USM members Halley Murray and KC Mackey, selling The Burning Spear in Boston, MA.
Recently, someone asked a member of the Uhuru Solidarity Movement:
“Hey KC 🙂 I think I’m confused as to why this form of fundraising specifically from white folks is called reparations. My understanding of reparations is similar to how it’s laid out in this article — on the order of $6.4 TRILLION from government & corporations to be paid out to / invested in institutions for descendants of slavery. I’m down for that massive wealth redistribution! I don’t follow how average white folks emptying out their pockets will get us closer to that goal. Thoughts? Thanks!”
KC Mackey, a member of USM in Boston, Massachusetts, responded:
Happy to answer! For sure I want to be a part of campaigns to get the treasury and corporations to pay reparations as well, something I am still reading up on & learning how to start.
But when I was signed up for the Uhuru Solidarity Movement by my comrade Marquis, who now organizes full time with the African People’s Socialist Party, it became clear to me why all white people owe reparations, even if you’re poor and struggling. And this movement honors that struggle, too, welcoming members who pay as little as $1 to $10 a year.
Because even average white folks still benefit from white power, and have inherited the social wealth of slavery, while Africans and other colonized peoples have inherited the social poverty.
It is framed as reparations because it recognizes that white wealth is stolen, that this system relies on stealing from Africa and African people and colonized land and people to sustain white life, and so the word reparations makes it clear that it’s not donating; it’s about the returning of stolen wealth.
And it makes it clear about where the money goes. It is not just about cutting a check to any one individual or to reform organizations, but rather showing material solidarity to an African-led revolutionary organization that is building its own economy to seize Black Power. The African People’s Socialist Party (APSP) is carrying on the work of Marcus Garvey and of the Black Panthers by building their own revolutionary institutions and a dual and contending economy to stand against the current economy that is collapsing.
APSP formed the African People’s Solidarity Committee (APSC), to give white people the chance to peacefully return stolen wealth and invest in a liberated economy where no one is exploited.
Why do I pay reparations?
I pay reparations because every day I wake up depressed from this violent world and know another one is possible. I want to support the people who are building that new world, and take part in that building in as many ways I can.
I know that white people suffer really high rates of suicide and drug addiction/abuse and domestic violence. I think a huge part of that is because our ancestors separated us from the rest of humanity & because white culture is so tied up in capitalism and thus is parasitic, both intellectually and economically, constantly needing to steal ideas and resources.
And so it leaves us empty. Even though we white people benefit from the oppression of Africans and other colonized people, I still see and feel our suffering. And From studying the theory of African Internationalism, I have learned that white power is the basis of oppression of everyone on earth, and so white workers, white women , white queers, white Jews, white disabled people, all white people have a vested interest in dismantling white power, and I believe that paying reparations is one way to do it.
KC Mackey is a member of USM in Boston, MA. She is holding an event called “Club Reparations,” as part of the Reparations Challenge. See flyer below for more info, or click here for the event on Facebook.