Viewing page 10 of 35

in the industries along Jim-Crow lines. Thus it is not accidental that precisely at this moment the National Urban League ("industrial specialists" of the Negro bourgeois reformists), comes forward with a "new labor program." According to the official statement of Arnold Hill, acting secretary, "this program is designed to create an effective instrument of Negro labor throughout the country by bringing together both organized and unorganized labor into a common federation. . . ." The statement goes on to say "the experience of the National Urban League through its local branches and its Emergency Advisory Councils in the Recovery Program, has demonstrated beyond doubt that Negro labor will be left out in the cold, unless some effective nation-wide solidarity is created by them, and the Urban League is undertaking to bring this about." (Pittsburgh Courier, March 31, 1934.) It is clear that these misleaders are apprehensive not that the Negro workers will be "left out in the cold," but that they, themselves, will be left out in the cold. What will be the program of this Jim-Crow Federation of Labor?

In a recent telegram to President Roosevelt on the strike situation in the automobile industry, Walter White, national secretary of the N.A.A.C.P., said: 

"Under open shop the Negro has received greater opportunities in the automotive industry than in any other, both in number of jobs and chances for advancement." Then against unions: "Unhappily, the Negro in some industries has joined unions and then after going on strike has been replaced with white unionists." Then finally: "in your notable efforts to help organized labor obtain a voice in industry, we ask you to remind labor unions they with ill grace can ask benefits for white labor, while these unions discriminate against black labor."

Of course, comrades, this is so and cannot be denied. The A. F. of L. bureaucracy has consistently applied the Jim-Crow policy of American imperialism in the unions.

[[page]] 16
But this trust is deliberately brought forth by the reformists to obscure the real issue.

What is the deception that these misleaders wish to put across on the Negro workers? It is that organized labor is identical with the A. F. of L. bureaucracy; that is, the masses of white workers have the same interests as their reactionary top officials. Of course, this merely concretizes the basic Negro reformist nationalist concept that the interests of the Negro and white workers are not identical but antagonistic. To bolster up this deception, these misleaders try to hide from the Negro masses the existence of the revolutionary trade union movement with its policy of solidarity of Negro and white workers in defense of the demands of the Negroes, its policy of struggle against the Jim-Crow A. F. of L. bureaucracy. This line is even more clearly expressed in an editorial of the Pittsburgh Courier, captioned, "Watch This Open Shop Business":

"We deplore the fact that the A. F. of L. closed shop has generally been closed to Negro labor, while the open shop has so frequently been open to Negro labor, but we cannot deny its reality."

Here is the whole line: Negro workers should support the open shop, which means the strikebreaking, union-busting policy of the capitalists and A. F. of L. fakers.

Thus the policy of this new federation can be no other than that of class collaboration, full co-operation with the strikebreaking, open shop, company union policy of the N.R.A. and National Labor Board, full endorsement of every fascist measure attempted against Negro and white workers, a policy of split and division in the labor movement. It will be an active supplement to the A. F. of L. bureaucracy. This much is clear.

Here also Negro reformism with singular exactness adapts itself to the specific needs of American imperialism at the 

[[page]]17
Please note that the language and terminology used in this collection reflects the context and culture of the time of its creation, and may include culturally sensitive information. As an historical document, its contents may be at odds with contemporary views and terminology. The information within this collection does not reflect the views of the Smithsonian Institution, but is available in its original form to facilitate research. For questions or comments regarding sensitive content, access, and use related to this collection, please contact transcribe@si.edu.