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Posted on Wed, Jul 25, 2012 : 2:13 p.m.

Socialist Equality Party presidential candidate speaking in Ypsilanti today

By Katrease Stafford

Socialist Equality Party presidential candidate Jerry White is speaking to supporters Wednesday evening in Ypsilanti.


Jerry White

Courtesy Naomi Spencer

Ypsilanti resident and supporter Naomi Spencer said the 6:30 p.m. event was arranged by the party and the Eastern Michigan University student organization International Students for Social Equality group.

Spencer said White, a Detroit resident, has “ a lot” of supporters in the Ann Arbor and metro Detroit area.

“He makes regular stops in Ypsilanti and we’ve held meetings in Detroit earlier this year,” Spencer said. “There’s been a lot of enthusiasm, especially among auto workers."

In 1979, White joined the Workers League, the predecessor of the Socialist Equality Party, while working at the United Parcel Service and attending the City University of New York.

White was a journalist for the party’s newspaper, the Bulletin.

Spencer said White will discuss national issues that have had a significant impact on Ypsilanti residents.

“The economic crisis has hit the area hard,” she said. “His campaign calls for millions of dollars to be put back into education and Ypsilanti is facing the takeover of its schools by an emergency manager. We’re right at the forefront of this.”

Spencer said she and others have spent a lot of time going door to door spreading the word about White and his campaign.

“For residents, it’s clear and central what we’re facing,” she said. “He’s going to talk about what the socialist response is to all of this.”

Spencer said there’s been an increase of individuals interested in the party.

“I came around the party in 2004,” she said. “It was the only party that opposed the wars… I was sort of drawn to it because there’s been a turn away from the spirit of what this country is founded on.”

The event will be held at the Ypsilanti Senior Community Center at 1015 N. Congress St. Spencer is expected a good turnout of residents.

“We’ve gotten a positive response from people,” she said. “They’ve taken our leaflets and some people might not know what socialism is but they know capitalism isn’t working. We want people to come out with their families to ask questions and find out more.”

Katrease Stafford covers the city of Ypsilanti for Reach her at 734-623-2548 or You can also follow her on Twitter.



Thu, Jul 26, 2012 : 10:49 p.m.

I attended this event last night as a guest of a friend. I used to be passionate about politics and changing the world when I was younger, less stressed by work and family life and not so jaded. The speaker, Jerry White, while not the most dynamic speaker, was intelligent, knew his subject matter very well and had an inspiring message. It was a mix between a history lesson and a political science lesson. The Q & A period following his speech was intense. The 2 hours flew by. If this group is able to intensify their organizing skills they could possibly be a political force to reckon with in the future. But with the turnout last night of less than 20 people I don't hold out much hope anytime soon.


Thu, Jul 26, 2012 : 5:13 a.m.

Dear Mr. White, why should I vote for you, or, how do you distinguish yourself from the Socialist Party USA candidate, the Workers of the World Party candidate, the Communist Party of the USA candidate, and/or any other socialist-ist party candidate out there?


Thu, Jul 26, 2012 : 5:20 p.m.

I can answer that. I shouldn't.


Thu, Jul 26, 2012 : 3:17 a.m.

Every four years we get to choose between the two candidates chosen by the billionaires that have hijacked our democracy. We're in the midst of what's essentially a depression and both candidates are squabbling about issues that essentially don't matter and amount to a show. I have to commend White who, before speaking tonight, said he was in Wisconsin speaking to striking workers about his campaign. Would you ever see Obama campaigning among striking workers who are trying to fight for a better life for their families? No you see Obama raising billlions though, and they're not coming from working families they're coming from Wall Street. The Socialist Equality Party is right. Capitalism has failed, and the alternative to capitalism is socialism. Socialism in America would change world history forever. And to those who claim that we're somehow in a socialist state now, just look at social inequality statistics. The ultra wealthy are doing better than ever. Workers are under constant assault from inflation and falling wages. Is this socialism? No this is capitalism.

rusty shackelford

Thu, Jul 26, 2012 : 1:51 a.m.

I'd encourage anyone who realizes the way our world economy is structure is failing in the present and unsustainable for the future to learn more about socialism. It's a very broad term that can convey a range of ideas. Currently our politics are (ostensibly) democratic, while our economy is a dictatorship; socialism in all forms wants to bring democracy to the economy.Two great places to start are: and In some sense, Wikipedia itself is a model of socialism. It's true that there have been some brutal dictatorships that call themselves socialist (mostly of the Leninist variety), but the same thing is true of capitalism. If you're going to blame an idea for the actions of humans, then logically you have to claim that capitalism is to blame for brutal dictatorships as well. You can't say socialism caused socialist dictatorships but all the capitalist dictatorships were just coincidences.

Will Warner

Thu, Jul 26, 2012 : 7:09 p.m.

Socialist/communists governments don't just happen to be totalitarian. They are so by necessity. Communist theorists say that communism depends upon the emergence of what they call "the new man": A better human being, less self-interested, than the poor creature that actually exists. Somehow, the new man always fails to materialize, so he has to be forged by a society controlling his life in its entirety. Because people are not naturally socialists, this has always involved ratcheting up the coercion without limit.


Thu, Jul 26, 2012 : 3:10 a.m.

Rusty, what are you doing? A highly thoughtful, well written comment like that has no place on a newspaper's discussion board.


Thu, Jul 26, 2012 : 12:26 a.m.

At least you can surmise pretty well where this guy stands and then vote accordingly vs. being spoon fed selective information from a media that will only vet conservative candidates. I'll take in your face honesty any day. If that's what you believe then just state it and make your case. The POTUS seems to skip around what he really wants to do and uses phrases like "Hope and change", and "Forward" but really won't elaborate what that means. It is becoming more obvious every day but after a 3 1/2 year experiment "hope" is gone and change is necessary...............


Thu, Jul 26, 2012 : 12:13 a.m.

We love ya Jerry!


Wed, Jul 25, 2012 : 10:03 p.m.

Get rid of the electoral college and establish a "51% to win" rule (via run offs) and these guys could make politics interesting again. Include these guys in the debates too. Kinda like we used to have in AA until 1993. Speaking for myself I just don't feel all up-lifted and Frank Capra-ish when I look at my ballot and see just two choices for most offices and just one for others.


Wed, Jul 25, 2012 : 8:52 p.m.

Kudos to for coverage of third party candidates.


Wed, Jul 25, 2012 : 8:07 p.m.

This is a pretty ridiculous press release almost devoid of information. It features a "Party" that none of the Commenters have ever heard of. It tells us just about nothing about what it stands for, which did not hamper the Commenters from imaginative inferrences from its flamboyant name. It says nothing about the "Party" program except that it disapproves of the present economy and "opposes the wars" (which wars? Syria? Sudan? Congo?).


Wed, Jul 25, 2012 : 8:21 p.m.

You were expecting journalism?

Will Warner

Wed, Jul 25, 2012 : 7:58 p.m.

"I was sort of drawn to it because there's been a turn away from the spirit of what this country is founded on." This country was founded as a bastion of individual liberty. Liberty, you know, another name for nothing left to lose. Individual liberty is the first thing to go under socialism. When people are slow to act like good little socialists, ideological zealot ratchet up the coercion. Our founders understood that self-interest is the only inexhaustible fuel for economic activity. Try to fashion an economy in which the pursuit of self-interest is suppressed, and the entire economic will be black market. People who lived in the worker's paradise of East Germany have a saying about those times: "They only pretended to pay us, so we only pretended to work."


Thu, Jul 26, 2012 : 12:51 p.m.

@ Peter, or the Natives. The idea of individual liberty is a joke. Early Americans didn't live on their own in the woods. They lived in communities in which they all helped one another. That's socialism.


Wed, Jul 25, 2012 : 9:01 p.m.

"This country was founded as a bastion of individual* liberty. " *not applicable to women or black people.


Wed, Jul 25, 2012 : 7:16 p.m.

Well at least he is honest! Socialism does not work anywhere in the world but many people keep trying to make it work without success! When will they learn?


Thu, Jul 26, 2012 : 12:48 p.m.

Another Ann Arborite that has no idea what socialism is but is benefiting from it daily. Keep on trucking xmo!

David Paris

Wed, Jul 25, 2012 : 10:27 p.m.

As opposed to Capitalisms record of wealth destruction?


Wed, Jul 25, 2012 : 7:04 p.m.

"The problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people's money to spend." -- Margaret Thatcher


Wed, Jul 25, 2012 : 8:20 p.m.

Apparently the same could be said about capitalism.

VO Key

Wed, Jul 25, 2012 : 6:44 p.m.

The marginalization of socialists in the Democratic Party and on the organized left is in stark contrast to the glorification of Libertarians in the Republican Party and the right wing that controls it. This mans ideas are no more outlandish than the flat earth crew that follow Ron Paul, Paul Johnson, etc... yet there is no political movement behind him that can even compare with Libertarianism which is the Marxism of the right. A flawed, utopian ideology that when put into practice is damaging to humanity.

martini man

Wed, Jul 25, 2012 : 6:48 p.m.

Sort of like trading a rattlesnake for a cobra eh ?? What a deal !!

martini man

Wed, Jul 25, 2012 : 6:42 p.m.

OOOps ..i guess it's spelled with an "X" marxist ..there ya go.

Billy Bob Schwartz

Wed, Jul 25, 2012 : 7:14 p.m.

I guess I should read all the answers before answering the test.

martini man

Wed, Jul 25, 2012 : 6:38 p.m.

In the words of some famous socilaist/communist/marksist hero .... "Tax Baby, Tax"..... Go get 'em comrade White.


Thu, Jul 26, 2012 : 12:12 a.m.

I've heard Jerry speak and his views make more sense than the corporate elite that runs the country and starves everyone else into poverty. This country was supposed to be "Of the People," By the People ", "For the People". All it is now is " Of Wall Street", "For the 1%er CEO's and "By the Repulican Tea Bags" and their Washington lobbyists.


Wed, Jul 25, 2012 : 8:02 p.m.

BBS, it would be especially nice when we are correcting someone else's spelling.

Billy Bob Schwartz

Wed, Jul 25, 2012 : 7:13 p.m.

Socialism, that is. It would be nice if we could correct our comments after posting, like can.

Billy Bob Schwartz

Wed, Jul 25, 2012 : 7:12 p.m.

I know what socialiam and Marxism are, but what are socilaist and marksist? Learn, baby, learn!

Top Cat

Wed, Jul 25, 2012 : 6:37 p.m.

Perhaps Jerry will talk about how well his ideas are working in Europe.


Thu, Jul 26, 2012 : 5:15 p.m.

I think he talking about the entitlement socialist state of places like Greece. Socialism doesnt work. It has not worked anywhere. The UK has a 61% income tax. 50% normal taxes and 11% for medical. 11% of my paycheck to wait in line until they feel my case is important enough to take. NO THANK You. I have first hand experience with this mess.

David Paris

Wed, Jul 25, 2012 : 10:24 p.m.

If you're referring to the Austerity measures currently crippling Europe, I don't think those are Jerry's ideas.

Unusual Suspect

Wed, Jul 25, 2012 : 6:36 p.m.

"some people might not know what socialism is but they know capitalism isn't working" This is really scary.


Thu, Jul 26, 2012 : 6:31 p.m.

@ Harry, Only if mom and dad could afford it.


Thu, Jul 26, 2012 : 5:07 p.m.

Enso Little does Unusaul Suspect know that if not for the socialist education system he would have probably got a better education.


Thu, Jul 26, 2012 : 12:45 p.m.

Little does Usual Suspect know that thanks to Socialism in this country, he got an education.

Ghost of Tom Joad

Wed, Jul 25, 2012 : 7:49 p.m.

@peter, no they just saw the world "socialism" and their fear took over any logical thought progression.


Wed, Jul 25, 2012 : 7:06 p.m.

Care to elaborate?

Angry Moderate

Wed, Jul 25, 2012 : 6:36 p.m.

Socialism is "the spirit of what this country is founded on"? That's a unique take on things.

Mike S

Wed, Jul 25, 2012 : 8:02 p.m.

I respectfully suggest that you have misinterpreted the sentence.

Jay Thomas

Wed, Jul 25, 2012 : 6:35 p.m.

The more taxes and burdens placed upon it the more our capitalistic market based economy will falter. It can't be the other way around... think about it.

Jay Thomas

Thu, Jul 26, 2012 : 5:36 a.m.

David, the economy cratered because of the crash in the housing market, and that was caused by the President and Barney Frank allowing crazy loans to deadbeat borrowers so they wouldn't be "redlined" which they considered discrimination. Mike, that is exactly right. It is IMPOSSIBLE to go broke without a large welfare state and socialism. There just aren't that many things the rest of us want to spend taxpayer money on.


Thu, Jul 26, 2012 : 12:20 a.m.

David - there are no economically viable socialist governments that are not facing fiscal calamity.....

David Paris

Wed, Jul 25, 2012 : 10:22 p.m.

Jay, Our economy is currently failing due to the Regulations that were removed from the Financial Industry. The problem is not the "ism", but the Corruption of the "ism" that is the problem, and trying to add a little Socialism into the mix is not a bad start. It would hopefully reintroduce some of the restraints to the Financial sector that we previously enjoyed. I'm open to adding a little restraint to our seriously corrupt system, and hope others feel the same.


Wed, Jul 25, 2012 : 6:23 p.m.

Finally! A real socialist instead of the fake socialist in the White House.


Thu, Jul 26, 2012 : 12:43 p.m.

You're right Jay, let's just keep giving our tax dollars to the millionaires and billionaires and hope they create us some minimum wage jobs we can all be grateful for...

Jay Thomas

Thu, Jul 26, 2012 : 5:41 a.m.

Aquarius... the thirties was a lost decade for this country. FDR started his program at the beginning of it and the economy was still rotten by the end. Construction jobs today use so many less people to do them that it wouldn't even match the meager economic benefit it did back then. Snyder's new bridge will take billions to construct and only employ 500 people for two years...


Thu, Jul 26, 2012 : 12:30 a.m.

Bring back FDR, the New Deal, the WPA and watch this country thrive and work for all. Today it works for only a few and the politicos that they pay off to keep it that way.