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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Juneteenth perpetuates racist myth 

June 19, or “Juneteenth,” commemorates the end of chattel slavery. Juneteenth has been pushed on the working class with the sponsorship of major banks like Wells Fargo. Juneteenth perpetuates many racist myths about the U.S., including the myth that the images we’re given of Abraham Lincoln and Barack Obama supposedly represent the ‘real’ U.S., and Donald Trump is something different.  
While the bosses push their bank-sponsored holiday of Juneteenth on Black workers, the bosses obscure the many anti-racist battles that have been fought by Black and white workers together. These same bosses keep racism alive and well in the 21st century, to divide Black and white workers from eacher and to prepare the U.S. working class for bigger and deadlier wars on the horizon.
Origins of Juneteenth
Two years before June 19, 1865 came Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation, which excluded slave states that were not in rebellion against the Union – Kentucky, Maryland, Delaware, and Missouri – and Texas, which was not a battleground. Many planters and other slaveholders moved to Texas with over 150,000 slaves in order to escape the raging Civil War. In June, 1865, after the surrender of General Robert E. Lee and the Union victory in New Orleans, word finally came to Galveston, Texas that the slaves were free. The 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, officially ending slavery throughout the country, was not passed until December, 1865.
Abraham Lincoln, the so-called “Great Emancipator” of slaves, was no believer in the equality of Black workers. His main motive for fighting the Civil War was preservation of the unity of the United States, not abolishing slavery. In 1858, Lincoln said, “I am not, nor ever have been, in favor of bringing about in any way the social and political equality of the white and black races…”
Lincoln favored setting up colonies for Black former slaves in Africa and Central America, and requested funds from Congress to deport freed slaves.
Another history we do not learn about or celebrate is that of the multitude of rebellions against slavery, many of them multiracial, from the 1600s to the 1800s.  In their book The Many-Headed Hydra: Sailors, Slaves, Commoners, and the Hidden History of the Revolutionary Atlantic, Peter Linebaugh and Marcus Rediker document many of these. Among them are:

  • The Barbados rebellions in 1649, which united Irish and African slaves;
  • Bacon’s rebellion in Virginia in 1676, which united slaves and white indentured servants;
  • The ‘New York City Conspiracy’ of 1741, which united African workers, white indentured servants, sailors, and Irish immigrants;
  • Nat Turner’s slave rebellion in Virginia in 1831;
  • John Brown’s multiracial antislavery campaign culminating at Harper’s Ferry.  
  • The most successful was the Haitian rebellion, which abolished slavery and colonization on that island by 1804.

Racism never ended
At the end of the Civil War, freed slaves became wage laborers on former plantations, sharecroppers, or domestic workers. For a short time, their well-being was protected by federal troops during Reconstruction from 1865-77. Once this protection was withdrawn, white supremacist groups like the Ku Klux Klan flourished, often made up of local law enforcement. This Jim Crow era was characterized by the open murder of thousands of Black workers, rampant imprisonment, impoverishment and indebtedness of former slaves and total segregation.
Although many of these abuses were gradually mitigated through mass migrations of Black workers to the North through the end of World War II, court decisions, and then the Civil Rights Movement, racism has continued to flourish in the all parts of the U.S. Today, wage differentials between white men and Black and Latin workers add up to almost $800 billion dollars a year, nearly half of annual corporate profits. Differences in social spending on such services as education, health care and housing add up to hundreds of billions more dollars. U.S. capitalism could not survive without racism.
Black workers continue to be incarcerated at five times the rate of whites and be murdered disproportionately by police, accounting for 63 percent of those killed (223 deaths in 2017) while comprising 13 percent of the population. No cop has ever been convicted for murder of a Black worker in the U.S. Schools, hospitals, and neighborhoods are just as segregated today as they were 50 years ago.
All workers are hurt by racism
Other ideas pushed on workers today include “white privilege”, as if white workers created racism, benefit from it, or should be paralyzed or separate themselves because of guilt. While many white workers may temporarily hold racist views, anti-Black racism was purposely and methodically created by the U.S. bosses of the 1600-1700s to justify slavery and separate white indentured servants and poor farmers from Black slaves. Before that, there had been social mixing and intermarriage between whites and non-whites.
What the ruling class fears is us recognizing is that the lowered standards and super-exploitation for one sector of the working class brings down the standards for all sectors.
Racism serves capitalism well- to maximize profits and minimize rebellion. Separation into different schools, neighborhoods, job titles, unions, and neighborhoods keeps us divided when only multiracial mass action would enable us to fight back effectively. U.S. rulers also rely on racism to win workers, white, Black and immigrant, to fight imperialist wars for markets and resources by painting Muslim, Arab, Asian and other workers as enemies.
It is heartening to witness the mass uprising against the separation and incarceration of immigrant children, which has actually forced a minimal change in Trump’s policies. We must use this power of the unity of millions of workers to destroy this racist system once and for all and build an egalitarian worker-run society: communism.

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