From a reader:

Trump’s Pitch to Black People, and the Fight for the Future of Humanity



Editors’ note: We received the following observations from a reader on some aspects of what the Trump/Pence regime is doing now.

Lately Donald Trump—a lifelong, stone-cold racist—has been portraying himself as a great friend of Black people. In his February 4 State of the Union address, he used a handful of Black people as props to promote some of his fascist regime’s programs, and to shower praise on Black people who are part of the global killing machine known as the U.S. military. He claimed that Black people are prospering like never before during his presidency and that “African-American poverty has declined to the lowest rate ever recorded.”

Meanwhile, he and others in his entourage expressed full-bore support for the brutal and murderous police. On February 9, he tweeted that “our wonderful NYC police are under assault. Stop this now!” This is the same NYPD that shocked the world when its pigs choked Eric Garner to death on a Staten Island sidewalk as he gasped repeatedly, “I can’t breathe.”1 The same department whose cops shot and killed 31-year-old Allan Feliz when they pulled him over for a seat belt violation in the Bronx last October; the same department that, in that same month, sent a swarm of cops to murder Victor Hernandez in the Harlem apartment building where he worked as superintendent.

At a February 10 “Cops for Trump” rally in New Hampshire, Vice President Mike Pence drove home the regime’s support for and promotion of whatever brutality and murder police inflict. He told the assembled cops, “I’ll make you a promise. Cognizant of the risks that you take every morning, when you put on the uniform and you walk out the door, this president, this vice president and this administration will always stand with the men and women of law enforcement.”

Trump’s pitch to Black people is boundless hypocrisy, but it is worse than that. Trump is a concentrated expression of a political and social system that was founded on slavery and genocide, and developed through sharecropping, chain gangs, land theft, and lynchings. A system that today features an epidemic of murdering and brutalizing cops and mass incarceration. A system that has feasted on and reaped staggering wealth from the brutally enforced exploitation of Black and other people in this country, and even more savage domination of billions of people worldwide.

And now, with Trump at the helm, this system is lurching towards instituting full-on fascism, with the open and unconstrained oppression of Black, Latino, and Native American people as a cornerstone of its foundation.

During the State of the Union speech, Trump pointed out a young girl and her mother from inner-city Philadelphia. He said the girl was getting a scholarship to attend a charter school because her “government school” (meaning, public school) was “failing.” He also pointed out a Black woman who was serving time for a nonviolent drug offense but had been released from prison under the “First Step Act,” and a formerly homeless man who now has a job in construction.

What he didn’t mention was that for the fourth consecutive year, his regime is trying to push through billions of dollars of cuts to public school funding that will hit inner-city schools hardest. What he didn’t mention were the millions of people, disproportionately people of color, who remain in jails and prisons across the country. He didn’t mention the 1,000-plus people—again, disproportionately people of color—killed by police every year.

Think about it. Thomas Jefferson, one of the “fathers of U.S. democracy,” owned about 600 human beings of African descent as his property. He became extremely wealthy off their whip-driven labor. He led a political structure that had outright slavery institutionalized in its constitution. He expanded the U.S. slave empire with the Louisiana Purchase. And in his will, he freed two of his slaves. Does that make him any less of a monster? Fast forward to today: Does anyone really think the fact that a few people, or even a few thousand people, getting $17-an-hour jobs doing basic labor means this system works for the masses of Black youth—the millions who are constantly hounded by police, sent to crumbling, over-crowded schools, and have no hope for their future? Does it change the fact that Trump and Pence preside over a system of modern-day slavery?

Even as he portrays himself as a champion of Black people, Trump is continuing and intensifying his racist insults and actions against immigrants—including diverting billions of dollars to build a wall along the U.S.’s southern border and sending Border Patrol SWAT teams to cities across the country.

Trump and his regime aren’t just trying to win over a few thousand more Black voters in “swing states” for the next election. They are working to reshape the political landscape and develop a section of Black people who support the regime’s fascist program.

They want to develop an aggressive core of Black people who carry out their program of “America First” and “Americans First”—and for now, at least, this would include some Black people in the category of “Americans.” These white supremacist fascists want to create among Black people an equivalent of the Judenrat in Nazi Germany—Jews who the Nazis used to help them control and suppress Jewish ghettoes.2 They want to drive and deepen a wedge between Black people and immigrants, especially Latino immigrants. They want to build up a section of Black people who are “grateful” if they are among the handful who make it intact through the meat grinder of this system, and turn their backs on the millions who are chewed up.

There are some basic questions everyone needs to confront, soon. What kind of world do you want to live in? What kind of human being do you want to be? Are you going to be one of the Judenrat? A petty enforcer for a criminal system? Are you going to sleep through the fascist nightmare because unemployment is supposedly low for now? Are you going to try to ignore the fact that an entire fascist regime and white supremacist social base is being organized and mobilized for a civil war?

1. As it came out last year, the cops at the scene when they murdered Eric Garner in 2014 texted their commander as this was happening, saying Garner was “most likely DOA.” The commander texted back, “Not a big deal.” See here for more. [back]

2. The Judenrat were set up by Hitler and the Nazis shortly after they came to power in Germany in 1933. These were Jewish councils run by “community leaders” who collaborated with and served the Nazis. They supervised the Jewish Ghetto Police. The Judenrat and Jewish Ghetto Police played a central role in sending six million Jews to death camps. There were Jewish people who resisted the Judenrat. But there were also forces in the Jewish community who argued that having “people from the community” administer and police the ghettos would work to reduce the violent terror visited on the Jewish population. They even openly argued that collaborating with the Nazis in shipping unemployable people, people on welfare, and “troublemakers” to the death camps would spare everyone else that fate. In the end, after all the other Jews had been killed off, and they had served their purpose, the Judenrat officials and the Jewish Ghetto Police themselves were rounded up by the Nazis and sent to the gas chambers. But only after they had played an indispensable role in carrying out genocide. [back]

The Oppression of Black People and Other People of Color, by Bob Avakian, an excerpt




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