Klan's Latest Outrage


Klan's Latest Outrage
Weekly People
November 17, 1979

The massacre of five anti-Klan demonstrators in Greensboro, North Carolina, by members of the Ku Klux Klan and Nazi groups should outrage every decent person in the nation. It should also serve to alert every worker to the sinister nature of the fascist elements that are surfacing throughout the country. For the cold-blooded murders have ominous portents. They signify growing cooperation among fascist-minded groups and foreshadow an increase in joint acts of violence against those of whom they disapprove. High on their list are minorities and groups on the left.

It is no mere coincidence that the current upsurge in Klan violence has occurred at a time of rising unemployment and increasing social unrest. It is during periods of economic downturns when frustration is widespread that organizations like the Klan attract recruits who fall prey to their racist and anti-communist propaganda. They thus serve as tools of ruling-class reaction that divide workers and help maintain the class-divided status quo.

However, capitalist support for such reactionary outfits is often oblique. For example, it is routine practice for the bourgeoisie publicly to abhor any violence that is not officially sanctioned by the capitalist state and carried out by its minions of law and order. Yet, particularly in times of economic stress, elements of the capitalist class and the political state tacitly condone fascist elements and the measures they practice.

Ruling-class reaction to the Greensboro slaughter is a case in point. The anti-Klan march was sponsored by the Communist Workers Party. Although the anti-Klan demonstrators were peaceably assembling when the Klansmen descended on them with automatic rifles, both the police and the media have found rationales to blame the victims for the massacre. One black activist has been arrested, charged with inciting to riot. Another was arrested for producing a hand gun after the Klan started shooting.

For its part, the media either blamed the CWP for provoking the violence or else parceled out blame evenly to the right and left. In one "news" story, for example, the Christian Science Monitor declared that, "some experts [?] are concerned that the increasing willingness of such extremists to use violent confrontation tactics could feed upon itself. Each side might feel obliged to respond to actions against it by the other side...."

Workers cannot look to the capitalist class or its state to protect them from Klan violence or to control the social forces unleashed by capitalism's rapid dissolution that are ultimately responsible for the rise and growth of fascism. The rise of fascism can ultimately be stopped only by a classcon-scious working-class movement that understands the class represented by a fascist movement and the system that breeds it. For in the final analysis, the fascist virus can be eradicated permanently only when workers mobilize their collective economic strength as a class to assume control of the economy and establish socialism.