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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White Fragility attempts to stifle natural multiracial unity 

LOS ANGELES, February 20—The church in which members of Progressive Labor Party (PLP)work organized a discussion on White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo, a book written purposefully for white people, by a white person, about the defensiveness of white people in regards to racism. This text successfully erases any class analysis of racism and builds on the cynical ruling class idea that white and Black workers cannot unite against racism:

In 2011, DiAngelo coined the term “white fragility” to describe the disbelieving defensiveness that white people exhibit when their ideas about race and racism are challenged…She argues that our largely segregated society is set up to insulate whites from racial discomfort, so that they fall to pieces at the first application of stress (The New Yorker, 7/23/2018).

DiAngelo is popular among white liberals. She is an academic who has worked as a diversity trainer for businesses. Her theory of white fragility is based on the idea that white privilege insulates white people from racial stress and any discussion of race and racism makes them defensive. It also pushes the idea that white people are solely responsible for both creating and dismantling racism in the United States.
While DiAngelo states that race was a social construct created by the white ruling class to justify slavery and keep poor white workers separate from enslaved Blacks and indigenous workers, she gives little to no examples of ways for white workers to fight back against it.
Her book is more descriptive than solution oriented. All she suggests is for white people to acknowledge their white privilege, and join all-white anti-racist organizations like SURJ (Showing Up for Racial Justice) who will support Black Lives Matter, listen, reflect, and be more racially aware toward nonwhite people. We cannot fight racism by using the very tools the bosses use to keep us divided.

On the class question of racism
In Black Reconstruction in America, communist fighter and thinker W.E.B. Du Bois writes,

[T]he white group of laborers, while they receive a low wage, were compensated in part by a sort of public and psychological wage. They were given public deference and titles of courtesy because they were white. They were admitted freely with all classes of white people to public functions, public parks, and the best schools.

White privilege theorists love to co-opt Du Bois’s words out of context. This psychological wage is the ideological division used to prevent white and Black workers from uniting as one class. Du Bois continues:

The result of this was that the wages of both classes could be kept low, the whites fearing to be supplanted by Negro labor, the Negroes always being threatened by the substitution of white labor.

Without that crucial analysis, we fall into the trap of blaming each other for a systematic problem that hurts us all, albeit to different degrees. White privilege theory, and all identity politics, is based on a politics of difference, which deliberately seeks to undermine and break any potential for working-class unity.

Who benefits from racism?
White Fragility touched on institutional racism in the context of white people (as a monolithic group) running the institutions and not on capitalism needing racism to keep the working class divided and super exploiting Black, Latin, Asian, and immigrant workers. What DiAngelo conveniently fails to do is show how, under the threat of rebellion, the U.S. constructed race and racism off the tears, blood, flesh of Black, indigenous, and white workers. Lerone Bennett’s masterpiece essay The Road Not Taken in The Shaping of Black America illustrates this:

The race problem in America was a deliberate invention of men who systematically separated blacks and whites in order to make money...Curiously unconcerned about their color, these people worked together and relaxed together. They had essentially the same interests, the same aspirations, and the same grievances. They conspired together and waged a common struggle against their common enemy – the big planter apparatus and a social system that legalized terror against black and white bondsmen.
[The separation of our class] was done by the creation of a total system of domination, a system that penetrated every corner of Colonial life and made use of every Colonial institution. Nothing was left to chance. The assemblies, the courts, the churches, and the press were thrown into the breach.
The whole system of separation and subordination rested on official state terror. The exigencies of the situation required men to kill some white people to keep them white and to kill many blacks to keep them black. In the North and South, men and women were maimed, tortured, and murdered in a comprehensive campaign of mass conditioning. The severed heads of black and white rebels were impaled on poles along the road as warnings to black people and white people, and opponents of the status quo were starved to death in chains and roasted slowly over open fires. Some rebels were branded; others were castrated. This exemplary cruelty, which was carried out as a deliberate process of mass education, was an inherent part of the new system.

Clearly, if the ruling class ran a state terror campaign to create race and racism, it cannot be for the benefit of any worker. White privilege is a ruling-class idea.
In the Communist Manifesto, Marx and Engels said it plainly, “The ruling ideas of each age have ever been the ideas of its ruling class.”

Segregation continues today
Race and racism has been maintained.  Lerone Bennett’s essay continues:

As the seventeenth century ended and the eighteenth century began, white arrogance increased, and a yawning chasm opened up between blacks and whites....Responding to this situation, blacks began to define themselves in opposition to whites, who were viewed as enemies and oppressors.

The bosses over the four hundred years of conditioning have succeeded in separating the natural unity between Black and white workers. Institutions like schools are more segregated today than they were in the 1960s (The Atlantic, 6/11/12). At the discussion, participants talked about their segregated neighborhoods and schools.  Another PL’er brought up going to a diverse school that was still very segregated and their experience with Black and Latin students being racist towards each other. The moderators quickly jumped in to say that wasn’t racism because “people of color can’t be racist.”

What do they fear the most?
An oppressor’s greatest fear is multiracial unity. When Black workers can organize hand in hand with their white counterpart, we are subverting 400 years of racist conditioning. Our discussion showed that workers of all races want to learn about racism and how to combat it. We will continue to struggle with those who were open to the ideas of multiracial unity and actively fighting racism.

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