Freedom Road Socialist Organization

Unity Statement on Racism, National Oppression, Self-Determination, and Strategy for U.S. Socialism

Photo credit: Alejandro De La Cruz

Our Unity Statement on racial and national oppression is one of the main positions that demarcates Freedom Road from much of the rest of the socialist left.

We understand that racism is woven into the DNA of U.S. capitalism, and that the working class will not effectively challenge capitalism without dismantling racism. Therefore, we have not separated the struggle for equity and justice for people of color from the broader class struggle. The common slogan “black and white, unite and fight” fails to address the grievous harm reserved for oppressed nationality people—and black folks in particular—as well as the central role of white supremacy in maintaining capitalist rule over the entire working class.

Our principles build support for our work among people of color, and engage white workers in meaningful dialogue and action to win them over to building a multinational workers movement – a revolutionary task that can only be achieved by intentionally addressing the special oppression of workers of color as well as the deep structure of white privilege.

Points of Unity

  1. U.S. capitalism cannot be taken down without destroying its racist foundations. The U.S. is a European settler state and its form of capitalism was predicated on the destruction of American Indian nations, and the enslavement of people from Africa.
  2. We stand for the right to self-determination for all peoples of color who have been racialized and treated brutally, inequitably, and unjustly by the white supremacist U.S. state.
  3. There are nations both within U.S. boundaries and in its territories whose land has been usurped (Native American nations, Chicanos, Hawaiians, Native Alaskans, Puerto Ricans, and the indigenous peoples of Samoa, Virgin Islands, and Guam). The theft of American Indian lands in particular was the “original sin;” land was required to provide the raw materials for capitalist development.
  4. We consider African-Americans a “nation,” that is, a people distinct from all others, bonded together in the Black Belt South over the course of centuries of constant, brutal, systematic oppression and their resistance to the system of slavery. The theft of their labor and their humanity is the second basis of the U.S. economy.
  5. The Chicano – Mexicano people in the Southwest and California are an oppressed nation.
  6. Immigrants and refugees from the global South – Asia, Africa, South and Central America – also face the race penalty; we support these national minorities’ demands for full equality and for control of their own communities. 
  7. White workers are also oppressed under capitalism, and can reject white privilege in favor of building a strong, united, multi-national working class movement.
  8. The movements of oppressed nationality peoples include people of all classes, but effect the deepest change when led by workers and when addressing issues facing workers.
  9. Within the movements for racial justice, the leadership of and issues facing oppressed gender people must be foregrounded to achieve a truly equitable social transformation.
  10. Imperialism is inextricably linked with white supremacy. We support the peoples of the global South in their fight for self-determination and economic self-development, free from the domination of white imperialists.
  11. Our strategy for socialist revolution is to build and unite the multi-national worker’s movement, the multi-class movements of oppressed nations/nationalities, and the struggles for community self-determination of those from the global South against the patriarchal white racist capitalist class. The fight to eliminate racism and national oppression is inseparable from our struggle for socialism.
  12. Our vision is of a united multi-racial socialist country.

 

  1. U.S. capitalism cannot be taken down without destroying its racist foundations. The U.S. is a European settler state and its form of capitalism was predicated on the destruction of American Indian nations, and the enslavement of people from Africa.

 

1.3 “Race” is a construct that was consciously invented by white capitalists to drive a wedge in the working class. Racism, the systemic institution of economic and social differentials between whites and non-whites, has effectively crippled the development of a U.S. working class movement.

1.4 White supremacist rule, like capitalism itself, changes to meet new historical conditions, thereby maintaining white superiority as the ideological basis of US capitalism. When one reform victory is won, such as Civil Rights legislation, and despite demographic changes, the racial hierarchy is sustained through two main mechanisms. One is the cumulative effect of past policies (such as subsidizing home ownership only for whites), and the second is the invention of new structures of white dominance (such as incarceration as the New Jim Crow). These racist policies and practices are enforced through the armed power of the state.

1.5 This analysis of US capitalism means that our efforts to effectively challenge U.S. capitalism, to eliminate it, and to build a socialist society are inseparable from ending racial and national oppression and the system of white privilege that sustains it.

2. We stand for the right to self-determination for all peoples of color who have been racialized and treated brutally, inequitably, and unjustly by the white supremacist U.S. state.

2.1 Self-determination is the right of an oppressed population to determine the nature of their relationship with an oppressor state. It is a struggle for political power, and the capacity to decide their own future.

2.2 These struggles will be different for different communities. For nations within the U.S. state, self-determination means the right to choose their own leaders and forms of government. This could mean a variety of forms of self-governance, up to and including secession from the U.S. For others such as recent immigrant populations seeking equal treatment and opportunity, self-determination means (among other things) local control over their own neighborhoods, equity with whites, and maintaining their languages and cultures.

3. There are nations both within U.S. boundaries and in its territories whose land has been usurped (including American Indian nations, Chicanos, Hawaiians, Native Alaskans, Puerto Ricans, and the indigenous peoples of Samoa, Virgin Islands, and Guam). The theft of North American Indian lands in particular was the “original sin;” land was required to provide the raw materials for capitalist development.

3.1 As a settler state, U.S. capitalism began with the conquest, genocide, and dispossession of American Indian nations first in the East and then coast-to-coast. American Indians were recognized by the colonists as nations with their own governments, and Treaties were made nation to nation, government to government. However, as increasingly white settlers arrived, more land was needed. The U.S. government broke the Treaties, and American Indians had their land stolen, their men, women and children hunted and killed, their way of life destroyed. Survivors could live on “reservation” land with limited sovereignty; at different periods of history American Indian nations were denied the right to self-rule, to protect their own families, to live with land held in common by the tribe and not broken into private plots, to see themselves as part of nature not above it, to have matrilineal societies which gave women the power to select tribal chiefs, to live nomadic lives… each tribe has its own list of offenses. US revolutionaries have a special responsibility to address this history and the contemporary poverty, trauma, and inequality that is its legacy.

3.2 Hawaii was a globally recognized nation with trading partners all over the world. It was seized in a coup by U.S. agri-businessmen; even the U.S. government initially held that it was an illegal take-over. However, capitalist interests won out. While Native Hawaiians are not fully united on what sovereignty would mean today, revolutionaries support their efforts and process for redress.

3.3 Puerto Rico is, according to the U.S., a “territory,” but because it is still under U.S. rule, it still meets the criteria of a colony. As in all national struggles, there have been several options for self-determination, including statehood and independence. We support all efforts to end militarization and to increase Puerto Rican power over its own destiny. There are more Puerto Ricans in the U.S. than in Puerto Rico, and they have a rich history of struggle both for greater self-determination for their homeland, as well as for the communities in in which they are concentrated.

  1. We consider African-Americans a “nation,” that is, a people distinct from all others, bonded together in the Black Belt South over the course of centuries of constant, brutal, systematic oppression and their resistance to the system of slavery. The theft of their labor and their humanity is the second basis of the U.S. economy. 

4.1 The second source that distinguishes the development of U.S. capitalism is the theft of the labor of people from Africa – and not just their labor, but their very humanity. Africans were turned into commodities, imported, and enslaved, providing the labor required to jumpstart the U.S. economy on the land stolen from American Indians. Capitalism always begins with “primitive accumulation,” otherwise known as theft: the appropriation of other people’s resources through violent means.

4.2 A black identity, a sense of being one people, was formed when Africans from various societies formed common bonds and consciousness over several centuries of enslavement in the U.S., mostly laboring on plantations in the South. That identity is rooted in the shared experience of enslavement, reduction to the status of chattel, torture, terror – and resistance to that system. When the slave trade was banned in Europe in 1810, enslaved women became more than laborers and sex workers; they became units of production, forced to produce wealth in the form of children, who were dehumanized into commodities with monetary value. Traces of an African past are also part of the African American identity in terms of culture: dance, rituals, cooking, and spirituality. This identity was forged in the Black Belt South, where the enslaved numbered 4 million right before the Civil War, comprised a third of the population, and provided the labor in the cotton fields that fueled the economy not just of the South, but of the entire U.S. Today, blacks in the U.S. do not identify with any African nationality, nor can they identify as white Americans. We view African Americans as members of an “oppressed nation” within the U.S. We use “nation” to mean “a people distinct from all others.”

4.3 The history of the process of racialization of American Indians, Africans, Asians, and Latinos has not been the same for all nor have the same tools of subordination been used in all cases. Most progressives call the structures of inequality “racism.” FRSO agrees that racism affects all those whose ancestry is not European and who are assigned their place in the economic and social hierarchy by the white power structure on the basis of their physical characteristics. However, we find it useful to differentiate between racism in general and the severity, duration, and quality of oppression practiced on indigenous peoples and African Americans. Self-determination for a nation includes more options than for other populations of color.

4.4 Demographic changes in the South, the number of African Americans who have moved North and West, the influx of new black immigrants, the increase in those with multiple racial/ethnic self-identifications – all this has not changed African Americans’ sense of themselves as a people; rather, newcomers come to identify as African American within a generation. When it is said, “Black Lives Matter,” all of us know if that refers to us or not. Continued anti-black racism, the continued discounting of black live, fuels this constant construction of the African American people/nation.

4.5 The South is of critical strategic importance to the transformation of society; it is not only still the bastion of white supremacy, but is leading a successful charge to institute a New Confederacy in the South, champing at the bit to impede racial and working-class justice. Renewed attacks on the persons and the rights of African Americans and appealing to the basest inclinations of its white citizenry, Southern leaders use race as an argument for neoliberal economic policies. It is no accident that the South has the weakest workers’ rights in the nation. The South is home to social forces critical to the transformation of society: the African American Nation, Indigenous nations, a growing Latino population, and the poorest white working-class population in the U.S. Organizing the South is critical to making breakthroughs in defeating white supremacist capitalism.

4.6 The African American struggle for justice is on the rise. People of a new generation are pushing back against the criminalization of a new generation of black youth. Oppressed gender people have taken leadership, and they have successfully broadened the fight to include gender justice. Because of the siting of toxic dumps in black communities, blacks are leading the environmental justice movement. These struggles that challenge the racial economic, political and social hierarchy strike at the heart of U.S. capitalism: the fight for racial equality is revolutionary, and will most propel the U.S. toward transformative politics.

4.7 A few short years back, the idea of reparations – monetary and other damages paid for crimes committed against the African American people during slavery – was a fringe idea that few took seriously. That has changed. The World Conference Against Racism, first held in 2001, raised the issue of compensation for slavery, and was critical in getting the United Nations to take a stand: the evidence is clear that blacks who suffered through the long night of slavery will not be integrated into today’s global economy without reparations. Even if African Americans were given equal rights and opportunities starting now, the racial differential would remain. We understand that a substantive commitment to reparations is needed to mitigate the brutal inequalities that have been passed down from generation to generation, in order to ensure the necessary resources for full and equal development.

4.8 Self-determination for African Americans means community empowerment, control of their own lives, their own communities, and their own people, in whatever part of the country they live. The U.S. is as segregated as ever, and intentionally created black communities have been under-developed. In this period, our task is to find the processes (such as People’s Assemblies, not just voting rights) and demands (such as full employment, not just job training) that not only improve people’s lives, but that can be stepping stones to the end of capitalist rule.

4.9 While most African Americans want the same status and opportunity within the US nation as whites, for 200 years there have been leaders who have determined that that is not an achievable goal, and that forming an independent nation or autonomous region is the only way to “get free.” That debate has been a theme within the black movement, rising and falling at different historical moments. While not currently on the table, if there comes a time again when the African American people feel that fighting to “get free” within the confines of the U.S. is impossible, we would respect their demand for separation, and would argue that there is a basis for carving out an African American self-governing territory in the Black Belt South. The latest 2010 census shows a return of blacks to the South so they now constitute 57% of the population – the highest percentage since 1960. The intensity, strategy, and timing of the black liberation movement cannot rely on the unity and readiness of all of the components of the multinational movement we strive to build. The ultimate form of self-determination is secession, which is a right of oppressed nations around the world. 

  1. The Chicano – Mexicano people in the Southwest and California are an oppressed nation.

5.1 We affirm our position that the Chicano – Mexicano people in the Southwest and California are an oppressed nation. They have historical roots in those areas for 500 years. After the US military annexation of these territories in the 1840s, the Chicano-Mexicano people were forged into a new nation: neither part of the Anglo European dominated united states, nor part of the developing Mexican Nation. As an oppressed nation, the Chicano Mexicano people have the right of self-determination, that is, the right to freely and without coercion to decide their national future-whether to federate with the US as an autonomous region, to become an independent state, or even to reunite with Mexico.

5.2 We recognize that in recent decades there have been a massive migration of Mexicanos into the US, mostly to the Southwest and California but also into other regions of the country. These new waves of migration have not eliminated the national rights of the Chicano/Mexicano people and have even strengthened their claim to self-determination (vastly increasing the population in the nation, strengthening the common Spanish language, bolstering their cultural specificity, etc.)

5.3 These new migrants are largely “assimilated” into all the existing structures of Chicano oppression established after the US military conquest. Like preceding generations, they suffer horrendous income and wealthy inequality compared to whites, are segregated into the poorest housing and poorest schools, suffer environmental racism, and consistent and brutal repression by police and racist groups and individuals. They are unable to freely and without social, economic, and political penalty speak their language and express their culture. Millions of the undocumented members of this population suffer extreme super-exploitation as workers and repression at the hands of the US border patrol and US immigration agencies-millions have been deported, families separated, children incarcerated, and the economic fabric of communities totally ruined. The struggle for the Chicano/Mexicano people is for their national rights-the right to land, to self-government, and to control their economy.

5.4 FRSO continues to uphold and fight for those rights, to see it as a central and inseparable part of our revolutionary strategy and an indispensable element of our vision of Socialism in the US.

5.5 The border is an artificial political line, separating families and peoples. We support free movement across the border, which means changing immigration policy, ending “guest worker” programs, the brutal Border Patrol, imprisonment, and family separation through deportations.

6. Immigrants and refugees from the global South – Asia, Africa, South and Central America – also face the race penalty; we support these national minorities’ demands for full equality and for control of their own communities.

6.1 The consolidation of the U.S. capitalist project after conquest and slavery was largely achieved through the super-exploitation of Chinese, Japanese, and Phillipino, and Chicano-Mexicano labor.

6.2 Voluntary immigrants from the global South have been coming to the U.S. as workers and settlers since the early 1800’s, not knowing that their subordination to whites would be a permanent condition. In addition, racist immigration and naturalization policies severely limited their numbers. The rapidly increasing population of non-Europeans today is of relatively recent arrivals, since immigration quotas were expanded in the 1960’s, and since refugees began to be accepted (first from Southeast Asia, a guilt driven policy post-Vietnam War) in the 1970’s. These are national minorities, wanting the same thing as European immigrants: the opportunity to live better lives.

6.3 With variations depending on their country of origin and the reasons they were allowed entry (if they were!), immigrants face denial of citizenship, discrimination, harassment, deportation, the break-up of families, profiling, incarceration and other structures designed to ensure the maintenance of white rule. This demonstrates that the U.S. preserves itself as a nation for whites, not a “nation of immigrants.” Struggles against these policies and practices by the immigrant rights movement challenge white supremacy.

6.4 Immigrants and refugees arriving in the United States from the Global South have different relationships to US Imperialism and capitalism and were racialized differently, depending on when they came and why. Early in US history, for instance, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and South Asian immigrants were specifically excluded from citizenship (and Chinese women were denied entry completely, except as prostitutes), consigned to being perpetual foreigners. In the 19th century, immigrants from Asia were barred from entry to the US (beginning in 1882 with the Chinese Exclusion Act). For those reasons, the population of Asians remained small until the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 which finally allowed entry from countries other than Europe.

6.5 The 1960’s saw the first articulation of an “Asian American” self-identification and racial category, in response to and inspired by the Civil Rights Movement. Only some Asians in America identify as “Asian American” since many still identify with their country of origin. In the 1980’s, that identification was challenged/expanded with the influx of nearly 1 million refugees from Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos, fleeing the aftermath of US imperialist aggression. Today, the “Asian American” rubric is still a contested space. Many South Asians, Pacific Islanders, Southeast Asians, and Phillipinos question whether they fit this political frame. Asians are still a largely immigrant population, with class differences between different nationalities; organizations are still mostly nationality specific, and pan-Asian organizations are still few. Facing racism, state animus and violence, in communities with majority populations of a Asian nationality, we work for self-determination, meaning local control over resources, development, and culture. Wherever Asians live, we support demands for freedom from violence and surveillance, and for equal economic and social opportunities.

6.6 Latino is a generic term for people from Spanish speaking countries including Mexico, South and Central America, and some Caribbean countries. The neo-liberal trade agreements with Mexico led to the impoverishment of Mexican workers and their desperate attempt to come to the US to seek jobs; current border struggles violently demonstrate the government’s alliance with agribusiness. Immigration from Central America increased significantly after 1990, with many fleeing from poverty and political persecution; the U.S. exacerbated their plight by supporting right-wing dictator’s friendly to U.S. business interests. The exploitation of Latino labor is essential to profits not only in farming, but in the hospitality industry, the garment industry, and in caregiving and domestic jobs. For all Latinos, with all the roadblocks on the way to citizenship – the border is only the first roadblock – it is impossible to gain a toehold in the economy. We join struggles for open borders, an end to “guest” worker programs, stopping criminalization of migrants and deportations which break families apart, language rights, and a path to citizenship for those who have labored in the shadows to produce profits for U.S. capitalists.

6.7 From the 1970’s to 1990’s, Southeast Asian refugees were targeted and scapegoated for various domestic policies (from welfare to police surveillance). The target shifted after 9/11/2001. U.S. Orientalism and Islamophobia (animus towards Muslims as a racialized category) has developed to justify military interventions abroad, from “regime change” to drone strikes. Domestically, it has been used to justify the surveillance state and illegal detentions of Arabs, Africans, South Asians, Muslims, and anyone who “looks” Muslim. Civil rights organizations have reported cases of state surveillance of mosques and state coercion of Muslims to become FBI informants and retaliation if they refuse. Many noncitizen Arab Muslims found themselves in indefinite detention at Guantanamo Bay on “suspicion” of terrorist ties. Anti-refugee sentiment for Syrians and other Muslims has been inflamed by right-wing politicians. We support accepting Muslim refugees and the inclusion of all Muslims into U.S. society. 

  1. While white workers have been given relative advantages, these privileges do not alter the fundamental fact of their exploitation and lack of collective power. They can be persuaded to oppose white privilege and to dismantle white supremacist national oppression, because “divided we fall.”

7.1 White workers are oppressed as workers, but have race privileges (differentials in their economic and social status from people of color, i.e. higher rates of employment and promotion, better access to government services) that have led to their identifying with other whites, rather than other workers. FRSO’s work in the labor movement persuades white workers to practice class solidarity. We recognize three strata: first, a small percentage of white workers who are class-conscious fighters; second, the overwhelming majority who passively acquiesce to the system of white privilege; and third, a small percentage who actively seek to extend white privilege.

7.2 The white workers’ movements to improve their own wages and working conditions have historically excluded workers of color, including not organizing low-wage occupations held by people of color such as domestic workers and farmworkers, or barring them from union membership. Where workers of color are union members, white leaders have still failed to include them in a meaningful way; that is, failing to fight to open up all jobs to workers of all races and ethnicities. For example, if all workers in a hotel get the same percentage raise, but workers of color remain in the lower paid jobs at the back of the house, that does not build a unified multinational workforce.

7.3 As demographics shift within the US, as austerity measures tighten, and as neo-liberal trade agreements erode U.S. jobs while increasing the oppression of workers in the global South, more unions are electing leadership that understand these factors as the main ones contributing to the decline of workers’ standards of living. Winning white workers to put class politics over race is essential to the socialist project, and there is forward motion.

  1. The movements of oppressed nationality peoples include people of all classes, but effect the deepest change when led by workers and when addressing issues facing workers.

8.1 There is a sometimes very sharp class struggle within the national movements and one of our main tasks is to build the leadership, unity, and voice of the working-class forces. However, most of the class division within a racialized or ethnic group of color is a contradiction among the people, not between the people and the enemy. Black capitalists, for example, have themselves had to fight for entry into the white capitalist club (and golf course!), and have made their money in different sectors than whites (i.e. entertainment and sports, rather than technology and finance); they have not been allowed to fully merge into the white capitalist class.

8.2 However, ironically, Civil Rights victories produced a Black political class that is tied to the neo-liberal Democrats which holds considerable sway in Black communities. Similar strata exist in other communities of color as well. Neoliberal leadership- including by Black and Brown faces in high places- will often stand on the wrong side of struggles around gentrification, privatization, organized labor, and police violence. They may be allies in struggles against the crude racism of the New Confederacy, but will not be reliable strategic allies of the black working class. Defending Black and Brown working class interests will at times mean intense conflict with the Democratic Party. Developing grassroots leadership and workplace, community, and electoral organization among working class people of color to clarify differences with leadership loyal to white capital- regardless of Party- is a vital task of the left.

8.3 While racism affects all classes, it is the demands of workers of color for full inclusion that strike at the heart of the U.S. ideology of race.

8.4 Union membership has been in decline; attacks on both private and public-sector unions have weakened the workers’ movements. African American and immigrant workers in lower sector jobs – agriculture, fast food, hotel and restaurant, home care workers – most of whom are women and other oppressed gender people, are taking the lead in new labor struggles. Their victories improve the wages and working conditions of all workers, and strengthen the working class.

8.5 As white workers are pushed into precarious and lower-wage work, black and brown workers have become part of the global category of “expendables;” they are more profitable to U.S. capitalism as commodities to be warehoused in prisons than as workers. Worker and union organizing must include addressing the incarcerated population.

  1. Within the movements for racial justice, the leadership of and issues facing oppressed gender people must be foregrounded to achieve a truly equitable social transformation. 

9.1 Women and LGBTQ people are at the very bottom of hardship. Just as white workers take out their frustrations on people of color, men of all races often target oppressed gender people for their rage. Police brutality is suffered by people of color of all genders, with trans people getting the worst treatment. As is true everywhere, women not only work both in and outside the home, they are left to figure out how they and their children can survive with men often removed from their homes and communities. As we fight for reparative justice for communities of color, we must specifically address the greater hardships placed on oppressed gender people.

9.2 Identifying the key contradiction is necessary to developing strategy, and in the U.S., racism is the main barrier to increased working class power. That does not lessen our dedication to ending gender oppression, or to embracing Intersectionality, which recognizes the inter-connectedness of different systems of oppression. In any situation, race is not always the primary factor. Gender oppression is a central element of the working-class struggle and of the movements of peoples of color in the US. There can be no true liberation or socialism without ending patriarchy and gender inequality. 

  1. Imperialism is inextricably linked with white supremacy. We support the peoples of the global South in their fight for self-determination and economic self-development, free from the domination of white imperialists.

10.1 US capitalism extracts resources, despoils the environment, and disregards human rights in the global South. Under the guise of “helping” and “democratizing” other nations, US policy abroad – like its policy at home – is based on white supremacy. It manifests in an Orientalist Imperialism that paints the rest of the world as something to be feared (yellow peril, clash of civilizations) or to be controlled through “development” or outright invasion and occupation. People’s struggles from Haiti to Bangladesh are against the same U.S. corporations and government policies that drive up profits for US companies through destroying the livelihood and the health of workers.

10.2 We advocate for an end to imperialist war, occupation, drone strikes, and detentions. We oppose the policies of the U.S. in its efforts to deny self-determination to peoples of the world through its economic and military policies, both of which inflict tremendous harm to the people, all for the benefit of U.S. capitalism.

  1. Our strategy for socialist revolution is to build and unite the multi-national worker’s movement with the multi-class movements of oppressed nations/nationalities. Those movements are often racial/ethnic specific; we work to ensure that communities of color support each other’s struggles for self-determination. The fight to eliminate racism and national oppression is inseparable from our struggle for socialism.

11.1 Because of the systematic institution of white supremacy in U.S. capitalism from its inception to the present, the workers movement and the movements of peoples of color have usually run on separate tracks. Socialists work in both movements.

11.2 Oppressed nations and radicalized peoples are more than “allies” of the multinational working class, the view and practice of some socialists. We hold that these struggles must be merged. That does not mean that oppressed nationality struggles should give up their independent character, including having their own organizations. It means that the main demands of the working-class movement’s struggle must include the non-negotiable demands put forward by the national movements for equity. If the racist underpinning of U.S. capitalism is not recognized and destroyed, then working class power will not be possible.

11.3 There are those who fight to achieve racial equity but do not concern themselves with ending capitalism. There are those who fight for working class power but fail to address white privilege. FRSO’s analysis is that racial equity cannot be achieved without ending US capitalism which depends on racial subordination, and that workers will not win against the capitalist class without ending white privilege.

11.4 Unity among peoples of color in the US will not come about automatically, neither now nor when they become a majority of the population in a few decades. Sometimes based on historic conflicts in their home countries, sometimes based on competition for jobs and resources here in the US, and often deliberately created and aggravated by the ruling class, contradictions between oppressed peoples can be severe, whether between Chinese and African-Americans in Philadelphia, Chicanos/Mexicanos and African-Americans in Los Angeles, Dominicans and Haitians in any city, or conflict between the most recent Latino immigrants and earlier arrivals. We build unity among oppressed peoples, based on respect for each people’s different history and culture and seeking common ground; bringing about this unity must be a conscious and explicit project in the formation of an anti-racist, pro-socialist historical bloc. Neo-Confederates will not tolerate a democracy with an empowered majority of non-European peoples. Oppressed nationality revolutionaries must resist the carrots and sticks used to split us.

  1. Our vision is of a united multi-national socialist country.

12.1 US socialism must absolutely flip the script on this racist history and be unconditionally committed to a society that is without race, class, or gender privilege, that truly honors Indigenous sovereignty, that ends the colonial relationship with Puerto Rico, honors the right of self-determination for the African American and Chicano/a Nations, and guarantees equality and genuine democracy for all national minorities/people of color.

12.2 A truly multi-national state is what is both desirable and most likely to ensure the liberation of all the oppressed: non-whites, people of oppressed genders, workers. Multi-national societies with multi-national governments will likely need to structure themselves to ensure the collective rights of and reparations needed by various peoples (autonomous territories, affirmative action programs, etc.) historically oppressed under white supremacist capitalism, but they must be multi-national nonetheless.

12.3 The system of white supremacy has been the linchpin of US capitalism throughout its history. There have been some concessions won, and new forms of oppression invented to maintain the racial hierarchy. As people of color are becoming a greater proportion of the population, it is time to go on the offensive, building bridges between different peoples of color, winning over white workers, defeating the forces of the New Confederacy with its twin assaults on people of color and all working-class people, building new institutions, economic structures, and governmental processes, and pro-actively preparing for the rule of the multinational working class.