Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist)

Blame the rich and not the people for racist attacks

Statement of the Canadian People’s (Citizens and Residents) Defence Committee Against State-Organized Racist Attacks

– issued November 6, 1977, in Toronto

Today there is growing concern about racist attacks in Toronto. In response to these attacks, the immigrant communities are getting organized in their defence associations, and many other people are joining the struggle against racist attacks. At the same time, the government is financing commissions to tell lies and create confusion about the causes and cures of racist attacks, and the big media are waging a major campaign of rumours and gossips against the immigrant communities who are defending themselves.

The Canadian People’s (Citizens and Residents) Defence Committee maintains that racist attacks are organized by the Canadian state as a service to the rich minority. The immigrant communities cannot obtain any protection from the same state which is organizing attacks against them, but instead they must defend themselves against all forms of racist attacks. Immigrants and national minorities have no choice but to fight.

The rest of the Canadian people should support the people who are under attack. This is not just a problem for some immigrant communities. Attacks on the immigrants are also harmful to the basic interests of the entire Canadian people.

Why do we say that racist attacks are state-organized? This conclusion is based on actual investigation of what is going on in Canada. The police themselves commit many such attacks on East Indian and West Indian workers and youth, and fascist gangs are organized by the state and protected from the wrath of the people by the police. The government and the media have been carrying out a campaign of vile racist propaganda against immigrants for several years in order to blame immigrants for social problems such as unemployment, the housing shortage, traffic jams, etc., and to whip up racist hysteria and convert the immigrants into scapegoats for the economic crisis. The notorious “Green Paper” on immigration issued in 1975 was immediately denounced by a broad section of the Canadian people as racist, and the recently passed anti-immigrant Bill C-24 is meeting a similar response.

The East Indian and West Indian communities have already learned that appealing to the police, “human rights” groups, etc.and begging to be granted some “civil liberties” have never stopped racist attacks. The reason for this is that the state itself is organizing the attacks on the immigrant communities. The state sets up certain sham institutions in order to fool the people and make them helpless against racist attacks.

The Canadian state does not represent all of the people of Canada or even a majority of the people. This state is the state of the rich minority who own the factories, mines and big farms of Canada. This state is an oppressor state. Every time we turn around this state is launching some new attacks on the masses of the people. Just in recent times there have been 1. the wage controls and “Anti-Inflation” Board that attacked the wages of millions of workers while guaranteeing huge profits for the rich; 2. expropriation of the land of the Native people, e.g. the James Bay project, and threats against the Native people and Inuit of the Mackenzie Valley; 3. numerous crimes against the people by the RCMP and other police forces; 4. the anti-immigrant Bill C-24. Meanwhile, the state has cut the taxes of the big monopoly corporations, guaranteed fantastic profits for the U.S. imperialist-owned oil monopolies, and so forth. To cope with the growing resistance of the workers to the shift ing of the burden of the economic crisis onto their backs, the state is increasing the armed forces and training them in “riot control” with special armoured cars and other modern weapons. The people cannot find a solution from this state.

Genuine freedom from racist attacks can be attained only by the action of the people themselves, not by reliance on someone else. The state of the rich tries to guarantee the freedom of the racists to attack the immigrant communities. Freedom for the racists necessarily means a lack of freedom for the national minorities from racist attacks. Freedom from racist attacks requires the suppression of the racists. Only the masses of the people themselves, through their united action, can make this happen. To do this, they must get organized against the state of the rich and fight every form of racist attack tooth and nail.

As part of its campaign against the immigrant communities, the Canadian state is using certain of its hirelings to promote the theory that racist attacks arise spontaneously from the people, who are said to be racists, and that as a result the immigrant communities should rely on the state for help. These views were originally given in a book written by a notorious racist professor, Frieda Hawkins, who was an insider in the Immigration Department and was given special access to their files for her research. Many of the ideas in her book showed up in the racist and fascist “Green Paper” on immigration in 1975, where immigrants were said to be people with “novel and distinctive” features and were accused of causing serious social problems. Two reports submitted recently by professors hired by the state have also promoted the theory that the Canadian people, not the capitalists, are racist.

For example, one report claimed that “South Asian Canadians are treated as outsiders to the mainstream of Canadian society and even denied basic human rights.” Now, in a sense this is true, but the report mystifies the fact about who it is that treats immigrants this way. The Canadian state, and particularly Bill C-24, treats immigrants as outsiders and denies them basic human rights. Weekend Magazine, owned by some big capitalists and financed by ads from big banks, insurance companies, alcohol and tobacco monopolies, etc., recently ran an article which asserted that during economic crisis “people naturally look for scapegoats”. This is a slander against Canadian workers. Not only does it claim that the people are racist, but it also implies that they are fools that can barely see past the end of their noses.

It is not natural to look for scapegoats. The people naturally look for real causes and real cures. They look at the capitalist system in order to find out what is going on when workers are laid off, when education spending is cut back, etc. Because of this, the state of the rich is trying very hard to convince people that immigrants, particularly those from Asia, Africa and Latin America, are the cause of their problems. The state of the rich tries to pin the blame for social problems onto the immigrants and turn them into scapegoats.

These same characters hired by the rich and their state are also used to peddle the line of reliance on the state and non-violence or pacifism. One magazine quoted an immigrant from Pakistan as saying that “You can’t achieve anything through militancy.” Others run around telling people they should denounce government “inaction”.

Racist attacks are organized by the state on behalf of the rich minority as a means of maximizing their profits. Today, the rich are confronted by a serious economic crisis of their rotten capitalist system. They have no way out of this crisis, so they shift the burden of the crisis onto the backs of the people, especially the immigrant workers. The immigrants from Asia, Africa and Latin America can be forced to serve as cheap and docile labour and submit to the worst kind of exploitation. Immigrants are also used to increase, competition among the workers for jobs, which drives down wages and working conditions for all workers. Skilled and educated manpower is imported into Canada at no cost to the capitalists, whereas the state cuts back on spending for the education of Canadians and diverts the funds to outright giveaways to the big monopolies as well as to interest payments to Wall Street and war preparations on behalf of the U.S. imperialists. Finally, the state incites workers to attack the national minorities as a means of dividing the people and blocking any trend to unity in action against the rich minority.

Agents of the state then promote the false ideas that immigrants are to blame for taking jobs from Canadian workers, when in fact it is the rich that lay off the workers and benefit immensely from the surplus population of unemployed workers which tends to keep wages low.

The rich minority, not the people, are to blame for racist attacks and other forms of racial discrimination. The ideology of the rich minority is racist through and through.

Racism is not only used against the immigrants and other people in Canada, but it also is reflected on a world scale in the arrogant and detached attitude of imperialism towards the oppressed people of Asia, Africa and Latin America whom it subjects to the most barbaric repression and even genocide. Take as an example the African country of Zimbabwe. The native population was subjugated by the arch-racist Cecil Rhodes after bloody battles, and the white settlers deprived the Africans of all their basic rights. These fascist practices have continued to the present time under the racist settler regime of Ian Smith. A tiny minority justifies its rule over the vast majority by crude “scientific” theories of racial superiority. A similar situation prevails in Azania (South Africa).

Racist ideology is also an important part of preparations for intervention in the armed national liberation struggles. The ruling class in the U.S. is a gang of hard-core racists that has perpetrated immense crimes against the people of many countries, all as a means of saving the investments of these big money-bag’s from the impending revolutions. Only if racist ideas can be spread among a significant section of the people can interference in revolutionary civil wars abroad win support from the people in the imperialist countries.

There is no mystery why fascist gangs are being organized openly in Britain, Germany, the U.S. and other countries. The rich minority in the capitalist countries is trying to make the people pay for the economic crisis, and racist attacks on the immigrant communities are part of this larger campaign against the entire people. In this respect, Canada is no different from any other capitalist country. Racist attacks on the national minorities in Canada are bound to be stepped up at a time when the imperialists are scheming to find ways to send urgently needed assistance to the crumbling Ian Smith regime.

This brings us to an all-important question: What should the people do aboutthese racist attacks? As we have pointed out many times, the people must defend themselves whenever and however they are attacked. But opposition to physical racist attacks on individuals is not sufficient. It alone can never solve the problem. To solve the problem, the immigrant communities must get organized, unite with the rest of the Canadian people and wage mass struggles against the rich minority and its state who are the perpetrators of numerous crimes against the people of Canada, citizens and residents alike. There is every reason for a broad section of the Canadian people to support the immigrant communities and join the struggle against state-organized racist attacks. Immigrant workers and the rest of the people face a common enemy. The state which is organizing racist attacks against the immigrant communities is the very same state which brought in wage controls, which defends the criminal activities of the RCMP, and which is preparing to use the youth of Canada as cannon fodder on behalf of U.S. imperialism in new wars on a world scale. A vigorous struggle against state-organized racist attacks will weaken the campaigns of the state on other fronts, and unity of the workers in action against the state on the questions of wage controls, the right to strike, etc., will seriously impair any schemes to split the working class on the basis of race.

Thus there are two solutions to the problem of racist attacks which are being offered to the people of Toronto.

The phoney “solution” offered by the Canadian state is to rely on this racist state for an end to racist attacks. This is the path of conciliation and surrender. This road leads to disaster and defeat. The people of Toronto must reject this solution.

The CPDC advocates the path of self-defence; the path of relying on the strength of the people, keeping the initiative in our own hands, and uniting in action against the state of the rich in order to smash up the campaign of fascist propaganda and racist attacks against the immigrant communities. This road of struggle is the road to victory. It is long, and there are many twists and turns, but by keeping to this road, we can win.