Selected Works of Mao Tse-tung

The Racial Question Is
A Class Question

August 9, 1963

[SOURCE: This is the full text of Comrade Mao's remarks to his African visitors on this occasion, as reported in Jen-min jih-pao on 9 August 1963.]

Chairman Mao Tse-tung received visitors from Africa here this afternoon [8 August 1963]. During the reception, Chairman Mao Tse-tung made a statement calling upon the people of the world to unite against racial discrimination by U.S. imperialism and support the American Negroes in their just struggle against racial discrimination.

Chairman Mao Tse-tung had a very cordial, friendly talk with the friends from Africa. During the talk, he condemned the racial discrimination practiced by U.S. imperialism, as well as that of the colonialist authorities of South Africa and in every part of the world. “Racial discrimination”, he said, “is found in Africa, in Asia, and in other parts of the world. The racial question is in essence a class question. Our unity is not one of race; it is the unity of comrades and friends. We should strengthen our unity and wage a common struggle against imperialism. colonialism, and the running dogs, to attain complete and thorough national independence and liberation.”

After explaining how China’s revolutionary struggle had won through to victory, Chairman Mao said: “This proves that a revolution by the people can triumph and that imperialism and its running clogs can be defeated. The tide of anti-imperialism and anti-colonialism is sweeping through all Africa. All countries whether or not they have already attained independence, will sooner or later win complete and thorough independence and liberation. All the Chinese people support you. The people of Africa are awakening with each passing day; so are the people of the whole world. The workers, peasants, revolutionary intellectuals and all other revolutionary people, who constitute over ninety per cent of the world’s population, can be united in the fight for the victory of the revolution.”

“In the fight for thorough emancipation,” Chairman Mao said, “the oppressed peoples rely first of all on their own strength and then, and only then, on international assistance. The people who have already won victory in their revolution should help those who are still struggling for liberation. This is our internationalist duty.”

Selected Works of Mao Tse-tung