Who is Responsible for Police Violence Against Immigrants?

June 11, 2010

On May 28, a longtime resident of San Diego was murdered by U.S. Border Patrol. Eyewitnesses reported that after the man was arrested, as many as twenty U.S. Border Patrol agents brutally punched and kicked the man even after he had fallen to the ground. The 42 year old man died after he was not only beaten, but also electrocuted with tens of thousands of volts by Taser stun gun.

This racist attack is not an isolated incident but rather the result of the conscious and systematic use of violence by the police. In another incident which took place in late April, a freelance photographer videotaped Seattle police kicking a Latino man in the head and shouting racial slurs at him while he was lying flat on the ground. All across the country, the workers and oppressed minority peoples face such violent police attacks on a daily basis.

Already a number of protests and demonstrations have been organized in San Diego and elsewhere denouncing these crimes and demanding an end to police violence against the people.

In our opinion, it is not only the police directly involved and the agencies that they work for which bear responsibility for the criminal assaults which are taking place. It is also the politicians and government officials, up to Barack Obama himself, who bear responsibility. When Obama, and other government leaders, use their office to create a climate of hatred and racism against "illegal immigrants," when Obama and company slander and defame national minority peoples as "drug-addicts," "gang-bangers," "terrorists," etc. aren't they inciting – and trying to incite – racist violence and stepped up persecution of immigrants and oppressed minorities?

The truth is that from its very inception, the capitalist state has maintained a regime of violence against the oppressed minority peoples, in order to keep them as second-class citizens and enforce a system of discrimination and super-exploitation. Today the resurgence of racism and racist violence finds its source in the anti-social offensive of the monopoly capitalist class and the government. The oppressed minority peoples are amongst the first to suffer as the capitalists and government are attacking the rights and well-being of all the working people.

The American working class and people must not only combat the growing racism and violence of the capitalist state but eliminate the scourge of racism once and for all. We must carry through to the end the great historical movement to create a society which genuinely guarantees, in theory and in practice, equal rights for all people and which enables everyone to live free of state violence.