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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Strike looms, students need communism

CHICAGO, October 9—For anti-racist learning and working conditions, education workers are set to strike on October 17.
The Chicago Teachers Union’s (CTU) leadership fights within the confines of a capitalist system that can never meet workers’ needs. Whether or not education workers go on strike next week, students, parents, and workers alike need to continue fighting for anti-racist conditions and push the limits of what’s possible under capitalism. Progressive Labor Party’s (PLP) ultimate goal is to organize a revolution to overthrow capitalism, seize state power, and create a communist society.
Antiracist demands
The Chicago Public Schools serve 360,314 students—84 percent of which are Black or Latin, and 77 percent of which are working class living in low income households(cps.edu).
The issues are beyond demands for pay and health insurance costs. Demands include: an antiracist curriculum; sanctuary schools with more Black and Latin teachers; smaller class sizes; nurses, librarians, and social workers in every building; and improved working conditions for educators and custodial workers(The custodial workers suffer from poor pay and lousy conditions).They also demand access to affordable housing for students and workers. In addition to the nearly 17,000 homeless students, “about two-thirds of teaching assistants, school clerks and other paraprofessionals qualify for free or reduced lunch for their children” (Chicago Tribune, 10/9). Most of these demands are not legal to strike over (see box).
The 25,000 teachers are ready to strike; another 10,000 support staff and Park District workers are also prepared to walk off the job.
For the first time, educators are poised to be on strike at the same time as the hospital and homecare/nursing home workers of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU). Building unity across different sectors will be crucial to the gains workers can make in the class struggle. w
The progressive trap
Don’t trust politicians. The fact that Lori Lightfoot is the first Black gay woman mayor is a distraction from her liberal misleadership. Lightfoot co-signed on the billion-dollar construction of a new elite Chicago neighborhood, Lincoln Yards. These funds should have gone towards housing, education, or healthcare. She recently nominated Allison Arway for Health Commissioner. Arway helped close half of the City’s mental health facilities. When workers protested to stop a new $95 million kkkop academy, Lightfoot responded by saying she wanted to spend even more.
Workers should not be fooled by the identity politics of these government leaders who serve to keep the capitalist system running. In the same vein, the union bosses shouldn’t fool us either.
While Mayor Lightfoot is resisting contract demands, the CTU bosses have become quiet on the demands around sanctuary schools, rent control, and the city providing housing for students in these final weeks.
PLP members and friends are part of CTU and are organizing teachers, paraprofessionals, parents, and students to support demands to improve Chicago’s schools. At the same time, they promote the idea that only communism can provide students a worthy education. No amount of reform can eradicate the foundation of slavery and racism that built this system.
A “good education” necessitates a system built with the sole purpose of meeting all students’ needs. Capitalism will never provide that because the purpose of schools under this system is to prepare working-class students to be soldiers, wage slaves, or apologists and managers of capitalism.
Students in a communist society will be part of the learning and building of a world based on workers’ needs, not profits.
2019, the year of strikes
In Chicago, workers have witnessed a strike wave. It started with charter school teachers from Acero who waged a militant fight in December 2018, the first of its kind. In the following months, teachers at CICS and other charter schools also struck. Each of these strikes won many concessions that CTU is now fighting for at public schools. In March, graduate student workers at the University of Illinois at Chicago struck for the first time, winning significant gains.
More recently nurses at the University of Chicago on the South Side went on strike and nurses from Mt. Sinai, on the city’s West Side, have just authorized one. The capitalist class holds state power—everything from mayors and union leaders to schools and media make up that state power. For students to have an education that empowers them, we need to organize and smash this capitalist state.
Strikes, when organized and led by communists, can be schools for communist ideas and influence. Through the class struggle, workers can gain confidence and realize the potential for our power. The full realization of that potential requires workers to be part of Progressive Labor Party’s revolutionary communist movement.


Contracts and laws don’t protect workers
In 1995, Illinois passed a racist law limiting what teachers can strike over. This law only applied to Chicago, a district where 80 percent of the students are Black or Latin. Now most schools don’t have a librarian and only have a nurse one day a week(see page 7).
In the mostly white school districts, teachers have the right to strike over these issues. Those schools also have nurses, social workers, and librarians. The union leadership operates within the confines of legality regarding a strike, and this limits the potential for sharper class struggle. The bosses should not set limits and terms of what workers can strike over.
Capitalist laws are written for the purpose of keeping workers down. Just as students and workers in the 1960s illegally sat in at segregated lunch counters and as West Virginia teachers illegally struck last year, education workers must strike over what students need, legal or not.
No contract can protect workers from imperialist wars, racist police killings, or ICE raids. A contract can temporarily push bosses to a stalemate, but because the bosses have state power, workers are always at the mercy of the ruling class. One year after the militant CTU strike of 2012, the Chicago capitalists closed 50 schools, overwhelmingly in Black communities that could’ve been centers for potential fight back.

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