As long-term readers of this blog will know this blog endorsed the Socialist Party of the USA in the 2008 presidential elections that were won by Mr. Barack Obama. This blog, and the SP-USA itself, had no illussions that it would win the election, but campaigned all the same in order to critique the status-quo of Republicratic politics. This blog has also consistently stressed that while the election of Mr. Obama would in itself be a good thing (lesser of two evils and racial symbolic potential) there are risks involved by the PLP’s enthusiastic cheerleading for his campaign, mainly that it actually plays into the hands of the (completely ineffectual and inept though they may be) UBP, and serves largely as an endorsement of long-practiced UBP strategies (racial reconciliation on the cheap through majority Black candidates for a majority White Party).
Having said that, I came across these two releases from the SPUSA, and I thought they were very relevant for Bermudian politics. I have copied and pasted them in full here, but have also provided the links to the original sites for interested viewers.
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 whiteness.
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
Socialists Expecting Business-as-Usual from President-Elect Obama by Stewart A. AlexanderNovember 18, 2008
It has been two weeks since a majority of Americans went to the polls to cast their votes electing Barack Obama to be the next President of the United States. However, socialists nationwide are not joining the celebrations; socialists believe Obama’s victory is only a win for the capitalist ruling class and a setback for working class people.
Beyond the title wave of liberal Obama fanfare that has engulf much of the nation, Obama’s election only represents a changing of the guard to usher in a new administrator for the capitalist ruling elite. As a result of his election Barack Obama is now beholden to big business and the corporate contributors that paid his way to victory.
Matt Erard, with Socialist Party USA, notes that Barack Obama’s electoral victory “was established with the largest intake of corporate contributions ever received by any candidate in world history, within the framework of a corporate two-party system established to ensure that the only truly determinative option voters have, at best, is choosing which functionary of the ruling class they wish to represent them.” It is important to note that the capitalist elite invested more than $600 million toward Obama’s victory and billions more on television, radio, and print media.
Now, only days after the election, President-elect Obama is moving within the old Washington establishment to carve his pathway as president; recruiting his team of leaders and advisors from the Clinton and Bush administrations. His choices are already offering a glimpse into the future of his presidency.
Socialists, throughout the U.S. and the world, have been strongly opposed to the occupation in Iraq and Afghanistan; an occupation that has resulted in over 4,800 U.S. casualties and more than 1.2 million deaths in these two war torn nations. Barack Obama has already made clear that it is his desire to keep Robert Gates as Defense Secretary in his administration. Obama has offered no indication that he will take any positions to end the U.S. involvement in Iraq or Afghanistan; to the contrary, Obama has taken the position to protect the interest of the capitalist ruling class which will push U.S. militarism to greater limits in the Middle East and throughout Western Europe.
Socialists are also opposing the bailouts of big corporations that are now threatening a national and global financial meltdown. These bailouts have been designed by the capitalist ruling class, using public funds to protect the profits and interest of Wall Street and the billionaires of the world. Barack Obama has supported the bailouts of the Bush administration and has indicated that he will support another stimulus package that is now being urged by President Bush.
In early 2008, President Bush backed a $168 billion stimulus package that was an economic disaster; these public funds offered no relief to the millions of U.S. families that are now struggling to keep their homes, to keep food on the table and to pay their bills. Now the $700 billion economic bailout, that was also backed by Obama and rushed through Congress, is already being question by many of the nation’s top economic analyst, with serious doubts whether the funds will ease the current economic crisis.
It is likely the Obama presidency will be a continuation of the present Bush White House; expanding U.S. imperialism and more repression for working people. It is also likely that working people will experience the greatest economic downturn this nation has experienced within the past 100 years and the world will witness the rebirth of the Cold War.
Barack Obama has offered no indications that he is prepared to make any major shifts from the present Bush White House; Obama is only a new face for the oppressors of the working class.
Tim Wise’s name is no stranger to Bermudian political discourse, known mostly for his involvement in discussions on race. He also writes quite frequently on other topics, and I enjoy reading his articles when I come across them. Having read the above statements from SPUSA I think its important to also read this recent (November 27th) article by him concerning Mr. Obama’s election. I haven’t copied and pasted it, mainly because I reckoned this article was long enough already. But I really recommend people at least check it out and skim through it (and hopefully read it critically too).
I’ll get back to more original writing, and more specific Bermudian topics soon, most likely after this weekend. I’m just to busy dedicating original writing to essays right now.