Trump’s election signaled a victory for racism and sexism that is not reserved just for Republicans and open fascists. These ideas and practices also flourish under liberals like the Clintons and Obama, who supported wars against people in Iraq and Syria, gutted welfare programs devastating women and children, and deported millions.
It doesn’t matter who is president — racism would have won no matter who was elected. Capitalism requires racism to earn huge profits. It generates this profit by paying workers less than the value of what they produce. To make super-profits, it creates huge wage differentials between white men and non-white workers and women. Women earn about 79 cents per dollar white men make, but Latinas make around 35 cents. This adds up to trillions of dollars a year.
American capitalism also saves untold dollars by providing inferior education, housing, health care and all other services to communities of color. The lack of unity among workers of different ethnicities and nationalities markedly affects our ability to resist as a class.
Under our black President, 2.5 million immigrants were deported, thousands were sickened by polluted water in Detroit, East Chicago and elsewhere, vast rivers were threatened by pipelines, millions remained without health insurance and millions more were pressured to buy nearly useless, overpriced policies. Several unarmed people of color are murdered daily by the police, who suffer no retribution.
Around the world, drones rained death down on poor civilians, and economic policies brought poverty, disease and starvation. The Clintons forced trade deals and maquiladora-like factories on Haitians to derive profit for US agribusiness and garment manufacturers.
What will be different now? There will be less pretense that American power is moral, democratic or colorblind. There may actually be less chance of imminent expanded military conflict or world war, although ultimately any American leader will fight to maintain US hegemony. But in the end, the wealthy still rule and maintaining their profit margins is their number one priority. They cannot do this without relying on racism, sexism, and nationalism.
What can we do? No matter who is in office, it is our job to unite all workers and students to fight for a decent life for all. As always, we must rely on ourselves, not politicians. How can we do this? Continue protesting police violence, support Standing Rock, organize forums on racism and other forms of inequalities, campaign for living wages, sick leave, affordable housing, environmental justice. Invite people of different backgrounds to share their experiences and conditions as members of oppressed groups, but AVOID identity politics that supports politicians based on their gender or other characteristic. BUILD class consciousness, the realization that we are part of the working class no matter our nationality or any other characteristics. It will make it harder for the rulers to divide us. Workers of the world unite!!
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