Anthology of Early American Socialist Writings on Racism

Racist ideas and practices have long been used to divide the American working class against itself. This division has caused many defeats for ordinary working people (such as the worst and most expensive medical care in the developed world, the longest work weeks, the least paid vacations, the least job security, and much more), together with the wealthiest ruling class in history.

The Left (socialists, abolitionists, communists, liberals, black organizations of all sorts, etc) have obviously done the most work over the to fight American racism. Some socialists, however, were unfortunately extremely racist — Jack London being an example. On the other hand, American communists in the 1930s and 40s were almost the only group standing up against racism and attempting to organize black and white workers together in their own interests, against the capitalist bosses. It was a hard fight, though, because so many white workers were infected with the most bitter and virulent racist ideology. Many struggles were lost, for example the Gastonia textile workers strike, because of that racism.

Now comes an anthology of early writings, published by Haymarket Press, on how leftists dealt with American racism in days gone by. I haven’t read it, but it looks interesting indeed.

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Published in: on May 30, 2018 at 12:17 pm  Leave a Comment  

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