Pt. II: Africa, Obama and AFRICOM

US President Barack Obama recently made a visit to Ghana. In his first official trip to Africa, he left a strong impression on the world. An analysis of his remarks and policies regarding Africa itself is in order.

We have Obama’s most hard hitting remarks: Africa should stop blaming colonialism for its problems; Africa should stop relying on foreign aid and do for self. We also have Obama’s policy, a continuation of Bush era militarism in the form of AFRICOM, the US Africa Military Command. This policy presents the most severe plan related to structural readjustment.

Of course a direct link to structural readjustment and AFRICOM cannot be suggested without understanding the economic challenges faced by African states. The relationship of these states to capital has alienated them from the masses. Nigeria and Kenya, for instance, have felt snubbed because Obama by-passed them. At the same time, these countries have governments whih have failed to move their societies forward in a way that reflects the best use of their own natural and social resources.

This is not to say that Africa has to develop along Western industrial methods. However, it does mean that certain infrastructure deficiencies from health care to water purification and agriculture have gone neglected. This contradiction prevails in nearly all African states.

Nkrumah is very instructive on this period. When he described neo-colonialism as the last stage of Imperialism, his critique was mainly confined to conditions in our Motherland. Yet we now have to apply that analysis to the United States and its relationship to the world. The current president was elected because of his mantra of “change”. Increasingly, we see Obama as rescuing all the most odious forms of US political culture: militarism, international finance, and expansionism. Which means he represents just a mere changing of the guard.

AFRICOM is a plan to place military bases in Africa. Now Obama has already made comments about US policy, in comparison to Cuba. In those comments he compared Cuba favorably, noting that Latin American leaders have stated that while the primary form of aid they receive from the United States is weapons shipments, they really could not survive without the medical aid and physicians that Cuba has sent them over the years. Obama expressed his intention on changing that imbalance.

Africa, being a destitute region, has its share of problems. Parasitic worms plague people; women daily walk miles to carry drinking and cooking water home to their families; war, rape and AIDS have intensified during the post-colonial era. It does not seem as tho AFRICOM can provide any answers for African people.

Some folks might point this out as a form of selective memory but, clearly, the black prez suffers from Politically Acquired Ideological Deficiency Syndrome (PAIDS) as do many of his African counterparts.

The strategic importance of AFRICOM to the US does not concern the people of Africa, except to the extent that it will be imposed upon them. As an African born in America, my black consciousness is primary. It means more to me to see the rise of our people at home than the continuation of a durable Imperialism. The US continues to produce strong expressions of racism in media, in culture, economics and in politics. Police murders of blacks have become outrageous since the Obama election. Obama was elected because people, white and Latino and black, have become disgusted with the policies in American political life. Yet he has miserably failed to take any strident steps and turns away from this. His rhetoric often says one thing, as in the words he spoke to the Organization of American States, tho the policy continues to maintain the historical status quo.

Indeed, even his rhetoric often belies his genuine stance. Following his Ghana visit, Obama met with AIPAC (American-Israel Political Action Committee). Brother president did not tell them to stop blaming the Holocaust for their problems (?) nor did he suggest that Israel cease relying upon US foreign aid — which amounts to over half the US foreign aid budget — and do for itself. Still, that is what he said while in Ghana. Obama said Africans must stop blaming colonialism and begin to depend upon their own devices, even while pushing AFRICOM. His statements in Ghana are reminiscent of last year’s Fathers Day speech, wherein he castigated absentee fathers in the black community, while ignoring conditions like unemployment which cause social disintegration and black family instability.

While the US GDP is about $13 trillion, the current military budget is $969 billion. The US maintains 737 bases around the world. It seeks to ring bases around Africa (AFRICOM) to guarantee access to oil. By 2015, it is estimated the US will receive 25% of its oil imports from Africa, which has already become the main supplier to the United States. Other strategic resources that AFRICOM will defend include coltan, gold, platinum, diamonds, timber, agriculture, political allies and labor.
African does not need foreign troops on its soil. While Obama says stop blaming colonialism, he forgets how the former colonial powers have behaved in the post-colonial period. This involves the overthrow of Nkrumah, Azikwe, Tolbert and others. During this period, history records the overthrow and physical liquidation of Patrice Lumumba for the long-term destabilization of Congo for Imperialist interests. Agents killed Cabral, Neto and Mondlane in newly independent Portuguese colonies, severely the path of development for Guinea-Bissau, Angola and Mozambique, respectively. Apartheid South Africa waged war against neighboring countries and its black population right up thru the Nineties, routinely invading Mozambique, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Angola.

The US has had its own sordid background in Africa, hunting down Somali President Mohammed El Aidid and flying vicious sorties over Mogadishu neighborhoods. The US has sent gunships to Liberia and Sierra Leone. CIA agents have played a role in many coups in Africa. The US benefits from the destabilization of DRC, backing the occupiers of Eastern DRC, Uganda’s Yoweri Musaveni and Rwanda’s Paul Kagame. The effects of a US military presence are already obvious to anyone with a critical eye.

The solution for Africa’s problems is not AFRICOM. It is not foreign aid. It is in what Kwame Nkrumah stated and so tirelessly worked towards, the unification of Africa under a singular socialist state. That is not on the agenda for the majority of African leaders, who seek to maintain their despotic grips on power to control fiefdoms for Imperialism. Such leaders maintain the status quo, with Africa remaining a begging bowl ravaged by guinea worm, schistosomiasis, AIDS, war, malnutrition, rape, and ignorance. Cheik Anta Diop, John Henrik Clarke and other great historians had great suggestions for redeeming our Motherland from the chokehold of capitalism. We have to accept their advice to free our people.

When Obama attended the OAS conference a few months ago, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez gave him a book, Eduardo Galeano’s prosaic, polemic tour de force, The Open Veins of Latin America. Had Obama read it, that would signify the beginning of real change in the United States White House.

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Flogging the Willie Lynches

Defeat Neo-Colonial Ideology!

An African patriot, a brother from the DR Congo, recently stated on his Facebook page that he had just crossed the James River (Virginia), where Willie Lynch supposedly delivered his infamous speech. This young brother, a steeled freedom fighter for the Congolese African people, has obviously been exposed to the mythology of the black middle class. Willie Lynch never delivered any speeches in Virginia on how whip crackers need to manage their slaves. Yet he did not kno this, and mistook the urban legend as fact.

Needless to say, this myth has been made famous by people like Louis Farrakhan, Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton, to name a few. Today, it is often used to explain the “self-inflicted” disasters within the ghetto, the African colony inside the United States.

The ghetto, as a colony or neo-colony, whichever you prefer, is a destabilized zone. Capitalism destabilizes class forces across the social spectrum.

This is the character of Capitalism. It destablizes the producing classes as a matter of policy, by creating dependency. At the same time, Capitalism destabilizes the middle class (petty bourgeoisie) because that class resides between the ruling class (capitalist class, or bourgeoisie) and the producing classes. African people produce everything society needs for its existence. We do not need the bourgeoisie or its managerial base, the middle class, but currently we maintain this relationship.

The Capitalist class is also currently experiencing widespread destabilization because of the currency manipulation by the international finance sector, the ones who have come out on top economically and politically. Before we panic at what has happened to the Big Three, the banks, and other business entities, we must see corporations as mere tools for concentrating capital (money) in the hands of as few as possible.

Of course, this accumulation of capital assets (land, mines, slaves, machinery, factories and money) began with two horrific, genocidal crimes, the Transatlantic African Captivity (the Maafa) and European settlements in North America (Turtle Island) and elsewhere. This became the origin of capitalist wealth as well as that of destabilization.

The Willie Lynch Speech reflects back to this period (1712, allegedly). Prof Manu Ampim has thoroly debunked Willie Lynch. He has showed how it is out of context with history, as well as submitting sources which lead Africans out of the self-absorbed fascination with their colonial identity and towards a genuine history of struggle.

Jelani Cobb and others have also debunked the Willie Lynch Speech as well. Willie Lynch is an urban myth. It came out of prolly the Seventies and was a middle class reaction to the Black Liberation Movement of the Sixties. Willie Lynch is just an excuse for people to hold onto the old ways Malcolm X, the Panthers and others have worked so tirelessly to vanquish.

There is no better antidote to the colonial mentality, if we may buy into Frantz Fanon, than a firm grasp of history, your accomplishments, the battles we have fought and the causes we have raised.

So the black middle class has no analysis of the financial meltdown and no scientific analysis of class relationships. Without an analysis of economics, how can Farrakhan or Jesse or Sharpton provide leadership? Farrakhan, for one, totally ignores the economic conditions inside our community, except for citing the mantra, “do for self”. Jesse and Sharpton cannot use Willie Lynch to define capitalism, unemployment, regentrification nor any other ill afflicting African people.

The black petty bourgeoisie as a whole cannot solve its own problems. Despite all their education, statistically, they trail white workers in stacking long-term assets such as real estate and retirement funds. Petty bourgeois ideas are inadequate for the purposes of an oppressed nationality. Neo-colonialism is an inadequate exchange for the liberation and unity of African people. Inadequate! The ideology of neo-colonialism keeps us locked in an unprincipled relationship to Capitalism, a relationship which needs to be broken.

Politically Acquired Ideological Deficiency Syndrome (PAIDS) is the way AZAPO Cde Mongezi Sifika Nkomo has described the black middle class. That is a more accurate description and definition than Willie Lynch Syndrome. Here is how PAIDS is described:

…Politically Acquired Ideological Deficiency Syndrome (PAIDS) …
A negro does not believe any other system will ever exist in our lifetimes.
A negro will never work for the Revolution.
A negro may try to convince you that capitalism is forever, that it cannot be destroyed, and that nothing better can possibly exist+
Negroes will work for Imperialism under any circumstances, and will work against the liberation movement in one way or another.

….PAIDS is the trouble with negroes.

Once people understand how alien is the profit-motive for African people, nay, all people, they will aim to break with Capitalism. The working class does not make any profit on its labor; that is impossible. Otherwise, there cannot be profits for the capitalist classes to distribute amongst themselves.

Thus, the question for African people is who shall we follow, our ne(gr)o-colonial leadership, or the revolutionaries who have striven against the Capitalist system? Those of us in the belly of the Beast must make a decision, whether to remain within the System and be digested and excreted thru its bowels or to forge resolute unity and come out thru its heart!

The Bottom Line About the Economy

Now the latest hype about the global economic situation involves the debate about what has caused it rather than what is actually taking place. Working class people must exercise some critical thinking, because this ruse intends to keep them in the dark. Since black folks are linked into the global economy just like anybody else, we need to get our heads out of the soaps and churches and anywhere else that does not help us gain clarity and substance on this issue.

The economists are inventing red herrings like the “global savings glut”. This is nonsense. Who believes that money can be earned thru saving? In terms of working class folks, it makes little sense to save, since inflation eats up savings. The annual 3% inflation rate results in only a 1% yearly savings on your money, if banked. Outside of the industrialized countries, there is no return because inflation is much steeper. If you are a middle class person trying to save, your higher education is not paying off.

Not only that, but the Savings & Loans crisis of the Eighties and Nineties definitely scared the US public away from savings and stampeded them towards more sophisticated types of swindles, such as retirement plans based upon 401k and KEOGHs. Just because an activity is approved by Congress, and filled with volumes of small type that only a lawyer can understand, does not make it honest. No black worker has any business playing the stock market without knowing the dollar value of one point on the DJIA or having $250k to throw away in a money-manager fund. ‘Investment’ means only fools leverage all their assets on a gamble.

So if the economists were discussing stock-based retirement funds as a form of savings, consider that misinformation. The New York Review of Books and PEN World Voices presented a symposium on the world economic crisis at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on April 30. At that time, the idea was proposed that savings had driven down interests rates when, in fact, the Fed and the European Common Bank (ECB) themselves dictate interest rates. Not only that, North America and Europe in no way represent the globe.

It is important to repudiate any notion which dismisses the theory that the ruling class manipulated the financial system for their own benefit. The theory proposed by the symposium flies in the face of every scandal from Enron to Bernie Madoff. It contradicts the events which demanded welfare (bail outs?) for the banks.

Folks must not be duped by the highly esteemed panelists at that event, former senator Bill Bradley, Niall Ferguson, Paul Krugman, Nouriel Roubini, George Soros, and Robin Wells, and Jeff Madrick as moderator. Not one of them has an analysis which serves the interests of the millions of people who form the basis of the US domestic economy; not one of them even speaks the language of every day people.

When the banks pressed the Fed to raise interest rates, this became the primary trigger for the financial meltdown. While most folks think of the banks as finance institutions, the bank is a tool for making money. It is an instrument for concentrating money. Concentrated money becomes capital. Working class people lack capital. They sell their labor for a wage. Capitalists do not earn wages. They make money not thru labor or savings but by skimming value from what labor produces.

If ten laborers in a gold mine work together to extract one ton of gold daily which has a value of $900 per ounce, not one of them makes $900 per day, or even half of that. Even if their combined labor only extracts ten pounds of gold a day, who gets the money? The workers do not earn enuf to save. The value of the gold gets concentrated at the top of the chain, by people who trade paper with a value printed upon it, in exchange for the real value that has been extracted from the mine. This practice prevails thru out the bloodsucking capitalist system, where a few people live exorbitantly upon the backs of five billion working people worldwide.

This paper money has a value assigned to it. This value can be manipulated easier than anything else. After all, the paper has no real value! Today, one dollar may be as strong as yesterday’s ten dollar bill; tomorrow, that same one dollar note may be devalued so that it is only worth five cents. Entire societies remain at risk as a worker in this type of system.

So the monies the panelists claimed were tied up in savings actually were being poured into a volatile market, the stock market, another place ruled by paper tigers. Over the last thirty years, real wages failed to keep pace with inflation and the cost of living. Working people lacked the ability to save. However, amid the fears that Social Security would dry up before they could retire, they put a few hard earned extra dollars into stock-based retirement funds. Human relations managers and other company officials pulled their workers off assembly lines to sell them pyramid and ponzi schemes called a KEOGH or IRA or 401k Plan. These talks sounded something like the average MLM hustle, where the guy at the top of the chain makes all the money and the suckers who bought into it are left holding the bag. That is precisely what happened in instances such as MCI-Worldcom, Tyco, Enron, and others all the way thru the  Madoff scandal. These were all multi-billion dollar scams.

Now, this symposium happened in April. Do not forget, several weeks earlier, pretty much the same crew had called for the goverrnment to nationalize the banks. Their analysis continues shifting, while the causes for this period of voodoo economics involve financial manipulation, pure and simple. Prior to the curveball idea about interest rates being dictated by savings, the pundits said that the financial crunch happened because people were living on debt, another shattered theory.

People were indeed living on debt, yet that is not the reason for the crisis. People were forced to live on debt because wages did not keep pace with rising costs. Remember the old adage: “When creditors enforce collections, that results in market corrections.” So for folks living in debt, their very existence has become manipulated by those who control wages and prices. Stay tuned to the media, because within the next few weeks they will cook up a new rationale for the problems they continue heaping on the backs of poor and working people.

RIP: TAJUDEEN ABDUL RAHEEM

A GIANT IS LOST ON AFRICAN LIBERATION DAY

Firoze Manji

Pambazuka News
http://www.pambazuka.org/en/category/features/56535

25 May is Africa Liberation Day. What a day to learn the terrible news
that one of the leading proponents of Africa’s liberation – Tajudeen
Abdul Raheem – should be so tragically lost in a senseless car
accident in Nairobi. Messages have been pouring in from across the
world as we all fail to hold back our tears at this loss.

Tajudeen led Justice Africa’s work with the African Union since its
early days. He combined this with his role as General Secretary of the
Pan-African Movement, chairperson of the Centre for Democracy and
Development, the Pan-African Development Education and Advocacy
Programme, and was a fighter in the struggle to get the UN’s
Millennium Development Campaign to support meaningful programmes.
There was hardly a pan African initiative that took place without
Tajudeen’s inimitable presence, support, humour and perceptive
political perspectives. Quite how he managed to combine all of this
with writing his weekly ‘Pan African Postcard’ that were published
regularly in Pambazuka News and in several newspapers including The
Monitor (Uganda), Weekly Trust (Nigeria), The African (Tanzania),
Nairobi Star (Kenya) and the Weekly Herald (Zimbabwe), has always been
a mystery to us. You could always rely on Tajudeen to draw our
attention to the most significant aspects of the latest political
event in Africa – just as you could rely on him to provide guidance
and encouragement during hard times, restoring in us the courage for
the longer struggles ahead for emancipation of the continent.

Tajudeen’s departure leaves a massive hole in all our lives. We all
need to grieve the loss of this giant of a man. But if his life is to
mean anything, we must follow his call in the signature line of his
every email – ‘Don’t agonise, Organise!’

As part of our tribute to Tajudeen, comrade, brother and fighter of
Pan-Africanism, Pambazuka News invites you to send messages of
condolence and tributes, please send these to edi@pambazuka.org or
comment online at http://www.pambazuka.org/en/category/features/56535

******
Also see: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/8067260.stm

Happy Birthday Greetings to MAJ from Subcommandante Marcos

via:  Greg Ruggiero

==============

Hi All–

I thought you would like this birthday letter written to Mumia ten years ago by Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos spokesperson for the clandestine Mexican insurgent group, the Zapatistas. The original letter was written in Spanish. Both the English and Spanish versions were first published here in the books “Our Word is Our Weapon, Selected Writings of Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos” and “Nuestra Arma es Nuestra Palabra.”

La lucha sigue!

va un abrazo desde Brooklyn,

Greg


Greg Ruggiero | Editor | City Lights Books | www.citylights.com

===========

Letter To Mumia Abu-Jamal

April 24, 1999

For: Mumia Abu-Jamal, American Union

From: Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos, Mexico


Mr. Mumia:

I am writing to you in the name of the men, women, children and elderly of the Zapatista National Liberation Army in order to congratulate you on April 24, your birthday.

Perhaps you have heard of us. We are Mexican, mostly indigenous, and we took up arms on January 1, 1994 demanding a voice, a face and a name for the forgotten of the earth.

Since then, the Mexican government has made war on us, pursues and harasses us seeking our death, our disappearance and our absolute silence. The reason? These lands are rich with oil, uranium and precious lumber. The government wants them for the great transnational companies. We want them for all Mexicans. The government sees our lands as a business. We see our history written in these lands. In order to defend our right (and that of all Mexicans) to live with liberty, democracy, justice and dignity we became an army and took on a name, a voice and face.

Perhaps you wonder how we know of you, about your birthday, and why it is that we extend this long bridge which goes from the mountains of the Mexican Southeast to the prison of Pennsylvania where you are incarcerated unjustly. Many good people from many parts of the world have spoken of you, through them we have learned how you were ambushed by the North American police in December of 1981, of the lies which they constructed in the procedures against you, and of your death sentence in 1982. We learned about your birthday through the international mobilizations which, under the name of “Millions for Mumia,” are being prepared this April 24.

It is harder to explain this bridge which this letter extends, it is more complicated. I could tell you that, for the powerful of Mexico and the government, to be indigenous, or to look indigenous, is reason for disdain, abhorrence, distrust and hatred. The racism which now floods the palaces of power in Mexico goes to the extreme of carrying out a war of extermination and genocide against millions of indigenous. I am sure that you will find similarities with what power in the United States does with the so-called “people of color” (African-American, Chicanos, Puerto Ricans, Asians, North American Indians and any other peoples who do not have the insipid color of money).

We are also “people of color” (the same color as our brothers who have Mexican blood and live and struggle in the American Union). Our color is “brown,” the color of the earth, the color from which we take our history, our strength, our wisdom and our hope. But in order to struggle we add the color black to our brown. We use black ski-masks to show our faces, only then can we be seen and heard. Following the advice of an indigenous Mayan elder, who explained to us the meaning of the color black, we chose this color.

Old Don Antonio, this wise elder, died in these rebel Zapatista lands in March of 1994, a victim of tuberculosis which gnawed away at his lungs and his breath. Old Don Antonio used to tell us that from black came light and from there came the stars which light up the sky around the world. He recounted a story of a long time ago (in the times when time was not measured), when the first gods were given the task of giving birth to the world. In one of their meetings they understood that the world needed to have life and movement, and to have life and movement, light was necessary. Then they thought of making the sun in order that the days move and so that there would be day and night and time for struggling and time for making love, and the world would go walking with the days and nights. The gods had their meeting and made this agreement in front of a large fire, and they knew it was necessary that one of them be sacrificed by throwing himself into the fire and himself become fire and fly into the sky. The gods thought that the sun’s work was the most important, so they chose the most beautiful god so that he would fly into the fire and become the sun. But he was afraid. Then the smallest god, the one who was black, said he was not afraid and he threw himself into the fire and became the sun. Then the world had light and movement, and there was time for struggle and time for love, and while it was day the bodies worked to make the world and while it was night the bodies made love and sparkles filled the darkness.

This is what Old Don Antonio told us and that is why we use black ski masks. So we are of the color brown and of the color black. But we are also the color yellow, because the first people who walked these lands were made of corn so they would be true. And we are also red because this is the call of blood which has dignity, and we are also blue because we are the sky in which we fly, and green for the mountain which is our house and our strength. And we are white because we are paper so that tomorrow can write its story.

So we are 7 colors because there were 7 first gods who birthed the world.

This is what Old Don Antonio said long ago and now I tell you this story so that you may understand the reason for this bridge of paper and ink which I send to you all the way from the mountains of the Mexican Southeast.

And also so that you may understand that with this bridge go greetings and embraces for Leonard Peltier (who is in the prison at Leavenworth, Kansas), and for the more than 100 political prisoners in the USA who are the victims of injustice, stupidity and authoritarianism.

And with this letter-bridge walks as well a greeting for the Dine (the Navajo), who fight in Big Mountain, Arizona against the violations of their traditional Dine religious practices.” They struggle against those who favor large businesses instead of respect for the religious freedom of Indian peoples, against those who want to destroy sacred grounds and ceremonial sites (as is the case of Peabody Western Coal Company which, without reason, wants to take the lands and the land rights, and the history which belong to the Dine and their future generations.)

But this letter-bridge has more than just stories of resistance against North American injustice. In the extreme south of our continent, in Chile, the indigenous Mapuche women in the Pewenche Center of Alto Bio-Bio confront stupidity. Bertha and Nicolasa Quintreman are accused of “mistreating” members of the armed forces of the Chilean government. There you have it.  An armed military unit with rifles, sticks, and tear-gas, protected by bulletproof vests, helmets and shields, accuse two indigenous women of “mistreatment.” But Bertha is 74 years old and Nicolasa is 60. How is it possible that two elderly people confronted a “heroic” group of heavily-armed military? Because they are Mapuche. The story is the same as that of the Dine brothers and sisters of Arizona—it repeats itself throughout the Americas. A company—ENDESA—wants the Mapuches’ land, and in spite of the law which protects the indigenous, the government is on the side of the companies. The Mapuche students have pointed out that the government and the company with the military intelligence made a “study” of the Mapuche communities and concluded that the Mapuche could not think, defend themselves, resist, or build a better future for themselves. Apparently, the study was wrong.

Now it occurs to me that, perhaps the powerful in North America carried out a similar “military intelligence” study (frankly, this is a contradiction, because those of us who are military are not intelligent, if we were we would not be military) about the case of the Dine in Arizona, about Leonard Peltier, about other political prisoners, about yourself, Mr. Mumia.

Perhaps they made this study and came to the conclusion that they might be able to violate justice and reason, to assault history and lose the truth, and that no one would say anything. The Dine Indians would stand by and watch the destruction of the most sacred of their history, Leonard Peltier would be alone, and you, Mister Mumia, would be silenced. ( I remember your own words: “They not only want my death, they want my silence.”)

But the studies were wrong. Happy mistake? The Dine resist against those who would kill their memory, Leonard Peltier is accompanied by all those who demand his liberty, and you sir, today you speak and shout with all the voices which celebrate your birthday as all birthdays should be celebrated, by struggling.

Mr. Mumia:

We have nothing big to give you as a gift for your birthday. It is poor and little, but all of us send you an abrazo—an embrace.

We hope that when you gain your freedom you will come to visit us. Then we will give you a birthday party, even if it isn’t April 24, it will be an unbirthday party. There will be music, dance and talk, which are the means by which men and women of all colors understand and know one another, and build bridges over which they walk together, towards history, towards tomorrow.

Happy Birthday!

Vale. We greet you and may justice and truth find their place.

From the mountains of the Mexican Southeast,

Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos

Mexico, April of 1999

P.S. I read somewhere that you are a father and a grandfather. So I am sending you a gift for your children and grandchildren. It is a little wooden car with Zapatistas dressed in black ski-masks.

Tell your children and grandchildren that it is a gift the Zapatistas have sent you. You can explain to them that there are people of all colors everywhere, just like you, who want justice, liberty and democracy for people of all colors.

Letter To the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, USA

April of 1999

For: Mr. Tom Ridge

Governor of Pennsylvania

United States, North America

From : Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos

Mexico


To the Magistrate and Governor

Dear sirs:

I write to you in the name of the men, women, children and elderly of the EZLN. Most of us are indigenous Mexicans and we struggle for liberty, democracy and justice.

The purpose of the following letter is to demand justice in the case of Mr. Mumia Abu-Jamal, condemned unjustly to the death penalty in 1982. As you know, the judicial process against Mister Mumia Abu-Jamal was plagued with lies and irregularities: the police who accuse him lied about a supposed confession of his, one of the witnesses has changed testimony and declared that he was forced to lie or face prison, the ballistic evidence has proved it was impossible that Mister Mumia Abu-Jamal fired the weapon which killed the policeman. This should be enough evidence for a new trial, but even this recourse has been denied to Mister Mumia Abu-Jamal. If the Judicial system of Pennsylvania and the governor are certain of the guilt of Mister Mumia Abu-Jamal, they should not fear a new trial which adheres to the truth.

I do not ask clemency, pardon, nor mercy from you for Mister Mumia Abu-Jamal. I demand justice, something which I believe is within your powers. No one within the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania or governor Tom Ridge has anything to lose. A new trial can bring the truth forward, and justice, supposedly, is all that should matter.

That is all. From the mountains of the Mexican Southeast,

Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos




Check Langalibalele’s Political Journals I & II:
Mbantunyankompong
Kilombo Republic

Kilombo Republic II

Find Langalibalele’s Work also at these Sites:
Whispering Art
Urbanite Dweller
Umshini Wam
Afro Spear
My Train of Thoughts
Assata Shakur Forums


======================================

WELL PAST TIME TO RAISE UP:
Stop the Police State Execution of
MUMIA ABU-JAMAL!!!

Healthcare in the Capitalist Arena

The Foul Legacy of Profit-Making


Healthcare is one of the most important issues in US political and social culture. Tho a catastrophic condition will not likely strike most individuals during their working lives, for those who themselves or family members have crucial health problems  the matter of healthcare poses a concern.

Hospitals and nursing homes practices often leave many in the lurch. Profit making for healthcare institutions means that the bottom line means more than the old adage, “The customer is always right.” In this industry, people’s bodies have become commodities, and even if the quality of service is high, that nearly always depends on level of insurance as well as the condition for which they receive treatment.

For the most part, hospital workers remain overworked and underpaid. Short-staffing means that the institutions have nurses and aids serving more beds than is optimal. In some cases, the hospitals and nursing homes may even take more drastic measures.

In Pittsburgh, workers at two different healthcare systems recently filed lawsuits with the Department of Labor because they did not get paid for hours they worked. University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) and West Penn Allegheny Health System (WPAHS) must appear in court as defendants of cases where they cheated workers out of pay:

“Court documents reveal employees of the hospitals deducted half-hour meal breaks out of their paychecks even if they worked through their meal times. The legal action filed also alleges employees were not paid for work performed before and after scheduled shifts and not paid for required training. Any employer who fails to pay employees for hours worked and does not allow for breaks as required by federal guidelines is in violation of U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) http://www.dol.gov wage laws. On Monday, a federal lawsuit for two former Pittsburgh Mercy Health System nurses was filed by their employment attorneys. The documents filed in court state the nurses were not paid for training and work they performed during meal breaks over a three-year period.” (Justice News Flash)

In a country where doctors typically graduate from medical $100,000 in debt, the finance world dominates even in education and medicine. Pressure to make high salaries and establish a practice ties them into a complex web filled with medical suppliers, pharmaceuticals, keeping apace with scientific advances, and their relationships with employers, patients and staff. Compare this with statistics that say doctors live an average of 55 years; profit making does not afford them time to care for their own health and fulfillment.

If one of the wealthiest segments of the population cannot find time to care for its own health, health professionals themselves, what does this say for the rest of us?

Even tho the average worker does not understand how the system of capitalism bases itself on their oppression and exploitation, nevertheless the level of dissatisfaction with the capitalist system continues to mount. With the present economic meltdown weighing heavily upon workers, the middle class and business, no workable alternatives for “weaning” people off of capitalism have become popular. People talk about weaning this country away from foreign oil, however the discussion about the evil of capitalism have yet to become serious.

For this discussion to become serious, the Left has to be courageous. Black Power advocates have to sharpen their line and push the Left. We must take on this role since the problems in our communities are sharper and deeper than in the white community. Imperialist exploitation and oppression concentrates on colonized peoples.

When the wealthiest sectors of the communities receive government giveaways, we have to push the Reparations question. When we see government merging with corporate finance institutions, we must form dual and competing political power. When the unemployment lines swell at the rate of 50,000 lost jobs per month, the time for shutting down capitalism thru strikes and plant takeovers is overdue.

What effective agitational components can we bring to unions and workers, to the churches and masjids, to community centers, small businesses and athletic associations? These are questions begging to be answered, if only the Left will first ask them. All power to the people, and Black Power to the Black Community!

Reparations in the Land of the Giants?

Obama Policy: Imperialism thru Democracy

Black workers, we who sell our labor to make a living, travail under special circumstances in capitalist America. We have the highest rates of unemployment, imprisonment, chronic health issues. On the other hand, we have the lowest rates for home ownership, capital formation, retirement security, and higher education.

The current economic crisis is marked by increasing unemployment, to the tune of 50,000 jobs lost per month. The government giveaway to the financial giants amounts to plus $1.5 trillion over the last three years. This includes “massive liquidity injections” to Wall Street bankers and the European Central Bank since 2006.

Now with all this money floating around, no mention of reparations can be made. No mention of helping the African community get back on its feet. The goliath of Imperialism has stomped the heart out of niggers thru out this country.

Just one point of clarity; before there were African slaves in the Americas, before colonialism and Imperialism, niggers never existed. A nigger is a slave who hopes for a peaceful coexistence within the Imperialist, racist system. If you go the extra mile to justify the racist cause like, maybe, Stanley Crouch or Tarik Nelson, then you’re a bootlicking nigger.

Niggers ought to kno, there is no peaceful coexistence with Imperialism. The Soviet Union was white, and thought Socialism could coexist peacefully in the world alongside Imperialism. That proved to be untrue. And Africans cannot buy into the myth that this racist country will allow them to prosper, to get a piece of the dream, and live in peace with racists next door, down the street, around the corner and on your job. Africans must begin to understand how the system of collaboration diverts our unity with the Caribbean and Africa for a myth no more real than Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny or a white deity which arose to remove your sins. Imperialism forced that nonsense upon black folks’ minds, and mentally weak niggers refuse to remove those mental chains.

So, the last few weeks have presented a somewhat quiescent period despite the growing economic crisis. People seem to yearn for that crummy stimulus check in the mail. It has literally caused most critics to shut their yapping traps. Makes one wonder what kind of check niggers would settle for if we can elevate the whole Reparations issue?

George W Bush gave out stimulus checks as well, in his first term, as a reason to celebrate his presidency. That is like King David giving every man in his kingdom a bottle of wine and a loaf of bread. Then again, David was a giant killer. While the jazz artists call Pittsburgh (my home town) “Land of the Giant Killers,” Bush 43, being from Texas, came from the land of the giants. Which is why he could bogart his way into office and behave as if all us little people need to enjoy our roles as unconscious grist for the mill of Imperialism.

So far, we haven’t seen much separation between Barack Obama and Bush 43. Obama isn’t going to address the Reparations question, and so-called black leaders do not want to rock his presidential boat.

Now the white media, with its ugly, twisted rhetoric, attacks Obama on all fronts. The media did not oppose the Bush war at any juncture in its development. It did not counter the blood thirsty lies spread by Colin Powell, in his role at the United Nations as US Secretary of State. This is not just a matter of interpreting or misinterpreting satellite data, as Powell would have us believe. It involved a campaign of slander and lies aimed at the IAEA, Hans Blix, and other internationally certified authorities on Iraq’s capacity to wage war.

Obama, having made promises he obviously never intended to keep, extended the deadline for withdrawing troops from Iraq. Some will be there indefinitely, locked in step with the Rumsfeld Doctrine, “that we will be there a hundred years, if we have to.”

From the land of the giant killers, the slings are being primed.

One media goliath has have slandered the anti-war establishment as “Democratic voters who ached to see America defeated in ‘Bush’s War’”. The giant killers are not Democratic Party voters.

Besides, the US cannot be defeated in Iraq because of several factors. Superior military force always prevails over any highly disorganized and subjective anti-occupation movement. Religion worked fastidiously against Iraqi nationalism. The Brits instigated sectarian violence between Sunni and Shi’a Muslims by surreptitiously bombing the Golden Mosque. This deflected all efforts away from the occupation, the internecine conflict exacerbated by the CIA/Al Qaida anarchist Abu Musab Al Zarqawi.

Now the weak, neo-colonial micro-state struggles to survive in the face of an eventual pull out. The lessons we take from Iraq apply to this period in history.

In Iraq, the Arab world’s only industrialized nation-state, Imperialism completely shattered that country’s economic infrastructure thru twelve years of genocidal economic sanctions prior to the second US invasion, aka the Third Gulf War. The bloodsucking media has the nerve to imply that those who voted for the Obama policy of Imperialism thru Democracy actually wanted to see the US be militarily defeated in Iraq!

Today, the US economic crisis threatens to shatter the lives, jobs and communities of tens of millions of people. With over one trillion dollars already being doled out to investment banks, the giants are killing us. The black community is suffering its own war, a war where far too few of us have ever fought back, a war where those having sanctions and prisons imposed upon them are all too happy to believe the enemy is the friend.

To say, Iraq survived twelve years of sanctions then suffered another devastating military attack by the US and its allies. Now the US working class must likewise take a hit by the same giant interests, international finance capitalism. The most marginalized players, the black workers will bear the brunt of this “crisis” around the world. So black workers must begin to see themselves as giant killers.

We cannot afford to wait for a US military defeat in Iraq or Afghanistan, while the spineless white left says that plant takeovers and uprisings are “ultra-left”. However, workers cannot remain content with bearing the burden of capitalist economic crises. Black workers, who suffer chronic unemployment, chronic debt and health issues, and all the other baggage that anyone assumes goes with being avowed insurgents, are not maroons, rebels or even passive enemies of Imperialism.

In order to become free, black workers must make the decision to be the conscious enemies of capitalism. Black workers, the little guys, must become giant killers. You want Reparations, my People, STAND UP!! Stand up, People. To hell with Obama, he is no black savior. Only the People united will never be defeated.