There have been several egregious and widely publicized anti-Semitic attacks in the US in recent months, Although horrifying, it is not surprising given the general increase in hate crimes in this profoundly racist nation, which includes reported crimes against 2423 blacks, 670 Latinos, and 954 Jews in 2018 (https://ucr.fbi.gov/hate-crime/2018/topic-pages/victims), with the largest percentage increases against Jews and Latinos. It must also be kept in mind that reporting of such incidents is entirely voluntary, even by law enforcement, and is thus a gross underestimate.
From the beginning, the credo of the US ruling class has been divide and rule. Not a new idea, but one that has been perfected in this nation. Not only was the enslavement of Africans made possible by driving a wedge of prejudice and circumstance between blacks and poor whites, but another schism was sown between slaves and Native Americans.
It is the era of disavowal of
Trump. Long despised by anti-racists and
humanists of many stripes, his foreign policy has now even offended US empire
builders, leaving us with an overlap of interests between those who wish to
scuttle Trump’s overt policies of hate and those who hate to see US power
decrease in the world. Whether via impeachment or election, the time has come
for a new carrier of the torch. That person will almost certainly be a
Democrat, one who is “liberal” enough to appear to support human rights,
justice and democracy but who is also committed to the maximization of US economic
and political influence, just more nicely done.
What could be more ironic and
cruel than witnessing the increasingly racist and nationalist mistreatment and
expulsion of Haitians following the devastation wrought by hurricane Dorian in
the Bahamas? How does a former victim of British colonialism become a fount of
racist nationalism itself? How do the citizens of the only land to have
overthrown slavery in modern history deserve this treatment? Because,
unfortunately, racism and nationalism are the strategies with which governments
around the globe retain power.
Today a group of about 35 UAW members and other unionists took a bus from New York City to join the picket line at the GM parts distribution center in Langhorne, Pa. We spent several hours with the six or so strikers, who were occupying a space filled with chairs, tents, food and a firepit donated by many supporters who have come from local schools and other shops. They were in high spirits and very glad to see us, and we learned a lot about their situation. We also learned that 3000 Mack truck workers struck last night at midnight in nearby Allentown – strke fever may be spreading.
bankruptcy of General Motors (GM) in 2009, the United Auto Workers (UAW)
misleaders allowed GM to reduce wages, health benefits and job security. GM
retirees have had to endure pension cuts and healthcare reductions. The
reduction in wages was mostly accomplished through a tiered pay system.
On September 14, members of Close
the Camps (closethecamps.us) in New York City occupied the showy Microsoft
store on 5th Ave. to protest Microsoft’s $19.4 million contract with
Immigration and Custom Enforcement (ICE). Some protestors entered the store,
dropped banners and fake bloodstained money and occupied the main floor.
Another three rows of demonstrators blocked the front door with signs and
banners, while chanting against collusion with ICE, border walls, racism and
fascism. Although the police arrived quickly, Microsoft told them to back off,
and the action continued unabated for two hours. Meanwhile, other demonstrators
took up residence across the street after marching across midtown. Eventually,
the occupiers moved to block traffic on Manhattan’s central 5th Ave.
and were arrested, 76 in all. The ensuing publicity forced Microsoft, whose
store was closed for the entire day, to issue a statement. They tried to appear
innocent by denying involvement in locking up children and claiming to be
multiracial and multinational, but they were forced to admit that “our current
cloud engagement with ICE is supporting legacy mail, calendar, messaging and
document management workloads.”