This is an article I wrote back in 2008 for the website of Revolutionary Anti-Imperialist Movement – Denver. This was around organizing leading up to protests against the Democratic National Convention held in the city that year. Internal conflicts between the protest groups included that within the Green Party of Colorado that year, which disavowed their own presidential candidate for agreeing to attend a rally with the Recreate 68 alliance. Further investigation into the Colorado Green Party that year revealed that their chairman was also advocating anti-immigrant and nativist politics, including favoring seizing cars of undocumented workers. This coming from the leader of a supposed progressive party. This was just another example of how even on the Left, especially environmentally minded parts of it, there is a tendency toward white chauvinism. It is interesting that a little bit after this article was circulated the Colorado Greens had a shake up in their leadership, and Dave Chandler, the one described here, left the Green Party shortly after. The present leadership seems to be a little better, at least more diverse and not populated by white populists. I am no longer with RAIM at present, but still uphold most of its analysis, one of which is that reactionary white settler politics exist even in progressive circles, and must be fought.
The White Nationalism of the Colorado Greens (2008)
There has been much news as of late of the reaction of the Colorado Green Party to the stances of their presidential and vice presidential candidate ticket, Cynthia McKinney and Rosa Clemente. For the treasonous act of attending events by Recreate 68 during the Democratic Convention protests, they have been made personas non gratas by their own party. The Colorado Green Party has been violence-baiting Recreate 68 because of their radical stances and hosting of events that agree with the politics of McKinney and Clemente. Looking further, it seems the Colorado Greens, at the very least their top leadership, is set in the white nationalist politics that affects much of the Amerikan faux-left.
Dave Chandler, anti-immigrant nativist, head of Colorado Greens
One of the co-chairs of the Colorado Greens is Dave Chandler. He was one of the key forces trying to kick McKinney off the ballot of their own party. Chandler attacks McKinney and Clemente on his blog for accepting endorsements from leftist political parties he doesn’t like, for advocating a Hip Hop political party (which he admits he does not know the definition of), and most of all their supposed advocacy of violence because they mention weapons (1). As the Black liberation struggle in the United $tates has often than not been a violent one, this would not be out of line, but for the Greens who can’t see past their white privilege, this has put them in a tizzy.
On the next item on his blog, Chandler comes out in favor of an ordinance to seize the cars of undocumented migrants who don’t have insurance, a measure supported by local right-wing groups (2). Looking at his other posts reveals Chandler is an advocate of population control via stopping immigration. In other words, let poor people in other countries starve and die so Amerikans can keep their high standard of living.
According to Chandler, immigrants lower wages, destroy the environment, and threaten the white middle class. Here’s a sample of the views of the Green Party Chairman:
“In the late 1970s and early 1980s, a skilled meat cutter could make a top wage of about $20 an hour. Today, a meat cutter might make about $11.50.
In Iowa an illegal immigrant meat cutter might make $5.00.
We make this observation in light of the protest this weekend in Postville, Iowa, against the May 2008, immigration raid at the Agriprocessors plant. The illegal, released women protesters in Iowa are way out of line; they allowed themselves to be co-conspirators in perpetrating identity theft and in undercutting decent standard of living for citizens.
This on-going story illustrates why illegal immigration is so corrosive to working class Americans — it illustrates how corporations shamelessly exploit illegals.
Especially as unemployment rises because of the deepening recession, we hope that those thinking about crossing the border into the U.S. illegally will reconsider …”(3).
“I support stopping illegal immigration into Colorado and the United States.
My support for this proposition is based on two criteria: our environment and the economy.
We must stablize (sic) our population growth here in the United States (and around the world) if we are to create a sustainable natural environment for future generations.
We need to reivigorate (sic) and empower the American working and middle class if we are to remain free and prosperous” (4).
“Working Americans lost in federal court. As soon as this Thursday, working Coloradoans may begin to lose in a more substantive way when Mexican trucking companies and Mexican drivers are permitted to haul Chinese-made goods and produce into the U.S. for distribution.”(5).
“There he was yesterday, Colorado’s U.S. Senator Ken Salazar promoting an ‘immigration reform’ plan that will further hurt our environment and the standard of living for working class Americans… this new ‘immigration reform’ deal — if passed into law — would a dream-come-true for the oligrachical (sic) elitists who want to turn the United States into a low-wage nation. The Dimocrats …also seem to be operating under the vague impression that somehow increasing the pool of exploitable labor by millions and millions will pay-off in votes for them someday.
This plan would ‘legalize’ up to 20,000,000 illegal aliens already in the country, and in the future permit over a million new ‘guest workers’ and people with a host of various visas to enter the country every year.
My biggest objection to these ‘immigration reform’ proposals, however, has been their effect on our environment …I am willing to break the political taboo and talk about over-population and the ecology of the nation and the planet — we simply cannot afford millions and millions more human beings striving to grow into the natural-resources-consuming footprint of the American lifestyle.”(6).
Not knowing who said this, this is the same rhetoric that comes out of the Minutemen and other white nativists. This is just the left wing of white nativism. The Green Party chair serves to incite hatred and violence against migrants.
Of course there’s not going to be sealed borders. Amerikans have long been bought off by imperialism, and they get special privileges, one being they don’t have to do much real work. Amerikan capitalism is dependent upon cheap labor for lower costs, no doubt. With imperialism destabilizing Third World economies, labor comes to where that stolen money is, and business readily accepts it. Remittances are a major source of income for many Third World nations. Those crackers sitting on their lawn chairs watching the border aren’t scrambling to take jobs for $5.00 an hour doing back-breaking labor. Not to mention the issues of stolen land, exploited and oppressed nations, and reparations. No, the Green Party shows that its interests are with the white middle class. Despite rhetoric about environmental destruction, they want to keep Amerikans privileged standard of living built upon stolen wealth and environmental destruction.
It’s unclear how the rest of the membership of the Green Party feels about Chandler’s views, but as the Greens make a big emphasis on their “grassroots democracy,” we can assume these views are highly tolerated if not widely accepted. There has been no public criticism of Chandler that we know of. His views are not surprising, as the Green Party itself is committed to white populism, keeping the standard of living for white Amerikans, and the Amerikan environment preserved for their weekend hiking trips. Many still want it to be a party of the great white hope Ralph Nader, which would also explain their opposition to McKinney.
We at RAIM have no qualm about exposing the reactionary politics of the Greens and other fake leftists. We don’t support the McKinney campaign because electoral politics is a dead end for any radical politics, and have no illusions about voting in an imperialist system. But we do admire the McKinney campaign taking some principled stands against white populists within her own party, and the reactions of the Greens showing their real politics. RAIMD supports open borders, return of land to oppressed nations, and liberation of the Third World against U.S. aggression, including reparations. We put radical politics in command, and stand against reactionaries in progressive wrappings.