Andrea L. Kirby, Working Class Party candidate for Michigan's 9th congressional district, gave the following speech at a WCP event on October 18th, 2020.
I would like to start by saying that I am so proud to be a Working Class Party candidate. I am proud to be standing for something real. Over the past few weeks and months we have been pumped full of campaign ads, debates and town hall meetings. We have heard one side bash the other. Each making promises we know they can’t, and won’t keep. We are given the illusion of a solution to a problem that nobody acknowledges is a problem. IE. Racism, Economic & Health disparities, etc.
But the Working Class Party actually stands for something. We are a group of candidates that are from so many different backgrounds and upbringing. And to me mostly importantly Race. We are not here as individual candidates but together for a common message.
Not one of these candidates grew up thinking about the day they would run for political office. But here we are. The working class has been quiet for too long in this country and because of that silence, the race to bottom is getting faster and faster.
I was driving home with my 16-year-old daughter the other day. And there was a rally near my home. I told her before we got there just so she wasn’t too surprised. She said something to me that really stuck with me and made me realize how important the Working Class Party was for the future. She said “Mom, it’s scary because all those people are voting for Trump. People voting for Biden just don’t want Trump in office.” Wow. How often do we really have a chance to say we really want this person to represent ME, that they know and understand my issues? Even when we do, we are still stuck fighting a system that thrives on the oppression and control of the working class.
I think it is very important for my children to see someone that looks like them stand up for them and what matters to them. For our Black and Brown friends and family see that WE can stand up just like our ancestors did, to take control of their futures and fight for what they know is right. To be able to stand with others who don’t look like you, because division makes us weak. Let me tell you, being poor don’t care what you look like.
The candidates of the working class Party, with all of our differences realize we have more in common than different. We are tired of being the wealth creators that don’t see the benefits of that wealth. Tired of waiting for legislation to provide the basic needs of life. Clean water, air, food. Don’t be fooled though, neither this election nor the next will provide what the working class needs to make permanent change for equality.(racial, economic, sexual, and so on) Those changes will come when the working class demands the coffers be opened and we are able to fund and organize the society to fit our needs.
When we stop and think about the amount of money the 2 parties use to keep the control over the working class, it is astonishing. The amount of money spent in elections alone could solve so many of the issues of this society.
In a Washington Post article titled “Democracy Dies in Darkness,” they give us a look into the amount of money that was used for the 2016 election, especially the presidential race:
“The final price tag for the 2016 election is in: $6.5 billion for the presidential and congressional elections combined, according to campaign finance watchdog OpenSecrets.org …. $6.5 billion is a staggering sum. With that much money you could fund the Corporation for Public Broadcasting for 15 years, fix the Flint, Mich., lead pipe problem 30 times over or give every public school teacher a $2,000 raise.”
These figures show you that there is plenty of money out there to solve the needs of the working class. But that money is spent to suppress the voice of the working class. To flood them with so much misinformation and lies. That money is used to create as much division as possible among people. That is the money creating by working class people that should be used for us not to control us.
Who would have thought in 2020 I would be talking to my children about lynching, not as a part of history but as part of their everyday. Explaining to them what it means to drive while black. And how to act in the presence of a police officer. These are the same concerns our ancestors fought and died to get rid of. But here we are today, suffering the same challenges and issues our ancestors suffered from.
Not addressing the issues of the working class as of whole will keep us divided and acting like crabs in a bucket.
Your district will fight for money from this district. Michigan will fight for money from other states. But in the end with this capitalist system, the corporations are the only ones that win. The working class ends focused on the crumbs on the floor when there is a whole pie up on the table.
In closing, please remember it is not the election that will change our society. Only when the forces of the working class are pulled together, will we see the change that everyone says they want. Your vote for Working Class Party candidates will show the world that we want something different. But your actions will be what makes the Working-Class Party a success.