The Young Communist League has released the following statement to mark the United Nation’s International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination 2020.
The Young Communist League sends greetings and solidarity to the working and oppressed peoples of the world today on the United Nation’s International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.
Today is a day to remember those who have led and sacrificed in the fight against racism. Today is a day for action and rededication to the struggle against racism and capitalism. Working people must lead the fight to defeat racism, prejudice and xenophobia in Britain and offer solidarity to those struggling against oppressive and racism governments abroad.
Capitalism and racism
Since society first became divided into classes, the ruling class of the time has used the oppression of different sections of the exploited classes to maximise profit and reinforce its rule. Under capitalism, the oppression of other races and ethnic minorities has reaped super-profits and helped the ruling class to maintain control by ensuring that the working class remains divided.
Racist oppression is sustained by sets of prejudicial ideas and assumptions. These ideologies apply across class boundaries, affecting members of the oppressed group in every class, although their impact is felt most severely by those in the exploited classes. Racist ideology is perpetuated by a number of means including the mass media, the education system and the parties of the ruling class.
Racism and capitalism are systemically linked. The system relies on and profits from racism.
The EU and ‘Fortress Europe’
In recent weeks, the EU has shamefully turned entire Aegean Islands into prisons and has continued to allow the Mediterranean to become a graveyard for tens of thousands of refugees. Refugees from conflicts stoked by NATO in North Africa and the Middle East or migrants forced to leave Sub-Saharan Africa in part by policies promoted by the EU. Refugees fleeing conflict in Syria are met with batons and tear gas by the Greek and Turkish police and army.
The European Union is held up by many in Britain as a humanitarian or even internationalist institution. But it is the EU that constructed Fortress Europe. It is the EU whose immigration system explicitly discriminates against nationals from non-white third countries. It is the EU which has approved of and funded Turkey’s Donald Trumpesque anti migrant wall. It is the EU which encourages Greece to herd migrants into concentration camps. It is the EU which must bear responsibility for these shameful acts.
Tory immigration policy
The Tories new immigration policy will entail a new points based system that only serves to allow well off and highly educated immigrants into the country. This system will do nothing to meet Britain’s humanitarian obligations towards refugees and asylum seekers. It will do nothing to protect and help working people from Europe and around the world to build a life here in Britain. Workers, like the tens of thousands currently supporting our NHS during the COVID-19 crisis.
Trump’s blame game
Over the past few of days we have seen Donald Trump stir up anti-Chinese rhetoric and xenophobia by referring to COVID-19 as the “Chinese virus”. Risking the safety of Chinese nationals and US citizens of Chinese descent. Trump is cynically attempting to blame China for the COVID-19 crisis. This is despite the fact that the world owes the Chinese people a great debt for their efforts to combat the virus. Despite the fact that China has sent thousands of masks and testing kits to the US and provided advice and information on the virus. All while Trump sits on his hands allows the virus to spread.
Capitalism depends on racism and other forms of oppression.
Putting an end to capitalist property relations and the exploitation of labour would remove the material basis for social oppression. No class in society would gain from the super-exploitation of any section of the working class or have the means by which to secure it. The reorientation of priorities in production to meet the needs of the people would further reduce the scope for conflict over scarce jobs, housing, public services or essential goods.
The experience of the socialist countries confirms that prejudice and discrimination on grounds of nationality or race are a product of class society and can be done away with under socialism. With the abolition of capitalism, the most powerful forces for the perpetuation of racist and reactionary attitudes are disarmed, leaving the forces of socialism with the responsibility to consign them to the rubbish heap of history, promoting a culture of equal rights and liberation instead.
We call on the youth of Britain to join the struggle against racism and for peace and socialism in our lifetimes.
Young Communist League
21 March 2020