Saturday, April 25, 2009

A Response

This is in response to Renee.

Thank you so much for all of your very thoughtful input and please excuse me for the time it has taken me to respond. I really appreciate your discussion.

As you probably know from looking at our blog I am part of the African People’s Solidarity Committee, a predominately white organization that was formed by the African People’s Socialist Party that leads the Uhuru Movement.

The Uhuru Movement organizes African people all over the world for the liberation and reunification of Africa as the birthright of African people everywhere. The solidarity committee organizes in white communities and among other people who want to become allies of the African Liberation Movement.

The Uhuru Movement understands that African people everywhere are one people, forcibly dispersed by the slave trade and that Africa is the birthright of all African people everywhere. Like the Palestinian people they believe in the right to return to their homeland.

Just recently the Uhuru Movement held a conference in Nairobi organizing the East African division of the African Socialist International. There will be a North American conference in Washington, DC on May 22, 23. More information is available at Please also see where we have several power point slide show presentations on various issues.

I want to address two of the many good points that you make.

1. Yes, we must always use any political space Obama might provide to organize against imperialism, but I do not believe we are “safer,” because imperialism is in a deep crisis and is desperate. Besides, if a few of us inside the U.S. are less under fire it is because the hell has been intensified for just about everybody else, including the African and indigenous communities here.

As you point out they are closing Guantanamo but opening new dungeons inside the U.S. They just captured a 15 year old “pirate” who will be tried as an adult and will be sent to one of those places for life. The child was brought from Somalia where the U.S. destroyed the government, steals the oil, dumps toxic waste into the seas and plunged the population into near starvation. So who’s the “pirate”?

Obama’s “against torture” but will not prosecute anyone for 266 waterboardings of two people.

Obama surrounds himself with more Zionists than any government outside of Tel Aviv. He does not address the brutal containment policies against oppressed communities inside the U.S. Policies that have nearly 7.5 million people tied to the prison system, three-fourths of them African and Mexican.

As you point out Obama is representing the ruling class. He may have a somewhat different approach than Bush but represents the same parasitic system built on slavery, genocide and colonialism.

2. Regarding the question of the cops getting killed in Oakland:

While I would always support the organized liberation movement in whatever form it takes in Palestine or other colonized territories, I would also support an unorganized Palestinian child who killed an occupying solider with a rock or even a Palestinian drunkard or a thief who blasted a soldier or a settler.

The whole population is under the thumb of a murderous, vicious occupation that destroys the independence, freedom, future, economy and social cohesion of a people. A lot of people have social contradictions in conquered societies because the divisions and societal breakdowns are part of the colonizers’ counterinsurgency plan. The British said about Africa: “divide and rule,” and they did so brutally.

Some soldiers may be good fathers, nice guys etc., but they still have a job and that is to carry out the orders of the occupying state power against the oppressed people.

So, yes, I would always deeply understand the resistance of African people in the U.S. as justified. Resistance by any means necessary, no matter what form it takes, individualized, spontaneous or organized. Oppressed people have a right to resist and they may not always have the luxury to understand even what they are doing.

African working class communities live in unmitigated hell under martial law in the U.S. You probably saw on video the blatant murder of Oscar Grant as he was shot in the back in a subdued position by BART police.

But what about Caspar Banjo, 71, a famous African artist killed last year by police in Oakland, and Gary King and Jody Woodfox, and Anita Gay, Sean Bell, Amadou Diallou and countless others killed by police?

Kathryn Johnston, 92, was shot by drug cops who broke down her door. They left her to bleed to death and planted drugs in her basement in Atlanta.

Very few murderous cops have even lost their jobs for their crimes, much less stood trial.

In New York city last year 400,000 African and Latino men were stopped and frisked by police. There’s no such thing as “being good, avoiding trouble.” For every African woman pregnant with a baby boy there is a prison bed already planned.

And speaking of drugs. The U.S. government imposes the drugs on the community, and the government and the banks make the vast majority of the profits. That is well-documented by people like Gary Webb, even PBS Frontline documentaries and in many other places. You can also watch some of our slide shows or read my book, Overturning the Culture of Violence.

Long standing businesses in black communities all over the U.S. were destroyed after the Black Power Movement of the 60s. There are no jobs in African communities and real unemployment is 50% and higher. Nobody wants to grow up to be a drug dealer, but people are forced to put food on the table through a penny-ante trade, while white collar people make the real money on illegal drugs but never get their fingernails dirty.

Then they bring in prisons with the largest prison population in the entire world by far. Where are prisons? They are in rural white communities for the most part and have long served as economic stimulus for country towns. In fact, prisons are the third largest industry in rural America today.

Towns all over the U.S. are vying for prisons for jobs, development, etc.—all at the expense of African and Mexican people incarcerated with discriminatory sentencing, Three Strikes and Jim Crow drug laws. Seventy-five percent of drug use and sales are by white people, but most of those who get sent to prison are African and Mexican. White people get rehab; Africans get 30 years to life.

I never knew Lovelle Mixon but I can bet that he wanted what most people want: a good job, a family, a nice place to stay. But he had nothing but grinding poverty and a dead end everywhere he turned. I read that he said that he said he did not want to go back to prison.

We must recognize that Occupied Palestine is right here, Iraq is right here, Afghanistan is right here, that there is a colony in every urban inner city that is at its boiling point and the resistance of the people will take place.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

African people have a right to resist!

The New Year’s Day murder of young Oscar Grant who was shot at point-blank range after he was subdued by BART police in Oakland sparked large demonstrations expressing popular outrage.

Grant’s brutal murder followed on the heels of countless instances of police murder, harassment, profiling and general disrespect directed towards the African community in Oakland and throughout the U.S.

On March 21 in Oakland twenty-six-year-old Lovelle Mixon decided that he would not be a victim. For what ever reason he fought back against the oppressive police force bearing down on his community.

The police murders, torture, brutalization, harassment and frame-ups of thousands of African men and women in this country are not the result of a few bad cops.

Many police may be friendly, nice, religious, gay or female.

Whether a cop ever actively participates in the brutalization of the African or other community or not, is irrelevant.

Every cop is an arm of the U.S. state. The state is the institution of violence and coercion of the ruling class. The purpose of the state is to protect the status quo and maintain existing relations of wealth and poverty, power and oppression.

Other fronts of the state are the U.S. army, the courts and the prisons.

The state works to maintain a monopoly on violence.

We live in a country whose state was built on the enslavement of African people, on the genocide of the Indigenous people and theft of their land.

The U.S. state and capitalism itself are built on a pedestal of colonialism, the domination of oppressed peoples inside this country and around the world for the benefit of the white power system.

All branches of the U.S. military carry out the interests of the U.S. state abroad. All branches of the U.S. police carry out the interests of the State inside U.S. borders.

Both the U.S. military and the U.S. police carry out popularly-supported wars of aggression against oppressed peoples, enabling the U.S. to continue to plunder their resources, land and labor.

Every police officer in this country is a soldier of the imperialist state, no less than a U.S. marine in Afghanistan or an Israeli soldier in occupied Palestine.

The African communities of Oakland and the U.S. are communities under siege, occupied by a hostile, military force, just like the communities of Gaza or Fallujah.

Police in East Oakland are trained in the same Special Ops and counterinsurgency tactics as military forces in Iraq.

SWAT teams break down doors intimidating families, the elderly and children alike, while helicopters circle above. Police profile, beat and murder citizens. Discriminatory sentencing and Three Strikes laws lock up young African people for life.

In New York City last year the police stopped and searched five hundred thousand people last year, eighty percent of whom were African and Latino men.

Just like a soldier in the unjust U.S. army occupations abroad, a cop in the U.S. domestic force must prepare for the possibility of returning home in a body bag as the result of the resistance of the oppressed.

To denounce the resistance of the oppressed African community is to uphold the state’s right to a monopoly of repressive violence against the African community.

The African People’s Solidarity Committee supports the right of African and oppressed peoples to national liberation.

If their land, labor, oil, diamonds or coltan have been stolen from them through the violence of the imperialist state, they have a right to get it back.

The U.S. state violently enforces the interests of a parasitic system where 50 percent of the world’s resources are enjoyed by white society—only 5 percent of the world’s population.

The current economic crisis of imperialism makes it clear that this parasitic system built on the enslavement and oppression of most of humanity for the benefit of the tiny minority is not viable.

Peace and sustainability on this planet are only possible when Africans and all other oppressed peoples of this earth once again regain power over their lives, destinies and resources.

For white people there is no future for us in our self-imposed alienation from the rest of humanity.

We have lived on a pedestal at the expense of others, a privileged gated enclave surrounded by armed security guards.

Such an unjust arrangement doesn’t work for long.

All people on this earth have a right to self-determination, land, resources and a future for their children. As Malcolm X said, they will ultimately take that back “by any means necessary.”

African and other people are fighting for the right to forge their own destinies in a way that benefits the collective whole. Only in the process of liberation from this oppressive system will the oppressed peoples of the earth create a new and better world.

Join in solidarity with the movement for African national liberation—the movement that is actively bringing about positive transformation for everyone on the planet.