The fact that white supremacists are running the White House must alarm everyone not part of the ruling elite.
This administration is carrying out policies that are attempting to destroy every gain the working class has ever made. It cares nothing about the destruction of the planet. It is reckless, neofascist and dangerous.
It was immigrants, especially the undocumented, who revived May Day in this country. The anti-immigrant assault that began in 2005 led to immigrant workers marching in the millions several times in the spring of 2006. It was amazing to see!
The U.S. working class must pay tribute to immigrant workers for establishing May Day, a day of struggle the entire world commemorates, first in the 19th century and then again in this country in 2006.
But what is May Day like within the immigrant community today?
For current conditions we can thank the deporter-in-chief Barack Obama, a Democrat, who deported more migrant workers than any other U.S. president — over 2 million workers. The streets are emptier in Muslim and Arab communities as well, as a result of [Department of] Homeland Security policies after Sept. 11, 2001.
Trump got elected on the most racist, vitriolic, anti-migrant campaign perhaps ever. Shouts of “Build the wall” resonated at reactionary events. He called migrant workers “thugs,” “animals,” “murderers.”
Trump’s contempt for Black people is well known. All I have to say is “Central Park Five” or quote his racist “shithole”-countries diatribe when he spoke of our beloved Africa. And I cannot ignore Trump’s misogyny.
The Trump administration has created a climate of fear, trauma, dread and terror in every immigrant and refugee community, not only in this country but really around the world.
It will be no surprise if few migrants come out on May Day 2019 in this country. Conditions are hard, desperate, demoralizing.
That is why the efforts of the People’s Power Assemblies and all the organizations organizing for May Day are so important. Not just for migrants, but for the teachers or Stop & Shop workers out on strike. These efforts are heroic and vital to the class struggle.
Where is Trump heading?
What are the effects on migrants of two years of the Trump administration? And what is the primary task of our movement today in relation to the migrant struggle?
Trump appointed Jeff Sessions as U.S. attorney general. He is the true architect of Trump’s immigration policies, even though he has left the administration.
A senator from Alabama, Sessions is synonymous with Southern, Bull Connor-type racism. He fought against the Voting Rights Act. This anti-immigrant hardliner’s entire career is based on undermining the rights of oppressed people.
In 2018, he spoke at the National Sheriffs’ Association where he thanked the sheriffs for their service. “Since our founding, the independently elected sheriff has been the people’s protector, who keeps law enforcement close to and accountable to people,” Sessions said.
He went on: “The office of sheriff is a critical part of the Anglo-American heritage of law enforcement. We must never erode this historic office.” Disgusting.
That Trump ousted Sessions is just a reminder that Trump does whatever the hell he wants. Trump is attempting an unprecedented, almost fascist turn to repress and control this vulnerable and super-exploited source of [migrant] labor more than ever.
Migration to the U.S. has changed. It is no longer Mexicans who come here in large numbers; it is primarily Central Americans. The point of contention is the southern border, of course — never the northern border, although anything could happen.
But not just Central Americans are threatened. Haitian and other Caribbean migrants are under attack. Many Somalian and Nepalese immigrants are at risk to lose their temporary status, and we must fight for their right to stay here.
We are hearing that among the Central Americans languishing at the border, there are more and more Africans waiting to come into the U.S. with them. Imagine that trek from Africa to Mexico — the danger, the horrors many experienced.
Defeat Trump’s war on migrants with class solidarity
Since the Trump election, there have been huge progressive demonstrations. The largest has been the women’s struggle, which we support despite all its contradictions.
Texas is trying to enforce the death penalty against any woman who has an abortion. We have to be cognizant of the right to defend our bodies, as we fight for the rights of all gender-nonconforming people.
There have been huge demonstrations for migrants. But all these demonstrations have occurred with the leadership of the Democratic Party. What a tragedy.
Were it not for the fact that anti-Black racism is so entrenched and so deeply rooted in the foundation of this country, there would also have been huge demonstrations against mass incarceration, because this too is a humanitarian [crisis] and war crime. U.S. prisons also have children caged like animals.
If all these large demonstrations have been at the hands of the Democrats, what does that mean? That the message to “GET TRUMP OUT” will dominate in the coming period.
We have to monitor the 2020 elections, because, in some ways, it reflects a new day. We know elections don’t matter much; they are mainly a barometer of where the masses are at. But let’s keep in mind that in 2008 when Obama was elected, it was a historic day for the Black community and others as well.
Fast forward to 2016 and we go from a charming, intelligent president to a misogynist, white supremacist buffoon. This is not coincidental. It was a sign that, first, Obama perhaps [did not go far enough] for the ruling class; second, the ruling class was going to give the ultra-right a chance. And third, that the reactionary ultra-racists in this country could not stomach that a Black person had risen so high.
Today, women of color are in Congress [and] shaking things up in ways not seen in decades. Before that, a democratic socialist ran for president and spurred a more progressive movement, one where everybody is talking about socialism.
This is something the working class and revolutionary socialist movement must monitor. Not because we care who gets elected, but because in the war — not only for the hearts and minds of the working class, but to win concessions — if there is an opening, communists and socialists must fight to widen that window, must raise class consciousness and talk about revolutionary, not democratic, socialism in a winning and thoughtful way.