a sly effective order...injustice sustained at the exact degree of necessary tension to turn the cogs of the huge machine-for-the-making-of-rich-men, without bursting the boiler."

Dear Kropotkin,
Now that Wib Gulley's withdrawn his Clean Elections Act, what are the prospects for campaign finance reform?
Big Spender, Raleigh

Dear Spender,
So glad you asked! Kropotkin is pleased to announce that he will be holding a $100/plate dinner to share his wisdom on this subject with interested citizens. Watch this space for further details.

(Send your questions to Ask Kropotkin, PO Box 16025, Chapel Hill, NC, 27516)

("Kropotkin" refuses to reveal whether he is inspired by Peter Kropotkin, the Russian anarchist prince, or by Kropotkin the Village Idiot, a character in the Woody Allen film "Love & Death," or if it makes any difference.)

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