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.

Film Discussion: The Price We Pay

January 30, 2017
· 45 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
· 14 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
· 8 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.