Communist Party, USA: Resolution on African American Equality

BY: 28th National Convention| July 20, 2005

Whereas, the policies of the Bush Administration pose the gravest threat to the African American people. On every question from voting rights, to affirmative action, to public education and health care, the policies of the far-right Republicans are aimed at undermining and eliminating the foundations of democracy and equality. Not since the defeat of the slave power in the Civil War has there been an administration so deeply hostile to the interests and forward progress of a people. Not since the days of Jefferson Davis has there been an administration so willing to cynically and callously use race to sow division and discord. In Bush and his cohorts in the Republican leadership the invisible empire of the Ku Klux Klan seems to have risen again; and,

Whereas, the main task in the struggle for equality today is the defeat of the Bush Administration. No forward progress in fighting racism can be achieved without it. The midterm Congressional elections in 2006 will be the next major battleground in this effort. Already the organizations of the African American people led in the first place by forces from labor and the civil rights movement are preparing two major initiatives. First, the August 2005 voting rights march in Atlanta, and second, the convening at the initiative of the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists, a nationwide political action gathering in the spring of 2006 in Gary, Indiana to reassert a strategy for an African American political agenda; and,

Whereas, today, as in the past, African Americans are playing a leading role in the fight against the Right and for social progress. This is so because the struggle for equality is on the cutting edge of the battle for democracy; and,

Whereas, in the eyes of Big Business, African Americans are one its greatest obstacles and most steadfast of foes. Black people represent a near unanimous opposition to the Republican agenda and vote time and again against it with great discipline earning the Rights enduring wrath. For this reason they have been singled out and targeted, for in todays world, Republican state power is premised on the suppression of the African American vote. Almost a century and a half after the passage of the 13th, 14th and 15th amendments to the U.S. Constitution and 40 years after the Voting Rights Act, the simple right to cast a ballot remains an issue of great contestation; and,

Whereas, U.S. capitalism has failed to provide the most basic of democratic citizenship rights to Americans of African descent, such as the right to vote, or the right to equal health care, jobs, and fair housing. In many states present and former convicts are routinely denied the right to vote; one in three Black men remain under the control of the criminal justice system; more African Americans are in jail than are in college. Black men are sent to prison at rates 57 times higher than whites when convicted of the same drug offense. There is an ongoing crisis of police brutality and racial profiling; and,

Whereas, African Americans are systematically denied the opportunity to live an equal life. Close to one-half of all Black children grow up in poverty. African American infants are two-and-a-half times more likely to die in their first year than white babies and the gap is widening. Small wonder of this when, the unemployment rate for Black men has risen to 10.6 percent in Bushs vaunted economic recovery. In New York City 49 percent of Black men are jobless. When this is added to the national average, the median African American household income is about $30,000 annually compared to $48,000 for white households. Added to this is the war in Iraq where young African Americans and other racially oppressed US troops are being killed and maimed out of proportion to their percentage in the population; and,

Whereas, in Bushs America, institutionalized racism remains a basic factor of every day life. African Americans remain among the most segregated of all peoples on the planet, the racist pattern of which reproduces itself in almost all arenas of life, but most decisively, in education, health care, housing, jobs, and the criminal justice system. It is great offence to decency and simple dignity that today, legislative and judicial remedies like affirmative action won in many decades of struggle, lie either severely eroded or simply ignored and unenforced; and,

Whereas, the main form racism takes today is economic racism, discriminatory practices deeply embedded in the fabric of capitalism, and first and foremost the racist wage gap: the pay differential between Black and white for the same work, that yields big business extra or super-profits. In addition, in the largely non-union working environment racist hiring and firing practices continue unabated. Added to this are the ongoing discriminatory practices in housing, loans, insurance and access to education. The pervasiveness of these practices, both ongoing and in the past, have given voice to call for reparations from Big Corporations in the form of a social fund to make up for past and present discrimination; and,

Whereas, at the center of the demands for a better life must be the fight for jobs with affirmative action; and,

Whereas, with todays global transnational capitalism, racism takes on an increasing global character as labor markets are manipulated and played against each other to satisfy the dictates of the export of capital, requiring greater labor unity and peoples unity. The strengthening of the alliance between the African American people and the labor movement is a pre-condition for building a broader fight for these objectives. The need for a broader fight is deeply understood in the African American freedom movement. Unity in action between African Americans, Latinos, Asians and whites is seen as central to slowing down the right-wing offensive and ultimately defeating it. Black/Brown/white unity is the foundation stone of uniting the working class and people against Bush; and,

Whereas, the African American people have not taken the Bush onslaught lying down but risen up repeatedly in many different forms against it: in voting patterns, in demonstrations and marches, in organizing in their communities, trade unions, churches, schools, professional associations and businesses both among themselves and in coalitions with others. They do so by protecting their children from the cruel visitations of police and pushers, by quiet encouragement in school and sports, by their prayers and protests large and small. In the face of great pressure both overt and subtle, the highly organized African American community, its elected officials, religious leadership, trade unions, social and fraternal organizations, groupings of hip hop, student and Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual/Transgender activists have stood strong; and, Whereas, Communist Party, USA (CPUSA) recognizes this great independent and enduring struggle. It recognizes its strategic character to the successful outcome of this countrys class and democratic battles. To be successful the working-class movement must be united: to be united it must place to the fore the demands of its slave-descendent citizens, who continue to bear the burden of racist practice past and present. Still more it understand its potentially revolutionary character, a character that emerges of the history of Black people, its profoundly working-class composition and strategic placement and dispersion in the country;

Therefore be it resolved, that the Communist Party, USA pledges itself to uphold the basic role of fighting racism to class and peoples unity; and,

Be it further resolved, that the CPUSA redouble its struggle for full voting rights and address its full attention to developing and promoting a Black Agenda; and,

Be it further resolved, the CPUSA commit to the ongoing fight for jobs with affirmative action and a quality non-segregated education.

Adopted by the 28th National Convention of the Communist Party, USA, Chicago, IL; July 1-3, 2005.


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