In response to these political education efforts, the liberal wing of the bourgeoisie Democratic Party is reacting to these principled criticisms about Harris, and her pro-mass incarceration career, by using people like movie maker Ava Duvernay to argue their case. She has been tweeting out criticisms of African revolutionaries, calling us people who think we are “too woke” to acknowledge the time. Her suggestion is that we aren’t politically sophisticated enough to understand that our unwillingness to play bourgeoisie politics is somehow the reason the masses of oppressed humanity continue to remain oppressed. This is coming from a film maker who endorses the mass incarceration manager – Kamala Harris – after making the film “13” that derides mass incarceration. She’s also the same person who made the film “Selma”, an absolutely terrible film that attempts to attack the militancy of Malcolm X and the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) while upholding accommodationist politics. It continues to remain a mystery why – 50+ years after Malcolm X warned us – we continue to act as if entertainers and celebrities are legitimate voices about our movement for justice as a people.
As for Angela Davis coming out to support the Biden/Harris ticket for the Democratic Party, people like Duvernay are using this to critique African revolutionaries saying that if Angela, with her revolutionary credentials, is able to see the “practicality” of supporting a slightly lesser bourgeoisie ticket over the other bourgeoisie ticket, why can’t we see things the same way? The reason we can’t see things the same way is because we are not interested in substituting getting shot with getting stabbed when we know we can create a reality where no pain is necessary for anyone. We don’t blame Angela Davis for this because she is not the one making this analysis. People are using her resume to justify their bourgeoisie liberalism. We cannot speak to why Angela Davis has adopted her current position. We have seen many revolutionaries from the 60s lose much of their militancy. We don’t know how or if Angela Davis has continued to maintain a sharp revolutionary analysis, but we also know for every person who changes the way she has, there are also those – like Kwame Ture for example – who maintain their principled revolutionary politics up through their last breath. So, instead of focusing in on a subjective analysis – that because one individual who has represented one thing, decides to believe something else, therefore we should blindly follow that example – we suggest we focus in on why so many of the most visible voices coming from our communities continue to pressure us to support individual bourgeoisie candidates without ever coming up with a strategy to ensure the masses of powerless people have mechanisms to hold these individuals accountable to us once they are elected.
In the 2016 national election, approximately 27 million people voted for bourgeoisie candidate Hillary Clinton. Approximately 25 million people voted for bourgeoisie Trump (he won the 270 electoral college votes which is how you win the presidency). Meanwhile, there were approximately 100 million people eligible to vote who didn’t. No one, except us revolutionaries, ever asks why this is so? Everyone else continues to promote the elitist belief that just because those 100 million don’t do what you do i.e. vote in bourgeoisie elections, then those 100 million are ill responsible and not as dedicated to justice as you are. This is the accepted analysis by so many people despite the fact many of those 100 million are revolutionaries who dedicate their lives to more practical work to help people in one week than you bourgeoisie voters have done in your entire lifetime.
None of this written here is designed to pressure anyone from voting in these elections. Unlike the bourgeoisie voices, we don’t need to pressure people to do something while dismissing legitimate critical concerns. We say if you want to participate, do so, but you better figure out how to build a mass movement that will hold your beloved bourgeoisie politicians accountable. There are some genuine efforts taking place to do that. The Poor People’s Campaign is one of them, but most of these people criticizing us aren’t even a part of that. And, its interesting that those Poor People’s Campaign folks are not the folks criticizing African revolutionaries because they are doing the work. Therefore, they understand and respect the work that we do every-day.
The best weapon the capitalist system has against us is our absolute inability to properly understand the forces at work in our lives. We have to do a much better job at being pro-active and not just reacting. If you know that you don’t have any knowledge about revolutionary African work taking place, be honest and recognize and respect that. Learn more about this work. People who aren’t involved in bourgeoisie politics would be very happy to inform you about our work and why we take the approach that we do.
And finally, stop telling dedicated soldiers for justice that there is no value in the work that we do. You sound absolutely insane doing that. Instead, why not respond to the overtures we’ve extended for decades towards you for us to work together. We can build African United Fronts across ideological lines. Even multi-racial coalitions across ideological lines. We have always stood prepared to do that. There is clearly much about grassroots organizing that you can learn from us and we are willing to help you learn it. This approach is the correct pathway to empower us to move forward collectively. We need you to be successful with our revolutionary politics and you need us to win the reforms you seek. We should not be afraid of challenging those barriers. Let the struggle ensure and have faith in the masses of people. They are quite capable, provided the necessary resources are made available, to make the decision that best represents what’s best for all of us.
The above paragraph is clearly what we should be doing, but until we can all reach the level of political maturity to move in that way, which benefits us primarily and not our exploiters, then we will continue to do what we are doing. Engaging in work to build capacity for our people and all of humanity to fight back and win against systemic oppression. We will also continue to point out the contradictions within this system, especially when objectivity, not emotionalism, is necessary for us to see the latest tricks being imposed upon us. And, we will let our faith in humanity determine what pathway is the correct course.