USM National Outreach Chair, Johann Bedingfield, delivered a mobilizing workshop presentation at the 2017 African People’s Socialist Party Plenary! All white people owe #Reparations and sit on the pedestal of colonialism, living at the expense of Africans and other colonized people. Join the colonized against the oppressor! Join the Uhuru Solidarity Movement today! uhurusolidarity.org/join-usm/
The video of comrade Johann’s presentation is included here, following the written transcript of his speech, below:
Uhuru! My name is Johann Bedingfield, and I’m the National Outreach Coordinator for USM. I’m also a member of the African People’s Solidarity Committee, and I’m also in the Disability Justice working group of USM. I’m going to be speaking today about “Organizing Every Sector of the White Community in Solidarity with African Liberation.”
To tell you a little bit about myself, and how I became disabled. When I was born, they were using an experimental drug in the early 1980’s that caused brain damage to my brain, and that’s how I got cerebral palsy.
Now we understand that the whole “healthcare” system is a colonial healthcare system that mostly attacks African people, that really is based on profit; not on healing people at all. At the same time, it does effect white people as well, like myself.
I heard the Chairman speak at an African Liberation Day conference. I was really won to the Uhuru Solidarity Movement. He was saying that the resources of African people are their birthright. And that really won me over; that everything that we have in the white community, including white disabled people…. take my own mobilization….wheelchairs and other commodities that help facilitate us come at the expense of African people. Like bauxite, to build aluminum wheel chairs, and it comes at the expense of all African people.
So I find it my responsibility to join USM and pay reparations to African people, Uhuru! (applause). And it is also my true interest; the interest of every disabled [white] person on the pedestal of African oppression because within white society, white disabled people face oppression~ abuse, exploitation, over 50% of white disabled people report abuse by families, caregivers, and by the general white population.
So we understand that it’s also in our interest to be under the leadership of the African revolution (applause). In the 1960’s and ’70’s, it was the Black Power Movement that taught us how to fight, struggle and win! It was the Black Panther Party that came out to defend the white disabled community as they occupied buildings. And the reason that we were able to get any semblance to life at all was because the Black Power Movement was open, where other places, the whole movement faded away, but the Black Power Movement came out and fed us, and supported us, and even reported it in the Black Panther Newspaper.
That was so powerful, that really inspired [the disabled community] that we could win, and we did win some semblance of life. Uhuru!
But we have to understand, we have to go beyond accessibility. Because it’s not about having a ramp on the slave ship. I don’t want my rights to come at the expense of African and Native people (applause). As soon as we put our foot down on this land, that was the crime; this is stolen land of Native people, and the stolen labor of African people. So all white people have to understand, even white disabled people owe reparations. We have to make ourselves accessible to the African revolution under the leadership of the [African People’s Socialist] Party, and that’s what I fight for, and organize other disabled people.
Being under the revolution of the African liberation movement, under determined leadership is really empowering for white disabled people. I was attacked by a wheelchair transport driver for being in solidarity with African liberation. And no other person within the pedestal of white power came up and defended me when I was attacked. It was the African revolution that defended me from this white nationalist driver. All the way from the continent of Africa, people were calling in to that driver’s [workplace]. Finally they were forced to fire him. It was the African revolution that did that. Uhuru (applause).
And we understand that the entire African nation is under assault by this system. African disabled people, African women, African men, African children are being killed, and their own resources are being stolen on this U.S. parasitic social system [which] doesn’t care about human life, and they certainly don’t care about African people. In fact, the poor Africans who so-called “kidnapped” that white boy, they are victims of the system; that’s the real torture~ like Jesse said, 600 years of torture ~ the African people have the right to fight back and resist by any means necessary (applause).
Any oppression of ~not just white disabled people, but white gay people, white transgender people, white women, white workers ~ if you face oppression, that’s white power; that’s white power doing that to you, as we understand from Chairman Omali Yeshitela. So we have an interest to come under the leadership of Black Power, because Black Power will overturn all oppression, including white people that have been on drugs, or abused by the system. So every single one of us has an interest in paying reparations to African people, and finding our true interest with African liberation. We can really find our own humanity through this process, Uhuru (applause).
And this is the way forward for all white people, to come under the leadership of, and be in material solidarity with, African liberation, Uhuru! (applause).