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

What Is DSA? Training Call

March 07, 2017
· 59 rsvps

If you're a new DSAer, have been on a new member call, but still have questions about DSA's core values/strategy/core work and how to express these ideas in an accessible way to the media, as well as to friends, family and others who might be interested in joining DSA, this call is for you. 

We will talk through the basics of DSA's political orientation and strategy for moving toward democratic socialism, and also have call participants practice discussing these issues with each other. By the end of the call you should feel much more comfortable thinking about and expressing what DSA does and what makes our organization/strategy unique. 8 pm ET; 7 pm CT; 6 pm MT; 5 pm PT. 70 minutes.

Feminist Working Group

March 07, 2017
· 35 rsvps

People of all genders are welcome to join this call to discuss DSA's work on women's and LGBTQ issues, especially in light of the new political reality that we face after the elections.  9 pm ET; 8 pm CT; 7 pm MT; 6 pm PT.

LGBT Activism: A Brief History with Thoughts about the Future

April 01, 2017
· 15 rsvps

Historian John D'Emilio's presentation will do 3 things: Provide a brief explanation of how sexual and gender identities have emerged; provide an overview of the progression of LGBT activism since its origins in the 1950s, highlighting key moments of change; and, finally, suggest what issues, from a democratic socialist perspective, deserve prioritizing now. John co-authored Intimate Matters: A History of Sexuality in America, which was quoted by Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy in the 2003 Lawrence v. Texas decision that ruled state sodomy laws unconstitutional. 1 pm ET; 12 pm CT; 11 am MT; 10 am PT.

  1. This webinar is free for any DSA member in good standing.
  2. You need a computer with good internet access.
  3. Your computer must have headphones (preferred) or speakers; you can speak thru a mic or use chat to "speak".
  4. If you have questions, contact Peg Strobel, peg.strobel@sbcglobal.net.
  5. If you have technical questions, contact Tony Schmitt, schmittaj@gmail.com, 608-355-6568.

Film Discussion: Documentaries of People's History in Texas

April 02, 2017
· 22 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. 8 ET/7 CT/6 MT/5 PT.

Film Discussion: Rosa [Luxemburg]

May 31, 2017
· 37 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. 9 ET/8 CT/7 MT/6 PT.