Overcoming White Supremacy in Today's Times
by Jahmal Henderson and Joelle Fishman
A few members of the Proud Boys, a white supremacist, nationalist, misogynist hate group traveled to New Haven last Saturday to recruit members on the theme "Resist Socialism." A chaotic counter-protest resulted in the Proud Boys leaving, and four arrests that made the news.
Across the country white supremacist hate groups, emboldened by Donald Trump and the extremist right-wing are seeking out progressive cities to provoke confrontations that will make the news and create confusion in order to justify a climate of repression.
History shows that provocations can be overcome with large-scale tactics that bring people together in unity across race, gender and religious lines.
Racism, white supremacy and bigotry hurts everyone. They are not simply personal attitudes. They are systemic, built into our nation's capitalist structure, from slavery onward.
These poisons have been used to rationalize slavery, segregation, terror, voter suppression, mass incarceration, deportation and war. They have been the central tool for dividing working class people and weakening their ability to win racial and economic equality, workers' rights, social justice and peace.
Racism, white supremacy and bigotry are a barrier to all progress in our communities and our country.
Sharing, respecting and learning each others cultures, traditions, languages and perspectives makes us all stronger. Nurturing a culture of diversity depends on rooting out racism, bigotry, hate and division.
In New Haven, a powerful movement to force Yale and other major employers to open good jobs to Black and Latino residents facing high unemployment has brought people together across neighborhood, religious, race and gender lines.
This labor-community movement is at the forefront of resisting Trump's extremist billionaire agenda. New Haven is a target because this movement is organizing and educating people and bringing them into action against racism and hate and for equality.
Hate groups use fear of dreaming big to keep people from searching for basic solutions. The theme "resist socialism" is a fear tactic to stop people from imagining how our country could be organized for the benefit of everyone, not just the billionaires.
Martin Luther King warned of the "urgency of now." Today's urgency is to resist the Trump extremist agenda, to dream big and build an expansive and inclusive movement beyond capitalism, racism and exploitation to achieve basic human needs for all.
The authors are members of the Winchester-Newhall Club of the Communist Party USA