My Life as a Union Steward in a Government Union

by Sarah Harper, December 19, 2018

AFGE Dec 2018

This article discusses my union work as a public sector employee. When I started the job, I became a shop steward within my first year. My platform was fighting racism. I held a low level job as a technician, and was one of the few white techs in the library. I distinguished myself as a militant supporter of my coworkers against the bosses. Continue reading “My Life as a Union Steward in a Government Union”

GEORGE HW BUSH – HENCHMAN FOR IMPERIALISM AND RACISM

Desert Storm


by Ellen Isaacs

            The first George Bush (Bush I),President from 1988-1992 and dead on November 30, 2018, has since been lionized by the same media and politicians that endlessly deride and mock Donald Trump. But Bush I was ever so much more successful at wreaking death and suffering around the world and on poor black and Latin Americans than Trump will ever be. They call him a statesman, for which we can read efficient imperialist; humble, for which we might substitute sinister and deceptive; and heroic, which we might recast as brutal assassin. The real lesson is that the U.S. ruling class wishes its murderous actors to carry out their roles with finesse, rather than bumbling ineptness, like Trump. Bush committed mass murder in the name of spreading democracy, as do all U.S. presidents since the beginning of the American enterprise. It matters not whether we assess liberal or conservative, Democratic or Republican presidents – they all kill and conquer the workers of the world in order to preserve power and resources. It is the imperative of the capitalist/imperialist system.

Continue reading “GEORGE HW BUSH – HENCHMAN FOR IMPERIALISM AND RACISM”

MORE RACIST MURDERS, IN A SYSTEM THAT SURVIVES ON RACISM

hate pictureby Ellen Isaacs

appearing on Counterpunch, November 7, 2018

We live in a nation totally beholden to racism. Founded on racism, built on racism, surviving by virtue of racism. From the near total eradication of Native Americans by disease, slaughter, and death marches; to the enslavement of 12 million Africans and the continued oppression, imprisonment, impoverishment and wanton killing of their descendants; to the exploitation and deportation of immigrants; to the Jews and Irish and Italians being eventually admitted into invented whiteness in order to turn them anti-black, but still maligned; to the wars fought against “gooks” and “ragheads” to increase rich men’s profits – US capitalism survives on racism. And the US that survives this way is not beneficial to any of its working people, tearing us apart from each other, impoverishing our souls and our pocketbooks, depriving us of health and learning and peace needed by all and the strength we could have in our oneness. Separated, we are likely to be led down the road to fascism. Continue reading “MORE RACIST MURDERS, IN A SYSTEM THAT SURVIVES ON RACISM”

BOOK REVIEW: STAMPED FROM THE BEGINNING

slavery

by Ellen Isaacs

Stamped From the Beginning by Ibram Kendi is indeed, as it claims to be, a very complete history of the origin and practice of anti-black racism in the United States. The story begins with the development of racist ideas of African inferiority as the rationale for the capture and brutalization of Africans for enslavement by the Portugese in the 1400s. The author then traces the history of the importation of these racist ideas to the Americas to justify slavery and the continuation of discrimination to this day. Continue reading “BOOK REVIEW: STAMPED FROM THE BEGINNING”

Left of Karl Marx: The Political Life of Black Communist Claudia Jones (review)

claudia jones book coverClaudia Jones: Revolutionary Communist

 by Sarah Harper and Karyn Pomerantz, September 9, 2018

Introduction

This blog post is part of a series that briefly reviews the immense contributions of black revolutionaries fighting racism and capitalism, primarily in the United States during the early to the mid-20th Century. Continue reading “Left of Karl Marx: The Political Life of Black Communist Claudia Jones (review)”

Stop White Supremacists in DC – August 12, 2018- Join the Ranks of Anti-Racist Protesters

by Karyn Pomerantz, 8-7-18

On August 12, 2018, white nationalists will rally across the street from the White House in Lafayette Park to help build a movement of racist terror.  Trump’s presidency has emboldened them, giving permission for them to rally, spew hateful lies, and kill as they did in Charlottesville last year.  Even without Trump, capitalism needs racist organizations to win people away from multiracial organizing for better conditions and against war and fascism.   This brief article describes the types of responses anti-Klan and anti-Nazi activists have used in the past.  It is by no means a comprehensive account. Continue reading “Stop White Supremacists in DC – August 12, 2018- Join the Ranks of Anti-Racist Protesters”

AMERICAN RED CROSS—GREAT AT RAISING AND WASTING MONEY

By Al Harkins, October 19, 2017

Image: A woman receives warm meals from a Disaster Relief truck run by the American Red Cross in the Midland Beach neighborhood in Staten Island

As many writers have observed, the American Red Cross (ARC) is very good at one thing: raising money, with annual revenues of over $2.6 billion.  But they aren’t very good at delivering help to those who need it.  In 2010 when the earthquake struck Haiti, killing an estimated 100,000 to 316,000 people, ARC staff swung into action doing what it does best: raising money. Their appeal to “save lives,” aided by endorsements from President Obama and celebrities and fueled by a pioneering text message campaign, raised an incredible $488 million. Continue reading “AMERICAN RED CROSS—GREAT AT RAISING AND WASTING MONEY”

War and the Rationing of Health Care: With Tax Cuts for the Rich

By Al Simpson, September 7, 2017

Blog Rationing Healthcare Sept 2017

In this article, I will show how the rationing of health care is an integral part of the United States’ drive for war.  The same is true for entitlement programs.  In general, the rulers will jettison or severely curtail anything that might limit the size of the war budget. Continue reading “War and the Rationing of Health Care: With Tax Cuts for the Rich”

RACISM IS THE BASIS OF CAPITAL PUNISHMENT IN THE U.S.

by Bill Sacks

While pointing the finger at terrorists as wanton murderers (which they are), the US is among the one-sixth of the world’s nations that still use the death penalty, almost exclusively against the working class; five out of six nations have abolished it. Besides those whom the courts officially execute, US police unofficially (extra-judicially) execute even more – far more than in any other country. Police act on the street as prosecutor, judge, jury, and executioner, all within seconds.

In contrast, following judicial sentencing, official executions occur decades later, with most spending their entire lives on death row without execution. This varies wildly across the US. Twenty states have abolished the death penalty, and, of the other thirty, many execute maybe 1%, while others execute as many as 70%. This alone indicates the unfairness of the death penalty that, along with public sentiment opposed to capital punishment in the early 1970s, prompted the US Supreme Court to abolish the death penalty in 1972, only to bring death back to “life” in 1976.

Capitalism, particularly in the US, aims the death penalty almost exclusively at the working class, and at men. White collar crime often has far greater consequences – for example, the tobacco company executives who lied for years about the deadly effects of smoking, the politicians who sent working-class soldiers to kill and be killed in Vietnam or Afghanistan or Iraq, and even the bankers’ responsible for the 2008 crash that wiped out pensions and better- paying jobs. But rarely does white collar crime result in an indictment, let alone end in conviction – and never in execution.

The unequal application of the death penalty, confined only to the working class, also occurs largely along racial lines. This is traceable to the US history of slavery, Jim Crow racism (slavery by another name), and rampant lynch mobs in the 1900s. Such extrajudicial lynchings were only terminated by the government’s saying in effect to the racist mobs, “You can end your vigilante practice, since we (the state – federal and state governments) are going to take over the practice officially.” Cops, however, are the lynch mobs by another name, still permitted to kill with impunity.

From 1882 to 1964, the more than 4,700 lynchings killed far more black than white (mainly) men – roughly 3 to 1 – with many whites lynched for associating with black friends (http://law2.umkc.edu/Faculty/projects/ftrials/shipp/lynchingyear.html). Judicial executions, on the other hand, victimize far more white workers than black – 56% have been white, and 35% have been black since 1976. But in proportion to their respective portions of the population, a white worker is only one-eighth as likely to be executed as a black worker, though there are roughly equal numbers of black and white men on death row awaiting executions that may never take place. Workers of Latin, Native American, and other ethnic groups suffer fewer executions.

Until execution for rape was outlawed in 1977, almost 9 out of 10 of the 455 men executed for rape between 1930 and 1967 were black, almost all for raping white women, with undetermined numbers innocent of the crime. When black women were the rape victims, regardless of the color of the rapist’s skin, rarely was the death penalty applied.

Continue reading “RACISM IS THE BASIS OF CAPITAL PUNISHMENT IN THE U.S.”

ELECTORAL COLLEGE FOUNDED ON RACISM

The Editors

Although we believe that both candidates for President endorse racism, exploitation and war, we don’t deny that they represent different wings of American capitalism and divergent tactics. It is also true that for the second time in the 21st century, 2000 and 2016, the candidate with the largest popular vote lost. (Of course, the real winner was the none of the above vote, made by nearly half of the potential electorate.) The irony is that the long-dominant arm of finance capital, represented by the centrist Democrats like the Clintons and Obama, has twice been a victim to this rigged system. Donald Trump’s overt racism and sexism is not the language they prefer to use, even as they continue mass incarceration, police violence, deportations and resource wars. Better to speak nicely and try to hide the reality from white workers. However, downtrodden unemployed and dispossessed white industrial and agricultural workers could take it no more, and so they either welcomed or were willing to tolerate overt racism in a (futile) search for economic revenge. And the Electoral College, which was invented to guarantee the dominance of the white elite, helped them along. By giving weighted votes to each state on a winner-takes-all basis, this Electoral College system decreases the value of votes in states with a large majority voting one way, ie currently states like New York and California with lots of minority, immigrant and liberal voters. Continue reading “ELECTORAL COLLEGE FOUNDED ON RACISM”