Revolution#114, December 30, 2007
Correspondence on the Fund Drive
“People Need to Get More Subs”
I work at a blue collar job. The majority of people work part time and get paid very little, and then there’s other people who work full time, more like upper strata workers. There are a lot of immigrants from all over the world, and mixed nationalities.
There’s a few Black people that are getting the subscription and quite a few in the past. Things that have struck them, past or present, have been Katrina, the Jena 6, the nooses, the police brutality, racism. Among white working class people, especially ones that are less caught up in Democratic Party politics, but are more progressive minded, there’s a searching for solutions, searching for a different alternative. There’s fascism in the air, war, people are just sick of all that stuff.
A lot of the foreign born people have gotten the paper because of what they see the U.S. doing in the world. People from Eastern Africa who see what is going on in Somalia, what’s happened with Eritrea in the past, the role the U.S is playing in encouraging and using Ethiopia as a regional power to push out its influence—those are examples of people from other countries getting.
Among some white workers who are more liberal or go more toward establishment politics a little, there’s been more hunkering down and less hope and less reaching out on other issues also; kind of a narrowing of interests on their part. But for some, it’s opened people even more to how fucked up the system is and how there has to be something really hard core that has to come along that has to really change things in a fundamental way.
Last week’s article on the back—“Attention White People! What Is Your Problem?!?” really posed a lot of things, where you have liberal people being anti-immigration, kind of buying into this stuff that they’re going to get something out of it [see issue #111, December 9, 2007 at revcom.us]. Or that somehow the immigration population is degrading their lifestyle or whatever, but it’s also an indication that their situation is eroding too, they feel like they’re under pressure. But they think that somehow if they line up around this issue in a certain way, that they’re going to get more. So there’s some of that whole thing where white supremacy is the norm. So if you bring up anything and say it’s race, well then, “you’re bringing race into it,” so you’re the racist. OJ is still talked about once in a while at work, it’s just ridiculous.
In terms of the Jena 6 thing, there’s a whites-only tree sitting in front of the school and it’s been there for years. What can people really say about that? I think the paper plays an important role and that has to be struggled out more. Because then they try to do a counter thing, “those people are still hoodlums cause they beat up a kid.” I think the way the paper put it was really good—“these people are fighting against open segregation in the year 2007 and they’re being attacked for it.” It goes up against all the spin.
I was surprised when someone suggested I correspond about selling 16 subs to Revolution at work, cause it should be happening a lot more. I’m not happy that there’s not more subs and someone hasn’t done 50 or more. But I think it does show potential. Cause 16 people getting subs here, it’s approaching 10% of the total workforce, and I haven’t even talked to everybody.
I inserted the fund drive broadsheet into all the last papers I gave people and told them I was going to get back to them about it and see where they’re coming from, what level they would like to participate and if they would like to get into it deeper. I’m looking forward to finding out how that comes out.
People really need the paper. To some degree—not a small degree—they want it. People don’t have an understanding that it’s a system, that there’s class and people have different class outlooks and that the media, the government, the Democratic Party—they all represent the system. This is something that can actually liberate people’s minds to do things in a different way, which is what they want, but they need someone to lead them to thinking in a different way.
People need to get Revolution out more and get people to do more subs. The world is battering people’s consciousness at this time, things are always changing, so you have to keep throwing them this lifeline.
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