‘You can’t call yourself anti-racist if you’re not anti-imperialist’

The following slightly edited remarks against the fascist coup in Bolivia were made by Makasi Motema on behalf of Workers World Party at a Nov. 16 protest held at Columbus Circle in New York City.  Along with WWP, the protest was sponsored by Answer, International Action Center, December 12th Movement, Party for Socialism and Liberation and La Lucha.  

Makasi Motema speaks at Nov. 16 rally.


Solidarity is about consistency.

Solidarity is about making sure the politics you hold inside of your home match the politics you hold outside of your home.

It’s about making sure the politics you hold in your community match the ones you hold outside your community.

You can’t say you practice solidarity if you have one kind of politics inside your country and a different kind of politics outside your country.

You can’t be an anti-racist in the U.S. unless you are an anti-imperialist overseas.

That’s not consistent. That’s not what solidarity looks like.

Because if you’re anti-racist, you know that the U.S. police attack, murder and lie about Black and Brown people in our streets.

And if you’re anti-imperialist, you know that the U.S. military attacks, murders and lies about Black and Brown people all over the world.

There is no difference.

So it’s time for us on the left to get our politics right.

It’s time for us on the left to get consistent.

It’s time for us on the left to show solidarity.

Because you can’t call yourself anti-racist if you’re not anti-imperialist.

You can’t call yourself an ally of Black and Brown lives over here if you condone the overthrow of Black and Brown governments over there.

You can’t speak about justice and then repeat the lies of the U.S. State Department.

In order to truly understand solidarity, you must understand that when you see the words, written by the New York Times, saying, “This was not a coup;” you should also remember the words of the New York Post, saying, “He [referring to a turnstile jumper in NYC arrested by police] was reaching toward his waistband.”

The people of Bolivia understand solidarity.

They understand that the capitalist class will stop at nothing to steal the resources of Black, Brown and Indigenous people who dare to struggle together.

They understand that white-supremacist violence does not respect borders.

They understand that their fight is our fight and that our fight is their fight.

That’s why, as we speak, the people of Bolivia are organizing and mobilizing.

They are rallying to fight back.

They are willing to do whatever they need to do to toss out the coup plotters and their imperialist masters.

So what do we need to do?

We here, in the imperial core, have a tremendous responsibility.

We too must organize.  We too must unify our communities and our class.

We too must struggle.  And we too must win.

Because, and this is no exaggeration, the entire world is depending on us.

The entire world hopes and prays that people of conscience within the U.S. will one day bring this great, lumbering machine of imperialism and exploitation to a grinding halt.

That one day, the people of the world will have the freedom of self-determination without the threat of exploitation.

But that one day will only come when we show TRUE solidarity and commit ourselves to unite, to organize, to struggle with every muscle fiber in our bodies.

The choice and the responsibility are yours.

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