Collectively written by the transgender members of the LGBTQA+ Commission of the Socialist Party USA, and endorsed by the entirety of the LGBTQA+ Commission. Approved by SPUSA National Action Committee Feb 26, 2017
Oppression of any marginalized group is based on a denial of the
fundamental humanity, or even the existence of that group. The action taken by Jefferson Beauregard Sessions and the Trump administration is not about access to restrooms and locker rooms. It is an expression of a view of the world in which transgender people do not exist. Our fundamental humanity is being denied and we are being dismissed as, quote, “mentally ill freaks” by reactionaries.
The recent actions taken by the US state apparatus in regards to the revocation of the right of trans students in public schools to use the bathroom of their choice constitutes a declaration of war against all transgender people in the United States. Transgender people in the US are already an extremely marginalized group.
Donald Trump has stated that transgender people’s rights are a state’s rights issue. This is the same argument that reactionaries have used to deny the civil rights of black Americans. The transgender community identifies with the history of oppression of other marginalized groups. We stand in solidarity with them and we ask that they stand with us. The exclusion of transgender students from the protection of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 is a fundamental denial of the civil rights of all transgender people and an attempt to further marginalize us. It will encourage the bullying and intimidation of transgender students, and increase the suicide rate, which is already abnormally high. Transgender youth commit suicide, not because they are transgender, but because of the hostile world they experience. Denial of the right to use a restroom or locker room corresponding to a person’s gender is a disgusting violation of individual autonomy and a sign of the authoritarian society we live in.
The Trump administration has decided to leave it up to individual school districts whether they allow trans people to use the bathroom of their choice, saying that “School districts should decide this issue themselves”. Obviously, the rights of transgender people are not a matter of concern for the Trump Administration. The LGBTQA+ Commission of the Socialist Party USA will fight against these repressive policy changes. Leaving the decision up to the individual schools encourages discrimination towards transgender youth and adults. We value every life and will fight for dignity and respect of every person no matter what their gender identity is.
We stand united together for the accomplishment of our goal of a free, democratic, socialist society that is inclusive of all and free bigotry of any kind. Our collective liberation is depends on the liberation of us all and we will continue to fight for a non-hierarchical egalitarian society where all of our human rights are guaranteed. Safety is assured when people’s choices are increased, not restricted. An injury to one is an injury to all, and this injury will not be ignored.
Statement written by the People of Color Commission of the Socialist Party USA 2/22/2017
The People of Color Commission of the Socialist Party USA believes that now is the time to be very clear and intentional about our stance on mass incarceration, detentions and deportations in this country. We know that the commodification of human beings by the prison-industrial complex is one of the ways capitalism manifests in state violence. As people who are dedicated to ending all forms of state violence, the People of Color Commission stands in support of the work of all of the coalitions around the country who are engaging in the necessary work of prison abolition and agitating for the removal of the slavery clause in the Thirteenth Amendment of the Constitution. We understand that removing this clause is the only way to truly outlaw the enslavement of people, who are disproportionately poor people of color, in this country. Our Commission supports the actions planned across the nation for Black August, and we add our voices to the call to destroy the prison-industrial complex in the United States and to end US imperialism outside of our borders. Black August was begun to honor the lives and sacrifices of the San Quentin Six: George Jackson, Jonathan Jackson, Khatari Gaulden, William Christmas, James McClain, and Ruchell Magee, the only member of the San Quentin Six to survive the San Quentin Uprising in August of 1971. After the rebellion, brothers held in lockdown honored the fallen comrades. These brothers wore black armbands, studied revolutionary works, fasted, and abstained from radio, television, alcohol, drugs and the prison canteen for the month of August. They focused on physical training, political education, self-sacrifice, and other forms of resistance. Today, Black August is a time for Black people to reflect on the history of resistance throughout the African Diaspora, and to engage in moving the work forward. It is a remembrance of freedom fighters and is worthwhile for anyone engaged in the work of Black liberation to study. For Black August 2017, coalitions around the United States will be engaging in various forms of political education and actions designed to mobilize around the removal of the slavery clause from the Thirteenth Amendment, and will be intensifying the demand for prison abolition in this country. The People of Color Commission is representative of the people most harmed by the prison-industrial complex in all of its functions.
The People of Color Commission of the Socialist Party USA stands in support of the work that is being planned and done to end the mass incarceration, detention and deportation of our people. We call on socialists in our Party and elsewhere to learn about Black August and to get involved with the activities planned for August 2017 wherever and however possible. This is a historic opportunity to unite with the coalitions involved in the New Abolitionist Movement, and the People of Color Commission believes that this work is in keeping with our Party's principles.
If comrades wish to have additional information about the planned marches and about Black August, they can follow Millions for Prisoners Facebook page, Jail House Lawyers Speak, Malcolm X Grassroots Movement, Critical Resistance's information on Black August, and www.iamweubuntu.com.
Forward in struggle,
The People of Color Commission of the Socialist Party USA