My political perspective has developed in step with my educational philosophy. As I was preparing to begin my junior year at Indiana State in 2011, a national call to action to “Save Our Schools” with a conference and march on Washington was announced. A classmate and I drove overnight to the nation’s capital, angry that President Barack Obama was ignoring educators by continuing the war on public schools through misguided policies like “Race To The Top” and elevating corporate reformer Arne Duncan to Secretary of Education.
At the march, I met organizers with the D.C. Party for Socialism and Liberation. Their unapologetic and principled stand with public schools and their teachers and students stuck with me after the conference. I even applied to join in 2012, but as a student without plans to stay in Terre Haute and no realistic way of contributing to the nearest branch, then in Chicago, I deferred joining. By 2017, the Indianapolis branch was organized and I joined.
Although I was drawn into the Party for its position on public schools, its consistent stand on issues I cared about which Democrats steadfastly refused to support cemented my affiliation. When the 2020 rebellion against racism began here in Indianapolis with the protests over the IMPD murders of Dreasjon Reed, McHale Rose, and Ashlynn Lisby, I was in the streets with fellow PSL comrades demanding an end to the war on Black America, a demand that has yet to be taken seriously by elected officials from either capitalist party.
When the General Assembly was debating HB 1041, the bill to illegally bar trans girls from playing girls’ sports, I took the floor to defend trans students. After it passed, the PSL was the only group to organize a protest at Governor Holcomb’s mansion the day before the deadline, with our demonstration concluding just moments before he announced his veto. When the Supreme Court opinion to gut Roe v. Wade was leaked, the Party organized two massive protests on short notice when no one else was stepping up to fight for abortion rights. That’s the power of a fighting party of the working class—unlike Democrats, who rule by polling and touting policies that seem popular, the PSL fights for what is right, even when the ruling class tries to drive wedges between working and oppressed people.