Proposed Resolution: Racism effects many


Submitted jointly submitted by Eastern Pennsylvania and Illinois districts

The urgency of now and the fight for racial equality

Racism affects many aspects of human life and existence including educational opportunities, where one can live and where one can be employed. As seen in the history of the United States, racism is an ideology steeped in ignorance and enforced by class power, culture and violence.

Racism is based on the system of capitalist exploitation. Marx once wrote: “The discovery of gold and silver in America, the extirpation, enslavement and entombment in mines of the aboriginal population, the beginning of the conquest and looting of the East Indies, the turning of Africa into a warren for the commercial hunting of black-skins, signalized the rosy dawn of the era of capitalist production.”

Today, racism is used in a myriad of ways to divide union members and all working class people. It remains the ruling class’ most potent weapon. It lowers wages by dividing and pitting working people against each other. In addition, it provides billions in extra profits for the capitalists every year due to the unequal pay racially oppressed workers receive.

The Communist Party said in a recent statement on racism, “When African American, white, Latino, Asian, Native American people, native-born and immigrants, are played off against each other the only ones who benefit are the super wealthy 1%. We say African American, Latino, Asian, Native American, white – unite and fight for your rights!”

Racism is a tool that not only exploits racially oppressed people; it aids in the exploitation of white workers as well. Racial discrimination in hiring, racist wage and salary policies, and racial stratification of various industries and trades undermine the interests of all workers. The ability of employers to pay workers differently based on skin color, country of origin, immigration status, or hire date in two-tier wage systems exerts downward pressure on the wages of all workers. It allows bosses to extract even higher profits from racially oppressed workers. Racism is good for business, but is bad for working people of every race.

White workers have a powerful self-interest in fighting racism-white workers will gain greater victories to the degree that they unite with nationally and racially oppressed workers. Multi-racial unity in the workplace is the key to winning victories for all, to lifting wages, conditions and dignity for every worker. Racism de-humanizes all people and is incompatible with the promise of freedom for all.

Job cutbacks have hit African American and Latino workers extra hard. Their unemployment rate is now double the high rate of unemployment of white workers. The Wall Street induced foreclosure and financial crisis has severely slashed the income and wealth of communities of color. Widespread closings of unionized plants affected workers of color harder. Public jobs, where affirmative action won gains for workers of color, have been decimated by budget cuts.

The percentage of African American teachers in Chicago was cut from 40% to 20% in just 10 years by the massive public school closings and privatization of schools. Young workers of color face disastrous unemployment rates. And whole communities of color in Chicago and other cities look like bombed-out zones with homes torn down and empty lots. Over 100,000 African Americans have been forced out of Chicago. And cities like Detroit and Philadelphia are even worse hit. The racist policies that have led to the outrageous incarceration rates and violence – one that has taken a particular toll on the African American community – are a national outrage and demand national attention.

As a working class party, the CPUSA has a special duty to work to unite workers by fighting racism. In the 1930s, we laid the groundwork for the ongoing civil rights fight. Multiracial unity became the founding principle of the CIO (Congress of Industrial Organizations) and made it possible to win the “safety net” for all.

We need to raise the alarm about severe and brutal attacks on the rights of people of color. Not least of these is the Republican attack on the right to vote. Now is the time to step up the fight against racism, as it is critical to and strengthens other equality and democratic rights struggles, including immigrant, women and LGBTQ, and vice versa. Just as “an injury to one is an injury to all” a “victory for equality on one front is a victory for all.”

Strategies to advance the fight for equality must include action on the economic, political and cultural fronts, and take into consideration the particulars of each racially and nationally oppressed group. They must also include continued education of our party membership, including new members. In the United States, we are bombarded with racist propaganda. It takes a conscious effort to fight the ongoing racist influences. The good news is battles for racial equality can be (and have been) won.

Therefore be it resolved

that we will throw our full weight behind all campaigns that fight for equality including raising the minimum wage, “Fight for Fifteen,” Justice for Walmart Workers, the right to vote, an end to police brutality, racial profiling and the “school to prison pipeline,” to continue the fight for affirmative action and all other campaigns that will lessen economic and racial inequality in our country.

Be it further resolved

that we will work to clarify these issues in the November 2014 elections and continue our strategy of defeating the ultra-Right.

Be it further resolved

that the incoming National Committee of the Communist Party USA will take the necessary steps to organize its work in an ongoing way on racial equality, including reestablishing and revitalizing the African American Equality Commission and others.

The views and opinions expressed in the Convention Discussion are those of the author alone. The Communist Party is publishing these views as a service to encourage discussion and debate. Those views do not necessarily reflect the views of the Communist Party, its leading bodies or staff members. The CPUSA Constitution, Program, and all its existing policies remain in effect during the Convention discussion period and during the Convention.

For more details and information on the handling of proposed resolutions, visit the Resolutions Guidelines

For details about the convention, visit the Convention homepage
To contribute to the discussion, visit the Convention Discussion webpage

30th National Convention, Communist Party USA
Chicago | June 13-15, 2014


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