The Vice President of North Carolina’s largest teachers’ association is a self-avowed Marxist activist linked to Liberation Road – a “revolutionary socialist” group that follows the teachings of Karl Marx and Mao Zedong.
Socialism for Your Kids.
Proffitt previously served as President of the Durham Association of Educators and as a teacher from 2004 to 2015, also earning a spot as a finalist for the Teacher of the Year award among Durham Public Schools.
Outside the classroom, however, Proffitt is staunchly committed to precipitating a shift to socialism within the United States.
“We are revolutionary socialists in the U.S. dedicated to fighting for a social system where social wealth is not in the hands of a few billionaires, but is controlled by the people,” Proffitt’s Liberation Road provides as its description.
Liberation Road also presents Republicans as “the main enemy”:
Using the framework of the united front, we identify the New Confederacy—composed of the most reactionary faction of capital and middle strata, rightwing racists, united in the Republican Party—as the main enemy. We use this term to emphasize the fact that the Right in this country is rooted in a racist program and strategy
What’s more, the group reveals it follows the teachings of Mao Zedong:
From Mao, the methods of the mass line and the united front — how to learn from the experiences and insights of workers and broad masses to formulate demands and build struggles that are as broad and inclusive as possible yet also really challenge the system; and the insight that the transitional relations of production under the socialist state generate new exploiters who must be prevented from restoring capitalism.
“There is also much to learn from the countless fighters who have helped scout the terrain ahead. These include not just Karl Marx and V.I. Lenin and Mao Zedong, but Malcolm X, Ella Baker, Amilcar Cabral, Jose Carlos Mariategui, Antonio Gramsci, Jose Marti, Franz Fanon, Digna Ochoa, Berta Carceres, and many, many more,” the group adds.
Proffitt has authored white papers for the group, hoping they would “encourage more young people to participate in the conversation on organization and what we need to build a revolutionary movement.”
“For the sake of transparency, we are young leaders in Liberation Road/El Camino Para La Liberación, a revolutionary organization with members throughout the United States. But more importantly, we are you…the Young and Left,” the piece begins.
In the paper, he instructs his comrades on how to be successful in their quest to bring about socialism in the United States and beyond:
Identify and support new leadership from people’s movements. Study the problems, envision long-term solutions, and create a program to organize for the changes we need. In these organizations, everyone doesn’t have to be everything; cultural workers stand side by side with organizers and people who are talented administrators as everyone works to fill in each other’s gaps. Support and love each other. Coordinate and amplify. By creating a venue where revolutionaries can connect across diverse movements and geographies, the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. Revolutionary Voltron.
He also addresses a special significance to targeting schools:
Build a common project or campaign with folks who are in social movement organizations, community organizations, unions, schools, and revolutionary organizations. Base the project on local investigation of issues that folks can develop and work on together. We need more base-building, more mass movement. That’s how we create space for people to change their own realities. Revolutionaries, together, have a big role to play here. Doing this kind of work with those that we haven’t before will help to build trust and lasting political relationships that can take us to a higher-level of struggle.
Proffitt was also interviewed in 2008 as part of the “Heirs to a Fighting Tradition: Oral Histories of North Carolina Social Justice Activists” project. During the interview, he insisted “capitalism has to go,” before calling for a revolutionary party:
I’m a revolutionary because I think that capitalism has to go. We can’t make a nicer, more diverse society without eliminating white supremacy. We’re not going to end violence against women until we end a system called patriarchy that says that men are more valuable than women, and that there are only two boxes of genders and that everybody has to fit into one or the other. We’re not going to reform that. To build a revolutionary party, we’re going to have to reform a lot of that stuff along the way.