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Letters of December 6

Texas: Anti-Racist Movie Night
About 65 Unitarian Universalists and friends came together at a local movie house to screen the documentary film PROFILED. After screening the three-part series Race: The Power of Illusion earlier in the year, the UU Social Justice Committee has made a commitment to educate and engage church members in fighting racism. We have scheduled regular film screenings, small discussion groups, and have taken on the responsibility of preparing a service dedicated to fighting racism.
Unitarian members and guests responded well to PROFILED. They remarked on the powerful stories of the racist violence that is still woven into the fabric of our everyday lives.
One viewer noted how racism divides white against Black workers, intensifying racism and forming a major obstacle to worker solidarity. Several viewers and committee members decided to continue discussing the historical roots of racism in the U.S.
They chose to read Lerone Bennett’s The Road Not Taken, a work specifically referred to in the documentary. In addition, proceeds from the screening were sent to UU members in Santa Monica for their legal relief fund, along with a letter of support and solidarity for the UU members who fought the KKK in 2016.
 While many Unitarian members still see themselves as “allies”—not directly impacted by racism and involved in class struggle—with each action and discussion, we are showing how the fight is one and the same for an antiracist society. We will continue to fight alongside our fellow UUs, winning them to multiracial unity and the fight for communism.

‘I am For It’— Reflections of College Conference
The following are reflections shared by some students and professors from campuses in the South Bronx who attended the College Conference (see page 5).
The diversity of folks was great. I was really impressed. I am a college student who works the night shift as a cleaner at a local college. Although I had not slept, I made it my business to attend the meeting so I could learn more about these ideas. It was an awesome experience.
I really enjoyed my workshop. Students from community colleges and private colleges attended. They exchanged ideas and talked more about how to organize on their campuses. We talked about the worker-student alliance and its historic significance.
I have been thinking about what a world without a class hierarchy would actually look like. I am very new to the ideas of communism, but am definitely interested. I found myself engaged in the workshop and want to learn so much more. If communism is a world where we are all equal, I am for it.
My workshop gave me the chance to share my personal experiences about fighting racism. As an immigrant student and worker, I have dealt with a lot of hardships and discrimination, and this was a great place to reflect and talk about my experiences. I got to meet new people and hear their ideas as well. I am so glad I went.
It was a great experience to see many new young leaders come forward. The welcome address was given by a new student leader from the Bronx who was electric. The workshops were led by some new student leaders and they did a solid job. The panel touched on some really good points and was pretty interesting. We ended the evening with a lively Cuban dinner and got to know each other better. Power to the working class!
PLP leadership at APHA
The struggle at the American Public Health Association over police violence was inspiring, as many young activists were engaged from across the country. Working with the Black Caucus of Health Workers in a forum on police brutality in 2015 started the ball rolling as several new militant young public health students jumped into the resolution process. Last year a young PLP member suggested having a rally, which was a great success and contributed to the temporary passage of the resolution. This year there were no questions about having a rally at the convention and new fighters played a leading role while a seasoned PL member diverted the convention center security and police’s attention. At the opening session, the APHA plays the Star-Spangled Banner. Like at the NFL football games, PLP members and friends took a knee, much to the delight of those around them! During the preliminary hearings on Haiti and police violence resolutions PLP members sharpened the audience’s understanding of the barriers raised by the Joint Policy Committee in moving progressive resolutions forward.
In the Governing Council hearings the APHA leadership resorted to lies and innuendos to discredit the resolution to the larger membership. One member of the executive council said that the police violence resolution contradicted 21 other APHA policies. When challenged by a PLP member he could not name a single policy and the PLP member encouraged him to go back and do his homework before talking further with the activists. We also struggled with liberals, both Black and white, who disagreed with the resolution. Mostly though, they want to continue to work closely with the police and not antagonize the Trump racists. PLP will continue to expose the role of the police under capitalism as agents of social control for the ruling-class. For four years we have put out a special “Challenge” explaining more about capitalism, the anti-racist struggle and the need for communism. We have an expanded group of public health students and workers meeting with the party around these ideas. Winning more students and professionals to understand this analysis will move the struggle forward even more and open the door to revolutionary action.  
A Visit to a Friend in Prison
This weekend, some comrades and I went to pay a visit to a young friend in prison. Micah is skinny man in his early twenties who was attending college and always full of jokes. Across the cafeteria table on his designated seat, he looked like a uniformed student whose peace was stolen from him. We talked over sour candy and Sun Chips.
I have never been to this prison before, but the atmosphere was familiar. We were greeted with metal detectors, a morning dehumanization process Black and Latin students go through daily before class. From the interrogation lights, the tiles and lines across the floors, chairs, colors of the walls, to the rules and behavior, prison felt like school. The too-young Black, Latin, and white faces in the cafeteria could easily be mistaken for a high school cafeteria. Both schools and prisons are ruled by intimidation, laws and violence. Schools prepare a section of working-class kids to be prisoners and de facto slaves—to assume the position. Both attempt to rob the potential of fightback, militancy, and working-class creativity. If youth are willing to break the bosses’ racist laws for individual motivations, do they pose a higher threat to the bosses’ system? Are they more likely to break the bosses’ laws for the whole working class? How threatened the bosses must feel, that even when they have our youth locked up, they continue to tear away at the prisoners’ dignity.
Micah said, “We watch over ourselves. We don’t need the guards. I thought I had to be scared of the inmates. In reality, it’s the correctional officers.” Even in the grimmest corners of capitalist decay, working-class collectivity prevails. The prisoners do not tolerate stealing from other inmates. When PLP says the workers will rule society, it just means we will have the decision-making power, and we will choose what’s best for our class as a whole. Inmates watch out for each other against the threats of the guards.
Don’t get me wrong. Class-consciousness today is low and prisoners are no exception to the dark night. Micah gets harassed for not being “Black enough” and for his high literacy skills. But he has learned to stand up for himself, make friends, and still keep his sanity. Someone stole his copy of revolutionary poetry by Langston Hughes. He saw that as a good thing. He is sharing his copy of The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander.
Justice will be restorative under communism. To say the least, the working class, through collectives, will seek to rehabilitate and reincorporate offenders into society. We live in a world where the president rob families of their livelihoods by deporting them back to deadly conditions like in Haiti and El Salvador, yet it’s our class who are called derogatory names like “criminals” and “convicts.”
Next time we go visit, we’ll bring Micah another copy of Langston Hughes’ revolutionary poetry.
NFL Protests, Olympics, and Need for Multiracial Unity
In the article “NFL Take-a-Knee Protests,” about NFL players protesting racism, an important part of the description of the current and historical struggle in sports was left out:
Currently, various white athletes have taken stands in support of their Black brothers’ actions. At the 1968 Olympics, on the medal stand, silver medal sprinter Peter Norman—a white Australian, in solidarity with sprinters Tommie Smith and John Carlos-wore a badge in support of  the Olympic Project for Human Rights. After the final, Smith and Carlos told him what they were going to do. He said, “I’ll stand with you.” Carlos said he expected to see fear in Norman’s eyes. He didn’t: “I saw love.” Norman attached the badge, as a symbol of anti-racism, to his tracksuit before mounting the podium.
Both Smith and Carlos were punished by the U.S. Olympic Committee, under pressure from the International Olympic Committee and its pro-Nazi American president Avery Brundage. Norman, although his medal was not stripped, suffered ostracism and severe criticism in his native country, still engaged in its ‘White Australia” policy discriminating against aborigines. When Norman died in 2006, Smith and Carlos were pallbearers at his funeral and spoke eulogies. As is often the case AFTER the death of a fighter against racism and injustice, in 2012 the Australian government recognized Norman for his athletic achievements and Olympic protest with an “Apology” passed by the Australian Parliament.
Norman is an example of an individual white person standing in solidarity with his Black brothers, against racism. Progressive Labor Party has participated in and led countless multi-racial actions against racism. When describing such fightback, whether current or historical, we should always emphasize multiracial unity as it is the only way to defeat racism.

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