Don’t Let Yourself Be Overcome With Fear, Nor Should You Lament The Trumpista Crisis Of Imperialism!
Compañeras y compañeros, don’t run and hide from this absurd turn of events. To begin, don’t forget that Hillary Rodham Clinton (HRC) was never our champion, and the oval office is not the center of our political power. Instead, think about how Trump’s victory represents a profound crisis of imperialism…
For eight years we struggled to expose the Obama government and the Democratic Party as a powerful force, intent on defending the pillars of neoliberal empire – corporate greed, the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), mass deportations, mass surveillance, perpetual global war, extrajudicial killings (drones, police/ migra terror), international support for military coups, and general liberal hypocrisy. Many progressive and well-meaning people rejected our form of struggle, opting instead for less conflictive, or less demanding forms of political engagement, individualistic self-care/ identity politics, social media/autonomous activism, etc.
Domestically, Obama was not an obvious white supremacist, but instead considered a friend to “P.O.C.,” LGBT people, and even appointed a Boricua woman, Sonia Sotomayor, to the Supreme Court. Obviously, he was still a vicious warmonger, who deported millions of our people, but these things were done with a “lighter touch” (i.e. Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals-DACA). For a time, it was possible for liberals to believe, that because Obama and his family are Black, and he made compelling speeches about equality and hope, perhaps the reform of U.S. neoliberalism into a global multi-cultural empire was possible – that global neoliberalism promised to be diverse, and that he, the first Black president, could make it work for the benefit of the many.
The campaign of Hillary Rodham Clinton made no secret of her intention to continue, and hopefully perfect, this multi-cultural model of global neoliberal power. Hillary Clinton, as the first female president of the United States, would be the perfect continuation of “Obama’s legacy.” Of course, there is no evidence what so ever, to suggest that the election of HRC would have fundamentally changed the political/ economic/ social/ environmental problems faced by the great majority of people living within, and outside of the political borders of the United States. On the contrary, everything within the HRC campaign pointed towards the need for the next president of the U.S. to continue the theft of resources of people the world over, in order to maintain the neoliberal capitalist economic system that was founded on, and is nourished by, U.S. imperialism. After all, HRC, like Obama, attended the elite centers of learning in the United States, where these neoliberal models of global empire are taught. For decades HRC and her husband had served as a leading advocates/agents of U.S. neoliberalism (i.e. NAFTA), and her 2016 candidacy was 100% supported by the ruling class of the United States, including many powerful Republicans. Everything was in place for the inevitable transfer of power from Obama to HRC, but instead, HRC lost the election to Donald J. Trump, the orange buffoon of white power. This unexpected outcome has thrown U.S. imperialism into a serious crisis.
Where Hillary sought to expand a multi-cultural neoliberal empire, Trump, on the other hand, successfully channeled the old-school white supremacist and misogynistic impulses of U.S. imperialism. Trump aggressively verbalized white supremacy from the first day of his campaign, when on June 6, 2015, he made his infamous speech about Mexican rapists and criminals. Anti-Mexican hatred became a Trumpista mantra – “Build The Wall–Build The Wall–Build The Wall…” Trump “the anti-Mexican” immediately surged in the polls, because white people appreciated how he “spoke the truth” about our people. Trump then attacked Arabs, and Trumpista love intensified around how he is willing to say “what we are all thinking, but can’t make public because of political correctness.”
White supremacy and patriarchy are both the popular rallying cries and historical power bases of U.S. imperialism. Trump supporters denounce the current direction of the political and economic system of the U.S., not because they reject U.S. imperialism, no, instead they intend to “Make America Great Again” – to return to a time when U.S. imperialism was driven to advance the material interests of white supremacy. Time and again, history shows how white supremacy “trumps” other forms of identity in the U.S. This is why Trumpistas hated Obama and HRC so intensely, and that is why they came out en masse to support Trump:
- White supremacy trumped class – 67% of white working class people supported the Trump the “billionaire one-percenter.”
- White supremacy trumped racial diversity – 58% of white people supported the Trump the “openly racist xenophobe.”
- White supremacy trumped gender – 53% of white women supported the Trump the “misogynistic sexual predator.”
- White supremacy trumped religious fanaticism – 81% of evangelicals supported the Trump the “degenerate philanderer.”
- White supremacy trumped “constitutionalism” – 61% of military veterans supported the Trump the “authoritarian demagogue.”
- White supremacy trumped education – 49% of white college graduates supported Trump the “anti-intellectual.”
It was white supremacy that won Donald Trump the presidency. So when liberal HRC supporters denounce Raza and Black people as being responsible for the Trump presidential victory, remind them of these statistics, and advise them that the best thing they can do is to go organize in the white community, instead of lecturing us about what we need to do now, in our barrios, going forward in this new age of Trumpism.
Forecasting this election, all the polls were completely wrong because the mass media and their unwavering commitment to reproduce neoliberal values do not have the polling tools necessary to quantify imperialism nor white supremacy. They had no idea that Trump was winning, and even now, after the whole thing unfolded in front of their eyes, so-called political commentators say they are still completely mystified by how they could have gotten the election so wrong. Indeed, white supremacy has a hard time looking at itself in the mirror.
On November 8, 2016, there was a national unmasking of Obama’s and Hillary’s USA, and we learned what we already knew – there is no such thing as a sustainable, multicultural, reformable, U.S. imperialism. U.S. imperialism owes its existence to the genocide of indigenous people, the theft of indigenous lands and resources, the enslavement/theft of African labor, and the premise of expansionism under the ridiculous assertion of divine intervention, to settle land and conquer people under the doctrine of “American Exceptionalism” (formerly known as Manifest Destiny). Donald J. Trump is the raw, unmasked face of corporate greed, TPP, mass deportations, mass surveillance, perpetual global war, and extrajudicial killings (drones, police-migra terror). Trump represents the historical legacy of the USA, and his is the true face of American Empire.
The significance of the 2016 U.S. presidential election is that this usually hidden face has been unmasked. Trump signals a return to a previous version of white power capitalism – “Making America Great Again” – a promise to rule the U.S. openly and as viciously as it has since its inception. If anything is also true, it should now be perfectly clear that this system of political power was never designed to defend the interests of indigenous people/raza, African, Asian, Arab, or other colonized people. It is now more visible because white-power parasitic-capitalism has entered a stage of serious crisis, and has thrown this crisis on to the backs of the working poor the world over.
Empires are more dangerous when wounded, when its ideals and institutions are compromised or shattered, and when its economic system is in turmoil. Still, the United States and its capitalist system has demonstrated an outstanding resilience. On many occasions in the past it has risen out of multiple crises, triumphant and empowered, for such is the nature of empire. It can self-degrade to later regain strength. Their crisis will not become our victory until we build a movement with enough political strength to once and for all rid our people of the yolk of oppression.
Apologists of the empire, and those scrambling to hold on to the now resurgent notion of white supremacy will say that Trump as president of the United States signifies a unique divergence, and does not represent a systemic problem. They will suggest that by getting rid of Trump, and electing another Democrat will make things better. We must understand that white supremacist Trumpsim is still U.S. imperialism. Obama/ HRC neoliberalism is also U.S. imperialism. They are both manifestations of U.S. imperialism and capitalism –oppression by any other name is still oppression, and colonialism by any other face is still colonialism. We have always asserted that both the Republican and Democratic parties are representatives of the same ruling class, therefore their interests lie in keeping control of the wealth produced by the working poor, here and around he world. Obama did not change this fact, Hillary would not have done it, and Trump definitely will not either.
What Comes Next?
On October 3rd, 2016 we shared a quote that summarizes our understanding of the outrageous electoral circus we were all subjected to over the last 15 months:
“¡Ni Republicanos, Ni Demócratas – Solo El Pueblo Organizado Vencerá.”
Real change will only come about when it is sustained by politically militant, committed and organized people, unifying our collective power in a struggle for dignity, justice & self-determination. We must have our own political agenda. We must build our own institutions that function on our terms and in our interests.
Certainly the triumph of Trump cannot, and does not mean that our struggle for self-determination, justice and dignity is now over, and we have been defeated; quite the contrary, our struggle must be intensified, and it must be unyielding. We are in a time during which the empire finds itself in the midst of an economic crisis. This is a time were the strategy of endless war has failed, but still remains the only strategy for the empire to plunder the resources of the peoples of the world.
The election of Donald J Trump to the presidency of the United States confirms what Unión del Barrio has been saying for over 35 years. We must build “Dual and Contending Power.” Going forward, the Democrats did not work on our behalf under Obama, nor defend our communities from “la amenaza trumpista.” If anything, Obama proved that mass raids and deportations are a central part of both the Democratic Party and Trumpista strategies for “Latino voter outreach.” Never forget that by the time Obama leaves office, he will have deported at least 3 million of our people.
This is a time when our communities are under siege – raided, persecuted, and deported by one of the most sinister campaigns ever launched by the empire within its boundaries. This is a time during which the existing “wall of death” has been built along the borderlands, as a damning monument erected by the empire in order to reaffirm its theft of our territory. That horrendous monument not only destroys communities, it divides our people, wounds our collective memory, and it kills with impunity. This is a time of crisis for those in power.
In contrast to their crisis, we offer our commitment to struggle, our intention to be free, our hope for a better tomorrow. During this crisis of the elite, we must seize the moment and transform their crisis into our victory, their weakness into our triumph, their despair into energy for our steadfast movement forward. Change only comes when we, those who have been persecuted, exploited, incarcerated, marginalized, disenfranchised, stand together and say “enough is enough,” and demonstrate our organized capacity to resist.
Our immediate task is to organize ourselves in every community, in every school, in every field, in every factory, hotel, prison, and wherever we may find ourselves. To all workers, support efforts to build unions and independent associations at every worksite, free from ICE raids and intimidation by the bosses. The struggle of women for inclusion and equality in our society, to combat all forms of gendered violence is, and must continue to be, a central part of our change. LGBTQ raza, we are with you and will remain vigilant in defending your humanity.
To raza currently under DACA status: you are not new to struggle, not new to fear, not new to mobilizing – we know that you will not be immobilized nor demoralized. The temporary rights that you won were based on sacrifice and struggle. You must know that Unión del Barrio stands with you today, and will respond to the best of our capacity to defend you and your families. Keep in mind: ¡Esta es Nuestra Tierra – Esta es Nuestra Lucha! To our native comrades at Standing Rock – we remain steadfastly in your corner as well.
To educators – your struggle to infuse a people’s class-consciousness in the classroom, despite criminal budget cuts, that is also our struggle. The struggle of the youth and students for education, cultural, social and political participation is our struggle. The struggle for relevant education and access to higher learning is real change. The struggle for human rights by grass-root community organizations that document migra and police brutality and have organized themselves to promote raids-free communities is the change that we need. To all non-profit workers: your struggle to provide the necessary tools and resources to help independent grassroots organizations build a movement from the bottom and to the left, and rid social movements of the paralysis generated by the non-profit industrial complex, this is the change that we all need to help build.
To intellectuals and people in academia: your struggle to generate ideas, write our history and analyze our social conditions despite the restrictions, the bureaucracy, budget cuts, and intellectual repression – your struggle is the change that must come. For artists and cultural workers: the canvas, the mural, the musical instrument, spoken word, the body, the written word, la flor y el canto, and to those who continue to use cultural creativity as our most beautiful tool against oppression, this is the change that we must build. To the environmentalists who have struggled against degradation, pollution, health rights, toxic-free communities, yours is the change we must build. When we transcend sporadic efforts, to be united in thought, organization, and action, that is when our struggles will triumph!
To all the compas of Unión del Barrio – stay focused comrades! We are surrounded by the madness of the moment, so take the time to reflect on how now, more than ever, the only thing that seems rational, provides a sense of purpose, is a life in the struggle. Thank you for your sacrifice. For non-UdB members, we desperately need your help – join us!
We also have a message for Trumpistas about any aggression you might be considering to direct against our communities. Know this — we are organized, and we will resist any attacks against the physical or psychological integrity of our communities. We will resist you, and we will defend ourselves, by any means necessary.
We will unite to win self-determination of all oppressed people. This is our time, and when we unite as a working class people, our movement will be a beacon of an anti-imperialist, anti-colonial struggle. When that happens, then change becomes possible. Ours is not a change based on empty hopes and happy slogans for a better future, it is based on a need for people to get organized, united in thought and action, to ensure that all of us build a better community, a better society, and a better world.
¡Concientización! – ¡Organización! – ¡Acción! – ¡Liberación!
Comité Central, Unión del Barrio.