Thursday, August 24, 2017

Workers/ union members can stop the blacklisting of Kaepernick

by Richard Mellor
Afscme Local 444, retired

I see that Kaepernick's patience is beginning to pay off. He is getting some support and now the NAACP is stepping in, not the most ,militant organization. But if you're doing nothing you can't condemn that.

To their shame, the cowardly officials that are the heads of 14 million workers organized in to unions say not a damn word in support of Kaepernick. They are the most reviled class traitors.

While many white workers and workers of all backgrounds support him, There will be whites that will grumble about the NAACP "helping their own" and how racist they are, and why don't they speak up for everyone. But the players are organized, they are even in an AFL-CIO union. Of course, as a union it doesn't have a history of solidarity as during times when low paid and exploited stadium and other workers connected to the industry have gone on strike the added power of the players has never been utilized. If the organized working class and/or the fans organized  and would take a stand for Kaepernick the NAACP wouldn't have to.

Kaepernick is being blacklisted for a mild statement against racism in this country.  He's a pariah now because of the fear investors and other parasites have. But also for another reason, it's an act of terrorism, warning other players and anyone in this filthy industry to keep their mouths shut, don't get involved or you'll be next.These people who monopolize sports which involves millions of people worshiping and idolizing individuals paid millions of dollars a year, mostly from selling commodities on TV are worried. And what do they fear? Politics and class solidarity.  They are promoting a ridiculous bout between one of the world's best boxers and a street fighter in which the street fighter could be seriously hurt and deny it's for the money. They expect to sell some $70 million in tickets. And they dare criticize Kaepernick.

Sports should be part of human culture. kaepernick has admitted he's felt fortunate that he has earned enough and is secure enough to speak out. One person said to me that he "never said anything when he was on top of his game". Who cares. I don't know when Kaepernick decided he couldn't keep quiet any longer or why. What matters is he spoke up about a real issue, about workers and poor people being murdered by police and the state. He spoke up for the racist nature of this.  If he was Jewish they'd be standing up, or Italian or any other group that was facing the same state repression.   Black people have a lot of patience but it's not inexhaustible.

He's not an opportunist, he's being denied a living. The parasites that control the game and the media and the lives of the people in it are terrified of any controversial issues spreading. Here we have cops and other players, even white ones showing support. The hatred of the rich, the stress people face in the system, the disgust at the billions of dollars thrown around when their communities, their public services and their livelihoods are being wrecked could boil over in the face of any small spark. This is why he is a pariah to the 1%, what it could lead to. They figure they bribe them enough they should keep their mouths shut which so many of them do. Michael Jordan refused to meet with the Vietnamese workers whose lives were hell making the commodities he was paid $20 million a year for wearing. Jordan's a billionionaire now for keeping his mouth shut.

But the mood is such that the bourgeois can be overconfident, no, they are overconfident, they will make mistakes and every small bump in the road can turn in to a catastrophe. They are afraid of the anger among the black population and the revolutionary potential of the black working class breaking out in to the open and others joining them such is the extent of the effects of this capitalist offensive.

They see the support for the tearing down of the racist monuments and against fascism. 40,000 turned out in Boston to shut the fascists down. Will Jeffrey Ameherst be next and the name of that college be changed, he considered native Americans "vermin" and supported infecting them with smallpox in order to wipe them out entirely. Would we name a town "Hitlerville" and let it stand? Will the heroes of all poor and oppressed people become familiar to us, Debs, Big Bill Haywood and the men and women of European descent that, like Malcolm X, Martin Luther King and the legendary chiefs and Native people that fought colonial genocide become the new heroes at last. So many of them are faceless, unknown to us, lucky if they even get a mention in the history books. Every ruling class writes the history books from their point of view and in their interests. Henry V111 was a mass murder, murdered thousands upon thousands of English peasants not to mentions his violence against women.
The heads of organized labor will as usual try to hide, let the NAACP, the preachers, the non-profits lead the way. But leaders and activists in less bureaucratized small locals can make a difference.  Pass resolutions and/or write letters condemning the blackballing----denying of Kaepernick a job because he is standing up for working class people as well in this, because he's speaking out against racism and injustice in a business that has less to do about healthy competitive sport and more about money and wealth for a few. Send them to your higher bodies, to your local councils, to the NFL. Sort of like this. If this gets some traction it will have a huge positive affect of a working class somewhat demoralized after years of defeats and saddled with a leadership that has the same worldview as the boss. I'm writing quickly here but check it out:

Whereas: Colin Kaepernick is being denied work due to his stand against racism and police violence: and

Whereas: Colin Kaepernick is standing up for all workers when he is standing up against the murder of black people by the police; and

Whereas: as trade unionists many of our co-workers and union members are black folk and we are forced to defend our members daily who are fired, victimized and bullied by employers and the sate for expressing our rights and defending our livelihoods; and

Whereas; the organized working class has declined in numbers in part because organized labor has traditionally, though not exclusively,  limited our concerns and struggles to our own workplaces and members leaving us isolated form society as a whole and more easily defeated; and

Whereas: the bosses always use the public against us in disputes and the way to reverse that is for unions to defend all workers unionized or not and engage in defense of all social issues important to working people; and

Whereas: racism, sexism, and all forms of discrimination have been used successfully to divide and weaken the power of workers including white workers; be it

Resolved; that local 123 of the American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees condemns the attempt by a unified gang of billionaires in the NFL to deny Colin Kaepernick work and

Resolved that local 123 of the AFSCME stands with Colin Kaepernick in his stand against racism and injustice and be it

Resolved; that blacklisting Colin Kaepernick is harmful to all workers no matter our background because his cause is just and this is one of many instances where workers can be brought together not just to fight racism but all forms of oppression as well as for jobs, housing, education and a decent society for all; and be it

Resolved: that local 123 AFSCME call on all locals to join in support for Colin Kapernick and pass similar resolutions and organize discussions in the locals, on the job and in the communities around this issue and the wider issue of the assault on living standards by the 1% and be it

Finally Resolved: that these resolutions be send to the higher union bodies, district councils state and national bodies as well as municipal boards, councils, school boards etc asking them to join in such a campaign

Something like that.

No comments: