The expanding “war on terror,” the stock market crash, mass racist unemployment and home foreclosures, police terror, fascist immigration raids and racist budget cuts are all built into the racist profit system. These are the issues that moved millions to respond to Barack Obama’s call for “CHANGE.”
But Obama isn’t offering anything new, except a liberal face in the White House. His cabinet and top advisors are mostly Clinton and Carter re-treads with decades of loyal service to Chase, Citibank and Exxon-Mobil. His National Security Advisor is mass murderer General James Jones who led the saturation bombing of Yugoslavia, killing thousands.
Every president is a defender of capitalism, a system composed of two classes: the bosses who own everything and profit off the backs of the overwhelming majority, and the working class, who only own our labor power and produce all value, including the profits of the bosses.
The government is run by this ruling class, which makes Obama the new CEO for U.S. imperialism.
The bankers and billionaires comprising the U.S. ruling class will continue spilling rivers of blood to maintain their control of Mid-East oil and their rank as the top imperialist power. While they try to secure a permanent presence in Iraq, they will escalate the war to Afghanistan, Pakistan and, if necessary, Iran.
‘NATIONAL SERVICE’ — A BACK-DOOR DRAFT TO SUPPLY CANNON FODDER FOR THE BOSSES’ OIL WARS
One of Obama’s main goals is winning millions of youth, especially black youth, to wrap themselves in the American flag and fight for U.S. imperialism in these oil wars. Right now, amid this emerging Depression (see page 5), millions of black and Latino workers and youth as well as workers in general are becoming fed up with the effects of a racist profit system gone wild. So Obama’s job is to win them back with his all-class unity — “we all have to pull together and sacrifice” to save the system — which masks his role as the bosses’ servant. The rulers’ National Service scam is designed to get millions, especially youth, to work for low, or no, wages, as volunteers “to support America,” particularly in the military.
Obama, Bush and McCain all fell in line and supported the $700 billion bailout of the bankers and Wall Street parasites while millions swell the unemployment lines. Racist misery is built into the profit system. Black workers suffer twice the unemployment rate of white workers (four times the rate for black youth). In Detroit, Milwaukee and Buffalo, over 50% of black males, age 16-64, are unemployed. Millions more are either under-employed or have given up looking for work. Twelve million undocumented workers and youth face racist detention camps and deportations just for looking for work.
Obama will now preside over the world’s largest prison population, 2.4 million, 70% black and Latin males. Hardly a black or Latino family in the U.S. doesn’t know someone who’s either in jail, on probation or parole. This result of racist police terror rivals the old South Africa apartheid system.
One of Obama’s mentors, Chicago’s Mayor Daley, rose to power as a State’s Attorney prosecuting black workers and youth who “confessed” to crimes they never committed while being tortured in Chicago police stations. The prison doors will not swing open on Obama’s watch. The victims of racist police terror will not be sent home to their families.
The change we need won’t come from reshuffling capitalist politicians and bureaucrats no matter how “smart” they appear. We need mass actions and a mass movement, not to “fix” capitalism but to smash it. We need to turn every attack into an opportunity to build a mass revolutionary communist PLP that can ultimately lead the working class to power and to a world based on meeting the needs of the international working class.
• IN THE FACTORIES AND UNIONS. Oppose every plant closing; organize strikes and plant occupations, like the 240 Latino and black workers at Republic Windows did in Chicago last month. Learn from the striking UAW workers at American Axle in Detroit, Seattle’s Boeing workers and Stella D’Oro workers in the Bronx. Show solidarity with rebelling students and workers in Greece, throughout Europe and China who fought fascist conditions this year. Build unemployment committees on our jobs and in our unions to unite laid-off workers with their still-employed brothers and sisters.
• IN THE COMMUNITIES. Organize factory, union and neighborhood committees to fight evictions and immigration raids. Work in community centers and church soup kitchens and food pantries, talking to volunteers and those in need about the racist profit system and the need to destroy it.
• IN THE SCHOOLS. Fight budget cuts, racist testing, militarization and fascist conditions.
• IN THE MILITARY. Bring the fight against imperialist war and racist police terror in all these organizations to show how the only way out of this endless and escalating war on terror is to win soldiers and sailors to rebel against the brass and overthrow the capitalist war-makers.
The more we do, the more we can expand the circulation of CHALLENGE. The more we expand the readership of CHALLENGE, the more we can do in the class struggle.
The nature of the capitalist beast will not change because a liberal face is in the White House. He won’t bring peace, full employment or freedom for immigrant workers or to workers jailed by this criminal INjustice system
Yet, in the absence of a mass revolutionary movement, millions of potential revolutionaries hold out hope. Many illusions must be shattered. We have a big job before us. Let’s engage the enemy everywhere we can, and use every battle to build the revolutionary communist PLP.
IS THIS THE RACISM WE CAN EXPECT FROM OBAMA?
- When Chicago’s Cook County Health Bureau closed half the clinics used by predominantly black and Latino uninsured workers, slashing 2,000 jobs in 2007 — and just destroyed another 500 jobs on January 1 — not a word of protest came from Obama as clinics closed in his South Side neighborhood.
- Obama was directly involved in the destruction of Chicago Housing Authority projects on the West Side, displacing tens of thousands of black working-class tenants. The Boston Globe reported (6/27/08): Chicago’s “Grove Parc Plaza, in a dense neighborhood that Barack Obama represented for eight years as a state senator…[was] subsidized by the federal government….But it’s not safe to live there….Collapsed roofs and fire damage….Mice….Sewage backs up into kitchen sinks….
- “Thousands of apartments across Chicago…built with [government]…subsidies — including several hundred in Obama’s former district — deteriorated so completely that they were no longer inhabitable.
- “Grove Parc and several other prominent failures were developed and managed by Obama’s close friends and political supporters….[who] profited from the subsidies even as many of Obama’s constituents suffered. Tenants lost their homes; surrounding neighborhoods were blighted.
- “As a state senator…[Obama] co-authored an Illinois law creating a new pool of tax credits for developers….He…campaigned on a promise to create [a]…Trust Fund that could give developers an estimated $500 million a year….
- “Grove Parc…[symbolized] giving public subsidies to private companies…an approach strongly backed by Obama….”
- Obama’s Secretary of Housing and Urban Development is Shaun Donovan who, as NYC Commissioner of the Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD), laundered public-housing renovation funds through private not-for-profit social service agencies to evade paying union wages. Donovan used HPD low-income housing funding to bring racist gentrification to Central Harlem, replacing long-time African-American, African immigrant and Latino working-class residents with luxury housing for affluent professionals and business owners. This is the guy Obama has picked to set national housing policy!