“There are injustices done to people of color unrelated to class.”
This is absolutely true. Anyone who thinks economic justice alone can solve racial justice does not have a solid understanding of racial oppression. Anyone who practices economism in Marxist intellectual circles is not taken seriously as a leftist thinker.
I think you may be frustrated at this point with what you perceive as contradictions to what I say I believe to what I actually write. The source of this perceived contradiction is a conflation of the importance I place economic justice in the revolutionary movement with the importance I place economic justice in black/PoC liberation. I accept the blame for this as I tried to communicate a complex idea through a handful of tweets.
An enemy is best defeated by analyzing their strengths and weaknesses, then attacking them where they are weak. When I analyze the bourgeoisie, I see a major weakness: their love of money. They will do everything in their power to preserve capitalism. When confronted with a powerful uprising that threatens the system that allows their supreme dominance, they will be willing to strike a deal with that movement. It’s too simplistic to say that is exactly what happened in FDR’s New Deal, but that’s the basic story.
The deal need not be purely economic. The deal can contain a massive overhaul of the criminal justice system, including police brutality. The more afraid the bourgeoisie is, the bigger impact of the deal. The logical course of action is to threaten to overthrow capitalism because that exposes their greatest weakness. Economic justice must be the forefront of any cross-racial coalition. The reason for this is not an ideological stance that economic justice explains most of the oppression of PoC, rather it is a tactical move in equality warfare.
Here is a snippet from a billionaire who wrote an article aptly titled: The Pitchforks are coming for us Plutocrats:
“If we don’t do something to fix the glaring inequities in this economy, the pitchforks are going to come for us. No society can sustain this kind of rising inequality. In fact, there is no example in human history where wealth accumulated like this and the pitchforks didn’t eventually come out. You show me a highly unequal society, and I will show you a police state. Or an uprising. There are no counterexamples. None. It’s not if, it’s when. […] The most ironic thing about rising inequality is how completely unnecessary and self-defeating it is. If we do something about it, if we adjust our policies in the way that, say, Franklin D. Roosevelt did during the Great Depression — so that we help the 99 percent and preempt the revolutionaries and crazies, the ones with the pitchforks — that will be the best thing possible for us rich folks, too. It’s not just that we’ll escape with our lives; it’s that we’ll most certainly get even richer.” ← FUCK YOU
The project then becomes building a coalition to bring about this deal. The first step would be an attempt to radicalize Bernie Sanders supporters by informing them that they are being exploited and the only way to free themselves is to seize the means of production.
The second step would be to add PoC, which I am very worried about because I don’t know if they are willing to join a movement that is centered on ending capitalism. When the chair of the Democratic National Committee, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, gutted regulation for payday lending, I searched some prominent BLM activists and there was maybe one retweet and no discussion about it. This really worries me, as I identify payday lending as a major structure of black domination. Wasserman Schulz is facing a challenge from a Bernie-style progressive, Tim Canova, but there is no talk among social justice twitter activists to donate to his campaign. Of course, the overwhelming black support for Hillary Clinton worries me as well. I guess “panicked” is the right word to use for my feelings towards accomplishing step two. I suppose that’s why I keep posting about the importance of class for black liberation. We would also need to make it clear that the list of demands for this movement would include criminal justice / police reform.
The third step would be to add Trump supporters who would benefit from socialism. Once the movement grows, we can sit down with them and inform them that their true oppressor is the capitalist class. I went over this before, but I think I should reiterate my position: the white working class is oppressed by racism. Here’s a simple equation to show why I think this:
% of people who know who their oppressor is
* % of those people that join a movement to fight that oppressor
* probability of that movement defeating the oppressor
= probability of freedom
Most of the white working class does not know who their oppressor is. This is clear in every election cycle. This is a serious problem that’s not really found in black liberation organizational efforts because the enemy is highlighted for them. (The enemy is white domination, not white people, but the point remains). Some are racists who we will never get, but others are rational, yet immoral, actors securing what they incorrectly perceive as the most resources for their family. Their preoccupation with preserving and expanding black domination to inflate their own proletarian status decreases the % in the first line of my simple equation, thus decreases the probability of their freedom. If white supremacist thought was impossible, the white working class’ probability of freedom would increase. It is in their best material interest to not have white supremacist thoughts.
I don’t think we should preoccupy ourselves with marginal pragmatic solutions with establishment politicians. As stated in an earlier post, I think we have the beginning ingredients for a revolution. I say pick up a pen, write a criminal justice reform bill, walk up to the pig and demand it into law by threatening to burn the whole fucking place to the ground. Well, I think that’s you (or the parallel universe radical version of you). For me, I want it to burn. Capitalism oppresses billions of people and it needs to be destroyed, even if it means mass casualties.
P.S. I read your 4 articles regarding white privilege and agree with all of them.