Saturday, May 22, 2010

The Struggle for Equality

Notes from Jarvis Tyner's report to the CPUSA convention

Hits on the importance of Americans electing an African American president and at the same time defeating a thirty year GOP stranglehold on the government.

Tyner noted the transformative effect of the campaign and the victory in terms of the struggle for civil rights and human rights since.

A new racist counter-offensive has emerged, "it is a major threat to everything we've won or could win in this period."

The Republicans assumed the party of "no" and proceeded to sabotage every reform needed to bring the country out of economic crisis.

Structural racism remains a fundamental part of U.S. capitalism, but since the election we've have seen a number of changes that have weakened that structure.

The racist threat from the Republicans has made the fight against racism a key feature of today's struggles.

Every time Sarah Palin speaks she says the Tea Party isn't racist. She has to, because everyone thinks they are. Palin downplays the racism of her movement and claims they are just "angry" and resentful of Obama givign to much to minorities. And now in response they want to take it back.

These ideas and claims and goals are pure racism, Tyner said.

Rand Paul, for example, who won the GOP nomination in Kentucky. He admitted that he was opposed to civil rights enforcement when it comes to private companies. It violates their first amendment rights. But, Tyner pointed out, that Paul really wants to eliminate government altogether, and that means any enforcement of civil rights protections.

Paul's claim that African Americans would have been just fine without the civil rights act represents the kind of mentality we're dealing with.

The tea party is behind the racist anti-immigration laws in Arizona.

Paul also tried to shift the burden of responsibility for the Gulf oil spill away from BP.

"If you don't smell the scent of fascism, you might need some aroma therapy," Tyner responded.

WE can now talk about a Marshall Plan for recovering the economy, and supporting the Steelworkers call for launching a new civil rights movement around economic recovery.

Tyner lauded AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka's consistent call to fight racism during the election campaign and since. Tyner quote Trumka:

There are forces in our country that are working hard to convert justifiable anger about an economy that only seems to work for a few of us into racist and homophobic hate and violence directed at our President and heroes like Congressman John Lewis. Most of all, those forces of hate seek to divide working people – to turn our anger against each other.

So I also want to talk to you tonight about what I believe is the only way to fight the forces of hatred—with a strong progressive tradition that includes working people in action, organizing unions and organizing to elect public officials committed to bold action to address economic suffering. That progressive tradition has drawn its strength from an alliance of the poor and the middle class—everyone who works for a living.

Tyner also called for a jobs program that uses affirmative action policies to ensure that African American and Latino workers are not left out, because they face the worst effects of the crisis.

Youth are increasingly developing a pro-socialist attitude and should be apart of the Young Communist League.

The fight against racism against the Tea Party fanatics has to be our highest priority. And white communists have a special role in leading that charge.