AN OPEN LETTER TO DSA’S NATIONAL POLITICAL COMMITTEE FROM MADISON AREA DSA
On multiple occasions since his election, Representative Jamaal Bowman has used his office and public stature to work against the political positions of the Democratic Socialists of America and the principles of socialist internationalism. Bowman has demonstrated that he is unfit to be a DSA member and spokesperson for our organization. The role of a socialist elected official is to be a tribune for the working class and oppressed, to project our movement’s politics and attract wide layers of our class. Representative Bowman’s recent actions and statements run completely counter to this role and are grounds for expulsion from DSA. Madison Area DSA requests Bowman’s removal as a member of DSA and by extension as a representative of our organization.
On July 28th, 2021, Bowman voted in favor of $3.3 billion in direct military aid to Israel. Again eight weeks later on September 23rd, 2021, Bowman voted with the majority of the House to approve $1 billion in funding for Israel’s Iron Dome air defense system. In last summer’s bombing campaign, the Israeli state murdered at least 256 Palestinians, including 66 children, destroyed residential building complexes, and displaced over 72,000 people. Bowman’s votes allow these crimes to continue and extend further.
If actions are not enough, his public statements reveal his thinking. On Monday, October 18, Jamaal Bowman tweeted in response to the death of George W. Bush’s Secretary of State Colin Powell: “As a Black man just trying to figure out the world, Colin Powell was an inspiration. He was from NYC, went to City College, and rose to the highest ranks of our nation. Sending love, strength and prayer to the family and friends of Secretary Powell. Rest in power sir.” These comments legitimize one of the top architects of the criminal invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan, who in turn is responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Afghans and Iraqis, the plight of countless refugees, and the many working-class veterans killed, disabled or driven to suicide. Bowman’s comments here and elsewhere demonstrate a conscious commitment to reinforce the political order and ingratiate himself with its rulers.
Career aspirations should not be allowed to compromise DSA’s strong stance of support for Palestinian national liberation. Our conventions, platform, and national working groups have repeatedly placed us in solidarity with the Palestinian people, and in favor of the tactics of boycott, divest, and sanction. A statement released on behalf of DSA on May 13th made this explicitly clear. We have no reason to expect different from Bowman in the future, and this is simply not compatible with our aims in DSA.
Madison Area Democratic Socialists of America calls for the revocation of Jamaal Bowman’s membership as demonstrative of “substantial disagreement with the principles or policies of the organization”. Bowman’s further association would only serve to misrepresent our politics as democratic socialists and move us away from our political goals.