Michael Slate Interview with Carl Dix:

Attacks on Immigrants: A Step in the Consolidation of Fascist Rule

February 12, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us


The following is from an interview with Carl Dix, February 2, 2018, on The Michael Slate Show, which airs every week at 10 am Pacific Time on KPFK 90.7 FM in Los Angeles, a Pacifica Network station. The show is archived here.

Revolution/revcom.us features interviews from The Michael Slate Show to acquaint our readers with the views of significant figures in art, theatre, music and literature, science, sports and politics. The views expressed by those interviewed are, of course, their own; and they are not responsible for the views published elsewhere by Revolution/revcom.us.

Michael Slate: I want to welcome to the show Carl Dix. Carl is a representative of the Revolutionary Communist Party. He’s also one of the initiators of Refuse Fascism. Carl, welcome to the show.

Carl, just a few weeks ago you attended a demonstration around Haitians who are being threatened with being removed from the country. There’s a massive ramping up of the overall assault on immigrants that was being demonstrated against in this march—tell us about it.

Carl Dix: The 1804 Movement for All Immigrants came together in the immediate aftermath of Donald Trump’s “shithole” comments. People were outraged at that on top of the removal of the temporary protective status for Haitian immigrants, but they were also motivated to reach out to other immigrants who were under attack, and that’s what brought mostly Haitian people but also others into the street. I believe it was January 19, we marched across the Brooklyn Bridge over to Wall Street and rallied in front of a building with Trump’s name on it. People spoke bitterness but also really exposed the venom of these attacks on immigrants and I was among the speakers at that rally.

Michael Slate: One of the important things about that rally is that there’s an onslaught against all kinds of immigrants—people from every part of the world, from the nations of the world that are most severely oppressed and depressed by the imperialist system. There is the need for people to stand up and fight against this. And I know this is something you’ve been wrestling with for quite some time.

Carl Dix: Yeah, because look, people have to really look at what’s going on. There is an intensifying war on immigrants and especially Black and Brown immigrants. People are literally being forced further to the margins of society. You go to work at 7-Eleven, you go for your regular check-in with the immigration services, you go to court to clear up traffic tickets, you go to school and all of this puts you at risk of being swept up, detained, and on the way out of the country. Frankly, for some people it’s on the way out of the country to countries that they have no knowledge and experience of because they were brought here as young children. There was a story about a DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) recipient whose DACA ran out the day before yesterday—and then yesterday was picked up by ICE and is now fighting deportation.

This is what’s going down and people have to look at this because it’s an important assault in its own right—no human being should fear being torn from their family, from their loved ones, from their lives because they happen not to have been born in this country. That should not be a threat hanging over human beings.

But the other thing about this is that this is a big step in the consolidation of fascist rule in this country and if you look at it for what it really is, it could’ve been taken out of Adolf Hitler’s playbook. A lot of people are saying well, Trump says some nice things and he put out a plan that could be a workable compromise around the immigration questions, and that is exactly not true. What he did in that was he went way out there on demonizing and criminalizing immigrants, going against the reality that immigrants commit less crimes than citizens.

What did Hitler do when he came to power? He actually started spinning out the lie that Jews were a criminal element. And he had to do that because the reality was the Jews committed fewer crimes than other Germans. But that demonizing and criminalizing was a beginning step in a process of carrying out genocide, and these attacks on immigrants have the same genocidal logic and genocidal direction and people need to see that. And it’s not just that the immigrants need to see that. Everybody needs to see that because no one should be willing to live in a society where these kinds of attacks can be brought down on people—and especially on people who have mostly been driven here in search of work and survival by the ways in which the U.S. and other imperialist countries have dominated and devastated their homelands. People should not have to put up with this and deal with this.

Michael Slate: There’s much more going on here which dictates that people go up against this—not just immigrants going up against it but non-immigrants standing with them and recognizing that this is actually the product of a fascist regime. And that’s not name-calling, that’s just reality and that has meaning for what the future of the world looks like.

Carl Dix: Yeah, exactly. This is something that everybody needs to take up; not just the immigrants but everybody. You can’t look at this like, oh, they’re going for somebody over there, that’s not me because we’ve seen this before, as well.

“First they came for the communists and I wasn’t a communist so I did nothing. Then they came for the trade unionists but I wasn’t a trade unionist so I did nothing. Then they came for the Jews but I was a Christian so I did nothing.” [I'm paraphrasing] the famous quote from Pastor Niemöller and it spoke to facing a fascist regime that demoralized and criminalized different sections of people, one by one, and cowed others to be paralyzed to stand aside while it went down and went forward with a direction and a logic that ended up crushing everybody.

We have to respond to this: you move first for the Muslims and the immigrants? No, not this time. You have struck us and we will stand up against you. And that’s got to be citizen, non-citizen, Black, Brown, white—everybody has to stand up on this. It is especially important for people who are being beckoned to go along with this talk about an “acceptable deal.” This deal is conciliating with the imposition of fascist rule. That’s all you can call this because what they’re trying to work out—it’s like they kidnap the Dreamers with Trump rolling back the DACA protections. It’s like he kidnapped them—then his ransom demands are $25 billion for the wall, new policies to intensify the targeting of other immigrants, cutting off even legal immigration and then you throw in the shithole comment and it is “Make America White Again.”

What goes along with this is more tightly enforced white supremacy and going back to the days when Black people could be lynched, Black women could be raped, with no recourse. You could not protest this; you couldn’t stand up against it. But not just for Black people again. You’ve got to look at this as a whole thing that’s coming down and people have to stand up, they have to stand up now. That’s why Refuse Fascism issued that statement:

“FIRST THEY CAME FOR THE MUSLIMS, THEN THEY CAME FOR THE IMMIGRANTS. Not this time... Stand Up Now with the Immigrants. This Nightmare Must End: The Trump/Pence Regime Must Go!”

Because all of these assaults, and especially this one which is a major front in the advance the fascist regime is making—this has to be met with massive and determined resistance, again like I was saying by everybody, not just by those being mainly targeted. It also has to become a building block in bringing forward a movement that can drive out this regime before it’s too late.

Michael Slate: You know as I was preparing for this discussion I kept thinking about how they’re going after a lot of the leaders in the immigrant movement and they’re going after sanctuary cities as. It does hearken back to ethnic cleansing, Nazi norms and all that comes with this. I thought what you just said is extremely important. When you listen to Trump’s State of the Union, it says a whole hell of a lot about now, and what time it is and what it portends for the future. I think it’s really important—the point you were making about people need to get up and get out there to take this on. Really, there’s got to be a break here where people actually recognize what is going on. When I say break, I mean an opening up, a cracking open, and looking at what’s really at stake and what are they willing to do to stand up against this.

Carl Dix: Yeah and part of that is recognizing what we’re actually up against. Too many people are holding faith that this can’t really happen here because we have these “checks and balances,” because there’s this legacy of democracy. And the thing that they refuse to acknowledge is that this has happened here and it is happening right now and the direction of things right now is headed to far, far worse conditions. Because if you want to say that fascism can’t happen here how do you explain Jim Crow segregation and lynch mob terror? How do you explain the rape of Recy Taylor, a Black woman who was gangraped at gun point by six white men and who, when she complained, got no justice at all and not because the rapists denied it but because white men had the power and privilege to rape Black women at will, not only under slavery but under Jim Crow segregation.

Don’t tell me it can’t happen here because it already has and it is happening right now and it can be and it will become far, far worse if we don’t recognize it for what it is and stand up against it. And also, I don’t want to hear that it’s somebody else’s fight. I was at a program last night where people were talking about, saying, well, Black people, we’ve been through this. Look, Black people have suffered horrific abuse and terror but that is no reason for standing aside from a fascist regime moving to consolidate itself. One, because you don’t want to see this inflicted on other people but two, it’s very shortsighted to say we’ve been through this before so we’re going to stand back because you may not be number one or number two target but when the “shithole-and-chief” talks about shithole countries he’s not going to stop at well, you have citizenship now, yeah your ancestors came from that country but you’re a citizen now so you’re cool. You’re on the list, you’re going to get come after and we have to not wait for it to get to us but stand up and stop it before it can devastate any more lives.

That’s what we’re up against and that’s what needs to go down. I say that as somebody who knows none of these horrors started with the shithole that’s in the White House right now but that it’s all being intensified and if we allow the direction and momentum of this regime to go to where it’s heading—to the imposition of all-out fascism—it would be far, far, far harder to do anything about it.

I’ve dedicated my life to making revolution to end the horrors that this capitalist-imperialist system brings down on people and I promote the leadership of Bob Avakian because he’s pointed the way out of this. But at the same time the revolutionary movement is throwing all-in to stop the imposition of fascism because that is a phase that the revolution has to go through and anybody who has any other progressive plan for how society should be has to understand we have to stop this imposition of fascism and drive this regime out. We can debate and discuss what the vision of the future needs to be. But we’ve got to drive this regime out, this nightmare must end. The Trump/Pence regime must go.

Michael Slate: All right Carl... how can people get in touch with you if they want to talk with you about what you said?

Carl Dix: Well, three things. RefuseFascism.org—go to the website, stay up on the plans. Also go to revcom.us and if you want to hit me in particular, hit me on Twitter. That’s @Carl_Dix.



Volunteers Needed... for revcom.us and Revolution

Send us your comments.

If you like this article, subscribe, donate to and sustain Revolution newspaper.