Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

Reprinted from Struggle Newspaper

White Reactionaries in Revolutionary Trimmings

Published: The Call, Vol. 3, No. 2, November 1974.
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
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The recent events have revealed many things. One thing that has been revealed with crystal clarity is the deep rooted racism, national chauvinism, of large sections of the white working class. And out of this has been revealed the tremendous task of white revolutionaries, in particular, to take this racism head on, and win the majority of white workers out of the hands of the racist system and into the tide of revolutionary struggle against this system; the enemy of all people.

But also it has been revealed that many white so-called revolutionaries are backing away from this task. Some are retreating so far and so fast that they have left the bourgeois liberals like Kennedy and Mayor White in the dust. Some have retreated damn near to the camp of Hicks and Kerrigan.

This is seen in the position taken by certain “revolutionary” organizations calling for an end to the Boston school desegregation plan as the principal slogan of this entire struggle. This slogan takes many forms; “Black and white unite to smash the Boston busing plan” or “Busing: Imperialist plot to divide the working class.” Whatever its form it is the same slogan raised by Hicks, Kerrigan and other arch-racists. When explaining why they raise this slogan, the “revolutionaries” respond that busing is not the issue-quality education is. The response from Hicks and Kerrigan is the same.

To mask this essentially racist, reactionary line, they, the so-called “revolutionaries” will have as a demand “equal, quality education for all, community control of schools for Black and Latin people.” But they do not also raise the democratic right of oppressed nationality children to go to any school that they wish, that they not be attacked and that the government foot the bill, that is, provide transportation. This essentially reduces that demand to a call for “separate but equal” education for Black and other third world children.

Another aspect of this position is that it blames busing for the attacks on Black children and not the deeply rooted racism instilled in white workers by the capitalist system. It does not see the deep pitted flame of racism being fanned by fascist elements to incite attacks on Black and other third world people as a real thing. As far as these so-called “revolutionaries” are concerned it’s all a matter of forced busing. So the way they will fight white racism is to call for an end to forced busing. Louise Hicks couldn’t have done it better herself. These reactionaries in revolutionary trimmings go so far as to say that the basis of unity between white and Black people is opposition to the busing plan. Following this logic, Black people should march out to South Boston tomorrow and join arms with the white mobs to oppose busing (even though we’d be stoned to death trying).

An important and good thing is that Black people have been educated and steeled in a long, arduous struggle against the forces of racism, segregation, and discrimination of all sorts, so this reactionary line put forward by so-called “revolutionaries” will not gain foothold among the Black masses. Our struggle is a struggle for full democratic rights, and in this case, the right to a decent education in the schools in our communities, under community control and anywhere else we wish to go. But the choice must be ours. If we are bused to schools outside of our community that should be our choice and we should not be attacked upon arriving at these schools.

A condition of unity between white and Black people is defense of the democratic rights of minorities. The task of white revolutionaries is not to tail behind the most backward section of the white workers and parrot Hicks and Kerrigan’s slogan “end the Boston school desegregation plan,” and then tell Black people we should unite with whites on the basis of their racism. This is a stab in the back to white workers as well as to the masses of oppressed nationality peoples. Racism keeps its adherents (in this case the white people of South Boston) ignorant and backward as well as fostering attacks on non-white people.

The task of white revolutionaries is to go into South Boston, yes go into South Boston and meet this racism head on; drive a wedge between the racist and fascist leaders, such as Hicks, and the masses of white working people; win them away from the ideology of racism, to support for the democratic rights of minorities; and, indeed to the point of laying down their lives if need be in defense of these rights; in short white workers must be won from reactionary national chauvinism to proletarian internationalism. This is the task of white revolutionaries. It is a long, extremely difficult task- but it must be met head on in a resolute fashion. Back sliding and retreating must be scorned, and those who practice it exposed for what they are; weak-kneed liberals at best, reactionaries at worst!