Behind this insane reality, this election in six months features the current buffoon clown president of the empire, a proven rapist, racist, and imbecile who sounds like a drunk outside of a liquor store the moment he turns away from the teleprompter. This sad human being is running against another proven rapist, racist, and imbecile who apparently has to be propped up in front of the teleprompter in order to provide any type of presentation. And, in all of this absurdity, we are being told that we must select the latter imbecile over the former one and if we don’t, we are somehow abandoning the sacrifices of our ancestors who had to fight this immoral system just to acquire basic human rights.
We are here to tell you that our ancestors didn’t engage such courageous sacrifices for us to sell out their legacies by crumbling under these lies. There is an old African proverb that I’m sure is reiterated throughout generations universally. That proverb advises that when people tell you who they are, pay attention to them. This U.S. empire has been telling us who it is for 500+ years. Democrats, Republicans, as Malcolm X told us 50+ years ago are just “foxes and wolves.” Different hunting approaches, but at the end of the day “both are canines.”
For those of us centered within the African liberation movement, who have received our political education awakening within this glorious movement, it is absolutely impossible for us to be swayed in anyway by the trickery of this capitalist system. Those ancestors that people who haven’t read a single book about their sacrifices keep telling us about, faced the open and naked hypocrisy, barbarism, and terrorism of this system just for daring to stand up for justice. As a result of their sincere and legitimate efforts, this government unleashed its intelligence programs designed to discredit, traumatize, and eventually murder our ancestors who refused to be derailed. For those of us who know this history, it is very difficult for us to understand those who continue to attempt to tell us the appropriate ways to engage our struggle for justice.
Mr. Kent Ford, a founder of the Portland, Oregon, U.S. Black Panther Party chapter in 1968, told me in recent years after we had made a sincere effort to help him visit his son (incarcerated based on illegal U.S. efforts to frame him) that “there is no level to low that these people (the U.S. government) will stoop to!” Whenever I observe (often) the overflowing sentiment of shock that spills from so many people whenever this government and/or its agents does something insane, I think of Mr. Ford’s words. Honestly, it is often a mighty struggle for me to understand how people, despite overwhelming evidence all around them, can continue to be so extremely naïve. On one hand, I understand completely that there will always be different levels of development, but then on another hand, I don’t understand it. We live in the most information based society in the world. Information about anything from step by step tutorials on how to change a tire on any vehicle produced to how to disassemble any weapon ever manufactured, can be obtained within moments from the comforts of your residence. There is that part of me that cannot shake the notion that some of us make choices to avoid encountering information that is unpleasant to the type of world view more comfortable to us. The worldview that we want to have. And, my better sense tells me that there are intense class contradictions that drive all of that. Class is the vehicle that drives the values we live for. Many of us adopt our position for how we choose to see this government based on class consciousness. If we desire to see ourselves integrated fully into this capitalist society, we find ways to justify this system. We think of it as a system that simply needs a serious tune up. We look to vehicles like the Democratic Party as tools for that tune up. Others of us who see this system as an evil empire where revolution to destroy it is the tonic, will see nothing this system does as worthy of our respect or trust.
This system has provided the latter segment (of which I am humbly a proud member) with so much evidence to support our position that at times, its astounding to me. This is the country where the largest corporations like Citicorp, J. P. Morgan Chase, and Golden Sachs, are the entities who just received millions of dollars in free money from this government from the so-called “stimulus” plan. All of those companies are the very same companies who got their initial capital from investing in the enslavement of my African ancestors. So, in essence, those companies are screwing us not once, but multiple times, over and over again. And, since both political parties engaged and support this process, its impossible for me to see how anyone could not understand why I could never twist my principles to support anything like that.
This is the same government that sent anti-Cuban revolution Africans living in Miami into the Congo to pass as so-called opposition to the National Congolese Movement (MNC) in the early 1960s. The U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) wanted to convey on capitalist news reports that the masses of Congolese didn’t support the MNC to convince the public here that the CIA inspired assassination of democratically elected Patrice Lumumba was the will of the Congolese people. It was only when the MNC captured some of these so-called opposition troops, some of them captured by African Cubans in the Congo operating under the command of Ernesto Che Guevara, that we learned that these so-called Congolese couldn’t speak a word of Lingala, Ki-Swahili, or French, Dutch, or any language that would be required in that region of Africa. In fact, those people spoke only Spanish and English, languages foreign to that region and some of them described how they were bribed by U.S. imperialism to go there to “work off” petty crimes they had committed within the U.S.
This is the same government that sent over 300 Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agents into South Los Angeles, California, U.S., after the urban rebellions (I also call them slave revolts) against police terrorism and merchant exploitation of our African communities there in April of 1992. African street organizations, otherwise known as “gangs” had worked out a treaty of unity against the police. There were even pockets of African street organizations who had also done the same with Indigenous (Mexican, Chicano, Central American) street organizations. The FBI knew that all it would take was one drive by here and one there to destroy all the work that had taken place. If you dispute this reality, you cannot provide one tangible piece of evidence to explain what those hundreds of FBI agents did otherwise in those communities throughout the 90s. On the other hand, we can provide mountains of evidence demonstrating that their primary role was to keep tensions going in order to keep the violence happening in our communities. They used the same tactics in South L.A. that they implemented successfully in the Congo thirty years before. Since the majority of people in this country lack political education, when they watch the news reports, it appeared to them that the majority of Congolese didn’t support Lumumba. That the African street organizations were incapable of stopping their destructive presence in our communities.
“When someone tells you who they are, pay attention to them.” I just finished reading the book “A Black Panther in Exile.” It’s the story of Pete and (Mama C) Charlette O’Neal. They are an African couple who have been married and together since the 1960s when they were both Black Panthers in the U.S. Midwest. The same U.S. criminality described in the above paragraphs was used against Pete O’Neal and when the O’Neal’s realized there was no way they would beat the mounting illegal and immoral charges being leveled against him, they chose to flee, first to Algeria, and then to Tanzania, where they have spent the last four decades. For us as Pan-Africanists, we cannot see an African who escapes the U.S. plantation, as being in “exile” in Africa, the home we were kidnapped from, but this is the framework Brother O’Neal chooses to describe his experience. And, if nothing else, he has certainly earned the right to define it as he sees fit. I am beyond grateful to have had the opportunity in 2016 to visit the United African Community Center the O’Neals run not far from the town of Arusha, close to Mount Kilimanjaro. I was able to sit with Brother O’Neal and Mama C there at their compound. I sat and meditated at the monument they built there for fallen comrade Geronimo Ji Jaga (Pratt) who spent his final days living there with the O’Neals after spending 27 years in prison in U.S. as a clear target of the FBI’s illegal program to destroy African liberation.
In Brother’s O’Neal’s book, he disclosed that during the 1990s, the FBI approached his U.S. attorney and asked him to take an offer to Brother O’Neal (remember, he still has charges against him from the early 70s in the U.S. and is still considered a felony fugitive by the U.S. government). The offer? That if Brother O’Neal would invite Sister Assata Shakur, living peacefully in Cuba since the mid 80s (after being courageously broken out of prison in the U.S. after she was wrongfully convicted by the same illegal campaign we have detailed repeatedly) to come to Tanzania. Those people told Brother O’Neal that they would provide him the resources to pay to have Sister Assata come to Tanzania and if Brother O’Neal alerted them of her arrival, they would promptly arrest her, take her back into U.S. custody, and the charges against Brother O’Neal would be dropped. These bumbling idiots assumed everything incorrectly. They assumed that because Brother O’Neal and Sister Assata are African, and were members of the Black Panther Party, they must know each other (they don’t). And, that Brother O’Neal wouldn’t have integrity to say no (which he did) because so many times in the past, they have been able to get some of us to say yes. Its like the audio recording of FBI agents who stopped by Malcolm X’s house when the tensions between him and Elijah Muhammad and the Nation of Islam were at their height in late 1964. Unknown to the FBI agents, Malcolm recorded the interaction. Once Malcolm rejected their offer, the agent can be heard telling him that they have to ask because many have accepted.
Think about it. Had Brother O’Neal accepted their offer and Sister Assata somehow accepted his offer, they would have come on their propaganda television news shows and made up another of a long line of lies to substantiate how they win every time. And, they can do this because the majority of us are just not paying close enough attention.
In the next six months, they will rely significantly on that lack of attention when they attempt to shove another scam down our throats. In the meantime, they are scamming us everyday during this pandemic. Most of us surrender all of our thinking capabilities and agency to rely completely on what they tell us. The people who have lied to us as policy for centuries. Its mind boggling. Our situation is going to get increasingly more difficult if we continue to avoid stopping this absurd course of action. What you are doing may seem to have worked well enough up to this point, but the signs are all around you, everywhere, that those days are running out. We implore everyone to start paying better attention. Start listening to thoughts about national strikes. Investigate what that’s all about. Become well versed in understanding what it means. Join organizations that have political education programs. Being able to escape to sports and entertainment is not going to provide you viable options much longer. At some point, the onus for whatever bad happens to us is going to fall squarely on our own shoulders, but it doesn’t have to be that way. The common denominator in all of the adverse examples I described above is their ability to win over us is always tied to our disorganization and their ability to manipulate us and for us to cooperate with them in that manipulation. The moment we are ready to acknowledge that last part and change our ways, the faster we can lift all of this off of our collective shoulders, together. When we learn how to do that, we win you’ll, plain and simple.