On the surface, the issues of rent cancellation and racist police brutality may seem to be unrelated. But when we look closer, we can see how they are not only connected, but are both in fact symptoms of capitalism, the disease which keeps people of color in [the USA], especially Black people, impoverished, imprisoned, and oppressed. The racist history of this country has kept people of color disproportionately disenfranchised, and poor and working class Black people are often among the hardest hit in times of economic crisis, such as the one we face now. While the working class as a whole is taking on the burden of the billions of dollars in government bailouts that should have gone to the people, but instead was used to line the pockets of the rich through “relief” for banks and corporations, Black people face additional systemic and institutional barriers, such as being targeted, profiled, harassed, and killed by the police. Even though crime rates are down as a result of the pandemic, the police are still murdering Black people, as we have seen in the cases of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor.Now, as people take to the streets to demand justice for those murdered, to demand that the government and the politicians stop allowing these racist cops to roam free after they’ve ended the lives of Black people with no consequences, with nothing more than a slap on the wrist, we see what the cops are truly charged with – and it’s not defending or protecting the people. Cops are much more concerned with defending the property of corporations like AutoZone and Target, with protecting the interests of the rich, with maintaining the status quo, and with guarding the house of the man who murdered George Floyd, rather than standing with and defending those who demand justice for his death.The system that allows, and even requires, cops to kill Black people with impunity is the same system that funnels relief funds into the hands of the rich rather than into the most vulnerable and oppressed communities. Just like the police protect the interests and property of the capitalists, so does the government. The government has the ability to cancel the rents and mortgages, but to do so would mean that they would have to prioritize human needs over the profits of corporations, and they would have to value the lives of the working class more than catering to and appeasing those who exploit the masses. They don’t, but that doesn’t mean that our demands aren’t winnable – our power lies in our numbers, and in our awareness of the situation. Workers make up the majority of this country, and as such hold power when we are organized, and when we fight back together. We need to continue to use our power to speak out against racist police brutality. We need to continue to use our power to demand that the government fund human need over corporate greed. We need to continue to unmask the dehumanizing and inherently exploitative system that is capitalism. We need to continue to fight – we need socialism, and together, we can win!
Diese Rede wurde am 30. Mai während eines Tages der bundesweiten Protesten in den USA gehalten. Die Stellungnahme der Party for Socialism & Liberation (Partei für Sozialismus und Befreiung) finden Sie hier.