Last week, DL began its unfurling of the National Political Education Committee’s landmark 100 Days of Socialism, a dynamic alternative to all that chatter about the Biden Administration’s “first 100 days.” Exploring what the first 100 days of a socialist government might look like, we began with the NPEC’s own Sanjiv Gupta and Daphna Thier; look below for Krystle Okafor’s essential vision from the Afrosocialist Caucus.
In the coming weeks, stay tuned for pieces from the Socialist Feminism, Labor and Green New Deal Committees. What do you want from those days? Let us know! (Ed.)
As a member of the Afrosocialists and Socialists of Color Caucus (“AfroSoc”), which builds power with and for the nation’s multiracial working class, I am proud to present our vision for a new administration equal to the task of redressing today’s interrelated crises.
It is important to recall the origins of 100-day planning. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt was the first chief executive to mount such a campaign. In his 1933 100-day plan, FDR modeled some of the policies for which we, as socialists, advocate: universal programs for employment and social protection. Yet FDR intentionally excluded Black Americans from the New Deal. He sacrificed our material security in politically expedient compromises with racist southern Democrats. In doing so, he prevented Black folks from developing the wealth that serves as a cushion during financial shocks like the coronavirus pandemic. The consequences of New Deal exclusion are felt to this day.
When universal programs put expediency over equity, they amount to state violence, the organized abandonment of groups at the margins. However, organized abandonment is not the only way that the state antagonizes us — there is also the use of brute force. From Ferguson in 2014, to Baltimore in 2015, and cities across the country in 2020, police repressed protestors who mobilized to honor the inherent value of Black life. This is to say nothing of the day-to-day harassment that Black and Brown people experience at the hands of the police. AfroSoc condemns both the covert violence of austerity and the overt violence of police brutality.
As socialists, we must work to tackle state violence in all of its forms, both overt and covert. That’s why AfroSoc’s 100-day plan accounts for difference and addresses long-standing inequities. We know state violence looks different for Haitian migrants facing immigrant detention in Texas, Ohlone women resisting dispossession in California, and Mexican families fighting skyrocketing rents in Illinois. Racial capitalism is pervasive, but its consequences vary across structures, cultures, histories, and geographies, so the policies we seek must vary too. With this in mind, AfroSoc endorses the following 100-day priorities:
Following the lead of the Red Nation, AfroSoc calls for comprehensive land return and restoration programs to initiate the decolonization process.
Following the lead of Mijente, AfroSoc calls for a blanket moratorium on deportations and enforcement actions to dismantle the immigration caging and deportation machine.
Following the lead of the Asian American Feminist Collective, AfroSoc calls for a politics of community care: an end to anti-Asian violence and federal pennypinching during the coronavirus pandemic.
People of color face distinct harm at the hands of the state and the market. As the New Deal illustrates, universal programs that do not proactively address these harms reproduce them. That’s why AfroSoc is committed to getting into step, organizing around a shared vision for broad-based economic inclusion while simultaneously targeting the forces that have kept folks of color at the margins.