By Chris Crass (August 22, 2017)
After the massive anti-racist/anti-fascist marches for racial justice, with Black Lives Matter in the lead, in Boston and Charlottesville, the racist anti-Muslim, pro-Trump organization Act for America have cancelled 67 rallies in 36 states and replaced their day of action into an online protest.
This is a significant victory and shows that mass public protest for racial justice and against white supremacy can and does have a profound impact.
And while some are saying, “see Boston did it right, it was peaceful” versus the people in Charlottesville who were protecting their communities and values from Nazis, the Klan, while the police largely stood aside, we have to be vigilant against any effort to divide our movement.
The white right wing was the source of violence in Charlottesville and any talk of whether or not they protested right, takes the blame off the right and shifts it to the left. With racist and anti-semitic acts and violence skyrocketing, with a white right wing administration pushing a violent racist agenda, we cannot allow blame for the violence of Charlottesville drift left with talk of “well see how they did it in Boston.”
If the mass refusal of hate and racism hadn’t taken place in Charlottesville, if a powerful multiracial alliance of people for justice and multiracial democracy hadn’t confronted the Klan and the Nazis, then:
1. The Unite the Right Rally’s agenda would have gotten out widely, uncontested, without a counter vision and counter values to fight for the soul of America.
2. It is highly likely that the Klan and Nazis would have perpetuated even more violence that day and night on the communities in Charlottesville who they were targeting for intimidation.
3. The Unite the Right Rally would have been understood as an enormous success by the right, energizing recruitment and membership, emboldening even more public actions and open racist organizing on campuses and in communities around the country. It would have encouraged even more people – members, sympathizers, and those who share their racist worldview – to express their racism in words and deeds.
4. When the Nazis marched in Boston, a much smaller counter-demonstration would likely have taken place, with racists having the momentum.
5. If the courageous communities for liberation had not shown up in Charlottesville, had not brought forward the best of who we are as people, then it would not have been the same kind of historic moment for our country – a moment where people everywhere have to decide, am I on the side of Nazis and the Klan or anti-racism and multiracial democracy. A moment that further revealed the truth of who Trump is, a moment that further eroded the Trump administrations political power and support, and united millions around the world against him.
We are building a powerful multiracial movement for collective liberation, and the ruling class and the forces that support the ruling class agenda of structural inequality, will do all they can to undermine us, pit us against each other, and confuse us about how political power and political movements grow and impact the world around us.
Just as they want to malign Black Lives Matter as terrorists, as violent, when Black Lives Matter has been bringing tremendous leadership to the mass anti-racist/anti-facists counter-demonstrations, against the actual terrorists of the white right wing – they want us endlessly debating “good protester” versus “bad protester”.
The mass actions for racial justice, for multiracial democracy of Charlottesville and Boston have led to the cancellation of 67 racist public actions in 36 states, a historic moment of “what side are you on”, and far more.
Let’s keep building, let’s keep uniting for racial justice, for Black Lives Matter, for an end to white supremacy on every level in our society. Let’s keep inviting people in our lives, who aren’t already involved for racial justice, to be involved, to be on the right side of history and say no to nazis in the streets and racists in the White House.