The second day of the National Conference on Black Community Control of the Police was a life-changing, mind-blowing experience and it was an incredible honor to be there in attendance as a representative of the African People’s Solidarity Committee and our mass organization, the Uhuru Solidarity Movement.
As the white organizations under the leadership of the African People’s Socialist Party we attended this conference to show our solidarity with the campaign for Black Community Control of Police.
We received a profound education from the leadership of the APSP, Chairman Omali Yeshitela about the nature of the state, the history of the imperialist state and the road to a liberated black state power. Chairman helped us understand how “black power is more than a word, it is about the power to govern.”
In his opening remarks Chairman Omali Yeshitela praised the courage of African people and in particular the African mothers, children, brothers and relatives of African people who have been murdered by the police.
He spoke on the deep significance of bringing these families together in this rising movement: “You will never have to fight alone again,” he said.
The Chairman explained why we must reject the definitions of reality prescribed by imperialism.
He said, “There wouldn’t be an america if Africans hadn’t been dragged from Africa. White people wouldn’t have nice houses, and cars and Apple computers if they hadn’t kidnapped Africans and brought us here and stole someone else’s land. We produce life and value for white people. Now we are stuck in these horrible conditions that bestialize us.”
“Don’t tell me about a criminal, don’t tell me about an African who ‘stole’ something. The slave stole something? I don’t want to hear that. You’ve taken everything – consciousness, identity, language, all of the resources necessary to produce and reproduce life-you’ve snatched from him. Then you demand that this person act and function according to the order that you’ve established.”
“The real criminals are the ones who hold the keys to the cells— not the ones who are in the damn cells.”
Gazi Kodzo, an African man well-known for his YouTube video commentaries on social issues, gave a brilliant presentation that expressed deep unity with black community control of the police and the leadership of Chairman Omali Yeshitela and the Uhuru Movement. Kodzo called out Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson and other neocolonialists for their role in collaborating with the U.S government against the African community, calling Sharpton a “professional relaxer.”
In a presentation called “The State and Revolution,” Chairman Omali Yeshitela gave a brilliant analysis of the history of state power from feudal Europe to the birth of parasitic capitalism. The Chairman explained that the state is an organ of coercion that maintains the status quo of any given social system where there is class division.
He exposed the hole in Marx’s understanding of how Europe made the leap from Feudalism to Capitalism: Marx failed to recognize the central significance of the fact that the enslavement of African people and European colonization of Africa, Asia and the so called Americas brought tremendous amounts of wealth into Europe and gave rise to the world system of capitalism, born as parasitic white power.
The Chairman always asks the question, “To what end?” For the protests, die-ins, highway shutdowns, and rebellions to lead to social transformation that ends the murders of black people by the police, the question of “To what end?” must be answered. And in his presentation the Chairman delivered the most powerful answer to this question that brought the audience of African people and allies to their feet in roaring applause: “We must have the power to govern: BLACK STATE POWER OVER OUR OWN BLACK LIVES!”
This is where the African People’s Socialist Party is going. And our work as USM is the Party’s strategy to win reparations and principled solidarity from the white oppressor nation population. Solidarity with the struggle for black self-determination and African self-government is the responsibility of every white person on this planet who wants to see a future in which African people have freedom, justice and genuine peace.
In the BIBC conference in St Louis, Kamm Howard from the N’COBRA gave an excellent presentation on the reparations movement in which he referred to the historic Durban world conference on racism and xenophobia that ruled that slavery, apartheid and colonialism were crimes against humanity. “If you benefit from the crime then you are the criminal,” said Howard. “And all of white America is criminal.”
White people have a very, very deep responsibility to stand in solidarity with this movement.
Our current and historic relationship to this foul, murderous social system, is much deeper than “racism” or “white skin privilege”. It cuts to the bone of our material reality in this country as citizens of an oppressor nation, as beneficiaries of a parasitic system.
The Chairman explained that within North America, the capitalist State came into being as a people’s state—a white people’s state.
White people created this system. White people created the white power State through developing the means of brute coercion to force Africans in chains on slave ships and bringing them here to work against their will and by committing mass murder against the native people of this land and scalping, raping and torturing them and forcing them into concentration camps whose atrocious conditions of life we like to sugarcoat with the term, “Indian reservation.”
White people stole half of Mexico from the Indigenous population in the late 1850s and renamed it California, Arizona, Nevada, Texas, Utah, etc. The brutal white violence and force required to maintain this parasitic, thieving relationship gave rise to the State, which is nothing but organized violence wielded in the hands of a class to maintain their control of a social system.
To make slavery happen, to take the land from the Indians, to steal half of Mexico, to steal the oil from the Arab people, white people had to band together with guns, blades and bombs and organize themselves into the formations that consolidated into the State, the police, the border patrol, the army, the navy, and so on.
The creation of the white power state was integral to the emergence of capitalism and created the social system where every white person sits on the pedestal of the oppression of African and other colonized peoples.
So this is a deep question for us white people and we have to face the fact that every African murdered by police in this country is murdered in our name, on our behalf, black lives stolen by a system built by white people, for white people.
Taking responsibility for this legacy and its continuation today requires more than unlearning our racism, it requires that we acknowledge that white people and white society owe reparations to the African community for six centuries of terror, slavery, colonialism, genocide and exploitation.
At the end of the conference the Chairman of the BIBC Omali Yeshitela presented the Black Community Control of the Police Action Kit—featuring a petition, a city council resolution and “know your rights” cards.
The Uhuru Solidarity Movement will be mobilizing all of its members and supporters to hit the streets with this petition to build mass support from the white community for the just, democratic and necessary demand for Black Community Control of the Police.
Join the Uhuru Solidarity Movement and build the Days in Solidarity with African People by going to uhurusolidarity.org/join-usm or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling us at 727 888 3797.
Sustain the critical programs of the African People’s Socialist Party by becoming a USM sustainer at uhurusolidarity.org/join-usm.
Uhuru! Reparations Now!
No Justice! No Peace, without Black Community Control of Police!