“We continue to operate from a place of love for our people and a deep yearning for real freedom. In our work, we center the most marginalized and look to them for leadership. We fight for our collective liberation because we are clear that until black people are free, no one is free. We are committed to practicing empathy for one another in this struggle - but we do not and will not negotiate with racists, fascists or anyone who demands we compromise our existence.”
Black Lives Matter Global Network
The Dark World of Trump's America
The election of Donald J. Trump as the 45th president of the United States of America has ushered a new political, economic, social and cultural paradigm under neoliberal capitalism and racism. In the second term of the first black president, following the deaths of Michael Brown and Freddie Gray respectively, Ferguson and Baltimore ten months apart exploded in mass rage against the persistent and grinding reality of poverty, militarized law enforcement, terror and callous governmental neglect.
Today, we have a naked expression of hate, bigotry, and racism in the form of Donald Trump in the White House and an administration of millionaires and billionaires that will advance the agenda of Wall Street and racist demagoguery with such figures like Steven Bannon. Throughout his public and now political career, Trump has been at the forefront of advancing racist and lynch mob ideas like during the Central Park 5 case in New York City 1989.
Trump’s rhetoric has emboldened the forces of the ultra right-wing conservative movement, white nationalist groups like Alt-Right and historic white domestic terror organizations like the Ku Klux Klan (KKK). We must be clear and strident in our opposition to these forces of reaction and hate as they will use fear and outright violence against working, poor people and in particular people of color and immigrants of color.
We must build a fortified wall of resistance rooted in solidarity, working class unity and political demands that bring working people together.
Trump’s Racism Can Be Defeated
The comments by former Speaker of the House and Trump supporter, Newt Gingrich, during the election cycle that we need a new House Committee on Un-American Activities reminiscent of Senator Joe McCarthy’s Red Scare era criminalization of dissent and ideas. That statement by Gingrich coupled with the bold and insidious declaration by former New York Mayor and Trump loyalist, Rudy Guiliani that the Black Lives Matter (BLM) banner should be designated as a terror organization.
These ideas lead us back to the infamous Conintelpro program under FBI’s head J Edgar Hoover of the 1960s and 70s that sought to annihilate the social movements, radical organizations like Black Panther Party and militant leadership. In this post 9/11 world where the President has ultimate presidential powers and an ever increasing surveillance, carceral and militarized state apparatus these threats should not be taken lightly by the working class, poor and people of color.
The urgent task of uniting our developing social movements like the BLM banner alongside the labor movement, social justice organizations and Socialists must build a powerful mass movement in our schools, communities, and workplaces. As the example of the long historical civil rights movement showed, only a bold, determined, centralized and grassroots struggle with clear demands can beat back the agenda of Wall Street and Racism that is etched in the DNA of US capitalism and democracy.
We must use every tactic at our disposal like workplace strikes, targeted boycotts against his business interest and mass non-violent civil disobedience to bring Trump and his racist neoliberal agenda to heel. A perfect example of the need for protest and its power is the anti- Steven Bannon protest at Harvard University that stopped Bannon from attending a panel discussion on Presidental elections at the University.
We must seize the time to organize a sustainable mass movement and daily organizing to let Trump, his racist supporters, and Wall Street; we will not return the clock to the dark days and nights of Jim and Jane Crow. We will fight back and tear down the edifice of hate, bigotry and racism that capitalism breeds on a daily basis for ourselves and future generations.
Harlem, New York
*Eljeer Hawkins is a member of Socialist Alternative/Committee for a Workers' International (CWI) and a Black Lives Matter activist.