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US May Day rallies: It's the economy

Amadi Ajamu | 5/3/2012, 12:44 p.m.

May Day is International Workers Day. It is the day we commemorate the sacrifices made by the majority of people in fighting for the rights of workers and achievements such as the eight-hour workday, ending child labor, occupational safety, health care and pensions.

For Black people, a fundamental contradiction has been racism. The basis of racism has been and continues to be economic. The current state of the political economy in the United States must be the focal point for all working-class people. It is time to exert our collective power and begin to act in our own interests.

We can no longer wait for crumbs from financial institutions, corporations or philanthropic organizations.

While they help themselves to our tax dollars to bail themselves out of the loss of money stolen from us on failed Ponzi schemes and stock speculation, we continue to lose. Our mass political organizing must be strategic, and our tactics must precise. We must analyze the historical development of capitalism and its effects on working people.

Black people in the United States bear the brunt of the economic crisis that has developed. Right now in New York and other cities all around the country, over 50 percent of Black men are unemployed. Exorbitant rents and mortgages are systematically pushing us out of communities we have lived in for generations. Hospital are closing, schools are failing. We must begin to do the tedious work of organizing step by step and linking with like-minded people nationally and internationally to fundamentally change our conditions.

Working people's labor produces everything that is sold on the market, yet we reap minimal political and economic advances. We must rethink this process and construct a better one. It is time to build a political economy that is humane and where the wealth is shared by all.