[Marxism] Talkin about a union and the Swift raids

Charles Brown cbrown at michiganlegal.org
Fri Dec 22 16:30:27 MST 2006

Joaquin Bustelo 

Charles Brown writes: "I was impressed by the fact that the CP originated in
part as a split from the Socialist Party's reduction of the African-American
national question to the class question."

AFAIK the "Negro question" played zero role in this split. LATER
--especially under pressure from the Russians-- the CP adopted the sorts of
positions Charles describes, but not at the time of the split, I don't

CB: I thought Carl Winter told me  differently in some lectures on CP
history but this wikipedia article agrees with you. 


The African Blood Brotherhood seemed to have an impact before the Comintern.


Charles: "I don't know if Joaquin is proposing that Latinos constitute a
nation within the U.S., with full rights of national self-determination and

There's been a lot of (silly) debate on the Left about what is and is not a
nation, mostly on the basis of Stalin's 1913 pamphlet written when Lenin and
the Bolsheviks still had --frankly-- a Kautskyite position on the national
question. So I leave aside the question of who is or isn't a "nation."

CB: There's been a lot of serious debate on the Left on the subject as well.
It's a touchstone issue for the topic you are agitating on. 


That said,

CB: Indeed, lets get that compulsory "anti-Stalinist" declaration  out of
the way so we can have some serious discussion.


 Latinos in the U.S. have been in the process of becoming a separate and
distinct people or nationality for some time. What is involved is not just
the common elements of language and culture shared by people from Latin
America, nor the creation of what is essentially a nationwide
Spanish-language and ethnic market, but most of all white supremacy, the
placing of the brand of inferiority by dominant society.

The immigrant rights upsurge from the spring shows that this more-or-less
"objective" process has now undergone a qualitative change: it is now a
political reality. Latinos as a people are now a political subject, an
actor, just like the Blacks, albeit without the same degree of coherence as
yet. And as an oppressed people I believe revolutionaries are duty-bound to
support their right to self-determination, i.e., to decide their own
collective destiny, up to and including separation.

What forms that collective self-determination may take, I don't think we can
even hazard a guess, because I think it will depend a great deal on what
happens in Latin America and what Black people decide to do.

On the "Black, Brown and white, unite and fight" slogan, I don't see any use
for or validity in it at the present time. I'm for Black-Brown unity but I'm
not for unity with "whites" as whites. "Whites" as whites is the problem, it
is the enemy, that's Americanism and imperialism. "White" is what needs to
be smashed.

CB: How might it be smashed without getting smashed ourselves ?


Interpreted as a call specifically for "workers" to unite despite their
racial/national differences (and I would add gender), history shows this
"color blind" unity is a fraud. Even after they started letting Black folks
into (some) unions, because you couldn't have a union without them, the
union movement prioritized organizing in majority or exclusively white
sectors of the economy and regions of the country. And in terms of top union
leadership on a national scale, it's STILL a white, male club. 

The basis for unity can't be "despite" race or gender or "regardless" of
race or gender. It has to be AGAINST white supremacy and patriarchy. 


CB: Probably should have a strategy of including Black, Brown and Red petit
bourgeois, as well as workers in this unity.

Yes, against white supremacy and male supremacy.  

It's hard to imagine a scenario where there is no trace of white and
European culture in masses of people in the U.S.  Perhaps groups like the
Beatniks of the fifties White Panthers and Hippies of the 1960's suggest a
potential transformation to white identities and worldviews that are not
racist and supremacist by definition.  It _would_ truly be turning of
"white" into some kind of its opposite.

Actually, I would say a main cornerstone of white supremacy today is
residential segregation. Of course, marriage is exogamous by race.


Current interracial marriage disparities
In 1967, the Supreme Court ruling in Loving v. Virginia struck down the last
of the anti-miscegenation laws in the United States, and with this, the
frontier of available marriage choices shifted out. The number of
interracial marriages in the United States has been on the rise: 310,000 in
1970, 651,000 in 1980, and 1,161,000 in 1992 according to the U.S. Bureau of
the census 1993. Interracial marriages represented 0.7% of all marriages in
1970 to 1.3% in 1980, to 2.2% in 1992. With the introduction of the
mixed-race category, the 2000 census revealed interracial marriage to be
somewhat more widespread, with 2,669,558 interracial marriages recorded, or
4.9% of all marriages (census 2000 PHC-T-19). (Here, marriages between two
mixed-race persons, or where they are the same race but one is Hispanic and
the other not, are not counted as interracial.)[4]

[edit] Black & White
.Although mixed-race partnering has increased, the United States still shows
huge disparities between African American male and African American female
endogamy statistics. The 1990 census reports that 17.6% of African American
marriages occur with White Americans. Yet African American men are 2.5 times
more likely to be married to white women than African American women to
white men. In the 2000 census, 239,477 African American male to white female
and 95,831 white male to African American female marriages were recorded,
again showing the 2.5-1 ratio. Despite this, slightly more white men are
married than white women. 

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