Next Steps in the Anti-Racist Struggle?

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A Socialist Project e-bulletin ... No. 2137 ... July 3, 2020

Next Steps in the Anti-Racist Struggle?

Gord Doctorow and Harry Kopyto

We have the good fortune to be living in one of those moments when we have a chance to accelerate history. The uncertainty is whether we can actually make it happen.

The culture of protest that has taken such a firm hold among the racialized, young people, and women especially, over the last five years has given social movements an unprecedented legitimacy and presence. The solidarity and protest demonstrations in the US, Canada and around the world sparked by the killing of George Floyd on May 25 reflect the depth and breadth of the smoldering underneath. This is fertile soil, especially during a pandemic when the future is a little blurred and the path forward is not clear or may even be up for grabs.

The calculus of intersectionality is showing proof that the whole is bigger than the sum of its parts. This time, there is a difference in the air, a sense that the moment has come for a final... accounting, that a line has been crossed. The anger must be livid when 54 per cent of polled Americans agree that the burning of a Minneapolis precinct to protest the lynching of George Floyd was "justified." When is the last time a social issue -- albeit one involving a life-and-death matter -- brought citizens simultaneously into the streets of 700 American and 60 Canadian cities and towns as it did in early June?

No one yet knows how this story will end. In the era of pandemic, every social issue seems to bare its connective tissue to other social issues. Is it any wonder that young women of colour have emerged as the most articulate voices for change? Or that their mothers, who disproportionately risk their lives working in long-term care (LTC) facilities or hospitals, join their children on demonstrations, demanding personal protective equipment (PPE) and a living wage? Or their fathers, compelled to work in ‘essential industries’, and who, as the demographics now show, have caught the COVID virus at work, march beside them as well?

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