Chairman of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, in Support of the Afro-American Struggle Against Violent Repression

Following is the full text of the statement by Chairman Mao Tse-tung issued on April 16, 1968 in support of the Afro-American struggle against violent repression :

Some days ago, Martin Luther King, the Afro-American clergyman, was suddenly assassinated by the US imperialists. Martin Luther King was an exponent of non-violence. Nevertheless, the US imperialists did not on that account show any tolerance towards him, but used counter-revolutionary violence and killed him in cold blood. This has taught the broad masses of the black people in the United States a profound lesson. It has touched off a new storm in their struggle against violent repression sweeping well over a hundred cities in the United States, a storm such as has never taken place before in the history of that country. It shows that an extremely powerful revolutionary force is latent in the more than twenty million black Americans.

The storm of Afro-American struggle taking place within the United States is a striking manifestation of the comprehensive political and economic crisis now gripping US imperialism. It is dealing a telling blow to US imperialism, which is beset with difficulties at home and abroad.

The Afro-American struggle is not only a struggle waged by the exploited and oppressed black people for freedom and emancipation, it is also a new clarion call to all the exploited and oppressed people of the United States to fight against the barbarous rule of the monopoly capitalist class. It is a tremendous aid and inspiration to the struggle of the people throughout the world against US imperialism and to the struggle of the Vietnamese people against US imperialism. On behalf of the Chinese people, I hereby express resolute support for the just struggle of the black people in the US.

Racial discrimination in the US is a product of the colonialist and imperialist system. The contradiction between the black masses in the US and US ruling circles is a class contradiction. Only by overthrowing the reactionary rule of the US monopoly capitalist class and destroying the colonialist and imperialist system can the black people in the US win complete emancipation. The black masses and the masses of white working people in the US have common interests and common objectives to struggle for. Therefore, the Afro-American struggle is winning sympathy and support from increasing numbers of white working people and progressives in the US. The struggle of the black people in the US is bound to merge with the American workers’ movement and eventually end the criminal rule of the US monopoly capitalist class.

In 1963, in the “Statement Supporting the Afro-Americans in Their Just Struggle Against Racial Discrimination by US imperialism” I said that “the evil system of colonialism and imperialism arose and throve with the enslavement of Negroes and the trade in Negroes, and it will surely come to its end with the complete emancipation of the black people.” I still maintain this view.

At present, the world revolution has entered a great new era. The struggle of the black people in the US for emancipation is a component part of the general struggle of all the people of the world against US imperialism, a component part of the contemporary world revolution. I call on the workers, peasants and revolutionary intellectuals of all countries and all the people who are willing to fight against US imperialism to take action and extend strong support to the struggle of the black people in the US ! People of the whole world, unite still more closely and launch a sustained and vigorous offensive against our common enemy, US impenalism and its accomplices ! It can be said with certaifity that the complete collapse of colonialism, imperialism and all systems of exploitation, and the complete emancipation of all the oppressed peoples and nations of the world are not far off.