Eugene DSA stands against the ongoing legacy of white-supremacy entrenched in our society. As Ibram X. Kendi expertly pointed out, racism and capitalism are “conjoined twins.” Thus, we recognize that to challenge capitalism and build working class power, we must directly confront and combat racism.
We acknowledge the broad reaches of the history of colonialism and its effects on disseminating racism throughout the world, including in our Oregon community. Today, we live and work on unceded lands stolen from the Kalapuya peoples, and must recognize the space we occupy and the state in which we struggle as the result of their violent dispossession and displacement. The state’s 1859 Constitution outlawed slavery, but also made it illegal for people of African descent to move to the state, creating a whites only society based on BIPOC exclusion and erasure.
Due to this foundation of systemic racism, with COVID-19 disproportionately impacting BIPOC comrades exposing the racism and weaknesses within our healthcare system, and with the continued violence BIPOC communities are facing at the heads of the police, this confluence of factors has pulled back the curtain for many white people in America; BIPOC communities are in crisis mode right now – these matters cannot be ignored anymore.
The ability for the vigor of the current movement to blossom and thrive derives from a culmination of decades of work and struggle from BIPOC lead Black liberation movements from the past and present, like the Eugene Black Panthers in the 1960s and student organizations at the University of Oregon like the Black Student Union (BSU), the newly formed Black Student Collective, and community organizations, including BLAC (Black Led Action Coalition), BIPOC Liberation Collective, and Black_Unity, among others.
It’s true, our DSA Eugene chapter skews white or white-presenting and we see that as a weakness. Socialist organizing thrives when the voices and experiences of all comrades are heard and valued. Without those voices, Our work to demand justice is diminished. BIPOC comrades, please know this: our socialist project demands liberation for all, and whatever we can do to help make that possible, that is what we will do.
As a chapter we have formed an anti-racist working group with a primary purpose that is two-fold: helping our membership personally do the work of unlearning white supremacy and anti-blackness, and supporting BIPOC led initiatives in our community.
All lives can’t matter until Black Lives Matter. All lives can’t matter until Black Women’s Lives Matter. All lives can’t matter until Black Trans Lives Matter. The fight continues until all carceral systems are abolished and we all are free.
We encourage you to delve into our anti-racism resource page to engage more on this topic.