My journey from anarchism to African Internationalism: White Solidarity with Black Power

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Written by Comet Crowbar, USM organizer in Boston, MA

The Uhuru Solidarity Movement in Boston, MA is currently organizing for the “Days in Solidarity with African People” campaign with the goal to host an event in October featuring Kunde Mwamita, the mother of an African teenaged girl who was murdered by sheriff’s deputies in Florida earlier this year.

Click here to contribute towards the funds necessary to make this important event happen! Join the Uhuru Solidarity Movement here.

1) My Journey From Anarchism to African Internationalism
2) The Problem Is Colonialism
3) African Internationalism
4) Defining Hierarchy: Critiquing Anarchist Critique of Uhuru’s Leadership Structure
5) Democratic Centralism
6) Why Is Anarchism So White?
7) Anarchism and African Internationalism
8) Leadership

1)         MY JOURNEY FROM ANARCHISM TO UHURU SOLIDARITY
As someone who has self-identified as anarchist for the last 14 years, I was mad when I found out about Uhuru Solidarity Movement. I was mad because I had never heard of it before. In all my years of reading up on radical politics, queer-feminist literature, and anti-racism blogs, I had never heard of such a powerful overturning force as the Uhuru Movement for African Liberation, lead by the African People’s Socialist Party (APSP) since 1972. How does something that’s existed for over 40 years not show up on my metaphorical Dashboard of Life in all of my 30 years existing on this earth? Thanks to social media and following comrade Gazi Kodzo, (this video in particular) who appeared on my Tumblr dashboard in a re-blog is how I learned about the Uhuru movement.

Included in this movement is a white organization that works under the APSP’s direct leadership: Uhuru Solidarity Movement (USM). I joined in January 2016, as soon as I became aware that it existed. It was exactly the kind of revolutionary organization I was looking for that takes anti-capitalism seriously. USM provides me as a white person with a very defined role in the struggle to end oppression against African/Black people and all colonized peoples, here in the united snakes and the world over. The task that has been assigned to me, as a white person, is to collect white reparations to African people.

There is nothing more anti-capitalist one can do as a white person than to pay reparations for slavery. It is a stance in solidarity with African/Black Liberation when I honestly acknowledge to myself that everything I have, all of the wealth, access to resources and art-school education, happy childhood in a middle-class suburb, safe home and white “privilege” to not get murdered by cops– all of that wealth is built on the backs of enslaved African people and the genocide of the indigenous peoples of Turtle Island (the indigenous name for so-called north america); the genocide of African and all colonized peoples which has never ended and still exists today in all of it’s neo-colonial forms.

“Every white aspiration and dream, every expectation for happiness and a good life– from a successful marriage to a secure future for their children– requires drone strikes in Pakistan, police murders and mass imprisonment in the African colonies and barrios in the U.S., and starvation and forced displacement of the oppressed throughout the world.”

– Chairman Omali Yeshitela from his political report to the 6th congress of the APSP, An Uneasy Equilibrium: The African Revolution versus Parasitic Capitalism, p.74

When I say I have wealth, let it be known that I make barely $1000 a month while living in the 4th-most expensive city in the united snakes (so-called boston). Yet I still consider myself wealthy relative to the rest of the world, because I am a white person. When I pay reparations, I am taking money entirely out of the white capitalist system and returning it to African people so they can build their own self-determined future that was stolen from them 500 years ago. And to that I say: Uhuru! (“Uhuru” means “freedom” in Swahili.)

During all the years that I struggled to understand why the world is so messed up and why the violence has no end in sight, I found hope within anarchist circles and autonomous movements that were taking self-directed action to change society. Direct action, horizontally-structured meetings, note taking and organizing were all my jam. When I say “anarchism” throughout this essay, I’m referring to ideas such as decentralized organizing, non-hierarchical structures, consensus-based decisions, No Borders No Nations, a stateless society, autonomy, and a fierce hatred of and wish to dismantle the capitalist State. And when I say “anarchist” I’m referring to a person who believes in those morals and/or self-identifies that way.

Discovering zines and anarchist newspapers as a teenager (CrimethInc, anyone?), being encouraged as a free-thinker, and empowered by Do-It-Yourself philosophy/ do-acracy has all paved the way for me in life to be a strong, confident, outspoken woman who does not compromise my morals. It has shaped me in ways that I could never imagine without it, and I am grateful for each step of my journey that’s gotten me to where I am politically today. I hate the violence of the US Empire so deeply and I want to see it stop at all costs. For me, finding anarchism seemed like the end-all answer to stopping capitalism and oppression. That is, until I discovered African Internationalism and my role in it, and then my world changed.

I recently had a reflection about the common anarchist phrase, “No one is free until we all are free”, which is currently a sticker on my water bottle. It has a circle-A and a human-fist-animal-paw-together-in-solidarity symbol on the same sicker, too. I still believe this is true. I know that I could never fully enjoy my life while other people are being tortured in prison and murdered in the street and freezing from homelessness.

But I see that phrase now as unfinished. It has invisible words that are hidden by whiteness. Because really, who are the exact kinds of people being tortured in prison and murdered in the street and freezing from homelessness? It is the African people of the world and all colonized peoples everywhere of which this “all” refers to. From the perspective of African Internationalism, this phrase would be edited to be a little more concise: No one is free until African people are free. I think it’s similar to the comparison between “All Lives Matter” vs “Black Lives Matter”: Before all lives can matter, Black lives have to matter. And before Black lives can matter, Black Power has to matter. The Uhuru movement is about Black Power.
2)         THE PROBLEM IS COLONIALISM

Through political education from reading up on African Internationalism, I now see how all of the problems of this violent society are all based in Colonialism and Imperialism. Transgender oppression, poverty, patriarchy, abelism and racism: all of these and more exist due the structure of Colonialism. When academics refer to “intersectional” politics, what they are actually covering over is how Colonialism is the thread which connects all oppression everywhere.

Colonialism is when an entire nation of people oppresses and dominates another entire nation of people. From this viewpoint there are only two kinds of people in the world: those of the oppressor nation, and those of the oppressed nation.

Consider the hydra monster, a beast with many heads. Each head is an institution of violence in our modern day society: the rape culture, the Endless War and military occupation, the police genocide against Africans, the fracking industry of ecocide and climate chaos. Colonialism is the connecting body of the hydra, the true belly of the beast. The american empire and wealth of all white people everywhere was built on Colonialism.

Rape culture is the imperial conquest over another’s body and was used as a tool in the dis-empowerment of African people during europe’s attack and conquest of Africa. The oil and gas industries are the neo-colonial faces of today, extracting billions of dollars in stolen resources from this occupied indigenous land and elsewhere as the whole world burns via fracking and the nihilistic poisoning of entire watersheds; all so a few white dudes at the top can make a pretty penny at the expense of millions of people dying. Fracking and resource extraction is the same colonial story of the rape of a woman every 2 minutes a day in this country and the enslavement of African people which was the founding of capitalism: the selling of rape-bred African babies as the first “stock” on the stock market, to produce free slave-labor for white people. This is the “primitive accumulation” of which Marx speaks of, and misunderstood. This is the history of Capitalism, which has always been parasitic.

3)         AFRICAN INTERNATIONALISM

African Internationalism offers a solution to end this colonial violence and parasitic capitalism that is wreaking havoc across the world. The political theory of African Internationalism was coined by Chairman Omali Yeshitela in 1979, and is based on the fact that the material conditions that Africans/Black people face today all have a historical context which stems from colonialism and imperialism. It is the political theory of the African working class in Africa, the U.S. and where ever Africans are who have been forcibly dispersed around the world. It’s the theory necessary to reunite and liberate Africa and African people everywhere.

The two main points of African Internationalism are to 1) dismantle parasitic capitalism, and 2) build state power for a unified African nation. It is only with State power could Africa ever legitimately defend itself against the greedy hands of white people who to this day continue to steal resources from it’s rich soil, and drone bomb millions who must flee as refugees on their own planet. The APSP is striving for State power to build a unified African nation, in the same way that Palestine is striving to have State power and be a self-determined nation of people without colonizers like the Israeli Military occupying and murdering them. Chairman Omali Yeshitela has often spoken of how this seizure of state power is to be temporary,  a necessity to ensure the lasting defeat of colonialism.  African Internationalism foresees a time when states will be unnecessary, and humanity will live in a border-less society (as we transition through revolution, to socialism, to communism.)

African Internationalism is not Pan-Africanism and it is not #Black Lives Matter. It is something different; a truly revolutionary vision and plan of action to permanently overturn the culture of violent parasitic capitalism. And anyone, no matter if you are African or not, can unite with the political theory of African Internationalism.

This theory is carried out in practice by the African People’s Socialist Party. The APSP has a solid, well-researched plan of action that has been playing out for the last near-half a century, since the government attack and violent destruction of the Black Panther Party. “You can kill our leaders, but you can’t stop out movement!” was the vibe of the Black Liberation movement after it was entirely ripped apart by government-enacted State repression programs like COINTLPRO. The Uhuru movement grew out of that time period, and the APSP was founded in 1972. Their well-researched long-term plan of action to overthrow parasitic capitalism has been happening for some time now and will continue into the next century. It will not stop until justice has been served for all African/Black people everywhere, and when white reparations have been paid in full. These reparations paid back from white people who have raped and pillaged the African continent of it’s resources for 500 years will be used to build the new African economy, and Africa will be united as one self-determined nation.

Sounds amazing, right? Finally, some real shit that isn’t cloaked in a liberal agenda! For all of it’s revolutionary theory, it’s interesting how the most push-back comes from so-called radicals or anarchists who question how the APSP organizes itself. The APSP follows the hierarchical leadership structure known as Democratic Centralism, and the movement is lead by Chairman Omali Yeshitela. Yeah, a dude. So patriarchal, right?

4)         DEFINING HEIRARCHY: CRITIQUING ANARCHIST CRITIQUE OF UHURU’S LEADERSHIP STRUCTURE

Enter the anarchist: “Whoa hold up, you take orders from a hierarchical leader? A man? How can that be radical at all! I don’t trust that hierarchical structure, it sounds oppressive.” This is a very common critique from the white left/“radical”/anarchist world upon first discovering the Uhuru Movement for African Liberation. Somehow, despite all the radical ideas mentioned above in the definition of African Internationalism, it can so easily be written off as a “cult” with blind followers of a leader. You wanna talk about cults? I think the biggest cult of all is the united snakes government and the organized gangsters with automatic weapons known as the Police!

In the African People’s Socialist Party, African/Black people have chosen, via their own self-determination to exist as they wish, to organize themselves in this way that suits their need for liberation. For white “radicals” to critique that structure has weird tones of white-centric entitlement that all radical/revolutionary organizing be done in one particular way (non-hierarchically and consensus based) lest it be invalidated as not being “legit”.

There also seems to be confusion around what the definition of “hierarchy” means, so let’s break it down: We have to remember that “hierarchy” in itself does not equate with “oppression”. Hierarchy does not automatically equate with “power-over” and “dominance”. It is only under Capitalism that hierarchy has always meant oppression.

Hierarchy under Capitalism plays out in bosses telling you what to do, men telling women how to exist, etc. This is why anarchist circles have chosen to function “flat” instead, as an alternative against how mainstream society organizes itself.  This kind of anarchist/non-hierarchical organizing in theory functions to help empower everyone to make decisions for themselves and to include everyone in the process. The idea behind this decentralized structure is so that no one person has power over another. So I can almost understand why lefties/ radicals/ anarchists would at first be skeptical of such a liberation movement as Uhuru, which organizes itself via a hierarchical structure. I say “almost”, because the other part of me is thinking, just let African folks organize however the fuck they want to and who is anyone to tell them otherwise!

I’m writing this article to address the skepticism some folks have around this leadership structure and clear the fog. Still, I find it misinformed to judge an entire movement based on solely how it organizes itself, without a single eyelash bat at what the political theory of African Internationalism is actually about. It’s like saying that a book is dumb because the paper it’s printed on feels funny, without even reading what’s in the book.

We have been so entrenched in this capitalist system that we forget it’s even possible to have a top-down hierarchy structure that is not oppressive. We don’t see any mainstream examples of how it could work. I think it’s uncomfortable for anarchists to try to accept that this way of organizing is possible because it goes against everything we’ve been trying to fight against.  But getting uncomfortable is how we grow and expand our minds, so I’d say chew on it for a while.

Indigenous peoples have Sachems; Japanese martial arts have a Sensei; math students have a tutor. Having a leader/facilitator position in a hierarchical structure does not have to equate with dominance and oppression. It is ignorant of the vast cultures of the world to think that there can be only one “legitimate” way of structuring a group of people in non-oppressive ways. People are allowed to organize themselves as they wish, to suit their needs. And the need to overturn parasitic capitalism and seek white reparations to African people is BIG. This needs a serious, dedicated organizational structure to follow through with the task at hand.

Most importantly: the Uhuru movement is not a capital system; it is an anti-capitalist movement! So the hierarchy within it will look different. So much that I wouldn’t even call it a hierarchy: it’s a form of leadership.
5)         DEMOCRATIC CENTRALISM
How can it be different? Let me explain how the Uhuru movement organizes. The African People’s Socialist Party follows the organizing structure known as Democratic Centralism.  In practice this is democracy with centralized leadership. It’s a democratic process that is lead centrally by representatives who are selected by the membership, to carry out the will of the members. At first, it sounds like what we’re told how the so-called american government runs itself: voting, elected leaders, chosen representatives. Which I can understand why someone would want to reject this idea entirely, because the same vocabulary words are used in how the united snakes government organizes, which is oppressive and fulla lies. The difference is that actual democratic centralism is worlds apart from the capitalist/ bourgeois democracy that we know of, which in reality is a shell for the dictatorship of the ruling class.

In Democratic Centralism there is clear leadership, overview, study sessions, agenda sent out in advance. Everything has a coordinator. It involves criticism and self criticism (just like the Women’s army of the Rojava Revolution) and accountability to your word. It is not simply following a leader blindly– there is always discussion. But it is not based on consensus. Everyone has agreed already that revolution is the goal, and there must be complete unity of all members to get there.

It should also be noted that the highest rung of the heirarchical ladder are the members themselves. This is truly all power in the hands of the people. Every 5 years the APSP has a Party Congress, which is the highest meeting body. During this process, the entire membership takes control of the Party. Everybody votes on the political report, which was given out months in advance and allowed room for every member to comment on and edit. (The previous quotes from Chairman Omali Yeshitela were from his political report to the 6th congress. His book An Uneasy Equilibrium is the entirety of the report that was voted on to represent the direction of the APSP.) This is also the time when all of the National Central Committee is voted on, including the Chairman. The Congress is Democratic Centralism in action.

To quote a fellow comrade and member of Uhuru Solidarity: “Democratic Centralism is an incredible way that the Party organizes that unleashes the genius of the African working class, and allows each individual to flower. It is not just a top down structure of ‘leader says do this, follower says OK.’ It is a vibrant process where every individual is called upon to the whole, to take responsibility to everything you are assigned to. It can’t work if it’s just one leader and a bunch of drones. It has to be a living, dynamic process.”

6)         WHY IS ANARCHISM SO WHITE?

Let’s not forget that the Wikipedia page for Anarchism is filled with pictures of old white cis-men, and was a concept founded in white european society to answer problems of the white working class in europe. Anarchism has failed the African/Black community because it was not designed by or for them– it was a response to the situation in europe. That means: anarchism was for white people.

Have you ever wondered why so many anarchist or “radical” events/ camps/ concerts/ reading groups are so white dominated? Or why white middle-class backgrounds are the most common identity? I sure do. It’s weird, to say the least. For such a universal theory, one would think that more identities would be into it and represented. I used to wonder as a teenage punk, why there were no Black people at all the punk shows I would go to? (Also related: why was I the only girl in the mosh pit,?) I could never put my finger on why I felt weird at the near-100% white audience and where the disconnect came from that made this happen.

Turns out, there is a long historical reason for that disconnect. It can be explained simply, too: African people were not part of the liberated vision when Marx was talking about power in the hands of the working class. Fun fact: Marx was actually funded by his pal Engels, whose dad was rich cuz he owned a plantation of enslaved Africans in the Caribbean. Yikes! And that’s not an accident. While Marx had the luxury of time to brew up philosophy of how to liberate the white working class of europe, Africans were dying under slave conditions and he was being paid for it. Knowing this history can help us deconstruct why African people have been left out of these so-called “liberation for all” movements. It’s because since their beginnings, African people were not involved. Marxism and Anarchism were both born out of the experience of europeans.

The only way for a movement to be truly based in liberation is to have those whom are oppressed be at the forefront of organizing their own liberation. The fall of capitalism is absolutely dependent on the direct participation and leadership of African/Black people. To quote the Chairman:

“We [African people] recognize that capitalism has always rested and depended on a parasitic foundation. As a part of the “primitive accumulation” that Marx spoke of as a function of capitalist development, we are key to capitalism’s destruction.

– Chairman Omali Yeshitela from his political report to the 6th congress of the APSP, An Uneasy Equilibrium: The African Revolution versus Parasitic Capitalism, p.77

If you claim to be anti-capitalist, join the anti-capitalist liberation movement being led by African people for their own liberation! We can stand in solidarity with their efforts, which will free us all!

In a similar way to Anarchism, Feminism has failed African/Black women because it was founded by white victorian bourgeois women, whose agenda for liberation was not concerned with the very particular oppression that African/Black women face. The feminist movement of the civil rights era had a big gaping hole that did not include the liberation of African women. (For example: white women got the liberated 8 hour work day in the office. Who watches her kids now? the Black nanny.)

From an African Internationalist perspective, African women’s struggles cannot be separated from the struggles of the entire African nation, and there is no such thing as women “in general”– it goes back to what was said earlier about Colonialism: there are only women of the oppressor nation, and women of the oppressed nation. To see what the Uhuru movement is doing about African women’s liberation, check out the work that the African National Womens Organization (ANWO) is doing.

A very common critique that African Internationalists have about anarchists is that more often than not, African people are left to deal with the mess that white anarchists have made. A group of white protesters shows up at a demonstration, hungry to fuck shit up with bricks and moltovs. They do so, then peace out back to the suburbs where they experience protection from the State (cuz they’re white.) And who is left to deal with all the cops who show up? The Black community. At demonstrations, when violent shit goes down, it is most likely the Black folks who would get arrested. It has happened time and time again, and the African community is sick of it.

When so much has failed them, it is no wonder that African/Black people have chosen to organize themselves into structures that address their needs, such as the African People’s Socialist Party. And I don’t think the Uhuru Movement needs to apologize for their own self-determination of choosing to have a leader.

7)         ANARCHISM AND AFRICAN INTERNATIONALISM

The Uhuru movement has a number of former anarchists within it, who after political education and learning what Uhuru is all about, now unite with the political theory of African Internationalism instead.

To quote a former anarchist who joined a few years ago: “The whole question of wanting to be in solidarity with African people was more important to me than Anarchism.” In the end, the thing that pushed this person to turn was experiencing anarchists, former so-called comrades, attack the Uhuru movement.

The Uhuru movement for African Liberation unites with Anarchists on the point that they both wish to see the end of the State and the violent oppression that exists under parasitic capitalism, here in the united snakes and worldwide. Both unite with the ideas of stopping capitalism, ending the prison industrial complex which is modern day slavery, stopping police violence and all oppression of colonized people everywhere, and A World Without Borders (check out this lecture by Chairman Omali Yeshitela.)

Once the nations n borders come down and capitalism has been dismantled, Anarchism would, in general, end there in a stateless society. Because Anarchism is so decentralized and local, those late-night conversations of “But what’s next?” when capitalism ends are always ethereal and hard to have a united plan for the whole earth (I know, I love The Dispossessed too and use it all the time as one prime example of a possible New World.) In general it is a difficult conversation to have, and I’ve found is more about dreaming up possibilities than actually creating a plan of action for when we get there.

Whatever future happens under Anarchism, there is not an active gameplan for what it will look like, simply because of it’s decentralized nature and unclear overall agenda. Some people even say that you can’t define Anarchism, or that there are “a million different kinds” of it. If we’re not united on what we’re signing up for, how could we ever have collective power together to overturn the system, if people don’t even fully know what they believe in when they call themselves an “anarchist”?

African Internationalism, on the other hand, is extremely clear in it’s definition, goal, purpose, and agenda. You can unite with it, or you don’t. It draws a clear line in the sand: you are either on the side of the oppressor, or you are fighting against the oppressor.

African Internationalism goes one step further than Anarchism in striving to concretely build that better world that we all keep dreaming about. They got the gameplan all laid out, bright and clear as day. All we need now are the people to fill the roles and join in on the organizing (PS- any peeps in the northeast/boston, we need you ASAP!!)

African Internationalism seeks to have State power in the hands of all African people. They wish to have one unified nation of Africa, and do away with the individual countries that were divided up and named by european colonists anyway. My role as a white person as part of Uhuru Solidarity Movement is to seek reparations from all white people everywhere, including institutions and politicians but also at an individual level from everyday white people, and funnel all of those resources back to Africa where they were looted from in the first place.

It’s a long term plan– it will take a while, but that doesn’t mean impossible. With every dollar paid towards reparations, with every white person who jumps off of the pedestal to rejoin humanity, we are winning.

The above section has been a comparison of the political theory of each movement, how they are similar and how they are different. Another way to compare the two would be in how they structure themselves, how meetings are organized, and how susceptible they would be to be infiltrated by spies. So to say: How tight is the crew you organize with?

Democratic centralism, the organizing structure of the Uhuru movement, is incredibly hard to infiltrate. As someone who is concerned with surveillance, encrypts my email, and hosts monthly Crypto Parties to teach people about encryption and tools to be anonymous online, I understand how state repression and infiltration has liquidated revolutionary movements like the Black Panther Party. Which is also why you can now send encrypted emails to the Boston USM email account! I trust Uhuru because in some way it’s got virtual “digital fingerprints” you can confirm between all your comrades– everyone is held accountable constantly, and checking in with leadership is incorporated into the structure.

Democratic Centralism is unity in theory and practice. So when you join the Uhuru movement, it’s not just talk n theory– it’s a lot of action and organizing. You gotta do shit, and it follows a structure. A dedicated spy would have to sit through countless meetings and discussions and accountability to what they said they would do, if they were ever to really pass.

Anarchist and other kinds of non-hierarchical organizing, on the other hand, does not have such a general structure to defend itself from spies. At the 2012 Republican National Convention in Tampa FL, the FBI had infiltrated multiple protest groups, took on “leadership” positions, and completely overturned any direct action that was planned from within those groups. The Police had pacified the entire demonstration and overturned the agenda of these self-organized groups, more so than the other groups that had some form of hierarchy/leadership to them. How was this possible? Because the leaderless structures of the protest groups were so easy to manipulate. An article from the Tampa Bay Times said that  “The undercover officers were key in these efforts [to pacify protesters] because some of the most loosely organized groups had no identifiable leaders who would take responsibility for the group’s agenda.”

Cops are sneaky deceptive bastards who always use manipulation to get what they want, and are known to infiltrate political groups, so I don’t blame these groups for getting hacked. It just goes to show one example of the harmful aspects of leaderless organizing structures. The cops saw that there were no leaders, so they subtly created that position for themselves, and fooled everyone.

With the Uhuru movement, it’s not a new affinity group of strangers every time you start organizing a new action– it’s the same peeps and spirit since 40+ years, and they’re guiding you towards the goal: liberation for all. African Internationalism says that when African people are free, all will be free.

8) LEADERSHIP
We need leaders, we need teachers to guide us through life. We need passionate people to inspire us and remind us why it’s worth waking up in the morning when you already know what the news is gonna say: another murder of an unarmed Black teen, another drone bomb done in your name, another oil spill in a fresh water stream forever poisoned (re: have you heard of the genocidal Dakota Access Pipeline clusterfuck and the indigenous Standing Rock Sioux protest of thousands happening right now in so-called north dakota?) We need a way to survive and thrive, lest we be tied down by apathy, nihilism, or drinking until we black out and forget the sorry state of the world.

For me, my survival plan against this depression is to fight full force, head-on, against parasitic colonial capitalism and imperialism that has committed genocide on millions of people, cultures, ways of life, whole species of animals and plants, ecosystems, and now the planet as a whole as the permafrost melts and the bees die off. The genocides of the past, which still continues today and never ended! This has to stop! I have to take action and organize towards the liberation of all, including myself. And thank the stars that I found the Uhuru movement, which takes all of this into consideration.

Chairman Omali Yeshitela is a leader in the most powerful sense: he provides direction, inspiration, passion. He is a teacher and leads weekly study sessions, as does Chairwoman Penny Hess of the African People’s Solidarity Committee. Political education is a high priority of the Uhuru Movement for African Liberation. The African People’s Socialist Party structures their organizing around the end goal: overturning the parasitic capitalist imperialism, and building the Black economy to unite Africa into one self-determined nation. People who are in the Party chose to be so because they want to and agree with the uniting principles. They choose to be there, in the same way that I chose to become a member of Uhuru Solidarity Movement. Critiquing the Uhuru movement just because it’s structured into a hierarchy with a leader is is belittling of all the thousands of people who have made the autonomous choice to be part of that organizing and work towards that goal.

Uhuru Solidarity Movement follows the same organizational structure as the APSP. Some examples of what this organizing looks like includes: national conference calls weekly, check-ins for support, a dropbox folder with detailed manuals on how to do just about everything from tabling events to contacting universities for funding, google docs being constantly updated, political education at the beginning of every meeting, accountability to your word like no other, and most of all: really amazing comrades that I know I can call up when I have a question or need advice. Having leadership allows me to constantly be refreshed of the goal to overturn capitalism and liberate all African/Black people and colonized peoples across the world to have their own self-determination to exist. Even with writing this article, I had a check-in call with a comrade “above me” in the leadership structure who helped me edit and pinpoint the spirit of exactly what I wanted to say to be truly in solidarity with African people. As a white person, I don’t want my own agenda/ego infiltrating an organization that is focused on being in solidarity with African/Black people. I like having guidance in how to best do that.

By joining USM I also acknowledge that I don’t have all the answers in how to dismantle capitalism and build a better world– but oppressed African working class people DO, and I can follow their lead. Uhuru Solidarity is a white organization that works under the direct leadership of the Black working class, the African People’s Socialist Party. The united snakes was built on the enslavement and genocide of African/Black people, which is where all the wealth of capitalism has come from. Therefor, it’s gonna take that same group of people to dismantle the system.

Colonized people are going to lead the revolution towards their own liberation. I need to follow their lead. I need to be in solidarity with oppressed peoples, lest I be on the side of the oppressor. I need to follow their lead, cuz they know how to free themselves and I want to support that! And hey, it’s about time that I as a white person sit down and get put in my place by colonized African/Black people about what my role is in the revolution. I’ve been assigned a job, and I’m choosing to do it. White reparations to African people! Uhuru!

club-reparations

    1. Uhuru, Michele! We couldn’t agree more! An important struggle to call for material solidarity with African liberation!

  1. looks like you never understood anarchism, and so you lost a good opportunity to free yourself from self-punishment and guilty.

    1. @ “Ghost,” your comment is the epitome of white left self-centered POV. The membership of the Uhuru Solidarity Movement understands that it’s not about absolving “white guilt,” it’s not about avoiding “self-punishment;” it’s about having the courage to unite with oppressed, colonized people against the colonizer. It’s about acknowledging the brutal, violent legacy of white settler colonialism and how we as white people continue to benefit from the oppression of Africans and other colonized people, right here in the U.S. And by joining the colonized against the oppressor we are liberating ourselves, too, as African People’s Socialist Party Chairman Omali Yeshitela says: “Why in the world would people continue to identify themselves with a social system that can only exist through stealing wealth and resources and the future of the vast majority of the people on earth?….YOU have to liberate YOURSELVES from this relationship with the white ruling class; YOU have to fight for Black Power, because it is white power that is responsible for every contradiction that people face [on] the earth..it is white power that is responsible for the oppression of white women, it is white power that is responsible for the oppression of white homosexuals, it is white power that is responsible for the oppression of white workers, it is white power that is responsible for the oppression of the vast majority of the people [in] the world, everybody else is uniting against white power, it is the responsibility of Europe and YOU to join in this struggle; JOIN Uhuru Solidarity Movement! Uhuru!” ~ Chairman Omali Yeshitela at USM Convention 2013 uhurusolidarity.org/join-usm/

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