DSA National Director’s December Dispatch

Dear Comrades,

Just in time for cold winter weather, Donald Trump plans to change the rules governing food stamps, effectively helping starve 3.7 million people in the wealthiest country in the world. This will disproportionately hurt rural communities, people of color, mentally ill and physically disabled people, women, people of color, and LGBTQ people.

Last month three workers were killed by a collapsing building in New Orleans, dozens were injured, and ICE just deported a key witness who had joined in a lawsuit with other injured workers against the contractors and developers.

This month I remembered how Ronald Reagan stood aside, allowing 89,000 people to die of AIDS by the end of his presidency, an epidemic that claimed 300,000 before government action brought it under better control.

Lest this seem a partisan attack on the Republicans, let’s not forget it was Democrat Bill Clinton whose crime bill gave states additional money to punish people more severely and expanded the mass incarceration system. One legacy of his “super predator” narrative is teenager Trayvon Martin’s death at the hands of George Zimmerman (who is now using the courts to enact more violence on Martin’s family by suing them for $100 million.)

There are also many Democrats attacking Medicare for All, the only real chance we have to address the fact that 26,000 people die each year because the private insurance industry would rather make money than allow them to receive care.

Violence comes in many forms. To see the news coverage, whether Fox News or MSNBC, whether covering Bolivia or single payer healthcare, it’s justified. That’s why it’s wise to recall Malcolm X’s words that “if you’re not careful, the newspapers will have you hating the people who are oppressed, and loving the people who are doing the oppressing.”

But it’s not enough to have the right ideas, to understand the world through a socialist lens. The point is to change it.

We must harness our collective power to make positive change at a mass scale. Instead of cutting food stamps, government should promote unions and direct worker ownership and provide a complete safety net for those unable to work. Instead of empowering corporations to exploit their workers and patients, we need to take critical services out of the market and invest in the public good. Instead of more prisons, we need more jobs, education and mental health care.

The complete transformation of our society means taking government back from the capitalist class. It means building a powerful movement.

Do your part to build this movement.

  • Fund our national work by giving a generous year-end gift or become a monthly member (both of which will get you a Housing is a Human Right union-printed sticker if you give between December 17th and December 31st.)
  • Apply to a leadership role in one of our national bodies.
  • Pitch a piece for one of our publications, Democratic Left or the Socialist Forum.
  • Become active locally in a local or national campaign or give a year-end gift to your local chapter.

Only you have the power to turn violence into justice.

In solidarity,

Maria Svart
DSA National Director


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The Washington Socialist is the newsletter and editorial publication of Metro DC DSA. The views and opinions expressed here may not reflect those of the chapter, and publication of any information should not be considered an endorsement. For our chapter's official statements, please visit the Statements section of our main site.

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