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Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Trump's USA: No Country for Children by Ray Light (From NL 109)

--Originally Published in ROL, USA Newsletter #109

Trump’s USA: No Country For Children
by RAY LIGHT


When Donald Trump was placed in the U.S. Presidency by the Electoral College vote in the 2016 Election, I observed that, at least in the short run, Trump, with his awkward connection to the Republican Party, would be a less dangerous foe than Hillary Clinton, with the slick Wall Street-backed Democratic Party machine, would have represented to the international working class and the oppressed peoples outside the borders of the USA. But I emphasized that, for the working class and the oppressed nationalities within the U.S. multinational state, the Trump Regime would be more repressive and cause us more difficulties here sooner.

I appealed to the revolutionary forces in the rest of the world to take advantage of this situation to advance the proletarian revolutionary cause externally. As part of this appeal, I also called upon them to give the revolutionaries and the U.S. working class and masses the assistance we would need to deal with the initial Trump-led onslaught upon us.

Certainly, these first seventeen or eighteen months of the Trump Regime have borne out this approach. Globally, Trump has had to be practically coerced by the Democrats to launch two annual isolated military attacks on Syria. And, for reasons clearly having to do with the Trump Empire agenda rather than the U.S. Empire’s agenda, he has been moderate (if not rational) in dealing with China, Russia, and even North Korea. Indeed, he has bullied long time U.S. allies in Western Europe and elsewhere as much as long time U.S. adversaries.

The home front has been another story entirely. The article that follows deals with some of the Trump Regime’s most outrageous attacks on the working people, the oppressed nationalities and the 90% of the U.S. population who have already been hurting economically, socially and culturally for some time. As the working people of the USA have begun to wake up and fight back against the Trump Regime, I hope this article serves to encourage those of us in separate struggles to unite our forces for a successful struggle against the Trump tyranny. The outpouring of support across the USA on June 30 in defense of the immigrant children separated from their families is a good step forward for us all.

*****

—Trump Attacks Latino Immigrant and
Puerto Rican Children—

In the past few months there have been unrelenting reactionary attacks by all three branches of the U.S. federal government, spearheaded by Donald Trump, on the 90% of the U.S. population already suffering. Finally, on June 30, there was a ray of political sunshine, an expression of resistance and outrage. For this moment, at least, thousands of angry and upset demonstrators, reflecting the interests of the vast majority of the people of the USA, have drawn a line in the sand. It is a line of defense of immigrant children and their families! This is an encouraging development. In more than seven hundred cities and towns across the USA, from thirty thousand protesters in New York City and about the same number in Washington, DC to rural Marshalltown, Iowa where about 125 people gathered, the people protested the monstrous Trump Regime’s new fascistic Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) policy forcibly separating children from their parents as they cross the border into the USA.

By June 30, there had been so much international and even

bipartisan uproar that Trump had already begun to back away from this initial “zero tolerance” policy providing for ICE/government kidnapping of the children. In just the first few months, this barbaric ICE policy had already led to well over two thousand children being seized from their parents and sent to all corners of the USA deprived of all family bonds and with no information provided on them to their families. The organizer of the Marshalltown, Iowa march, Steve Adelmund, had been inspired to get involved, when, on Father’s Day, on the news, he had seen children separated from their families and held in cages. Adelmund asked, “If we can’t come together under the idea that kids shouldn’t be taken from their parents, where are we? We have to speak out now while we can, before we can’t.” (ROL Emphasis) Clearly, Adelmund (and many other June 30 protesters) smelled the stench of open fascism in the U.S. government treatment of these children in Trump’s USA.

Yet even this openly terrorist ICE policy against Latino children is not enough for the Tea Party Republicans in the Republican-led U.S. House of Representatives. The House decisively rejected, by a 301-121 vote, a far-ranging immigration bill, after months of careful strategic planning, because it was too soft on the immigrants! This Wall Street ruling class compromise bill had something for Trump-$25 Billion U.S. tax dollars for the wall with Mexico. But it also would have provided a shot at citizenship for hundreds of thousands of immigrants brought to the USA illegally as children. This, the tea party Republicans refused to vote for. They revolted against Speaker Paul Ryan and the House Republican leadership as well as against the Wall Street ruling class and even against Trump himself!! Trump, the cowardly bully, still feels “inspired” by the “wild power” of the “tea party” House members, the Freedom Caucus Klansfolk, who sometimes show some independence from the Wall Street ruling class as they showed in this compromise bill.* For, among these tea party, freedom caucus politicians and their current supporters, there is a mass base for a fascist demagogue. And the shrewd and unprincipled Trump cannot afford to pull away from their amorous embrace.



*On the positive side, some Freedom Caucus House members also recently united with anti-war Democrats to block Trump from using his unilateral U.S. withdrawal from the Iran deal to proceed to a U.S. war against Iran, aided by his new war mongering Secretary of State Pompeo and national security adviser John Bolton.

On June 30, it was immediately clear that Trump retains a “zero tolerance” policy against immigrants.  It is telling that on that day Trump focused on keeping up the morale of the ICE (Gestapo) agents. His new “initiative” is to imprison the children with their families indefinitely. In that cause, Trump already has the support of Senate Republicans. They are attempting to drastically extend the current three week maximum that children of immigrants can be incarcerated in order to present to the white, Black and Latino citizens the entire new immigrant population as a “criminal caste” that must remain locked up until they are thrown out. This provides a cash bonanza for private security companies, no doubt providing “kickbacks” for Trump, Inc. Thus, in the days just before the pro-children, anti-Trump June 30 demonstrations around the USA, Trump was continuing to stir up great nation chauvinism and white chauvinism against this mostly Latino immigrant sector of the U.S. working class.

In this regard, let’s not forget Trump’s arrogant and cruel old-style colonial treatment of the desperate men, women and children of the island nation of Puerto Rico last fall in the aftermath of the massive hurricane damage of Hurricane Maria. The Trump Regime’s continued inhumane and dismissive treatment of Puerto Rico continues until today. This is another signal from the Trump Regime to the non-Latino population that they should treat the large Spanish-speaking and Latino section of the U.S. working class with great nation chauvinist superiority. This tragic situation can be turned into its opposite, if Puerto Rican members of the U.S. working class  (who are free at least of most threats associated with being undocumented) begin to unite with immigrant workers in the USA from other Latino countries (who worry every day about ICE) in the class struggle for workers power and socialism and those much abused Latino workers begin to unite with the Puerto Rican workers in defense of Puerto Rican national self-determination; and if together they reach out to their June 30 allies.

There is no doubt that the Trump Regime is pursuing a German Nazi style scapegoating of various non-white

peoples within the USA. And the vicious and fascist assault on immigrant children and families is a significant feature of this chauvinistic campaign.*  The other sectors of the U.S. multinational working class and the 90% of us need to build on our June 30 defense of the mostly Latino immigrant children and their families: pressing the fascistic Trump government on immediate family reunification efforts, specifically opposing mass incarceration of the immigrant children and families, resisting “criminalization” of immigrant communities in the USA in general, and fighting for immediate relief and defending the right to national self-determination for the people of  Puerto Rico. If we fail to follow through, June 30 becomes just a small bump on Trump’s chauvinist-paved road to autocracy and fascism.

*Last year Trump pardoned the infamous brutal Arizona sheriff, Joe Arpaio, who had been convicted of continuing his department’s harassment and discrimination against Latino immigrants and citizens alike even after being ordered by a judge to stop his illegal repression. Trump’s “rescue” of his friend, Arpaio, was a significant act that most of the bankrupt U.S. “left” ignored. With this pardon, Trump gave the “green light” to the sheriff departments, to police forces — to all the armed representatives of the U.S. State — to terrorize Latino people across the USA!

—Trump Attacks Afro-American Children—

With the aid of modern technology (e.g. the cell phone camera), the ongoing systemic murder of Afro-American children and youth by the armed representatives of the U.S. state, particularly the police forces around the country, has been well documented. However, the “Black Lives Matter” motion that showed promise of becoming a movement a few years ago has not done so. Perhaps the most important reason for its loss of momentum has been the tendency for most “Black Lives Matter” groups to project a narrow focus on Afro-Americans exclusively.*

*It has been almost unheard of for a “Black Lives Matter” group to join protests defending oppressed peoples in Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Middle East against the U.S. imperialist wars that have been a constant feature in the Middle East since 9-11 with George W. Bush’s so-called War on Terror. The unprovoked invasion of Libya by Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and U.S. imperialism in coordination with French and Italian imperialism, two traditional European imperialist colonizers of African countries, more recently resulted in people all over North Africa plagued with war, chaos and deprivation.

Meanwhile, direct experience of the U.S. war in Vietnam in the 1960’s and seventies by the huge numbers of Afro-American front line troops, has receded into memory, and with it the deep respect they held for the ultimately victorious Vietnamese communist-led liberation movement over U.S. imperialism. It was the heroic Vietnamese people’s struggle that had made so many Afro-American soldiers face the truth that it was the U.S. imperialist military that was the enemy of both the Vietnamese people and the Afro-American people. (As Muhammad Ali observed, “No Vietcong ever called me an N----”) This year is the fiftieth anniversary of the Songmy Massacre (1968), when the world learned that murderous hordes of special U.S. military forces were systematically let loose on women, children and old men in village after village as a matter of U.S. military strategy.

With all kinds of political and cultural changes since then, including the virtual disappearance of an international communist movement uniting and leading the international working class, this level of clarity about the U.S. imperialist enemy has not been passed down to the Afro-American youth of today. Instead, with the focus on individual material well-being, for many the U.S. military has become the rare source of a “steady job.” And the criminal role played by the U.S. military everywhere else in the world has become “chickens that have come home to roost.”

One of the cultural changes in particular, “identity politics,” is a phenomenon that often provides Afro-Americans (and other peoples) with the consolation of psychological  “reform” in lieu of the achievement of social justice, people power and revolution. As our comrades have participated in and with the “Black Lives Matter” motion around the USA, it has been exceedingly strange to see how often Black Lesbian women, backed by white Lesbians, have become the controlling forces in these various groups. In our experience, this Lesbian leadership has often driven away positive Afro-American men and women and other community forces that might have helped turn the moment into a movement. Meanwhile, it is Afro-American male youth who have continued to be the main domestic target of the U.S. armed state apparatus.

In this context, it is clear that the Supreme Court’s recent (5-4) decision upholding “voter purging” in Husted v. A Philip Randolph Institute hearkens back to the pre-civil rights movement days of Jim Crow elections and legal racial segregation in the U.S. South. This Supreme Court decision validates concerted activity by the States (“States’ Rights”) taking the vote away from Afro-Americans and other oppressed and exploited sectors of U.S. society.

—Trump Attacks Muslim and Arab Youth—

In the mid 1930’s, George Dimitrov, the great Bulgarian leader of the Communist International, led the successful preparation of the international working class and oppressed peoples for the victorious Soviet-led defeat of Nazi Germany and global fascism. Comrade Dimitrov taught: “German fascism is not only bourgeois nationalism, it is fiendish chauvinism. It is a government system of political gangsterism, … It is medieval barbarity and bestiality, it is unbridled aggression in relation to other nations.” (Main Report at the Seventh World Congress of the Communist International, August 2, 1935) Dimitrov continued, “In foreign policy, fascism is jingoism in its most brutal form, fomenting bestial hatred of other nations.” (ibid)

 “Let’s Make America Great Again” was the central theme of Trump’s 2016 Presidential campaign; it has been his main platform theme since his inauguration. From Day One, Trump wildly targeted one anti-Muslim travel ban after the other—all shot down by one court after another. Recently, despite the overwhelming evidence of Trump’s hostility toward Muslim countries and peoples and his track record on Muslim bans, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld Trump’s latest anti-Muslim travel ban. Going back to his 2016 election campaign, Trump promised to keep Muslims out of the USA, a blatant violation of freedom of religion contained in the first amendment to the U.S. Constitution. And the Supreme Court’s unconstitutional decision in this case qualifies the five judges who rendered this verdict fit to be tried at a new (U.S.) Judgment at Nuremberg. May it happen soon! For such an outrageous decision by the Supreme Court serves to marginalize Muslims and Arabs as well as many other Black and Brown peoples in the USA. It fuels the fires of chauvinism among many white people and other U.S. citizens. It also serves to justify George W. Bush’s round-up and detention of well over a thousand Muslim men who were held incommunicado for a lengthy period by the U.S. state apparatus immediately following 9-11. It is clearly an invitation to foment mob hysteria in the near future. Among his supporters this Supreme Court decision serves to bolster the credibility of the Tyrant; tragically, it provides him and his fascistic motion with momentum.

—Trump Attacks U.S. Working Class Youth—

Comrade Dimitrov taught that, “Fascism acts in the interests of the extreme imperialists, but it presents itself to the masses in the guise of champion of an ill-treated nation, and appeals to outraged national sentiments...” This is why Trump’s theme during the campaign and during his presidential term thus far has been “Make American Great Again.” His consistent message to the white workers, in particular, has been that America was great when you were on top and Afro-American, Latino and other workers were deprived of most rights and opportunities. Moreover, Trump’s notion is that the traditional Democrats and Republicans, the “Republicrats,” have given away the treasure of the USA to the oppressed nations around the world. This is exactly the opposite of the truth! The USA, especially during its sixty to seventy years of hegemony in the world capitalist camp under “Republicrat” Rule, has drawn tribute, booty, from the four corners of the earth. Having plundered most of the world, the U.S. Empire has forced millions of people from the most oppressed countries to migrate to the “Mother Country” to seek a decent job or at least eke out a living for their family.

As Dimitrov further observes, “Fascism aims at the most unbridled exploitation of the masses, but it approaches them with the most artful anti-capitalist demagogy, taking advantage of the deep hatred of the working people against the plundering bourgeoisie, the banks, trusts and financial magnates, and advancing those slogans which at the given moment are most alluring to the politically immature masses.” (ROL Emphasis)

The plight of working class youth in the USA of all nationalities is a desperate one. Very few have had the opportunity to get jobs that pay enough to support a family, to buy a home. They are plagued with casual employment and under employment and no job security. The U.S. “recovery” from the financial crisis that erupted on Wall Street a decade ago has all gone to the coffers of the Wall Street financial oligarchs that created the crisis. (Goldman Sachs, the biggest beneficiary of federal government “support,” provided the Trump Regime with virtually all of its financial team!) The future, despite Trump’s promises to the white working class, still looks very bleak for all the working class youth.

Now, their obstacles are mounting. Trump’s Supreme Court majority in the last few weeks of this session passed two far-reaching laws that weaken even further the position of the U.S. working class as it struggles for even the slightest steps toward a “level playing field” with U.S. monopoly capitalism and imperialism.  In the first case, the Supreme Court upheld the right of corporations to ban the use of class action lawsuits by their workers as a condition of employment. In effect, this will compel individual workers to take on the immense financial and other burdens of fighting their corporate employers on issues that affect all the workers. It is an open invitation to even more corporate abuse, wage theft, etc.

The second recent Supreme Court decision openly attacking the U.S. working class, is Janus v. AFSCME. It bans “the agency shop” in public sector workplaces. This law breaks with a forty year old regulation that provided that non-union workers who received union representation in contract negotiations and other pursuits paid “an agency fee” for the services that they received from the union. Such workers were not required to pay full union dues and specifically they were not required to give financial support to candidates in elections that they did not personally support. Now, after forty years of settled law, Trump’s Supreme Court Five ruled that non-union members would no longer be required to pay any fee to the union, no matter how much benefit the non-member receives from the work of the union over the course of any given year. This decision will take millions and perhaps billions of dollars away from union coffers. And it could lead to the disappearance of some unions.

However, the “agency shop” over the past forty years produced a high level of complacency among the chieftains of many AFL-CIO unions. It encouraged labor bureaucrats to make sweetheart deals with corporate management at the expense of their membership. In Trump’s USA, with his Supreme Court, deals with organized labor are mostly gone.

But the surprising school workers strike in West Virginia gives a glimpse of a possible rebirth of the U.S. labor movement as a militant and democratic rank and file fighting force unfettered by the entrenched conservative union bureaucracy and inspired by working class solidarity.

In an excellent analysis of the West Virginia strike (“Do-It-Yourself Class Struggle”), teacher union activist Kevin Prosen observed, “After the explosive struggles that built the CIO in the 1930’s and the general strikes that followed the Second World War, there was an urgent need for capital to domesticate the nation’s tumultuous labor relations
W.Virginia Teachers
and steer it into predictable channels. Institutionalized collective bargaining and wage gains traded for productivity increases were the price to be paid for labor peace in an expanding economy. So-called “agency fees” or automatic dues deductions collected from paychecks ensured a steady income stream for union officialdom, and shop-floor struggles over working conditions were redirected into a bureaucratic grievance procedure that empowered union bureaucracy and demobilized workers. The repressive corollary of these incentives were labor laws like the Taft-Hartley Act, which placed limits on strike activity, and the paranoid savagery of McCarthyism which drove the Left out of the labor movement. Without this militant minority of workers, the official union apparatus—reformist in outlook and closely tied to the Democratic Party—was left to preside over a much more docile labor force than that of the preceding period.”

Prosen continues: “Teachers looking with trepidation at Janus have much to learn from our colleagues in West Virginia. They didn’t passively wait for ‘the union’ to act on their behalf; the strike was not called from above, it was built from below ...”

In West Virginia the public school teachers, members of the two main teacher unions (AFT and NEA) joined in unity with each other and with the local school workers union. They organized solidarity with the school youth and their parents as well as locally in all fifty WVA counties. They fought and won an illegal strike against the West Virginia legislature. And, with workers solidarity, they won wage increases not only for all school employees but for all state public sector workers. Quite an answer to the Trump Supreme Court preparing to pass a new reactionary law!

—Trump Attacks all the Children
and Youth of the USA—

Comrade Cindy Sheehan and I addressed a May Day 2018 Greeting and Salute to the High School Youth Protesting Violence in Public Schools and Communities Across the USA. Many high school youth took initiative to organize these protests in the aftermath of a Valentine’s Day Massacre at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, FL in which a 19 year old murdered 17 students and school personnel. Just the latest in the epidemic of mass school shooting in the USA in recent years, it showed the real murderous heart of this country. As we pointed out, “... after six decades of U.S. imperialist global hegemony and the creation of ‘an Evil Empire,’ it is only ‘natural’ that the USA would be the most violent country on earth.”

But, more than that, the Trump Regime, is obsessed with private capitalist profit (specifically for “Trump, Inc.”) and politically connected to the NRA, basically the gun manufacturer’s and gun stores’ lobby organization. The Parkland, FL students and many others around the country were able to see and feel this fact clearly. “They recognized that the powers that be in the USA do not care about them. Even more disturbing they recognized that their parents and adult family members and community leaders were too compromised to really fight the powers that be, even in defense of their own children.”

Finally, as Cindy and I pointed out in this same article, “... after  President Trump bragged in his 2016 campaign that he could shoot someone down in cold blood and still be elected, becoming a cheerleader for the epidemic of violence as well as stirring chauvinist ethnic enmity, he had indeed been elected by these adults.”

It is very encouraging that high school youth have begun to revolt against the status quo U.S. society in which the epidemic of school shootings is growing by leaps and bounds. But, until these youth connect the epidemic of violence among and against the youth within the USA in general to the imperialist wars of the U.S. Empire against the oppressed peoples of Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Middle East, until these youth affirm in the streets that “Black Lives Matter,” until they stand up for the Puerto Rican people and the Latino immigrant children and their families and stand up against the anti-Muslim hysteria, imperialism, the main source that generates and regenerates violence in the USA, will not be snuffed out

*****

CONCLUSION

Trump’s USA is no country for children. For our children to have a decent future in the USA, Trump, the Tyrant, must be exposed, isolated and defeated. The workers and the oppressed within the USA who are the victims of the Trump Regime discussed above will have to achieve genuine unity in the course of our battles for justice. Such unity and solidarity will be vital to our success. Just as vital will be the international solidarity of the workers and the oppressed peoples in the rest of the world with those of us “in the belly of the beast.” Only by uniting with them in their defense against the U.S. Empire we will earn their solidarity.

In the struggle to defeat the fascistic Trump Regime, the valuable guidance of George Dimitrov and the Communist International, and the heroic example of the Soviet youth, the Soviet people, the Soviet Red Army, and the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, led by comrade Stalin will help us on our path to a brighter future.

_____________________________________________________

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