Progressive Labor Party on Race & Racism



Progressive Labor Party (PLP) fights to destroy capitalism and the dictatorship of the capitalist class. We organize workers, soldiers and youth into a revolutionary movement for communism.

Only the dictatorship of the working class — communism — can provide a lasting solution to the disaster that is today’s world for billions of people. This cannot be done through electoral politics, but requires a revolutionary movement and a mass Red Army led by PLP.

Worldwide capitalism, in its relentless drive for profit, inevitably leads to war, fascism, poverty, disease, starvation and environmental destruction. The capitalist class, through its state power — governments, armies, police, schools and culture —  maintains a dictatorship over the world’s workers. The capitalist dictatorship supports, and is supported by, the anti-working-class ideologies of racism, sexism, nationalism, individualism and religion.

While the bosses and their mouthpieces claim “communism is dead,” capitalism is the real failure for billions worldwide. Capitalism returned to Russia and China because socialism retained many aspects of the profit system, like wages and privileges. Russia and China did not establish communism.

Communism means working collectively to build a worker-run society. We will abolish work for wages, money and profits. Everyone will share in society’s benefits and burdens. 

Communism means abolishing racism and the concept of “race.” Capitalism uses racism to super-exploit black, Latino, Asian and indigenous workers, and to divide the entire working class.

Communism means abolishing the special oppression of women — sexism — and divisive gender roles created by the class society.

Communism means abolishing nations and nationalism. One international working class, one world, one Party.

Communism means that the minds of millions of workers must become free from religion’s false promises, unscientific thinking and poisonous ideology. Communism will triumph when the masses of workers can use the science of dialectical materialism to understand, analyze and change the world to meet their needs and aspirations.

  Communism means the Party leads every aspect of society. For this to work, millions of workers — eventually everyone — must become communist organizers. Join Us!



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Board of Ed. Cuts $ and Teachers; Raises Class Size: Workers Fight Bosses’ Racist ‘Lesson Plan’

CHICAGO, IL, July 1 — “We don’t get paid for this job,” the president of the Chicago Board of Education told parents at the June meeting.

“I’m glad to hear that you are displacing teachers and screwing our children’s education from the bottom of your heart,” a parent replied, in the spirit of two years of struggle by teachers in CORE (Caucus of Rank-and-File Educators), parents, students, and community groups. Speaking out — and demonstrating, when the opportunity arises — helps to mobilize and organize forces to oppose these attacks on education.

The Board wanted to use the meeting to solve its “budget crisis” on the backs of students and school employees, but the discussion didn’t go as planned. As one speaker said, “You guys should be ashamed.” Another pointed out, “Schools are more than bricks and mortar. Why should we terminate quality teachers?” Under capitalism, there is always plenty of money for imperialist war, bank and corporate bailouts, and politicians’ pet projects. But there is never enough for workers’ needs.

For example, the Chicago Public Schools CEO, Ron Huberman, claims that they might need to fire 2,700 teachers and raise the average class size to 35 to save $150 million and close their budget gap. Yet Mayor Daley is hoarding $250 million in “Tax Increment Funding” for his private slush fund. As always under capitalism, the question is more than dollars and cents; it’s about who profits — and at whose expense.

While Chicago’s disinvestment in its schools is a disgraceful case of child neglect, money alone won’t solve the problem. The content of U.S. public education is primarily aimed to give working-class students a salute-the-flag fast-track to fighting in imperialist wars, toiling in minimum-wage jobs, or suffering racist unemployment.

Parents and teachers spoke passionately about teachers who spend their own time and money and devise creative and effective ways to reach all students. The scores of people in the audience applauded these remarks, while Huberman and the Board members sat stone-faced or worse. (One board member fell asleep, and another was busy texting.) As one of about two hundred “honorably-terminated” teachers said, “We have been left on the street with no job and no health insurance.”

A PLP member underscored that racism continues to be perpetuated by Board policies. Because this administration claims to be “data driven” (meaning if student test scores don’t go up, teachers could be fired), the speaker used data to expose its racism. There are 2,100 fewer African-American teachers now than in 2002, a drop from 40 to 30 percent of the total teaching force. Thirty percent of white students attend selective enrollment high schools, or three times the proportion of students in general. Finally, 72 percent of African-American students attend segregated, low-performing schools with the greatest chance of being reconstituted (or “turned around,” as the Board likes to say) with all new staff. 

The PLP member concluded by stating, “The data-driven conclusion is that the Board runs a racist school system that provides separate and unequal education for over 70 percent of the system’s African-American students. In addition, it is decimating the system’s African-American teaching force.” Loud applause and handshakes from the audience, frozen stony faces from the Board. In an era where many think the U.S. has moved “past racism,” it is incumbent on communists and others to expose it at every opportunity. Capitalism will not be destroyed unless anti-racism leads the fight. 


Only Communist Revolution Leaves No Child Behind - Bosses’ ‘Race to the Top’ Leaves Most at the Bottom  

School systems across the country are facing the worst cutbacks in decades, while Obama’s promises to withdraw from Afghanistan are coming undone barely six months after he made them. In a brazenly honest way, education secretary Arne Duncan has vowed to “let no crisis be wasted” in the ruling class’s ongoing strategy to solve their economic and military problems through attacks on the working class. This is the same Duncan who accelerated the re-segregation of the Chicago school system, coupled with a noxious cocktail of education “reforms” now being imposed throughout the country through the bribery of Obama’s cynical “Race to the Top.”

Charter schools, merit pay, data-driven teacher evaluation, standardized exams — none of these bosses’ ploys can meet the needs of students. Teachers must not be fooled into siding for or against any of these schemes. They’re all intended to deliver students more efficiently into the hands of the ruling class, to be exploited in the workplace or the military. It’s a contradiction for the rulers to “leave no child behind” in a “race to the top.” In such a race, working-class kids will inevitably lose because the capitalist education system was never designed to prepare all students to succeed.

Major ruling-class figures are saying so themselves. In the May/June 2008 issue of “Foreign Affairs,” the house organ for the Rockefeller wing of the ruling class, prominent pundit Fareed Zakaria wrote, “If the United States cannot educate and train a third of the working population to compete in a knowledge economy, this will drag down the country.”

If we do the math, that’s two-thirds of the working class that the rulers plan to leave behind. They are using the latest financial crisis as an opportunity to trim spending on classrooms and pension funds. They need a school system that will preserve the status quo of class relations. Under capitalism, a portion of workers is always disposable. In a society founded on slavery, these are mostly black and Latino workers. With rising racist unemployment devastating millions, the ruling class needs schools to help reorganize society and to crush the idea that a job is a basic right.

Nobody in education — no liberal in the White House, no union misleader — is dealing with the heart of the matter. The basic drive of capitalism toward imperialist war and increased exploitation of the working class makes education reform a joke. The exceptional cases where schools do a better job of educating our youth can only be viewed as oases in a desert of racist neglect, not as models that the bosses will reproduce for all. Education reform will make education for the masses a meaningless process of test prep. Teachers also stand to be more sharply exploited, and will be forced to work harder for less money.

Communists need and value every one of us. Each individual contains the potential to understand and change the world. Through the first two-thirds of the twentieth century, hundreds of millions of working people banished disease, illiteracy, and imperialist exploitation from their societies under the leadership of communists. These magnificent movements were reversed, but their achievements can and must be replicated and deepened. Communism, and only communism, leaves no child behind. Join PLP!


33 Million Jobless — What ‘Economic Recovery’?  

No matter how the Obama administration or the bosses’ media pundits try to spin the “economic recovery,” the actual 33 million jobless figure keeps getting in the way. Now even some of the NY Times analysts have taken to confirming what Karl Marx proved over a century ago: capitalism inevitably breeds unemployment. And capitalism based on racism breeds double unemployment rates for black and Latino workers.

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Spy Saga: Sharpening Imperialist Dogfight A Deadly Drama  

Treating the latest Russian spy scandal as mere entertainment misses the point. Sure, all the makings of a Hollywood blockbuster are there. But U.S. media are likening the plot to 1960s thrillers (or parodies of them), to obscure the stubborn fact that U.S. and Russian capitalist rulers still aim at destroying one another, while killing millions of workers in the process.

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N.J. Racist Cuts: Death for Unemployed, $3 Billion to Bankers

On June 29, N.J. Governor Christie signed the budget passed by the Democrat-controlled legislature. In addition to $1 billion in education and student aid cuts (hitting urban districts especially hard) and $450 million less in aid to cities, the budget puts a 2.5% cap on salary increases for all local government workers, terminates state health insurance for 12,000 immigrants, cuts $9 million from legal services to the poor and cuts state payments to households with a disabled person.

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Gaza Flotilla Episode Marks U.S. Bosses’ Decline  

Recently a flotilla of ships bringing humanitarian aid to Palestinians trapped in Gaza behind a fascist Israeli blockade was boarded and attacked by Israeli commandos on the high seas. On one ship, the Mavi Marmara, the commandos encountered resistance, opened fire, and killed nine of the travelers. 

Videos showed that the passengers fought militantly and bravely against the commandos, succeeding in disabling several and knocking some off the ship into the water. This action helps to dispel the “myth of invincibility” surrounding the Israeli military and its own CIA, the Mossad. They can be fought and beaten with boldness and militancy, even if they ultimately succeeded in gaining control of the ship.

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Central Asia: Workers Need Communist Revolution — Rulers’ Battleground Becomes Workers’ Bloodbath

With the continuing war in Afghanistan spilling into Pakistan and the country of Kyrgyzstan falling into chaos, the U.S. media again rolled out its tired myths of “ancient ethnic rivalries” leading to conflict. Meanwhile, they gloss over the absence of these “innate” ethnic tensions during the Soviet era. Many news sources have even blamed Stalin (now dead for almost 60 years) for the current chaos in Central Asia.

But it is inter-imperialist rivalry among the U.S., Russia and China for control of valuable natural gas reserves and pipeline real estate that is driving the political disorder, social unrest and wars in the area, strategically located between Russia, China and the Middle-East.

The current crisis in Kyrgyzstan that toppled the government and killed thousands of civilians dates back to 2001, not centuries. Using the 9/11 attacks and the war in Afghanistan as a pretext, the U.S. began pushing for bases in Central Asia. Eventually it received Manas Air Base in Kyrgyzstan for a measly $17 million/year.  Russia, incensed by U.S. encroachment in “its” backyard, made a similar deal in 2003 for a base only 12 miles from Manas. 

The U.S., upset by the Kyrgyz drift towards Russia, financed the “Tulip Revolution” in 2005, toppling the Kyrgyz government and installing a pro-Western dictator.  In 2009, Russia paid the new Kyrgyz government $2.4 billion to evict the U.S. from Manas Air Base, forcing the U.S. to assemble a $200-million aid package, increasing the base’s rent to $60 million. 

The Kyrgyz government, fearing Russian retaliation, gave the Russians a sweetheart deal on a second base near the Uzbek/Tajikistan border.  Now a new spate of rioting has again toppled the Kyrgyz government, plunging the country into chaos, with many suspecting Russian involvement after the opposition made closing Manas Air Field its primary demand.  

Since the Soviet Union’s collapse, the U.S. has sought greater involvement in the critical Central Asia region, which holds some of the world’s largest energy and uranium reserves. With its 1992 Freedom Support Act, the U.S. has openly funded pro-Western political movements in the post-Soviet states.

Increased military involvement in Central Asia is, a goal which the ruling class’s Hart-Rudman Commission and Project for a New American Century reports listed as critical to containing Russian and Chinese influence. 

In 2002, Russia countered, creating the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) with Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. After Uzbekistan evicted the U.S. from its base in 2005, Russia granted the country significant aid packages, inviting it to join the CSTO in 2006.  In 2007, Russia built a base there, adjoining the Novi uranium mining and enrichment plant.  Russia’s 2008 invasion of Georgia also helped secure an important Russian military outpost in the region, countering the U.S.-financed 2003 “Rose Revolution” which installed U.S. lackey Mikheil Saakashvili as president. 

China, not to be outdone, has been flexing considerable muscle in Pakistan, much to the dismay of the U.S. In 2001, dictator Perez Musharraf declared Pakistan an ally in the U.S. “war on terror” after receiving significant contributions in aid and military equipment.  China then began courting Musharraf by promising to fast-track the heavily-Chinese-financed Gwadar Deep Sea Port construction project. 

By 2006 Musharraf was publicly denouncing the U.S. and its “bullying” of Pakistan.  A year later terrorist attacks against Chinese workers on the port project led Musharraf to declare a state of emergency in Pakistan. Many believed the CIA was behind the attacks.  

This past March, Pakistan brokered a deal with Iran and China to build the Iran-Pakistan (IP) pipeline. This endangered U.S. plans for the larger Tajikistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) pipeline as well as the Nabucco pipeline connection in the Caspian Sea.

The U.S. has increasingly been moving military operations into Pakistan under the cover of “attacking terrorist hideouts.”  In response, groups connected to the Pakistani intelligence agency (ISI) have launched terrorist attacks in India (a key U.S. ally) and Afghanistan. The U.S. military is now saying withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan may have to be delayed.

Russia, with its declining population, has no better opportunity than now to seriously counter U.S. power in the region. The U.S., with its faltering economy, needs to seize these resources to contain Chinese growth, while China has the money and opportunity to secure its energy future.

The world’s imperialist powers are moving closer to war with each other. Only communist revolution can free workers from the bloodbaths that capitalist crisis and competition inevitably bring. J


[1] AOL News, “Why All the Violence in Kyrgyzstan? Blame Stalin,” 6/16/10; The Economist, “Stalin’s Latest Victims,” 6/17/10; The Age, “Ethnic Fault Lines of Stalin Era Implode,” 6/19/10.

[1] NYT, “US is Building Up its Military Presence in Afghan Region,” 1/9/02; NYT, “In Reversal Kyrgyzstan Won’t Close a US Base,” 6/24/09.

[1] NYT, “Russia to Deploy Air Squadron in Kyrgyzstan Where US has Base,” 12/4/02.

[1] NYT, “US Helped to Prepare the Way for Kyrgyzstan’s Own Uprising,” 3/30/05.

[1] Challenge, “Afghanistan Center of Imperialist Dogfight Over Oil, Gas,” 2/25/09; San Francisco Chronicle, “Why is Russia Bribing Kyrgyzstan?” 2/22/09; Eurasianet, “US Armed Forces to Remain at Airbase for Afghan Supply Operations,” 6/22/09; NYT, “In Reversal Kyrgyzstan Won’t Close a US Base,” 6/24/09.

[1] AP, “Russia Signs Deal to Open Second Base in Kyrgyzstan,” 8/1/09.

[1] AP, “Kyrgyz Opposition Controls Government Building,” 4/7/10; Eurasia Daily Monitor, “Historical Context for Regional Response to Recent Events in Kyrgyzstan,” 5/3/10.

[1] Mahir Ibrahimov and Erjan Kurbanov, “Getting it Wrong in the Caucasus,” Middle East Quarterly, Vol. I No. 4, December 1994.

[1] Asia Times, “US Scatters Bases to Control Eurasia,” 3/30/05; US Commission on National Security/21st Century, Phase I: Report on the Emerging Global Security Environment for the First Quarter of the 21st Century, 9/15/1999, p 76; The Project for the New American Century, Rebuilding America’s Defenses, 9/2000, p 47, 35, 18-19.

[1] AFP, “Ex Soviet States Discuss Joint Military Force to Counter NATO,” 7/31/09

[1] Reuters, “Uzbekistan Evicts US from Air Base,” 7/31/05; BBC, “Last US Plane Leaves Uzbek Base,” 11/21/05; Radio Free Europe, “What Does Closure of US Military Base in Uzbekistan Mean?” 8/1/05.

[1] Eurasianet, “An Uzbek Air Base: Russia’s Newest Achievement in Central Asia,” 1/10/07.

[1] NYT, “Georgia-Russia Fight Endangers U.S. Oil Goals,” 8/14/08; The Daily Mail (UK), “The Pipeline War: Russian Bear Goes for West’s Jugular,” 8/10/08; Eurasianet, “Looking Back at the Rose Revolution,” 12/29/09.

[1] New Statesman, “There is No War on Terrorism,” 10/29/01; Center for Public Integrity, “Pakistan’s $4.2 Billion Blank Check for US Military Aid, After 9/11, Funding to Country Soars with Little Oversight,” 3/27/07.

[1] The New Nation (Bangladesh), “Emerging Pakistan-China Relations,” 9/11/08.

[1] USA Today, “Musharraf’s Book Says Pakistan Faced US ‘Onslaught’ if it Didn’t Back War on Terror,” 9/26/06.

[1] Asia Times, “Balochistan is the Ultimate Prize,” 5/9/09; The News (Pakistan), “US Told Not to Back Terrorism Against Pakistan,” 8/5/08.

[1] Asia Times, “Pipelinestan Goes Iran-Pak,” 5/29/09.

[1] NYT, “CIA to Expand Use of Drones in Pakistan,” 12/4/09.

[1] NYT, “Militant Group Expands Attacks in Afghanistan,” 6/15/10; NYT, “Report Says Pakistan Intelligence Agency Exerts Great Sway on Afghan Taliban,” 6/13/10.

[1] NYT, “Setbacks Cloud US Plans to Get Out of Afghanistan,” 6/14/10.


France: While Union Hacks Try to Save System 2,000,000 Marchers Hit Pension Cuts

PARIS, July 3 — On June 24, nearly 2,000,000 workers protested the bosses’ government’s pension “reform” which will cut pensions by up to 40% over the next 40 years and raise the minimum age for a partial pension to 62 as well as the minimum age for a full pension to 67. The 1.9 million demonstrated in 201 rallies and marches across France. In Paris, 130,000 marched.

Thousands struck — almost 20% of civil servants, 16% of local government workers, and 12.5% of hospital workers as well as half the Finance Ministry workers. These figures doubled the number striking during the previous May 27 action.

Polls reported two-thirds of the country supported the June 24 actions and 56% oppose the government’s retirement “reform.” Half of those opposing the reform said they would fight it.

Pushing back the legal retirement age will especially penalize the working class, most of whom don’t attend college and consequently begin working earlier.

The CGT union leaders who called the demonstrations were surprised that twice as many turned out as they had forecast. The campaign will continue throughout the summer, including holding protest rallies at stops of the Tour de France bicycle race.

The French cabinet is to approve the retirement “reform” on July 13. Demonstrations and another 24-hour strike are planned for Sept. 7, when the French parliament will debate the issue.

But the trade unions remain firmly attached to capitalism. They denounce the pension cuts as a “brake on consumer consumption” which will stall any recovery from capitalism’s economic crisis. Instead of worrying about saving the profit system which constantly attacks the workers, the working class needs to destroy capitalism and its exploitation with communist revolution. 


Bangladesh: Garment Strikers Shut Shops, Roads; Hurl Bricks at Cops  

In Bangladesh, some of the most exploited workers in the world are militantly fighting back and are beginning to come together as a class. Since June 13, tens of thousands of garment workers (85% of whom are women) have closed down 700 factories, shut down main roads to Dhaka (the capital), erected barricades and lobbed bricks at the police who have tried to tear gas and beat the workers. Large demonstrations of workers have divided up into smaller groups and visited factories and brought the workers there out into the streets.

Three million textile workers toil for less than $25 a month. They work in 4,500 factories turning out garments for Walmart, Levi Strauss, H&M, Zara and Carrefour, who sell them for many times what the workers are paid. Besides receiving pennies an hour in wages, the workers work long hours, and are often not paid on time.

The workers are demanding that their wages be tripled. The big retailers like Walmart have made a fortune off the low-paid labor of women workers in Asian countries. But workers in Bangladesh, Vietnam (where 10,000 shoe factory workers recently went on strike), China and other Asian countries are demonstrating once again that exploitation engenders class struggle and some day, revolution. 


France: Immigrants’ Strike ‘Over’ But Strikers Keep Up Fight  

PARIS, June 29 — The strike is not over for all of the 6,769 undocumented workers who struck here since last October. On June 27, their delegates decided to maintain their action against all bosses who have not yet signed a “promise to employ.” This document (called a Cerfa in French), is required for “legalization.” But many bosses must be forced to sign them. And there are many details to be followed to obtain “legalization.

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