Oct 29, 2018
First Gregory Bush – he sought out and killed two black people at a Krogers outside Louisville, Kentucky, after failing to get into a black church. Then Cesar Sayoc – he made at least 14 pipe bombs and mailed them to prominent people who have criticized the Trump administration. And just this past Saturday, Robert Bowers opened fire in a synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, killing 11 people while ranting, “All Jews must die.” All these incidents took place in less than a week.
All of these men brag that they are white nationalists. That is, they were driven by the politics of so-called “white nationalism.” In other words – and they say it themselves – they are anti-black, anti-immigrant, anti-Jewish, and anti a whole series of other people – including a large part of white workers who don’t agree with them.
Bush walked right into the store with a loaded gun, targeted two black customers, and killed them. He told an armed white bystander that “Whites don’t shoot whites.” He has a long history of domestic violence and using racist language, and he proclaimed himself a big fan of Donald Trump, Blue Lives Matter and other conservative, far right organizations.
Cesar Sayoc posted his politics all over his van. Pro-Trump. Photos of people who spoke out against Trump depicted with red cross hairs, including Michael Moore. He wants to “make America great again.” Which, according to someone he worked with, included killing all blacks and gays.
Robert Bowers, virulently anti-Jewish, ranted on the internet against HIAS (Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society). “HIAS likes to bring invaders in that kill our people, I can’t sit by and watch my people get slaughtered. Screw your optics, I’m going in.”
These incidents are not isolated. They did not happen in a vacuum. A virulent tone has been set. Violent actions have been given a green light. Political authorization comes down from the very top, from the White House. Trump, who calls himself a “nationalist,” speaks out against immigration, by calling Mexican immigrants rapists and thugs. Trump claims there are terrorists among the Honduran migrants as he sends U.S. troops to the border. Trump re-tweets racist statements from “white nationalists.” He has called dozens of black people “low IQ,” “dumb,” “crime-loving,” “not smart,” “crazy,” “vicious,” “lowlife,” and “dog,” playing on the most vicious of racist slurs. He tweeted a six-pointed star alongside a pile of cash, a typical slur against Jewish people.
Trump spouts rabid ideas to build himself a political base – and he does it consciously. This makes him every bit as responsible for the violence as are terrorists like Gregory Bush, Cesar Sayoc and Robert Bowers, who acted on Trump’s words.
In the face of an economy that doesn’t work for ordinary people, reactionary ideas can find a hearing. This is all the more true since there is no mass organization that speaks to the working class, that provides an alternative. An organization which, in the face of growing disaster, would argue that the problem for the working class is to take back all the stolen wealth from the bosses.
If there were a mass working class party today, it would not only call workers to fight. It would propose that workers organize themselves in their workplaces, in their neighborhoods and churches, to defend themselves from all kinds of violence, especially when they organize to fight.
No one should believe that the Democrats will protect us, nor will the FBI, nor the police. The Democrats, under Bill Clinton, condemned millions of young black men to prison on spurious drug charges. They are part of the problem.
Jay Gould was quoted during the Great Railroad Strike of 1886, saying that he could “hire half the working class to kill the other half of the working class.” Bosses have been trying to do this ever since in one way or another. But the working class can show all of them that not only can we fight to take back the wealth we produce – all of it – we can organize to defend ourselves against the violence that the bosses and all their politicians nourish.