WWP candidates on San Bernardino: ‘Imperialist wars breed racism, violence’

Workers World Party candidates Monica Moorehead and Lamont Lilly, running in the 2016 national election for president and vice president, issued the following statement on Dec. 4 regarding the most recent mass shootings in the United States, this time in San Bernardino, Calif.

As revolutionary socialists committed to the struggle to getting rid of this rotting capitalist system, we are horrified and saddened at the latest explosion of violence in this country. This time it was at a holiday luncheon of San Bernardino County Health Department workers held in a center for the care of people with disabilities. The attack left 14 dead and even more wounded.

At this point, we have only the official narrative to rely on regarding what happened. Therefore, we must proceed with caution, given the history of endemic twisting of facts and outright lies by police authorities, particularly when people of color are involved. This has been proven again and again by videos and brought to public attention by the courageous struggles of the Black Lives Matter movement.

Nevertheless, while we do not just accept the word of the FBI and local police as good coin, we can subject what they are saying to examination. They say that one of the workers, Syed Rizwan Farook, left the festive gathering and then returned with Tashfeen Malik, his spouse and mother of their small child, the two of them wielding military-style weapons and proceeding to shoot indiscriminately into the crowd. If this scenario is really true, then how is this kind of terrible, unpredictable slaughter to be prevented in the future?

We know what the answer of the liberal politicians is: stiffer gun control. However, California already has the most restrictive gun laws of any state!

The answer of hardcore right-wingers is to impose Draconian anti-immigrant laws and strengthen state repression in this country, which already has the highest rate of mass incarceration in the world and spends billions of dollars on uniformed and plainclothes police of every kind, ramping up the military arsenals at their disposal.

Both these reactions will only make things worse for the multinational working class here, especially people of color and immigrants who are leading the struggle against poverty wages.

The FBI claims there were two shooters, the young Muslim married couple, although early reports spoke of three. Both the accused were killed by police in a hail of bullets, meaning we will never hear what they might have had to say.

This leaves the field free for official speculation that this was an “act of terrorism,” similar to others that have happened in recent months in France, Lebanon, Syria and other parts of the world.

Already there is pressure to intensify the bombing of Syria by the U.S. and other NATO powers, ostensibly aimed at the Islamic State group. However, the openly stated U.S. position all along has been to topple the elected government of Syria, which has also been under fierce attack by the Islamic State.

If reports about FBI speculation turn out to be true, then all the more reason NOT to widen the war against Muslims and other people of the oil-rich Middle East, North Africa and West Asia. Intensifying hatred of the imperialists doesn’t come out of thin air. These destructive wars — instigated and directed by the multibillion-dollar oil and banking interests in the U.S. and other imperialist countries — have killed hundreds of thousands and driven millions of desperate people from their homes. Capitalist politicians and the gutter media then unleash a tide of Muslim-bashing to justify the horrors the wars have produced.

The working people of the United States didn’t create imperialism. We are its victims, too. The best thing we can do is reject prejudices and warmongering, and instead build multinational unity in the struggle against the class of exploiters who put our lives at risk every day in their vile drive to amass obscene fortunes and dominate the whole world. Say “no!” to Islamophobia! U.S. out of the Middle East! Stop police terror against Black and Brown peoples!