Progressive Labor Party on Race & Racism



Progressive Labor Party (PLP) fights to destroy capitalism and the dictatorship of the capitalist class. We organize workers, soldiers and youth into a revolutionary movement for communism.

Only the dictatorship of the working class — communism — can provide a lasting solution to the disaster that is today’s world for billions of people. This cannot be done through electoral politics, but requires a revolutionary movement and a mass Red Army led by PLP.

Worldwide capitalism, in its relentless drive for profit, inevitably leads to war, fascism, poverty, disease, starvation and environmental destruction. The capitalist class, through its state power — governments, armies, police, schools and culture —  maintains a dictatorship over the world’s workers. The capitalist dictatorship supports, and is supported by, the anti-working-class ideologies of racism, sexism, nationalism, individualism and religion.

While the bosses and their mouthpieces claim “communism is dead,” capitalism is the real failure for billions worldwide. Capitalism returned to Russia and China because socialism retained many aspects of the profit system, like wages and privileges. Russia and China did not establish communism.

Communism means working collectively to build a worker-run society. We will abolish work for wages, money and profits. Everyone will share in society’s benefits and burdens. 

Communism means abolishing racism and the concept of “race.” Capitalism uses racism to super-exploit black, Latino, Asian and indigenous workers, and to divide the entire working class.

Communism means abolishing the special oppression of women — sexism — and divisive gender roles created by the class society.

Communism means abolishing nations and nationalism. One international working class, one world, one Party.

Communism means that the minds of millions of workers must become free from religion’s false promises, unscientific thinking and poisonous ideology. Communism will triumph when the masses of workers can use the science of dialectical materialism to understand, analyze and change the world to meet their needs and aspirations.

  Communism means the Party leads every aspect of society. For this to work, millions of workers — eventually everyone — must become communist organizers. Join Us!


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Kitchen Sink Drama: Workers, Students Stir Up Trouble for CUNY Bosses

BROOKLYN, October 10—As the students, workers, and faculty at Kingsborough Community College (KCC) are learning, this disaster of a racist profit system affects our lives at every level and can only be defeated with multiracial unity. KCC is one of the largest campuses in the country’s largest urban university system (see CHALLENGE, 9/27), the City University of New York (CUNY). While KCC’s working class is a reflection of the segregation and divisions imposed by capitalism, they’re also becoming a model of multiracial fightback.
Members and friends of the Progressive Labor Party (PLP) have been routinely selling CHALLENGE outside of campus, and learning and organizing a great deal.
How Capitalism Runs and Ruins Cafeterias
During the summer break, the campus cafeteria changed from one private contractor Panda House to another larger company called Metropolitan Food Services. Panda House left KCC because the prospect of a paltry raise in the New York State’s minimum wage to $11/ hour became too “expense.” KCC bosses chose Metropolitan and laid off most of the former workers.
Metropolitan found itself desperate to fill shifts. Advertisements for open positions covered the cafeteria. But, they were unprepared or unable to even respond to the students who filled out job applications. So, a petition was signed by more than 600 students, workers and faculty to pressure Metropolitan into answering applicants.
This was only one example of Metropolitan’s utter lack of preparation. Running school cafeterias under capitalism is the same as every business, from your local bodega to multinational oil companies like ExxonMobil: profits first.
Bowing to the pressure of this combined force, they answered. Success was short-lived; On September 27, the Department of Health closed the cafeteria.
Kitchen Sinks Get Lost in the Sauce
Students were greeted with official closure notices on Kingsborough letterhead that merely stated the cafeteria was “temporarily closed,” and “the College is working with the cafeteria vendor to address all concerns immediately.”
“Immediately” became several days. The college replaced the cafeteria with food trucks to attempt to satisfy the roughly 8,000 full-time students, and 7,000 part-timers. The bosses provided no public explanation for the closure. As CHALLENGE has learned, the matter had to do with the changeover to Metropolitan.
During the switchover, the Panda House took the sinks that had been used for food cleaning and preparation back. They were never replaced. These sinks cost tens of thousands of dollars, and a kitchen without a sink inevitably led to health code violations.
The new cafeteria has fancy new signs and lights, but Metropolitan illustrates how capitalism’s thirst for profits affect every detail of our working-class lives. The bosses are under pressure to cut corners on ensuring things like sinks for sanitation. On a small level, they can seem like mistakes. But as a system, we find these “mistakes” are the norm under capitalism.
Fortunately, the workers continued receiving pay. The bosses tried keeping the reasons for the closure a secret, and told the workers just to clean and scrub the kitchen areas.
Universities like CUNY enable the college food service industry to squeeze $19 billion per year in profit—more than the fast food giants Burger King, Subway, and KFC. How much of Metropolitan’s slice of those profits went into hiring adequate staff and ensuring basic equipment like sinks?
Universities prefer private food vendors because the workers are almost never unionized. Consistent with capitalist cost-cutting, non-union workers make an average of 27 percent less than unionized workers (CNN Money, 2/14/15). Contracting companies like Metropolitan means CUNY avoids paying workers and providing them with benefits.
The students, workers and faculty who circulated the recent petition, however, show how masses can be organized and fight back. PLP fights to connect the cafeteria workers’ struggles with the growing fightback elsewhere on campus. The cafeteria is now open with installed sinks.
Communism: Everything Plus the Kitchen Sink
Students and workers do not need liberal Democrats to “protect” them; they need to fight back and build a mass, fighting PLP. Continue to make CHALLENGE the voice of the international working class. PLP is the only party fighting for revolution for true liberation from capitalism—communism, where the working class will abolish money and borders, and run every aspect of society to better all workers.
The bosses at KCC figured they could keep quiet about their cafeteria “mistake,” but they were wrong. The bosses’ politicians and media at the DACA press conference thought they could ignore the students and faculty calling for fightback (see sidebar), but they were wrong too! To connect and sharpen these fights, more students, workers and faculty must read and subscribe to CHALLENGE. Join the fight with PLP.



DACA & Democrats

CHALLENGE also learned that a Sanctuary Committee on campus has been busy building unity among immigrant students and faculty, and raising antiracist politics.
On October 5, the deadline for application renewal for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) students, KCC students and faculty disrupted a Manhattan press conference organized by NYC Mayor de Blasio’s office. The press conference featured a circus of Democrats promising to “protect” DACA students, from City Council member Carlos Menchaca to State Senator Jose Peralta.
Standing on chairs at the front of the room while the politicians gave news interviews, the KCC crew unfurled a giant banner that read “Defend DACA, Fight Racism,” and started chanting “They say go back, we say fight back!” DACA students in the room picked up the chant. The surprised politicians and their entourages tried to ignore the disruption.
A small army of the politicians’ aids surrounded the KCC contingent, demanding them to stop chanting. Apparently they eventually stopped, and the news and politicians treated it like they would a theatre interruption—they just continued like nothing happened.
We hope this KCC contingent returns and disrupts these Democrats with bigger numbers next time. The Democrat fakers and misleaders are no friends to any worker. Scum like senator Peralta cry with fake tears about president Trump canceling DACA. At the same time, he’s under investigation for accepting money and power in exchange for supporting pro-Trump Republicans who defeated a state-level version of the DREAM Act in 2014.

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