Democratic Socialists of America Holds National Convention in Atlanta

by Gloria Tatum

On August 2 – 4, 2019, over one thousand Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) delegates from across the country came to Atlanta for their annual national convention.  

They established priorities for the next two years to include Ecosocialist Green New Deal, Medicare for All, National Electoral Strategy, Labor, Childcare, Housing, Decarceration, Housing Justice, Political Education, Grassroots Fundraising, and National Growth and Development.

 DSA has grown from a few thousand members to over 56,000 thousand today fighting for social, economic, and environmental justice.  

The delegates voted to endorse Bernie Sander and to only endorse class-struggle candidates running as open socialists. 

They are committed to forming an independent working-class party and eventually breaking away from the Democratic Party that is dependent on capitalist donors and corporate lobbyists.  

Councilman Khalid Kamau who was elected to the South Fulton City Council as a Democratic Socialist gave the opening and closing speech at the convention.   

One issue Kamau talked about was the electability complex and why it is a problem.  

“The electability complex isn’t just a system of delegates and superdelegates that allows illegitimate people to steal democratic primaries and then lose the election to people who stole the presidential election because Karma is real…  It isn’t just about the electoral college which allows someone to lose by two million votes and still become president of the United States,” Kamau said. 

Kamau explained that the electability complex is an antiquated two-party system that forces voters to choose either right or left when both parties are supported by capitalists and that is why nothing ever changes. 

Kamau believes instead of talking about right or left, we should be talking about up and down or the top one percent and the bottom 99 percent.

Income inequality in the U.S. continues to grow larger and now the richest one percent owns more wealth than the bottom 90 percent. 

Too many politicians in both parties care more about retaining power from their capitalist masters than the health and welfare of the American people or the environment.  

DSA has a better idea that working people should run both the economy and society democratically to meet human needs, not to make profits for a few. 

 “We are going to run candidates and we are going to win and dismantle the electability complex,” Kamau said.

Today, ninety-five DSA members have been elected across the country on every level of government with two DSA members in Congress Rep. Rashida Tlaib and Rep. Alexandra Ocasio-Cortes.

DSA warns the Democratic Party to not disparage socialism and then to ask socialists for their votes for that is a recipe for failure.

Socialism does not carry the scary, negative stigma for younger generations that it does for older generations which mainly watch Fox cable news.

DSA made Medicare for All a political platform priority in 2017 that prioritized the health of working-class people over the profits of insurance companies and their billionaire executives.  

The delegates approved 35 resolutions and below are a few of those prioritized resolutions. 

R-5 Defense of Immigrants and Refugees.   DSA supports the abolition of ICE, an end to the persecution of immigrants, stop jailing refugees, stop the deportation of immigrants, make a path to citizenship, end the Muslin ban, aid to those fleeing violence, political and economic turmoil, and climate change refugees. 

R-9 Establish a national anti-fascist working group to disrupt fascist organizing and secure DSA meetings and events from fascist violence. 

R-25  DSA support universal childcare, preschool, and paid parental leave.  

R-28 End Cash Bail and pretrial incarceration to reduce incarceration.

R-34 Ecosocialist Green New Deal Priority 

This priority campaign will incorporate all of DSA’s national campaigns and priorities, organizing for a society that is democratically run by working people, ecologically sustainable, free of oppression based on race, religion, national origin, gender, age, disability, or sexual identity and rooted in internationalism and solidarity rather than imperialism and war. 

DSA is committed to building a radical Green New Deal (GND) to address the climate emergency and ecological crisis. Decarbonize all sectors of the U.S. economy by 2030.  Democratize control of major energy systems and resources through public ownership. Reinvent our communities to serve people and planet, not profit. Redistribute resources from the worst polluters with progressive taxes on the rich, big corporations, dirty industry and divert funds from policing, prisons, and the bloated military budget.

The Red Deal is a program for Indigenous liberation, life, and land – an affirmation that colonialism and capitalism must be overturned for this planet to be habitable for humans and other life to live. 

R-35 Establish a national Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) and Palestine Solidarity Working Group  

R-38 Fight for abortion access and oppose the criminalization of abortion. 

R-40 DSA supports housing as a human rights.  

R-41 Take the fossil fuel energy companies into democratic public owners.  Put the fossil fuel companies on trial for untold damages they have caused the planet and humanity.  Hold them accountable criminally and financially and reallocate their resources into clean, renewable energy such as solar, wind and geothermal.       

R-53 DSA supports the decriminalization of sex work  

R-54 Criminal Justice and Decarceration.  DSA will create a Police and Prison Working Group and will also track anti-protest laws across the country.

R-56 Ecosocialism as a Guiding Principle.  DSA recognizes that ecology and climate change are intertwined and will impact the working-class, people of color and the poor more than the ruling class. 

DSA will defend the land use rights of indigenous people, support climate change refugees from Central America, bring under community control the energy infrastructure, address unsustainable and unjust food systems, and combat environmental racism.   

R-59 DSA calls on all presidential candidates support reparations for African-Americans.   

R-67 Organizing the unorganized is a crucial strategy to rebuild the labor movement. 

The United States is at the beginning of a generational shift from older voters who watch Fox cable and fear socialism to the internet-connected savvy younger generation that understands that socialism will help the working class.

Atlanta Says NO to Trump’s Racism

photo courtesy of Steve Eberhardt

Some pro-justice activists on the Left wonder with all the racism, injustice, cruelty and fascism coming out of the White House why more people are not in the street demanding change.

The country’s resistance to fear and hate often starts slow but as more people become aware of the Trump administration’s moral rot and racist policies it gains strength and on Sunday, August 18, the resistance to racism took another step. 

During one of the hottest days in Georgia with the temperature reaching 95 degrees, over 250 people marched from North Avenue MARTA station up and down steep hills to the Historic Fourth Ward Park.  

‘There is a movement rising up that says we are not going to take it anymore and we are not scared.  Let my people go,” Rev. Billy Honor, New Georgia Project and End Mass incarceration Movement, declared.

When Rev. Honor said “Let my people go” he is talking about the mass incarceration of mostly Black and Brown men which is at its core is racism.

Rev. Honor explains that racism has reinvented itself and found ways to criminalize people, to cage and punish people for petty violations in the name of being tough on crime.  “There are too many people in prisons who could have been put on a path of restorative justice,” Rev. Honor said. 

Too many people are in prison because they are poor or the wrong color, homeless, mentally ill or have an addiction problem.  These are people who need social services to give them a hand up, not locked up in a prison that kicks them down.

“Racism is putting in place a system of white supremacy that privileges some over and above others,” Rev. Honor said and urged people to rise up and “declare that it is an injustice to say that we are the land of the free and the home of the brave when in fact we are the incarceration capital of the world.”

Normando “Dre” Love, a co-founder of Black Lives Matter Atlanta, told the crowd that he was almost one of those young Black men whose life was sacrificed to the mass incarceration industry.  

The police accused Dre of armed robbery but that was a lie.   If not for his mother and community members who knew he was innocent and raised money for a lawyer his life, like so many other Black lives, could have been destroyed by the for-profit mass incarceration industry that enslaves Black men like the Southern plantations of years ago.

“I took the plea deal of four years on probation because I know the justice system will fail me and I will be in prison for 15 years for something I did not do,” Dre said.

U.S. House of Representative, Hank Johnson, from Georgia’s 4th District in DeKalb County, called Trump a racist and explained that when Trump says to his base “Make America Great Again” that is code for make America hate again so we can throw out all the brown immigrants and make America white again.

Steven Miller, the architect of Trump’s racist and cruel immigration policies, created policies to hurt and scare poor brown immigrants from coming to the U.S.   The Trump administration has said that they want rich, white Europeans immigrants. Trump’s base fears too many black and brown people will disrupt their white majority and their power. 

Patty Garrett spoke for Moms of Black Boys (MOBB) United and MOBB United for Social Justice.   These two organizations are dedicated to ensuring that Black boys and men are perceived in a positive light and treated fairly and equitably by law enforcement. 

Their goal is to influence policy at all levels of government and on ending harassment and unwarranted use of deadly force by law enforcement when encountering Black boys and men.

Garrett named 33 Black boys and men who have been killed by police since 2016.  She said that “three out of five Blacks killed by police were shot in the back or were unarmed and one out of five had signs of mental illness.”

The most outrageous and under-reported case was Jamarion Robinson who was shot 59 times by a federal task force on August 5, 2016.  To date, District Attorney, Paul Howard, has yet to bring charges against these officers. 

Attorney, Gerald Griggs, Second Vice President of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) Atlanta chapter added to the information and quoted Martin Luther King who once said, “A threat to justice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” 

 “There are 44 open cases in Georgia and 20 in Atlanta for individuals who have been killed by law enforcement.  Atlanta has a police brutality problem. Gun violence is also a police violence problem, Griggs said.

“We have to end this in 2020.  We must elect people who will respond to the people and hold this white supremacist in the White House accountable and the white supremacist that lives on West Paces Ferry accountable too,” Gregg said.

This Anti-Racism March was supported by 37 organizations.

White Supremacist Kills 22 in El Paso Parroting Trump’s Racist Rants

By Gloria Tatum

The mass murder of 22 people in El Paso, Texas and 9 in Dayton, Ohio have left the nation shaken and afraid that Trump’s racist hate speech will continue to embolden white supremacists to kill more immigrants, people of color and anyone considered an enemy of Trump.

Patrick Crusius, 21, posted a white nationalist, racist, anti-immigrant document before he opened fire on shoppers at a Walmart in El Paso killing 22 and injuring over two dozen.  

Crusius’ language in his racist, xenophobic manifesto was eerily similar to Trump’s racist rhetoric that dehumanizes migrants as an invasion of dirty, tough, drug dealing criminals and vermin.   

Trump’s base wants to “Make America White Again” and deport all the immigrants “back to where they came from” because they fear a loss of political power if the United States becomes more diverse.

The Ohio shooter, Conner Betts, 24, opened fire on a group of people in a popular nightlife district in Dayton killing nine including his sister, Megan Betts.   Authorities don’t know his motivation except that he was obsessed with violence and had a hit list of boys he wanted to kill and girls he wanted to rape.

Six of the nine people Betts killed were African American and 27 other people were injured. 

Both angry white men used a military-type weapon of war capable of shooting hundreds of rounds in minutes on innocent civilians

Vigils to honor the victims and protests to demand bans on weapons of war and to oppose white supremacy violence have sprung up across the nation.

In Atlanta, The Georgia Peace and Justice Coalition (GP&JC) held their weekly Wednesday vigil in solidarity with the people of El Paso, immigrants, refugees and all those impacted by racist violence.  

“White supremacy has been a theme in this country since the beginning but Trump has ratcheted it up to a dangerous place.  Things seem to be coming to a crisis point in this country…. it’s like a civil war,” Bob Goodman, with GP&JC said

People have watched on television Trump’s racist rants at his political rallies where he fans the flames of fear, hate, and racism.  He calls immigrants criminals, rapist, and animals that’s invading the country. He dehumanizes immigrants as his base cheers him on.  So it’s not surprising that Trump’s anti-immigrant hate speech has emboldened some to kill people of color and immigrants because that is the “dog whistle” he keeps shouting out.    

“Trump is a demagogue.  He calls migrants vermin and is exploiting racism and anti-immigrant fever to get re-elected,” Jimmy Rayner, International Action Center/Atlanta, said.

Trump hires undocumented immigrants to work in his properties from New York to Florida while he orders Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to raid, arrest and deport undocumented immigrants and demonizes them to his base.

“I think Trump will ramp up his hate speech to the point where Americans can not tolerate it and will demand change.  The majority of American people are good people and it’s getting to the breaking point and the response will be undeniable,” Kevin Moran, GP&JC said.

The violence has gotten so great in the US until Amnesty International has issued a travel warning to people “to exercise extreme caution when traveling to the US due to rampant gun violence.” 

People who are woke don’t expect Congress to do anything because so many politicians love the National Rifle Association’s (NRA) money more than they love American lives.   Nor will the Republican Party condemn Trump’s racist hate speech because they love political power, for their party, more than they love the country or democracy. 

Vote all the racists, misogynists, liars and corrupt Congress People out of power. 

Protest VP Pence in Buckhead

Written by Gloria Tatum

Video by Judy Conder

The Trump/Pence administration is a racist, fascist regime that must go” is the rallying cry from RefuseFascism.org. as they protest Vice President Mike Pence speaking to Republicans at the Hyatt Hotel in Buckhead.

RefuseFascism believes that waiting for the Trump/Pence regime to be voted out of office in 2020 is an insane gamble especially remembering what happened in 2016.   Only a mass movement by the American people to remove these treasonous, corrupt men from power will stop their march toward fascism. 

The Trump/Pence regime has compared migrants to rapists, criminals, and animals.  Trump’s hate speech takes away migrants’ humanity and makes it easier for others to violate their human rights.   Trump’s policies are terrorizing migrants by ripping children away from their families and putting them in concentration camps where they are abused, starved, made to sleep on concrete floors and not allowed to take showers.But this misogynistic, white supremacist, and patriarchal regime does not stop with people of color to abuse.  Republican abortion bans are trying to take reproductive rights away from women making them second class citizens with fewer rights than a fertilized egg.  If successful, more women will die from illegal abortions, and others will be imprisoned and separated from their living children. More children will be raised in institutions without a mother.

Trump has a long history of racism going back to 1973 with violations of the Fair Housing Act when he refused to rent to Black people.  His history also includes racist attacks on the Central Park Five, Obama’s birth certificate drama, and now attacks on Black Democrat Senators and Representatives.  His attacks on people of color will only increase and get more violent with time.

The Trump/Pence regime attacks LGBTQ rights and anyone who is not white, straight and part of Trump’s worshipping racist cult who want to make American white again and take the country back to 1930.

The regime is destroying the environment by allowing mining companies to drill in public lands and loosening regulations on toxic air pollution. They have pulled out of the Paris Climate Agreement and do not believe in climate change. The EPA’s criminal enforcement is at a 30-year low.

 
Preview YouTube video Drive Out the Trump/Pence RegimeDrive Out the Trump/Pence Regime

If the people don’t demand that the Trump/Pence Regime be removed from office for human rights violations and other treasonous acts, what is at stake here is our democracy and our humanity.