written by Penny Hess, Chairwoman of the African People’s Solidarity Committee
In Autumn of 2015, groups of white people throughout the U.S. will go into white communities to organize events, fundraisers, and outreach activities to raise tens of thousands of dollars for the African-led struggle for black liberation and self-determination, under the banner of “Reparations for Stolen Black Lives.”
It is historic that the African People’s Socialist Party has won white people to take this stand.
This campaign, coordinated by the Uhuru Solidarity Movement, will culminate in October Days in Solidarity with African People throughout the U.S.
In recognition of the millions of African lives stolen by police murder, mass incarceration, extreme poverty and other conditions that rest upon a six hundred year legacy of colonialism, slavery and genocide, the Uhuru Solidarity Movement is initiating an international call for white people everywhere to take up the “Reparations Challenge” and build DSAP events and fundraisers in white communities worldwide.
The Day in Solidarity with African People is the Uhuru Solidarity Movement’s most important event of the year.
While we have seen white people hold days in solidarity with the people of Puerto Rico or Venezuela or El Salvador, we have never seen anyone else hold a day in solidarity with African people.
The Day in Solidarity with African People recognizes that Africans are one people all over the world. They are not African Americans, Black Brits, Cameroonians or Congolese.
Africans everywhere are part of one nation of people who have been forcibly dispersed by the European assault on Africa.
It exposes this assault that resulted in Africans, their land and resources stolen with violence and terror so profound that that the trauma of the enslaved African has been passed down in their DNA from generation to generation.
The Day in Solidarity with African People acknowledges that because Africans are dispersed and their identity relegated to something called “race,” the white population created a European national identity for itself that was associated with prosperity, science, rationality and everything good and holy.
This Day lets us acknowledge and take responsibility for the level of sheer physical and spiritual terror that white people have inflicted against African people—the rape, beatings, hangings, burnings, shootings, imprisonment, impoverishment, and repression that goes into making human beings commodities and machines for labor, human beings reduced to means of production.
The Day in Solidarity is a self-criticism from the white population for our participation and complicity in the debasement and objectification of African human beings, the murder and forced labor of little children, the sexual assaults, the separation of mother from child, the complete degradation of the African while stealing her brilliance, talents, science, arts, music and skills.
It is an acknowledgement of the diamonds, gold, minerals and resources stolen by the trainload from every inch of Africa even today and brought to Europe and North America for our benefit while most Africans suffer in poverty and oppression without the basics of running water, roads, electricity and resources for food.
It is an acknowledgement of the US-backed colonial wars for resources such as in Congo where seven million Africans in the past 10 years, including African children, have been murdered, raped and tortured without even a nod from white people in Europe and America.
It is an acknowledgement that the brutal assault on Africa and African people is the foundation of capitalism. Slavery brought wealth to Europe for the first time in a thousand years, ending the system of feudalism and ultimately enabling all white people to climb the ladder to success, prosperity, democracy and the right to share in the stolen loot of African and Indigenous peoples.
The Day in Solidarity lets us state to the world that we recognize that African people forcibly created life for us and wealth for us instead of for themselves and their people.
Even if we are white workers or otherwise face oppression by this white power system, we recognize that we sit on the pedestal of the oppression of African people and that our goal should not be to gain more for ourselves sitting on the backs of Africans but to stand in unconditional solidarity with the liberation and unification of Africa and African people, the cornerstone of US imperialism that cannot exist without this oppression.
The Day in Solidarity with African People is acknowledgement of our stance in unity with the unalienable human right of African people to liberate Africa, rid itself of imposed borders and take back all of its resources and the accumulated wealth resultant from 600 years of plunder.
This Day allows us to make it clear that we as white people—even though we are not the ruling class—have been complicit in this terror, benefit from it, and sit on its pedestal.
The Day in Solidarity allows us to declare: Yes, we as white people owe reparations to African people— not as charity which keeps us in power, but as a measure of the return of the wealth, labor, knowledge and talents stolen from Africans and for the pain and suffering of 600 years of terror and violence that fed our well-being.
The DSAP campaign goes further in that we raise actual reparations to the organization that leads the movement of the African working class for the final liberation of Africa and African people.
How can we say we support and give solidarity to this struggle without actually being organized under the leadership of the African Liberation Movement?
Taking up our responsibility to go into the white population to win others to pay reparations to African people as a revolutionary stand is in our interest.
Solidarity with African people lets us join humanity, take responsibility for the crimes of white people and white power and be part of a new world, led by African and Indigenous peoples, a world of true peace and equity and socialism in which no one people can ever live at the expense of another.
The Day in Solidarity with African People is our response to everything we hate about this society; it is our rejection of everything the U.S. is doing to everyone on the planet, the wars all throughout the Middle East and throughout Africa.
The Day in Solidarity is our recognition that unlearning racism is not good enough. Self-serving anti-racist workshops that make us feel good about ourselves but do nothing to change the conditions faced by African people will not suffice.
The system that bludgeons and murders the black and brown peoples of the world for our benefit is deeper than the racist ideas in white people’s minds; it is colonialism.
Colonialism is a social system where oppressed peoples’ entire nations and communities are strangled, looted and raped to produce wealth for white people and white power.
This bloody and brutal relationship between the oppressor and the oppressed is enforced by a vicious state power built to keep control and resources in the hands of the rulers, the elite, the Wall Street bankers and the politicians.
All of the uprisings on the planet earth – from the streets of Baltimore to the shanty towns of South Africa – are a resistance to this untenable status quo.
Africans, Venezuelans, Palestinians, Iranians, Mexicans, Arabs, Kurds, Romani, and every other oppressed community on the planet are fighting back.
They are saying: We are our own human beings; we determine who we are and what our identity is—and we want our resources back.
We cannot leave this deplorable situation to the next generation.
We cannot expect our children to grow up in a world where their dreams and aspirations come at the expense of thousands of Mike Browns and Oscar Grants being slaughtered in the streets by the cops.
It must change—and it is changing, because the resistance of African people and oppressed people is shaking the foundation of this system.
The African People’s Socialist Party is the only organization with the understanding that Africans are one people fighting for Africa’s reclamation of the birthright of Africa’s resources. It is the optimistic and inevitable trajectory of a positive future in which African people will win their victory and liberation.
This system built on suffering will come down by the hands of oppressed people. We will see a new world.
But we have to do our part.
Join the Campaign for the Days in Solidarity with African People!
Take the Reparations Challenge! Reparations for Stolen Black Lives!