The Durham-López campaign joins with thousands of others in calling for the immediate arrest of George Zimmerman, who must be held responsible and put on trial for the reprehensible killing of Black 17-year-old Trayvon Martin. But the culpability for Martin’s tragic death extends far beyond the neighborhood watch vigilante who shot him in cold blood — and then was treated as the victim, not the criminal, by the police.
Zimmerman lives in a society where racial violence is perpetrated, condoned, or ignored every day by those in power: politicians, government officials, and police. He lives in a society where five New York City cops who slew African American Sean Bell, firing 50 bullets, serve no time. Where that same city’s cops used the “Stop and Frisk” policy to harass over 684,000 people last year, most of them racial minorities. Where murders of immigrants at the border go unpunished. And where brutal “hazing” of Asian Americans in the military resulted last year in the apparent suicides of soldiers Danny Chen and Harry Lew.
The racial stereotyping of Black and Latino boys and young men as dangerous and out of control has brought grief not only to Trayvon Martin’s parents, Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin, but to untold families. This stereotyping is not a result of human nature. It exists only because the foundation of institutional racism that this country was built on — genocide against Native Americans, Black slavery, the super-exploitation of Asian and Latino labor — remains. And the politicians of the establishment parties are part of the problem, not part of the solution.
President Obama and other Democrats and Republicans offer words of empathy and condolence, and some of them may even be sincere. But where are the sweeping jobs bills? Where is the generous funding for public education? Where is a push for the reinstatement of affirmative action, for equal pay, for an end to discrimination in housing and lending? Where is the effort to end police abuse?
Freedom Socialist Party (FSP) candidates Stephen Durham for president and Christina López for vice president are participating in the growing protests demanding justice for Trayvon Martin, and hope they signal the coming of a massive, multiracial movement for justice for all people of color in every area of life. The campaign advocates the firing of Sanford Police Chief Bill Lee, an end to “Stand Your Ground” laws and Stop and Frisk, and the instituting of elected civilian review boards with enforcement powers over the police nationwide.
The Durham-López campaign also stands for getting rid of the capitalist system, which absolutely relies for its survival not only on racism but also on sexism, heterosexism, nationalism, and the daily denial of workers’ rights. The campaign is dedicated to advancing the cause of socialism, a system dedicated to meeting the needs of working people of every color and encouraging solidarity and cooperation among them. This is the only way to create a world where no teenager dies because of the color of his skin.
National campaign office:
4710 University Way NE, #100
Seattle, WA 98105
206-985-4621 • VoteSocialism@gmail.com