Safety Pins Won’t Make America Safe for Black People
By KC Mackey, Uhuru Solidarity Movement
The Uhuru Solidarity Movement salutes all of the white people who are motivated to action by the line drawn in the sand by the Trump election. We salute all the North Americans who are moved to take a visible stand on the side of solidarity with African, Indigenous and other oppressed peoples in face of the threats to them by Trump’s white nationalist mandate.
The Uhuru Solidarity Movement, the organization of white people working in white communities under the leadership of the African People’s Socialist Party, agrees that rectifying the relationship between white people and African people and the oppressed of the world in a principled way is the most serious question of our times.
The rising African Revolution, however, is calling on white people to take very specific actions to stand in solidarity with African people. It does not include wearing a safety pin.
In response to fear of increased white violence against African, Muslim, Indigenous, and colonized people, wearing a safety pin is meant to label us a “safe white person.” It is supposed to inform colonized people that they are safe around us. It was started by white people after Brexit, Britain’s split from the European Union, and has spread to the U.S. following Trump’s election.
The Uhuru Movement understands that while the safety pin may represent a genuine sentiment of opposition to attacks on African people, it is ultimately an empty gesture that does nothing to overturn the material conditions that oppress African and colonized people.
Gazi Kodzo of the African People’s Socialist Party stated, “You don’t get to proclaim yourself as a good whitey. That’s not how this works. You need to be led by Africans to be in solidarity with us.”
As a member of USM, I unite with this and call for every white person to pay reparations and join in material solidarity with the struggle of Black people for Black power over their own Black lives.
It’s bigger than Trump: colonialism is the enemy!
The safety pin movement shows that some white people are aware of the reality that African and colonized people are under attack and that we can no longer sit idly by, like we have done for centuries. Some whites fear that Trump is going to carry out murder of Africans and deportations of Mexicans, and that white vigilantes are emboldened by Trump’s win.
But the genocide is already underway, with or without Trump. It would have continued under Clinton. Trump wasn’t president when Dylann Roof murdered nine African people in a church. Trump wasn’t president when Darren Wilson murdered Michael Brown and left him in the street for four hours.
Obama has carried out 2.5 million deportations, more than any other president. Hillary Clinton helped push 100,000 more police and higher rates of police brutality and incarceration in African communities.
Making this about Trump lets colonialism off the hook.
African people have been murdered with impunity ever since Europe’s colonial assault on Africa. Capitalism was built on the backs of enslaved Africans. The U.S. is a white people’s State founded on slavery and genocide. All classes of white people have always enthusiastically carried out this genocide, or been silent.
We had picnics and carnivals while we lynched African people. A safety pin does not erase this history, nor does it change the material basis of our lives built at the expense of African and oppressed peoples.
The police are supported by most white people, even as they brutally murder African people every day. For us to enjoy 22 times the wealth of that of the average African family, it requires constant continued genocide with our complicity and in our name, for our material benefit.
The only way we can overturn our brutal and bloody relationship to African people is by working under the leadership of the African Revolution for white reparations to African people.
As Chairman Omali Yeshitela proves, this is not a struggle against racism, the ideas in white people’s heads, but rather a struggle of African people against colonialism, the political and economic domination of oppressed people by the white nation.
Colonialism is the cause of mass incarceration, stop & frisk, and police brutality. We owe reparations to African people for over 600 years of ruthless terror, slavery, and genocide.
The end of anti-racism: the beginning of white solidarity with Black Power
Like anti-racism workshops, the safety pin movement is a self-serving way for us to feel better without changing the material conditions of colonialism. It centers us and acts as though changing our feelings towards African and colonized people will keep them safe.
African people are not struggling for safe spaces around white people, or for white people to be nice to them. African people are struggling for power and self-determination so that whether white people are wearing a safety pin, or a police badge, or a swastika, we cannot hurt them without facing consequences.
The Uhuru Movement is building a movement for revolution to dismantle the current system while supporting the building of a new one. For us to be a part of making that revolution, we as white people need to be accountable to a revolutionary organization to carry out concrete activity in the real world.
The way we can be accountable to African people in this revolution is to join the Uhuru Solidarity Movement.
Our essential task is to go into the white community and win white people to pay reparations to African people. Reparations to the Uhuru Movement supports Black Star Industries, the liberated economy where African workers control the means of production.
Colonialism, not racism, is the problem
We must stand in unconditional solidarity with the struggle of oppressed people to seize power over their lives, and secure a future for their children by any means necessary!
White people live in severe self-imposed isolation from humanity. All classes and genders of white people are part of a white bourgeois oppressor nation, and we can break ties with it by uniting under the leadership of the African Revolution.
Everything we have is stolen, but we can give it back. Our entire identity is a lie, a made-up race to justify genocide, but we can forge a new one through reparations. Only through reparations can we ever join the rest of humanity and be part of building world where all human beings are safe and secure without threat of war, imperialism and colonial terror.
Instead of wearing a safety pin, let’s raise reparations to return the stolen resources of African people back over to the African Revolution.
USM has a campaign called “The Reparations Challenge” that calls on white people to take the reparations challenge by planning a fundraiser in your community to raise resources for the African Revolution.
Fight for white reparations to African people!
Join the Uhuru Solidarity Movement!