Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

Amiri Baraka, Chairman Congress of Afrikan People

Black Liberation is a Struggle for Socialism!!!

First Published: Unity and Struggle, Vol. IV, No. 2, January 1975.
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
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This cannot be said too many times, because there are always constant attempts to confuse or obscure what the Congress of Afrikan People, among revolutionary socialists all over the world are saying. That in order for the national oppression of any people to end, the basis for that national oppression, which is ultimately capitalism, must be destroyed. This is true for black national oppression and racism in this country as well. As we have said before, usually those who are just interested in the fight against racism are either uninformed or they simply want to get in on the oppressor system, as an “equal oppressor”. This is true of most of our so called middleclass negro leaders, the Black Caucus, other petit bourgeois politicians, the labor union aristocrats and the rest of the stars. They just want to get over, they don’t care what kind of system it is, they don’t care how many people are oppressed and exploited. As long as they personally can “get over”, the system is “not all bad”.

This kind of “equal oppressor” mentality was shown recently by some black politicians in Washington when they were told by a group of Chicanos that the voting rights act as it is now, should not be passed again, because as it is now written, it does not take into consideration the problems of Chicanos and Puerto Ricans, who are now being ripped off as far as their voting rights. A practice that was widespread in the black community during the civil rights struggle. So the Chicanos suggested the law be revised to be more inclusive of the level of struggle today and for all oppressed nationalities! But now these creepy bourgeois niggers want to turn their backs on other peoples because they got over. And I say “they got over” precisely because most of those elections have meant simply some dude or sister got a good hustle, but nothing much for most of us. And these “equal oppressor” attitudes that they have, merely serve to cause friction and division within the communities of the oppressed nationalities, when we should be unified in our struggle against the root cause of all of our oppression and exploitation, the system of monopoly capitalism. And that system has got so corrupt that now the masses must riot in Atlanta (which got a black mayor!), 3,000 people struggling for 300 chump change jobs, when Rockefeller’s liquor bill is higher than all those salaries combined! The system of private control over the factories and machines, over the land and the energy sources, the system of private profit, while the masses own nothing but our ability to work and be exploited. This system must be smashed!

A New York Times article recently sought to pretend that because the Congress of Afrikan People was now committed to scientific socialism, that we had “liquidated” or turned our backs completely on any form of nationalism of black liberation. But nothing could be further from the truth. We are saying that in order to liberate black people or any other oppressed people, capitalism must be smashed and replaced with a system of public control of the means of producing wealth, public control of the land, the factories, the machines, the mineral wealth, &c. And furthermore that such a change can only be brought about by socialist revolution!

We also know that this struggle will take the energy and participation of all the diverse peoples in the United States. The entire multi-national working class! And that our principal enemies are the Ruling Class of the U.S., the big capitalists and not “all whites”. And that philosophies that tell us that, “the white boy is the devil,” so that their proponents can have an exclusive black market for their fish sandwiches, are simply part of the system that ultimately oppresses most of us! White workers do not benefit from the oppressive system of capitalism as much as we or they think! But the difference in salaries between white and black workers is the chump change necessary for the continuing division between that whole working class, while the super-exploitation of blacks and other oppressed nationalities (Puerto Ricans, Mexicans, Indians, Asiatics, &c.) provides the necessary resources to trick the white workers, and also causes the “inhuman” social conditions of the majority of the oppressed nationalities, so that the capitalist can then point at us and say “they’re inferior”, thereby inciting the mindless chauvinism of these same white workers, taking their minds off the fact that they are exploited themselves, and by the same source, the American capitalist ruling class!

But the Congress of Afrikan People is struggling to take revolutionary positions, (not get in on the oppression) struggling to contribute to the ending of a way of death (capitalism) that has oppressed and terrorized millions and millions of people! We are also Black people, raised through generation after generation of struggle and hardship. We have heard all our lives, that we ain’t free and we need to keep fighting til we get free. The Congress of Afrikan People puts forth the view that the highest form of struggle against the oppression of black people will be waged utilizing the experience of victorious peoples all over the world, the majority of whom have been successful in their struggles against capitalism, imperialism and racism when led by revolutionary parties, guided by the theories and practice of scientific socialism. And that with this revolutionary science called Marxism-Leninism-Mao Tse Tung Thought, integrated into the day to day concrete struggle of the Black Liberation Movement, ultimately we will be part of the triumphant force that annihilates capitalism forever!

Amiri Baraka, Chairman Congress of Afrikan People
January 14, 1975