THANKSGIVING conjures up a lot of memories. We know the truth about Thanksgiving. Harvest celebration ceremonies have existed in the four corners of the world throughout human history. Today, Thanksgiving Day is celebrated in the United States of America including Canada. It is celebrated in the fourth Thursday of November in America and on the second Monday of October of Canada. Among all religions and spiritual traditions have celebrations after harvests and in other times. So, there is nothing wrong with giving Thanksgiving to God or to have celebrations about celebrating life. The problem is that the modern American Thanksgiving holiday came about via controversial means. The United States Thanksgiving holiday tradition originated with the story of the Pilgrims and the Native Americans. The Pilgrims traveled into Plymouth. The 1621 Plymouth Plantation Thanksgiving holiday is the famous celebration that people talked about. Such celebrations existed long before 1621 too. Now, Squanto or a Patuxet Native Americans resided with the Wampanoag tribe. He taught the Pilgrims on how to catch eel and grow corn. He served as an interpreter for them as Squanto could speak English too as he was once enslaved in England. Even the Wampanoag leader Massasoit donated foods stores to the fledging colony during the first winter when supplies brought from England were insufficient. The Pilgrims celebrated at Plymouth for three days after their first harvest, in 1621. The exact time is unknown, but James Baker, then Plymouth Plantation vice president of research, STATED IN 1996, "The event occurred between Sept. 21 and Nov. 11, 1621, with the most likely time being around Michaelmas (Sept. 29), the traditional time." On March 22, 1621, the Pilgrims of Plymouth Colony signed a peace treaty with the Massasoit of the Wampanoags. Now, we know what happened next. White supremacists before 1621 and afterwards continued to use genocide against the Native Americans. The Pilgrims wanted absolute power in the New World.
The genocide of Native Americans is unjust and wicked. Another common practice among European explorers was to give "smallpox blankets" to the Indians. Since smallpox was unknown on this continent prior to the arrival of the Europeans, Native Americans did not have any natural immunity to the disease so smallpox would effectively wipe out entire villages with very little effort required by the Europeans. John Two-Hawks wrote that the first unofficial Thanksgiving meal didn’t invite the Native Americans. Also, a few days before the feast, the Pilgrims led by Miles Standish put an 11 ft. high wall to keep the Native Americans out. Dr. Tingba Apidta in his “Black Folks’ Guide to Understanding Thanksgiving” wrote that Miles Standish pretended to be a trader and beheaded a Native American man named Wituwamat (He also had the man’s young brother hanged). The Pequot massacre of 1637 was when Pilgrims (along with their allied Native Americans) killed men, women, children, and including old people who were Native Americans. Fifty-five years after the original Thanksgiving Day, the Puritans had DESTROYED the generous Wampanoag and all other neighboring tribes. The Wampanoag chief King Philip was beheaded. His head was stuck on a pole in Plymouth, where the skull still hung on display 24 years later. Also, these same murderers and racists enslaved black Africans and sent them to the Americas as well. It is a fact that many U.S. Presidents are related to the British Royal family too (who was involved in funded and facilitating the Maafa along with other European criminals. The deal is that racist white people wanted white domination over non-white people and people have the right to defeat white supremacy and establish justice for the human race).
So, there is nothing wrong with families celebrating with each other, praying together, and growing bonds. We just need to use the love for our families and friends as motivation to keep on fighting for justice for all.
We live in a new political era of America with the GOP controlling most of the House and most of the Senate. The results of the 2014 Election was never about the people embracing all of the reactionary Republican policies. It was about the rejection of the status quo. Many voter initiatives involving a higher minimum wage, on issues relating to marijuana, etc. passed in numerous states. The four Republican dominated states even approved measures to increase the minimum wage like Alaska, Nebraska, Arkansas, and South Dakota. Four initiatives requiring paid sick leave also passed on November 4, making it three states and 16 cities that have now passed some kind of paid sick leave law. One of those states is Massachusetts, where voters put Republican businessman Charlie Baker in the governor's mansion. The Democrats lost since many of them refused to courageously stand up for the interests of the poor and the working class. They just want to be more centrist. We know what the Republicans are all about. They are pushing a reactionary agenda like the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline (which is about using American land to export oil globally), anti-immigration policies, cut corporate taxes, and cut Social Security. Many Republicans even support numerous measures to restrict the right to even vote. The proto-fascist reactionary Republicans want the American dream to be government of the rich, by the rich, and for the rich. A true government is a government of the people, by the people, and for the people. Proto-fascist Republicans fear the common people including the poor and people of color. That is why we should focus on fighting for economic justice and PROSPERITY. That will grow families, help the poor, and see marriages improve. We should end the prison industrial complex (or part of the new Jim Crow which Sister Michelle Alexander has articulated greatly). Our communities need to be reconstructed to not embrace materialism or possessive individualism. We need more humanistic, cooperative or communal values to flourish. There is nothing wrong with black people embracing self-affirmation, self-respect, self-love, and black personhood (as a people and as individuals). We have to reject the deification of ego, the deification of property, and selfishness. Greed is not good. Wall Street oligarchs harming the American people have proven that fact. The overarching point is that fascism didn’t end in 1945. It is still in existence today. That is why we need more mobilization, organization, and more movement building in the world. We should embrace the vision of creating a community where universal freedom, dignity, equality, and justice are established. We don’t need propaganda from the Koch Brothers. We need the advancement of transparency, democracy, and true human dignity.
The RNC has never lied about their reactionary agenda. Many of them are proto-fascists. We live in a society where there is class and racial oppression. The RNC outright supports imperial foreign policy and neoliberal economic policies as well. Many Democrats have supported this agenda too, so this is not a one party deal. Fundamentally, we need a society where human rights and the communal essence of society are superior to the deification of property and the deification of money. The mostly GOP-led Supreme Court has gutted parts of the Voting Rights Act. If the poor can’t have economic justice, then that is cruel and unusual punishment. No government should be respected if it is a government of the rich, and for the rich. The War on Drugs should be abolished, sentencing disparities ought to be addressed (as the prison industrial complex is disgraceful as explained by George Jackson, Angela Davis, etc.), and corporate welfare should be gone. Also, I am reading the book entitled, “All Labor Has Dignity” with an introduction written by Michael K. Honey. That book reminds me that labor rights is key in the liberation of humanity. That book has shown how the Montgomery bus boycott, the Memphis sanitation strike, the Scirpto strikes, etc. involved brave workers. Workers’ rights must be respected (a living wage is important, unfair tax loopholes must be gone, and corporate corruption must end) and bourgeois policies won’t cut it. There must be a radical redistribution of political and economic power as Dr. King has said. There is nothing wrong with growing enterprises (who treat workers fairly), but that is not enough. Unjust laws must be banned. The poor deserve justice. The environment must be better and record economic inequality must be combated. Not to mention that our CRIMINAL JUSTICE system must be radically changed. So, a comprehensive approach is needed.
The midterms should not cause us to have despair. It should represent a real opportunity for the growth of independent political movements that can progressively address the needs of the people. We know that the corporate two party system in Washington doesn’t need to be worshiped. We should reject the system of white supremacy and realize that both parties have expressed contempt for Black America and all freedom loving peoples. We need revolutionary changes. Imperialism is still a serious threat in the world. Both parties in their leaderships want to privatize education, gentrify neighborhoods, privatize public resources in general, CONTINUE with the low wage economy, fund trillions in imperial war and bank bailouts, and continue with the prison industrial complex (including fund militarized and racist police forces). The working class and the poor are oppressed in the same system of oppression. There has been a low voter turnout in the Midterm election. Yet, the consciousness of the people can rise even more with the promotion of the rights of black people, immigrant rights, and the rights of all oppressed people of the world. The lesser of two evils mantra is refuted, because even some Democrats want to be like Republicans on numerous issues. We will confront educational and environmental problems too. With the Obama administration, we see the ruling class still promoting the same reactionary agenda in terms of foreign policy including other matters too. We need real collective leadership by increasing the power of oppressed people. There must be the politics of liberation. The oppressed need self-determination and the building of their own institutions without laissez faire capitalism. We are not only fighting racism and discrimination. We are fighting poverty too. We don’t need to return to business as usual. We need justice now.
The Berlin Wall
There can be no discussion about the Great Wall without understanding what happened to Eastern Europe in the aftermath of World War II. The fall of the Berlin Wall in November 1989 began a new era in history. There was the solidarity movement years earlier in Poland and mass strikes in 1988 as well. Many Soviet- style Communist regimes collapsed in Eastern Europe. One party rule ended in Hungary. The end of Soviet-style Communism spread into Bulgaria, then Czechoslovakia, and Romania. The Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceausescu was executed, which was televised. The end of the USSR came after the decline of the USSR. These events proved the collapse of Stalinism in Eastern Europe was real not the proof that laissez faire capitalism is totally perfect. The reality is that a great society is when the workers are self-emancipated not when the state suppresses the rights of the people. The workers must have their democratic rights. We do know that the Eastern European states after WWII had nothing to do with popular power or democracy. It had to do with an agreement made by the U.S., the UK, and the USSR. These powers carved up Europe into distinct spheres of influence without much input from the masses of the people in Eastern Europe. Therefore, the creation of the Eastern bloc ultimately was not created by popular social revolutionary actions, but via agreements among Stalin, Churchill, and Roosevelt. Stalin had massive power in Eastern Europe and the West allowed it to happen, because the West feared the possibility of mass, independent revolutionary movements in those nations including France plus Italy. That is why Yalta and Potsdam (according to Hallas) disarmed many resistance movements, pushed no strike pledges in the trade unions, etc. The Big Three felt that Stalin could act as a bulwark against any independent movements of social change in Eastern Europe. In Bulgaria, the military enforced an authoritarian regime where soldiers’ councils were banned. Even the Russians in Romania used reactionary figures to ensure stability. Later, the Soviets pushed reactionaries out of government in Eastern Europe. Local communist parties ruled. Revolutionary socialists still opposed Joseph Stalin’s dictatorship too. That is why when sincere workers and activists used uprisings in East Germany, Hungary, Poland, and Czechoslovakia to try to be free, the Soviet troops came in to suppress these uprisings.
The Hungarian Revolution of 1956 was one of the most important events of the Cold War. Rulers in the East and the West distorted what socialism and any democratic movement was on its head. Both sides did not want the workers to have a truly democratically run society in their own interests and to end imperialism outright. That is why people in the Eastern bloc fought back against dogmatic, Stalinist communism. Many workers set up workers’ councils, which was a legitimate, genuine working class rule system. The Revolution in Hungary came after Stalin died in 1953. His successor was Nikita Khrushchev. He allowed some political debate in order to solve economic issues. Hungary had economic stagnation and the secret police of the AVH spied on people. The AVH tortured and executed anyone who questioned the regime. These acts were wrong. In the end of October, student led demonstrations were formed in solidarity with a protest in Poland. It formed mass action that called for the removal of Russian troops and the local heads of state. People marched. The police fired on the protesters. This caused a revolutionary insurrection to develop. The AVH killed innocent people. The reformer Imre Nagy came into power. Nagy was opposed by the Rakosi regime, which used the AVH terrorists to harm the people of Hungary. Later, Russian troops entered Budapest and other major cities to regain control. Workers armed themselves and even some from the Hungarian army joined the rebellion as well. Councils of workers, soldiers, and students were formed all over the country. They took over radio stations to broadcast their views. They wanted free elections and the removal of Russian troops. The Soviets even refused to negotiate with the revolutionaries. The USSR used tanks and suppressed the Hungarian Revolution. Ironically, many Soviet troops refused to fight or joined the ranks of the revolutionaries. Nagy was ARRESTED and later executed. The Russians used artillery and air strikes. They shelled strongholds of the revolutionary working class districts. So, the Hungarian revolutionaries were heroes while the Stalinists were acting as fascists. Hungary was soon occupied by the Soviets for decades more. Yet, factory workers, workers in general, students, and other people of Hungary stood up heroically against oppression. So, the 1956 Revolution was not an anti-socialist, pro-capitalist rebellion. It was about workers and the people of Hungary standing up against injustices. Ferenc Töke, a vice-president of the Central Workers Council of Greater Budapest, later recalled: “No reactionary tendency manifested itself throughout the entire strike. There was never, at any moment, a question of the former owners eventually returning” (Jean-Jacques Marie and Balazs Nagy [eds.], Pologne-Hongrie 1956 ). The Central Workers Council of Budapest declared in a 27 November 1956 appeal to workers councils throughout the country: “Faithful to this mission, we defend, even at the cost of our lives, our factories and our fatherland against any attempt to restore capitalism.” Workers seized the factories and mines and set up elected workers councils (soviets), embryonic organs of proletarian political power. For weeks the workers fought courageously—by means of strikes, demonstrations and armed struggle—before this political revolution was suppressed. The Hungary Revolution of 1956 should always be remembered.
The Berlin Wall fall begin after the events of August of 19, 1989. That was when Hungary disabled its physical border defenses with Austria. In September 1989, 13,000 East German tourists escaped through Hungary to Austria. Some of the East Germans were returned to Budapest. These East Germans flooded the West German embassy and refused to return to East Germany. Soon, mass demonstrations in East Germany came about. Erich Honecker resigned and Egon Krenz ran East Germany. Protest demonstrations broke out all over East Germany in September 1989. Initially, protesters were mostly people wanting to leave to the West, chanting "Wir wollen raus!" ("We want out!"). Then protestors began to chant "Wir bleiben hier", ("We're staying here!"). This was the start of what East GERMANS generally call the "Peaceful Revolution" of late 1989. The protest demonstrations grew considerably by early November. The movement neared its height on November 4, when half a million people gathered at the Alexanderplatz demonstration, a rally for change in East Berlin's large PUBLIC Square and transportation hub. (Henslin, 07). The fall of the Berlin Wall began on November 9, 1989. Sections of the wall being demolished were shown worldwide. West Germans and West Berliners were allowed visa travel on December 23, 1989. The wall was further demolished in 1990. This lead into East Germany adopting the West German currency and all border control ceased by July 1, 1990. By October 3, 1990, German reunification existed. It was established along the democratic lines of the West German government. This unified German government was head by West Germany’s conservative Chancellor Helmut Kohl. Then British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and then French President Francois Mitterrand did not want an unified Germany, because they felt that an unified Germany could destabilize the region (this time was less than 50 years after the end of Hitler’s reign in Europe). Celebrations came about to celebrate the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 and in 1990 as well. Many authoritarian (not socialist, because Eastern bloc satellite regimes were controlled by a small minority. The working majority were deprived of democratic freedoms. Also, people suffered exploitation, oppression, and alienation from real social and political control) regimes in the Eastern bloc were gone by the working class and other people. In Hungary, for example, 10,000 people gathered in March 1988 for an illegal demonstration to demand "democracy, free speech and freedom of the press." It was a stunning show of strength for dissidents. As one East GERMAN radical later recalled, "A feeling arose that things had to change." Anthony Arnove wrote in an article for the International Socialist Review, "When they sensed that repression alone could not contain the crisis, the Stalinist bureaucracies faced a decision: be pushed or jump. In the end, both took place. Under the pressure of protests, strikes and demonstrations, the regimes fell one by one." By the end of 1989, the former Stalinist rulers were out of power in all six satellite states.
Frederick Douglas was a heroic black man. He stood up against injustice and express amazing courage in the world. He was born in 1818 as a slave in Maryland. He learned to read and write in secret as a child. Later, he defended himself against a slaveholder. Later, he escaped to freedom in 1838. He dedicated his time to the cause to end slavery. He spoke at conventions and at other meetings worldwide. He published his autobiography entitled, “Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass.” To this very day, his autobiography is read heavily not only in America, but worldwide. The autobiography was published in 1845. He also founded the abolitionist newspaper called, “The North Star.” The abolitionist movement was very diverse and it was multiracial in its composition. Some abolitionists were conservative and just wanted to peacefully convince the South to end slavery via just a gradual process. Obviously, history teaches us that action will not work, because social change can only come when resistance and struggle against injustice are enacted. Other abolitionists were more progressive and wanted an immediate end to slavery via political and social actions. Brother David Walker was a great black abolitionist who opposed slavery. He wrote his famous “Appeal” in 1829. He supported the first black newspaper in America called “Freedom’s Journal.” Henry Highland Garnett and Martin Delany were other courageous black abolitionists who followed the Black Nationalist path of emigration (or that black people should go into Africa or other locations when American society oppresses black people so much in America). Frederick Douglas viewed the struggle of black people to have freedom as a racial and class struggle. He called out the exploitation of the workers by the elite. William Lloyd Garrison was a white abolitionist leader. He agreed with Frederick Douglas on many issues like rejecting insurrection and rejecting emigration (my view is that black people have the right to voluntarily live in America or voluntarily live in any nation of the world including the continent of Africa). Garrison and Douglas disagreed on issues too. Frederick Douglas created his own newspaper called “The North Star” when Garrison opposed such an act. Frederick Douglas rejected the notion that nonviolent resistance could totally end slavery. Garrison rejected massive political action while Douglas wanted more political action as a means to end slavery. He is very famous for his speech about the Fourth of July and how it is hypocritical for asking a salve to celebrate the Fourth of July when black people are being oppressed in America. This speech is relevant in our times as well. He gave it to the Rochester Ladies’ Anti-Slavery Society on July 5, 1852. He later supported the actions of John Brown and others in their Harpers Ferry rebellion in Virginia (which he disapproved of at first). John Brown and others died for the cause of freedom.
Frederick Douglas put pressure on Abraham Lincoln to act more courageous in dealing with slavery. Douglas supported black Union soldiers too. After the civil war, Frederick Douglas supported the suffrage movement. He was a great orator and scholar. He worked with the strong Ida B. Wells as well. Ida B. Wells and Frederick Douglas worked together on boycotting the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago, for its failure to collaborate with the black community on exhibits representing African-American life. Frederick scarified a lot. His house was burnt down in New York and he has to move to D.C. In 1892, Douglass constructed rental housing for blacks, now known as Douglass Place, in the Fells Point area of Baltimore. The complex still exists, and in 2003 was listed on the National REGISTER of Historic Places. Frederick Douglas and Ida B. Wells also worked in anti-lynching efforts and desired freedom and justice for black people. He passed away in 1895 at 77. He suffered a heart attack after giving a speech (in a meeting of the National Council of Women in Washington, D.C.) which received a standing ovation. RIP Brother Frederick Douglas.
I have looked at his entire speech. Essentially, his executive order is exactly similar to George W. Bush’s views on immigration. It is a centrist order and other Presidents have issued executive orders before. Fines, deportation, placing more resources toward border security, and BACKGROUND CHECKS are not equated into amnesty. The President has deported more undocumented immigrant human beings than any other President in American history, so his views are more aligned with Republicans than some think. His speech is blatantly center-right. Many Tea Party Republicans don’t know what amnesty is. The big picture is how multinational corporations, bad trade deals, and massive economic problems in the global South (which has been facilitated by Western imperialism since America has funded many Latin American dictatorships for decades in stark contrast to the interests of the peoples of Latin America) has greatly contributed to the broken immigration system that we see now. That is why I can never agree with white racists who want to call immigrants racial slurs (when immigrants are among many colors. Many Haitian Immigrants were treated badly by some). I can never agree with white racists when historically the anti-immigration movement has ties to the eugenics movement decades ago (you can look this up by the way. The eugenics movement is antithetical to the interests of black people). I can never agree with white racists who refuse to see the complexities of the issue of immigration. It is hypocritical for reactionaries to lecture anyone on breaking the law when they ignore how many bankers, many CIA agents, and others have broken the law. Many of their ancestors stole land, created borders via authoritarian conquest, exploited religion as a means to promote bigotry & hatred towards people, and broke the treaties with the Native Americans in causing death including genocide. Any immigration policy should be just and fair to African Americans. Being politically independent means that we are to be compassionate, strong, and fair not xenophobic. Neoliberalism is not perfect as it has been exposed by economic scholars from across the political spectrum. Neoliberalism has harmed Chile too. Manuel Larrabure and Carlos Torchia including others have shown the truth on this issue. Books have been written about this issue. Economic indicators are diverse. Some nations have better economic indicators than other nations. You omit that Costa Rica has a strong environment, progressive policy. It bans RECREATIONAL hunting. Costa Rica has a tax on water pollution to penalize businesses and homeowners that dump sewage, agricultural chemicals, and other pollutants into waterways. So, it is heavily a green nation. So, it is not totally neoliberal in its composition. NAFTA did harm Mexico, because it caused millions of JOBS from the Americas to go overseas. Even conservatives now admit to the imperfections of NAFTA. A decade post-NAFTA, about a million US JOBS were lost. America’s Mexican trade deficit alone cost around 700,000 JOBS by 2010. Government data show nearly five million US manufacturing disappeared since 1994. NAFTA has a deplorable legacy. That is not even a debate anymore. Cuba has no trade with America, but its health services are very strong. Cuba has been harmed by huge embargoes too. It is a historical fact that Western imperialism is immoral.
We know how unjust the American injustice system is. Darren Wilson (as shown by his own TESTIMONY) disrespected the humanity of Michael Brown by calling him a “demon.” I will never say that people have no right to express indignant anger at oppression. People have the right to be angry when our Brothers and our Sisters have been mistreated by evil people. We have the right to be angry at how our communities have been occupied by police forces and how unjust laws are still in existence. We should use our anger as motivation to express self-determination, to treat each other right, and to stand up for justice. Some ignore how the police still use tear gas on innocent protesters. The vast majority of the protesters were peaceful. Developing our own infrastructure, forming boycotts, demanding unjust laws to end, and building more in our communities are great things to do. We have to BUILD. No one should be naïve. We know how the authorities have treated black people for centuries in the West. The rebellion in Ferguson was not about everyone promoting nihilism. It was about hurt people expressing outrage at white supremacy and outright at racial including economic injustices. We should use proactive, positive, and revolutionary actions to not only help the workers, but the rest of the poor as well. Black lives do matter. Passivity towards injustice is a problem. Apathy is a problem. Acceptance of the status quo is a problem. These problems combined represent the need for us to CONTINUE onward in this fight. Numerous cops have killed Brothers and Sisters for decades without being prosecuted. Eric Garner's murderers haven't even been prosecuted fully yet and those murderers violated their own police procedures. So, we know what time it is. If a cop wants to kill someone, they will try to do it regardless of how we act, what clothes we wear, or our social demeanor. That is why we have every right to reflect, to analyze problems, and to stand up for justice (which is our birthright as black people). The citizens of Ferguson have shown freedom loving people globally that it is just to stand up as human beings. We will keep on standing up. It a'int going to be easy, but we will WIN in the end.
*I believe in altruism. That means liberty is meant for all, not just for the individual millionaires, billionaires, and the wealthiest top 10 percent. That means that the economic rights of the middle class and the poor ought to be protected. Workers’ rights should never be suppressed. We should be protected of our civil liberties and health care protections are fine with me. Health care is a human right. Any human being has the right to receive health care in handling their needs. I reject the views of fascists. Fascists believe in bigotry and other prejudices. They readily demonize immigrants, people of color, and those who are in other different backgrounds. Back in the 1930's, these fascists were defeated. They should be defeated today near 2015. Human need is always better than greed. Greed is not good. Love is good. Altruism is good and justice is good. The workers have the right to be paid a living wage. Humanity is not perfect and that is why regulations exist in society. This is why we have governments, legislatures, laws, and courts. These items are part of a real civilization. We will continue to fight for economic justice as well. Corporations should not do what they want whenever they want too.
I believe in net neutrality completely. Some reactionary Tea Party members don’t know what net neutrality is. The Internet is a very important tool in the world. We see that corporate companies like Comcast refuse to treat all web traffic equally. Some Tea Partiers are defending Comcast and AT&T. Net Neutrality is about promoting a free and open Internet. Not just some corporations want to end net neutrality, but some in the FCC too. PROTECTING NET neutrality is about protecting human rights, protecting free speech, and allowing people to be heard on their own terms. So, people should have a free and unfettered access to the Internet. The telecom companies should not be allowed to monopolize the Internet for their own profit. All ideas and all enterprises ought to have equal rights to travel on the Internet.