National Alliance. Has a positive ring to it, right? But as other organizations with similar all embracing title themes, the National Alliance (not to be confused with the National Alliance Against Racial and Political Repression) is anything but.
Recently, while visiting a family member I noticed several flyers rolled up with a rubber band that had been thrown onto the driveway where my car was parked. The first of several pieces read: Black History Month. I usually throw away the many flyers placed in my mailbox or attached to my door but my curiosity was aroused, so I unrolled the flyers. As I read the material, ill feelings washed over me. The flyers, published by the “National Alliance,” espoused racist and anti-Semitic misinformation and outright lies. Judging from the message printed on their flyers and viewing their web site, this group fits the description of a white supremacist organization.
Terry McVeigh, the man executed for taking part in bombing the federal building in Oklahoma City that killed 168 people – including 19 children – was said to have been connected to a white supremacist group (the Aryan Republican Army). Hate crimes have been on the rise against anyone who doesn’t fit these folks’ view of the world. Killings of Black and Latino youth in inner-city neighborhoods by white police officers, who themselves live in segregated worlds, continue. To what degree are the police acting out racist fears and insecurities, fueled when they see images flashed across TV screens along with sound bites inferring, “it’s them against us,” rarely, if ever, addressing the underlying issues?
Dr. King’s anti-Vietnam-war speech 37 years ago addressed violence – violence perpetrated by the U.S. government. These policies continue today. We drop bombs on a country 25,000 miles away, killing and wounding an estimated 30,000 Iraqis. The infrastructure of the cities destroyed, over 500 American soldiers killed and many more returning home impaired for life. This tragedy is being done against the will of the American people at an enormous cost. Billions are spent for war while families and lives are shattered here at home.
The media, controlled by just a few corporations, continue to feed us half-truths, one-sided (right-wing) talking heads, and “reality TV.” “Survivor” pits people one against the other – instead of working together to overcome their hardships, which is the logical way to survive under life-threatening circumstances. We see multi-millionaire Donald Trump firing people who don’t come up to his business standards, which require taking ever-greater risks in the real estate business, stepping over or on your competition. That’s a kind of violence too. In a jobless recovery economy, being fired can mean inability to pay for the necessities of life. Reality.
Early in the Democratic presidential debates, none of the major players, including Dean, took a position on terrorism that addressed its root causes. Instead, they focused on “Homeland Security” and law enforcement tactics.
How do we eliminate these many kinds of violence?
We begin by voting Bush and his gang out in November.
If America is to prevent attacks on its soil and fight terrorism, the coalitions for peace and justice that have joined together and have become a mighty force will have to lead. We must demand change of a new administration. Change from policies that have created unprecedented poverty through exploitation and destruction of the earth’s resources. Change in foreign policy, from provocation and terror to reconciliation and trust. As we move our great country in this direction, the conditions that cause organizations like the National Alliance to exist will fade away.
Gabe Falsetta is a People’s Weekly World staff member. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.