The history of the United States since they exist has been marked by racism and police violence against the Blacks. The official end of slavery after the American civil war only allowed the Blacks to get exploited by capitalism in the toughest conditions, without ending racism in any way. Then racial segregation was only abolished after the 1964 Civil Rights Act and the 1965 Voting Rights Act. Such a violence against the African-Americans is not new. The only difference is that it can be filmed now. It turned out that the police and FBI were involved in the assassination of Black leaders like Malcolm X or Martin Luther King in the 1960s. In the 1970s, the CPUSA Black leader Angela Davis, and above all the Black Panthers Party (BPP) which dared to claim the right to self-defense against the racist police, suffered the state repression. Mumia Abu-Jamal, a former journalist and BPP activist, was the victim of a police frame-up endorsed by the tribunals, he waited thirty years to be executed, and he is still sentenced to life. The killings of Trayvon Martin, of Tamir Rice, of Michael Brown and of Éric Garner during the last decade gave birth to the movement Black Lives Matter.
According to the public health agencies’ statistics, 40 to 60% of the people who died from the Covid-19 were Black, while they represent less than 13% of the whole population. Most of them, as well as the Latinos, are among the lowest paid, the most precarious, the most under-housed, the most malnourished, the most cast aside from the education system, the most hit by poverty diseases, the most poorly treated. They are overrepresented in the most measureless jails of all the “democratic” countries.
Police violence against the Blacks is not due to a couple of black sheeps who would undermine the honour of the police, as the good souls pretend. It is institutionalized, as an intrinsic condition of capitalism, of the oppression, of the division of the working class orchestrated through racism. Since 2000, in Minneapolis alone, where Floyd was murdered, the police killed 31 people, among which 21 were Black. Still in Minneapolis, in November 2015, Jamara Clark, 24, was shot in the head after being arrested and handcuffed by cops. Fascists (Ku Klux Klan and others) then attacked the demonstration against police violence, under the eyes of the police, and they fired shots on five Black demonstrators.
In the face of the magnitude of the demonstrations, Trump portrayed himself as the “president of law and order” and he threatened to send the army in order to restore calm. In dire straits because of the economic slump that undermines his re-election prospects, Trump attempts to risk all for all in adopting a quasi-civil war orientation. His will to classify the anti-fascist and anarchist organization as terrorist organizations is clearly a call for mobilization to his racist supporters, as well as to the fascist militias that, in several states, repeatedly invaded the congresses during the lockdown. However, the political representation of the bourgeoisie is divided on the conduct to adopt. A majority, bound either with the Republican Party of with the Democratic Party, fears to be unable to get the situation under control, even more so as a significant part of the soldiers are Black. It favours a solution allowing to have the demonstrators back at a low cost, as it experienced in the past. Its hope is that the strengthening of the charges against the four policemen, a couple of “knees down” timely mediatizes by some police officials, Obama’s appeals for calm and justice, Biden’s referral of this issue to the coming presidential election by the Democratic Party leaders, will be enough to ease the tension.
The demonstrations occur in the United States while the unemployment has soared (42 million redundancies since March, with a strong impact on the Black community), while queues proliferate in front of food distribution, while prospects become darker for the American proletariat. But the lack of a revolutionary party in the United States is not on the side of the working class and youth, so that their impetus and their aspirations cannot be transformed into revolutionary perspectives. Supplemented by Biden during his two mandates, Obama neither changed police violence nor the economic and social situation of the workers nor of the Blacks.
The main reformist grouping, the DSA, who are members of a bourgeois political party, have led the aspirations of workers and youth astray towards the candidacy of Sanders, during the de primary election of the Democratic Party. Sanders himself has just stepped down in favour of Biden. The DSA, not only refuse to break with the imperialist party, to turn into the path towards a workers’ party, but, as what remains of the Stalinist party CPUSA, they do not even call upon the exploited and oppressed to exert their democratic right to defend themselves against the guard-dogs of the ruling class.
We firmly believe strong and well-resourced communities do not require repression, and by extension, repressive institutions to keep peace when there is justice. (DSA, May 28, 2020)
This is the usual reformist pap to mask the reactionary nature of the bourgeois State and its police, as if there could be a harmonious capitalism without violence! No more in the United States than elsewhere are policemen “workers” like others, as reformists want to make believe: they are the detachments of armed men recruited and trained for the defence of capitalism. Thus, reformists leave a free ground to all schemes of the bourgeoisie to push back the anger of the masses. If the latter succeeds in it, there will tomorrow be no more justice for Blacks than there has been up to now after all previous murders.
The only mass organisations of the American working class, the trade union confederations (AFL-CIO, CtW) must break with the political parties of the bourgeoisie, expel from their ranks the organisations of the members of public and private repressive apparatuses, defend ethnical minorities and their right to self-defence against police violence.
Only the strategy to destroy the bourgeois State, to dissolve repressive bodies (police, national guard, army, secret services, justice …) by the armed workers, to establish a workers’ government based on organs of the struggling masses, to expropriate capital, to build international socialism, can weld together a decisive vanguard in the fights to come.