As for “The Squad”



As for the four congresswomen, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib, Ilhan Omar and Ayanna Pressley—or “The Squad” as they are now being called, three things must be said:

First, they have spoken some important truths. AOC was right when she called the immigrant detention centers “concentration camps.” They are. As the organization Never Again correctly pointed out, “As Jews, we know what the separation of families, the covert rounding-up of people and the creation of concentration camps can lead to. We refuse to wait and see what happens next.” Further, AOC and Ilhan Omar were both right to use the word “fascism” in describing Trump and his regime’s actions. Everyone in society must confront these truths and their implications.

Second, the fascist Trump has targeted these four women for who they are and also as a stand-in, an avatar, for whole sections of people who they seek to dehumanize, terrorize, and “cleanse” from America. The chant “send her back” is a genocidal rallying cry, a license to terrorize and remove anyone who is not white, not American-born, not Christian, not faithful to the fascist-in-chief. That these four are women is also of great consequence, there is a definite strain of male-chauvinist revengism, a desire to put women in general back “in their place” that is fueling the level of vitriolic anger being hurled at them. All this should be taken very seriously and poses a real and immediate threat to these four women, as well as to all the sections of people being targeted through them.

Third, and extremely important: Despite having told a few important truths and despite being targeted in vicious ways, these four congresswomen do not represent any kind of answer for the masses of people. Despite having called Trump a racist and fascist, the main response of these four has been to insist that Trump’s words are a “distraction” from the “real issues” of healthcare and wages. Further, they have repeatedly insisted that Trump’s racism and xenophobia is “not who we are as a country.” Finally, they insist that their position in the halls of Congress points to a future that can be achieved by working within the system—and relentlessly urge those who want real change to pour their energies and funds into the elections as well.

Looking to or following them in any of this will only do tremendous harm!

Trump’s racism and xenophobia is not a distraction, it is the point—he is actually carrying out the early stages of a genocidal ethnic cleansing before the eyes of the whole world. This must be confronted and stopped—not avoided or sidestepped with talk of “bread and butter” issues. Further, all this white supremacy, xenophobia, and hatred of women IS America—and has been since its founding! “The Squad” is invoking a MYTH when they talk about America’s inclusivity and equality, whereas Trump is rooted in the actual history of genocide, lynch mobs, misogyny, and global plunder which are at the core and foundation of this country. Finally, the elections are NOT an arena in which the people have the power to direct or control the institutions of the state; rather, the elections are a means through which people’s political activity is corralled and controlled into approving of and acquiescing to the system that rules over them and is now moving towards fascism.

If we want to defeat this drive towards fascism—and even more fundamentally, if we want to get rid of the system that gave rise to this fascism and has always been an unbroken chain of oppression and exploitation for the masses of people—we must break out of the confines of this system. We must take up the fight for an actual revolution—and, as part of that, unite very broadly to drive out the regime.

See also:

Once You Truly Face the Reality of a Fascist America, the Road Should Be Clear

Trump’s racist onslaught of the past week against Congresswomen Ilhan Omar, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib and Ayanna Pressley—and the vicious and larger assault that it concentrated on the tens of millions of non-white people in this country—drove home once again: the Trump/Pence regime embodies a very direct and very dire threat of white supremacist genocide, the destruction of the environment, and nuclear holocaust. “The planet is on fire,” you hear people say. And this fascist monster throws more and more gasoline on the flames. He, and his regime, must be stopped, now, before they can wreak any more havoc on humanity.

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