Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

P.L.P. Third Convention

From the Third convention of the PLP held July 13-15 [1973] in N.Y.C.

Report from anti-racism workshop

I. The mass anti-racist movement has become channeled into elections under bourgeois leadership of politicians and opportunists. The Party must struggle to win leadership of this movement away from the ruling class. The specific tactics of this vital work should be developed by the National Committee, with specific assignments to lead this work. We can build unity with the masses involved on an issue basis, and win many to actions outside the electoral arena. The key political tasks within this movement are: Expose the dangers of elections – Fight against the nationalist outlook and misleadership which holds back the struggle against racism. Recruit people to the Party.

II. Recruitment of black, Latin and other minority workers to the Party.

Black workers are the leading force in the working class movement for revolution, both because of being the most class conscious and being located at the point of production in basic industries. We’ve made some progress in winning black workers and students since the last convention, but we will go backwards – plus in the long run be destroyed – unless we do much better.

The objective situation is that hundreds of black and Latin workers are around the Party, at mobilizations and activities led by the Party, and who regularly read PLP lit. Many can definitely be recruited.

Preferential struggle to recruit black and Latin workers to the Party is required. This also applies to winning black and Latin workers to leadership in the Party. The outlook of doubling Party membership in the coming 2-3 years will become a turn toward the Right unless special concentrated effort is made to recruit a far greater proportion of black and Latin workers and students to the P8rty. This will strengthen the Party’s ability to recruit more white workers as well.

As a guideline, leadership in each Party region should insure that at least 50 per cent of those recruited are black or other minority people.

To accomplish this, missionaryism, which is rampant, must be smashed – in order to win both black end white workers. Also, failure to struggle sharply against racism among white workers will prevent winning any workers to socialism. All comrades must fight to win white workers to anti-racism on their own jobs and where they live. Specific step-by-step struggle and plans must be made in the clubs to achieve this.

III. Racism is on the increase, contrary to liberal claims. This is true both in the ideological sphere and in worsening material conditions of black and Latin workers. White workers have moved to the Right on this question, as the mass movements have declined in sharpness over the past 3-4 years.

Strategically, the Party must make the trade unions into the main bastion of anti-racism.

The entire Party’s line on racism must be integrated into all sections of Party work. There is a marked tendency to regard anti-racism as a. “campus issue.” The SDS Genocide and Jensenism pamphlets were hardly circulated in our working class base. This must be reversed.

Specific analysis of how racism hinders the class struggle in each industry must be made by each club, and this should lead to a concrete program for fighting racism, e.g. “Racism Ruins Medicine and analysis of the busing question in Boston.

Anti-racist resolutions, union committees, and endorsement of demonstrations, etc, should be used to build a base in the unions.

IV. WAM must have a strong anti-racist thrust, which must be guaranteed by the Party. Agitation for 30-for-40, in and of itself, doesn’t fight racism. Adding an additional point on the WAM masthead, however, would not necessarily lead to fighting racism.

Examples of anti-racist fights vie would want WAM to endorse are:
–stopping a racist ballot initiative against “Affirmative action” in San Francisco
–preferential hiring in some construction trades, teaching, etc, where black workers are kept out.
–preferential upgrading in industries with many black or Latin workers, such as auto, steel and hospitals.

V. Minority women – Only two or three minority women are in Party leadership on any level anywhere. Racism sakes specific forms in relation to minority women in and around the Party, such as a minority woman’s child being sick may be seen as “neglect” by the mother, while with a white child it “is just something going around.” Party education and struggle around family relations, etc, can help in this areas.

Many industries which exploit great numbers of minority women are not unionized, and we should develop a program for work in those industries.

VI. The PLP Black Liberation Program should be re-written, focusing clearly on anti-racism, rather than around the concept of “Black Liberation” as a separate movement. The National Committee should assign comrades to do this.

NOTE – The workshop was unable to satisfactorily complete discussion of other important topics, such as the busing issue end international struggle against racism in every country.


1. initiate struggle against anti-immigrant Rodino Bill. Special attention to work among Latin Americans.

2. Rewrite and publish anti-racism pamphlet along lines of Don’t Be A Sucker.

3. Mobilize support–especially from the shops– for black rebellions or any other mass actions against police terror, etc.

4. National Committee to investigate racism within the party:
a. No double standard for recruitment or membership.
b. Recruit more minority cadre.
c. Develop more leadership from minority cadre.

5. More struggle and literature against racism in welfare.