"Sequestering" - Gary material good

MARIPOWER716 at aol.com MARIPOWER716 at aol.com
Wed Jul 16 06:19:08 MDT 2003

n a message dated 7/15/03 5:05:18 PM Pacific Daylight Time,
gary at wwpublish.com writes:

You might be interested in reading "Black Labor From Chattel Slavery To
Wage Slavery" found at



I found the above source to be very informative and ended up reading perhaps
25 of Sam Marcy's articles and vaguely began remembering events from years
ago. Without question he has a firm grasp of American history and the world. I
most certainly enjoyed the article you specifically pointed out. Mr. Marcy
mentions the wave of rebellions that shook America during the 60s and places
special emphasis on 1967 Detroit and its impact in the trade union movement, which
jarred my memory.

The class separation within the African American people - generated on the
basis of the wave of riots and rebellions was not an abstract process. That is
to say, what appeared were not simply groups of militants on one side and the
black elite and labor aristocracy being confronted by militants.  Under the
impact of the social movement and the class separation the labor aristocracy and
black elite began to split within itself.  This lead to a wave of assaults and
assassinations of various militants by competing factions within the elite
itself against itself.

For a complex of reasons we were more than less immune to these assaults,
although there were several assassination attempts.

By the mid-70s, the polarization was ultra intense and even the local
newspapers began printing article with class analyses and break down of the city and
surrounding area. A huge fight erupted within the UAW and the trade union
movement. In history the organizational strength of blacks within the trade union
movement was the Negro Labor Councils with activity historically centered in
Local 600, the massive Ford Rouge complex. In the early 1950s the Negro Labor
Council owed much of its existence to William Hood, then Recording Secretary of
Local 600. The first spilt appeared when Reverend Charles Hill entered the
electoral arena to try to win election as the first black on the Detroit City

Although not elected during the 50s, this represented an independent
political motion of the left, the communist and most proletarian section of the
African American peoples movement. After the McCarthy period when the Negro Labor
Council was abandoned by the CPUSA, and many communist were purged from the
union, with the black communists and black proletarians taking the biggest hit,
the leadership of the movement passed into the hands of the right-wing section
of the black elite.

The A. Philip Randolph Institute was financed and pushed center stage and
locally this was manifested in the Trade Union Leadership Council (TULC). During
this period William Patrick was elected as the first black on the City
Council. The TULC was always a right wing out fit composed of major black leaders in
the trade union movement. The dissolving of the Negro Labor Council and the
illegal dissolution of the CPUSA left a vacuum in the trade union movement as
well as the African American Peoples Movement and the TULC arose to fill this

The 67 Rebellion overran every political group in America and rendered all of
them historical obsolete. The League of Revolutionary Black Workers arose to
fill the vacuum and overran the TULC. Later the Coalition of Black Trade
Unionists - a right wing outfit from day one, would fill the vacuum created in when
the League of Revolutionary Black Workers split and merged with a smaller
group and constituted itself as the Communist League. The splitting of the LRBW
and the wrecking of its offspring, the Black Workers Congress and the formation
of the Coalition of Black Trade Unionist was a process.

Nelson Jack Edwards was one of the first black elected to the International
Executive Board of the UAW. Walter Reuther had plainly stated that there was
not a black person in the entire autoworkers union qualified to be a major
leader. Anyway the 1967 Rebellion changed everyone's political thinking real quick
or rather shifted the form of his or her struggle. Nelson Jack Edwards was
assassinated Halloween night 1974. At the time the rumors were that he was hit
for attempting to set up an independent political base. Politics in the union
involves vast sums of money that can be used to support electoral activity and
the UAW had established the CAP - Community Action Program, and given it more
than less independence in its financial and political dealing. This was most
certainly true for the First and Thirteenth Districts - heavy black areas and
the base of Congressmen Conyers support. This apparatus fell into the hands of
black workers and the elite. The hit on Edwards came from within this political
squabble and the CAP program of independence was snatched back by the
International Executive Board and gutted.

To this very day the major black officials in the UAW are fundamentally split
over every election and every candidate to run for office. During that time
the only other black was Marcellious Ivory who was Regional Director and the
finger pointed at him. Someone put the hit on Jack and these trade union leaders
are rat mutherfuckers who only respect power and a political base of support.

In America if you cannot win votes and confidence of people get out of the
street because you are going to get hurt.  The only program of communists is
victory to the workers in their current struggle and this is a serious political
statement from the mouth of the master.

It gets messy because with the passing of Edwards, his understudy Horrace
Sheffield Jr. was to take his seat and Ivory backed Marc Stepp who became
Executive Board member - the new black. Marc Stepp was so nonpolitical that he defied
description, which meant everyone hated him. Horrace Sheffield Jr. became
President of the Coalition of Black Trade Unionist in Detroit and at his urging I
became an Executive Board member, despite the fact in the past our respective
groups had fistfights over political direction. Mr. Sheffield Jr. could
indeed fight and did not mind proving it.

The old CPUSA left a lot of folks high and dry and their liquidation of the
Marxist conception of the national question was not about a book but a specific
approach to profound social questions. The black communist had played a major
role in the CIO and here in Detroit the bitter taste of betrayal hangs on the
shoulders of many like a cheap suit. The national question is not a question
of the reserves of imperialism but the question of proletarian revolution in
America. It is not a subsidiary question.

The isolation of the black elite does not mean pointing a finger and saying
"you are not a nice person." What is meant is the independent organization of
the proletariat on the basis of its immediate economic and social interest. The
elite becomes immediately polarized along with the entire top strata of trade
union leaders.

The trade union question has not been sufficiently understood by American
communists. Communists without question work in trade unions and this means
amongst their members and one may or may not run for a union position. The trade
unions in our country, especially the major ones cannot be fundamentally
distinguished from "fascist labor fronts" and this is not understood. Comrades call
this business unionism and do not understand the meaning of the word business.
The unions can go either way depending on how the future struggle is waged.

The upper strata of the trade union - its leaders, very well understand their
social position and they understand they are a labor aristocracy. Do not for
a minute thinks these guys are not aware that they are dealing with Jurgen
Schempp and Wolfgang across the table and neither one is a sucker. Who do you
think pressed the hardest for Nelson Mandela' release within capital - Jurgen
Schempp, and I love Nelson as far as that goes, but "fuck the dumb shit."  The
polarization of our working class is only in the beginning of its beginning

The Coalition of Black Trade Unionist is primarily a right-wing outfit but
this is not clear because the movement is not polarized for the moment. The
moment the polarization increases this outfit is history. I know and have met guys
like Bill Lucy and as a person he ain't bad but he is driven by political
logic. These guys are not suckers. I knew somewhat intimately the late Horrace
Sheffield Jr. and he was a likable man and extremely talented organizer. To be
truthful he was an exceptional organizer. He was my antagonist and light years
in front of me as an organizer and extremely politically astute. He understood
the dialectic of being under the same gun and would laugh at me and say "all
of you guys are going to get your shot," and order another round. His apparent
hatred of guys like Reuther and his heirs was without bounds. I hated Reuther
and he can rot in hell. I hated Steve Yokich and when he dies laughed because
the union mailed his first retirement check to his wife, who he had left and
the did not even get one retirement check. He had us meeting in Florida
because his parents stay their and he had property their and this made no sense. I
have a picture of Steven and myself on my mantel because I was there. I was
there because of winning the fucking vote . . . man.

I hate that black fucking idiot Nate Gooden who currently heads up the
Chrysler Group division of the UAW. Not because he has different politics but
because he is to stupid to have politics and start kissing the company ass because
they are paying for the dinner. Fuck a dinner. The company is going to pay for
everything anyway because social relations evolved pass this decades ago. All
the loot comes from the workers in the first place. Plus, all of us are too
damn fat in the first place. The only reason we got along is my poker game and
my political sense is base line. He of course hates my older brother - an
International Representative, who has mastered this trade union crap and negotiates
brutally on behalf of the workers. Brutal means you are not above whipping a
negotiator ass and going to jail if the insist on talking about some dumb
shit. If the workers elect you represent!

Dig. Wolfgang says "Maurice what is the problem. You know some of you black
guys are the only ones that tell the truth. In Germany the workers have
nothing. Do you have a basement in your house?"

"Yep everyone has a basement in Detroit."

 "In Germany the workers have a little house they do not know is little
sitting on a slab of concrete. Why should I pay 2 million for a house that cost
500,000 right here outside Detroit? I am not going back to Germany. Fuck the wife
and kids. There is never a problem we cannot solve. Your American colleagues
do not understand and let the company do anything. This makes it bad for you
and I and ruin the company. "

This generation of trade union leaders is not even good politicians. They are
stupid and evolved under conditions where they lack political consciousness
of anything. The Chrysler system could take in 5,000 more people right now just
by enforcing the contract a little bit. The company would do it tomorrow if
not for a bunch of stupid mutherfuckers who can hardly read. They do not even
read the contract books they are supposed to enforce and then want to ask
somebody what the fucking book says!  This is where we are in America.

The previous generation was different and cut its teeth in another social
period of history. Horrace Sheffield Jr. - on the right, was brilliant. He would
say "I supported you guys kicking the union in the ass about buying Israeli
bonds but you are not going to win the political fight with our local group in
favor of the Palestinian because some guy is going to talk about God and the
chosen people and soon as the issue hit the floor you can have all the time you

Yet people are who they are and cast as a body politic in the social arena.

Sorry starting to ramble too much.

Decent material.

Melvin P.

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