Party USA: Statements
| Statement on the Post-Election Racist
The Socialist Party USA condemns the racially
motivated attacks which have followed the election of Barack Obama as
president of the United States. People of color have been targeted
throughout the country by small groups of racist whites. Acts
have ranged from a cross burning, simulated lynchings and even violent
attacks in some instances. Mainstream news sources report that
hundreds of incidents have occurred.
The election of Barack Obama was undoubtedly an important historical
event. Millions of Americans rejected the race and red baiting
tactics of the McCain-Palin campaign and cast their vote without regard
to race-status. The election therefore drew from the long-term
progressive cultural impact of the civil rights movement. Viewed
entirely from this perspective, the election of Obama represents a
potentially progressive moment in American race relations.
Sadly, the Obama presidency will offer little of the “change” and
“hope” it promised throughout the campaign. Early indications are
that his administration will be directed by a free-market capitalist
agenda and his policies will seek to enhance the profitability of
corporations at the expense of working-class America. People can
expect little in the way of fundamental change in healthcare,
militarism or wealth redistribution. Winning these much needed
changes will be the duty of broad social movements.
Poor and working class whites will therefore be challenged not to fall
back into patterns of racial animus which debilitated the labor
movement throughout the 20th century. As scholar W.E.B DuBois
noted, white workers have often proved willing to forgo the struggle
for material gains in favor of receiving the psychological wages of
As the US heads toward a major economic recession, a racist discourse
which targets people of color and immigrants is sure to emerge among a
section of whites. Elite politicians will seek to mobilize these
sentiments as a means to push forward a right-wing political
agenda. However, class unity can be built through a critical
recognition of the role of racism inside of capitalist society.
Speaking out forcefully against racism and building democratic
multi-racial coalitions will greatly assist in the construction of the
mass social movements needed to move beyond the meager reforms offered
by the Obama regime.
White supremacy is a primary enemy of working class solidarity.
The recent racist attacks are purposeful attempts to divide working
people against each other. The socialist left has learned the hard
lessons of the 20th century and will oppose any racist attacks be they
cultural or physical. A cultural approach which features exchange
and engagement, instead of just tolerance, offers the brightest
possibilities for unity among all working people. Public
campaigns and policy proposals to dismantle the prison industrial
complex, address issues of environmental racism and to challenge racial
patterns of employment could demonstrate the effectiveness of
anti-racist class politics.
We recognize that every human being regardless of their country of
origin or skin pigmentation needs healthcare, a clean environment and a
peaceful life. Socialists remain committed to challenging the fear,
racism and oppression that typify capitalist society by building
movements which demonstrate that solidarity, equality and compassion
offer brighter possibilities for humanity. Thus, the Socialist
Party USA says no to racist attacks! No to white supremacy! And,
yes to working class solidarity in the service of human liberation!
Passed by the
Socialict Party USA National Action Committee November 20, 2008