On Friday, Nov. 20, over 200,000 new cases of the COVID-19 were diagnosed in the U.S. — on that one day!
Since the virus began to travel through the country in late January — at first undetected — over 260,000 people have died, and over 12,250,000 people have contracted the disease. (worldometer.com) Accounts are spreading of city morgues overwhelmed with bodies and hospitals running out of treatment space, as infection rates spike in almost every state.
We are in the middle of carnage far, far more deadly than that suffered by U.S. soldiers during 20th century wars. In 11 months, over four times more people have died from COVID in the U.S. than U.S. troops died in an 11-year war on Vietnam. And the country’s coronavirus deaths will soon exceed the 290,000 deaths of U.S. soldiers in battle during the four-year WWII conflict. (U.S. Dept. of Veteran Affairs, “America’s Wars”)
These numbers are a damning indictment of the so-called U.S. “democracy” that those wars were supposedly waged to defend. The numbers reveal the continued crimes of a government set up to rule, from its beginning, through colonialism, capitalism and imperialism.
Now, in the middle of a worldwide health crisis, we see that this U.S.-for-profit has no organized, effective, timely help — or mercy — for the people who live here. No plan for millions of people out of work, facing eviction or foreclosure, hungry and even starving at this moment.
And no plan to stop the pandemic, except a not-yet-available vaccine that will undoubtedly go first to those who can afford it and maybe never to the most oppressed — who will die before it comes anywhere near their neighborhood.
The war on oppressed and working people
We are in the middle of a war to the death on oppressed and working people in the U.S. To name this genocide is not exaggeration — as the spotlight of these numbers exposes. The greatest weight of the pandemic in the U.S. is falling on Black, Latinx and Indigenous people. And those getting sick, dying and being affected disproportionately are also those who have trouble accessing medical care under any circumstances — disabled people, poor people, people in prison, queer and trans people.
APM Research Lab in its Nov. 12 report, “The Color of Coronavirus,” documented: “Black Americans continue to experience the highest actual COVID-19 mortality rates nationwide — about two or more times as high as the rate for whites . . . who have the lowest actual rates.” When APM adjusted the mortality rates for differences in age distribution of populations, it found “even larger documented mortality disparities — Black, Indigenous and Latinx [people in the U.S.] all have a COVID-19 death rate of triple or more than white Americans, who experience the lowest age-adjusted rates.” (tinyurl.com/y9l4v9xm)
In a Sept. 15 Workers World article, “COVID and people of color: Is it genocide yet?” Teresa Gutierrez connects the deadly assaults of capitalism: “Substitute ‘coronavirus’ with most diseases or other dire social conditions such as unemployment, gentrification, hunger or broader social calamities such as climate change — and there too, people of color will be the most impacted. In other words, people of color bear the brunt of every single damn capitalist calamity.
“COVID-19 has exposed the fact that the current global infrastructure of capitalism — which the majority of the people live under — is not only incapable of addressing the pandemic, it is aggravating it.”
The crimes of the U.S. ruling class
We charge the U.S. government — and its ruling class — with genocide and with crimes against humanity for refusing to make effective response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
We raise again the charges against the U.S. made in 1951 by the Civil Rights Congress affiliated with the Communist Party USA. Led by illustrious African American activists including Dr. W.E.B. DuBois, Claudia Jones, Paul Robeson and Mary Church Terrell, the CRC brought forward: “We Charge Genocide: The Historic Petition to the U.N. for Relief from a Crime of The United States against the Negro People.” (Trigger warning, racist violence: tinyurl.com/y63w2fzc)
The CRC petition defined U.S. genocide as “willful creation of conditions making for premature death, poverty and disease, including the killings of unarmed Black people by police and lynch mob, and the lack of the same quality health care, jobs, education, and housing as whites.”
Filed under the U.N. Genocide Convention, the petition defined “genocide” as “acts committed to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, or religious group,” including “killing members of the group,” “causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group,” and “deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part.” (tinyurl.com/y3lmtfvv)
The Convention makes genocide a punishable offense under international law whether committed “in time of peace or in time of war.”
Through and during the coronavirus epidemic, the U.S. ruling class — along with its capitalist government — is waging an undeclared and very real war on the oppressed and working people of this country, including using police and ICE terror.
So we charge genocide! We charge crimes against humanity!
We say “Forward!” on the road to socialism, where the deaths of working and oppressed people are not judged as inevitable, where government is structured not to profit from people but to meet our needs. Let us advance step by unrelenting step, until we come to the place where the power of the people creates a healthful and liberated world.