New York, NY, Feb. 5 — Recently, some 30 professors, teachers and students attended a PLP forum on racism. In preparation each person was asked to read a packet of articles reprinted from CHALLENGE on the Jena 6 case and the PL History series about the 1975 struggle against the racist ROAR organization in Boston.
The first speaker gave an extensive explanation of the Party’s position that the concept of “race” and racist ideology were created by the capitalist system to divide the working class and maintain power. It was also pointed out that profits capitalists gain from super-exploiting black and Latin workers are essential for survival of their system.
The next presenter led us in discussion about the bosses’ need to win workers to racism in order to get workers to fight in their endless imperialist wars. The student presenter explained that when soldiers enter the U.S. military they are bombarded with racist ideas: “Those people are different from us. They have no respect for human life. They are inferior.” Without this racist brainwashing, workers would balk at orders to massacre non-combatants and torture prisoners.
One of our friends remarked that if racism had a brother it would be nationalism. He said that racism, nationalism and religion were all divisive and that our task was to unite the international working class.
A lively discussion followed about many of the manifestations of racism in education and on the campuses. Not only must we confront military and CIA recruiters when they come to campus, but we must investigate and expose how the university is involved with research that helps the military and promotes racism.
In addition we must increase our efforts to bring the anti-racist struggle into the anti-war movement. Campus anti-war committees should discuss racist issues such as the Jena 6. In our unions we must address racism as well as opposing the war.
After the discussion we saw a documentary film “Another Brother” which deals with the racism faced by black soldiers in Vietnam and upon their return home. Our next planned forum is entitled “For a World Without Borders: A Communist Perspective on Immigration.”
This electoral year, more HS and college youth are being won to vote. Because of the dangerous illusion that Obama and to a lesser extent Hillary represent “change,” it is important to demonstrate more openly our revolutionary alternative to these politicians. Their only “change” will be to expand the current wars and make us pay more for the capitalist economic meltdown. Being involved in mass organizations, using CHALLENGE and having frequent party-building events are necessary to make our Party grow.