Making Sense of "End Racism." Some observations on Wojtek's queries

Carrol Cox cbcox at
Wed Jul 1 20:24:30 PDT 1998

> The proposition "End capitalist oppression!" entails a set of programs
> that, if implemented, are likely to achieve an empirically observable set
> of objectives stipulated by that proposition.[SNIP]

"If implemented!!!!!!!!!!!!!" I take it that the road to the power to implement those programs makes up 100% of the concern of these various threads. *ALL* my posts on racism have been solely concerned with the concrete historical tasks of building a revolutionary movement in the United States. Racism is *the* barrier (and always has been) in the United States to unity in the struggle for *all* progressive goals from better lighting in a local school to the overthrow of capitalism in a socialist revolution.

There is an immense (and not altogether harmonious) and crucial literature on the various issues involved, too much of which I myself am not familiar with, but it is crucial to gain an understanding within a marxist framework of those issues.

> When it comes to
the proposition "End racism," however, I am at utter loss.
> What the f**k are we supposed to do (individually or collectively) to
> achieve that end?

So am I as a matter of fact. So are the various lefts in the United States. So are most blacks. That is why we do not, at the present time, have "A Left" in this country. And that is why I proclaimed in a very brief post a week or so ago that the BRC *might* just be the trigger to the reinvigoration of a leftist movement.

The (academic) woods are full of people (some white, some black) who have various individualist routes to fighting racism, which I have never taken much interest in. There is also no particular point in blaming individuals, even aggressively racist individuals. And one does not, incidentally, "end racism" (though that is acceptable as an agitational slogan), for racism is not a thing or a set of ideas but an ideology, an ideology continually recreated by and making sense of (that, after all, is the purpose of ideologies) the material conditions of U.S. life. One tries to work out ways to organize to destroy those conditions.

But that is another set of 500 page volumes and years of struggle.

One point that can be somewhat operative at the individual level. Whites, radical whites, anti-racist whites, still tend not to trust blacks to be intellectually competent, to feel uneasy about any situation or event or campaign that does not "prove itself" in the eyes of whites, in the only way that is possible, having white leadership.

All of us can keep fighting against that impulse in ourselves.


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