DSA Condemns Mass Murder in Orlando and the Intolerant Ideologies That Promote Such Acts

Democratic Socialists of America condemns the perpetrator of the mass killing and wounding of innocents at the LGBTQ night club Pulse in Orlando Florida this past weekend on Latin night. We stand in solidarity with the victims and their families and the LGBTQ and Latinx community of Orlando and beyond.

This was not a random shooting, but one motivated by the homophobia and hypermasculinity that characterizes all fanatical ideologies, be they Islamist or Christian extremism or far-right anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim political movements. Rather than attacking the actual sources of injustice, violent extremists target those who do not conform to conservative and patriarchal conceptions of social life.

DSA condemns all authoritarian movements and extremist religions that favor imposing their ideologies through the armed violence of the state or of vigilantes. We find it particularly hypocritical of the religious right to condemn this attack as one upon “American values,” when the far right espouses a worldview that demonizes the LGBTQ community, immigrants and people of color. DSA stands for the building of a democratic civil society that affirms the humanity of all; the Right’s current hate campaign in favor of transphobic bathroom bills stands in stark opposition to that commitment.

In the United States, extremist individuals can act out their violent hatred through ready access to military-style weapons whose only purpose is to inflict massive, instantaneous casualties. The majority of the U.S. public favors banning assault rifles and stricter regulation of access to fire arms. Until we defeat the power of the undemocratic NRA, the United States will continue to lead the world in random mass killings – a much greater threat to our collective well-being than is organized terrorism.

Ideologically motivated mass shootings in the U.S. in recent decades have been carried out by individuals acting in isolation. When the actor is an individual white racist, as in the Charleston, South Carolina shootings, we do not condemn all whites in the U.S as adherents of the shooter’s racist ideology. The same refusal to hold an entire community to blame for the act of an individual fanatic must also apply to the Muslim community in the United States. These acts of fanatical harm of innocents can only be curtailed through a continuous struggle for a society that embraces freedom of sexual expression and the right to freely choose whom one loves, as well as full rights for all immigrants, regardless of their nominal legal status.

Issued by the National Political Committee of DSA, June 13, 2016

Film Discussion: The Price We Pay

January 30, 2017
· 44 rsvps
The Price We Pay blows the lid off the dirty world of corporate malfeasance — the dark history and dire present-day reality of big-business tax avoidance, tax havens - and what we need to do to stop this.  DSA member Bill Barclay, who has a cameo role in the film, will facilitate the discussion. Watch the film prior to the discussion.

Full film available on Vimeo.

How to Plug in New Members

February 01, 2017
· 13 rsvps

Is your DSA chapter growing quickly and you're trying desperately to find ways to plug new members into your chapter's work? Never fear! On this conference call an experienced DSA organizer will go over the basics of new member outreach and developing a plan for plugging new members into your chapter's work. Most of the call will be devoted to troubleshooting specific issues you're facing, so please brainstorm some issues beforehand that you want to bring up on the call.  8 PM ET; 7 PM CT; 7 PM MT; 7 PM PT.

Film Discussion: Salt of the Earth

February 05, 2017
· 9 rsvps

Join DSA members Shelby Murphy and Deborah Rosenfelt in discussing Salt of the Earth, a captivating film made in 1954 by blacklisted writers and actors about a strike at a New Mexico zinc mine. Well before the resurgence of feminism in the 1960s, these filmmakers were exploring gender inequality and solidarity. Available on Netflix.

Shelby Murphy is a Latina from Texas and former Young Democratic Socialists co-chair. Professor Emerita of Women’s Studies at the University of Maryland, Deborah Rosenfelt researched the making of the film and its aftermath for the reissued screenplay. Here is her blogpost about the film.

 

Film Discussion: Documentaries of People's History in Texas

April 02, 2017
· 4 rsvps

Join DSA members Glenn Scott and Richard Croxdale to discuss videos produced by People’s History in Texas (PHIT), a project that brings to life the stories of ordinary people in significant socio-political movements in Texas. They will discuss The Rag, their newest documentary, which tells the story of an influential underground paper based in Austin, Texas, from 1966-77. Click here to view Part I (the early years as an all-volunteer paper covering the student, anti-Vietnam and Civil Rights movements), Part II (the impact of Women’s Liberation on the paper) and Part III (building community: covering local politics, nukes, co-ops, feminist institutions). But also check out the video on the Stand-Ins about a group of university students who led a movement to desegregate Austin’s movie theaters in 1961.

Film Discussion: Rosa [Luxemburg]

May 31, 2017
· 7 rsvps

Join DSA member Jason Schulman to discuss the film Rosa, directed by feminist filmmaker Margarethe von Trotta. View it here at no cost before the discussion. Marxist theorist and economist Rosa Luxemburg (1871-1919) played a key role in German socialist politics. Jason edited Rosa Luxemburg: Her Life and Legacy and has a chapter in Rosa Remix.

Film Discussion: The Free State of Jones

June 11, 2017
· 4 rsvps

Join Victoria Bynum, Distinguished Professor Emeritus of History, Texas State University, San Marcos, to discuss The Free State of Jones. STX Entertainment bought the film rights to Bynum's book of the same title. She also served as a consultant and appears in a cameo scene. What was the Free State of Jones? During the Civil War, an armed band of deserters led by Newt Knight, a non-slaveholding white farmer, took to the swamps of southeastern Mississippi and battled against the Confederacy in an uprising popularly known as “The Free State of Jones.” Joining Newt in this rebellion was Rachel, a slave. From their relationship, there developed a controversial mixed-race community that endured long after the Civil War had ended. View the film here for $6 before the discussion.