In the Communist Party I learned that the struggle against racism, is at the core of any strategy that envisions a just, democratic, equal, and socialist society. I also learned that in joining this struggle white people are not doing people of color any favors. To the contrary, it’s in their moral, economic, and political interests too, white privilege notwithstanding. And, finally, I gained an appreciation that people of color are not only racism’s immediate, hardest hit, and daily victims and its most enduring opponents and tested leaders on freedom road, but constitute as well the most powerful, eloquent, and consistent voice and material force for progressive and radical change generally.
I’m not suggesting that similar, in some cases, better anti-racist understandings can’t be gained in other organizations and in the course of one’s life experiences in a changing world. They can. My only claim is what I learned in the “party” gave me a new framework to look at racism, politics and the world and a vision to measure up to, even if my understandings and actions haven’t always kept abreast with the times and the requirements of the moment.