Two nights ago, there was an event at the UW Ethnic Cultural Theater discussing the Black student revolt on college campuses throughout. It was co-sponsored by a local socialist organization and a pro-Palestinian student organization at the University of Washington. During the evening, a group of about 30 or so activists listened to a local high school teacher speak. His name is Jesse Hagopian, and hes a union activist, the sponsor of his high schools Black Student Union, and remains involved in the anti-high-stakes testing movement on a national level, among other things. The quiet topic that began the evening has been on my mind.
At 3:30 PM on Sunday, February 21st, 2016, Che Taylor is assassinated by the Seattle Police Department. Surrounded by officers, unarmed, and given instructions impossible to comply with, his death comes swiftly. Like the murders of so many other black men in the United States, it is simply brutal. It takes them 9 seconds to kill him, from the command to Move in! to the shots that steal his life.
From Life, to Death.
Ive watched the video. I cant get past how quickly it happens. There is no sense of time...only the yells, the boot steps, and those shots that hang in the air. There is no end to that sound.
Ches death hit me hard. I remember watching Ferguson unfold, fearful and elated watching the protesters respond. I remember it hurt when I heard of Tamir Ricea child, killed like that? I remember Freddy Gray and the sick feeling in my stomach for Baltimore and the reality that was yet to come. But this happened less than five minutes away from where I live. I walked that street last week. I biked home on it Sunday evening. I know that intersection, those houses.
A man is dead now. I could have met him, seen him walking the streets. Maybe I might have looked him in the eye as I biked by his carhe was driving a Ford Taurus when he was murdered, and I pay special attention to those. I like that car.
This man was a part of my home. This Manthis MAN because **** the Seattle Times; it doesnt matter if hes a felon or not, acknowledge his humanity!this man is dead. A piece of Seattles world fell away when those shots rang out. My stomach hurts.
I bet this would hurt worse if I knew him. If I was his family.
If I was black.
I keep hearing that awful softness in Jesses voice as he began that evening.
The Democratic Party is not the "left". They are an establishment party in one of the most reactionary, conservative countries. They are quite conservative by world standards, and are certainly nowhere near as left as what limited leftist movements we have in the United States.
If you wanted to say that "The Democratic Party are the Liberals in this country.", I would agree. But they are not the left.
I am not represented by the Democratic Party.
Please do not diminish the true, radical left embodied by people in the Black Lives Matter movements, in labor groups, and others. Their accomplishments are not those of the Democratic Party. Do not help the establishment to co-opt those movements as they have successfully done so many times in the past. It helps to obscure history, and takes away from what the left in this country has been able to change.
Sanders is a much better person than most any politician out there. He has been consistent in representing the liberal wing of the party. That, I do not disagree with. But he still works within the framework of capitalism, and that means he is not "left" beyond the very narrow scope of US politics.
He tells the truth. I'm glad he doesn't lie for votes.
Weird how that's something that seems to resonate with voters...