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Trumpism, El Paso and Our Responsibility as Left Organizers

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Photo of people at a protest with one person holding up a sign that says Fight Racism Fight Trump

Organizing Upgrade’s editorial collective on the mass shootings in Gilroy and El Paso and responsibility of left organizers to defeat Trumpism.

Is there any doubt now about the deadly consequences of Trump’s election?

There is a direct line between the recent mass shootings in Gilroy and El Paso and the President’s stoking of racist hatred against left-wing Congresswomen of color and Latinx immigrants, his refusal to condemn neo-Nazis at Charlottesville, his cries of “send them back,” “infestation” and “invasion.” Trumpism draws on a long history of racism, nationalism, and xenophobia in U.S. politics to inspire what are essentially modern day lynchings. And policy accompanies the weaponry: concentration camps on the border, the acceleration of voter suppression, the “Muslim ban” and more. As others have pointed out, white supremacist terror and white supremacist policy go together, hand in glove. And they are the battering ram for pushing through Trumpism’s full reactionary package: roll back women’s and LGBTQ rights, decimate the labor movement, deny climate change, expand the military budget and threaten war against Iran.

The bottom line: The virulence and intensity of this weekend’s racial violence, ginned up from the White House, is a five-alarm emergency for the country and the left.

Debating the strategy and tactics for the struggle against Trumpism, and the role of socialists and the left within that struggle, have been at the center of radical attention and of Organizing Upgrade’s work over the past two years. Those debates—over the best ways to combine class politics with racial justice, internationalist, and feminist commitments, the possibilities and limitations for building power utilizing electoral politics, the balance of forces within and beyond the Democratic Party, the significance of increasing militancy among teachers, environmental activists, and others—will continue. The struggle against Trumpism will last longer than any electoral cycle. But we are clear that the 2020 elections, which is already underway, is a pivotal contest in the course of our struggle. Defeating the political bloc that is driven by white nationalism and has captured the Republican Party is our immediate responsibility as left organizers committed to the defense of the oppressed, the exploited, and the democratic space required to organize a movement large, united and powerful enough to contend for power and change the world. More than ever, we hold onto our belief that we can organize to win, if we stay focused on the scale and scope necessary to build real power. Let’s do this thing.

In solidarity,

The Organizing Upgrade Editorial Collective
Calvin Cheung-Miaw, Claire Tran, Harmony Goldberg, Jacob Swenson-Lengyel, Julie Chinitz, Kim Diehl, Max Elbaum, Rishi Awatramani, Stina Janssen

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