VALLEJO, CA — Were you surprised by the number of KKK members, neo-Nazis, and white nationalists who were in Charlottesville, Virginia?
In this nation, and in many others, workers have been pitted against one another by a powerful corporate class that cares only about securing its profits. Our slave-owning past is still apparent today. By telling one section of workers that it is better than the other because of their color, and by giving them certain social privileges, the capitalists have kept workers divided and fighting each other rather than the system. Today, racism is alive, and while all the effects are not as easily seen as being shot in the back by the police, the system we are currently living in is biased.
I am a white male, and growing up in California, I thought racists were only in the South. When I was younger, I was not aware of how my skin color benefited me in everyday life. However, when the tables are turned, as they have been for me, people become aware.
There was once a clear line between white, brown and Black workers. Many whites were paid more, often had better working conditions, and were able to move to nicer neighborhoods when they could afford it. Fast forward to today, and the line becomes more blurred. While the unemployment rate for African Americans is higher than it is for whites, there is a fundamental change occurring around the globe that will affect most workers eventually. This is automation.
Automation is replacing human labor with robotic labor at an increasingly rapid rate. This is leaving everyday workers of all nationalities without jobs, leading to a developing equality of poverty. Today, many whites, Blacks, and immigrants from across the world are beginning to find themselves in a similar economic situation.
The widespread growth of poverty has confused many workers. The corporate class utilizes the situation to get workers to blame each other.
Trump, Steve Bannon and other billionaires are working on dividing and conquering us. Racism is easily exploited, and a divided nation is much easier for fascists to take over than a unified nation. In the words of Bobby Seale, co-founder of the Black Panthers: “You don’t fight racism with racism, the best way to fight racism is with solidarity.” In solidarity and in unity, we shall overcome. And today, that unity is developing.