Communist Party USA

  It’s been one year since we first saw the shocking footage of the mob of violent Trump supporters, egged on by the defeated president, breaching the Capitol, attacking any who stood in their way, and strutting through the halls of Congress with Confederate flags.  The deadly event was commemorated last week by elected officials and in the media. But as usual, zeroing in on just that day deflects attention from the forces that enabled the January 6th insurrection to happen at all.  The events of that day, however significant, can be seen as a point on a trend line that stretches at least from the early 2010s, when their leader fostered the white supremacist “birther” movement and perfected the methods he has used to lie so effectively to his supporters. By the time we reached January 5, 2021, the plans were set for a major offensive of this movement.  Far-right forces had raised millions to underwrite the “Stop the Steal” movement, travel and housing arrangements had been made by Trump supporters from around the country, and dozens of lawmakers had announced their decision, without any evidence of fraud, to vote against certification of the election.  Then at the Ellipse on the morning of January 6, Trump and his allies whipped up the mob, telling them, “If you don’t fight like hell, you’re not going to have a country anymore.” The commemoration of the one-year anniversary was a struggle over the narrative that is told about the January 6th insurrection. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi proclaimed that it is our “duty to establish and preserve the narrative of that day,” while President Biden deliberately took a historical perspective by co-authoring his speech with historian John Meacham.  That narrative has received a beating over the past year. Fox news anchor Tucker Carlson told his audience that “January 6 barely rates as a footnote,” while Representatives Matt Gaetz and Marjorie Taylor Greene proclaim it a “fedsurrection” master-minded by federal agents to discredit Trump supporters. The insurrection was white supremacist at its core. A revision of history closer to home is the idea on the part of some self-styled “left” forces that January 6 was a “white workers’ uprising,” the culprits of which are deserving of our sympathy and attention.  This idea has been shown to be false by the evidence about who were the actual perpetrators of January 6. Instead of representing the working class, the majority of those charged with offenses are 93% white and 86% male, leaving huge sections of the working class unrepresented among them.  According to a major study by the University of Chicago, those charged with crimes for January 6 are  older and less likely to be unemployed than other right-wing extremists charged in recent years, and included many business owners, professionals, real estate brokers, and corporate executives. Of those charged in the insurrection, 87% were unaffiliated with right-wing groups like the Proud Boys or the Oath-Keepers, so focusing our attention on just these groups will miss the bigger movement. Furthermore, the political scientist Robert Pape found that the insurrection was white supremacist at its core, just as the People’s World predicted it would be, with the primary motivation of participants being “fear of the ‘great replacement,’ the belief that the rights of minorities will overtake that of whites,” according to Pape and his colleagues at the University of Chicago. As Jamal Rich wrote for this website, “There was no revolutionary character to this insurrection, as it was financed and provoked by reactionary sections of the ruling class and the fascist street thugs that carry water…

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