“It Was Reminiscent of Cross Burnings”
Black Churches Vandalized by MAGA Fascists in DC

by Sunsara Taylor

Updated | revcom.us


Editors’ Note: Sunsara Taylor was on the streets of Washington, DC, on December 12 to counter-protest the MAGA fascist rally together with RefuseFascism.org. Since this was written, Proud Boys and other fascist supporters of Trump’s campaign to overturn the election have announced that they will rally in DC again on January 6, the day that Congress meets for yet another formal recognition of Biden’s electoral victory over Trump. Donald Trump has signaled his strong support for this rally, calling on people to be there and promising that it will be “wild.” Follow revcom.us and RefuseFascism.org for ongoing coverage and to find out about plans as they emerge to counter this fascist escalation.

“We will not become collaborators on a march to a racist genocide.”

From the RefuseFascism.org Pledge to the People of the World

“Last night demonstrators who were part of the MAGA gatherings tore down our Black Lives Matter sign and literally burned it in the street,” wrote the Rev. Dr. Ianther M. Mills, the senior pastor of Asbury United Methodist Church, a historic Black church in Washington, DC, in a statement on December 13. “It pained me especially to see our name, Asbury, in flames. For me it was reminiscent of cross burnings.”

That same night, MAGA fascists tore down a Black Lives Matter sign from the historic Metropolitan African Methodist Episcopal Church, a place of worship attended by the former slave and renowned abolitionist Frederick Douglass.

Cross burnings were a signature of the Ku Klux Klan as they enforced lynch-mob terror against Black people throughout the years of Jim Crow. In a speech in 2003, Bob Avakian spoke to the impact of this: “Listen to the following statement by the author of a book about lynching. He said, ‘It is doubtful that any Black male growing up in the rural South in the period 1900 to 1940 was not traumatized by a fear of being lynched.’ What is he saying with this? Nothing less than this: no Black male growing up in the rural South in that period could be free of that fear. Every Black male was haunted and scarred deeply by that fear. Think about what that means and think about how this touched Black people as a whole.”

And think what it means that there are fascist mobs brazenly reviving this kind of terror today!

Note well: The white supremacist acts of destruction on December 12 were not the acts of vandals skulking in secret. These were organized white supremacist mobs operating in the open. They marched by the hundreds at night. Earlier in the day, they’d been joined by thousands. These were the “Proud Boys” Donald Trump told to “stand by” during the same presidential debate when he refused to condemn white supremacy or agree to a peaceful transfer of power. Now, these Proud Boys are making good on Trump’s request by bringing their fascist street-level terror to the nation’s capital in support of his campaign to overturn the election.

No police intervened to stop these mobs from vandalizing and setting ablaze property of these Black churches. Nor have any arrests in connection to this been announced as we go to press late the following day. Contrast this gentle police treatment of white supremacist mobs to the barrage of rubber bullets, poison-clouds of teargas, police brutality, mass arrests, and deployment of the U.S. military—at Trump’s order—that was rained down on protesters for Black lives earlier this year!

It is very good that people voted in their millions against Trump and defeated him in the election. No doubt, many millions of these voters were motivated by their deep opposition to Trump’s genocidal white supremacy. But, as important as voting against him was, it is far from enough. Even in defeat, these fascists are advancing their fascist terror and white supremacy.

The reason for this is that white supremacy and its violent resurgence is deeply rooted in the history and nature of this country, where the barbaric oppression of Black people and capitalism-imperialism are inextricably woven together and where the workings of this system have fueled the rise of an outright fascist regime. Everyone who truly wants to see this ended needs to dig deeply into the scientific work Bob Avakian has done to lay bare how and why, “Racial Oppression Can Be Ended, But Not Under This System.” And we need to make fighting this terror part of getting ready for the revolution that can end it once and for all.

At the same time, everyone—whether they are convinced of the need for revolution yet, or ever—must come together in the recognition that no one in power is going to stop this rising fascist terror. Stopping it falls to us. RefuseFascism.org is pointing the way to unite millions from diverse political perspectives to stop a fascist America through mass, nonviolent protest as spoken to in the Pledge to the People of the World. Go read it, sign it, and join the network.

Let these harrowing acts of terror spur all decent people to wipe the sleep from their eyes and heed the still wise words of Frederick Douglass: “If there is no struggle, there is no progress.”

Proud Boys with looted banner from Asbury United Methodist Church, Washington DC. Photo: @FordFischer



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