Category: police terrorism
Police Fire Gas Bombs at Honduran University Students
| September 14, 2017 | 8:07 pm | Fascist terrorism, police terrorism | No comments

 

https://www.telesurtv.net/english/news/Police-Fire-Gas-Bombs-at-Honduran-University-Students–20170913-0043.html

  • Students throw Molotov cocktails at riot police on September 13, 2017 in Tegucigalpa.

    Students throw Molotov cocktails at riot police on September 13, 2017 in Tegucigalpa. | Photo: AFP

The police threw gas bombs, tear gas and water cannons against the students after they set up a blockade in front of the University.

At least six students from the National Autonomous University of Honduras, UNAH, have been injured and in violent clashes with Honduran police.

RELATED:
Honduras University Suspends 19 Students for 5 Years

The police threw gas bombs, tear gas and water cannons against the students after they set up a blockade in front of the University.

The 30 students, part of the University Student Movement, or MEU, responded by throwing stones and Molotov cocktails.

The MEU has been protesting for the past three months to demand that the director of the university, Julieta Castellanos, be removed over corruption allegations.

“When will her term end?”

The ongoing demonstrations have suspended classes at the university.

While the governor called for classes to resume last week, the MEU blocked access to the school’s buildings, saying they will only allow classes to begin once Castellanos steps down.

The student group’s demonstration.

The University Management Board announced in a statement that the director will leave the post on September 25, when her term ends.

The MEU has also accused the university of “criminalizing” students after it charged nearly 50 students for damaging university property.

They have also called for the resignation of President Juan Orlando Hernandez.

Demonstration against HPD Enforcement of SB 4 on Saturday, May 20
Dear Sisters and Brothers,
A demonstration against Houston Police Department enforcement of Senate Bill 4 will be held in front of HPD Headquarters, 1200 Travis St., on Saturday, May 20, 3-5 pm. Afterward, we will march to Discovery Green, 1500 McKinney, to join the Black Lives Matter Rally being held from 5-7 pm.

The enactment of Senate Bill 4 presents a significant danger to undocumented immigrants, to people of Mexican descent in general, and to other people of color. This new “Show Me Your Papers Law” will lead to more unjustified deportations, more separation of families, more racial profiling, more violations of supposed constitutional rights, more unreported crimes, and more pain and misery for many people.

The Houston Police Department already has a long, ugly history of murdering and abusing people. Now HPD Chief Art Acevedo says he will make sure his officers enforce SB 4 even though he opposed its passage. To this, we can only say: Hell No! SB 4 is a racist, anti-worker law, and it should not be enforced! HPD should not serve as immigration agents! No more deportations! Stop breaking up families! End racial profiling! Stop police murders and brutality!

This action is being organized by Brown Berets de TejAztlan, Freedom Road Socialist Organization, Houston Socialist Movement, Latinos Inmigrantes Triunfadores, MORENA-Houston SW, and Party for Socialism and Liberation (list in formation). If your organization would like to endorse this demonstration, or if you would like more information, please contact the organizers at 832.692.2306 or 281.935.9248 or Ryonboyw71@gmail.com.

In solidarity,
HSM
Women’s Day protest organizers arrested outside Trump hotel in NY

Colombian prisoner David Ravelo must go free, now!

In an open letter we ask Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos to order his government to release political prisoner David Ravelo. We invite individuals and organizations to endorse the letter. To do so, please send a name, city, state or province, and country to W.T. Whitney at: atwhit@roadrunner.com. The letter and names will be delivered to Colombian officials in mid-January.

  1. T. Whitney Jr. prepares this letter which is a project of The North American Committee for the Defense of David Ravelo. In 2012 the Committee sent a solidarity delegation to Colombia on Ravelo’s behalf.

 

The Honorable Juan Manuel Santos

President, Republic of Colombia

 

Dear Mr. President,

 

Sir, those who sign this letter hold that the case against prisoner David Ravelo (cédula de ciudadanía 13.887.558) collapsed long ago under the weight of lies and a quite illegitimate prosecution.   With respect, we ask that you instruct your government to release Mr. Ravelo from prison. We point to a long, unvarying record of injustice against Ravelo.

 

David Ravelo was arrested September 14, 2010 in Barrancabermeja, Colombia. Charged with plotting to murder municipal official David Núñez Cala in 1991, he is serving an 18 – year term. Appeals have failed. His case is now before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.

 

Ravelo, we think, is emblematic of thousands of political prisoners in limbo now as Colombia implements its peace accord. Imprisoned combatants and civilian political prisoners may soon be eligible for amnesty. Ravelo needs to be one of them.

 

Barrancabermeja, Ravelo’s native city, produces 60 percent of Colombia’s oil products. In the late 1980s the Patriotic Union (UP) electoral coalition entered local politics. Soon David Ravelo was a UP member of Barrancabermeja’s city council and a UP delegate to the Santander Assembly. At the time, however, killers were targeting UP activists in Barrancabermeja, and nationally.

 

Charged with rebellion in 1993, Ravelo went to prison for 27 months.   By the late 1990s, paramilitaries controlled the city and its surroundings. They massacred 36 Barrancabermeja inhabitants on May 16, 1998 and 17 more on February 28, 1999.

 

In Barrancabermeja, Ravelo was a labor organizer, community educator, and journalist. He is a longtime member of the Colombian Communist Party’s Central Committee. Barrancabermeja’s Catholic Diocese honored Ravelo in 2008 for his 30 years dedicated to defending human rights. In response to paramilitary violence, he founded and directed the CREDHOS human rights organization. Many CREDHOS leaders subsequently were killed or threatened.

 

Ravelo in 2007 circulated a video, viewable here, showing President Alvaro Uribe socializing with Barrancabermeja paramilitary leaders in 2001.   The U.S. government, Colombia’s military ally, had complained about Uribe’s ties to paramilitaries. We suspect that the video, embarrassing to President Uribe, provoked his taking action against Ravelo.

 

Persecution, lies, and vengeance

 

Colombia’s government in 1999 convicted paramilitary leaders Mario Jaimes Mejía (alias “Panadero’) and Fremio Sánchez Carreño for organizing the two Barrancabermeja massacres. Each received a 20 year sentence. Having accused them, David Ravelo played a role in their downfall.

From Itagüí prison, paramilitary leader Roberto Pérez Álzate “gave the order,” says Ravelo, for Jaimes Mejía “to take revenge and accuse David Ravelo Crespo and José Arístides Andrade” of murdering David Núñez Cala in 1991.

Jaimes confessed to organizing the massacres of 1998 and 1999 in order to qualify for the Justice and Peace Law of 2005. According to that law, paramilitary leaders telling the truth and demobilizing troops would serve eight years in prison. In 2008 Jaimes confessed to the Núñez Cala murder and named Ravelo and ex- congressperson Arístides Andrade as accomplices. He claimed they attended a meeting in Barrancabermeja where the murder was planned. Again, accusations against Ravelo would ease his entry into the Justice and Peace program.

 

Jaime’s paramilitary associate Fremio Sánchez also confessed to the massacres and to his role in the Núñez Cala murder. He too implicated Ravelo and Arístides Andrade in order to qualify for Justice and Peace.

 

Jaimes Mejía was a FARC member when he killed Núñez Cala; only later would he join the paramilitaries. Accusing Ravelo of ties to the FARC, he showed investigators a 1985 photo of Ravelo attending a peace meeting with FARC leaders at a forest encampment. Authorities had used the old photo to put Ravelo in prison in 1993. Ravelo went free when the “Ravelo” in the photo was shown to be someone else, a journalist.

 

In the clutches of the law

 

The prosecution and trial of Ravelo revealed terrible procedural failings. The court, for example, accepted Jaimes Mejía’s accusation – a lie – that Ravelo and Andrade participated in a murder. Colombia’s Attorney General on August 20, 2014 charged him with lying, and a judicial unit specializing in false witnesses is investigating. Between May 26, 2015 and October 27, 2016, however, six scheduled court sessions were canceled.

 

Further, the prosecutor in Ravelo’s case, William Pacheco Granados, is a criminal. As a police lieutenant in 1991 he arranged for the “forced disappearance” of a young man. A military court convicted him; he spent a year in prison. Law 270 of 1996 prohibits anyone dismissed from “any public office” or convicted of a crime from joining “the judicial branch.” Now Pacheco Granados faces civil prosecution for murder.

 

And, the criminality of Ravelo’s accuser, Mario Jaimes Mejía, seems limitless. Jaimes arranged for journalist Yineth Bedoya to be kidnapped before she was to interview him in prison in 2000. She was beaten and raped. Jaimes received a 28 – year sentence.

 

There’s more: Jaimes Mejía bribed fellow prisoners to testify that Ravelo and Arístides Andrade attended the meeting where the murder was planned. Jaimes used prisoner Fremio Sánchez to recruit them, according to witnesses at Ravelo’s trial. Prison officials facilitated meetings to enable Jaimes and Sánchez to conspire against Ravelo.

 

And, none of Ravelo’s 30 defense witnesses were allowed to testify during the trial proceedings. Prosecutor Pacheco closed his pre-trial investigation without hearing testimony as to Ravelo’s innocence.

 

And, four weeks elapsed between Ravelo being convicted and the actual announcement of his conviction on December 11, 2012. This “flagrant violation of due process” delayed preparations for Ravelo’s appeal.

 

Lastly, the atmosphere surrounding Ravelo’s trial was grim; “family members and members of Ravelo’s CREDHOS organization continually suffered paramilitary death threats and harassment while the trial was in progress.”

 

Ravalo summarizes: “[T]he paramilitaries had ‘reasons’ for wanting to eliminate me. That’s why … they tried to assassinate me physically, but didn’t succeed. They decided to eliminate me judicially, and for that they implemented ‘the judicial façade,’ using the lie as their favorite weapon. It’s clear, therefore, that the truth is the first victim of war.”

Not My President! Resist Trump! March and Rally in Houston on Friday, January 20
Dear Sisters and Brothers,
Donald Trump is the most openly racist, misogynistic, anti-immigrant, anti-worker, and authoritarian candidate to become president of the United States in modern history. He was not democratically elected, and he will never be a legitimate president for scores of millions of us. As this billionaire sociopath moves into the White House and the threat of fascism grows, it is imperative that workers, women, oppressed people, and democratic-minded allies make clear: Not My President! Resist Trump!
The January 20 coalition is organizing a march and rally to protest the inauguration of Trump on Friday, January 20. Our application for a parade permit was denied, but this will not stop us from forcefully opposing Trump from his first day in office. We will assemble on the sidewalk at 900 Smith St., next to Hermann Square, at 1 pm. Beginning at 1:30 pm, we will march on the sidewalks down Smith St. to the Leland Federal Building at 1919 Smith St. Our rally there will include speakers, chants, spoken word artists, and the dramatic smashing of a new Trump piñata.
The January 20 action will be an independent political action by workers and oppressed people, without any ties to organizations led by the Democrats or Republicans. As Trump moves into the White House and the threat of fascism grows, our message will be that only the masses of workers and oppressed people can effectively resist Trump, defeat fascism, and lay the foundation for revolutionary change. And the January 20 action is only the beginning of our resistance.
Together, we will demand: Stop the attacks on immigrants! Stop the attacks on women! Black lives matter! Brown lives matter! Stop racist police terror! Defend the Muslim community! Defend and expand the rights of workers and the 99%! Defend the LGBT communities! Stop the rise of fascism! Stop US imperialist wars! Stop the destruction of Mother Earth!
The January 20 coalition includes Alianza Mexicana, Familias Inmigrantes y Estudiantes en la Lucha, Houston Communist Party, Houston Socialist Movement, International Alliance in Support of Workers in Iran, Latinos Inmigrantes Triunfadores, Organizacion Latino Americana Pro-Derecho Del Inmigrante, Party for Socialism and Liberation, and other organzations (list in formation). If your organization would like to endorse the January 20 action or if you would like more information, please call us at 832.692.2306, 713.447-4106 (se habla espanol), or 713.714.5361. If you would like to help spread the word about the action, please share our “hold the date” event page at https://www.facebook.com/events/1755961954728284/.
In Solidarity,
Houston Socialist Movement
Primitive anti-communism in Indonesia: Russian citizen detained for wearing a t-shirt with sickle and hammer

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Primitive anti-communism in Indonesia: Russian citizen detained for wearing a t-shirt with sickle and hammer

https://communismgr.blogspot.com/2017/01/primitive-anti-communism-in-indonesia.html

It seems that the spirit of the mass murderer, dictator of Indonesia between 1967 to 1998, Suharto, still lives on in the country- and so the anticommunist legislation in the country continues to exist. According to Sputnik International a russian citizen was confronted and briefly detained in Indonesia for wearing a t-shirt emblazoned with a hammer and sickle!

 
According to sputniknews.com, Igor Riabchuk, a Russian national, was accosted by a group of local people in Batam, Indonesia, December 31, for wearing a t-shirt with the communist symbol.

The people turned out to be members of an organization that calls itself Children of the Red Beret Command (AKBM); the group tried to explain to Riabchuk that he was violating Indonesian law by wearing a communist symbol, but could not overcome the language barrier. Unable to communicate with Riabchuk, who can only speak Russian, not English or Indonesian, the locals took him to a police station by force, where he was detained. According to Riau Islands Police spokesman Saptono Erlangga, the police decided to detain Riabchuk “for his own safety.”

Riabchuk is reportedly the third person to be detained in Indonesia for wearing communist symbols. According to police reports, one citizen of Singapore was detained for wearing a similar t-shirt. His t-shirt was also confiscated by the police, and he was subsequently released without charge.
 
A local taxi driver who was heading to a New Year’s eve party, ended up having to spend the night at the police station for the offensive sign. Communism has been officially banned in Indonesia for more than 50 years and this ban is unlikely to be lifted any time soon. According to Indonesian law, a person promoting communism may end up in jail for up to seven years.
 
Suharto, mass murderer and US-backed tyrant of Indonesia,
with President Richard Nixon.
The ban was imposed after Suharto became president following a US-backed coup against the progressive government of Sukarno in 1965. Following the coup, Suharto carried out a nationwide purge of communism known as the Indonesian Genocide. The death count from the purge is estimated to be between half a million to 1 million people. The Indonesian Communist Party-the third largest in the world at the time-was systematically destroyed.
Keep Hope Alive

Demoralized Democrats have a road map for success in Trump’s America. It was written by Jesse Jackson.

Leonard Freed
Jesse Jackson at an event honoring Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech in Washington, D.C., in 1983.

Leonard Freed/Magnum Photos

Jesse Jackson first ran for president during the national farm bust of the early 1980s. Debt for farmers had exploded from $85 billion in 1976 to $216 billion in 1983, with little relief in sight. As Jackson laid the groundwork for his 1984 campaign, the crisis had become so acute that he often found himself preaching his “populist Pentecostalism”—to borrow a phrase from biographer Marshall Frady—to large audiences of angry white farmers in the Midwest. It was an almost unbelievable circumstance for an unusual candidate who had to make unlikely alliances if he wanted national traction.

Jamelle Bouie Jamelle Bouie

Jamelle Bouie is Slates chief political correspondent.

At a rally in 1984, some of those farmers arrived wearing paper bags over their heads, to obscure their faces. It wasn’t until later that Jackson learned they were trying to hide their identities from farm bureau officials. “I looked out there, all these guys in hoods. Sort of a little moment there,” Jackson recalled a few years later in a conversation with farmer and supporter Roger Allison, as recounted by Frady. “But our people have always had more in common than other folks supposed—right, doc? We’ve both felt locked out. Exploited and discarded. People saying about the family farmer exactly what they say about unemployed urban blacks, ‘Something’s wrong with them. If they worked hard like me, wouldn’t be in all that trouble.’ Fact, more you get into this thing, more you realize that black comes in many shades. We’ve found out we kin.”

* * *

In the wake of Donald Trump’s surprise victory, demoralized Democrats have had a fierce intramural argument over how to move forward. Most call for a renewed focus on economic disadvantage. But some juxtapose this with a push against so-called “identity” politics. “In recent years American liberalism has slipped into a kind of moral panic about racial, gender and sexual identity that has distorted liberalism’s message and prevented it from becoming a unifying force capable of governing,” writes Mark Lilla of Columbia University for the New York Times. He urged a “post-identity liberalism” that would “appeal to Americans as Americans” with a press that would “educate itself about parts of the country that have been ignored.”

Lilla lauds Presidents Reagan and Clinton for their politics of shared identity and aspiration, which, if you’re attuned to the facts of those administrations, gives away the game. Reagan gutted federal civil rights enforcement, nominated judges hostile to the “rights revolution,” and elevated a conservative legal movement that, in the years since, has chipped away at the victories of the 1960s. Bill Clinton was an expert practitioner of identity politics, with a “shared vision” aimed at white Americans. As a candidate, he took steps to repudiate the black left. As president, he reinforced the trend toward mass incarceration and enshrined discrimination against LGBT Americans within federal law. To describe either Reagan or Clinton as exemplars of a “post-identity” politics is to submerge whiteness, maleness, and Christian belief as identities.

Jesse Jackson
Jesse Jackson speaks at a Baptist church in Columbia, Missouri, during his 1984 presidential campaign.

Robert R. McElroy/Getty Images

The fact of the matter is that Americans have never lived lives separated from the material facts of their identities. Jesse Jackson knew this. A liberalism that doesn’t, for example, engage with the specific problems of black workers or undocumented immigrants is one that can’t engage with “Americans as Americans,” if American is a stand-in for the citizens and residents who exist and not a euphemism for a certain kind of imagined American of decades past.

Even those who don’t make Lilla’s juxtaposition tend to silo questions and issues of identity from those of class and economic disadvantage. “Clearly there is no working with a president who believes in, or will bring forth, programs or policies based on bigotry, whether it is racism, sexism, homophobia, or xenophobia, and there can be no compromise on that,” said Bernie Sanders in a recent interview with GQ magazine. “But if Trump is prepared to work with me and others on rebuilding our infrastructure and creating millions of jobs, on raising the minimum wage, on passing Glass-Steagall, on changing our trade policies—yes, I think it would be counterproductive on issues that working-class Americans supported and depend upon if we did not go forward.”

To be clear, what Sanders isn’t doing is dismissing concerns of identity and representation. He clearly sees that they are important. At the same time, he wants to make a distinction between compromising on racist or sexist or homophobic policy and compromising with a racist or sexist political movement. That distinction doesn’t exist in practice. Bipartisan legislative victories bolster Trump and his administration, giving legitimacy to a movement centered on white grievance and white anger. Working with Trump to raise the minimum wage, for example, invariably strengthens a politics that casts Hispanic immigrants as a threat to national prosperity or paints Muslim Americans as a threat to national safety. Building new infrastructure doesn’t change Trump’s commitment to draconian policing. For black workers, then, the gains that come with new jobs are undermined if not vaporized by a larger agenda that endangers and disadvantages. A working-class politics that leaves black and brown workers vulnerable to white nationalism isn’t a working-class politics. It’s a white politics for white workers and counterproductive to broad advancement.

Because Sanders puts those questions of identity in a silo, he misses this relationship and risks being co-opted by Trump. At minimum he is pushing an incomplete populism that doesn’t grasp how the experience of class is inextricably bound up with identity.

In our conversations around inequality and poverty, we often miss a crucial fact: Not all inequality is created equal. On average, inequality and poverty among black Americans (as well as native groups and undocumented Americans) is of a different scale and magnitude than inequality and poverty among white Americans.

When white workers attain higher wages and greater economic status, they can translate this to better neighborhoods and stronger schools. When black workers attain the same, they can’t, at least not to the same degree. Middle-class status, insofar that black workers can reach it, is less stable and more tenuous for them than for their white counterparts. “Even if a white and black child are raised by parents who have similar jobs, similar levels of education, and similar aspirations for their children,” writes sociologist Patrick Sharkey in his book Stuck in Place: Urban Neighborhoods and the End of Progress Toward Racial Equality, “the rigid segregation of urban neighborhoods means that the black child will be raised in a residential environment with higher poverty, fewer resources, poorer schools, and more violence than that of the white child.” Opportunity itself is redlined.

Black and white workers face the same kinds of economic disadvantage: deindustrialization, an eroding safety net, weak wage growth, and poor investment in needed infrastructure. But black workers (and other nonwhite workers) face additional challenges that move their disadvantage from a difference of degree to a difference of kind: residential segregation, discrimination in jobs and housing, and discrimination by lenders and banks, which in turn contribute to unfair and draconian policing, poor and unequal schools, and heightened exposure to impurities in air and water. They need specific and universal solutions. They need a politics that addresses all material disadvantage, whether rooted in class or caste.

* * *

In his 1988 speech to the Democratic National Convention, the “Keep Hope Alive” speech, Jackson provided a model for a Democratic politics that balances all of these concerns—that takes identity and class seriously, that understands their relationship and interplay, that appeals to common identities and forges responsive solutions. “Politics can be a moral arena where people come together to find common ground,” Jackson said, before moving on to an extended and illustrative metaphor.

When I was a child growing up in Greenville, South Carolina, and grandmamma could not afford a blanket, she didn’t complain, and we did not freeze. Instead she took pieces of old cloth—patches, wool, silk, gabardine, crockersack—only patches, barely good enough to wipe off your shoes with. But they didn’t stay that way very long. With sturdy hands and a strong cord, she sewed them together into a quilt, a thing of beauty and power and culture. Now, Democrats, we must build such a quilt.

Farmers, you seek fair prices, and you are right—but you cannot stand alone. Your patch is not big enough. Workers, you fight for fair wages, you are right—but your patch labor is not big enough.

Women, you seek comparable worth and pay equity, you are right—but your patch is not big enough. Women, mothers, who seek Head Start, and day care and prenatal care on the front side of life, relevant jail care and welfare on the back side of life, you are right—but your patch is not big enough.

Students, you seek scholarships, you are right—but your patch is not big enough. Blacks and Hispanics, when we fight for civil rights, we are right—but our patch is not big enough. Gays and lesbians, when you fight against discrimination and a cure for AIDS, you are right—but your patch is not big enough.

Each struggle, for Jackson, is part of a larger whole. He’s not making an individual appeal to black Americans or an individual appeal to white workers. He’s asking black Americans to see that their struggle is the struggle of white workers and vice versa. That higher wages and civil rights (and affordable education and programs for families) are inextricable. And to that end, Jackson proposed a broad agenda that linked material uplift for all Americans to a civil rights agenda, to the fight against South African apartheid, to the Equal Rights Amendment.
Jesse Jackson
Jesse Jackson marches in the snow in a Jobs Not Bombs rally in Washington, D.C.

Jacques M. Chenet/Corbis via Getty Images

That vision grows out of Jackson’s biography. A veteran of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference who worked on the Poor People’s Campaign in the aftermath of Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination. A political organizer who worked to register voters and pressure politicians in both parties. An activist whose fights cut across class and race. Jackson gave a clear picture of his view in 1983, when he announced his first campaign for president, rooting his vision in the experience of black America but expanding it to include all marginalized groups.

This candidacy is not for blacks only. This is a national campaign growing out of the black experience and seen through the eyes of a black perspective—which is the experience and perspective of the rejected. Because of this experience, I can empathize with the plight of Appalachia because I have known poverty. I know the pain of anti-Semitism because I have felt the humiliation of discrimination. I know firsthand the shame of bread lines and the horror of hopelessness and despair.

For Jackson, a politics that cured inner cities and dismantled overcrowded ghettos was also one that rescued abandoned factories and deserted farms. It was a politics that, because of its focus on one of America’s most maligned groups, radiated outward to everyone who has struggled for dignity and recognition. Under Sanders’ rubric, identity and representation are separate from the question of a broad-based politics. “Yes, we need more candidates of diversity, but we also need candidates — no matter what race or gender — to be fighters for the working class and stand up to the corporate powers who have so much power over our economic lives,” he writes in a recent post for Medium. In Jackson’s vision, by contrast, identity and representation are critical. They ground a broad appeal that is attentive to lived experience, that stresses common threads without losing sight of the challenges facing each group, that sees diversity as integral to making progress on all struggles. This is a broad and inclusive liberalism—common vision from common struggle.

This approach would have real value today, not just because of its rhetorical niceties but because it connects to a concrete policy agenda. Writing in the American Prospect in 2008, John Powell, now head of the Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society at the University of California, Berkeley, argued for a new approach to targeting inequality and poverty. “Policies that are designed to be universal too often fail to acknowledge that different people are situated differently,” he wrote. “What is required is a strategy of ‘targeted universalism.’ This approach recognizes that the needs of marginalized groups must be addressed in a coordinated and effective manner.”
Jesse Jackson,  Iowa
Jesse Jackson rides a tractor while campaigning for his 1988 presidential bid in Iowa in 1987.

Yann Gamblin/Paris Match via Getty Images

It’s not enough to offer free college or a higher minimum wage. A higher minimum wage still leaves us with high structural unemployment in black communities. Free college still leaves us with vast inequality in public education. If inequality is shaped by place, gender, and race—which is to say, if it is shaped by identity—then any effective approach has to address those constraints in particular. But this doesn’t mean we have to sacrifice universalism. It means we have to tailor universal programs to those particular constraints.

This brings us back to the difference between black and white poverty. People of all races face a sluggish economy and long-term unemployment, but this is especially acute for black Americans, and young black men in particular. They are separated from the labor market, a fact that reinforces a host of social ills, from racial inequality to incarceration to the production of racial stigma (people begin to associate being black and male with being unemployed). And that separation is worsened by a matrix of segregation and discrimination. For economists William Darity and Darrick Hamilton, fixing the particular problems of young black workers is a way of ameliorating similar problems for the whole. And to that end, they have proposed a federal guarantee for jobs. “Each job offered under a federal employment assurance would be at a wage rate above the poverty threshold, and would include benefits like health insurance,” Darity writes for the New York Times. “The program would be great for the country: It could meet a wide range of the nation’s physical and human infrastructure needs, ranging from the building and maintenance of roads, bridges and highways, to school upkeep and the provision of quality child care services.”

Critically, a federal job guarantee is both universal—it benefits all Americans—and specifically ameliorative to entrenched racial inequality.

For something less expansive but still universal and attuned to particular disadvantage, there’s the “10–20–30” amendment proposed by Rep. Jim Clyburn of South Carolina. Clyburn, who represents a majority-black district with rural and urban pockets of concentrated poverty, has a plan for addressing those conditions using existing resources. Under his amendment, at least 10 percent of federal investment would go to communities where at least 20 percent of people have lived at or below the poverty line for at least 30 years. Again, it’s a universal program, targeted at conditions specific to particular groups. The program, as Clyburn’s office notes, would include “Appalachian communities in Kentucky and North Carolina, Native American communities in South Dakota and Alaska, Latino communities in Arizona and New Mexico and African American communities in Mississippi and South Carolina.”

As it stands, the debate among Democrats is torn between a moderate approach that disdains all “identity politics” (except those for white Americans) and one that hasn’t absorbed the deep ties among race, gender, place, and class. Both may win over some Trump voters, but one would do so at the cost of accommodating Trump’s white nationalism and the other at the risk of being blinded by its patina of populism. At the same time, there are thinkers who want to deny the reality and force  of Trump’s white nationalism, full stop. This is despite the fact that Trump intuitively sees the interplay between economic interest and identity, pandering to white workers as whites and workers, who want racial hierarchy and economic revival, who see the weakening of the former as a threat to the latter, who exist in a society where economic advantage often follows the isolation and segregation of nonwhites.

But the history of the Democratic Party contains a model for moving forward, with an approach, honed by Jesse Jackson, that bridges the divide. And thinkers in the political and policy world have crafted solutions that reflect this approach. It respects the reality of the modern Democratic Party: a formation that represents—and depends on—the votes of women, young people, and people of color.

Mainstream Democrats have set their sights on white voters. But the path forward—the way to win them and energize those voters of color who didn’t come to the polls in 2016—might lie in the insights of black voters and black communities and a larger appreciation of how and why identity matters, in a politics of we kin, blackness in many shades. Against a political movement that defines America in exclusionary and racial terms—as a white country for white people—a renewed Rainbow Coalition is the only defense worth making.