Jerry White for President

About Jerry White

Jerry White, 52, has been active in the socialist movement for more than three decades.

White was raised in a working class family in Queens, New York. In 1979, he joined the Workers League, the predecessor of the Socialist Equality Party, while working at United Parcel Service and attending the City University of New York.

White was won to the Trotskyist movement—and its perspective of world socialism—at the age of 19. From then on he dedicated his life to the fight to resolve the crisis of revolutionary leadership in the working class.

The 1980s was a period of sharp economic decline, which prompted the ruling class to embark on a policy of class war at home and militarism abroad. After moving to Detroit, White played a leading role in the Workers League’s fight to mobilize the working class against union-busting and plant closings. This meant a struggle against the betrayals of the AFL-CIO, which worked to sabotage struggles and keep workers tied to the Democratic Party.

As a journalist for the party’s newspaper, the Bulletin, he reported on the struggles of coal miners and workers in the auto, steel, airline and other industries. In 1990, he wrote Death on the Picket Line: The Story of John McCoy, which chronicled the life of a fourth generation coal miner murdered by scabs in West Virginia.

In the 1990s and 2000s, White represented the party in several election campaigns. He was the first presidential candidate of the newly formed Socialist Equality Party in 1996.

In 2008, White opposed Barack Obama and John McCain. As the SEP candidate, he traveled throughout the US and Europe to explain the significance of the September 2008 financial crash. Workers would have to develop their own socialist response to the crisis, the SEP warned, because whether a Democrat or Republican won the election they would make the working class pay for the breakdown of capitalism.

Since Obama’s election, White has played a major role in the SEP’s fight against the administration’s attack on auto workers, during the mass protests in Wisconsin, and the Occupy Wall Street protests, and the struggle of locked-out Cooper Tire workers in Ohio.