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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Black Panther reinforces Black capitalism

No matter how “woke” a film seems, we can’t rely on the cesspool known as Hollywood to be a voice of freedom. Hollywood, controlled by the ruling class, re-writes history, generates racist and sexist stereotypes to shape mass ideas, and broadcasts ideology that supports U.S. imperialism.
Black Panther—which has already grossed $909.8+ million—is no exception.
Protagonist King T’Challa rules the fictional African country Wakanda. It poses as poor but it’s the wealthiest and most technologically advanced society in the world—with an isolationist policy. Wakanda possesses the most valuable resource, vibranium.
T’Challa’s leadership is tested against the U.S. Black villain Erik Killmonger, who starts off as a bitter antiracist and is determined to replace Western imperialism with his own.
Many antiracists are drawn to this depiction of Black empowerment. After decades of endless racist depictions of the continent of Africa and Black workers in general, finally a movie that shows Black actors at the center of their own narrative. However, representation is not power for the working class.
How to respond to racism?
The examples of anti-Black racism are endless: slavery, lynchings, Jim Crow, mass incarceration, police terror, unequal pay, education, housing, and so on. The U.S. rulers not only mastered racism, but they also exported it worldwide.
But, for every racist attack, there has been a counterattack. This fightback has varied from movements for Black capitalism to organizing multiracial unity to overthrow capitalism.
Black Panther highlights two paths to responding to a racist world. One path is nationalist isolationism, which then morphs into reformism, led by the ruling-class T’Challa. The other path recognizes a need to change the system, promoted by working-class Killmonger.
Rebellion still causes fear in the hearts of rulers—Ferguson and Baltimore are prime examples. The potential for these rebellions to be infused with communist ideology and multiracial unity is the ruling class’s ultimate fear.
Wakandan foreign policy
Wakandan society is a Pan-African collective of different ethnic groups. The viewer is drawn to the powerful Black women on screen—warriors, engineers, scientists, agents, and mostly all royalty—whose role are all purposed for nation building. #Wakandaforver. But at the end of the day, they all serve the king in this theocratic monarchy.
T’Challa initially wants to preserve Wakandan rightwing isolationist policy while engaging in secret trade with the world. This position is, “foreigners will ruin Wakanda.”
Antiracist turned imperialist
Killmonger offers the sharpest criticisms of racism. Rather than an enlightened revolutionary, this Black man from Oakland is rendered as a dangerous psychopath. His name Killmonger says it all.
Killmonger’s father N’Jobu was part of the royal Wakandan family. N’Jobu, sent to Oakland to spy on the world it refuses to engage with, quickly learns of the systematic racism Black workers face. The then-King murders N’Jobu for trying to use vibranium technology to foment and arm an antiracist rebellion in the U.S.
One of Killmonger’s best lines is, “Two billion people all over the world who look like us, whose lives are much harder, and Wakanda has the tools to liberate them all. Where was Wakanda?” He reveals the hypocrisy of the Wakandan ruling class who, despite having the power to take action, ignored slavery, colonialism, and worldwide racism in the name of self-preservation.
He wants to use vibranium to execute an all-Black revolution where he is the ruler. His agenda turns out to be a revenge fantasy. Killmonger becomes King and threatens to kill anyone who defies him. This reinforces the myth that being revolutionary leads to a power-hungry brutal dictatorship. His grand strategy of fighting global racism is borrowed from British imperialism’s playbook when he states, “the sun will never set on the Wakandan Empire.”
New global order
After T’Challa kills Killmonger, T’Challa is won to reversing the isolationist policy. His solution is in line with Nakia, a special forces agent and his love interest.
Nakia understands the impossibility of isolationism in a world shaped by inequality. She argues, “Wakanda is strong enough to help others and protect itself.” Nakia’s views of global reform prevail.
T’Challa’s monologue at the UN (of course) concludes the film: “Wakanda will no longer watch from the shadows…More connects us than separates us. But in times of crisis, the wise build bridges while the foolish build barriers.”
They also go to Oakland to open a community center for Black youth. This is the “solution” —Black elites need to provide resources and misleadership to the working class.
The main wing of the U.S. ruling class needs more Black leadership—to save capitalism. The Brookings Institute, an imperialist think tank, wrote a review of Black Panther. In addition to calling out “Hollywood, it’s about time,” they wrote:

“Black Panther” has unequivocally become one of many recent inflection points for the African American community, especially following the success of extraordinary black voter turnout in tough southern elections…[S]ince the end of the historic and groundbreaking Obama presidency, black people have been searching for a superhero, or a “yes we can” leader like T’Challa. For two hours, he becomes more than a comic-book superhero. He transforms into a symbol of hope for African Americans, much like President Obama was during the previous eight years (2/26).

Even before the hot mess that is president Trump, the U.S. bosses have been desperate to win back allegiance to this kill-mongering system. They need T’Challas, Michelles, and Baracks. This is the ultimate message.
Masses, not a superhero, will save the day
Neither T’Challa nor Killmonger are the solutions for the working class.
The working class needs Black, especially Black women, leadership—for communism. Black workers have a long history of fightback. From the slave revolts, rebellions in the workplace and military, to Ferguson and Baltimore, Black workers continue to be the key to worldwide communist revolution and the ultimate liberation of all working people.
Marvel’s Black Panther appeals to the anti-racism that many of us share, but co-opts the anger of Black workers and pushes a reformist, Black capitalist agenda. To defeat the real super villain, capitalism, we need a mass communist revolution and millions of working-class heroes.

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