Anomaly in Alexandria

The shooting of Republican politicians practicing baseball on a ball field in Alexandria, Va., was an anomaly — that is, something that deviates from what is standard, normal or expected.

And what unacknowledged crimes have become standard, normal and expected? Racist cops shooting or choking unarmed people of color and getting away with it. Unknown bigots killing trans women of color and getting away with it.

Especially since the election campaign and Electoral College victory of president #45, hate crimes perpetrated against Muslims, often against immigrants mistaken for Muslims such as Sikhs and other people from South Asia, have occurred with regularity. Attacks by vigilante militias against people near the southern U.S. border whom the racists believe are from Mexico or Central America have become standard crimes.

These attacks often lead to an immediate murder. They have been taking place at the same time that another assault, more gradual but also murderous, is going on. Led by the president and the Republican Party, this assault is on the working class, especially the poorest workers, which in the United States all too often but not always means people of color.

Then, in Alexandria, Va., on June 15, there was an anomaly. The targets of the shooting were reactionary Republicans. If the reports in the corporate media are accurate, the person carrying out the shooting felt threatened by the Republicans’ attacks on the poor. Police shot and killed him on the spot.

When it comes to wars abroad, both Democrats and Republicans support U.S. military adventures and support U.S. imperialism in general. Those who understand the role of imperialism know that all these politicians are ready to kill millions in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and elsewhere, and maybe some thousands of U.S. soldiers, too.

Back in the U.S., a prime example of the attack on the poor is the Republican attempt to eliminate whatever was progressive about the Affordable Care Act. This assault threatens to remove the more than 20 million people from health insurance that the ACA provided.

It is not surprising that a person dealing with a serious but treatable illness could believe that the Republicans are out to kill them and that the Democrats are either complicit or at best are doing nothing to stop their death.

Taking a step back and looking at it from an objective, Marxist viewpoint, it becomes clear that the Alexandria action arises out of the current climate of growing reactionary terror in the streets, aided and abetted by the cops and the corporate flunkies of both parties in Washington.

This climate is exacerbated by frustration when the means of organized resistance are either repressed or seem inadequate to stop the right-wing assault.

The lesson then is that revolutionaries need to get better organized, to get more militant, to find the means of mass resistance and self-defense that will make it impossible for the ruling class to continue its deadly assault on the masses. Mass action, combined with revolutionary optimism that a future of justice for the workers and oppressed can be achieved through the struggle for socialism, will be a potent antidote to the killings, cutbacks and contempt for the people shown by the capitalist ruling class and its minions.