Mao Tse-tung's Statement Regarding Racial Discrimination in the United States, 1963
Chinese Communist Party Chairman Mao Tse-tung delivered this speech on August 9th, 1963 prior to the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. In it, he expresses support for Black Americans’ struggles against racial discrimination and calls upon peoples of the world to unite against U.S. imperialism. Targeting the peoples of Africa, Latin America, and Asia as his primary audience – rather than Americans – this speech was part of Mao’s Cold War propaganda strategy to undermine the image of the United States globally. It was disseminated via radio broadcast and newsprint across nearly all the key battle regions of the Cold War, including Central Europe, Southeast Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and Latin America.
Speaking on behalf of the Chinese People, Mao Tse-tung takes this opportunity to express resolute support for Black Americans’ struggles for freedom and equal rights and commend their acts of resistance against the multiple forms of oppression, discrimination, and violence they face at home. Mao also criticizes the Kennedy administration for its hypocrisy, drawing attention to U.S. authorities’ continued persecution of Black Americans, including through the use of armed force, while professing to be advocates for human rights globally. Drawing direct connections between the U.S. government’s suppression of Black Americans’ struggles at home and its policies of aggression abroad, this speech highlights the contradictions belying the U.S. government’s commitments to freedom and democracy. In addition, the speech demonstrates how the Chinese Communist Party attempted to align itself with an anti-racist and anti-imperialist stance on a global stage.
National Archives Catalog. Record Group 233: Records of the U.S. House of Representatives, 1789 - 2015. Series: Committee Papers, 1945 - 1975