Manifesto of the UCL

To Break the Mechanisms of Racism

The fight against racism is an essential issue for all those who fight for equality. It is of particular importance to enable solidarity between all exploited people against the State and employers.

Manifestation des familles de victimes policières, le 19 mars 2017, à Paris.
cc Vincent Nakash/UCL Saint-Denis

Fighting against racism is an essential issue for all those fighting for equality. It’s of particular importance as it encourages solidarity between all exploited people facing the State and the employers. Whether it takes the form of hate speech or discrimination, whether it is conveyed by the state, the bourgeoisie or the proletariat, racism is a multiform system of domination that creates divisions within populations, between a majority group and a minority of oppressed groups, based on origins, physical traits or cultural criteria, thus forging stereotypes.

A product of nationalism and colonialism

The European states, in their desire to standardize controlled territories and centralize power, have politically and artificially constructed a national identity defined by whiteness and christianity, based on a truncated and selective version of history, a national myth known as the « roman national », literally « the national novel », leading to the exclusion and oppression of minorities who do not meet these criteria.

Till this day, minorities living in a country who are not considered part of its national identity have been and still are subject to racist domination. It is particularly in this context that anti-semitism and romaniphobia have developed in Europe, with Jews and Romani people being defined as the anti- national, racialized figure, designated as external to the national identity.

At the same time, the colonization of America, and then, from the 19th century onwards, the extension of colonial imperialism to the whole non-Western world, were based on a racist definition of non-European peoples. To justify their enslavement, and the monopolization of the territories they inhabited and their wealth, the colonized peoples were designated as inferior in order to legitimize massive recourse to slavery, deportation and forced labour for millions of individuals.

Racism towards the descendants of colonized peoples, in France and in other colonizing countries, is also an extension of this history. Islamophobia, understood as racism affecting Muslims or those considered as such, was also born of these two dynamics.

A bulwark for the possessing classes

Periods of economic crisis and social regression are inclined to the reinforcement of racism. The political powers and the bourgeoisie can then use racism to divide those who would benefit from uniting to counter the devastating effects of capitalism.

Appointing scapegoats as responsible for unemployment, precariousness and misery, allows the bourgeoisie to divert the working classes from demands for economic and social equality. Border closing policies implemented by the State, laws aimed at stigmatizing part of the population, or the concrete methods of political institutions (police, justice, schools...) tend, in France, to favor the implementation of State racism.
As for Anti-Semitism, it protects the national bourgeoisie from popular anger by designating Jews as the dominant pseudo-class, by mobilizing racist stereotypes around the alleged domination of « Jewish finance ». Anti-social policies are thus presented as the result of a « conspiracy » and not for what they are : the effects of capitalism.

For the self-organization of struggles

As we said, fighting against racism is an essential issue for all those fighting for equality. It’s of particular importance as it encourages solidarity between all exploited people facing the State and the employers. Thus, our solidarity goes first and foremost to the movements which, in their anti- racist struggle, combine a democratic project of social emancipation by the action of the working classes.

The representations constructed by the colonial Republics are still very much a reality and perpetuate the existence of a racist hierarchization in our society. In the territories France still occupies, colonialism continues to be a profound vector of racism.

It is also our responsibility to fight against racism within our organization by using all the tools at our disposal.

The revolutionary movement must acknowledge the transformations of racism as a systemic domination, progressively marginalizing « biological » racism in favor of « cultural » racism. This is what is at work with contemporary anti-semitism, which cannot be overlooked, where stigmatization and violence against people considered Jewish is increasingly linked to conspiracy theories.

This is also what has conveyed the success of the« clash of civilizations » theory, hugely responsible for the islamophobic violence and discrimination that strikes almost all Western countries. Denying the reality of this islamophobia, some people disseminate racist speech by shortcutting to religion criticism. We totally consider this criticism as necessary, yet here we must defend a clear, lucid anti- racism, based on an analysis of social reality free of fantasies and essentialisms.


Manifesto of the UCL
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