Now, more than ever in our lifetime, the working class must set aside its differences and unite. We proudly stand beside our LGBTQIA+ working family.
ByADAM KELLER | Published onMarch 14, 2023
n state capitals across the South and around the country, reactionary legislators are targeting LGBT folks, they’re targeting women’s rights, they’re targeting intellectual freedom, and cranking out a whole slew of other backwards proposals that seem intent on making life harder for already vulnerable groups of people while increasing division within our society.
As working class people, we can’t fall for these tricks. We can’t let our class be divided. Regardless of gender, religion, ethnicity, immigration status, education background, at the end of the day, the vast majority of people in Alabama, Tennessee, and everywhere else is working class. We have nothing to sell but our labor. We are a majority and it is up to us, and our unions, to make sure we unite as a majority. It is our labor that spins the wheels of our economy and our society. As working people, we have more in common with each other, despite our differences, than we do with the bosses and their politicians.
As working class activists, we have to make sure we oppose any attempts to divide us or target some of us. We have to ensure our unions are fighting hard against these reactionary bills. We have to extend our support and our solidarity to all of our fellow workers, even if they don’t look like us or think like us or talk like us.
The answer to bigotry is solidarity. We have to fight bigotry with solidarity. That means being willing to fight for folks that you might not even know. That means being willing to fight battles that, at least on the surface, may not even seem like your battle. But an injury to one is an injury to all. When these far-right politicians and the special interest groups behind them target trans folks and queer folks and other minorities, it is an attack on all of us. We know that one of the best weapons available to working people to fight discrimination in the workplace and the economy is the collective power of our unions. To withstand these bigoted attacks and more sure to come, we have to organize the working class along our common interests, building strong, diverse unions capable of opposing exploitation and oppression.
As believers in this labor movement, we believe y’all means all and that human rights are not negotiable. So to our trans comrades and all others being targeted by our governments, know that we stand with you in solidarity in the fight for democracy, dignity and justice. We encourage all of our listeners to do the same!
Listen to Adam Keller's full speech on YouTube:
Adam Keller is a union stagehand with the International Alliance of Theatrical and Stage Employees (IATSE) Local 900 and co-host of The Valley Labor Report. He is a former high school history teacher and spent several years representing education workers in Huntsville, Alabama. He has served in various roles as a union member and is a member of multiple organizations seeking to build a better community. Adam is proud to be part of The Valley Labor Report media collective as we strive to amplify the voices of the working class in the American South.