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Trump, White Supremacy and Fascism: When voting is not enough

October 1, 2020

Tuesday nights Presidential debate was, as many have said, a shit show and a mess.

When President Trump was asked by the debate moderator if he would denounce White Supremacy, he refused to and instead told the some of the foot soldiers of White Supremacy, to Stand Back and Stand By.

Many non-state White Supremacist groups were encouraged by this statement and have been public about it. Groups like the Proud Boys, III%, Oathkeepers and Boogaloos are all groups that embrace a White Supremacist ideology. For an excellent assessment of these groups, check out the Activist Field Guide to the Armed Far-Fight, from Political Research Associates. 

We all should be concerned about these groups and take them very seriously. However, White Supremacy is much more than groups like these. White Supremacy is a system of power and oppression that permeates all structures and institutions in the US. White Supremacy is not just people believing that White people are superior to every one else, it is more systemic. The best definition I have seen on what White Supremacy is, is what long-time anti-racist organizer Elizabeth Martinez uses, which is in the box above on the right.

An excellent resource for a deeper exploration of what White Supremacy is, is the Bay Area group called Challenging White Supremacy, which has great resources to use for workshops and further education materials.

When we expand our understanding of what White Supremacy is, we see that the state and capitalism are fundamentally rooted in White Supremacy. Mass incarceration, the “Drug War”, poverty, gentrification, are all rooted in White Supremacy and the primarily driven by government bodies, the state. The Proud Boys are not responsible for mass incarceration and the Boogaloos are not responsible for gentrification. These systems of oppression are the direct result of the state and capitalism, often working in tandem.

The Trump administration has created lots of political openings for White Supremacist groups to operate openly, even before he was elected in 2016. Since then, his administration, with little resistance from the Democrats, have adopted a neo-fascist platform. This neo-fascist platform, that the Trump administration has pushed, is now opening working to disenfranchise voters, spread propaganda about voting and is threatening to not concede the election if he does not win the election.

The question for all of us is, what do we do about the electoral threats coming from the Trump administration, in addition to the ongoing state repression that has escalated since the national uprising just after the police lynching of George Floyd? The Democratic Party is frantically trying to get voters to show up on November 3rd, but voting cannot and should not be the only option to confronting and dismantling the ongoing harm that the US government is perpetrating against the public.

Refuse Fascism

There is an interesting call to action coming from a group called Refuse Fascism. This group, which has organized chapters in many major cities across the US, is calling for mass protests to begin on Saturday, October 3rd and to continue through the election if Trump does leave the White House after an electoral defeat.

Refuse Fascism is following a model that other countries have used to force heads of state to step down, just like what we saw in Puerto Rico last July, where after 12 days of mass protests the Governor was forced to step down. 

Here is one of the videos that Refuse Fascism is using to mobilize people to take to the streets and not wait for an electoral outcome.

If people around the country are going to actually escalate protests to call for the Trump administration to step down, the state will use whatever means necessary to repress such protests. This means that local police departments, Sheriff’s offices and state police, along with the National Guard will be use by the state to try and prevent the public from calling for the Trump administration to step down.

It doesn’t matter if mayors or governors in the cities and states that participate in these kinds of mass demonstrations are Democrats or even progressives. All we have to look at is what happened after the police lynching of George Floyd to see what cities and states were actively repressing the uprisings, just like what we saw in Grand Rapids.

What this should tell us is that the systems of power and oppression in this country only want us to believe that elections can solve our problems. Let’s say that Trump refuses to leave the White House if he his defeated in the November election. The Democratic Party will not call for mass demonstrations, they will likely try to rely on the courts or make speeches, but they are not likely to call for massive resistance to oust the Trump administration. This is why we need an independent, autonomous movement(s) to resist fascism in any form, which is what many groups that have been on the ground have been saying for a long time, groups like Black Lives Matter, NoDAPAL, Climate resisters, anti-war resisters, immigrant justice organizers, queer and trans organizers and many others.

Lastly, it is important to note that when the people in Puerto Rico forced the Governor to resign, they made it clear that they would force out any future politician that did not serve the public interest. This is revolutionary politics, and it is something we need to learn here in the US.

Resist White Supremacy!!!

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