Socialist Worker

Republicans and Democrats compete to condemn anti-racists in the US

Issue No. 2721

Donald Trump poses with cops in Kenosha

Donald Trump poses with cops in Kenosha


All of Donald Trump’s November re-election hopes are pinned on a scaremongering, racist campaign against the Black Lives Matter movement. But now it looks as though the Democrats are all too eager to join in.

Trump last week toured parts of Kenosha that were burnt out in a wave of anger at the police shooting of Jacob Blake. Blake was shot in the back several times during an arrest last month.

Trump attacked anti-racists who took to the streets, saying, “These are not acts of peaceful protest, but really domestic terror.”

Just days before he had defended Kyle Rittenhouse, a right wing militiaman who killed two Black Lives Matter protesters in Kenosha.

Democratic hopeful Joe Biden was also in town—in a bid to “heal” rifts and, in effect, demobilise the anger at police racism.

His team released a record‑breaking £34 million series of campaign ads last week.

The ads don’t target the cops or their heavily armed militia allies, but instead those who fought back against them. “Rioting is not protesting. Looting is not protesting,” says Bidden in his ad. “And those who do it should be prosecuted.”

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Trump countered with ads of his own, which say, “Communities not criminals” and “Jobs not mobs”.

The two candidates are now locked into battle on who can appear the toughest on crime.

The result can only be a confidence boost for the racist right in all its guises.

Last week the Democrats sent former president Barack Obama to negotiate an end to the brilliant anti-racist strike by sports players.

Obama told the strike leaders that they were risking a Trump victory by carrying on with their action.

He said they should concentrate on mobilising people to vote instead. Reluctantly, the strikers’ leaders agreed.

The Democrats’ swift embrace of the law and order agenda is a grave warning to all those who think that a Democrat victory in November will also be a victory for anti-racism. Biden, and his running mate Kamala Harris, pledge themselves to only the most minimal reforms of the police, while rejecting any talk of “defunding”.

In office, they will do what every Democrat administration before them has done.

They will give their backing to racism and state repression as part of a defence of the establishment.


Police in Portland last week killed an anti-fascist wanted for the shooting of a Trump supporter who had joined a right wing raid on the city last month.

Michael Forest Reinoehl described himself on a social media as “100% ANTIFA”. A federal taskforce shot and killed him shortly after he gave a media interview.

He had explained that he “had no choice” but to shoot the Trump supporter as he thought he and his friend were about to be stabbed.

He said, “I could have sat there and watched them kill a friend of mine of colour. But I wasn’t going to do that.”


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