Why White Midwives Owe Reparations to African People

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Anne Hirsch, Uhuru Solidarity Movement ~Seattle, WA

Why White Midwives owe Reparations to the African Nation as led by the African Peoples Socialist Party – the Uhuru Movement. 

As white midwives we are aware of the disparities in maternal/child health between Whites and Africans in America. African women in the USA are more likely to have low birth weight and preterm babies; are more likely to die in childbirth; and are more likely to have their children die in their first year of life than us, their white counterparts.*

We are aware and yet we don’t do anything about it. We are able to stay in our white world ignoring the suffering of African families. We even use the statistics from the African community to fight for laws to get our services covered by medicaid. We are opportunists! Some of us, acknowledge our “white privilege” so we volunteer in a programs that deal with these health disparities or we participate in groups to become more sensitive to our African counterpart midwives. But we do nothing to overturn the conditions that are the source of these disparities. We don’t take a stand to get to the source and eradicate the processes that keep these disparities in place.

Currently, the midwifery community defines the cause of these disparities as systemic racism. But defining this as a result of racism denies the material reality that African women and children are faced with in the USA. African women, children and families are faced with colonialism. Our white standard of living began as a direct result of a European attack on the world stealing the land of the indigenous people here and all but exterminating them as a people. Our European ancestors captured and enslaved African people and in the process of bringing them to to this country millions of African men, women and children died. We forced them to labor to produce wealth for white people. All this created the current standard of living of our white world. Ongoing oppression like low wage jobs in the tourist, nursing home and food service industries, mass incarceration, militarized police in African communities is what this  parasitic society requires to maintain our white lifestyle. Racism is a symptom. Colonialism is the cause.

Colonialism is the oppression of one nation of people by another nation of people for the economic, social and political gain of the oppressor. The African nation is oppressed and colonized within the borders of the USA. Understanding the source of these so called “disparities” as colonialism shows us that this is genocide!

According to the United Nations Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide any of these five things constitute genocide against one people by another:

1) Killing members of the group

2) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group

3) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or part

4) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group

5) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group

As a white midwife I realize that these genocidal outcomes are the direct result of the white lifestyle that I enjoy. In a very material way our white clients’ access to midwifery care, our ability as white women to practice midwifery, in short, our ability to participate in the life that we choose, comes as a direct result of the oppression of African people.

Based on the legacy of the history that built and maintains this USA, our white inheritance is a safe place to live, plenty of food, recreation and access to healthcare of our choice. The inheritance of African families colonized and continuously oppressed for over 400 years within this USA is largely one of enforced poverty, sub-par living conditions, lack of healthy food, unimaginable stress, and hostile, abusive healthcare.

If we are serious about eliminating these genocidal conditions, we must face the fact that the health we white midwives, white mamas and white children enjoy is created at the expense of African midwives, African women and African children. When we understand this we know that the only principled way to address these conditions is to pay reparations. When we pay reparations we actually give back the stolen inheritance and stolen resources to African people.

The African Peoples Socialist Party (APSP) created the Uhuru Solidarity Movement (USM) to give white people a principled way to support African self determination and liberation – the regaining of self determining power as an African nation!

Members of USM work under the leadership of the APSP raising reparations from the white community to support their work. As a white midwives we can step off the pedestal of oppression that maintains our lifestyle. We can denounce “white power” and join humanity! How do we do this? We join USM and make monthly sustaining contributions. We go out into the white community to raise reparations from other white people by tabling, participating in the reparations challenge, creating public events and developing a branch of the USM in our area. We can also attend the National Convention of the Uhuru Solidarity Movement this April 16 – 17 in St. Pete, Florida: The Reparations Challenge, Building White Solidarity with Black Power!

Register for the USM National Convention 2016 here! 

I call on all white midwives to pay reparations! Pay reparations to an organization that is working to overturn the parasitic social system that creates the genocidal conditions of life faced by African women and families. White midwives must treat the cause, not the symptom of health disparities.

Our reparations to the Uhuru Movement support:

African Socialist International: the essence of this movement – building the capacity to overturn this parasitic society and have Africa and all her wealth and resources under the control of poor and working class Africans around the world so that they can live! Africa is not poor. It is being looted.

African National Women’s Organization~ to address the special oppression of black women in campaigns like Black Mothers Charge the USA with Genocide: mothers who have lost children to colonial violence fighting back; Ending State Control of Hair Braiding – economic development in the hands of African women.

African People’s Education and Defense Fund~ to create programs that address health disparities, wellness, self-employment training, etc.

Black Star Industries~ to build the economic foundation of the African Nation.

Black Community Media~ to showcase the voice of the black poor and working class perspective through The Burning Spear Newspaper, Black Power 96, and uhurunews.com. 

African Peoples Development and Empowerment Project~ through which Africans in the US support their counterparts on the continent to develop projects to address clean water, sustainable food production, epidemics like Ebola, etc.

International Democratic Uhuru Movement~ the mass political arm of the Party that fights for democratic rights through initiatives like Black Community Control of the Police; Africans Charge Genocide (petition to the United Nations), etc.

Further reading~ National Vital Statistics Reports, via CDC:

According The CDC:

• preterm birth – 14.7 % for African women vs 8.90% for white women.*

• low birth weight – 13.08% in African babies vs 6.98 % for white babies*

• maternal death from childbirth 41.1 per 100K vs 11.8 per 100K for white women. *

• Infants death – 11.11% for African infants vs 5.06% for white infants*

 http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr64/nvsr64_06.pdf

 http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr64/nvsr64_01.pdf

 http://www.cdc.gov/reproductivehealth/maternalinfanthealth/pmss.html

 http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr64/nvsr64_09.pdf

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