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Burning Spear News

A white U.S. military veteran stands for reparations for African people

Jul 5, 2018
Bobby Whittenberg


The Uhuru Solidarity Movement is the only organization where white people can join the human family, by standing in material solidarity with African and colonized people

 

My life as a U.S. marine

I grew up in a very white, very conservative military family. I am the fourth generation in my family to have been in the U.S. military.

I grew up on or around air force bases with stories about my grandpa serving in the second imperialist war.

I hadn’t planned to join the military, but after the U.S. invaded Iraq, I believed the U.S. version of events and decided to join the marines as an infantryman to fight “the terrorists.”

On April 14, 2004 I was wounded in combat in Iraq near the Syrian border. This would prove to be a turning point in my life. I began to develop symptoms of fibromyalgia and PTSD.

I completed my deployment, but became increasingly unable to keep up with the training upon returning to the U.S. As a result I began to be abused by my chain of command.

It became clear to me that I was disposable to this system.

I began seeing other situations where wounded marines were mistreated and began to ask myself questions like: If they would do this to us, what are we doing to the people they tell us are our enemy?

If we weren’t patrolling around someone else’s country looking for trouble, what would be going on? Why are we there? Why did I get shot? Why did two friends die from a land mine?

Why did another friend get his head blown off? Why did another get sniped in the side shortly before we were supposed to head home? What are we really doing?

Searching for the revolution

In June of 2006, I was finally discharged. I was very angry with the military and the U.S., but I didn’t have a clear political analysis.

During the 2008 presidential election, I became interested in leftist politics and began to explore socialism, eventually becoming a social anarchist.

I would spend the next several years wandering around white left and anarchist scenes searching for something real to overturn capitalism, imperialism and colonialism.

Cynically, I began supporting “progressive” candidates in the 2016 election hoping that could move things further to the left but knowing we needed something more. After the election I realized I had to find a revolutionary organization to join. I began exploring various white left parties and organizations again, but I also remembered an organization I had heard of before─the Uhuru Solidarity Movement─ and decided to investigate.

What I found was exactly what I needed, an organization of white people under the leadership of the African People’s Socialist Party and its Chairman, Omali Yeshitela that has a solid anti-colonialist philosophy and is truly revolutionary.


All white people owe reparations to African people


The message that all white people owe reparations made a lot of sense to me.

We have benefited so much at the expense of colonized and oppressed people.

Our entire society is built on the theft of their resources and their suffering and oppression.

I am an ex-Marine and a combat veteran, but all white people are veterans of the war against the colonized and oppressed people of the world.

We have fought for our rights as white people at their expense. We have been the lynch mobs, the vigilantes, the volunteer militias.

To overturn this relationship we must pay reparations and organize under their leadership.

Our only future is in Black Power and solidarity with the colonized and oppressed people of the world.

That includes solidarity with their right to resist by any means necessary. In an open letter I wrote in 2010 to the person who shot me, I said:

“I can say with full confidence, with no hesitation that you had every right to be a part of that attack and to shoot me that day.

“I am thankful that I was wearing a canteen full of water that slowed the impact and possibly spared my life, but even had that round lain me silent forever, you would be free of guilt.

“You have a right to resist. You have a right to protect your family, your community, and your way of life.”

To all white veterans: Join the Uhuru Solidarity Movement

I know there can never truly be justice for what has been done to the people of the Middle East, but I hope that we do all we can to get as close as possible to stop the killing and reduce suffering.

As we have bled together, we can begin to heal together and together we can put an end to these wars.

As white people, if we want to take responsibility for overturning our parasitic relationship with colonized and oppressed people and our own contradictions as well, it is time for us to take a stand of material solidarity and join the Uhuru Solidarity Movement under the leadership of the African People’s Socialist Party!

Uhuru!

Power to the Resistance! Solidarity!

 

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