Intro/Conclusion to Abolition’s Elections 2016 Blog Series

[Joy James gives an Intro/Conclusion to the Abolition Collective 2016 Election Blog.]

“Welcome to the party.

So, we “lost.” That is the refrain and the grief cue for those seeking justice or peace or freedom, or all of the above in the wake of Donald Trump’s election as the 45th president of the United States.

In losing the election, which was not a referendum on justice or peace or freedom, we gained increasing clarity (and, from late night comics, more hilarity laced with obscenities).

To be clear, we wanted to share free land and labor, love, and sacred nature—what we’ve never had. To be certain, those who wield disciplinary and predatory powers were not and will never be our protectors, allies or benevolent governors. …”

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What a Trump Administration Means for Health in the Black Caribbean

by Jallicia Jolly and Veronique Ignace –

As echoed by many reproductive justice advocates, the lives and health of many Black women remain subject to the whims of American politics. Alongside the white nationalist revival and nativism that accompanies Trump’s platform of bigotry, the recent divestments in health evoke a special terror in the Caribbean – U.S.’s “backyard”, a region that continues to be a “strategic ‘battlefield’ for US geopolitics no matter the human costs.”
Health remains an important political tool used to define the quality of life of Black women as it characterizes historically disenfranchised groups as the repository of social death.

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In the Time of Trump: Housing, Whiteness, and Abolition

– by Manissa M Maharawal and Erin McElroy (The Anti-Eviction Mapping Project) –

How is Trump the landlord connected to Trump the president? How can we think about the rise of Trump’s reign through a lens critical of the US’s racist and colonial histories of private property? Focused on the geography of the San Francisco Bay Area and the analysis of the Anti-Eviction Mapping Project, this piece shows the relationships between luxury development, public housing, gentrification, liberalism, and racialized dispossession. For understanding the data and building an intersectional movement, this piece argues that we need an abolitionist approach to private property.

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The Inauguration of Fascism? Thinking Violence and Resistance in the Age of Trump

– by David Langstaff –
In the wake of Donald Trump’s election, fascism has once again returned to center stage in left political discourse. If we aim to overcome the impasse of left praxis, our theories of fascism and resistance must refuse false dichotomies of race and class, as well as the treating of fascist violence as a radical departure from the normal operations of the liberal democratic state. Fascistic ascendance, as an historically specific manifestation of white nationalist revanchism, cannot be meaningfully apprehended apart from the foundations of the U.S. settler colonial state in racial slavery and genocide. Turning towards this “position of the unthought” opens up the possibility, not only of grasping systemic violence at its roots, but of recognizing and imagining, celebrating and embracing, forms of insurgent social life which already move beneath, against, and beyond the socio-ecological catastrophe that is the modern world.

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Is Marxism Relevant? Some Uses and Misuses – Part 2: Revolutionary Vision

– by David Gilbert, political prisoner –
Many of the examples of Marxist-Leninist formations make it tempting to echo Marx in saying, “I’m not a Marxist.” I’m not if Marxism is understood as a pat dogma, as small sects vying to claim leadership of the movement and carrying out political debates by citing opposing quotes from old texts, and especially when it’s used as a “revolutionary” rationale for continuing white and male domination. At the same time, I would encourage today’s activists not to lose a treasure trove in both method and many specifics of analysis by dismissing Marxism out of hand.

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Trump: The Neo-Authoritarian Tendency & the Epochal Crisis of Capitalism

– Luis Arizmendi –
“Make America great again” is a slogan that represents an unquestionably confused and intransigent project of reconfiguration of the US-led capitalist system and the restructuring of US global hegemony. Trump’s aims are not only to integrate the US working class, but also to push forward an authoritarian integration of this group in the government’s efforts to maintain its global influence. He sponsors escalating political violence as response to the present economic crisis. Donald Trump’s capitalism personifies the neo-authoritarian tendency of capitalism in the 21st century.

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Lively Up the Dead Zone: Remembering democracy’s racist state crimes (Ashe)

– by Janine Jones –
A critique of political thinking in Africana thought brings us to a crossroads. At this intersection, passing trajectories meet. Moving in opposite directions, they send contradictory messages concerning democracy, racism, and political violence. One trajectory pursues the accomplishments of Africana intellectual, artistic, economic, and political elites… The other trajectory tracks the misery of local and global black masses. It also traces minority group repression by global capitalism, as well as the potential and real possibilities of racial democracies through state violence and neglect. The intersection of these two diverging lines produces a conceptual dead zone, one that is marked by the absence of analysis engaging antiblack racism and genocide in Western democracies and the resilience of elite thinkers to disavow such analyses.

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Donald J. Trump: Racist, Alleged Child Rapist, and President-Elect

– by Ahmad Greene-Hayes –
Even as white liberals cry and lament Trump with more fervor than they would ever mourn Tamir Rice, Aiyana Stanley-Jones, and Sandra Bland; or cry with and for our indigenous co-laborers in North Dakota; or even our Latinx kin who have been deported under Obama’s regime, what is undoubtedly apparent to those of us who have been living under white nationalism is that white tears will not save us, nor will white Jesus, nor will white liberals, nor will white Evangelicals. What will save us, though, is a doing away with whiteness writ-large.

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Stranger Things and the Upside Down Dawn of Donald Trump

-by Heath Pearson –
What makes Stranger Things a modern classic is its relentless insistence that the terrors happening right now are being entirely missed, and mindlessly supported, by a sleeping, White, public – a strange parallel in the dawning days of Trump.

It is not time to unify behind Trump, or to stand behind his storm troopers of White Supremacy. As Malcolm X might say: the chickens have come home to roost. It is no longer appropriate for White people to sleep. It is time to slay the monster of White supremacy once and for all. People of color, Muslims and undocumented men and women, people who have been fighting White supremacy since the beginning, are already experiencing public outbursts of racist language and physical abuse. For all of us, the monster of White supremacy that has been conjured should be terrifying. But the monster that’s conjured is also the monster that’s exposed. And the monster that’s exposed is the monster that’s vulnerable. And the monster that’s vulnerable is the monster that can be killed.

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A Failure of Imagination: Donald Trump, the US-Brazil’s White Nationalism and the Need for an African Diasporic Abolitionist Program

– by Jaime Amparo Alves –
Trump’s election, as much as the Brazilian parliamentary coup, are not signals of democracy’s dysfunctionality, but rather quite the contrary. Trumpism is the product of democracy’s vitality, not its bankruptcy. If that is the case, the route to black liberation begins by giving up faith in liberal democracy. The abolitionist praxis would have to be translated into pedagogical strategies in the classroom, in the workplace, and on the streets to demystify the political establishment as inherently anti-black.

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The Fools of National Socialism: Thoughts on Antisemitism and the Fight Against Trumpism

– by Dan Berger –
The emerging opposition to Trumpism has rightly focused on the groups facing the most dire, most violent threats–people facing deportation, exclusion, and mob assault. Within this logic, antisemitism remains a powerful ideological trope that the now-mainstreamed far Right has projected onto its authoritarian platform. From the announcement of Trump’s campaign in June 2015, it was clear that his worldview was shaped by far right conspiracy thinking, in which antisemitism is never far removed: the notion that “Mexico sends their people” is a foolish framing of why and how migration happens. Yet it reveals the antisemitic structure of Trumpian racial logic.

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Trump, Bannon, and Israel’s Anti-Semitism Problem

– by Zaina Alsous –
Anyone who seeks to defeat Trumpism should be extremely disturbed by U.S. and Israeli collaboration. Israel provides a model for the state that Trump wants to create: one forged in violent racial segregation, militarized policing, and white nationalist propaganda. …
Now more than ever, we cannot cede the battle against anti-Semitism to Israel.

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America’s Electoral Apartheid: 30-40 million US residents excluded from voting

– by Konstantin Kilibarda –
A key component of an apartheid system is the ability to disenfranchise those populations that may tip the political scales. Currently in the United States there are between 30-40 million residents (including millions of US citizens) who remain systematically disenfranchised. The fact that the disenfranchised are primarily racialized or poor, underlines Charles W. Mills’ contention that America’s democracy continues to be premised on a hierarchically structured ‘racial contract.’ Below I’ve compiled a short list of groups in the US who can’t vote, despite living, loving, caring, participating, and working everyday in communities and neighborhoods throughout the country.

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Authoritarianism in America: A Call for Resistance

– by Henry A. Giroux –
Authoritarianism has now become viral in America, spreading its toxic ideology into every facet of American life. The threat of totalitarianism with its legions of alt-right political zombies has now exposed itself, without apology, knowing full well that it no longer has to code or apologize for its hatred of all those who do not fit into its white-supremacist and ultra-nationalist script.

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