Monday, August 28, 2017

Organizing Against Racism: Two Articles

We feel these two articles make points that are important for all of us interested in organizing around immigrant rights. The articles don’t focus on immigration specifically, but there’s no way to address the immigration system without addressing the racism inherent in it.—TPOI editor
Photo: Scott Eisen/Getty Images
Challenging the “White Ally” Model: To Defeat Racism, We All Need to Dismantle Racial Capitalism

By Rafael Diaz, In These Times
August 25, 2017
This month’s white supremacist rally and deadly attack in Charlottesville again reminded millions of white Americans that racism did not, in fact, end with the 2008 election of Barack Obama. In the wake of the recent events in Virginia, there has been lively debate over white people’s proper role in joining in the fight against white supremacy. This is understandable. After all, people of color have reason to question whether those who took so long to acknowledge the existence of racism can be trusted to fight against it.

But white supremacy is a system that does more than just oppress people of color. It serves to divide us and keep poor and working people from building the power necessary to create a more equitable world. We should be wary of calls for white folks to step to the side because they’re not victims of racial prejudice. This approach isn’t just wrong-headed—it lets white people off the hook. They need to fight on the front lines for racial justice alongside the rest of us.[…]

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A Working-Class Strategy for Defeating White Supremacy

Some of the most significant work confronting homophobia, sexism and racism has been done by working-class people of all ethnicities through collective struggle in the labor movement.

By Gabriel Kristal, Working In These Times
August 10, 2017
Ever since the earth-shaking election of Donald Trump, there have been innumerable articles arguing that Democrats brought this upon themselves by losing white, working-class voters in the Midwest. These articles have been met with a torrent of essays urging Democrats to focus on becoming the party of diversity. And, coming back from the dead like a bloated zombie corpse is Mark Penn and Andrew Stein’s New York Times piece calling for a return to Clintonian centrism.

All of these discussions imply that progressives can either fight for voters from the working class or communities of color—but not both at once. This line of thinking demonstrates a profound lack of faith in democracy and the electorate’s ability to smell bullshit.[…]

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