By the Editorial Board of The Organizer Newspaper
There is a component of the fight for working-class unity and independent political action that must be a high priority: the Black struggle, which, in the aftermath of the uprising in the Black liberation movement since Ferguson, Missouri, has moved to center stage in U.S. politics.
The murder of Michael Brown in Ferguson sparked the beginning of a mass upsurge against police violence based on the assertion that Black Lives Matter. A new Civil Rights movement is taking shape.
We are at the beginning of a long struggle that must uproot white supremacy and a system based on racism. There is a state of emergency in Black America, with mass unemployment at depression levels, mass incarceration and an epidemic of police violence.
Many gains of the Civil Rights era have been eroded or destroyed. Voting rights are under attack, and income inequality affects Black people at a disproportionate percentage. Austerity and the assault on public-sector employment have translated into a further setback for living standards in the Black community.
Because of a history and pattern of discrimination in the private sector, Black people are 30% more likely to find employment in the public sector. Budget cuts during the “Great Recession” were devastating to an already vulnerable population.
The struggle against police brutality and racism is an urgent task that cannot be simply reduced to one of class against class. The oppressed can’t be expected to wait until the unions go into motion.
We must support the independent self-organization and activity of the oppressed Black people. We must understand that white supremacy has been and continues to be the central source of division within the working class in the United States.
To help overcome this obstacle, we must fight for the unions to champion the rights of racially and nationally oppressed groups, and we must support and participate in the autonomous movements and organizations of Blacks and Latinos, as part of an overall strategy of building working-class unity.
This will require breaking with the Democratic Party and forging a unity of equals with workers of other nationalities, by building an independent Black Party, which could be linked to the struggle for a Labor Party based on the trade unions.
The struggle for a Labor Party — including the fight for a Black Party linked to the struggle for a Labor Party — remains the principal means today for U.S. workers and their organizations, with their oppressed allies, to break free of the stranglehold of the capitalist parties.