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Article Series from Red Flag

Communist Dialectics


Racism in China: Part II

Real Communism Will End Racist Imperialism


China is ruled by a party that calls itself Communist, but its economic reality is one of rapacious crony capitalism,” wrote a New York Times columnist.  The Times prints many lies, but this is true.  The Chinese rulers, like other capitalists, promote racism in two ways — at home and abroad — as they project economic and military power worldwide.
Chinese capitalism is extending its reach in sub-Saharan Africa (see Red Flag v. 6 #14).  It has become an imperialist super-exploiter and enemy of black workers there.  From Nigeria to Zambia to Mozambique, African workers are fighting back.
For example, the Huajian Group is investing up to $2 billion in Ethiopia to produce shoes for export to Europe and North America.  An average Ethiopian shoe-factory worker earns about 25% of what a Chinese worker gets.
Chinese bosses complain that African workers are less “productive.” That means they plan speedup and other methods to intensify racist exploitation.  Expect more and more class struggle! 
And help us take advantage of this opportunity to spread communism to Ethiopia and elsewhere.  Translate this article and Mobilize the Masses for Communism into any language you can and share them widely.

Racism against Africans in China
US imperialism in the Americas creates racism against workers from Latin America living in the US.  French imperialism did the same to Vietnamese and Algerian workers.  And it’s happening to workers from sub-Saharan Africa living in China.  
An estimated 200,000 Africans live in Guangzhou, China’s third-largest city (population: 13 million) and a manufacturing hub.  Many new arrivals hope to export low-cost Chinese products to Africa.  Few want factory jobs:  for that, they could have stayed at home.
Some immigrants come on 30-day tourist visas.  Many are considered “illegal” for staying longer.  Authorities raid their homes, impose fines and jail sentences, and sometimes beat them.
Other migrants come to stay.  But African couples in China are denied state health care and education for their children.  Their Chinese-born children don’t have the same legal status as children of Chinese parents. 
Chinese can be openly racist toward Africans, even those who speak fluent Mandarin.  They use nasty names for the African neighborhood in central Guangzhou.  Africans often can’t get taxis.  When fights start, it’s usually the Africans who are arrested and brutalized by the police. 
In 2009, hundreds of Africans protested at a Guangzhou police station after a Nigerian man jumped from a second floor to escape an immigration raid.  In 2012, a huge protest erupted when another Nigerian man died mysteriously in police custody.
Some successful African businessmen marry Chinese women who can legally run their enterprises.  Often these wives are older workers trying to escape the factory. Their African partners, however, do not become legal residents. 
These would-be entrepreneurs need to learn that capitalism is racist to the core—wherever it is.  “I’m living the American dream in the land of the dragon,” said one Nigerian merchant.  But that “American dream” rests on a foundation of racism and genocide!  Even successful African businessmen can’t escape the racism of Chinese capitalist society.
Guangzhong workers are at the epicenter of China’s strike wave.  Many are immigrants from Southeast Asia.  They were recruited five years ago when labor shortages were driving up factory wages.   Now the economy is slowing.  They will likely experience sharpening racist attacks.  They and African immigrants and Chinese citizens must unite to mobilize for real communism.  That’s how they will create the material basis to end all racism. 

Communism: Inescapable Network of Mutuality
In communism nobody will exploit anyone’s labor.  No group of workers will take advantage of brothers and sisters elsewhere.  Communism will erase national borders, making it possible finally to defeat imperialism’s racist ideology.
The capitalist wage system (even in socialism) leaves each household to fend for itself.  This fosters individualism, contradicting workers’ need for class solidarity.
Individualism and labor-market competition create fertile ground for racism.  The bosses’ politicians and ideologues sow the seeds.  Their schools, media and culture water the poison weeds that take root.
Martin Luther King Jr. wrote from the Birmingham jail that we are all “caught in an inescapable network of mutuality.”  In communism we will see this in daily practice.  In a society without money it will be clear that “whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.”  Life itself will reinforce communist anti-racist consciousness.
To win communism we must struggle sharply against the racist ideas that capitalists use to divide us.  We must seek and build leadership from amongst the super-exploited and super-oppressed.
As we win and build communism, the former rulers, desperate to regain power, will intensify their racist attacks.  Our fight against the material and ideological legacies of racist capitalism will sharpen.  In the process the International Communist Workers’ Party will grow in numbers, confidence and influence — starting now.

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