A letter from a reader:
I learnt a lot from the article “The Blatant Fascism and Naked White Supremacy of Georgia’s New Voter Suppression Law—More Revealed!” in revcom.us. In this context, and in reading the site, I had a few additional thoughts:
I agree, the conflict around the struggle to defend the right to vote of Black and other people of color is rapidly sharpening up, in society as a whole and among the powers-that-be. The fascist Republicans in dozens of states are moving to bring back the days when Black people were systematically prevented from voting for generations, through a network of laws backed up by violence. Courageous freedom fighters risked—and many gave—their lives to win the right to vote in the South in the 1960s. Now, sparked by Trump’s phony cries of the election being “stolen,” the fascists are moving with a vengeance against the masses of Black, Latino, Native American and immigrant people.
There is a “steal” all right—a steal of the right to vote for oppressed nationality people of color, as part of even more violently subordinating all people who are not white. Sharp divisions have erupted among the rulers over the first of these laws, passed in Georgia, with a whole section of non-fascist rulers coming out in strong opposition.
The Fascists Become More Openly FASCIST
First off, it’s important to see that among themselves—and increasingly in public—these fascists have dropped parts of their mask and are now spouting even more openly white supremacist crap to back up their offensive.
At least 250 new laws proposed by Republican legislators in 43 states are aimed at limiting or banning keeping voting stations open after work, voting by mail, and/or early in-person and Election Day voting—all of which would put roadblocks in the way of tens of millions of people. In Georgia, the first of these laws recently passed—a law which seriously diminishes access to the vote for Black people, with one provision that makes it illegal to pass out water bottles to people waiting to vote. This law is an example of supposedly “color-blind” racism: while the law itself does not single out Black people, it just so happens that because of the discrimination already built into the system which puts fewer ballot boxes in Black neighborhoods, Black people often line up for hours in the Georgia sun to vote and need this water.
But as noted in this article previously, along with Major League Baseball moving the All-Star game out of Atlanta in protest, Georgia-based Delta Airlines and Coca Cola issuing statements opposing the law, last week hundreds of prominent lawyers and the heads of many major corporations and banks, along with celebrities, signed a two-page ad opposing voter suppression that appeared in the Washington Post and the New York Times. Biden has called the Georgia law an attempt to reinstitute Jim Crow, and Democrats have proposed a law in Congress to counteract these measures.
Nevertheless, despite what are in many ways unprecedented positions taken by powerful ruling class corporations and institutions, the Republicans in Georgia have not backed down. Across the country, they are moving full speed ahead with voter suppression laws. Meanwhile, the fascists defending this law have become more openly fascist in doing so, with racist pigs like Tucker Carlson—whose show is the highest-rated “news” show on TV—going so far as to espouse an openly fascist theory in defense of it. [see sidebar]
A Few Initial Thoughts on What it Shows
First, I feel it lays bare again the essence of what these laws are: serious attacks on one of the basic legal and civil rights of being a citizen of Black and other oppressed people of color. And it points to connections between the wave of moves to disenfranchise Black people and people of color in general, and a whole fascist agenda based in white supremacy, patriarchy and xenophobia. Note well: these attacks didn’t begin with these laws, as I have learnt from the American Crime Cases #11 (Part 1 and Part 2) on these American crimes on voting rights, and they will not end with them either.
Second, the fact that major blocs of capital have weighed in strongly against these laws, but even so and in the face of this, the Republican governors and legislators in Georgia and around the country have not backed off but have doubled down, indicates the depth of this split within the ruling class.
This refusal to back down contrasts, for example, with what happened several years back when Indiana then-governor Mike Pence had to amend a so-called “religious liberty” measure that had legalized bigotry against LGBTQ people after organizations like Apple, Salesforce, Subaru, and the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) threatened to boycott the state. This contrast shows how much more hardened and determined the fascist section of the ruling class has become over the last five years.
The heads of major ruling class institutions acting to protest Georgia’s voter suppression law are not only prompted by the fact they lead diverse or multicultural-inclined workforces, or that the major initiators themselves are Black and are opposed to these measures. Or even by the real fact that these laws are aimed at further marginalizing the Democratic Party in states controlled by Republicans. Related to all that, but even more profoundly, I think that the ruling class opponents of the Georgia law and other voter suppression bills fear that such a profound change in legitimating norms will further endanger the stability of U.S. society and undercut the ability of the U.S. to remain the world’s dominant superpower—atop a world of sweatshops, slums, wars, and environmental devastation.
The new Declaration and Call from the Revcoms rings out sharply, and this in particular resonated:
This system is in real trouble, caught up in crisis and conflicts for which it has no easy or lasting solutions. Throughout this country the workings of this system have given rise to deep divisions which cannot be resolved under this system. Society is being ripped apart. Those who rule are locked in a bitter fight among themselves, and they cannot hold things together in the way they have in the past.
Third, after rivers of blood were shed for the right to vote, we are again, in some ways, fighting the same battles, though in a different context. The vote itself did not fundamentally eliminate the white supremacy at the foundation of the system, and the vote itself will not prevent the genocidal assault that people like Carlson are laying the basis for. But this right—and the current attacks on it—matters!
This is an ominous situation, to say the least. But the other side of these intractable divides is revealed in the call from the RevComs: A DECLARATION, A CALL TO GET ORGANIZED NOW FOR A REAL REVOLUTION and the full passage from which we quoted above:
Revolutions are not possible all the time, but are generally possible only in rare times and circumstances, especially in a powerful country like this. This is one of those rare times and circumstances. This system is in real trouble, caught up in crisis and conflicts for which it has no easy or lasting solutions. Throughout this country the workings of this system have given rise to deep divisions which cannot be resolved under this system. Society is being ripped apart. Those who rule are locked in a bitter fight among themselves, and they cannot hold things together in the way they have in the past. Although there are a lot of bad things connected with this and it could lead to something really terrible, it is also possible that we could wrench something really positive out of it—revolution, to put an end to this system and bring something much better into being.
Fox Fascist News’ Tucker Carlson has been a leading attack dog against opponents of Georgia’s voter suppression law. On April 8, he claimed on his show—one of the top-rated on Fox News—that the opposition to the law was aimed at robbing white people of their votes by “diluting” them with those of non-white immigrants. And in the long tradition of white supremacists prefacing white supremacist rants with “I’m not racist but...,” Carlson claimed “everyone wants to make a racial issue out of it. Oh, you know, the white replacement theory? No, no, no. This is a voting right [sic] question.”
Carlson promoted and “mainstreamed” the white supremacist “replacement” theory in the guise of ridiculing people accusing him of upholding it. This “replacement” theory sees non-white immigration as an intolerable and existential threat to white supremacy and patriarchy. In recent years white supremacists have invoked the fear of “replacement” as they carried out massacres in mosques in New Zealand and Norway, against Latinos in Texas, and in massacres at a mosque and synagogue near San Diego. The “replacement” theory “inspired” many of those who marched in Charlottesville, Virginia, where a white supremacist murdered Heather Heyer. Their chant “Jews will not replace us” reflected fascist conspiracy theories that Jews are stage-managing this “invasion” of the West.
Among those who have called out the Nazi connections in Tucker’s invocation of “the white replacement theory,” a montage on The Daily Show demonstrated the chilling similarity between Tucker’s words and those of the white supremacist perpetrators of these massacres.
In response to a call from the Anti-Defamation League—a Jewish organization generally aligned with the most conservative forces in the Democratic Party—for Carlson to be fired, Fox Fascist News head Lachlan Murdoch defended Carlson. Carlson himself has repeated his claims.
And in the wake of Carlson’s overt mainstreaming of the “replacement theory,” Republi-fascists in the House announced plans to form an “America First” caucus. Their platform promotes “a common respect for uniquely Anglo-Saxon political traditions" and advocates for infrastructure with aesthetic value that "befits the progeny of European architecture." At a House subcommittee hearing on April 14, on migration from Central America, Republican Congressman Scott Perry said, “For many Americans, what seems to be happening or what they believe right now is happening is, what appears to them is we’re replacing national-born American—native-born Americans to permanently transform the political landscape of this very nation.”