The American People are for Unity
Many different definitions of racism exist, which conform to different political and ideological ideas, or to points of view that certain people want to put forth. However, to be a racist is to take a conscious position, to think something out and come to the conclusion that “I’m better than that person because my eyes are blue, or I’m better than that person because my skin is this color, or because I came from this country” and so forth. It’s only after taking such a position that a person becomes a racist.
The very idea that an entire color or faith of people has got the same idea is in itself racism. How can a whole mass of people all have the same idea? They are from various classes, various backgrounds and various religions. Yet, some people come up with the idea that they all have the same idea. That in itself is racism.
There is a serious problem of racism in America. There is plenty of racism and there are plenty of racists. But to identify the American people with this violent and dangerous minority, it is wrong. The American people, as a people, are not racist.
Revolutionaries need to win the American people to an active position, that is to say, win them over to an active, thought-out class position. The way to achieve it is not to identify them with the worst criminal elements in their midst.
Like the [Negro National] anthem, “Lift Every Voice and Sing” says, “Stony the road we’ve trod.” Along that road there were whites marching with the Blacks every step of the way. Over every stone, there were whites in the struggle against racist policies, like John Brown and Viola Liuzzo, who was killed by the Klan in Selma, Alabama in 1965 during the voting-rights struggle. But we hear less and less of people who sacrificed their lives, who went to prison, who stood their ground alongside their brothers and sisters. We hear less and less of them and more and more of the vicious, murderous, fascist white supremacists and racists in our midst.
If the media and the ruling class publicized the daily acts of friendship and equality that whites and Blacks participate in, to publicize the good things as much as they publicize the bad things, this would be an entirely different fight. The ruling class will not do that because they don’t want to solve the problem. They need to keep our class divided, not to mention they get good money. Their fortune is made in carrying out, but never ending, the struggle against racism.
Another point that is helpful on this question is to look at other forms of racism that have dominated that period of time of the rise of fascism. Look carefully and we see that inner-color racism: racism among the whites, racism among the Asians, racism among the Blacks, has been much more deadly than racism between Black and white.
Hitler’s racist war was against the Slavic people, the butchering of 30 to 40 million human beings in a period of six years, including his savage racist war against the Jews. Another example is the racist wars that were carried out by the Japanese against all the other Asian peoples. The war of the Japanese against the Chinese was an outright racist war. They declared themselves superior to the Chinese. The Japanese claimed the Chinese had no rights they had to respect, and they invaded China and slaughtered them like animals.
Racism is not just between Blacks and whites. Inner-color racism has killed more people than inter-color racism. And people don’t even think about it.
What are the roots of racism in America? Racism continues in different forms and in different historical epochs. We need to look further and ask, what is it – what’s behind it, what gives it its strength – its life? Once we look deeper into it, we have to conclude that it’s the capitalist system itself. Then if we say that racism is an integral part of the capitalist system, then you’re not going to get rid of racism without getting rid of the capitalist system.
We have to conduct this war against racism like we conduct any war. The first thing is to know who your enemy is. Take World War II for example. If the Allies identified their enemy as the Germans, the Italians and the Japanese people, we would still be fighting. They identified their enemy to be this little clique that wanted to control the State in Germany, Italy and Japan. They identified clearly who their enemies were and made an effort to win everyone else over to their side. The first thing is to identify the real enemy. The second thing is to do everything possible to isolate that enemy to the extreme and then organize the maximum force to crush them.
The enemy isn’t white people, or poor white people, because we’ve shown that inter-white racism is as violent as racism between Blacks and whites. The problem is the system. We identify the system and not the people as the problem. The next step is to go after that system. Then we can show the identity of interest between the whites and the Blacks in the same economic category. This way, there is a basis for them to come together, to stick together, to organize the maximum number of people against the system.
The false idea that the American people are racist – that they have taken a conscious position – is planted to prevent the maximum amount of force to organize against capitalism and therefore against racism. This is intentional. This is not happening accidentally. As long as the problem is identified as “white people,” or “Black people,” or “Brown people“ there is no way to resolve it.
Do the conditions exist today to do away with racism? The continuation of capitalism is being called into question by the development of computerized, electronic production. This means that in order to survive, the workers will have to constantly fight for unity. Things we are faced with in periods of transition, such as the one we are in now, is that you can be unconsciously or subconsciously thrown into disunity or even into racism. But you can’t be thrown unconsciously or subconsciously into unity. Support for unity is a thought out, conscious thing.
We have to understand that the fight for unity depends on education of the masses of people, which demands an organization that is dedicated to doing this. It will take an organization of revolutionaries to bring this kind of consciousness to the American people. The point of it is, that as long as capitalism was stable, expanding and dominant, the war against racism could be fought – and had to be fought – but it could not be won. Now we have a situation in which not only does it have to be fought, but it can be won. To win this war, the first things we need to do is identify the enemy, isolate that enemy, then mobilize the maximum force to attack it. And then we’ll overcome this thing, because the destruction of capitalism means the destruction of racism.
May/June 2016 Vol26.Ed3
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The age-old vision of a world without scarcity, without exploitation, class domination, organized violence, and stultifying labor has been the dream of millenia. The new completely socialized labor-eliminating means of production ... sets the basis for its realization. Now human history can begin, the light of the individual shining in the full brightness of liberated life, that can only be realized within true equality and cooperation: communism, a cooperative society.'Without Vision, the People Perish'
Rally, Comrades ! May/June 2011