Racism, Class Solidarity and Systemic Change

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A Socialist Project e-bulletin ... No. 2143 ... July 10, 2020
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Racism, Class Solidarity and Systemic Change

Richard Sandbrook

Martin Luther King’s observation in the late 1960s regarding the black rebellion in the United States remains sadly pertinent. The rebellion, he said:

"is much more than a struggle for the rights of Negroes… It is exposing evils that are rooted deeply in the whole structure of our society. It reveals systemic rather than superficial flaws and suggests that radical reconstruction of society itself is the real issue to be faced… It is forcing America to face all its interrelated flaws – racism, poverty, militarism, and materialism."

Fifty years later, in the midst of the worldwide uprisings precipitated by the police killing of George Floyd, these words still ring true, with the substitution of "African-Americans" for "Negroes." The problem is not only police brutality, but also, pernicious trends "rooted deeply in the whole structure of our society."

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