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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NEW YORK CITY, December 5—Over the past few years, conditions at City University of New York (CUNY) campuses have gotten progressively worse, tuition has steadily increased and CUNY is chronically underfunded. CUNY students, 56 percent of whom are Black or Latin, are the primary targets of this racist underfunding. Not surprisingly, CUNY part time faculty (adjuncts) work for poverty wages. At the same time as the CUNY bosses and their politician stooges, along with the weak union leadership, are preparing to shove a racist, austere budget down the throats of the 26,000 faculty and 250,000 students, many faculty are organizing to strike. As we organize to strike, let’s talk about getting rid of this whole, damn, racist capitalist system.
Poverty wages for college faculty
Adjunct professors teach more than 50 percent of the courses at CUNY, yet most of them work for poverty wages. They make as little as $3,200 per course, meaning a part-time instructor teaching a full load of courses per semester makes $25,600 a year. New York City is one of the most expensive cities in the world; so many adjuncts must work extra jobs such as Uber drivers, or get public benefits and/or are homeless (“Professors in Poverty,” YouTube).
CUNY has been running on the super-exploitation of these adjuncts, many of whom are Black and Latin, while the union has only given lip service to the demand for a raise ($7K per course) but provide no leadership. It’s become apparent to many that winning this demand can never happen as long as we have “business as usual” and we follow the laws and rules that capitalism has created. And even if we win such a modest demand, this capitalist system will continue to destroy the lives of workers and students everywhere, from Yemen to the migrant caravan to the students and staff at CUNY.
Strike against poverty wages; break the bosses laws
At seven campuses, union meetings were held to discuss various strike resolutions. At all seven campuses; resolutions were passed unanimously declaring that chapters would fight back, up to and including striking.Especially significant is the willingness of rank-and-file union members to challenge both the city bosses and their union leadership. In New York State, it is illegal for public employees to strike, thanks to the Taylor Law. More importantly, is that many workers have voted in favor of striking despite opposition from the union leadership, whose favored method is to beg so-called “progressive” politicians and CEOs for crumbs and to, ultimately, take what we are given. Instead of building student-worker solidarity or putting the organizational weight of the union behind preparing for a strike, they cozy up to Democratic politicians like Bill DeBlasio, who turn around and agree to hand over $2 billion to Jeff Bezos, the richest man in the world, so that Amazon can move in and gentrify a neighborhood in Queens. Two billion to Bezos, poverty wages to adjunct faculty and tuition increases to students. Really, “This whole damn system has to go!” (Ferguson rebels, August, 2014)
Students and staff unite!
Some students have been present at union meetings to support this 7K, demand for raises and to put forward the demand of free tuition. More and more they are taught by teachers struggling with insecurity, homelessness, anxiety and all the other ills that capitalism visits on workers. At a union meeting in the Bronx, one student commented- “I want to become a teacher. This is my fight as well!” Another student added, “Many of my professors encourage us students to fight back and organize –we have your back!”
At the same time, many students at CUNY hold down jobs, and some work full time to pay for the tuition that once free. So, this student-worker alliance is absolutely critical. We have the same enemy and the same fight!
Strike for decent pay, strike for a communist future!
Members of the communist Progressive Labor Party have stressed that we can go only so far under this capitalist system. When there is a strike vote, faculty express that they are willing to put themselves on the line. But there are many more struggles that we will face in the future. In one chapter meeting, a comrade challenged the local union leadership about how they plan to lead the strike. They don’t.
We have to lead any strike and many more battles in the future. At another meeting, teachers were asking–”Where are those strike stickers”? These teachers are the people that will lead a strike, and they must join us in the longer battle for a better world. Those of us at CUNY, whether studying, teaching, or working –we have a tremendous opportunity now to sharpen this struggle, build a worker-student alliance, fight racism, and challenge capitalism.
The Progressive Labor Party salutes the teacher-workers who are making this militant struggle at CUNY and welcome the sharpening of the class struggle and the possibility of a strike. For students and teachers, when it comes to learning the lessons that are needed to destroy capitalism, the picket line is better than any classroom. Join us and fight for communism!

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