Why I am driving from College Station, Texas to St. Petersburg, Florida for the “African Resistance, White Solidarity” Conference.
By Stu Becker
As a white person, I had a unique experience growing up. From the time I was 3 years old to 12 years old, I along with my brother and twin sister, attended a predominantly black elementary school in the Kansas City, Missouri School District.
This school was called Holliday Montessori Elementary School and I attended it because my dad was the principal. After that, I attended predominantly white suburban schools in predominantly white suburban, Lee’s Summit, Missouri from 7th grade through high school.
I suppose because most of my friends were black throughout elementary school, even my first teacher was black, and I had other black mentors as paraprofessionals (assistant teachers), unlike most white people, from my earliest memories, I always saw black people as my equal.
My experience at Holliday set the stage for my developing perspective about the world that has today, at almost 24 years old, developed into the African Internationalist perspective. Throughout junior high and high school, I could see the racist/white supremacist attitudes in white students and teachers around me that in various ways, rationalized racial oppression in this society.I knew that it was unfair that I, as a white person lived, in a white suburban area and attended white suburban school district with significantly more resources than the inner city that consisted of predominantly black people.
As a result of my earliest experiences, I always knew that black people were my equal. As a result of this, I knew that black people must have been unfairly treated by a racist society beginning with slavery and this was the reason for current racial inequalities. As Chairman Omali says something to the effect of,
“Why is it that everywhere you go where there are white people there is abundant wealth and resources and everywhere you go where there are African people there is imposed poverty?”
I asked myself something to the effect of that question throughout my time in junior high and high school. However, because of my experiences throughout my life, I knew that the reason for these racial inequalities was not due to the internal shortcomings of black people as the capitalist society feeds us and as many or most white people believe.
These experiences combined with an interest in politics and social justice (as a result of my parents’ interest in these subjects) resulted in me becoming curious about Martin Luther King Jr. and the Civil Rights Movement. I read The Autobiography of Martin Luther King Jr. and then eventually read The Autobiography of Malcolm X before my senior year of high school. Ever since I read The Autobiography of Malcolm X, I wanted to be a racial justice activist. I became obsessed with Malcolm X.
I dove into other books about Malcolm and listened to and read many of his speeches. Ever since I read that book, I have LOVED Malcolm and I wanted to be like him. At that point, Malcolm X became my idol and he still is! I wanted to read everything that I could about racial oppression so I could dominate all white people in an argument about racial injustice and explain to them how they have benefited from historical and continual oppression of black people and other people of color (because at the time I barely had any of the words or the facts to back this up).
I wanted to change the world, but I knew that in order to change the world, first I had to understand and be able to explain the world. When I got to college, I continued pursuing this goal. I discovered the field of Sociology, made it my major, and I also became a Black Studies minor. This helped me further develop my understanding about racial oppression and racial inequality.
During my time in undergrad, I got around to reading in detail about the Black Panther Party and the Black Power Movement (although I had heard about them since high school). This developed my understanding even further to where I adopted the revolutionary perspective of the Black Panther Party and closer to the African Internationalist perspective. I wanted to become a Black Panther.
For a short time I wondered what happened to the Black Power Movement and if there were still groups like the Black Panthers around. I eventually discovered the Uhuru Movement through networking on Facebook. Through reading about the African People’s Socialist Party, InPDUM and the Uhuru Movement in general, I could see that it is essentially the continuation of what Malcolm X, the Black Panther Party, and the Black Power movement were struggling for.
Last year, I started grad school to pursue a PhD in Sociology and I am majoring in “Race and Ethnic Relations.” I wanted to get a PhD because I thought it would help continue the development of my thinking as I wanted to continue studying and learning about white power imperialism, capitalism, and colonialism so I can speak out against this rotten social system, help destroy it, and help create a better world. I obviously still have so much to learn.
However, I am tired of just talking about this rotten system and just talking about revolution. Since my purpose in doing what I do has always been to end racial oppression, I want to take continuous action! I want to be a part of the Black Power Movement of today and help finish what Malcolm X and the Black Panther Party were struggling for. That is why I became a sustaining member of the Uhuru Solidarity Movement, why I started reading and studying Omali Yeshitela, why I have watched so many of his speeches, why I constantly keep up with the Uhuru Movement, why I keep up with the Burning Spear Newspaper online (I have actually sold some too), and why I have studied up on the theory of African Internationalism and adopted it as my political philosophy.
In short, I want to be like Malcolm X, Huey P. Newton, Kwame Ture, and Omali Yeshitela and that is why I plan on driving from College Station, Texas to St. Petersburg for this Conference to finally meet all of my comrades in the Uhuru Solidarity Movement and the Uhuru Movement in general.
Destroy white power imperialism!
Long live the African Revolution!
Stu Becker, sustaining member of the Uhuru Solidarity Movement