The Political Landscape:
The central issue in the 2016 presidential and local election campaigns is NOT the Republican and Democratic Party candidates or even Bernie Sanders vs. Hillary Clinton. It is the growing economic and social crisis of the US capitalist system. Most important is the crisis’ devastating impact on workers, black and brown immigrants, Native Americans, women, the LGBTQ community, youth and the elderly.
Amid all the TV debates, news stories in the media, and billions of dollars spent by corporations and billionaires, workers, black and oppressed people have a human and fundamental democratic right to discuss and organize political campaigns to address our needs! We also have a right to discuss how our community, workplace and society should be run and even dare to organize and run it ourselves!
2016 Presidential Election: Sanders vs. Clinton:
The emergence and rising tide of youth, workers, women, progressives and growing numbers of African-Americans and labor unions supporting U.S. senator, Bernie Sanders challenging big corporate/business funded and Democratic Party establishment choice, Hillary Clinton, is a significant historical event in U.S. politics. It has raised the important question front and center, as well as educational discussion of “What is Socialism?” Candidate Sanders (a democratic socialist like former African-American U.S. Representative Ron Dellums and the late scholar and activist Manning Marble) is challenging the masses of working and oppressed people to join a “revolutionary electoral campaign” that will challenge “Wall Street” big corporate money in elections.
The Sanders Campaign not only challenges Hillary Clinton for the 2016 presidential democratic nomination, but Bernie Sanders also makes demands on the wealthy ruling 1% capitalist and their corporations. His call for single payer universal healthcare, $15/hr minimum wage and union rights, public and free clean water/environmental justice, a public services jobs program, free public college tuition, quality public schools and postal services, social justice and judicial justice for Black and Brown folks, immigrants and other oppressed are desperately needed. His platform may be weak on foreign policy issues that matter to progressive Black people, not supportive of reparations and he is running as a Democrat and not an independent, which is what we really need. But the question is does his platform begin to align with workers, labor unions, African-Americans and oppressed people’s interest and needs? This is the fundamental question.
Hillary Clinton consistently is funded by and lines up on the side of the corporations and wealthy ruling 1% whose greed has made her family millionaires. She has sided with big finance bankers. She sat on the board of Walmart and never spoke up for workers wages and union rights there. And we can’t forget the 1994 Crime Bill-3 strikes and you’re out and the attacks on Welfare which devastated many Black families. Hillary claims that what we the workers and people need and what Bernie’s political program calls for is too radical and impractical. Yet we know what we need is something radical.
The Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) and many traditional unions say Sanders is not electable. But even Jesse Jackson has said that the CBC PAC endorsed on the basis of relationships and interest, not agenda and program.
Workers, African-Americans, Latinos, social movement unionists and oppressed people must tell those cynical black & union leaders that we refuse to let them speak for us with their endorsements! We must tell them that we are organizing our peoples’ & workers assemblies, speaking in our own voice, developing our own independent political platform and building our own struggles.
As we give critical support to the Bernie Sanders Campaign, we must continue to broaden and deepen our workplace and community struggles, build our own people’s assemblies and independent peoples and workers political platforms. Our history has shown that without independent organization and mobilizations among workers, Blacks and oppressed peoples; government, politicians and corporate powers won’t make the change we need!
These are some of the recent and current campaigns that have raised the issues and forced a response to our needs:
- The occupy movement (of the 99% of us challenging the ruling wealthy 1% corporate elite)
- The Black Lives Matter (challenging police brutality & racist police and government repression)
- The fight for $15 minimum wage and union rights (low wage workers fighting for workplace fairness and democracy)
- The struggle against white supremacy (confederate flags, symbols, institutions, & wars)
- The Flint Michigan environmental justice struggle (for quality and affordable water services, government services and officials accountable to the people)
- The need for affordable housing, public services and jobs, union rights and collective bargaining
- Single payer universal healthcare movements
- The struggle to save public education and end the School to Prison Pipeline
Fight, Organize and Vote for OUR agenda and not that of the bosses, corporations, wealthy and the oligarchy!
Black Lives Matter at the Workplace Too!