Anti-racist unity is essential

BY:Eric Brooks| October 6, 2022
Anti-racist unity is essential


The following remarks were presented to the National Committee on behalf of the African American Equality Commission, on Sept. 18, 2022.

In on September 7, 2022, Joe Sims wrote, “The Unity Imperative: Lessons for Building the Anti-fascist Alliance,” in which he put before this Party the need to build united and popular front forms of struggle against capitalist exploitation and oppression, echoed again today. Central to this endeavor is the struggle for working-class unity, which demands relentless struggle against systemic racism and racist ideology and interpersonal relations. As comrade Joe put it, “Black and white, unite and fight” was the clarion call of communist organizers in the CIO as they led the fight to organize workers in the steel, auto, and electric industries in the 1930s. Today, ‘black, brown, Asian, and white, unite and fight’ more accurately reflects the increasingly diverse composition of the U.S. working class.” Sectors of the LGBTQ community are also important components of this coalition.

As a contribution toward strengthening working-class unity, the CP and African American Equality Commission recently released the pamphlet “The Communist View on Community Control of Police,” pointing out “‘Community control,’ that is, the ability of Black folk to have [democratic] control over every aspect of their lives, has been a central demand of the African American freedom movement as early as the Reconstruction period.” It cannot be only Black folks but all working people that demand community control of the police in Black and working-class communities. White workers benefit from democratic control of the police in their communities as well as Black workers. For one example, police are often used against striking workers of all nationalities. That said, the focus of democratic community control of the police must be the immediate end to all murders of Black women, men, and children by the police.

The murders of Black people by police must be stopped now, and organizations like the National Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression that are working toward that goal must be given full-throated support across the CPUSA. We encourage all clubs to think through whether they can create or engage in supporting existing NAARPR branches in their areas.

The CP continues to build class understanding and to fight back against all forms of structural racism and racist ideology. This includes challenging the ideology of toxic masculinity in the Black community, an outgrowth of capitalist ideology that results in the deaths of too many Black women killed in their own homes. Democracy demands a society that protects women, and especially Black women, from all forms of domestic, community, and state violence, as well as ensuring full access to women’s health services for all Black women, including abortion services.

In the current election period, comrades are taking different and imaginative tactics toward strengthening working-class power, such as running CP candidates, supporting Democrats, and struggling around issues. In all these efforts, a call for anti-racist unity is absolutely essential. An argument can be made that racism and anti-Communism are the most effective organizing tools used by all the GOP contenders, not only Trump. Those ideologies cannot be left unchallenged. Comrades are encouraged to write letters to the editors of print and online publications supporting local struggles in their communities that meet community needs, and calling for anti-racist and anti-sexist unity around those struggles.

Most importantly, an all-out effort to get Black and other oppressed folks to the voting booths is needed now. This effort is required by constant anti-democratic pressure from the racist and sexist capitalist class, which has gerrymandered election districts to dilute Black people’s voting power, shortened in-person voting hours, cut back voting sites, increased documentation needed to vote, and taken other steps. In the face of the possible gutting of the Voting Rights Act by the Supreme Court this session, a democratic all-people’s anti-racist and anti-sexist uprising is vital.

Youth organizing in Starbucks, Amazon, and elsewhere are addressing the unity question successfully. A full discussion within the CP on the national question is needed to strengthen the unity on this issue within the CP and the larger working class.

We stand with William L. Patterson and Paul Robeson in saying “We charge genocide,” and we stand with comrade Joe in saying,

United and popular front forms will vary according to time, place, and circumstance: a housing coalition in one city, an alliance to prevent plant closings in another; a movement for reproductive rights in a third, an anti-war coalition to end the Russian invasion of Ukraine in a fourth. The Party should never be afraid to participate in, enter, or initiate coalitions. Indeed, it should be afraid not to.

In all this work, the struggle against systemic racism, racist violence by the police and others, and to meet the subsistence and developmental needs of the Black community must be a component.

Build the CPUSA and working-class power!

El pueblo unido jamás será vencido! The people united will never be defeated!

Thank you.

These remarks were edited for clarity and content.

Image: Jeffrey Smith, photo cropped (CC BY-ND 2.0); Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression (Facebook).


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