Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

Sherman Miller

RCP’s racist attack on Harry Haywood

First Published: The Call, Vol. 8, No. 3, January 22, 1979.
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
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The racism of the “Revolutionary” Communist Party is sickening.

With all the grace of a fish out of water, the RCP has made the latest entry into their Klan-like record, a “review” of Harry Haywood’s autobiography, Black Bolshevik. (Revolution, Dec. 1978).

The title of the RCP review lets the reader know upfront that it is another racist tirade: “My Life as a Bundist.” (narrow nationalist).

Bundist indeed! This is Harry Haywood they’re talking about. This is the man who, while recognizing the potential strengths of such organizations as the African Blood Brotherhood, the young Garvey movement, etc., saw the need for a multinational vanguard in 1923.

The RCP’s personal slander of Haywood is like “flies plotting to topple the giant maple tree.” Haywood’s record speaks for itself. His role in important labor drives is well documented. The passage on the miners’ struggle, “Class Warfare in the Mines,” is a brilliant demonstration of his practice. Using good sound revolutionary tactics, Haywood provides here a model of building multinational unity in the heat of struggle.

The problem with the RCP’s racism is that it appears at first like a “leftist” deviation. Maybe a childish flirtation with Trotsky’s views of a “pure revolution.” “workers vs. capitalists” simple and clear!.

But after several years of hearing that “Black nationalism is the main danger,” that “self-determination is not central to the Afro-American struggle,” “Stop Boston Busing,” and after hearing Odis Hyde and Haywood slandered and attacked (these are just highlights), one becomes clear that the RCP is in league ideologically with the John Birch Society. (The Birch Society republished “Negros in a Soviet America,” a communist pamphlet, to “warn” white people what socialism would do for Blacks.)

According to the RCP, anyone who is in the slightest way sympathetic to the national sentiments of the Afro-American people is immediately branded a “Bundist” or a “narrow nationalist.”.

The RCP had better get out of the way because the objective and subjective conditions are quickly ripening for another upsurge in the Black national movement. Already kicked out of or isolated from the heart of the movement, the RCP’s consistent chauvinism places them squarely in the way of progress. Marxist-Leninists working for Black liberation will not continue to tolerate the soiling of the struggle for socialism by these lackeys of great nation chauvinism.

The Communist Party (M-L) is right on for its unity with Haywood, unity in support of the struggle for socialism and Black liberation. The staunch defense of the right of the Afro-American people, an oppressed nation in the U.S., is one cornerstone of an overall correct stance.

Finally, I would like to add the RCP’s latest attacks on China to the list of racist hits. It appears that the RCP is opposed to modernizing socialist China, as though genuine socialism is not supposed to upgrade the standard of living in third world countries. Their attack on the Chinese revolution is consistent with their stand on the struggle of the Afro-American nation.

Denying the revolutionary principles developed during rising capitalism and imperialism, the RCP tried to escape by creating a “third period ” But the era of imperialism is still with us. This means the division of the world into oppressor and oppressed nations. The struggles of the colonies and oppressed nations are a thriving part of the core of anti-imperialist struggle and the fight for socialism.

As the Chinese note on the international situation, the third world is the main force opposing imperialism today. Here in the U.S. genuine working class fighters must unite with, nurture and support one of its strategic allies–the struggle of the oppressed nation of Afro-American people for self-determination. Harry Haywood has been doing just that for over 50 years.