On Solidarity: Class, Race, and Progress
Since the Democratic Party primaries of 2015-2016, the American Left has been resurgent. Despite the rise of fascism across the West, the political Left is offering policy alternatives that assure government works for all of us, not just a few. This vision is the preferred option of the vast majority of voters in the United States. The Progressive platform (Medicare for All, $15 minimum wage and free college, etc.) is insanely popular.
However, multinational corporations have captured our government and media. The will of voters means little-to-nothing when it comes to passing legislation. The Republican and Democratic Parties are dead set on stopping the Progressive agenda. The Dems pay mild lip service to policies that will improve the material conditions of the American people. However, they always seem to fall short. As stated earlier, this state of affairs is because they were captured by wealthy and powerful special interests.
How We Get Free
Solidarity is the only way forward and the antidote to the rise of fascism that is threatening us all. We need a massive movement of people from all walks of life to stand up and stand together. We must seek to create the broadest coalition possible. We need to be able to dominate at the ballot box. Race-only or class-only formations are never enough.
The nation is surpassing Gilded Age levels of inequality. The middle class has been decimated. This environment, while dire, offers the Left a significant opportunity to build a massive, revolutionary coalition. A coalition of people from all walks of life heading in the same direction. People that believe the nation should make people’s lives better, not worse. Class and Race Solidarity is the most effective path forward. In truth, this is the type of unity that is feared most by the powers-that-be.
Norms and Standards
Solidarity calls for shared values and principles that guide us all. These standards must inform how we interact with one another. It should also establish left and right limits of our coalition. Many of us established a hard right limit by blocking White Supremacists and White Supremacy sympathizing “pepegressives.” Their nebulous premise of fighting the Deep State and Mainstream Media was not enough to even feign unity with racists.
Similarly, the Clinton Wing of the Democratic Party represents the Left limit. This neoliberal contingent is truly the first line of defense for corporate conservatism. They are so set on stopping Progress, they are willing to actively undermine Bernie Sanders against Donald Trump in 2020 if their claims are to be believed.
We should always be open-minded and inclusive. That is the hallmark of Leftist Solidarity. However, inclusivity must be measured. We must codify the values, norms and policy standards that allow individuals and groups into our coalition. It is on each of us to not let our burgeoning solidarity to be undermined or sabotaged. We WILL allow for personal growth and change. But, we have to watch the door carefully.
Black People are the only reason that the Democratic Party is even remotely viable in American politics. Black Women are the foundation of that support. If the party ever lost Black Women, the Black Community will follow. Ever since Bernie Sanders laid out his Progressive platform for 2016 and gained notoriety, the Democratic Party began the swiftboating of Bernie on race and gender. The charges of sexism and racism came hard and heavy. In light of the well-documented harm the Clintons have done to Black America, all the claims seemed hollow. In the end, Bernie was unfairly held to an entirely different standard than his opponent in the race.
Because of the Dems’ electoral dependence, the party worked extra hard to drive a wedge between the Left and Black Women. Even though the Progressive platform planks of Medicare for All, $15 Minimum Wage, and Free College would disproportionately help Black Women live healthier and more fulfilled lives. The party could have quickly adopted the fiscally responsible and popular reforms. However, they chose to keep their donors happy. Their side has failed the Black Community over and over and over again. This new missed opportunity was no surprise.
The party and it’s media lackeys continue to bait the Left when it comes to Black people. First, the Dems offered New Jersey Senator and pharma-bro Corey Booker as the potential Blue Standard Bearer. Booker was fresh off voting against drug reimportation. A move that could have saved American lives. The Left was not having it. At all.
Neoliberal fave Generic Obama lied & anyone trying to defend him is a liar, too https://t.co/nDXtHFWUSy
— Savvy Tweeter (@rtyson82) January 18, 2017
The most significant effort, to date, was floating Kamala Harris for POTUS in 2020. Senator Harris has a record as a Prosecutor and AG that is easy enough to look up. Roughing up racist Keebler Elf Jeff Sessions does not make her a Progressive. A fair and nuanced critique was quickly spun as misogynoir. While race and gender play a role in our discourse, no one should be beyond analysis. Many voices on the Left have rightfully pointed out that Senator Harris is a tireless defender of the Obama-Clinton status quo. A status quo that has only been mildly better than when the GOP is in charge, broadly. However, this state of affairs has been harmful to Black people, specifically.
We must be able to push back without fear or favor. The Clinton Centrist wing of the Democratic Party, also known as the Hate Percent (#H8percent), would have you believe that anyone that does not support Senators Harris or Booker is a sexist racist. This is largely driven by the online bullies over at centrist rag ShareBlue and Correct the Record– a Clinton-friendly and oligarch-funded troll farm. There are valid Progressive arguments to be made against these people. Even if you are Black. Especially if you are Black. This is a harmful and shallow form of race solidarity.
— Politics of Courage (@PoliticsCourage) February 27, 2018
The Democratic Primary showed me something that was often said in my home growing up and should be gospel to Black people: “Not all Black folks that smile in your face are your friend.” Both my parents grew up in the segregated South. It is quite clear in their memory that the people that often betrayed us and our movements were Black. Whether they were working for the Deep State, police, slave catchers, or they were threatened- they turned on some of our greatest freedom fighters: Malcolm X, Nat Turner, and Fred Hampton. This is not to say that Black people cannot be trusted. This illustrates the obvious pitfalls of shallow solidarity.
People siding with the forces that impede progress do not deserve Solidarity. They are agents of division. This serves the current power structure that is built on White Supremacist terrorism and plunder. They know what they are doing.
We must make demands with our vote. Democracy is transactional. The Democratic Party wants the people that keep the party viable to be silent and accept whatever warm body they select to be on the ballot. Yes, I used the word “select” correctly because the party is openly subverting the democratic process, again.
Charlottesville: Allies on Display
In Charlottesville, we saw people of all shapes, sizes, and colors willing to put their bodies on the line for Social Justice. Yes. Courageous White folks, alongside Black People and PoC, were risking life and limb for equality. In the case of ANTIFA, they are throwing blows in the streets and wherever else is required. They actually saved the lives of peaceful protesters, including the Good Doctor Cornel West. Redneck Revolt is using their privilege and the 2nd Amendment to stand up against the rise of fascist forces in the country.
The willingness to risk one’s safety, freedom, life, and livelihood is the ultimate measure of Solidarity. This is a moment we must not squander.
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Black Panther Fred Hampton on Class Solidarity