Socialist Worker

Join the socialists and fight a racist system

Issue No. 2630

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Thousands out on the streets showing we are united (Pic: Guy Smallman)


Capitalism produces racism and uses it to keep us divided and distracted from the real relations in society.

That’s why mobilising for anti-racist protests such as the one this Saturday is important.

When thousands of people march it shows the people at the top we are united. It makes them think twice about their latest racist assault and it gives other anti-racists confidence.

Racism isn’t just a matter of individual attitudes.

It is built into society and pushed by those at the top.

The loathsome attitudes of those who burnt an effigy of Grenfell Tower last week are rooted in a society that treated the tower’s residents with racist contempt.

The Stephen Lawrence Inquiry was a landmark in Britain.

Under pressure from a big anti-racist campaign, it branded the Metropolitan police as “institutionally racist”. That pointed at the systematic nature of oppression and popularised the idea that racism is something more than just a person’s attitudes.

We need to get rid of a system which guarantees profits for the rich and condemns billions to poverty.

From its birth “capital comes dripping from head to foot, from every pore, with blood and dirt,” wrote Karl Marx. He was talking about the million injustices the system has heaped upon us throughout its history, but particularly slavery.

The transatlantic slave trade gave capitalism the adrenaline shot in needed to become a global system.

Racism was the ideology created to justify the ownership of human beings. It was designed to dehumanise slaves—to make white workers think they had more in common with their bosses than with slaves. Marx was clear that “labour in white skin cannot emancipate itself where the black skin is branded”.

The core of racism is to dehumanise and to divide.

That’s true of attacks on migrants by US president Donald Trump, of attacks on Roma by Matteo Salvini in Italy or of attacks on refugees by the Tories and the European Union.

Increasingly there is Islamophobia whipped up by the people at the top of society, from Boris Johnson to the architects of the Prevent policy.

We have to fight racism and the society that creates it—the head must be cut off.

Because capitalism and racism are intertwined, the fight against the system must have anti-racism at its centre. And to get rid of racism once and for all we need to get rid of capitalism, not try to make it nicer piecemeal.

To do that we need a revolutionary organisation that can push forward successful struggle. Join the revolutionary socialists to be a part of that fight.


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