Charlottesville, racism and class consciousness: A call to action

BY: Boston club CPUSA| August 27, 2017
Charlottesville, racism and class consciousness: A call to action

Editor’s note: The call to action is by the Boston club of the CPUSA.

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – For working class people, and especially people of color, the Charlottesville massacre by white supremacists is one of many attacks over the past few months. But for students, working people, African Americans, immigrants and older people, these attacks are nothing new.

The attack of globalized capitalism is directly responsible for the low-wage economy which is enslaving young and old, black, white, and immigrant. It is responsible for our outrageously costly wars, environmental destruction, and skyrocketing housing costs in our cities and towns.

These attacks are supported by a system bent on making profits by economically oppressing, incarcerating, and abusing working people – especially African Americans.

The election of Trump is a rebellion of one set of wealthy capitalists against the upper tier of the ruling class. He has patched together an alliance of lesser oppressors with frustrated small business owners, middle class Baby-Boomers, and disoriented workers; he then wrapped this unstable coalition in the mythology of America’s white-supremacist past. This rebellion has unleashed public unrest and heinous violence, such as the tragic deaths in Charlottesville, but it is also a sign of the inner weakness of the ruling class itself.

The counter-demonstrations planned to take place on Boston Common this Saturday, August 19th, as well as others like them across the country, are an outward sign that the people of the United States are angry and will not accept violent racism. But these actions, while important signs of solidarity with the oppressed peoples of our country and the world, cannot be an end unto themselves.

Being an anti-fascist is a very low bar; what’s more, opposition to fascism does not address the underlying causes of racism or poverty. We all like a Facebook meme about punching Nazis, but at the end of the day, we need real action plans to lift ourselves out of this race to the bottom.

What substantive actions can we take, as working class anti-capitalists, to address the subtle, systemic racism and economic oppression that has given birth to the current crisis?

As working people, we don’t have a lot of time on our hands. We have families, sometimes more than one job; we are asked to work longer hours than any other generation since the beginning of the 20th century, when labor fought and won an 8-hour day.

As parents and partners of families large and small, traditional and LGBTQiA, how are we going to address the effects of this social system which pits black, immigrant and white workers against each other?

How can we stop the privatization of our public services and transportation? How are we supposed to get to work on unreliable transit, run by outsourced agents of companies whose number one priority is making a buck for their investors?

How are we, the working people of the Boston area, supposed to live in our own homes when we are—many of us—the victims of displacement and forced resettlement at the hands of real estate investors who have created urban spaces for an exclusive set of wealthy professionals?

How are we, the retired workers of Massachusetts, going to survive when our affordable elder housing, Meals-On-Wheels, and other essential programs are cut?

More to the point, what has any of this to do with a few thousand men who parade around with guns and torches? We didn’t need these disgruntled Nazi-wannabes to annihilate our class and our peoples—capitalism is doing it for them!

Build working class solidarity

It follows that we need to unite all working class and oppressed peoples, here in our area, nationally—and internationally!

We need to combine our strengths, organize into larger and larger unions, and coordinate our strategies to tackle today’s low-wage, gig-economy.

If we want to take down the racist, misogynistic, homophobic, capitalist relations that are mandated under our current system and thereby put an end—once and for all—to future eruptions of neo-fascistic violence, we need to build an independent movement of the working class around the world.

If we want to dismantle the remaining economic, social and cultural legacies of slavery, we must educate ourselves, our friends, families, neighbors and co-workers, and focus our collective energy on necessary tasks at home and internationally.

If global capital is indeed the great force to be reckoned with today, then we need to think, learn and act like a global working class.

There’s already an organization of the working class. The Communist Party.

That is why we Communists have been emphasizing Marx’s directive: “Workers of all countries, unite”, all these years. Now, we must take that slogan a step further, to unite working class organizations including workers unions, into a cohesive, comprehensive and independent movement of the global working class. Only such an organization lead by the international working class can be effective in this global class struggle.

This Saturday, go and march. Hoot and holler, mourn and chant. Many of us will be there with you. When the demonstration is over, the doors of the Communist Party here in Boston will be wide open, where we seek to join working-class forces together on necessary tasks, including environmental protection, advocating for Medicare for all, free public education, occupational health and safety, international labor defense, and much more.

Our goal is for the international working class to take state power and forever end this rotten capitalist system that feeds off their profits from war, exploitation, and oppression.

We have a world to win. 


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