To Properly Mourn the Murder Victims at the Emanuel AME Church We Must Rededicate Ourselves to the Fight Against Racism

Statement of the National Political Committee of Democratic Socialists of America

Democratic Socialists of America grieves the loss of the lives of nine innocent human beings who were all leading activists and mentors within the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church and the larger Charleston community. We express our solidarity with the members of the Charleston AME church and the larger black community of Charleston. The lives and names of the victims must not be forgotten:  Cynthia Hurd, Susie Jackson, Ethel Lance, Reverend DePayne Middleton-Doctor, Reverend and State Senator Clementa Pickney, Tywanza Sanders, Reverend Daniel Simmons, Sr., Reverend Sharonda Singleton and Myran Thompson.

The shooting, which was perpetrated by a 21-year-old white man, was shocking not only in the massive loss of life but also in the murderer's use of the hospitality of a prayer group to enter the historic Charleston AME Church. The “Mother Emanuel” church since its founding in 1816 has served as a safe haven and movement center for Charleston’s black community. The original church was burned to the ground by the white community in 1822, once the plans of Denmark Vesey and other church activists for a massive slave revolt were leaked to the authorities. The murder of today’s parishioners is accurately described as an act of white racist terror; the choice of the site of this heinous act is unlikely to have been accidental.

The Black Lives Matter movement continues to contend correctly that these incidents are not isolated nor the work of deranged individuals. They are part of a centuries-long pattern of white violence against blacks, which takes the form of brutal physical coercion alongside economic and social exclusion. Not coincidentally, the confessed killer wore jackets with patches from apartheid South Africa and white-ruled Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe). These regimes were founded to maintain both racist ideology and white control of the economy and domination of black labor.

Democratic Socialists of America condemns not only the murder of these nine women and men but also the politicians, pundits and purveyors of injustice who refuse to acknowledge that this was an attack of racist terror. DSA believes it is more important than ever for everyone, particularly white people, to fight against racial injustice. The violence must stop, and we all must take part in stopping the racist attacks and murders of our African-American brothers and sisters.

DSA Queer Socialists Conference Call

May 25, 2017
· 32 rsvps

Join DSA's Queer Socialists Working Group to discuss possible activities for the group and its proposed structure. 9 pm ET/8 pm CT/7 pm MT/6 pm PT.

 

What Is DSA? Training Call

May 30, 2017
· 40 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.

Film Discussion: Rosa [Luxemburg]

May 31, 2017
· 90 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.

Film Discussion: The Free State of Jones

June 11, 2017
· 25 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. 8 ET/7 CT/6 MT/5 PT.

Introduction to Democratic Socialism

June 13, 2017
· 2 rsvps

Join Bill Barclay, Chicago DSA co-chair, and Peg Strobel, National Political Committee and Feminist Working Group co-chair, on this webinar for an overview of what we in Democratic Socialists of America mean when we talk about "socialism," "capitalism" and the goals of the socialist movement. 9:30 PM ET; 8:30 PM CT; 7:30 PM MT; 6:30 PM 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 Bill Barclay, chocolatehouse@sbcglobal.net.
  5. If you have technical questions, contact Tony Schmitt, schmittaj@gmail.com, 608-355-6568.

Film Discussion: Pride

September 10, 2017
· 7 rsvps

Join DSA members Eric Brasure and Brendan Hamill to discuss the British film Pride (2014). It’s 1984, British coal miners are on strike, and a group of gays and lesbians in London bring the queer community together to support the miners in their fight. Based on the true story of Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners. The film is available for rent on YouTube, Amazon, and iTunes. 8 ET/7 CT/6 MT/5 PT.

Film Discussion: Union Maids

September 24, 2017
· 5 rsvps

 

Join DSA member and labor historian Susan Hirsch in discussing Union Maids (1976). Nominated for an Academy Award, this documentary follows three Chicago labor organizers (Kate Hyndman, Stella Nowicki, and Sylvia Woods) active beginning in the 1930s. The filmmakers were members of the New American Movement (a precursor of DSA), and the late Vicki Starr (aka Stella Nowicki) was a longtime member of Chicago DSA and the Chicago Women's Liberation Union. It’s available free on YouTube, though sound quality is poor. 8ET/7CT/6MT/5PT.