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FROM THE BELLY OF THE BEAST - NOTE NO 1. by Godfrey Vincent

posted 30 May 2020, 18:26 by Gerry Kangalee   [ updated 6 Jun 2020, 19:17 ]
1. Covid 19 is ravaging the USA. It has left some one hundred thousand people dead.

Dr. Godfrey Vincent is an Associate professor of history At Tuskegee University; Co-Coordinator of the Integrative Public Policy and Development. 

He is the co-Editor of Contended Perspectives of Neoliberalism and has published in Journal of Labor and Society. Dr. Vincent is completing his manuscript called Rebels at the Gate: The Oilfields Workers Trade Union in the Era of George Weekes.

Dr. Godfrey Vincent is a longstanding correspondent on this website



2. The pandemic has exacerbated the growing disparities in the black and brown working- class communities.

3. This pandemic has widened the income gap between the 1% and most of the population. Millions of people are presently unemployed, unable to pay their rents and mortgages, purchase food to feed their families, and living without health care.

4. The ruling class is scrambling to find a response to the pandemic. There are those who want the economy re-opened and workers return to work. Others want a cautious approach, fearing a second wave. Still others, are urging re-opening by employing more technologies with less workers.

5. In terms of a political response, there are those who are prepared to use violence to order people back to work.

6. In the wake of the pandemic, we see police violence and murder being inflicted on the black community, immigrant communities, and native American communities.

7. This violence has sparked organized protest in many cities. However, we have to beware of the looting and burnings because it is a known fact that agent provocateurs are sent in to divert and divide the movement.

8. The right wing wants to see this response because they have set in train a plan to flood the cities with military police to crush all resistance.

9. While there is some spontaneous response by some organized workers to support the activists on the ground, there needs to be response from organized labor to link the conditions of workers in the meat-packing plants, post offices, Amazon, etc. to police brutality in the communities.

10. Black Out Day has called for a day of protest on July 7, 2020. Other groups are calling for a day a national day of strikes.

11. This crisis has deepened the divide between activists and black politicians. The activists are demanding real change while the established black politicians are championing reforms.

12. This pandemic coupled with the growing police brutality inflicted on black and brown peoples have exposed the brutality of the capitalist system. This system is designed to crush workers, engage in systematic racism, and force workers to work for minimum wages without benefits. From this crisis, there is no good outcome for the working class.

13. The only solution is for the black, brown, white, and native American working class to unite and engage in solidarity with each other struggles. We cannot only react when people are choked to death, when they are gunned downed, when they are convicted of crimes that they never did.

14. Spontaneity has its place in the struggle. We must not be satisfied with nights and days of street protests. We need to build the movements. Black Lives Matter needs to do more work on the ground. It needs the spirit of the Black Panthers and to begin to engage concretely in the communities, thereby raising political consciousness.

15. We must move beyond Fannie Lou Hammer’s “I am sick and tired of being sick and tired.” We must move beyond rappers and athletes giving shout outs to the communities. We must move beyond thoughts and prayers. It is time for action. Black Lives Matter must link its struggle with Reverend Benjamin Barber’s Poor People campaign. It must link up with Occupy Movement and other radical and progressive groups.

16. Until, the capitalist system is replaced, the only way forward for black, brown, and working class peoples is to organize a strong united front with one program that aims to obtain a social settlement that benefits the working class and the working poor. We should not allow elections to divide us.
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