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

April 24, 2017
· 46 rsvps

DSA is in the process of forming a Queer Socialists Working Group. This call will cover a discussion of possible activities for the group, its proposed structure, assigning tasks, and reports on the revision of DSA's LGBT statement and on possible political education activities. 9 pm ET/8 pm CT/7 pm MT/6 pm PT.

 

Introduction to Socialist Feminism Call

April 30, 2017
· 55 rsvps

Join Philadelphia DSA veteran activist Michele Rossi to explore “socialist feminism.” How does it differ from other forms of feminism? How and when did it develop? What does it mean for our activism? 4-5:30pm ET, 3-4:30pm CT, 2-3:30pm MT, 1-2:30pm PT.

DSA Webinar: Talking About Socialism

May 02, 2017
· 11 rsvps

Practice talking about socialism in plain language. Create your own short rap. Prepare for those conversations about socialism that happen when you table in public.

Join us for our latest organizing training for democratic socialist activists: DSA’s (Virtual) Little Red Schoolhouse.

This training is at 9:00pm Eastern, 8:00pm Central, 7:00pm Mountain, 6:00pm Pacific, 5:00pm Alaska, and 3:00pm Hawaii Time. Please RSVP.

Instructor:

Steve Max, DSA Vice Chair and one of the founders of the legendary community organizing school, The Midwest Academy

In Talking About Socialism you will learn to:

  • Have a quick response ready to go next time someone asks you about democratic socialism.
  • Create your own elevator pitch about democratic socialism and DSA.
  • Use your personal experience and story to explain democratic socialism.
  • Think through the most important ideas you want to convey about democratic socialism.
  • Have a concise explanation of what DSA does, for your next DSA table, event or coalition meeting.

Training Details

  • This workshop is for those who have already had an introduction to democratic socialism, whether from DSA's webinar or from other sources.
  • If you have a computer with microphone, speakers and good internet access, you can join via internet for free.
  • If you have questions, contact Theresa Alt <talt@igc.org> 607-280-7649.
  • If you have very technical questions, contact Tony Schmitt <schmittaj@gmail.com> 608-335-6568.
  • Participation requires that you register at least 45 hours in advance, by midnight Sunday.

 

DSA New Member Orientation Call

May 06, 2017
· 52 rsvps

You've joined DSA - Great. Now register for this New Member Orientation call and find out more about our politics and our vision.  And, most importantly, how you can become involved.  2 pm ET; 1 pm CT; 12 pm MT; 11 am PT.  

Film Discussion: The Free State of Jones

June 11, 2017
· 18 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.