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Saturday, September 16, 2017

Fight Back Begins — But Will It Be Enough? by Ray Light (from NL 104)

Trump Pardons and Promotes Open White Supremacy

Fight Back Begins — But Will It Be Enough?

by RAY LIGHT
 




Our immediate response to Donald Trump’s surprise Electoral College victory in the U.S. Presidential Election last November, was to point out that, at least in the short run, a Clinton/Democratic Party victory would have been even tougher on the working class and oppressed peoples in the rest of the world. We encouraged the revolutionary forces around the world to take advantage of this window of opportunity to deal effectively with U.S. President Trump and the U.S. Empire. But we also pointed out that a President Trump would be even tougher on the workers and the oppressed nationalities within the U.S. multinational state itself. Going forward, we relatively few proletarian revolutionaries and consistent anti-imperialist fighters in the USA would need to mobilize a much more serious and militant struggle among the oppressed and exploited sectors of the U.S. population against the U.S. state apparatus than has been seen in many years.

Hillary Clinton represented the interests of Wall Street Imperialism in general and had shown, as First Lady, as U.S. Senator and especially as President Obama’s Secretary of State, that she was one of the most bloodthirsty defenders of the U.S. Evil Empire anywhere. Remember, in particular, her vicious role in the toppling of Jose Manuel Zelaya, the elected President of Honduras, and her role in the brutal imperialist invasion and overthrow of the Gadhafi government in Libya as well as her gleeful and chilling words about the cold-blooded murder of Gadhafi.

But the Trump presidential campaign, while touting populist and isolationist messages against the never-ending and ever-expanding U.S. wars in the Middle East and elsewhere, had openly spread white supremacy and its “first cousin,” great nation chauvinism, domestically. This latter issue underscores the significance of Trump’s previous years-long irrational campaign on Obama’s origins, his birthplace, birth certificate, etc, a chauvinistic campaign which the bourgeois “liberal” corporate media dutifully and respectfully reported without ever seriously challenging Trump and holding him accountable. Trump’s birther campaign promoted the idea that Obama is a “foreigner” linked to all immigrants “taking U.S. workers jobs,” “non-whites and non-Europeans are taking over the USA,” etc, etc.  (This “birther” campaign also brought together Trump and Arizona’s “wild man” sheriff Joe Arpaio.)

In the 2016 presidential campaign (addressing mostly white folks), Trump blamed Obama/Clinton for every problem the working people and the 99% have faced since the economic crisis of 2008 had arisen; he even lightly criticized Wall Street. And since Clinton actually did represent the Wall Street ruling class, the main culprit in this crisis period, the more she talked and offered herself as a continuation of Obama, the more Trump seemed, at least, to be a change from the “dark and foreign devil” desperate white voters already “knew.”*

When Trump assumed the presidency, not only did he not slow down his white supremacist and great nation chauvinist campaign; it was now intensified by his consider-

*In 2008, Roger Stone, Trump’s long time political guru, told the New Yorker: “Politics is not about uniting people. It’s about dividing people and getting your 51%.”
able presidential powers. Even after his two efforts at Muslim bans thus far were blocked by the courts, and he was caught on telephone tape telling the Mexican president that, if he cooperates with building “the Wall” at the Mexican border, Trump will secretly get the U.S. taxpayers to pay for it, and even though he persists in making very public and sustained criticisms of the openly white supremacist Attorney General he himself appointed to head the Justice Department, former Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions (for not covering Trump’s ass regarding the ongoing FBI investigation), and even after the public exposure of the blatantly illegal “after the fact” late registration and admission  by both General Flynn, Trump’s first National Security Adviser, and Paul Manafort, his former 2016 presidential campaign chairman, that each had been working as a paid agent for a foreign power, and even after Trump’s “repeal and replace Obamacare” fiasco involving the Republican-led Congress, — despite all this and more turmoil, drama and intrigue in his administration — his reactionary and desperate base has stayed with him. For, the poisons of white supremacy and great nation chauvinism are as “American as Apple Pie.”

And this poison has only been strengthened over the past sixty years of U.S. imperialist hegemony leading to U.S. Empire and now to its Decline. Even though real wages in the USA have stagnated since the early 1970’s, the U.S. imperialist ruling class has placated, appeased and retained the loyalty of most of the U.S. population largely on the basis of white supremacy and great nation chauvinism. That is, most of us had come to expect U.S. world domination as our natural right — “Middle East oil belongs to us,” “we are entitled to a comfortable life at the expense of the peoples of the rest of the world,” “we’re number one!”

On this basis, George H.W. Bush could set up Iraqi leader, Saddam Hussein, to invade Kuwait, then wage war on Iraq when Saddam went into Kuwait; and George W. Bush could unilaterally attack Iraq with a brutal “shock and awe” bombing campaign and then invade and occupy Iraq and capture and kill Iraqi President Saddam Hussein; and Barack Obama (with Hitlerite arrogance) could order Moamar Gadhafi, the forty year leader of sovereign Libya, to get out of Libya, then lead an unprovoked invasion of Libya and murder Gadhafi, — all these criminal acts, with barely any protest from the U.S. population!

Moreover, white supremacy and great nation chauvinism does not only infect the white U.S. population. The Obama-led imperialist coalition that overthrew Gadhafi, brought chaos to Libya, the most progressive African economy.  This U.S.-led invasion sparked an immediate hysterical anti-Black African chauvinistic campaign against the large number of immigrant workers then residing in Libya, driving them out of the country and back to Mali and other African countries south of Libya, severely disrupting their societies and making them vulnerable to old-style (U.S.-backed) French colonial military occupations which soon followed. Like most of the U.S. population, the Afro-American people were virtually silent on this Obama/Clinton-led frontal attack against the African continent.

Thus, when the systemic murder by police forces across the USA of Afro-American men and youth became thoroughly documented with help from the widespread dissemination and use of camera-phones and internet, the Afro-American people as well as their supporters emerging in the “Black lives matter movement” have remained almost universally silent on the connection between the police repression of the Afro-American people at home and the unending U.S. imperialist wars being waged since 2001 under Democratic and Republican presidents alike against black and brown peoples throughout the Middle East and North Africa and virtually every other country and region that possesses large oil and natural gas reserves. Indeed, black and brown and other lives also matter outside the state boundaries of U. S. imperialism.*

*During the high tide of the Afro-American national liberation struggle in the mid and late 1960’s, there was growing solidarity with revolutionary Cuba and other countries and peoples fighting for their liberation from the yoke of U.S. imperialism on the part of SNCC and a broad cross-section of other civil rights and black power organizations. Even M.L. King, Jr. during the last full year of his life opposed the U.S. war against the Vietnamese people and condemned the U.S. government as the main perpetrator of violence in the world. In Vietnam, along with the heroic national liberation struggle that was defeating the U.S. militarily, the second main reason for the U.S. government pulling out in defeat was the growing Afro-American revolt within and against the U.S. military itself!

*          *          *          *          *

On the evening of August 11, 2017, the long anticipated and well organized “Unite the Right” demonstration descended on the quiet college town of Charlottesville, VA, home of Thomas Jefferson’s University of Virginia, the state’s flagship university. That evening a menacing torchlight march through the town “recalled the horrifying imagery of the Ku Klux Klan” (Time Magazine, 8-28-17) of the past. The motley combination of right-wing extremist groups present in Charlottesville on that evening and the following day included the local sponsoring organization, Unity and Security for America, advocating immigration policies that favor whites, and Vanguard America which calls itself the “face of American fascism” and promotes slogans such as “free yourself, white man.” It also included outright pro-German Nazi, pro-Hitler fascists, many inspired by current European fascist groups like Golden Dawn in Greece and the neo-Nazi Nordic Resistance Movement. Also included were Identity Europa, espousing white separatism, and the League of the South, brandishing Confederate flags. Perhaps most influential was the “alt-right” movement largely organized over the internet by college-educated, well dressed suburbanites, wearing Donald Trump-like golfing attire.

In the August 12th demonstration the next day, among the overtly fascist slogans were a new anti-Semitic taunt, “Jews will not replace us,” as well as an old Nazi chant– “Blood and Soil” which, as Time reported, “had been silenced in 1945 with American blood on German soil.” (ibid., p. 30) Legitimized by President Trump’s raw, nasty and unapologetic chauvinism, and fueled by the continuing economic hardship of many white people under the Trump Regime, the Charlottesville gathering was the largest mobilization of open proponents of white supremacy in decades.

Fortunately, the ugly and intimidating presence of the White Supremacists in one of the more enlightened oases in Virginia was protested by significant numbers of folks from Afro-American based groups such as Black Lives Matter as well as predominantly white left-wing groups of anti-fascists, Latino forces and other opponents of white supremacy. This was a quite positive response, even an excellent one, given the menacing character of the white supremacist mob. Moreover, apparently, among these progressive forces was the Redneck Revolt, a seemingly mature group of young white people mainly based in Appalachia. They seem to have taken the responsibility to provide legal and restrained but armed defense for the protesting Afro-Americans and other anti-fascists. Given the pro-white supremacist sentiments of many police there, the presence of Redneck Revolt apparently helped to keep the anti-fascist folks relatively safe for most of the day.

However, as the anti-fascist protesters were beginning to disperse, a Hitlerite youth murderously drove his car into a portion of the departing group, injuring 19 people and killing Heather Heyer, a 32 year old white Virginian fighter for social justice and opponent of white supremacy. (See brief article in tribute to this martyr starting on the front page.) Sister Heyer was evidently a woman of the people. Typical of young U.S. folks today, she worked several jobs: as a  paralegal, waitress and bartender. Moreover, her serious commitment to the struggle against white supremacy was echoed in the powerful and principled reaction of her mother, Susan Bro, to her martyrdom. The grieving mother praised her daughter’s generous and fair character and called on all of us to pay tribute to her daughter by getting more involved and committed to the fight for justice.

The seriousness of sister Heyer (and her mother), the Redneck Revolt and other white, Black, Latino and other forces challenging the white supremacists in Charlottesville is a welcome and much needed development. In the several days following the Charlottesville confrontation, there were protests in solidarity with the progressive Charlottesville protesters in cities and towns all over the USA. In Boston, MA a small white supremacist demonstration was overwhelmed by a massive counter-protest of progressive forces who routed the Klan-Nazi demonstrators. In Baltimore, the mayor ordered all Confederate statues taken down in the middle of the night and this occurred without incident. Afro-American and other anti-fascist forces in Durham, NC pulled down a Confederate statue “without permission.” And Confederate statues were vandalized in cities from Louisville, KY to Tampa, FL.

Meanwhile, President Trump essentially did a wink-wink vacillating response, talking out of both sides of his mouth in the first several days following the Charlottesville events, ensuring that his base did not feel criticized by his “critical comments” regarding the KKK, the Nazis, the murder of Sister Heyer, etc. The President clearly gave his continued blessing and support to white supremacy and the various movements promoting this tyranny. David Duke, the former Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan, tweeted his appreciation to President Trump for his “honesty and courage to tell the truth” about Charlottesville. But Trump’s response was too blatantly reactionary even for some of the CEO’s on Trump’s two big business advisory councils. After a string of corporate CEO resignations, on August 16, Trump preemptively dissolved both these advisory councils.

If anyone serious still had any question about where Trump stood on white supremacy, two weeks later they had their answer. On August 25, Trump gave a presidential pardon to Joe Arpaio, the infamous former sheriff of Maricopa County in Arizona. Tellingly, as described by The Washington Post’s Philip Bump, the pardon was for “a law enforcement official who was ignoring a federal court order and, as a result, was convicted of a misdemeanor.” Bump observed: “one message from the Arpaio pardon is precisely that Trump sees his evaluation of the boundaries of legality as superior to the boundaries set by the legal system.” The Constitution gives him that absolute power to provide presidential pardons—at least unless and until he is impeached. Bump continued, “He can pardon anyone for any federal crime at any time—even before the person actually faces any charges...” But, given his bourgeois fascination with the Democratic and Republican “battles,” Bump focuses most of his article on the implications of such a “surprising” utilization of pardon power to speculate about possible obstruction of the current investigation by Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller of Trump’s personal and/or campaign connection to the Russian government.

Indeed, The Washington Post and other Democratic Party-leaning and liberal bourgeois corporate media, with their focus on the Democratic/Republican Party “shadow boxing,” are covering up or “whitewashing” the following grim reality: Arpaio was convicted of contempt of court after being told to stop racially profiling Hispanics in his county but continuing to do so anyway. This utter contempt for the court of law, by a law enforcement official ignoring the federal court order, was met with the completely appropriate contempt of court misdemeanor conviction. President Trump’s pardon serves as a green light not only for rogue sheriff Arpaio but for the armed authorities of the state apparatus at all levels of government all over the USA to carry out martial law against Latinos, immigrants and non-immigrants alike, Muslims and all other “foreigners” and Afro-Americans and all peoples of color!

This is the most important ramification of Trump’s pardon. It unleashes a powerful armed force of white supremacy and great nation chauvinism across the land.

*          *          *          *          *

CONCLUSION:

The response of progressive and anti-fascist forces within the USA to the renewed open white supremacist assault has thus far been positive. This has been particularly true in Charlottesville, VA and in its immediate aftermath.

Certain other points can be drawn from this article.

    1.    President Trump is today spearheading the spread of white supremacist and great nation chauvinist poison. And he is a deserving and appealing object for rallying anti-fascist mobilization and struggle.

    2.    The chauvinist poison that helped produce the Trump presidency has been generated by the unceasing oppression of the Afro-American people in their Black Belt homeland under slavery and Jim Crow as well as in the U.S. North under vicious monopoly capitalist exploitation and oppression of the stateless Afro-American national minority during the past one hundred years and more. The U.S. occupation of much of Mexico led to the similar super-exploitation of Mexican “migrants” as well.

    3.    The history of the twentieth and twenty-first century USA and even earlier is also filled with terrorist attacks and super-exploitation against the immigrant working class—from the Irish, Italian, Jewish, Slavic, and Southern Europeans in the earlier years to the Puerto Rican then other Latino peoples, African, Caribbean, Filipino and other immigrants today.

    4.    Exacerbating this process, has been the hegemonic imperialist power of United States imperialism globally for the past sixty years, generating constant great nation chauvinist poison and violence into this society that has become the heartless heartland of the U.S. Empire.

    5.    A Leninist vanguard political party of the working class at the national and international level is required to provide the discipline, organization and vision to defeat U.S.-led imperialism.

    6.    Moreover, the Democratic Party and the Republican Party are the political duopoly by which Wall Street imperialism rules here. The most immediate danger to the rise of a powerful movement against white supremacy in the USA today is the existence of petty bourgeois democratic illusions about the Democratic Party being an important ally of such a movement. Indeed, the current “hopes” of liberals, and radical “left” anarchist and right opportunist forces about the FBI special investigation into alleged Russian government meddling in the 2016 presidential election could well derail the promising new anti-fascist and anti-imperialist motion in the USA. Illusions about the Democratic Party lead to a serious underestimation of the depth and destructiveness of our imperialist enemy. They lead to support of the U.S. Empire against our best friends and comrades around the world.

    7    Comrade Lenin wisely taught us, “Imperialism is the highest stage of capitalism.” More than that, Lenin and the Great October Socialist Revolution showed us the way forward to defeat imperialism one hundred years ago. It was only the abandonment of Leninism for “quick and easy” solutions that led to the sad state of world affairs today.

A successful movement against white supremacy and for social justice for all can only win in the USA over the long run under the leadership of the international working class. One important task for this new U.S. movement is to seek and build unity with the rest of the international working class and the oppressed peoples of the world against our common enemy, imperialism, headed by U.S. imperialism.

Let’s Swell the Ranks of the Fighters Against U.S. Fascism!

For Afro-American National Liberation and Workers Power in the USA!

In the Spirit of the
Great October Socialist Revolution,
Long Live Leninism-Key to Our Victories!

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