Amid escalating war in the Middle East, and threatening inter-imperialist clashes (see page 2), the rulers must impose wartime discipline on the home front — FASCISM. With the liberal, imperialist wing of U.S. capital leading the effort, a full-blown police state exists for black, Latino and immigrant workers and those of Arab and Muslim background:
•Chicago: In August, the police went on a racist rampage and brutally murdered four young black men in cold blood, in four separate incidents. This year the police have murdered at least 31 workers.
•Atlanta: Undercover cops shot and killed a 92-year-old black grandmother, Kathryn Johnston, in her own home.
•Cleveland: In May 2007, police killed three black people – Aaron Steele, Steven Ray and Ira Mitchell – within three days.
•Conneaut, Ohio: On Nov 17, Immigration Customs Enforcers (ICE) arrested an immigrant mother breast-feeding her child.
•North Carolina: Police shot and killed Phillipe McIver, a 23-year-old black man.
•Los Angeles: LA cops murdered Francisco Mondragon a 24-year-old schizophrenic.
• Minnesota: Law enforcement agents have killed five black people in the first half of 2007.
•New York City: Nov. 25 marked the one-year anniversary of the assassination of Sean Bell, a 23-year-old unarmed black man, murdered with 50 shots from NYPD gunmen. On Nov. 7, the same NYPD assassinated 18-year-old Khiel Coppin, shot 13 times (see box). Since then, they have killed at least ten more people.
•Jena, LA.: Six black youth are being legally lynched for standing up against the racism of fellow students who hung a noose under a “whites only” tree. On September 20, over 50,000 people marched in Jena, protesting this racism and supporting the six youth.
•Since then over 60 incidents of noose hangings have occurred nationwide. (NY Times, 11/24)
•Thousands of Muslim workers have been detained in the U.S. and the Middle East and imprisoned and tortured in concentration camps in Guantánamo and “secret” CIA jails.
On the road to waging imperialist wars to control the flow of oil, the U.S. war machine has been tripping over a few roadblocks. Two of the main ones are their troop shortage and the fact that a crumbling economy hits most heavily on the super-oppressed black and Latino workers and youth. On the one hand, they need to win black, Latin and immigrant workers to fight and die in their wars. But since racism is inherent to capitalism, it inevitably shoots and harasses black and Latin workers while using the threat of deportation to terrorize and persecute immigrant workers. This racist terror undermines many of these workers’ loyalty to the system.
As a result of such racism, 2.2 million people are imprisoned nationwide, 70% of them black or Hispanic. Every twelfth black male between 25 and 29 languishes behind bars; the figure for whites is 1 in 100 (Bureau of Justice Statistics). Liberal misleaders and reformers have been working overtime to try to solve this insoluble contradiction: the system’s inherent racism oppressing black and Latino workers and their need to super-exploit them for super-profits, versus needing to use them as cannon fodder in their wars. They try to divert workers’ anger into such reform efforts as “community policing,” “civilian review boards” and their election campaigns. But to fight police murders we can’t fall into this trap!
The only way to smash the Klan in blue is to smash the racist system — capitalism — that uses them to terrorize working-class communities. Communism — the system of workers’ power, a society run for need, not profit — will sweep away these new night riders and their politician masters, crushing them like the cockroaches they are. To achieve this, we must organize!
There is an alternative to capitalist oppression and its rotten culture: a society that produces for need, not profit; a society where the workers from all backgrounds can determine their own destiny as one united class; where we can stamp out selfishness, racism, sexism, killer cops, “workfare,” profit wars, prisons, deportations and national borders; where this system will be ground into the dust under the feet of millions of united workers and students.
That society is communism, and Progressive Labor Party is serious about organizing to make that world a reality. Join us!