Burning Spear News
Chairman Omali Yeshitela’s Overview to the National Central Committee of the African People’s Socialist Party: Part 1
Chairman Omali Yeshitela speaks to the crowd at this year's Black People's March on the White House in D.C. put on annually by the Black is Back Coalition for Social Justice, Peace, and Reparations.
Part of what is really important for us to understand at this point, in history, where we see what is happening with this government: its threats to people around the world, the ongoing threat to people of Iran, how people have been made excited by what he’s [Donald Trump] done with those four Congresswomen[Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, New York; Ilhan Omar, Minnesota; Rashida Tlaib, Michigan; and Ayanna S. Pressley, Massachusets.]—in terms of saying that they should go back to where they come from or something to that effect—it’s really important for us to understand the significance of what it is that we’re looking at.
People are saying well “Trump this, Trump that.” What Trump is doing is playing to an audience.
He’s not just some individual. Trump is not going to come into your community trying to make you do anything.
He wouldn’t have the courage to show up, or anything like that. Trump understands, in his process of running for office, that there’s a significant white base.
There’s a significant base of white people who unite with that politic. It’s important for us to understand, if you don’t understand anything else, that America is a settler colony; it’s not just a colony.
When we talk about settler colonialism, we talk about where the white people have left Europe not simply with the intent to colonize, like we’ve seen colonization happen before.
We saw it in Ghana, we saw it all over Africa—Nigeria, etc—but white people didn’t settle there.
A settler colony is when not only do they come to steal, they come to stay.
They did that in “South Africa,” as we call it. They did it in the place that they called “Rhodesia” named for Cecil Rhodes, the white man who initiated this process.
They did that when they went to Palestine and stole Palestine and now call themselves “Israelis” and what have you.
White people in very desperate situations came to this land. White people cameto this land; they stole it.
They killed the inhabitants...This is what you have to do as a settler colony; they killed the inhabitants; that’s where the walls started getting built.
That’s where concentration camps were built to house and contain the traditional custodians of this land: the so-called “Indians.”
This is where the Indian reservations come from.
They are settlers; they are not indigenous to this land. They are settlers!
They came from someplace else and took this land from the indigenous here.
It’s critical that we understand this, if we don’t understand anything else.
They came here; they stole this land. They came here poor, raggedy and hungry looking for what they said were “religious freedoms” and they killed the people who were the traditional owners of this land.
Not just this particular territory but all of what you would recognize as South America, the Caribbean and all of that.
White people came and they settled here and they took this land. When they came, they came from what is now called “Germany,” they came from what is now called “France,” they came from Switzerland, Sweden, England and all of these other places in the process of stealing and containing this land and then kidnapping and stealing African people to work on this land.
This is the process that consolidated them into what they refer to as “Americans.”
They were not Americans when they came here. The process of stealing the land, killing the indigenous people, kidnapping and bringing us here is what now consolidates this thing that they call “American” and even that’s a phony characterization, but that’s what’s happened.
They called America, because it was Italian—Amerigo Vespucci.
This is really important for us to understand, because what happens is—we say it over and over again—people get born in this situation that seems to have always been like this, but it hasn’t been like that.
I mean “po’ cracker”—for lack of a better terminology, that’s something that’s really common we understand—left their poverty.
What you need to understand is that they were not just poor. They were not landowners, they were not homeowners, they were not any of that.
They lived under feudal domination and the thing that gave them significance, wealth, even homeownership as a group of people was stealing this land—colonialism.
Colonialism! Taking people’s land, something with the surplus population in England in particular and various other places and then began to ship resources from all these other places to Europe. That’s how Europe is rich and the rest of us are poor.
The consciousness of white people in the whole world came about through slavery.
Before that they were Celts, Normans and all these other things that they called themselves. They were not “white people.”
They identified themselves in relationship to each other. You can’t say “I am a ‘white person’,” when you’re a white person talking to a white person; you’re not a white person, you’re just a damn person.
So, there was no such thing as the white man, as such.
The white man was created through this process of slavery and colonialism.
That’s the thing that united all of them against the rest of us. Now their identity was not primarily as Celts and Normans and the rest of it; they became white people and they became what is now known as “Europe” and “Europeans.”
There was no such place, no generally recognized place as “Europe” until the seventeenth century.
It’s really important to understand this, because this is the essence of African Internationalism in terms of a dialectical and historical method of understanding the world.
This is how they achieved their identity, through the process of slavery and colonialism.
This is what gave them a common identity, but the thing that made it stick—because, it’s not good enough to just be the white man, you can’t just be the white man—the thing that made it stick and made it valuable was the resources that came with that.
The resources that came with occupying this land: now they got a house; they got a home.
They never had houses—they were property, almost.
They were the closest thing to property you could have, for a thousand years.
You got to understand that for more than a thousand years, white people lived under feudalism. They had nothing! You understand? Except for the nobility.
When they come here, they become somebody and they don’t just become somebody in relationship to white people, they become somebody in relationship people whose shit they stole, they become somebody in relationship to those people that are there picking that cotton and doing all that other stuff for them and whole fantasies emerged that defined them.
They don’t define them as the people who came and stole some people’s shit, they don’t say “we’re the people who stole this shit.”
They say “we are the people who came and rescued the territory and made it good, because the people were savages” and all this other kind of stuff.
That’s the narrative that’s created; they call that history.
This is the thing that pulled them all together, that holds it all together: the fact that they stole all the shit, they got slavery, they got people who they enslaved, they got land and territory, and they create institutions to maintain this relationship.
They create structures to maintain this relationship—their armies, militaries, the state apparatus itself gets formed and forged through the process of this aggression that’s made against everybody else in the world.
Now what happens is people are fighting and taking their resources back.
Today, everything that white people thought about themselves is being challenged, because they define themselves in relationship to how they define you.
If you are not what they hell they say you are, then who the f— are they? This is the thing that they have to be able to deal with.
This is not some spook shit, this is not some ooga-booga shit.
This is the dialectic of that relationship that for there to be a slave master, there has to be a slave.
For there to be an oppressed there has to be an oppressor. Each requires the other for its existence, right? This is what happens.
So now this whole thing is under stress, that’s what I talked about at Oxford [“The Africa Debate” on January 24, 2019]. The stress of this whole thing is serious because the host is rejecting the f—-g parasite, that’s been sucking our blood and lives off of that.
The parasite must have that. This is real. I’m not a biologist but there’s this thing about a parasite, it cannot survive without a host; it must have a host.
People are taking back their stuff then it creates crises for the parasite.
The parasite experiences crises and since we are talking about social movement scientists, that’s how the crisis expresses itself in society, socially, politically, economically and what have you.
You got a spike in the death rate of white people in this country, perhaps for the first time since they’ve been here.
That’s drug overdoses, alcoholism, all kind of stuff. The highest rate of death is happening with white people of a particular age in this country, because they ain’t who they say they were and they’re being made to see that.
Trump is speaking to a whole base of white people and he’s telling them “you are exactly who you think you are and it’s just those niggers there and people who are coming across the borders”—in other words, the people who are now trying to take back what belongs to them, the people who are trying to live and you can’t live—the host is always under duress from the parasite, now the host is rejecting the parasite and it’s creating crisis and that’s what we’re seeing.
These are white people who are experiencing crises, and that’s what you’re supposed to experience if you’re a damn parasite, you’re not supposed to have a comfortable existence and it’s not our responsibility to make the damn parasite comfortable.
This is what we’re looking at, so when Trump makes that statement, he is speaking to a base of white people who actually is experiencing crises.
Now, what’s significant about that? Remember, we’ve just gone through this whole thing, we were talking about the national question?
We’ve been talking about this for some time now. Who we are as a people. That’s why this race shit can get you killed.
This racism, trying to fight against racism which means you’re trying to perfect the goddamn parasitic system.
I’m raising this now, in part because this is 2019. This is the hundredth anniversary of what has been characterized as the “Red Summer” in 1919. The Red Summer: mobs of white people assisted by national guards and cops killed something like two or three hundred African people and that’s just 2019.
But if you start with 2017 to 2023, white mobs assisted by national guards killed more than 1,100 African people in this country.
They went in various places: in New York, here [St. Louis] and East St. Louis, they bombed Wall Street and Tulsa, Oklahoma, that’s when Rosewood happened, I’m saying mobs of white people assisted by national guards and cops killed more than eleven hundred African people and nobody went to jail for it.
Do you understand what I’m saying? And if they did it then, there is no f—-g reason for them not to do it now, because the atmosphere is here.
Stokley Carmichael used to always say something like “black people won’t march to the oven like the Jews.”
My response to him was “they don’t have to march to the oven, we’re in the f—-g ovens now.”
Anytime you look at the population that we have in prison, anytime you see these colonies surrounded by rings of f—-g police and stuff like that, you’re in the oven.
It will not take anything for them to pull the switch—for them to ignite mobs of white people who will try to do the harm, horrible things.
I mean who can walk into a church and kill nine people. Who will say it’s alright for the cops to kill you, not only kill you in St. Louis, an 18-year-old childin Ferguson, St. Louis and then when the cracker did it all the other white people in St. Louis bought up all the guns, all the ammunition in this city.
This is no little thing. This is no “racism” shit here. This is colonialism naked, raw and we are subject to anything, the whims of the colonizer population.
So I just say that this is a really important issue and our existence, what we do is really critical. It’s not just something you do with the Glee Club, or a sorority.
These are tasks that we have assumed for ourselves. White power kills and it’s killing every day, even if we’ve not been able to see it.
What we see is when a cop shoots somebody, but the damage the cop does it not just shooting this youngster on the street, the damage the cop does is reflected in the fact that there are more than a million Africans in prison.
The cop put them in prison! They didn’t volunteer for this, so at every level you see we are under assault and our people are under emotional, psychological assault all the time of our existence and the only reason we don’t recognize it is because it’s “normal.”
We live with this shit. Our responsibility is not small, it’s huge. The existence of the African People’s Socialist Party is fundamental.