White, Gay, African Internationalist!

starr reparationsStarr, USM Chair of Political Action 

I am a gay white woman, & I subscribe to African Internationalism. I place the rights of Africans & other colonized people above my perceived rights as a gay. This is because my place as a white person in North America is as the colonizer. How I look, and the way I get treated is a miniscule issue in light of the poverty & suffering of Africans worldwide. The right to marry my lover is an embarrassing demand, when genocide is being committed against Africans in the U.S., from mass incarceration to poison water in Flint, from militarized schools to police murder. I can simply grow out my hair to pass as straight.

Africans can’t hide anywhere in this murderous system. This is not systemic racism! It’s much deeper than this! This is colonialism as the African People’s Socialist Party teaches us! This is a product of parasitic capitalism and cannot simply be countered by a different hairstyle or hollow claims that “we’re all in this together.” Moreover, on the collective level, the discrimination that gays experience is a drop in the bucket compared with 600 years of constant violence & terror, from slavery to Jim Crow, from Stop & Frisk to Stand your Ground.

White colonialism still functions in full force. Look around you. Everything you see exists because of the subjugation of Africans & the theft of land from native peoples. There is no such thing as “rights” for gays, white workers, animals, the environment, etc. until the land & resources have been returned to their rightful owners. Want to end climate change? Work for an end to white parasitic capitalism! Want equity? Work to empower the African working class! Want to be free? Learn the word “Uhuru” (Swahili for freedom) & join the Uhuru Solidarity Movement! Come to the 2016 USM National Convention in St. Pete, Florida, April 16 & 17. Rejoin humanity! Bring your gay self or straight self, same-gender loving or trans! There is room in this movement for anyone who takes a principled stance in solidarity with African self-determination!

Often, I’ve heard others like me ask, “Why should I care about police terror & mass incarceration? I have enough discrimination to deal with. After all, I’ve got two strikes against me as a woman & a lesbian.” The truth is, there are two realities here in the U.S.: the world in which whites live & the world in which Africans & other colonized people live. Any maltreatment I’ve received as a gay white woman does not begin to compare with the abuse that Africans suffer here at the hands of police officers, judges, & prison wardens.

For me to weigh my situation equally with Africans in the U.S. is a terrible offense that ignores the persistence of parasitic colonialism in this society. No matter how poor or middle class I am, the comforts & protections I enjoy are not experienced by Africans, whether they’re living in Mississippi or Manhattan. The mythology that emerged from the Civil Rights Movement tells me that all people are equal. That we have the same rights & the same opportunities. The narrative goes, if anyone is poor or disenfranchised, they brought it upon themselves. Magically, the same principle applies to wealth — that if you’re rich, you earned it fair & square.

The problem is, there IS NO fair & square for Africans in the U.S. & throughout the world. Wealth has flowed through the white world ever since Europe began exploiting Africa for her abundant wealth 600 years ago. Billionaire King Leopold of Belgium got his wealth by killing 10 million Africans to get to their ivory & rubber. The slave trade alone brought $14 trillion into the N. American economy. Today, this wealth takes the form of inheritance, power, & Legacy – the policy of getting into the most prestigious colleges & universities based solely on your name or who you know.

When The Gays marched last year for marriage rights, they stepped over homeless Africans along the way, in the shadow of the gulags known as prisons that warehouse millions of Africans, Natives, and other colonized people. They dared to exclaim that theirs were the last set of rights that need fighting for! If you were to ask them what they meant, chances are they would have stated that blacks won their rights, now we’ve won ours! ‘Love wins,’ they declared! Where the hell was their love for incarcerated Africans, locked away for years for offenses that whites don’t even get pulled-over for? Where the hell was their love for all the grieving African mothers, their childrens’ lives & potential cut short by systematic police terror?

It is imperative that white gay men, women, & others come into Solidarity with the freedom struggle of Africans worldwide. There would be no ‘gay rights movement’ if whites didn’t rest comfortably on the pedestal of parasitic capitalism, built on the backs of enslaved Africans everywhere.

You’ve heard the term “D.I.N.K.” It stands for “Dual-Income, No Kids.” This was a term developed by business owners when going after the unclaimed wealth of gay white couples. Parasitic capitalism doesn’t care about your rights, it wants into your wallet. Business Insider reported in 2015 that same-sex households average $115,000 annual income. This wealth would not be possible without the theft of indigenous land and the enslavement of Africans. The coltan in our gay cellphones is mined by Africans in the Congo for a cup of rice a day! The diamond rings we want the right to propose to each other with are mined by Africans in Sierra Leone at gunpoint! Wake up & reject the entire system! Overturn it, & we’ll all be free. Join the Uhuru Solidarity Movement! Come to our National Convention April 16 & 17, 2016 in St Pete, Florida, home of the African People’s Socialist Party! Uhuru!

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