The New Movement (From Ferguson to Beyond)
This new movement was birthed after the deaths of Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. It has been heavily birthed and led by young black people including the working class. This new movement has similarities and differences from the civil rights movement of the 1950’s and the 1960’s. They are similar in using civil disobedience, protests, expressing opposition to police brutality, expressing opposition to racism, and wanting justice. This new movement uses more social media from the Internet, etc. than the older movement. This new movement believe that the youth is an asset for social change not as a liability. Black people from across generations should unite, work together, fight together, and advance real social change. This problem is rooted in the SYSTEM. This new social movement wants to end police terrorism and judicial injustice as well. This movement should also desire to combat the entire system of class and racial injustice, because we have record income inequality in America now in 2015. We have an evil, predatory capitalist system which has promoted materialism and consumerism. We see families starving and children suffering in America. We see the bad criminal justice system as documented by George Jackson’s research, Michelle Alexander’s “The New Jim Crow” and Lisa Bloom’s article, “White People Commit the Most Heinous Crime, So why is America Terrified of Black Men,” and other research. These forms of information document the nefarious criminal justice system. Things must change. The struggle against racism and imperialism is international. There are Black people in the Americas, in Africa, etc. who are fighting against both evils of racism and imperialism. We are in solidarity with Brothers and Sisters living in the Americas, Ghana, Brazil, the Congo, France, the UK, Germany, etc. Imperialism is very diverse. Imperialistic exploitation by the West (which allowed Europeans to steal the wealth of Africa, Asia, etc. as a means to grow European wealth. It was the on the backs of African slaves that build up Western nations heavily) have been going on worldwide. Now, we see neocolonialism instead of classical colonialism. That is why the 1% are the international thugs promoting racial and economic oppression. We have to grow our social consciousness.
The courage of past civil rights heroes is admirable. They risked their own lives, their resources, etc. as a means for them to fight for human rights. Today, we live in the midst of a new movement, which is part of the same black liberation struggle. The youth, the poor and the working class are greatly part of this young movement. Nonviolent action has worked to cause social change. The nonviolent Birmingham Bus Boycott worked and other nonviolent actions have worked in history. Also, there is nothing wrong with self-defense either. I believe in self-defense. I do respect any conscious person who is nonviolent for sincere reasons and walk their talk though. Today, many people are protesting nonviolently. Also, people are educating people on laws, so unjust laws can end. Many activists are working in their own communities to combat poverty, racism, discrimination, and economic exploitation. We certainly need a revolution of values and revolutionary change where the social order is changed for the better. Reform is not enough. We need a true, concrete revolution. A society must be people-oriented and not thing oriented. We should use the movements of Selma and Ferguson as a way for us to keep on going. A cooperative society is possible, but we have to fight for it. We have to fight against record economic inequality and build in our communities. We have to be politically empowered in an independent fashion if we want to be truly free. The truth about Assata Shakur is that there has been no gun fingerprints on Assata Shakur's hands or on her body. She had no gun residue on her hands. She was a victim of being shot by the police. One officer recanted his story and said that he did not see Assata Shakur shoot him. Therefore, the slander against this brave Sister falls apart. Obviously, she should be pardoned. Her wisdom is amazing and the FBI, the CIA (whose asset Luis Posada Carriles killed over 70 people, yet he is not in prison), etc. committed murder, civil liberty violations, torture, illegal spying, and other crimes for decades.
In any revolutionary struggle, there should be an understanding of concepts and what we are up against as human beings. The capitalist ruling class has oppressed black people and other people globally. The evil of imperialism (which is a system where a few people get wealth, exploit people, and deprive human beings of their inherit human rights) must be opposed. Imperialism is readily linked to capitalism (which an economic system that is dominated by corporations and banks). Imperialism like capitalism relies heavily on the exploitation of labor and resources. That is why the two interimperialist wars of the 20th century dealt with the fight for markets and resources. After WWII, America became the top imperial power in the world. Imperialism exists today in the Middle East and in Africa (via AFRICOM). We see the growth of the prison industrial complex, alliances like NATO, multinational corporations (who love monopoly capitalism), Wall Street, etc. working together as a means to grow profits at the expense of human dignity. The Western imperialist system has been complicit in the police murder of Black people, the murder of Iraqis and Ukrainians too. Many economic alternative systems like cooperatives, socialism, etc. are better than monopoly capitalism. Revolutionary change is needed in the world. Throughout history, people stood up against monarchy, colonialism, fascism, and other tyrannies. White supremacy/racism is the system which is the foundation of Western imperialism and the worldwide capitalist system. White supremacy is based on the lie that whiteness is superior. The same system of white supremacy founded modern America as a nation and used the suffering of black Africans as a means to economic exploit black people and other human beings. International solidarity is necessary. The poor and the workers are oppressed globally. Cuba supported African liberation movements. That was great. Black Americans historically have always believed in self-determination and allied with fighters against imperialism worldwide. That is why heroic Black Women like Claudia Jones and Assata Shakur connected the struggle against racism in America to the plight of colonized people everywhere. The Black Panther Party opposed the Vietnam War since the war was not only morally wrong, but the ruling class exploited the Vietnamese people in the most brutal fashion possible. Operation Phoenix, the My Lai Massacre and atrocities killed Vietnamese men, women, and even children. Vietnam experienced ecological poisoning via herbicides and Agent Orange. Being anti-imperialist is a necessity of being a revolutionary. The mass incarceration state is evil and unjust. It has been related to the War on Drugs too, which has harmed communities. The deindustrialization and the bad legal policies have grown the prison population. So, grassroots organizing is necessary. Also, we have to learn and understand the truth in a comprehensive fashion.We have to grow a sense of community and treat each other as full human beings.
First, we feel their frustration (from the Millennial Activists United Co-creator Ashley Yates, local hip-hop artists T-Dubb-O and Tef Poe including Tory Russell). They have every right to express anger and disgust at how many celebrities are silent on important issues at what is going on in Ferguson, NYC, etc. So, these young people should voice their grievances and fight back against oppression. They are right that 1 percent corporate executives (who could care less about the interests of the masses of the people, because they promote music, movies, TV shows, etc. filled with misogyny, nihilistic violence, materialism, false racial stereotypes, and capitalist excess all of the time) won't stand up in defense of the truth. Too many celebrities refuse to speak out at least against racism and police brutality. Some celebrities have spoken out on this issue publicly, but it is a small number. We shouldn't worship celebrities anyway. Our relatives, our friends, and our neighbors are some of our authentic role models. We are all oppressed by a materialistic, evil, and racist system. Many of the police have used rubber bullets, tear gas, and even LRAD sound weapons on men, women, and even children. These actions and more outline police terrorism. There is no freedom without struggle. There is no freedom without economic and political power. There is no freedom without the liberation of men and women. There is no freedom without the knowledge of self (as proclaimed by our elders for decades). In other words, freedom is also about the elimination of the chains of psychological or mental slavery. We have to know who we really are and respect who we are as black human beings. We have to think in a revolutionary fashion, love our blackness, and reject propaganda from the corporate media in order for us to be truly free. One of the great things that people can do is to withdrawal economic support from any business or anyone who refuses to take the right stand (or is oppressing black people). There is nothing wrong with boycotts either. Therefore, these young Brothers and young Sisters should organize and grow their own independent political and economic power. They should continue to oppose police brutality and create more grassroots, community-based programs that will combat poverty, social injustices, etc. We have to build. Having alliances with all people of black African descent internationally (as advocated by Malcolm X, etc.) is fine with me too. The corrupt system (which is controlled by the 1%) also uses class oppression. The oppressive structures of society ought to be gone. We have to keep on advancing the real principles of humanity and justice.
Reactionaries lie on the poor, people of color, and on women. They want to promote a society where women’s rights, the rights of people of color, and the rights of immigrants are suppressed. Today, we know the truth and the following will refute the reactionaries’ lies on many issues. Rupert Murdoch’s propaganda mill of Fox News talks about a report saying that about 65 percent of American children live in a household that receives some form of public assistance during the course of a year (that includes SNAP, TANF, Medicaid, WIC, and the school lunch program). That is true, but the reactionaries claim that this proves that there is some “culture of poverty” where poor people are lazy, dependent on the government in a slothful fashion, and austerity is the answer. That is the reactionary lie. Now, here is the truth. In 2011, about 48 million people have received benefits from public programs. Yet, these numbers have gone down a bit since 2011. Also, the report comes from 2008 to 2011. The report examined children’s family condition in the time of the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression. The 2011 numbers show conditions at the end of the worst part of the recession. The report’s author makes very clear, among the primary challenges facing children — and particularly those in low- and moderate-income families — are disruptive life transitions like parental unemployment or having to move to a new place often. These kinds of transitions, as the report indicates, are highly correlated with having to rely on one or another government program. As it turns out, forty-two percent of children in poor families (and about a third of all kids in the nation) moved at least once during the period under review; and forty-four percent of poor kids (and about a third of all children) had at least one parent who experienced a change in their job situation during the period under review. That is why the author of the report mentioned that: “…Parents who have steady employment may be better able to provide consistent economic support, while parents who go through many job changes may have unpredictable work schedules and irregular income….” So, people need economic justice. Most people on these programs work. For most of the programs, most people use them for a temporary period of time. For cash assistance, for example, half of all recipients who come onto the TANF rolls will exit the program within four months, while nearly eighty percent will be off the program within a year. For SNAP, most who come onto the program will be off the rolls within a year, and two-thirds will exit within twenty months. So, most people will not be permanently dependent on these programs at all.
The other reactionary lies deal with the demonizing of black women. One sign of a counterrevolutionary is a person who degrades, stereotypes, and disrespects black women. The sexist notion of black women has existed for centuries. During slavery, white racists degraded black women. The sexist, racist Moynihan Report of 1965 promotes the lie that so-called matriarchal “ghetto culture” is harming the black community. The truth is that capitalist oppression (not black women) are responsible for poverty and other injustices in many black communities. That report has been used by racists and reactionary extremists in demonizing black women (especially black women who have single families). That report advances the lie that black women in single families are incubators of social decay. The truth is that black single families, black nuclear families, black blended families, etc. historically have produced strong, intelligent, and courageous black children. It is the structural racism and the socioeconomic injustices that have harmed much of the black communities not black single mothers collectively. The liars say that so-called “out of wedlock birth rates” for black females have skyrocketed, but that is not true. Actual birth rates for unmarried black women (which means the number of live births per 1000 such women) has dropped dramatically. From 1970-2010, the birth rate for unmarried black women fell by nearly a third, from 95.5 births per 1000 unmarried black women to only 65.3 births per 1000 such women. Teenage birthrates in the black community have decline massively. From 1991 to 2013, the black teen birth rate dropped by sixty-three percent. As for having babies at age fourteen — something O’Reilly apparently believes is a common occurrence in the black community — in 2012 there were only about 1,200 black girls in the entire United States who gave birth at the ages of thirteen or fourteen. This, out of more than 575,000 thirteen and fourteen year old black girls in all. In fact, a look at the data makes clear that high teen birth rates are due more to socioeconomic status and perhaps geographic differences in culture rather than racial identity. So, unmarried black women are having fewer children. This refutes Bill O’Reilly racist suggestion that black people should be wearing shirts that say “Don’t Get Pregnant at 14” (in response to the Garner and Brown killings).
Therefore, giving girls and women better funding for education, more jobs, more opportunities, and eliminating gender inequality will cause them to live more enriching lives. Many conservatives ignore the real issues of structural racism, police violence in black communities, unequal job opportunities, unequal school resources, etc. People want the truth not distractions. Black is beautiful. Black culture is beautiful. We will continue to struggle where justice will exist. There must be racial and gender equal, so a real society can flourish in the world. The following organizations involved in this new movement are the following:
-Millenials Activists United
-Hands Up United
-Black Lives Matter
-Ohio Student Association
-Black Youth Project
The fight for the liberation of black human lives exists from Marikana to Ferguson. The protest movement of Ferguson has captured the world’s attention. There is a new generation of radical, black organizers. There are black Americans and black South African people who want to have freedom. They need our support. We see that America, South America, and other nations are in the early stages of a new, militant mass Black Movement. In South Africa, there is the Economic Freedom Fighter or the EFF who want revolutionary change. They want the senior officials in the ruling ANC government to pay back the money. Many activists have commandeered the microphone at a march in Washington, D.C. as a means for them to protest their demands. We should respect our elders, but we should realize that we have to discuss class issues and develop our consciousness if we want to be free. Both South Africa and America developed in the midst of white settler imperialism. Each nation has had mass movements to eliminate evil racial apartheid. Yet, we still see the problem of global capitalism in existence. Global capitalism manifests itself in the world via neocolonialism, neoliberalism, and militarism. Last year, Ronnie Kasrils, a national leader of the ANC and SACP, acknowledged that in the 1980s and 1990s ANC ‘gave too much away’ during its negotiated settlement with the apartheid government. The negotiated settlement by the ANC left the land, mines, banks etc. in the hands of white monopoly capital. After 1994, the ANC promoted Black Economic Empowerment (BEE). BEE was a program that consolidated a Black capitalist class by establishing quotas in the economic sector. In essence, the ANC transitioned from a liberation movement to a neocolonial government. In America, many organizations stood silent or assisted the silence of true Black radicals like Paul Robeson, Marcus Garvey, and WEB DuBois (who was greatly radicalized during the end of his life). All of these people suffered political repression. Concessions existed in America during the 1960’s and then Nixon advanced token “black capitalism” by the late 1960’s. The neoliberal counterrevolution of the 1970’s to the present undermined progressive and radical social movements (this counterrevolutions advanced trade liberalization, privatization, deregulation, and the massive cutting of social services). That is why the EFF disagreed with the neoliberalism (via the policies of GEAR and the NDP) among some in the ANC. In America, the black neoliberals (or the black misleadership class) are not only loyal to the two party capitalist establishment. Both of the major parties have supported welfare reform, the deregulation of the radio airwaves in 1996, the repeal of Glass Steagall Act, etc. (these initiatives were agreed to by the Democratic President Bill Clinton including other Democrats. Even some of the CBC supported the funds to militarize local police). In South Africa, there was the massacre of black miners in Markiana. There must be collaborations of social movements in America, South Africa, and throughout the Earth. We need to develop more independent organizations.
"It is our duty to fight for our freedom. It is our duty to win. We must love each other and support each other. We have nothing to lose but our chains."