Global Independent Analytics
Danny Haiphong
Danny Haiphong

Location: USA

Specialization: War, Racism, Capitalist exploitation, Civil rights

White Supremacist Shooting of Activists in Minnesota Made Possible by the Democratic Party

The great challenge 2 years in a row

November 24th, 2015 marked one year since a St. Louis Grand Jury decided not to indict police officer Darren Wilson for the murder of 18-year old Michael Brown in Ferguson, MO. The decision not to indict Wilson ignited a swelling of Black protest against racist police terror in the US. Demonstrations spread across the country as Michael Brown’s slain body came to represent the hundreds of Black people murdered by the police in the US every year. The one-year anniversary of the non-indictment of Wilson was celebrated in Minnesota over gunfire. Five Black activists were shot by white supremacists during a protest against the Minneapolis police murder of Jamar Clark.

White supremacist terror is as American as apple pie. It is what killed Trayvon Martin in 2012 and beat down a Black attendee of a Donald Trump rally just days before the incident in Minnesota. All too often, the US ruling order depicts white supremacy as a right-wing problem that stems entirely from the Republican Party apparatus. Such a conclusion is not rooted in fact, but in the interests of power. The powerful in the US, the super rich, want nothing more than for workers and oppressed people to believe that the Republican Party is the primary enforcer of white supremacist terror in the US and around the world. This leaves the Democratic Party as a viable alternative to the white supremacist cannibalism of the right wing.

History tells another story. History shows that the Democratic Party is the lynchpin of white supremacist terror. While Trump has galvanized white racists with policy remarks against the Muslim community, the Obama Administration has built a two-term track record of protecting white rule. President Obama’s Justice Department successfully kept thousands Black inmates behind bars in 2013 by denying them the right to retroactive release after the Fair Sentencing Act of 2010 had reduced the 100 to 1 crack-cocaine sentencing protocol to 18 to 1 on the grounds that the disparity placed Black Americans at a disadvantage to whites. In 2015, Obama’s Justice Department commuted the sentences of around 6,000 inmates as a PR stunt. However, he made sure to simultaneously pass a law that provided extra protection to the biggest killers of Black Americans: the police.

Under Obama’s watch, the police have only become more emboldened to commit acts of terror against Black Americans. According to the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement, police murders of Black Americans have increased steadily each year since 2012. Last year, a Black American was killed by law enforcement every 28 hours. White supremacist attacks have also been on the rise during the rule of the Democratic Party’s Obama Administration. White Americans commit the majority of so-called “extremist” attacks, a long laundry list that includes the massacre at the AME Church in South Carolina last summer.

The Obama Administration has done nothing to bring killer cops or white supremacists to justice. Rather, it has beefed up the white supremacist apparatus through support for the militarization of the police. Of course, the Obama Administration is a product of history. The Clinton Administration’s federal crime bill laid the basis for the acceleration of the incarceration regime that currently imprisons over a million Black Americans. The Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act (1994) vastly expanded investment in prisons and increased federal funds and weapons to police departments. It also established mandatory life-sentences for people convicted of felony drug crimes, otherwise known as the “three-strikes” clause. This law deliberately motivated the police and prison state to wage all out war on the ever-growing numbers of poor Black Americans in the US.

Clinton and Obama ultimately carried out the Democratic Party’s tradition of protection for cops started by Lyndon Johnson. While corporate media often boast about Johnson’s passage of the Voting Rights Act 1965 and other civil rights legislation, it is rarely mentioned that his presidency began the development of the racist mass incarceration regime. Johnson passed the Law Enforcement Assistance Act in 1965. The law established a federal body responsible for developing links between the Pentagon and local law enforcement agencies all over the US. Such coordination was utilized to suppress Black rebellions in cities such as Detroit and LA in the mid to late 1960’s. The Nixon Administration took it one step further by organizing the first SWAT team in 1969 to eliminate the LA chapter of the Black Panther Party.

The Democratic Party’s responsibility for the build up and upkeep of white supremacy is rooted in the history of US society itself. The US was built off the enormous wealth generated from the enslavement of Black people. The trade and labor of Black slaves brought enormous profits to the colonists. The venture was justified through the dehumanization of the enslaved. US society was also founded upon the genocide of Native peoples. These pillars of US development were protected and developed by the state in the interests of the profiteers who run this country. White vigilantes and racist cops continue to protect the stolen property of the rich by creating an environment of terror for the oppressed.

State-sanctioned white supremacy is a product of Democratic Party policy just as much as it is a reflection of the bigotry of the Republican Party. The Democratic Party’s existence gives space for Donald Trump’s racist comments and calls for violence upon Muslims, immigrants, and Black people. White supremacists and killer cops can rest easy at night knowing the Democratic Party is effectively channeling broad sections of people who oppose their terrorism into acceptable forms of protest. As long as the rule of capital and the rich dictate US politics, the Democratic Party will continue to embolden these forces of reaction to commit acts of terror on Black people as a matter of US policy.

A historic break from both the Democratic and Republican Party is needed to genuinely fight the interlocked phenomena of white supremacy and the rule of the rich. Racism and white rule are defined by the power of one sector of society to determine the conditions of exploitation of another sector. In this case, white supremacy determines the misery and suffering of the vast majority of Black Americans inside and outside the steel cages of the US incarceration regime. The Democratic Party possesses a lengthy track record of enforcing white supremacy as the law of the land. It cannot be, nor has ever been, a mechanism from which to fight it.

 

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