Key tasks in the struggle for equality

BY:Eric Brooks| August 9, 2023
Key tasks in the struggle for equality


Editor’s Note: Report of African American Equality Commission to the CPUSA National Committee, June 24th, 2023.

Strident calls to action are being issued today seemingly from every corner. Wildfires in Canada, unusually large due to global warming, cloud the air around the country. Democracy is similarly “on fire” due to the maturing of a decades-long extreme right assault. Black, Brown and Asian Americans, youth, women, the indigenous, migrant, and LGBTQ communities are among those most impacted by recent conservative legal initiatives. The MAGA right justifies legal, ideological, and physical attacks with racist, misogynistic, and anti-LGBTQ hate. Voter suppression by means of denying meaningful access to the ballot box helps them consolidate power. Disuniting and disenfranchising the working class and oppressed people to protect and expand power and profits is the ultra-right goal.

The historic task before the U.S. working class and oppressed communities today is to lead all the people to unite to defend the democratic power, dignity, health, history, joy, languages and cultures, and subsistence of those under attack. They are challenged to build a united struggle to defeat the hate-filled rhetoric that denies the humanity of those it seeks to disenfranchise and exploit. A united movement that actively rejects the attack spewed from the digital printing presses of the Trump right is what’s called for.

Mass organizing is necessary to achieve these aims. The good news is that this organizing is beginning to happen. People’s organizations are actively doing the on-the-ground work to reject fascism, the state violence that it encourages, and the hate-filled ideologies used to justify it. Local elections in Chicago, Wisconsin, and other parts of the country are important indicators of where important sections of the electorate stand. The African American Equality Commission has responded to the following issues in the recent period.

Affirmative Action

On June 29, 2023, the U.S. Supreme Court, in a 6-3 decision, outlawed affirmative action. As the African American Equality Commission described in SCOTUS outlaws affirmative action: time to march and vote, “This ruling highlights the importance of focusing on stopping the racist, sexist, anti-worker drive to establish fascism and undo all of the people’s gains won so far, including those of the Reconstruction era, the women’s suffrage movement, FDR’s New Deal reforms, [and] the Civil Rights and LGBTQ equality movements.”

On March 8, International Women’s Day, the African American Equality Commission held an event honoring communist women of color among them, Edna Griffin, Dorothy Burnham, Charlene Mitchell and Elizabeth Cattlet.  These women “have a rich history and tradition to build on. Indeed, Black women have played a central role in the struggle for democracy, justice and socialism.”

Fightback in the Black community

The Equality Commission also addressed the enraging drumbeat of racist police crime. In response to the racist shooting of Ralph Yarl and the police slaughter of Jayland Walker, we called “for an end to racist police violence against Black, Brown, and Asian people, against women, and against migrants. We call for democratic community control of the police, repeal of all ‘stand your ground’ laws, and de-escalation of use of police force in oppressed communities.”

The Civil Rights movement sees political action in the form of electoral work as key to moving forward. For example, the Poor People’s Campaign is clear on what’s at stake: “Our democracy is under attack on multiple fronts, with poor and low-income people most impacted by these decisions.”

As discussed in Eric Brooks’ Peoples World article Black unionists vow to push for racial justice and democracy, the view of the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists (CBTU) at their 52nd Convention was unambiguous: “Calling out racist murders, an upsurge in ‘dangerous radical actions being taken by Republican governors and state legislators across the country,’ and a radical right agenda, Melvin and other speakers called for building the widest possible solidarity to defeat the ultra-right in the primaries and in the coming elections.”

The MAGA forces can and must be stopped

The NAACP has joined the call, issuing a travel advisory warning Black and Brown people, along with their allies, not to visit Florida due to the racist policies being implemented there. The elections are not only a matter of making a choice about this or that representative or faction of the ruling class. It will also make a meaningful, impactful setback for anti-democratic, racist and misogynist fascism which, if elected, will use the power of the state to attempt to deny all meaningful people’s participation in social decision making, in the mechanisms of power, and in crafting policy.

The African American Equality Commission calls on all Communist Party USA clubs and districts to make and execute plans to organize voter registration, education, and get-out-the-vote activities, starting now. The AFL-CIO has committed to mobilizing in the battleground states and beyond. We call on all people’s organizations to get involved now in the struggle over the direction that this country will take: it’s a matter of life and death for many.

Image: Facebook


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