A policy of “divide and rule” on racial, ethnic, national or religious lines, has been a common feature of the ruling class internationally. As the Black Panther Bobby Seale correctly wrote: “Racism and ethnic differences allow the power structure to exploit the masses of workers in this country, because that's the key by which they maintain their control. To divide the people and conquer them is the objective of the power structure...” And as Malcolm X explained, “You cannot have capitalism without racism.” In other words, racial discrimination is a product and component part of capitalism, without which it could not exist. Therefore, the only way to lay the basis for ending racism and discrimination is by ending capitalism.
The struggle against racism and discrimination is of crucial importance for revolutionary Marxists. We fight at all times against all forms of oppression and discrimination. But we do this while fighting for maximum unity of the working class across lines of gender, race, ethnicity and religion, always linking this to the struggle for the revolutionary socialist transformation of society. There is no solution within the limits of capitalism.
It is above all a class question, and as always, we start with our general program. Our task as Marxists is to raise class unity, consciousness and confidence. We do not fight only for immediate gains, but also to raise the perspective and potential for plenty of jobs, health care, housing and education for all under socialism. We do not merely seek a “more fair” division of capitalist scarcity.