Question concerning race and class

charles brown cdehbrown at
Wed Jul 1 10:37:49 PDT 1998

Wojtek Sokolowski writes

>I've been watching the debate about racism/nationalism silently, mainly
>because I have little to add to what Max Sawicky and Jim heartfield
>already said on the subject. I have, however, one question.
>The proposition "End capitalist oppression!" entails a set of programs
>that, if implemented, are likely to achieve an empirically observable
>of objectives stipulated by that proposition. Those programs may or
>not get support of various interests groups, and thus may or may not be
>attainable under particular political-historical circumstances. But
>is little doubt that the implementation of a program that, say,
>private property rights will reduce the capacity of the "haves" to
>economically exploit the "have-nots," and will produce a more equitable
>distribution of economic resources.

The first step in a strategy for attaining the programs that will end capitalist oppression is for the "workers of the world,all countries, all races, all social groups to unite." Sound familiar ? In other words, the ending or a significant abatement of racism within the working class is a strategic and tactical precondition for achieving the programs that if achieved would be an empirically observable end or substantial abatement of capitalist oppression.

>When it comes to the proposition "End racism," however, I am at utter

I'll say

> What the f**k are we supposed to do (individually or collectively) to
>achieve that end?

Individually be more self-critical than you might be right now and change your conduct toward Black people and people of color. There is a giant culture and tradition from the Grimke Sisters and John Brown to Carrol Cox on this list of white people fighting to end racism(See Herbert Aptheker's _The History of (white) anti-Racism_) .

Collectively, join organizations that have an agenda of ending racism. Support affirmative action, oppose its outlawing as a citizen, etc, etc., etc.

>I hope nobody on this list seriously believes that schmoozing, throwing
>epithets at real or perceived enemies, "town meetings," street rallies
>supporting a political campaign will have any measurable effect on
>relations" other than propelling a few entrepreneuring individulas to
>leadership positions.

Your hope is not fulfilled. Of course people on this list town meetings and street rallies and political campaigns are part of the method of fighting racism. Yes direct public, normal democratic process efforts against racism can effect race relations to end racism. No, indirectly impacting racism by only working directly to end capitalist oppression in general as it affects all races is not the ONLY effective practice. Simple. U.S. history is full of successful direct assaults on racism, such as the Civil War and the Civil Rights Movement. Open your historical eyes.

>So what a person like myself (an Eastern European immigrant of leftist
>persuasion) is supposed to do to 'end racism?' And while we are at
>can anyone describe to me how exactly the 'end of racism' looks like,
so I
>can tell (instead of being told!) whether we have one or not?

Tell American whites,constantly, that as a newcomer you are appalled at the institutional and pervasive racism of U.S. society, and you think it undermines America's claim as the leading democratic nation in the world. Tell Americans you know that the U.S. has a lot of nerve prattling about Chinese human rights abuses when the U.S. racist system is a disgrace to the human race, in your objective outsider opinion, and so on and so forth, elaborate, put it in your own words etc. Go on radio talk shows and say this. Write articles about it. Write letters to the editor about it.

The end of racism looks something like the end of private property. No incidents of KKK members beheading Black people randomly followed by KKK celebrations at the spot, etc.,etc. No lower quantity and quality of life for Black people in general than for white people, with for example a lower life expectancy for Blacks than whites. No average lower educational achievement level for Blacks and other people of color than whites. Of course, we can't speculate the whole thing, but we can deduce some of the features.

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