The movement for justice launched almost exclusively by black youth in Ferguson this summer has turned into a wave of indignation sweeping the country. What happened with Mike Brown and Eric Garner are not the exceptions to the rule: but examples of social control by a system based on white supremacy.
That’s why we cannot stop or slow down our protests now. Instead, we must take them to the next level and do more and more to #ShutItDown. Respectability will not protect us. Silence will not protect us.
Actions are scheduled for Saturday, Monday, and in some cities, every day!
The U.S. system of racialized capitalism devalues lives of people of color, especially the poor, by allowing the government (via its police) free rein to insult, abuse, attack, rape, maim and even kill black people – all with little or no consequences. These brutalities affect us all. Not only is our collective humanity challenged by such a system, but our civil liberties are undermined. Socialists and progressives of all racial and ethnic backgrounds have a shared material interest in following the lead of black activists and demanding an end to this crisis through systemic, transformative change.
The color line that still defines the bulk of injustice in the United States can only be broken through building a strong, multi-racial and anti-racist Left.
If you are white and concerned with how to be supportive, do not let your insecurities immobilize you, or fear that you are alone. Black folks leading the movement are asking their white brothers and sisters to put their bodies on the line and be there. A new Pew Research Center poll released this week showed a dramatic difference in how white people and black people reacted to the Brown and Garner cases. If you are white, we need you to raise your voice against this unjust system.
People of conscience must make a choice, right now.
It is in the mutual interest of whites and people of color to break the bonds of racism and oppression, or see all of our struggles corrupted. What we do now matters. Hit the streets, let the elites know that kind words, body cameras and blue ribbon commissions are not enough. We need broad, decisive action NOW.
We will not comply with a system that doesn’t value black lives. Now is the time to fight back.
Yours in struggle,
Maria Svart, DSA National Director