Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ) National Director Erin Heaney talks with Working Families Party (WFP) Director Maurice Mitchell about their joint effort to bring more poor and working class whites into a multi-racial coalition that beats Trump in 2020 and powers forward from there.
White racial solidarity, manipulated and bolstered by the right’s strategic funding and organizing in majority-white areas, has expanded and mobilized a reactionary base with electoral power. Beginning in the 1960s, the Southern Strategy emerged as a powerful political weapon employed by the Republican Party to build a loyal base of white voters in the South — specifically by appealing to their racism. By and large, the Southern Strategy has become a national strategy, and today both dog whistles and explicit stoking of race-based fear are core to the right’s ability to maintain political power at all levels of government. Despite demographic shifts and powerful electoral organizing led by and focused on communities of color, white voters continue to play a critical role in U.S. elections locally, state-by-state and nationwide.
Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ) and the Working Families Party (WFP) are partnering up in 2020 to bring more poor and working whites into multiracial coalitions, play a meaningful role in breaking off a piece of the right’s voter base in key battleground states, and build power and infrastructure that will help lay the groundwork for racial and economic justice victories for years to come.
The public kick-off of that partnership was a nationwide webinar featuring an interview with WFP Director Maurice Mitchell conducted by SURJ National Director Erin Heaney and a description of SURJ’s 2020 electoral strategy by SURJ Ohio Director Avery Martens. Here are a number of video excerpts from that call: