Indivisible SF Statement Against Political Violence
Indivisible San Francisco condemns and opposes political violence. We stand united against racial, religious, and political hate crimes such as last Monday's racist murder of a Black man and woman in a Kentucky grocery store, the dozen bombs mailed during midweek to Democratic Party leaders and news media opponents of Trump, and the explicitly anti-Semitic mass killing of 11 Jews at Saturday sabbath services in Pittsburgh. We stand indivisible against politically motivated violence whose purpose is to suppress dissent, destroy democracy, and forcibly impose on America the extreme, far-right agenda of Republican Party leaders, operatives, and financial backers.
To face the future we need to remember the past. This is not the first time that terrorist violence has been used in America for political purposes. 50 years ago, African-Americans demanding the right to vote and an end to segregation were subjected to mob violence, church bombings, mass arrest, assassinations and lynchings – as were their white, Jewish, Latino, and Asian allies. Time after time, that violence was incited by segregationist politicians for partisan purposes.
On the day that President Kennedy was gunned down in Dallas Texas, the Dallas Morning News and local officials accused him of “treason” for his support of Black civil rights. When James Meredith integrated Ole' Miss in 1962, Governor Ross Barnett told radio audiences that: “There is no case in history where the Caucasian race has survived social integration. We will not drink from the cup of genocide. ... We must either submit to the unlawful dictates of the federal government or stand up like men and tell them never!” Two people were murdered, and it required the U.S. Army to quell the resulting riot by a huge mob of white racists opposed to integration.
Incitement to violence has no place in American politics. Now, once again, we see right-wing politicians using divisive wedge issues and vitriolic hate speech to motivate and mobilize their followers around racism, bigotry, and fear. There is a direct and obvious link between the mail-bomb targets and Trump's white-nationalist rhetoric, his “lock her up” chants, his accusation that CNN journalists are “enemies of the people,” his praise for those who assault reporters, and his demeaning racist slanders against President Obama and Maxine Waters.
There is a clear line of connection between the gunman who shot up a synagogue because of Jewish support for immigrants and the Republican Party-Fox News propaganda machines' demonization of nonwhite immigrants as “rapists,” “criminals,” and “terrorists,” the anti-Semitic ads being run by National Republican Congressional Committee, and tirades by Republican office holders like Rep. Steve King (R-IA) who told a far-right website that George Soros may be funding the “Great Replacement” of the white race – a major neo-Nazi conspiracy theory.
We beat them before, we'll beat them again. When the partisan-inciters fomented violence against those seeking freedom in the 1960s, African-Americans in alliance with people of conscience of all races took a nonviolent stand against bigotry and hate. Through steadfast courage and solidarity “we the people” defeated race-haters and opportunistic wedge-issue dividers through education and organizing and mobilizing. “We the people” built a nation-wide, mass peoples' movement that was powerful enough to change the culture and hold politicians accountable at the ballot box.
We did it before, and we'll do it again.