Note on Police Murders and the 2020 Elections

Guest Commentary

By Fred Vitale, January 28, 2021

The movement against police murder of Black people was the most significant event in the class struggle in 2020 in the U.S. This movement was broad — taking place across the country in every nook and cranny. It involved millions of people. It was deep — in many places the demonstrations went on for months, often daily.  These sustained mobilizations forged bonds of struggle.

The political and practical leaders of the movement were African American people. They won overwhelming support from the Black community and, with this engine of political energy, won significant support from an important minority of white people.

This mobilization was much bigger and sustained than all the Trump rallies and right-wing reactionary mobilizations put together. It is this dynamic, Black leadership and the Black community winning support from young white people in significant numbers, that is the most frightening to the racist power structure of the U.S.

The movement is not aware of its own significance and the corporate media and legions of middle-class journalists consciously distort the movement and its meaning. The movement was not, in most cases, united beyond protesting the horrific murders.  This movement, in spite of its many contradictions, has weakened corporate control, diminished the effect of racist lies, and drove Trump out of office.

It is this movement, its power and its potential, which so frightened government security agencies (FBI, police, the army) and their friends among the fascists. Their fear drives their desperation.

It is not easy to forge political bonds across racial lines but these bonds, forged in struggle, are not easily forgotten. The road forward is strengthening relationships — supporting Black leadership and the Black community as it engages in this central struggle; supporting the white people and the young people who begin to question the racist structure through actions; bringing out, as we work with these folks, the class character of their struggle and its revolutionary implications for socialism.

Those fighting for socialism will confront racism over and over, and in those struggles will forge bonds and build relationships essential to successful socialist revolution.

Mass protest against police murder of George Floyd.
Mass protest against police murder of George Floyd. | Photo: witf.org

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