This is the same reality with all oppressed people. Your suffering is for sale in this backward system. And, they specialize in taking your victories and making them commodities. That's why everyone today knows St. Patricks Day is in mid March and these same people look forward to that day as a party day, but almost no one can tell you the history of the day or what the day actually means. That's why the same contradictions exist for Halloween, Easter, Thankstaking - oops giving, the fourth of the lie, Mis-Christ, etc. And, sadly, we have just seen another manifestation of this inhumane practice with the Cinco De Mayo holiday. Many people are too hung over to even read something like this right now, but that doesn't change the fact that like all the others, Cinco De Mayo has nothing to do with partying and getting drunk. For those who are interested, the day actually represents the 5th of May, 1870, which is supposed to symbolize when the Mexican people of the town of El Pueblo de Los Angeles, poorly armed and lacking in equipment, defeated the invading French army on shear determination. But, the point here isn't to provide a history lesson because clearly, the people out last night have no interest in that. The point is in acknowledging that one of capitalism's most consistent methods of demoralizing a people's determination to be free is to take control of their cultural institutions and turn them from vehicles to battle against oppression into vessels to advance the capitalist system. They have done this with all of the institutions mentioned here and they continue to try this same tactic with any and every institution that they can successfully create the narrative for. This is why they produced a Malcolm X stamp. And a Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Cesar Chavez holiday. Its why corporations dominate the Juneteenth holiday today. And, they would love to get their hands on May Day and African Liberation Day. In fact, I recall several years ago when we were actually approached by a marketing firm about hiring them to market African Liberation Day. Once I finished explaining the true nature of this day to the ambitious young man on the phone, he left me holding the receiver, but we realize that the minute African Liberation Day captures that mass imagination as it is rapidly doing, they will be back.
What the masses of peace and justice loving people have to do is reclaim our history. Snatch it back from the jaws of imperialism. Create our own institutions around these symbols and make sure our children and everyone else understands the true meaning. And, the only way we can systemically make this happen is if enough of us are in organizations doing this on an organized and ongoing basis. It can't happen on an individual one off here and there because that won't make even a chip in the mass consistent propaganda machine that capitalism relies on. So, hopefully, you had the chance to tell a party reveler yesterday that for every sip they take they are actually celebrating an Indigenous family member knocking the you know what out of a European settler.