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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Newark: Fake radical Ras Baraka oppresses workers

There is no more striking U.S. example of the futility of trying to change the conditions of workers under capitalism through elections than Newark, New Jersey. Elections are used by capitalists to both give false hope of change to workers and to settle differences within the ruling class. The bosses’ media tells us it’s our civic duty to vote every two or four years, after which they tell us to sit down and wait for change. Only communist revolution will solve the problems that confront our class.
Liberal politicians fail working class
Newark Mayor Ras Baraka has won another term as the mayor of New Jersey’s largest city. During his campaign in 2014 and now, Baraka promoted himself as a “radical” and promised to address the affordable housing crisis. But whose class interests has Baraka actually served? “[He] has overseen a downtown development boom that has won him unexpected support from the business community” (Newark’s Radical Mayor Has Been Good for Business, WNYC, 5/1). At the same time, a city-run shelter at 224 Sussex Avenue, housing 154 homeless people will close at the end of May, with little notice or alternatives for the shelter residents.
A resistance to the City’s cooperation with the local bosses is developing. The War Against Poverty Coalition (WAPC) and other organizations attended the last City Council meeting. They spoke out against the closing of the shelter and the police harassment of homeless and hungry people and the organizations that distribute food and clothing to them in Peter Francisco (PF) Park. Other speakers exposed the fact that Newark cops chased away people lined up for food before an unveiling of a memorial to immigrants in PF Park. The ceremony was attended by Baraka, racist Councilman Augusto Amador and Seth Grossman of a local Business Improvement District, who has described homeless people as “trash.”
Racism and capitalism leave workers on the streets
Like many U.S. cities and urban areas around the world, Newark is plagued with mass homelessness. Homeless workers are unemployed or employed at low-wage, part-time or seasonal jobs. They do not make enough to afford to pay the high rents charged by landlords. Homelessness is a by-product of the exodus of manufacturing jobs from urban areas, mass racist unemployment, and the lack of affordable housing—all caused by capitalism’s thirst for maximum profits.
In the U.S., homeless workers are disproportionately Black and Latin. In Newark, an 80 percent Black and Latin city, half of the children “live in low-income homes. The median household income is $37,000 per year and only 18 percent of residents” work in the city itself. “Rents have risen 20 percent since 2000 in a city where 78 percent are renters.” (NJ Advance Media 4/9). Meanwhile, workers’ incomes have fallen 10 percent in the same period. (Rutgers CLiME Report, 2017)
Baraka’s collaboration with capitalism is flagrant. As he put it, “You’re not going to stop the market, the only thing you can do is mitigate it or build a bubble so you’re not crushed” (NJAM 4/9). Meanwhile, with his help and that of the last two mayors, Prudential Insurance Company and other Newark bosses have largely succeeded in their plan to gentrify the downtown area. Although the City Council last year passed a zoning ordinance, backed by Baraka, that mandates that new housing developments have 20 percent of their units as “affordable,” it does not apply to all of the many developments under way.
Elections are a dead end
As someone who is well aware of the role of elections under capitalism, Baraka has long since sold out the Black and Latin workers whom he claims to represent. Councilwoman Gail Chaneyfield, who challenged Baraka in the recent 2018 election, is no better. During her campaign, she opportunistically claimed to be on the side of the homeless, after previously opposing the feeding of people at PF Park because it was being done by “outsiders.” Many Newark workers were not fooled and refused to participate in the 2018 vote because they knew it would not change things. Between the Prudential Arena and plush storefronts, the message to long time residents is loud and clear. As one worker stated, “Down here, you got the cosmetic stuff. But the real issues [are] where the real people live, and that’s up the hill.” (WNYC, 5/1)
More actions to combat homelessness, racism, poverty, and gentrification are being planned.
WAPC has called for a rally at Newark City Hall to demand the shelter be funded and stay open. Some members of WAPC want to tie this struggle to a growing national campaign against poverty modeled on Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Poor People’s Campaign.
While we stay in the midst of the fight, Progressive Labor Party will continue to hammer away at the false hopes spread by elections and reform under capitalism. Communists have a proud history of battling the racist bosses’ attacks on our unemployed and low wage brothers and sisters. The capitalist system feeds a tiny minority of ultra-rich bosses while tens of millions have little or nothing. Elections only tinker with this reality. Change will only come with a workers’ revolution to overthrow capitalism.

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