Monday, November 24, 2008

Obama wastes no time to preserve the status quo

With each new cabinet selection Barack Obama continues his course of cementing the status quo. As even mainstream media pundits have noted Obama’s “change” consists of resurrecting the Clinton administration. Clearly the president-elect is wasting no time making every possible attempt to rescue U.S. imperialism and this parasitic system built on slavery, genocide, plunder and oppression.

In between the two Bushes William Jefferson Clinton implemented many programs and policies that Bush Sr. only dreamed about. The Clinton administration also set the stage for Bush II, laying out a perfect platform for W to launch all his most blatantly destructive policies towards oppressed peoples everywhere in a last ditch attempt to save America’s position as the “world’s sole superpower.”

Clinton was called “the first black president,” and like Obama he used broad-based support from African voters to attack Africans and other oppressed people in this country and in the world.

Clinton passed the massive Crime Bill that put 100,000 new police on the streets of African communities, producing an immediate corresponding spike in police murder, violence and martial law in African, Mexican and oppressed communities across the country.

The Crime Bill implemented Jim Crow sentencing, three-strikes legislation and mandatory minimums. It provided $9.7 billion in funding for a colonial prison system than now ensnares more than seven million mostly African, Mexican and oppressed people annually.

The Crime Bill gave a nod of approval to death-squad-type police forces terrorizing African communities such as the murderous Rampart Division in Los Angeles, Riders of Oakland and the brutal Operation Sunrise of Philadelphia.

Clinton’s Crime Bill legitimized the government’s pumping of illegal drugs into communities whose liberation movement, leaders and spokespeople had been wiped out by COINTELPRO a generation earlier and whose economic base had been destroyed by urban renewal and gentrification for the benefit of white communities.

With one fell swoop the Clinton administration thus criminalized impoverished and working class African and Mexican communities, fueled the Wall Street boom with illegal drug money laundering and gave a nearly $10 billion-dollar economic stimulus to “Main Street” through massive prison building with all its spin-offs, restoring prosperity especially to depressed rural white America.

So it’s no small thing that Obama named Joe Biden who authored Clinton’s Crime Bill as his vice president and named as Attorney General Eric Holder who was Clinton’s Assistant AG, whose role was to actually put the 100,000 police into African communities.

Clinton also ended key social services such as “welfare,” created the anti-terrorism bill whose key provisions were adopted in Bush’s USA Patriot Act, passed the North American Free Trade Act, bombed Sudan, invaded Somalia and maintained sanctions against Iraq that starved hundreds of thousands of Iraqis.

The Clinton Administration relaxed HUD and Fannie Mae lending practices to target African and Mexican communities with subprime mortgages that were previously known as “predatory lending.” He passed the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act that repealed the Glass Steagall Act of 1933. This basically deregulated Wall Street and opened the door for use of subprime mortgage backed securities as fraudulent investment tools and creating the basis for the economic crisis being experienced today.

Clinton’s first Secretary of the Treasury was open Wall Street insider and free-market advocate Robert Rubin. Rubin was followed by Lawrence Summers, who is more of the same with the added baggage of advocating while employed at the World Bank that the U.S. dump toxic waste in Africa. Summers was later forced to resign as president of Harvard because of his open bigotry towards Africans and women.

So the fact that Obama named Tim Geithner, current head of the New York Federal Reserve and protégé of Rubin and Summers as Secretary of the Treasury is another blow to “hope and change.” Summers was chosen Director of the National Economic Council. And there you have it. The guys who did everything possible to help themselves and their friends’ in the white power banking elite stuff their pockets and bank accounts at the expense of the people are going to solve this economic crisis of imperialism? Please!

After Geithner was named to the treasury position on Friday the DOW went up nearly 500 points, the first bright spot for Wall Street in weeks. The bankers know they have a friend in Geithner, and that tells the story of the unfolding Obama presidency right there.

Friday, November 21, 2008

White power in black face: Cabinet selections reveal the real Obama

Barack Obama wasted no time bowing down to his Wall Street financial backers and war-mongering advisors. His cabinet selections represent the same old politics of imperialist wars of plunder abroad and police containment policies against the African and Mexican communities here. It could not be clearer that Obama is, as the Uhuru Movement sums up, a neocolonialist essential during these times of deep crisis to hide the vicious reality of U.S. imperialist white power under the cover of an African face.

Here is some information about his cabinet selections so far.

Penny Pritzker, nominated for Secretary of Commerce: Pritzker has reportedly declined this position. If this is true it is obviously because of her instrumental role in the whole subprime mortgage scam and other shady financial dealings that would come under public scrutiny during senate confirmation hearings for her post. According to reports Pritzker's financial record is so dubious she never even filled out the vetting form required for the Obama transition team of which she is a part.

According to today's New York Times, "Burt Ely, a banking consultant who testified at a 2001 Senate committee hearing about the failure [due to subprime mortgage dealings] of [the Pritzker family-owned] Superior Bank, said it had never made sense for Ms. Pritzker to become a nominee. 'The confirmation hearing could have been quite ugly for all that would have been dredged up about Superior as well as possibly other Pritzker dealings,' Mr. Ely said Thursday."

Read the rest of the revealing article in today’s New York Times (Nov. 21, 2008) about her.

For more on Pritzker who is reported to be the inventor of the subprime mortgage scam as an investment tool, see our slide show "Can Obama really bring the change we need?" on the APSC home page. This presentation also has other in-depth info on Obama's positions, backers and advisors.

Janet Napolitano, nominated to Secretary of Homeland Security: Though her appointment to Homeland Security is being heralded as an improvement over the Bush administration by some, Napolitano in fact signals a tough stand for the Obama administration on vicious border enforcement and other policies against Mexican workers. Here is what the Washington Post said about her on June 26, 2006:

“Among the nation's top Democrats, Napolitano has developed some of the toughest policies against illegal immigration. She was one of the first major politicians to call for deployment of the National Guard along the border and declared a state of emergency in her state's counties nearest Mexico. She has aggressively pursued smugglers in Arizona. In February, she joined with Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr. (R) to outline a plan for immigration reform that called for more funding for border security, more visas for foreign workers and no blanket amnesty for illegal immigrants.”

See the whole Washington Post article on Napolitano.

Eric Holder–Attorney General: Holder is a Clinton-era bureaucrat from the DOJ who played a major role in implementing the Crime Bill’s mandate to put 100,000 new police on the ground when he was assistant Attorney General under Clinton. Though he is being "warmly received" by both Republicans and Democrats, Holder is being criticized for some of his positions and past actions by liberals.

As a private lawyer Holder played a key role in “negotiating an agreement with the Justice Department that got Chiquita Bananas for paying protection money to right wing death squads in Colombia.” Also Holder was part of the legal team that in 2005 developed strategies for securing reauthorization of the Patriot Act. (See article on

No one outside of the Uhuru Movement, however, is criticizing Holder for his most serious crimes: his role in enforcing the brutal policies of police containment of the African community, such as supporting mandatory minimum sentencing guidelines and three strikes legislation and putting more and more cops on the streets of black neighborhoods already under siege by U.S. government-imposed martial law.

See yesterday's Uhuru Solidarity blog entry here on Eric Holder.

For an in-depth look at the backgrounds of the top 20 people on Obama's war and plunder-loving foreign policy team see, "This is Change? 20 Hawks, Clintonites and Neocons to Watch for in Obama's White House," by Jeremy Scahill that appeared on today.

For the most dynamic analysis of the unfolding Obama presidency and the current economic and political crisis of imperialism from the point of view of the African working class, listen to "Africa Live" at 11 am EST every Sunday on Uhuru Radio featuring Chairman Omali Yeshitela and others, and visit

Thursday, November 20, 2008

America’s death squads and Obama’s new top cop

As president-elect Obama names Eric Holder the first African Attorney General some commentators are exposing the chilling fact that Holder represented Chiquita Banana in 2004 after it paid “protection money” to Colombian death squads. These terrorists killed at least 4,000 mostly impoverished African and Indigenous people in Colombia.

Holder brokered a deal with the Justice Department that required Chiquita to pay a fine of $25 million and for the firm’s top officials to plead guilty for this transgression of U.S. law. Of course not one Chiquita official went to prison for this crime against humanity. (Counterpunch, “Holder, Chiquita and Colombia by Mario A. Murillo, 11.19.08)

It is important that this is exposed. But what nobody talks about is the fact that Holder enthusiastically endorses the U.S. death squads that murder, terrorize and sweep up millions of African and Mexican people into the torture chambers called prisons right here in North America under the name of “law enforcement.”

Vice President to be Joseph Biden was the author of the Clinton Administration’s 1994 Crime Control Act while Holder was Clinton’s Deputy Attorney General. Holder played a key role in putting the Crime Bill’s 100,000 new police on the streets.

There was tacit acceptance on the part of the majority of the white population that those police were supposed to target African communities. The powers-that-be had long worked to make the word “criminal” synonymous with “black,” ever since the CIA had flooded impoverished African communities with deadly drugs as part of the government plan for crushing the black power movement of the 1960s.

One of the provisions of the 1994 Crime Bill required the Attorney General to collect data and publish an annual report on the number of people killed and wounded by police and the use of deadly force. That never happened. With a simple internet search you can find out precise stats on, say, infertility, diabetes, poverty or homeownership.

But how many people are victims of police murder and what are their demographics? No records.

An article by Fox Butterfield on the site from April 29, 2001 quotes Temple University criminal justice professor James Fyfe as saying that the brutality figures are not kept because they would be “very embarrassing to a lot of police departments.”

We all know, though, that mostly young, mostly impoverished African men are far and away the majority of those at the receiving end of police violence and life-wasting sentencing laws.

Simply reading the newspaper in Philadelphia shows us that at least one African man is murdered by the police in that city every month and often twice that or more.

We know that one in eight young black men are locked up in the mammoth U.S. prison system that acts as a handy economic stimulus tool for Wall Street and white communities both in good financial times and bad.

Discriminatory, two-tiered Jim Crow drug laws, mandatory minimums and three strikes legislation are the cornerstone of a publicly-accepted policy of police containment of the African community.

Obama’s mantra of a “post-racial America” is just not true and we all know it. The majority of black prisoners are locked up on drug charges, despite the fact that white people are two thirds of all drug users and sellers in this country.

Eric Holder endorses and built his career on these policies. Neither Holder nor Obama have expressed any commitment to stop them and bring justice to the besieged African working class communities throughout this country.

The nomination of Eric Holder to the position of AG is but one more of the rapid fire moves made by Barack Obama to prove himself worthy to his Wall Street backers and continue the same old oppressive, good-old-boy policies intensified by every previous administration, regardless of party.

The only way to achieve the aspirations of hope and change is to take responsibility for a country built on a pedestal of the enslavement of African people, the genocide of the Indigenous people and colonial policies of war and pillage around the world and inside this country. There’s a growing movement afoot struggling for the liberation of Africa for the benefit of African people everywhere. If we believe in change and transformation we should support that movement.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

"Clean drinking water facility in Sierra Leone needs support": Dr. Michelle Strongfields speaks in Philly

On Friday, November 7th, 2008, Dr. Michelle Strongfields spoke at a benefit for the All African People’s Development and Empowerment Project at the Dhyana Yoga Center in Olde City in Philadelphia, PA. This benefit was co-sponsored by Uhuru Solidarity Movement as a part of a campaign which people can join to build solidarity with AAPDEP. Dr Strongfields, a Cuban-trained African doctor living in West Philadelphia, reported on her recent work building AAPDEP programs in Sierra Leone addressing the epidemic of infant mortality due to unclean drinking water.

AAPDEP is an African-led organization of the Uhuru Movement established to engage in development projects to transform the dire conditions imposed on African communities worldwide by making use of the vast technical expertise of Africans everywhere. Among other current initiatives, AAPDEP is building a rainwater harvesting and community healthcare facility, as well as a community fishing project in Oloshoro, Sierra Leone, and sponsoring a borehole (pressurized well) for irrigation of a 25-acre section of farmland of the Ujamma Youth Farming Project (UYFP) in Gweru, Zimbabwe.

Dr. Strongfields' presentation exposed that while Africa is the most mineral-rich continent on the planet, centuries of brutal assault by Europeans and the U.S. though the slave trade, colonialism and now neo-colonial plunder, has left the vast majority of African people in a state of starvation, without food, clean water, adequate shelter or health care. Unlike charity programs which don't change the cause of the problems, AAPDEP is providing leadership to African people to transform these conditions and to regain power over their lives and resources. AAPDEP’s programs are “from the people, to the people”, hearing the needs of the community, then focusing the resources available to create solutions led by African people themselves.

Dr. Strongfields began her presentation by showing a picture of Baby Alusine, who the AAPDEP team helped get access to the very limited local health care available in Oloshoro. Severely dehydrated, Baby Alusine ultimately was one of the 15 babies who died in the short time Dr. Strongfields was in Sierra Leone. This death was not only a tragedy for Baby Alusine’s parents and his twin sister, but also for African people as a whole, since he represents “the future of Africa and African people”, the next generation of teachers, health care workers and leaders. It is estimated that every year 3.4 million people die as a result of water related diseases. This is the single leading cause of death world wide, the majority being children under five years old.

Dr. Strongfields also described the productive organizing work, which created a leadership structure and committees in meetings involving hundreds of local participants. In brainstorming sessions, the community was able to identify basic needs for creating their own solutions. The people resolved to create a facility to harvest and purify rain water as a reliable source of clean drinking water. This facility will also house a rehydration station for local children suffering from diarrhea due to water contaminated by bacteria and parasites, which is often deadly in Africa. Plans were made to get the construction materials, basic medical equipment and supplies of salt and sugar for the rehydration solution, and recruit health care workers to staff the center.

To make these plans a reality, Dr Strongfields stated, required resources, and the people attending the benefit responded. AAPDEP received enthusiastic financial support from the First Friday crowd. In addition, the Dhyana Yoga studio provided the space for the benefit and set an inspiring example by opening up the resources of health and fitness enjoyed by the white community to benefit African people's struggle for sustainability through self-determination.

The benefit continues with an on line auction of items from African Art to original paintings, jewelry, and gift certificates from local Center City businesses. Bids for these many exciting items are being taken online for the next 2 weeks at the AAPDEP website –

There will also be another event benefiting AAPDEP at Dhyana Yoga – a three hour workshop on Kundalini yoga on Sunday, November 23rd. For more information, contact the Uhuru Solidarity Movement local office at (215) 387-0919

Monday, November 10, 2008

The audacity of struggle: Only a movement will make Obama work for the benefit of the people

Jubilation in the streets greeted the victory of Barack Obama in the presidential election last week, not only in the U.S. but throughout Africa and the world.

As Uhuru Movement leader Omali Yeshitela has summed up, African and oppressed peoples everywhere exuberantly see themselves in this victory. It is a validation of the power and brilliance of the African identity that has so long been linked to the notion of the “slave” and colonial subject by this white power system.

After all, capitalism and the United States itself were built on the hideous enslavement of African people, on genocide of the Indigenous people and the indescribable atrocities of colonialism.

For half a millennium “white” has been associated with “good,” while “black” was evil, philosophically justifying a relationship that gives some of the benefits of the stolen loot of the colonial system to the general white population.

That’s why we have two Americas and two worlds, despite Obama’s myth of a “post-racial America.” As much as we all want to believe that, a look at reality tells us it just ain’t true.

There’s the affluent white “first world,” versus the misery of the black, brown and “others,” whose lives, values and cultures were assigned little value by white power. Their stolen labor, land, oil, diamonds, minerals and scientific understandings, however, have always had tremendous worth for capitalism.

This is the basis for the financial and political crisis of imperialism being felt so sharply inside the U.S. and worldwide at this time: people everywhere are just saying “no” to the greedy hands of white power. They will keep their resources to feed their own children, thank you.

They are tired of subsisting on 50 cents a day while the white world has got a diamond on every ring finger and plenty of gas to fuel massive SUVs. From Venezuela, to Nigeria, to Iraq and Russia, people are prepared to fight the parasitic U.S. and imperialist military and economic stanglehold.

So white power has to prop up an Obama or Mandela or Mobutu or Shah of Iran to do its bidding for it. The white face has got a real bad reputation to deal with.

Barack Obama is a figurehead for a new image being carefully crafted by the powers-that-be to attempt to save an imperialist system deep in crisis. This is called neocolonialism.

As psychologically gratifying as his victory may be for African people and even for those of us from the white community who want change, Obama cannot bring us anything new.

There was similar jubilation throughout South Africa, the African continent and the world when Nelson Mandela was made president in 1994. Today the conditions for the average working class African in South Africa are far worse than they were under direct apartheid.

Like Mandela, Obama is a neocolonial puppet of the ruling and owning class of capitalism.

Obama has an uncanny ability to make everyone believe that the new president will carry out the people’s aspirations—whatever they may be. But what did Obama really promise us?

His staff, advisors and financial backers clue us in to his true program. Rahm Emanuel, recently named as Chief of Staff, is a virulent Zionist Democratic neo-con who profiteered from the subprime mortgage scam and fights for free trade.

Obama’s transition teams are made up of the same old usual suspects of banksters, crooks, corporate exploiters and counterinsurgency experts.

With Democratic party majorities in the house and senate Obama could do anything he wants.

But will he take real measures to stem the economic crisis that will benefit the African community and other working people?

Will he stop the epidemic of police murders of young African men or end the laws that justify the discriminatory imprisonment of millions of African people?

Will Obama help African victims of the subprime scam facing foreclosure or will the government aid only go to well-to-do white people?

Will he rescind the USA Patriot Act?

Will Obama really withdraw from Iraq?

Of course not. Just as you and I know there is no “post-racial America,” we know he will not do any of this.

As Omali Yeshitela noted, the only thing that is going to bring about change is the “audacity of struggle,” a mass movement to force Obama to carry out the progressive agenda that many mistakenly believe he represents.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

No matter who wins the ship is still sinking

Election day news predominates but if you really search you can find all the grim economic facts that are being relegated to the back burner for today, anyway.

No matter who becomes president he faces an economic crisis beyond repair. We are witnessing the implosion of a system resting on 500 years of plunder, slavery, genocide, rape and domination so that some could enjoy the resources of everyone else.

As the Mohawk Nation News recently put it, “The stock market crash could be the best thing that ever happened to save the planet…As we watch the demise of the exploitation of our lands and resources, we are seeing a show that is over and no one is clapping for an encore…It’ll never be the same again…”

All around the world people are indeed cheering the downfall of U.S. hegemony, even as many vainly hope that the Obama presidency will change the world.

Despite a momentary upward move by the U.S. and global stock markets things are dire.

Here are some of the headlines: September Factory Orders Slide More Than Forecast

New York Times: 2 European Banks Offer Gloomy Outlook

New York Times: Automakers Report Grim October Sales

Wall Street Journal: More Utility Bills Go Unpaid

Washington Post: Credit Card Losses May Surpass Historical Peaks

Jerusalem Post: Shipping news suggests world economy is toast

For all those still seeking change with Obama, just remember that he got most of his campaign contributions from Wall Street and he’s got to pay the piper now. His campaign finance chair Penny Pritzker and possible Secretary of the Treasury Robert Rubin are going to help him do just that. (See the “Obama Exposed” powerpoint at

The Uhuru Movement is changing the world in a positive way, working for unification, justice and liberation for African people everywhere. For us from the white community the Uhuru Solidarity Movement offers us a lifeboat from the sinking Titanic. Climb in!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Crisis of imperialism: Obama, the economy and the war against the African community

It’s the weekend before elections and if you want a sobering look at who Barack Obama’s financial backers, political advisors and policies really are, check out the website of the African People’s Solidarity Committee:

Our powerpoint slide show on the truth about Obama is there. Also, there you can see our presentation on the current crisis of the U.S. economy (which an Obama presidency will not resolve).

Finally we urge everyone to sign the online petition for reparations to be paid by the city of St. Petersburg, FL for the murders of four teen-aged African men in the past several years by law enforcement. Much background information is available right on the home page about the police murders of these unarmed young men and the cover-up by the Florida good old boy network.

Javon Dawson had just ended his sophomore year at Gibbs High School when he was shot in the back by Officer Terrence Nemeth after a graduation party in June of this year. Nemeth had recently returned from four years as a marine in Iraq—transferring from a job with the U.S. international occupying force to a job enforcing the U.S. domestic occupation of the African community.

Despite the fact that 300 other students and at least 12 other cops were present at the scene the only person who witnessed Javon “with a gun” at the scene was Nemeth, according to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement report justifying the murder.

If popular support can force the City of St. Petersburg to pay reparations this would establish an important precedent. Reparations would be more than just a financial settlement. It would involve an apology to the families and the community and a commitment to end this violence against the African community.

We are beginning to see fear of martial law manifesting among white people as we learn that the government has stationed the army at Ft. Stewart, GA to handle “civil unrest” in the general population as the crisis of imperialism deepens.

Well, martial law has been in place targeting the African community for a very long time.

FEMA camps? More than a million African people have already been herded into concentration camps called prisons. Thousands of African people—mostly young men—are murdered and brutalized by police annually. Helicopters fly over black communities and Machine-gun toting SWAT teams break down people’s doors on a regular basis.

It’s time for us to take a stand against what is already going on in this country—not just cry when it affects us. If we are interested in any level of democracy defend the rights of African people who live under a U.S. counterinsurgency right here!